Thursday, November 12, 2015

Saint November 13 : St. Francis Xavier Cabrini : Patron of #Immigrants and #hospital administrators

St. Francis Xavier Cabrini
Feast: November 13
Feast Day:
November 13
July 15, 1850, Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Italy
December 22, 1917, Chicago
July 7, 1946 by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:
Chapel of Mother Cabrini High School, New York City
Patron of:
immigrants, hospital administrators
“We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone.”

Today, November 13, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), the first United States citizen to be canonized. She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals, and at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, moved to the United States to work among immigrants. Through her care for those who were struggling, hard work, and obedience, Saint Frances is regarded today as the Patron Saint of all immigrants.
Frances Cabrini was born in Sant’Angelo Lodigiano (Lombardy, Italy). Born two months prematurely, Frances was small and weak, and struggled for survival. Frequently ill as a child, she would remain physically frail and susceptible to illness her entire life.
Frances’ parents were farmers, and her mother stayed at home each day with the children. In total, her parents produced eleven children, with Frances being the tenth. Sadly, only four of the Cabrini children survived their childhood. Despite numerous losses and tragedies in the family, both Frances’ mother and father were strong in the Catholic faith, and through their teaching and example, Frances came to love God. One of her favorite activities was listening to her father read the stories of missionaries from the Annals of the Propagation of the faith. More than anything, from and early age and throughout her life, Frances desired to travel to China as a missionary.
Frances was especially devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which inspired her growing faith. With her parents’ support, she applied for admission to several religious orders, but was turned away by each due to her frequent illnesses and frail health. Disappointed, but not discouraged, Frances cared for her parents until their death, as well as raised her brothers and sisters. Throughout all of this, despite her frailties, she worked on the family farm—physical activity that both taxed her body, but also prepared her for the physical work that she would encounter throughout her life. Upon the death of her parents, Frances began studying to her teaching degree at a boarding school administered by the Daughters of the Sacred Heart. While her classmates complained, she was delighted that the students of the school were required to live in the convent with the religious sisters. Adding to her joy was the devotion of the sisters to the Sacred Heart. Upon graduation, she again petitioned to join the order, but was again refused, with her health cited. The Superior of the Order encouraged her, saying, “You are called to establish another Institute that will bring new glory to the Heart of Jesus.”
Again disappointed, but not discouraged, Frances returned to her home town, and began teaching in a private school, spending her non-work hours devoted to charitable works and serving the poor. She was immediately recognized for her gentle spirit, teaching ability, faith, and obedience, and over the next several years, was requested to move from school to school by the diocese, filling vacant positions and invigorating educational facilities. Eventually, she was requested to move to the town of Codogno, and assume direction of the girls’ orphanage there, known as the House of Providence. The diocese wished to restructure the facility into a religious institute, and realized that despite her frail health, Frances possessed the faith and spirit to accomplish the task. Without hesitation, Frances accepted, and within the year, the five young women who taught at the House, entered their novitiate with Frances as their novice mistress. In 1877, at the age of 27, Frances’ wish to take the veil was granted, and along with her five sisters, made her profession. In honor of Jesuit father Frances Xavier, Frances took the name Xavier, becoming Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini—as she would be known for the remainder of her life. Named superior of the community by her local bishop, she was encouraged to form a new religious institute. Along with the five sisters who took their vows with her, she founded the Institute of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1880. While some objected to the inclusion of the word “Missionaries” in the order’s name (as it implied overseas work, and the bishop intended that the sisters serve locally), Mother Cabrini was already thinking on a larger, grander scale. She had plans for her sisters to spread the Gospel beyond the borders of Lombardy. Mother Cabrini left Lombardy to travel to Rome, as was the custom at the time, seeking approval from the pope for her fledgling order. She also wished to establish a mission house in Rome, from which she could then use as a base for international missions. Surprisingly, despite the youth of the foundress and the relative newness of the order, she received papal approval and permission to open two missions in Rome. Mother Cabrini also met the founder of the Missionary Institute of Saint Charles, who was looking for a religious woman to assist him with ministering to Italian immigrants overseas—specifically in New York. He requested that she assist, but Mother Cabrini was reluctant. Her plans were to send her missionaries to China, as she had always dreamed. However, when presented with a letter from New York Archbishop Corrigan, formally inviting the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart to establish a house in New York, she was moved to request an audience with the pope.
