Friday, August 14, 2015

Saint August 15 : St. Stanislaus Kostka : Patron of #Students and #Poland - Jesuit

  

Information:
Feast Day:
August 15
Born:
October 28, 1550, Rostkowo
Died:
August 15, 1568, Rome
Patron of:
Jesuit novices, students, Poland
Born at Rostkovo near Prasnysz, Poland, about 28 October, 1550; died at Rome during the night of 14-15 August, 1568. He entered the Society of Jesus at Rome, 28 October, 1567, and is said to have foretold his death a few days before it occurred. His father, John Kostka, was a senator of the Kingdom of Poland and Lord of Zakroczym; his mother was Margaret de Drobniy Kryska, the sister and niece of the Dukes Palatine of Masovia and the aunt of the celebrated Chancellor of Poland, Felix Kryski. The marriage was blessed with seven children, of whom Stanislas was the second. His older brother Paul survived him long enough to be present at the celebration of the beatification of Stanislas in 1605. The two brothers were first taught at home, the main feature of this early education being the firmness, even severity, of their training; its results were the excellent habits of piety, modesty, temperance, and submission. After this they were sent to Vienna with their tutor to attend the Jesuit college that had been opened four years before, reaching Vienna, 25 July, 1564. Among the students of the college Stanislas was soon conspicuous not only for his amiability and cheerfulness of expression, but also for his religious fervour and angelic piety. This spirit of devotion continued to grow during the three years he remained in Vienna. His brother Paul said of him during the process of beatification: "He devoted himself so completely to spiritual thing that he frequently became unconscious, especially in the church of the Jesuit Fathers at Vienna. It is true," added the witness, "that this had happened at home to my brother at Easter when he was seated at table with our parents and other persons." Among other practices of devotion he joined while at Vienna the Congregation of St. Barbara, to which many students of the Jesuit college belonged. If the confidences he then made to his tutor and later to a fellow-member of the Society at Rome are to be believed, it was Saint Barbara who brought two angels to him during the course of a serious illness, in order to give him the Eucharist. So much piety, however, did not please the older brother Paul; his exasperation led him to treat with violence the innocent Stanislas. The latter finally lost patience, and one night after Stanislas had again suffered the harsh comments and blows of his brother he turned on Paul with the words: "Your rough treatment will end in my going away never to return, and you will have to explain my leaving to our father and mother." Paul's sole reply was to swear violently at him.
Meantime the thought of joining the Society of Jesus had already entered the mind of the saintly young man. It was six months, however, before he ventured to speak of this to the superiors of the Society. At Vienna they hesitated to receive him, fearing the tempest that would probably be raised by his father against the Society, which had just quieted a storm that had broken out on account of other admissions to the Company. Stanislas quickly grasped the situation and formed the plan of applying to the general of the Society at Rome. The distance was five hundred leagues, which had to be made on foot, without equipment, or guide, or any other resources but the precariouscharity that might be received on the road. The prospective dangers and humiliations of such a journey, however, did not alarm his courage. On the morning of the day on which he was to carry out his project he called his servant to him early and told him to notify his brotherPaul and his tutor in the course of the morning that he would not be back that day to dinner. Then he started, taking the first opportunity to exchange the dress of gentleman for that of a mendicant, which was the only way to escape the curiosity of those he might meet. By nightfall Paul and the tutor comprehended that Stanislas had turned from them as he had threatened. They were seized with a fierce anger, and as the day was ended the fugitive had gained twenty-four hours over them. They started to follow him, but were not able to overtake him; either their exhausted horses refused to go farther, or a wheel of their carriage would break, or, as the tutor frankly declared, they had mistaken the route, having left the city by a different road from the one whichStanislas had taken. It is noticeable that in his testimony Paul gives no explanation of his ill-luck.
Stanislas stayed for a month at Dillingen, where the provincial of that time, the Blessed Peter Canisius, put the young aspirant's vocation to the test by employing him in the boarding-school. Subsequently he went on to Rome, where he arrived 25 October, 1567. As he was greatly exhausted by the journey, the general of the order, St. Francis Borgia, would not permit him to enter the novitiate of Saint Andrew until several days later. During the ten remaining months of his life, according the testimony of the master of novices, Father Giulio Fazio, he was a model and mirror of religious perfection. Notwithstanding his very delicate constitution he did not spare himself the slightest penance ("Monument hist. Societatis Jesu, Sanctus Franciscus Borgia", IV, 635). He had such a burning fever his chest that he was often obliged to apply cold compresses. On the eve of the feast of St. Lawrence, Stanislas felt a mortal weakness made worse by a high fever, and clearly saw that his last hour had come. He wrote a letter to the Blessed Virgin begging her to call him to the skies there to celebrate with her the glorious anniversary of her Assumption (ibid., 636). His confidence in the Blessed Virgin, which had already brought him many signal favours, was this time again rewarded; on 15 August, towards four in the morning, while he was wrapt in pious utterances to God, to the saints, and to the Virgin Mary, his beautiful soul passed to its Creator. His face shone with the most serene light. The entire city proclaimed him a saint and people hastened from all parts to venerate his remains and to obtain, if possible, some relics (ibid., 637). The Holy See ratified the popular verdict by his beatification in 1605; he was canonized on 31 December, 1726. St. Stanislas is one of the popular saints of Poland and many religious institutions have chosen him as the protector of their novitiates. The representations of him in art are very varied; he is sometimes depicted receiving Holy Communion from the hands of angels; sometimes receiving the Infant Jesus from the hands of the Virgin; or he is shown in the midst of a battle putting to flight the enemies of his country. At times he is depicted near a fountain putting a wet linen cloth on his breast. He isinvoked for palpitations of the heart and for dangerous cases of illness ( Cahier, "Caractéristiques des Saints").
This account has been drawn almost exclusively from the depositions of witnesses cited for the process of canonization of Stanislas (cf. Archivio della Postulazione generale d. C. d. G., Roma). The accompanying portrait is by Scipione Delfine and the oldest of St. Stanislas in existence. Having probably been painted at Rome the year of his death, perhaps after death, it may be regarded as the best likeness. The face is strikingly Slavonic, a fact that is not noticeable in his other portraits.


