Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What is the Miracle of the Sun of Fatima - #Fatima Miracle witnessed by 70000 in 1917 on October 13 - SHARE

At Fatima, Portugal, from May to October 1917, three shepherd children (Blesseds Francisco & Jacinta Marto, and Servant of God Lucia dos Santos) saw apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary on a small holm-oak tree. During the these visions, the children were given secrets, were instructed to pray the Rosary and to offer penance for the conversion of sinners. In the September apparition, Our Lady told them:
“Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. In October St. Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus in order to bless the world.”
On October 13th over 70,000 people gathered around the site of the apparitions. People from different walks of life (including atheists who had gone to attack the children) witnessed what is now famously known as “The Miracle of the Sun.” During the Miracle of the Sun, the three shepherd children were witnessing what the Virgin had promised them in September. 
A cold rain had been falling throughout the night and into the day. 
Moved by an inner impulse, Lucia asked the people to shut their umbrellas and pray the Rosary. 
The Miracle of the SunSome of the pilgrims during the Miracle of the Sun 
At noon, Our Lady appeared over the holm-oak she told Lucia several things.
As Our Lady ascended up into the sky, Lucy shouted: “She’s going! She’s going! Look at the sun!” Then the miracle Our Lady had promised began.
The sky cleared and the people could look at the sun without it hurting their eyes at all. Then the sun began to spin in place.  Then it started to fall, plunging towards the earth.
The sun became very large in the sky and very hot. It looked as if it was going to fall on top of the people and kill them all, as if it was the end of the world. So, the people fell on their knees in the mud and cried to God for mercy, begging Our Lady for Her help, Her intercession, and Her prayers.
Suddenly, the sun stopped falling and went back up into the sky to its regular place. Then the people got up from their knees and they all began to notice that their clothes were dry and clean. Not only that, but many sick persons were cured that day — the blind were able to see and the lame could walk. Many sinners were converted too. They stopped sinning and went to Confession, and then lived according to God’s Commandments.
Lucia explained what they saw:
Our Lady having disappeared in the immensity of the firmament, we saw, beside the sun, St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady clothed in white with a blue mantle. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands.
Here we have St. Joseph, no words are spoken by him, but rather we have his actions. St. Joseph, holding his son Jesus, blesses the world by tracing the Sign of the Cross with his hand. By giving his special blessing to the world, St. Joseph shows us that he is still vigilant in his role as Patron of the Catholic Church (as proclaimed in 1870 by Bl. Pius IX) and still keeps watch over the faithful entrusted to his care.
Popes Pius XII, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI all accepted the supernatural origin of the Fátima. The local bishop declared that (1) the visions of the three children are credible and (2) the veneration of the Blessed Virgin is permitted, the Portuguese bishops approved and declared the genuine supernatural nature of the event. The Vatican responded with granting indulgences and permitting special Liturgies of the Mass to be celebrated in Fátima.

The Fatima Message Continues
It does not end here we are continually called by Our Lady to PRAY the ROSARY daily, make sacrifices and go to confession. Only in this way will Jesus bring His Peace and stop the evils in the world today.
As promised by Our Lady, God soon took Francisco and Jacinta to Heaven. Francisco died on April 4, 1919 and Jacinta on February 20, 1920.
Lucia was left here on earth to tell everyone about Fatima. She was to make our Lady known and loved, and to spread devotion to Her Immaculate Heart.
(Edited from Fatimaforbeginners.org)
For Complete FATIMA PRAYERS click Link Below

Novena to Our Lady of Fatima - Litany and Fatima Prayers - 5 Saturday Devotion - SHARE

60,000 Imprisoned for Faith in North Korea - Please PRAY for #ReligiousFreedom

<p>A man cycles past a Korean church in Yanji in Yanbian on the China-North Korea border in this file photo. For North Korean refugees, Christian aid groups are crucial in providing shelter and aid. (Photo by Peter Parks/AFP)</p>Religion offers North Koreans the first taste of freedom