Ever obedient, and certain in the plan of the Lord, Mother Cabrini decided that she would do whatever Pope Leo XIII asked her to. She presented her dilemma to him, and following deliberation and conversation, he responded: “Not to the East, but to the West.” Disappointed, but not discouraged, Mother Cabrini and six of her sisters set out immediately for New York. Upon arrival, she was surprised to find that Archbishop Corrigan had not expected her so soon, and even more surprised when he suggested they return to Italy until he could prepare for her arrival. But Mother Cabrini answered, "Your excellency, the Pope sent me here and here I must stay." The archbishop admired her pioneer spirit, and so she and her sisters were permitted to begin their work. She and her companions spent the first night in a dingy tenement in the heart of the Italian ghetto. They could not sleep and stayed awake, tired, yet peacefully engaged in prayer.

Soon afterwards, a local order, the Sisters of Charity, extended Mother Cabrini and her sisters hospitality and guided their first steps through the city. At once, the new sisters were faced with a language difference. Not speaking English, and being unfamiliar with the new countries customs, Mother Cabrini worked to establish her mission. She slowly gained the support of the Archbishop, eventually becoming dear friends. She secured the donation of a house for the Order, and soon thereafter, instituted an orphanage on the same property. A free school soon followed, all through donations and alms-gathering that the sisters undertook on a daily basis. Soon, based upon their good work—and the personal attention and spiritual direction they gave to each family in the Italian district—young women were requesting to join the order.
Mother Cabrini returned to Italy, accompanied by her first North American postulants, who began their novitiate in Codogno. After an audience with her friend, Pope Leo XIII, she returned to New York, and embarked upon the institution of a larger orphanage. This site eventually included the North American novitiate of the order. Purchased at a low price, due to the lack of fresh water on the site, Mother Cabrini soon discovered a underground spring (some called it a miracle!), which still provides water to this day.
From New York, the Missionary Sisters branched out throughout America, starting in New Orleans (school and orphanage), and continuing west. It became clear—both in New York and other areas—that the immigrants were not receiving the medical care that they needed in public hospitals. However, Mother Cabrini was not particularly inclined to undertake this ministry. It was not until she had a dream of Our Blessed Mother that she changed her mind. In her dream, Mother Cabrini saw Mary, the Mother of God, tending to a hospital patient. Asking Our Blessed Mother what she was doing, Mother Cabrini was surprised by her response: “I am doing the work you refuse to do.” Upon waking, Mother Cabrini moved quickly to establish a hospital for the Italian sick poor in New York City, and to her surprise, found herself to be a capable (even outstanding) healthcare provider and administrator. Hospitals were eventually established by the Missionary Sisters in Chicago and Seattle. The Missionary Sisters recount how the great faith of Mother Cabrini allowed this fast and miraculous growth of the order to occur. In Seattle, for example, as she was looking for a site to institute an orphanage, Mother Cabrini had a dream in which she saw a beautiful house on a hilltop. The next day she and some sisters were walking when she waved down a chauffeur-driven limo and asked for a ride. The lady in the limo was happy to help the sisters, and on the way, Mother Cabrini spoke of the house she had dreamed of. When they arrived at the convent and were saying goodbye, the lady told her: "Mother Cabrini, that house you dreamed of is mine, I own it. I never thought of parting with it, but if I may be allowed to enter your Holy House for a moment and receive a glass of water in the name of Our Lord, your little orphans shall have their home with my blessing." When asked later how she had obtained such a beautiful property, Mother Cabrini would say "I paid for it with three treasures: my love, a dream, and a glass of water in His Name."
The Order had successfully established bases in three American cities, but Mother Cabrini was thinking bigger. She extended the Missionary Sisters work into Latin America, establishing schools in Nicaragua and Argentina. She established schools in Europe, including Paris, London, and Madrid. And she continued to work throughout the United States, including schools in Chicago, Scranton, and Newark. Based upon the needs of the Italian miners working in and around the Rocky Mountains, Mother Cabrini traveled to Denver and established schools, orphanages, and a mission center.