Saint August 15 : St. Tarsicius : Patron of 1st #Communicants and #AltarServers

  

Information:
Feast Day:
August 15
Died:
3rd century
Major Shrine:
San Silvestro in Capite, Rome
Patron of:
altar servers and first communicants
Martyr. The only positive information concerning this Roman martyr is found in the poem composed in his honour by Pope Damasus ("Damasi epigrammata", ed. Ihm, 14). In these lines Damasus compares Tarsicius to the protomartyr Stephen: just as the latter was stoned by the people of Judea so Tarsicius, carrying the Blessed Sacrament, was attacked by a heathen rabble, and he suffered death rather "than surrender the Sacred Body [of Christ] to the raging dogs". This tradition so positively asserted by Damasus is undoubtedly historical. Nothing definite is known concerning the personality of this martyr of the Eucharist. He may have been a deacon, as Damasus compares him to Stephen. An addition to the sixth-century legend of the martyrdom of Pope St. Stephen makes Tarsicius, for some unknown reason, an acolyte; this addition, however, is based on the poem of Damasus. It is evident that the death of this martyr occurred in one of the persecutions that took place between the middle of the third century and the beginning of the fourth. He was buried in the Catacomb of St. Callistus, and the inscription by Damasus was placed later on his tomb. In the seventh century his remains rested in the same grave as those of Pope Zephyrinus; according to Willpert they lay in the burial vault above ground (cella trichora) which was situated towards the west over the Catacomb of St. Callistus. The feast of the saint is observed on 15 August.


Saint August 15 : Blessed Isidor Bakanja of #Zaire

  