Defectors often believe a 'divine power' guides their escape route

A man cycles past a Korean church in Yanji in Yanbian on the China-North Korea border in this file photo. For North Korean refugees, Christian aid groups are crucial in providing shelter and aid. (Photo by Peter Parks/AFP)
"The main question though was: 'did you go to church?'" says Im, recalling how she lied about converting to Christianity in China. "This seemed to be their biggest concern."
Still considered the toughest of missionary assignments, atheist North Korea has seen unprecedented exposure to Christian missionaries since a famine caused thousands like Im to flee to China in the late 1990s. After the collapse of the state distribution system, Christian aid groups have stayed on along the border, offering everything from food to clothing — and faith.
Before the famine that killed upward of 300,000 people, North Korea was hermetically sealed to religious groups, its people forbidden from worshipping anyone but the ruling Kim dynasty. Few of the Christians that made up 13 percent of Pyongyang's population in 1945 — before partition and the subsequent Korean War — are thought to still be alive.
Those who have in recent years reached China, converted and been forced back are reportedly more numerous. Some, like Im, have managed to escape to China again. Others remain trapped in a country ranked among the least tolerant of religion. Some 300,000 Christians reportedly live in North Korea with about 60,000 believed to be imprisoned due to their beliefs, according to Open Doors, an international ministry that tracks worldwide Christian persecution.
The North Korean regime claims 3,000 Catholics worship freely under the state-run Korean Catholic Association, while the U.N. says there may be just 800 Catholics.
Although debate continues as to whether the few churches in Pyongyang are staged for foreign guests, there is strong evidence of secret worship.
A Christian bookstore in Dandong, along the North Korean border. (ucanews.com photo)

Secret prayer
Im was released from prison after three months following her capture and return from China, and ended up with her aunt in Yeosu, a small town on the North Korean side of the border. For five months, she was one of the many thousands of underground Christians believed to exist inside the country.
"Every day I prayed secretly because at the time I was terrified," she says.
Dozens of Christian missionaries and aid groups work inside providing food aid and running kindergartens and other projects, according to EngageDPRK.org, which tracks them with an interactive map.
Some are able to reach Christians with aid and prayer. Many don't take the risk, content to work in God's name without pushing the limits of the regime's strict rules against spreading religion.
In her book "Without You There is No Us,” published last year, Korean-American author Suki Kim writes about teaching at the then-new Pyongyang School of Science and Technology run by foreign missionaries. She documents an unexpected alliance between a group of Christians fixated on a chance at "the holy grail of evangelization" and a regime desperate for free facilities and English tuition. At one point, government minders agree to allow the university's elite students to watch "The Chronicles of Narnia."
"The missionaries wanted to secretly convert them, but not in an obvious way," writes Kim.
Most have had far more luck introducing North Koreans to Christianity once they reach China. About 1,000 missionaries are estimated to operate out of Yanbian, a Korean prefecture in China that lies north of the 1,420-kilometer-long border separating the two countries. Many missionaries also double as businessmen to avoid detection in the main trade hub on the border, Dandong. Still, Chinese authorities have clamped down, particularly since the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
A Canadian Christian couple, who worked with North Korean refugees and ran a coffee shop, were arrested in Dandong in 2013. In December 2014, Chinese authorities arrested Korean-American missionary Peter Hahn in Tumen, Yanbian. He was released in August, returning to Seoul where he told ucanews.com he was "recovering" and declined to say more.
A Protestant church in Dandong, along the border with North Korea, offers defectors a chance to worship in freedom. (ucanews.com photo)

Tim Peters, a "card-carrying pastor" from Michigan who prefers to be called a Christian activist as the head of Helping Hands Korea in Seoul, has helped North Koreans in China since the famine. He says the recent "tightening of the screw" has slowed the number of North Koreans escaping across the border and hampered missionary work.
"That said, more and more of the evangelism is being carried out by North Korean believers themselves as a result of nearly 20 years of missionary activity along the border and encouragement to the underground church inside North Korea," he says.
Peters has helped hundreds of defectors along the "underground railroad," working with brokers to get them through China, into Laos and on to the relative safety of Thailand where many head to the South Korean embassy.
Since the famine, about 30,000 North Koreans have made it to Seoul, according to South Korean government figures.
Im spent five months back inside North Korea before again crossing the Tumen River to China. A pastor eventually helped her get to Beijing by bus. Im is one of the few North Korean defectors who managed to evade Chinese authorities to reach the South Korean embassy in Beijing in recent years.
Meeting outside a department store in eastern Seoul 12 years after her escape, she talked about how she had become a member of her local church, otherwise saying little about her faith.
"There are many North Korean Christians in Seoul," she says. "That's because almost all of us are here because of the help we received from Christians."
Conversion rates of 75 percent have been recorded among arriving defectors in recent years, says Jung Jin-heon, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute in Germany who is due to publish a new book on North Korean migrants engaging with Christianity.
Arriving North Koreans are required to spend three months in Hanawon, a re-education center on the southern outskirts of Seoul. Instructors there give lessons on coping in a capitalist society, and Protestant, Catholic and Buddhist groups have access, holding regular services and offering food.
"Every step, from North Korea to the South, defectors are exposed to Christianity," says Jung. "So it's not surprising they think it's some divine power that has helped them."
Shared from UCAN News 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. October 13, 2015

Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 468

Reading 1ROM 1:16-25

Brothers and sisters:
I am not ashamed of the Gospel.
It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
for Jew first, and then Greek.
For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith;
as it is written, “The one who is righteous by faith will live.”