While until that point her focus had been solely on Italian immigrants, the Missionary Sisters began to see the needs of other immigrant groups, extending their work to Mexican immigrants in California. Despite her failing health, Mother Cabrini traveled across the country (and the world!), visiting each house, and personally establishing new locations. Her travels included: New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Louisiana, Colorado, California, Washington State, Central and South America and Europe.
During this time, she fulfilled another personal goal, and became a citizen of the United States. Mother Cabrini began contemplating missions in Alaska, and still felt pulled toward Asia. However, the impact of her travels began to take its toll, and at the age of 67, she died in Chicago, in a private room at Columbus Hospital, as she was preparing Christmas candy for the local children. Less than 30 years later, she was canonized as a Saint—the first United States citizen to be canonized—by Pope Pius XII.
From the homily at the Canonization of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini by Pope Pius XII: “Inspired by the grace of god, we join the saints in honoring the holy virgin Frances Xavier Cabrini. She was a humble woman who became outstanding not because she was famous or rich or powerful, but because she lived a virtuous life. From the tender years of her youth, she kept her innocence as white as a lily and preserved it carefully with the thorns of penitence; as the years progressed, she was moved by a certain instinct and supernatural zeal to dedicate her whole life to the service and greater glory of God. She welcomed delinquent youths into safe homes, and taught them to live upright and holy lives. She consoled those who were in prison, and recalled to them the hope of eternal life. She encouraged prisoners to reform themselves, and to live honest lives. She comforted the sick and the infirm in the hospitals, and diligently cared for them. She extended a friendly and helping hand especially to immigrants, and offered them necessary shelter and relief, for having left their homeland behind, they were wandering about in a foreign land with no place to turn for help. Because of their condition, she saw that they were in danger of deserting the practice of Christian virtues and their Catholic faith. Undoubtedly she accomplished all this through the faith which was always so vibrant and alive in her heart; through the divine love which burned within her; and finally, through constant prayer by which she was so closely united with God from whom she humbly asked and obtained whatever her human weakness could not obtain. Although her constitution was very frail, her spirit was endowed with such singular strength that, knowing the will of God in her regard, she permitted nothing to impede her from accomplishing what seemed beyond her strength.”
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini’s life was filled with disappointments… but she was never discouraged. Despite setbacks, weak health, and constant difficulty, the accomplishments of Mother Cabrini are remarkable. Ever humble, she took no credit, instead directing those who might compliment her work back to the Lord—to Jesus Christ—though which all things were (and are) accomplished. Throughout her life, Mother Cabrini found her strength in the Lord, and used every ounce given to her to serve others. We look to her today as a model of obedience, hope, service and strength. Mother Cabrini, pray for us!
God our Father,
you called Frances Xavier Cabrini from Italy to serve the immigrants of America. By her example teach us concern for the stranger, the sick, and the frustrated. By her prayers help us to see Christ in all the men and women we meet Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Text by 365Rosaries

Wow National Geographic calls the Blessed Virgin Mary “The World’s Most Powerful Woman” - SHARE

The latest cover of National Geographic Magazine calls the Blessed Virgin Mary “The World’s Most Powerful Woman”. Following this is an article about Mary the Mother of Jesus and her apparitions: PRAYING FOR THE VIRGIN MARY’S intercession and being devoted to her are a global phenomenon. The notion of Mary as intercessor with Jesus begins with the miracle of the wine at the wedding at Cana, when, according to the Gospel of John, she tells him, “They have no wine,” thus prompting his first miracle. It was in A.D. 431, at the Third Ecumenical Council, in Ephesus, that she was officially named Theotokos, Bearer of God. Since then no other woman has been as exalted as Mary. As a universal symbol of maternal love, as well as of suffering and sacrifice, Mary is often the touchstone of our longing for meaning, a more accessible link to the supernatural than formal church teachings. Her mantle offers both security and protection. Pope Francis, when once asked what Mary meant to him, answered, “She is my mamá.”