Information:
Feast Day:
August 15
Born:
1887 at northeast Republic of the Congo
Died:
8 or 15 August 1909
Beatified:
24 April 1994 by Pope John Paul II
One of "the least brothers" of Jesus, was born in northeast Zaire (then, Belgian Congo) sometime between 1885 and 1890. His baptismal record is the first document about him, as he was attracted to Christ when he was about 18 years of age, working for white colonizers as an assistant mason. He never forgot the lessons taught him by the Trappist missionaries from Westmalle Abbey in Belgium: a follower of Jesus should be characterized by prayer and witness. He should be recognized by the rosary and scapular (Mary's habit, as it was rendered in Isidore's native tongue). Mild, honest, respectful by nature, Isidore worked conscientiously and prayed faithfully, as many non-Christian witnesses attested. Often with rosary in hand, he looked for opportunities to share his new-found faith with others, to the extent that many thought of him as a catechist. He definitively left his native village because there were no fellow followers of Christ there. In a larger settlement, he found employment with the agent of a Belgian company that controlled the rubber plantations in the region. He was hired as a domestic boy. Many of the agents were avowed atheists, who hated the missionaries because of the latter's defence of the natives' rights and their denouncing of injustices perpetrated against them. "Mon pere" was a pejorative name given to priests and to all that had to do with religion. Isidore soon experienced the hatred of the agents for Catholicism. He asked for leave to return home; permission was refused. He was told to stop teaching his fellow workers how to pray: "You'll have the whole village praying and no one will want to work", one agent shouted at him. Isidore was told to discard his scapular. When he did not, he was twice flogged. The second time, the agent flew into one of his rages. He jumped at Isidore, tore the scapular from around his neck and threw him to the ground. He had two servant boys hold Isidore by his hands and feet and a third domestic flogged him. The whip was made of elephant hide with nails protruding at the end. The writhing Isidore asked for mercy. "My God, I'm dying", he muttered. But the colonizer kept kicking Isidore in the neck and head, and ordered his domestic to scourge him harder still. After 100, those assisting lost count of the number of blows. Isidore's back was one open wound; some of his bones were exposed. After scourging he was thrown, legs chained, into a hut for processing rubber. He could not even move to relieve himself. Since an inspector was due, Isidore was banished to another village. But because he could not walk, he fell by the wayside and hid in the forest. He dragged himself before the inspector, who was horrified at the sight of this modern Job. The inspector himself left a written account of his impression: "I saw a man come from the forest with his back torn apart by deep, festering, malodorous wounds, covered with filth, assaulted by flies. He leaned on two sticks in order to get near me -he wasn't walking; he was dragging himself". The agent appeared on the scene and tried to kill "that animal of mon pere", but the inspector even physically prevented him. He took Isidore to his own settlement, hoping to help him heal. But Isidore felt death in his bones. He told someone who had pity on him: "if you see my mother, or if you go to the judge, or if you meet the priest, tell them that I am dying because I am a Christian". Two missionaries spent several days with him. He devoutly received the last sacraments. He told them the reason for his beating: "The white man did not like Christians.... He did not want me to wear the scapular.... He yelled at me when I said my prayers". The missionaries urged Isidore to forgive the agent; he assured them that he had already done so and that he nursed no hatred for him. This "animal of mon pere", this convert of two-and-a-half years proved that he knew what it meant to follow Jesus - even to the point of being flogged like him, even to the point of carrying the cross, even to the point of dying. The missionaries urged Isidore to pray for the agent. "Certainly I shall pray for him. When I am in heaven, I shall pray for him very much". His agony - more painful than the actual flogging - lasted six months. He died on either 8 or 15 august 1909, rosary in hand and the scapular of Our Lady of Mt Carmel around his neck.

Historic accord signed between Vatican and East Timor

Cardinal Parolin signing accord with East Timor's Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo  - EPA
Cardinal Parolin signing accord with East Timor's Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo - EPA
14/08/2015 12:31

(Vatican Radio)  Cardinal Pietro Parolin and East Timor’s Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo on Friday (14th Aug.) siged a mutual collaboration accord dealing with the juridical relationship between the Holy See and East Timor. Speaking in an address after the signing of the accord, Cardinal Parolin said the document was a significant sign of the fruitful interaction between Church and State in the nation. He is currently on a 3-day visit to East Timor which this year is celebrating its 5th century of Christian evangelization.  
Please find below the full text of Cardinal Parolin’s address to the East Timorese authorities after the signing of the accord:

Ceremony for the Signing of the Accord
Between the Holy See and Timor-Leste
Dili, 14th August 2015
Your Excellency Mr. Taur Matan Ruak, President of the Republic of Timor-Leste; Your Excellency Dr. Rui Maria de Araujo, Prime Minister;
Your Excellency Mr Vicente Guterres, President of the National Parliament;
Your Excellency the President of the Court of Appeal Mr Guilhermino da Silva; Your Excellency Mr Hernani Coelho, Minister of Foreign Affairs;
Distinguished Members of Parliament and of the Government of Timor-Leste, Distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps and International Organizations; Dear Bishops,
Honourable guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

1.            A few moments ago, the Prime Minister and I had the privilege of signing the Accord between the Holy See and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.  I use the word “privilege” because the Accord, while being the highest juridical instrument that deals with the relationship between the Catholic Church and the State of Timor-Leste, is ultimately about people, in this case, the beloved people of Timor-Leste.  The entire document focuses on one fundamental objective, that is, how best to assist the people, to advance in their development, their total development, materially and spiritually.