The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven
against every impiety and wickedness
of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
For what can be known about God is evident to them,
because God made it evident to them.
Ever since the creation of the world,
his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity
have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.
As a result, they have no excuse;
for although they knew God
they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks.
Instead, they became vain in their reasoning,
and their senseless minds were darkened.
While claiming to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God
for the likeness of an image of mortal man
or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.

Therefore, God handed them over to impurity
through the lusts of their hearts
for the mutual degradation of their bodies.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie
and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator,
who is blessed forever. Amen.

Responsorial PsalmPS 19:2-3, 4-5

R. (2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

AlleluiaHEB 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 11:37-41

After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

Latest #News of #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis at #HolySee #Synod15

13-10-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 178 

- International congress to commemorate 50 years since the conciliar declaration Nostra Aetate
- Fr. Lombardi on the “Letter to the Pope from thirteen cardinals”
- Other Pontifical Acts
International congress to commemorate 50 years since the conciliar declaration Nostra Aetate
Vatican City, 13 October 2015 (VIS) – On the fiftieth anniversary of the conciliar declaration “Nostra Aetate”, on the relationships between the Catholic Church and non-Christian religions, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism and the Pontifical Gregorian University (PGU) have organised an international congress from 26 to 28 October hosted by the PGU to commemorate the event and to analyse its repercussions during the last five decades.
The congress will begin on Monday 26 October with greetings from Fr. Francois-Xavier Dumortier, S.J., rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, and with an introduction by Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. This will be followed by a screening of the documentary “Nostra Aetate, the Leaven of God”, and interventions from Cardinals Kurt Koch (president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) and Jean-Louis Tauran (president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue). The day will conclude with greetings from representatives of various religions.
On Tuesday 27, in the morning, the theologian Paul Gilbert S.J. and the philosopher Professor Bruna Costacurta from the Pontifical Gregorian University will consider the theme “Interreligious Dialogue: believers at the service of the human person”, a dual reflection from perspectives of philosophy and theology. The next session will be entitled “Violence and the engagement of religions for peace” with the Fr. Rocco D'Ambrosio (PGU) as moderator of the two round table discussions. In the first, the speakers will be the general secretary of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Italy, Abdellah Redouane, and Rabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs of the American Jewish Committee. In the second there will be interventions from Alberto Quatrucci (Men and Religions, from the Sant'Egidio Community) and Professor B. Wimalaratana of the Buddhist Bellamwila Rajamaha Viharaya temple in Sri Lanka. The theme of the afternoon session will be “The challenge of religious freedom”, with Fr. Franco Imoda, S.J., as the moderator of the two round tables. In the first, the speaker will be Rev. Fr. Christian Rutishauser S.J., Permanent Consultor of the Holy See for religious relations with Jews, and Rabbi Daniel Sperber of the Bar-Ilan University, Israel, while in the second there will be interventions by Rasoul Rasoulipor of the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of the University of Kharazmi, Iran and Swami Chidananda of the FOWAI (Flame of Who Am I?) Forum, India.
On Wednesday 28 October, the participants in the Congress will attend the morning general audience with the Holy Father, and in the afternoon they will debate the issue of “Education and the transmission of values”. The moderator will be Fr. Bryan Lobo, S.J. (PGU), and the speakers Singh Walia of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, India; Nayla Tabbara, of the ADYAN Foundation, Lebanon; Rabbi Riccardo Segni, chief rabbi of the Jewish Community of Rome, and Samani Pratibha Pragya of the Jain Vishwa Bharati Institute, United Kingdom.
The Congress will conclude with a presentation by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, entitled “Educating for peace”.
Fr. Lombardi on the “Letter to the Pope from thirteen cardinals”
Vatican City, 13 October 2015 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., has given the following clarification regarding the publication yesterday of a “Letter to the Pope from thirteen cardinals”.
As we are aware, at least four of the Synod Fathers who were included in the list of signatories have denied their involvement (Cardinals Angelo Scola, Andre Vingt-Trois, Mauro Piacenza and Peter Erdo).
Cardinal Pell has declared that a letter sent to the Pope was confidential and should have remained as such, and that neither the text published nor the signatories correspond to what was sent to the Pope.
I would add that, in terms of content, the difficulties included in the letter were mentioned on Monday evening in the Synod Hall, as I have previously said, although not covered extensively or in detail.
As we know, the General Secretary and the Pope responded clearly the following morning. Therefore, to provide this text and this list of signatories some days later constitutes a disruption that was not intended by the signatories (at least by the most authoritative). Therefore it would be inappropriate to allow it to have any influence.
That observations can be made regarding the methodology of the Synod is neither new nor surprising. However, once agreed upon, a commitment is made to put it into practice in the best way possible.
This is what is taking place. There is very extensive collaboration in the task of allowing the Synod to make good progress on its path. It may be observed that some of the “signatories” are elected Moderators of the Circuli Minori, and have been working intensively. The overall climate of the Assembly is without doubt positive.
Cardinal Napier has expressly asked me to clarify the comments published in an interview with “Crux”, which do not correspond to his opinion. With regard to the composition of the “Commission of the 10” for the final text, it was incorrectly written that “… Napier said, adding that he would actually challenge ‘Pope Francis’ right to choose that’”. Cardinal Napier has requested that this be corrected, affirming the exact opposite: “… no-one challenges Pope Francis’ right to choose that”.
I have no further observations to make.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 13 October 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Rev. Msgr. Justin Bernard Gnanapragasam as bishop of Jaffna (area 4,400, population 1,493,720, Catholics 240,682, priests 153, religious 324), Sri Lanka. The bishop-elect was born in Karampon, Sri Lanka in 1948 and ordained a priest in 1974. He has served in a number of roles in the diocese of Jaffna, including parish vicar, parish priest, vice rector and rector of St. Henry's College, dean of the Ilavalai deanery, director of a group of state schools, visiting professor at the major seminary and rector of St. Patrick's College. He is currently vicar general of Jaffna. He succeeds Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam Emmanuel, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- Rev. Fr. Arthur J. Colgan, C.S.C., as auxiliary of the diocese of Chosica (area 3,418, population 1,931,000, Catholics 1,706,000, priests 131, religious 717), Peru. The bishop-elect was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, U.S.A. in 1946, gave his religious vows in 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1973. He has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles within his religious Institute, including superior of the Congregation of the Holy Cross in Peru, parish priest, vicar general, episcopal vicar for the archdiocese of Lima, Peru, theological assessor for the Episcopal Commission for Social Action of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, and provincial superior for the Eastern Province of his congregation in Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.A. He is currently vicar general of the diocese of Chosica, Peru.