Her reported appearances, visions experienced often by very poor children living in remote or conflict-wracked areas, have intensified her mystery and aura. And when the children can’t be shaken from their stories—especially if the accounts are accompanied by inexplicable “signs” such as spinning suns or gushing springs—her wonder grows.
Michael O’Neill is the Virgin Mary’s big data numbers cruncher. On, he has codified every known apparition of Mary back to A.D. 40. Mary is everywhere: Marigolds are named for her. Hail Mary passes save football games. The image in Mexico of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most reproduced female likenesses ever. Mary draws millions each year to shrines such as Fátima, in Portugal, and Knock, in Ireland, sustaining religious tourism estimated to be worth billions of dollars a year and providing thousands of jobs. She inspired the creation of many great works of art and architecture (Michelangelo’s “Pietà,” Notre Dame Cathedral), as well as poetry, liturgy, and music (Monteverdi’s Vespers for the Blessed Virgin). And she is the spiritual confidante of billions of people, no matter how isolated or forgotten.
Muslims as well as Christians consider her to be holy above all women, and her name “Maryam” appears more often in the Koran than “Mary” does in the Bible. In the New Testament Mary speaks only four times, beginning with the Annunciation, when, according to Luke’s Gospel, the angel Gabriel appears to her and says she will bear “the Son of the Most High.” Mary answers, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord.” Her only extended speech, also in Luke, is the lyrical Magnificat, uttered in early pregnancy: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed.” Indeed they have...

Read the Rest of the Article: Photo: National Geographic

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

12-11-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 200 

- To Slovak bishops: the Church is called to proclaim and bear witness to the welcome of migrants
- Francis greets the members of the Don Guanella family: the worst famine is the lack of charity
- Pope's video message to the National Eucharistic Congress of India
- Message to Cardinal Rylko: the conciliar basis of the vocation and mission of the laity
- Declaration by Fr. Federico Lombardi on current investigations in the Vatican
- Communique from the Holy See Press Office on the activity of APSA
- Communique by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples on ownership of real estate
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
- Conviviality, a thermometer for measuring the health of family relationships
- The Pope meets with President Dragan Covic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- A humanism with the face of charity, says the Pope at Mass in Florence
- The Holy See at UNESCO: the importance of education on climate change
- Other Pontifical Acts
To Slovak bishops: the Church is called to proclaim and bear witness to the welcome of migrants
Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) – This morning the Pope received the bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Slovakia at the end of their five-yearly “ad Limina” visit. In the discourse he handed to them at the end of the audience he encouraged them to consider the phenomenon of migration as an opportunity for encounter, also recalling that the Church is called upon to proclaim and bear witness to the welcome of migrants in the context of observance of the law.
Francis begins his discourse by referring to the pastoral work of bishops and a situation characterised by rapid changes in many sectors of human life, affected also by the phenomenon of globalisation. A situation, he writes, in which “at times we perceive threats to less populous nations, but at the same time elements that can offer new opportunities. One opportunity, which has become a sign of the times, is the phenomenon of migration, which demands to be understood and confronted with sensitivity and a sense of justice. The Church is required to proclaim and bear witness to the welcome of the migrant in a spirit of charity and respect for the dignity of the human person, in the context of the necessary observance of the law”.
“Faced with the prospect of an increasingly extensive multicultural environment, it is necessary to assume attitudes of mutual respect to promote encounter. It is to be hoped that the Slovak people will maintain their cultural identity and heritage of ethical and spiritual values, strongly linked to the Catholic tradition. In this way they will be able to open up without fear to exchange on the broadest continental and global horizon, contributing to a sincere and fruitful dialogue, also on themes of vital importance such as the dignity of human life and the essential function of the family. Today, more than ever, it is necessary to enlighten the path of peoples with Christian principles, seizing the opportunities that the current situation offers to develop an evangelisation that, using a new language, makes Christ's message easier to understand. For this reason it important for the Church to give hope, so that all the present changes may be transformed into a renewed encounter with Christ, that guides the people towards authentic progress”.