Both Church and State exist precisely to serve the people, and now with this Accord, both commit themselves, as Article 1 affirms, “to mutual collaboration for the integral development of the people in justice, peace and the common good.”

Experience has always shown that the human being is best served when there is collaboration and dialogue among all the components of society and when a culture of encounter is firmly established among those who lead.

In the case of the collaboration and cooperation between the Catholic Church and the State of Timor-Leste, the Accord affirms each other’s responsibilities and relative competencies.  While the separation of Church and State is clearly understood and respected throughout the document, the Accord rests also on two fundamental principles, namely “the values and principles of international law in the matter of religious freedom” (Preamble) and “the guarantee of the freedom to profess and practice the Catholic faith publically” (Article 1).

Based on those two basic concepts, the Agreement offers space and opportunities for the Catholic Church to act in society, in accord with its mission of service to the people and in line with Constitutional norms and local legislation.  It defines specific areas where the Church can serve the people freely and openly, for example providing spiritual assistance in prisons, hospitals, clinics and orphanages (Article 8), to perform works of charity (Article 4), to establish schools at every level (Article 9) and to assist Catholic parents in the education of their children in their own faith (Article 9) and so on.

2.            At the same time, the significance of this particular Accord arises also from the history of Timor-Leste, the very fiber of this society, for

-from the very beginning, for five hundred years, “in its cultural and human dimension, the Catholic Church in Timor-Leste has always known how to assume with dignity the sufferings of its people, placing itself on their side in the defense of their most elementary rights” (Preamble);
-from the very beginning, the Catholic Church has undertaken a role “in the life of the Nation serving the development of the human person, spiritually, socially, culturally and in the area of education, consolidating moral principles in society” (Preamble); 
-from the very beginning the Catholic Church has been radically rooted in the history of the Timorese people who embraced the Catholic Church, not by the force of the sword, but by the openness of their heart.
Today’s act of signing this Accord can be defined as a noteworthy manifestation of the beneficial contact of society with religion.  It is a significant sign of the fruitful interaction between Church and State.  It is an important step on the journey that the Catholic Church and the people of Timor-Leste have undertaken together for five hundred years.  This unique relationship, which is highly valued by the Holy See, is enshrined and clearly affirmed also in the Constitution of Timor-Leste. 

#BreakingNews 11-year-old Girl in Paraguay gives Birth after Rape by Step-Father after Controversy

An 11-year old girl who became pregnant after being raped by her stepfather has given birth.Neither the girl nor her daughter experienced health complications during delivery. About 600 girls aged 14 or under become pregnant in the country every year.   The girl, known by the legal pseudonym “Mainumby”, gave birth to a girl weighing 3.55kg (7.8lbs) at the Reina Sofia maternity hospital, a facility run by the Red Cross in Asunción, Paraguay’s capital. The baby was delivered by Caesarean section. Neither the mother nor the child are reported to have experienced any health complications. “It was like any other Caesarean, but with the age difference,” Reina Sofia Director Mario Villalba told local radio.
 The case first came to media attention when the girl’s mother took her to hospital in late April because she had begun to experience swelling and stomach pain. At that point, she was only 10 years old and was already over 20 weeks into her term. Her mother had reported as early as January 2014 that her partner was abusing her daughter, but received no response from the authorities. The girl, her two siblings, mother and stepfather shared a rented room in Luque, a town on the outskirts of Asunción. After doctors indicated that the girl was pregnant, her mother requested an abortion but Paraguay, prohibits the procedure unless the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. Public Health Ministry  that there was “no reason to interrupt the pregnancy”, and argued that it would be “even more dangerous for the girl to undergo a procedure”. Both the girl’s mother and father were arrested, and the girl was taken into the Red Cross hospital. Her mother was subsequently released pending further investigation, and has spent the past 10 days at her daughter’s bedside, according to Elizabeth Torales, Mainumby’s lawyer.  When Pope Francis visited the country in July he avoided any mention of the case, instead dwelling on the role played by Paraguay’s women in rebuilding the country after successive wars, calling them the “most glorious in the Americas" by Paraguay’s women in rebuilding the country after successive wars, calling them the “most glorious in the Americas”.  At least 600 girls aged 14 or under become pregnant in Paraguay every year – whose population numbers little more than six million people.   Red Cross are currently treating two pregnant 12-year-old girls, as well as many others who had been the victims of sexual abuse by relatives.Edited from The Guardian