Dear Synod Fathers: Language Matters on #Synod15 - #Synod

Archbishop Coleridge (photo courtesy of Catholic Herald.co.uk)
The first week of the Synod is behind us, and the language working groups offered their first summary of their deliberations on the "first section of the Synod’s working document, or Instrumentum Laboris, focused on the challenges facing family life today." (Vatican Radio, 10/09/15)

Vatican radio reported on the comments of Archbishop Coleridge of Brisbane, Australia regarding the English language working groups.

A couple of the English language words he used to express the progress of the groups struck me as unusual. Here are two of Archbishop Coleridge's quoted remarks: 
  • "We came to feel that there are issues that need to be addressed, analysis that needs to be done and decisions that need to be taken at the local or regional level." (emphasis added) 
  •  "What’s really in crisis is our understanding of what marriage is and what the family is…It’s easy to look back to a golden age when there was mum, dad and three of four kids……that’s not the reality today…" (emphasis added)
Let's start with something truly basic in the first sentence of the first quote: No, indeed you came to deliberate; the Synod was not gathered to express "feelings". These groups were assembled to discuss and consider issues related to the family and society, and address strategies to assist in their resolution in accordance with Church teaching. It is wise that these issues be analyzed at the regional and local level, but based on facts, not sentimentality.

In the second quote, I find a fundamental flaw in reporting. How can a Catholic reporter quote an Archbishop in such an ambiguous way, potentially calling into question whether he supporting a change in definition of marriage and family? That's a truly irresponsible quote!

What did he say that those ellipses are leaving out?

And whether the reality of the circumstances currently do not match the definition of family in the 50's the 20's or before Jesus became Incarnate doesn't make much difference. The definition is the God appointed definition -- simple. It is our obligation to stay the course and influence the culture. In that case, using language that doesn't compromise the original definition, but is more accessible to the current culture is admirable, if not completely daunting.

In conclusion, the article reads: 
Finally there was a lot of talk about language, words lost in translation and why it’s important to do away with the kind of ‘Church-speak’ that means nothing at all to young people today. Instead many bishops cited Pope Francis’ own down-to-earth, colourful choice of words that has made people from all countries and all cultures sit up discover a new, fresh face to the unchanging truths of the Church. (emphasis added)
We need to make the language accessible -- I agree. We do not need to dumb the language down!

Do away with Church-speak?

What on earth does that mean (speaking of language)? Should we just become a philanthropic non-profit NGO? Are we not about the salvation of souls? Wait, is that Church-speak?

This particular language is confusing.

Concerning the use of precise language, Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia put it plainly in his address to the Synod Fathers:
“Imprecise language leads to confused thinking,” the archbishop said Oct. 10 at the Vatican, giving “two examples that should cause us some concern”: 'inclusive' and 'unity in diversity'.
Language matters: in the way we articulate the faith, in the way we show respect for people's intelligence and faith, and in the way we report the Synod to the world. 
by Kathy Vestermark - Professor at CDU