The Pope expresses his appreciation for the prelates' work with families, which face many difficulties, and reiterates the importance of integral family pastoral ministry at diocesan and national levels, including “adequate accompaniment for all families, including those where members are not present, especially if there are children”. In this regard it is essential to pay special attention to the young, “the hope of the Church and of society”.
The paternal care of bishops for the priests, their main collaborators in pastoral ministry, is another of the themes considered by Francis, who insists on the need for “well-structured programmes of continuing formation in the fields of theology, spirituality, pastoral ministry and social doctrine of the Church, enabling them to become competent evangelisers”. He adds, “Indeed, for the majority of the People of God, they are the principal channel through which the Gospel passes, and also offer the most immediate image through which the mystery of the Church is encountered”.
The Church, “sign and tool of the unity of men with God and with each other, is called upon to be the house and school of communion, in which one learns to appreciate and welcome positive qualities in others”, remarks the Holy Father at the end of his discourse, emphasising that this attitude is also very useful with reference to the good contact it is necessary to re-establish in Slovakia between pastors and consecrated persons, better appreciating the valid contribution of all men and women religious to pastoral ministry. “At the same time”, he noted, “the Church in your country must carry forth the pastoral care of the Rom, through extensive evangelisation that seeks to reach all these people who, unfortunately, continue to live in some ways separated from the rest of society”.
Francis greets the members of the Don Guanella family: the worst famine is the lack of charity
Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall the Pope greeted five hundred members of the Family of St. Luigi Guanella, known simply as Don Guanella (1842-1915), the Italian priest who founded the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence and the Order of the Servants of Charity. He was beatified in 1964 and canonised in 2011.
The Don Guanella Family's pilgrimage to Rome coincides with the first centenary of the saint's death and, in his address to the pilgrims, the Holy Father imagined what Don Guanella might have said to his followers to confirm them in faith, hope and charity, using three verbs: to trust, to look, and to make haste.
The first verb is to trust. “The life of Don Guanella had as its centre the certainty that God is the merciful and provident Father. This was for him the heart of faith: knowing himself to be an always beloved son, for whom the Father cared, and therefore a brother to all, called upon to inspire trust. … I think that it displeases the heavenly Father greatly to see that His children do not fully trust in Him; they perhaps believe in a distant God, rather than in a merciful Father. In many people there arises the doubt that God, while being Father, may also be a master. … But this is a great deception; the ancient deception of the enemy of God and man, which conceals reality and disguises good as evil. It is the first temptation: to distance oneself from God, intimidated by the suspicion that His paternity is not truly provident and good. God is instead love alone, pure provident love. He loves us more than we love ourselves, and knows what is truly good for us. He therefore hopes that in the course of life we become what we are at the moment of our Baptism: beloved children, able to vanquish fear and not ceding to lamentation, because the Father takes care of us”.
The second verb is to look. “The Father, the Creator, also inspires creativity in those who live like His children. They then learn to look at the world through new eyes, made more luminous by love and hope. They are eyes that enable us to look within with truth, and to see far in charity. … In the world there is never any lack of problems, and in our time there are unfortunately new forms of poverty and many injustices. But the greatest famine of all is that of charity: we need, most of all, people with eyes renewed by love and a gaze that inspires hope”.
“At times, our spiritual point of view is short-sighted, as we are not able to see beyond our own ego. At other times we are long-sighted: we like to help those who are far away but are not able to stoop to those who live next to us. Sometimes, indeed, we prefer to close our eyes, as we are tired and overcome by pessimism. Don Guanella, who recommended that we look at Jesus starting from His heart, invites us to have the same gaze as the Lord: a gaze that inspires hope and joy, able at the same time to feel a 'profound sentiment of compassion' towards those who suffer”.
Finally, to make haste: “The poor are the favoured sons” of the Father, St. Luigi said, and he liked to repeat that 'those who give to the poor, lend to God'. Just as the Father is delicate and concrete with regard to his smallest and weakest children, so we too cannot expect our brothers and sisters in difficulty to wait as, again in the words of Don Guanella, 'misery cannot wait. And we cannot stop as long as there are poor people to tend to'”.