#BreakingNews Massive Explosions in #China leave 50 dead and 700 injured - Please Pray

Tianjin, explosion in industrial warehouse compared to "atomic bomb"
 The two explosions the equivalent of 3 and 21 tons of TNT. A dozen firefighters have died, perhaps from fumes from deposits containing hazardous materials. Buildings burned, containers ripped apart, cars destroyed , collapsed ceilings, broken glass.

Tianjin (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A huge double explosion in a chemicals warehouse has killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 700, transforming a part of the city of Tianjin into an apocalyptic landscape. Many people commented on social networks, comparing the explosion to an "atomic bomb".
Firefighters, arrived shortly after the explosions, but had to halt operations this morning after several dozen of them fell ill and about ten died from the fumes. In fact the precise content of the warehouse is still unknown and it is feared that it contains not only explosives, but also poisonous products.
The blasts occurred in the industrial area to the northeast of the city port. The first, at about 11.30 last night, produced by a fire that broke out among a load of explosives. The flames soon spread to a deposit of "dangerous chemical material" resulting in a second, even more terrible, blast less then thrity seconds later.
According to the Chinese Center for monitoring earthquakes, the first explosion had a magnitude equal to three tons of TNT; the second was equivalent to 21 tons of TNT.
The two major explosions were followed by other smaller explosions, that have devastated the district.
Many buildings in the industrial area of ​​Binhai were reduced to ashes; many containers were ripped apart by the blast; a 1000 new cars in a near by autopark were destroyed; the windows in many apartments we were shattered and the ceilings collapsed.
This morning there were still flames in different areas. Many residents were injured by debris or broken glass and were admitted bleeding to hospitals in the city that are struggling to accommodate all those in need of care.
According to state media, 11 firefighters died trying to extinguish the fire. The operations were stopped this morning until the content of deposits that exploded are known. The Beijing News said that 33 firefighters are missing.
The container port of Tianjin is the 10th in the world for trade and has become the clearinghouse for mineral products, coal, cars and crude oil to northern China. The city with more than 15 million inhabitants, is home to several manufacturing and foreign idustries.

President Xi Jinping sent a message calling for "very effort" to be meade to rescue the victims and to contain the fire. Meanwhile, Ruihai Logistics executives, who own the warehouse where the explosions originated, are being questioned by the authorities.

Exposure to cyanide poisoning feared in aftermath of Tianjin explosions
by Wang Zhicheng
Some 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide used in the mining industry were stored in the warehouse that blew up. Traces of cyanides and other chemicals have been found in two underground drainage systems. A nuclear, biological and chemical rescue team tries to isolate and secure hazardous material. Death toll reaches 50 with 700 wounded, 71 critically. A young firefighter that went missing yesterday is found. The government continues to filter media coverage.


Tianjin (AsiaNews) – Fires are still burning at the site oftwo massive explosions in the Chinese city of Tianjin, some 36 hours after the original blasts. Both authorities and residents are concerned about possible exposure to cyanide poisoning through both soil and water contamination.
The People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, said that emergency services were "trying to remove all the 700 tons of sodium cyanide" stored at the site.
The environmental ministry has found traces of cyanides and other chemicals in two underground drainage systems three to eight times safety limits. With rain forecast, air-borne pollutants could pass into water systems.
In fact, many residents have gone on social media to say that they had difficulty breathing. The authorities however have reported that pollution levels in the city remained acceptable.
At least 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide, a toxic chemical often used in mining to extract gold, were kept in wooden boxes and metal containers at the blast site. Many residents wonder how the company could keep such a dangerous material so close to residential areas.
Tianjin officials said at a press conference that the Ruihai International Logistics’ warehouse was allowed to store hazardous goods, including sodium cyanide, for only 40 days whilst they were in transit.
In view of the dangerous situation, the authorities have sent a nuclear, biological and chemical rescue team to the area in order to isolate and secure hazardous material.
Meanwhile, the death toll is up.  At least 50 people are known to have died as a result of the twin blasts. An additional 700 have been injured, 71 critically. The dead include 17 firefighters, who arrived after the first explosion and were hit by the second blast, or possibly by toxic gases generated.
A firefighter was found alive this morning after he went missing yesterday. Zhou Ti, 19, was one of the first firefighters to reach the warehouse. No details were given about how he was found or what condition he is in.