Pope's video message to the National Eucharistic Congress of India
Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) – “Nourished by the Eucharist to nourish others” is the theme of the National Eucharistic Congress of India, inaugurated today in Mumbai and attended by 700 delegates from all over the country. The Congress will also provide the opportunity to commemorate the presence for the same event fifty years ago of Blessed Paul VI, during his trip to India in 1964. The opening of the Congress, which will conclude on 15 November, included a screening of the Pope's video message to the participants in which he expresses his hope that it will be a “herald of joy and happiness” for the whole Indian population. The following are extensive extracts from his message, transmitted in English:
“The Eucharistic Congress is God's gift not just for the Christians of the India but for the entire population of a country culturally so diverse yet spiritually so rich. Over thousands of years India has been permeated by the desire for truth, the search for the divine, the effort at goodness and kindness”.
“The Eucharist as the theme chosen rightly points out nourishes us. As I underlined in the homily of Corpus Domini, 'the Eucharist actualises the Covenant that sanctifies us, purifies us and unites us in the marvellous Communion with God. Thus we learn that the Eucharist is not only a reward for the good but also the strength for the weak and for sinners. It is forgiveness and sustenance which helps us on our journey'”.
“Human beings all over the word today need nourishment. And this nourishment is not just to satisfy physical hunger. There are other hungers – for love, for immortality of life, for affection, for being cared for, for forgiveness, for mercy. This hunger can be satiated only by the bread that comes from above. Jesus himself is the living bread that gives life to the world. His body offered for our sake on the cross, his blood shed for the pardon of the sins of humanity is made available to us in the bread and wine to the Eucharist transformed in the consecration”.
“But the Eucharist does not end with the partaking of the bread and blood of the Lord. It leads us to solidarity with others. The communion with the Lord is necessarily a communion with our fellow brothers and sisters. And therefore the one who is fed and nourished by the very body and blood of Christ cannot remain unaffected when he sees his brothers suffering want and hunger. Those nourished by the Eucharist are called to bring the joy of the gospel to those who have not received it. Strengthened by the living Bread we are called to bring hope to those who live in darkness and in despair”.
Message to Cardinal Rylko: the conciliar basis of the vocation and mission of the laity
Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for the Laity, in collaboration with the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, has organised a study day dedicated to the theme “Vocation and mission of the laity: fifty years after the Decree 'Apostolicam Actuositatem'”.
On this occasion, Pope Francis sent a message to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and to all the participants in the event, in which he remarks that the Day enters within the context of the 50th anniversary of the conclusion of Vatican Council II, an “extraordinary event of grace, that … led also, among its many fruits, to a new way of looking at the vocation and mission of the laity in the Church and in the world, which is magnificently expressed primarily in the two great conciliar Constitutions Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes. … The Council, therefore, does not look upon the laity as if they were members of a 'second order', in the service of the hierarchy and as simple executors of orders from above, but rather as Christ's disciples who, by virtue of their Baptism and their natural integration 'in the world', are called upon to inspire every environment, every activity,and every human relationship according to the spirit of the Gospel. … Within the overreaching framework of this conciliar doctrine, we find the Decree Apostolicam Actuositatem, which looks more closely at the nature and scope of the lay apostolate. This document clearly reminds us that … the announcement of the Gospel is not reserved to some 'mission professionals', but should instead be the profound wish of all the lay faithful”.
Declaration by Fr. Federico Lombardi on current investigations in the Vatican
Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., made the following declaration late yesterday afternoon:
“The Vatican Gendarmerie, in their role as judicial police, have informed the Vatican prosecutors that the activity carried out by the journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi may constitute complicity in the crime of disseminating confidential news and documents, pursuant to Law No. IX of Vatican City State, of 13 July 2013 (article 116 bis).
Since the beginning of the investigation the prosecution has obtained pieces of evidence indicating the collaboration in offence by the journalists, who are now therefore under investigation.
The investigators are also examining some other situations regarding persons who, for reasons of office, could have cooperated in the acquisition the reserved documents in question.