For its part, the government continues to filter the news. A panel of officials at a Thursday press conference were peppered with questions about what chemicals were in the tanks that exploded, but they refused to provide details, and the briefing ended abruptly with officials rushing off stage. Shared from AsiaNewsIT

Novena to St. Maximilian Kolbe - Patron of #Drug #Addicts - SHARE #Miracle #Prayer

Say once a day for 9 days
Especially on the Feast of St. Maximilian.
 O Lord Jesus Christ, Who said, "greater love than this no man has that a man lay down his life for his friends," through the intercession of Saint Maximilian Kolbe whose life illustrated such love, we beseech Thee to grant us our petitions. (Mention your intentions here) Through the Militia Immaculata movement, which Maximilian founded, he spread a fervent devotion to Our Lady throughout the world. He gave up his life for a total stranger and loved his persecutors, giving us an example of unselfish love for all men -- a love that was inspired by true devotion to Mary. Grant, O Lord Jesus, that we too may give ourselves entirely without reserve to the love and service of our Heavenly Queen in order to better love and serve our fellow man in imitation of Thy humble servant, Saint Maximilian. Amen.
 Recite three Hail Marys and a Glory Be.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Fri. August 14, 2015


Memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr
Lectionary: 417


Reading 1JOS 24:1-13

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem,
summoning their elders, their leaders,
their judges and their officers.
When they stood in ranks before God, Joshua addressed all the people:
“Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel:
In times past your fathers, down to Terah,
father of Abraham and Nahor,
dwelt beyond the River and served other gods.
But I brought your father Abraham from the region beyond the River
and led him through the entire land of Canaan.
I made his descendants numerous, and gave him Isaac.
To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau.
To Esau I assigned the mountain region of Seir in which to settle,
while Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.

“Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and smote Egypt with the prodigies
which I wrought in her midst.
Afterward I led you out of Egypt, and when you reached the sea,
the Egyptians pursued your fathers to the Red Sea
with chariots and horsemen.
Because they cried out to the LORD,
he put darkness between your people and the Egyptians,
upon whom he brought the sea so that it engulfed them.
After you witnessed what I did to Egypt,
and dwelt a long time in the desert,
I brought you into the land of the Amorites
who lived east of the Jordan.
They fought against you, but I delivered them into your power.
You took possession of their land, and I destroyed them,
the two kings of the Amorites, before you.
Then Balak, son of Zippor, king of Moab,
prepared to war against Israel.
He summoned Balaam, son of Beor, to curse you;
but I would not listen to Balaam.
On the contrary, he had to bless you, and I saved you from him.
Once you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho,
the men of Jericho fought against you,
but I delivered them also into your power.
And I sent the hornets ahead of you that drove them
(the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites,
Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites)
out of your way; it was not your sword or your bow.

“I gave you a land that you had not tilled
and cities that you had not built, to dwell in;
you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves
which you did not plant.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22 AND 24

R. His mercy endures forever.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the LORD of lords,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
Who led his people through the wilderness,
for his mercy endures forever;
Who smote great kings,
for his mercy endures forever;
And slew powerful kings,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
And made their land a heritage,
for his mercy endures forever;
The heritage of Israel his servant,
for his mercy endures forever;
And freed us from our foes,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.

AlleluiaSEE 1 THESS 2:13

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Receive the word of God, not as the word of men,
but, as it truly is, the word of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 19:3-12

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning
the Creator made them male and female and said,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh
?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”
They said to him, “Then why did Moses command
that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”
He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts
Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
(unless the marriage is unlawful)
and marries another commits adultery.”
His disciples said to him,
“If that is the case of a man with his wife,
it is better not to marry.”
He answered, “Not all can accept this word,
but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others;
some, because they have renounced marriage
for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”