Communique from the Holy See Press Office on the activity of APSA
Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office yesterday issued the following communique:
“Various articles have been published by news agencies and in the press referring in a biased and inaccurate way to the content of a confidential document, based on the assumption that in the past the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) has been used for illegal financial activity. The Vatican legal authorities have opened an investigation into the circulation of this document. APSA has always collaborated with the competent bodies, is not under investigation and continues to conduct its activities in accordance with current regulations”.
Communique by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples on ownership of real estate
Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) – The following is the full text of the communique issued yesterday afternoon by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples on news relating to its ownership of real estate.
“The Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, also known as 'Propaganda Fide', adheres fully to the Holy Father Francis' line of thought and guidance with regard to the life and reform of the Roman Curia; in addition, it his committed to pursuing the institutional aims set forth in the Apostolic Constitution 'Pastor Bonus', as well as respecting the will of donors who over the years have contributed to its missionary work. Therefore, it welcomes all the administrative reforms anticipated by the Secretary for the Economy and submits all the budgets and final accounts to the latter.
Certain insinuations on the part of certain sectors of the media, which circulate news not corresponding to the truth, are therefore unacceptable. It has been written, for example, that the Congregation offers luxury properties for rent at low prices as favours, and even that it hosts a spa or is the proprietor of the Hotel Priscilla.
The real estate belonging to the Congregation, donated for the Missions, is rented at market value; there are exceptions in the case of situations of poverty. The aforementioned properties are rented in accordance with current Italian legislation, to which both the Congregation as the owner and the recipient are subject.
The income deriving from the rent of these properties, for which regular tax is paid in Italy (in 2014 the Dicastery paid IMU – imposta municipale unica, property tax, of 2,169,200 euros in Rome alone) is destined principally for the maintenance of the Congregation, the Pontifical Urbanian University, the Pontifical Collegio Urbano, the missionary institutions and young Churches in the mission territories.
Propaganda Fide is grateful to the benefactors who, with its help, make it possible for the Gospel to be announced and provide support for innumerable educational, social and healthcare initiatives in the poorest countries.
We wish to clarify that, should such dissemination of false or biased information recur, this Congregation will be obliged to protect its image in the appropriate forums”.
Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- prelates of the Episcopal Conference of Slovakia, on their “ad Limina” visit:
- Archbishop Stanislav Zvolensky of Bratislava, with his auxiliary, Bishop Josef Hal’ko;
- Bishop Marian Chovanec of Banska Bystrica;
- Bishop Viliam Judak of Nitra;
- Bishop Jan Orosch of Trnava;
- Bishop Tomas Galis of Zilina;
- Archbishop Bernard Bober of Kosice, with the archbishop emeritus Alojz Tkac;
- Bishop Stanislav Stolarik of Rozanava;
- Bishop Stefan Secka of Spis;
- Archbishop Jan Babjak, S.J., of Presov for Catholics of Byzantine rite, with his auxiliary Bishop Milan Lach;
- Bishop Peter Rusnak of Bratislava for Catholics of Byzantine rite;
- Bishop Milan Chautur, C.SS.R., of Kosice for Catholics of Byzantine rite; and
- Bishop Frantisek Rabek, military ordinary.
Yesterday, 11 November, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Dominique Mamberti, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Marcel Damphousse of Alexandria-Cornwall, Canada, as bishop of Sault Sainte Marie (area 265,000, population 436,000, Catholics 239,200, priests 90, permanent deacons 66, religious 174), Canada. He succeeds Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
11-11-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 199 

Conviviality, a thermometer for measuring the health of family relationships
Vatican City, 11 November 2015 (VIS) – This morning's Wednesday general audience was held in St. Peter's Square, attended by thousands of faithful. Before beginning, the Holy Father invited those present to recite a Hail Mary for the cardinals, bishops, consecrated persons and laypeople who are currently meeting in Florence for the National Congress of the Italian Church.
He dedicated today's catechesis to conviviality, a typical characteristic of family life. This attitude of sharing the goods of life and of being happy to do so is, he said, “a precious virtue”. He continued, “Its symbol, its icon, is the family gathered around the table, partaking of a meal together – and therefore not merely food, but also sentiments, stories, and events. It is a fundamental experience. When there is a celebration – a birthday, an anniversary – the family gathers around the table. In some cultures it is customary to do so also following bereavement, to stay close to those who suffer for the loss of a family member”.
“Conviviality is a sure thermometer for measuring the health of relations: if in the family there is a problem or a hidden trouble, you understand immediately at the table. A family that almost never eats together, or in does not talk at the table but instead watches the television, or smartphones, is not a close family. Christianity has a special vocation to conviviality, as we all know. The Lord Jesus taught at the table, and represented the Kingdom of God as a festive banquet. Jesus also chose to consign to the disciples His spiritual testament at the table, condensed in the memorial gesture of His Sacrifice”.
Francis explained that the family brings to the Eucharist its own experience of conviviality, and opens it to the grace of a universal conviviality, of God's love for the world. “Participating in the Eucharist, the family is purified of the temptation to close up in itself, fortified in love and in faith, and broadens the boundaries of its own fraternity according to Christ's heart. In our time, marked by closed minds and too many walls, the conviviality generated by the family and extended in the Eucharist becomes a crucial opportunity. The Eucharist and families it nourishes are able to overcome such limitations and to build bridges of acceptance and charity”.
“Nowadays many social contexts impede family conviviality. We must find a way to recover it, if adapting it to the times. Conviviality seems to have become something to buy and sell, but in that way it becomes something else. Nourishment is not always the symbol of a just sharing of goods, able to reach those who have neither bread nor affection. In rich countries we are induced to spend first on excessive consumption, and then again to remedy the excess. This senseless behaviour diverts our attention from the true hunger of the body and the mind”.
“The living and vital alliance of Christian families, which support and embracesin the dynamism of their hospitality the burdens and joys of everyday life, cooperates with the grace of the Eucharist, which is able to create ever new communities with its strength that includes and saves”. The Pope concluded, “the Christian family thus shows the true extent of its horizon, which is the horizon of the Mother Church and all humanity, the abandoned and excluded among all peoples”.
The Pope meets with President Dragan Covic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Vatican City, 11 November 2015 (VIS) – Before today's general audience, in the study of the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father received Dragan Covic, the incumbent chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, accompanied by the representatives of the Organising Committee of the State and the Church for his pastoral visit on 6 June this year.
“I would like to thank you for your visit”, he said. “I still hold in my heart that many great and beautiful things I have learned from you: your capacity for suffering, your capacity for forgiveness or at least to seek to forgive, your capacity to join and work together, your capacity for dialogue. Many thanks for the examples you give to humanity. I ask you to greet, on my behalf, your people, all the people, the two other presidents, and the communities that have a different religion but which meet, speak, and dialogue for the good of the country. May they speak between themselves and help your homeland to go ahead. And greet your good young people! I remember the questions they asked me. They are the promise of your homeland”.
The Holy Father thanked those present, asking them for their prayers. He gave his blessing to Bosnia-Herzegovina and its families, children and future, encouraging them to continue on their path.
A humanism with the face of charity, says the Pope at Mass in Florence
Vatican City, 11 November 2015 (VIS) – Pope Francis concluded his brief pastoral visit to Florence yesterday with Mass celebrated before fifty thousand people in the “Artemio Franchi” stadium. Even the detainees in the Florentine prison participated in a way, as the altar at which the Holy Father consecrated the Eucharist was produced by them, for which he warmly thanked them.
In his homily, the Holy Father began from Christ's question to His disciples: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”. “Jesus is interested in what people think, not to keep them happy, but to be able to communicate with them”, he explained. “Without knowing what people think, the disciple isolates himself and begins to judge people according to his own thoughts and convictions. Maintaining a healthy contact with reality, with what people experience, their tears and their joys, is the only way of being able to help them … to open their hearts to God. In reality, when God wanted to speak with us He incarnated Himself. Jesus' disciples must never forget where they were chosen from – that is, among the people – and must never give in to the temptation to assume detached attitudes, as if what the people think and live did not affect them or as if it were of little importance to them. … This also applies to us. The fact that we are gathered today to celebrate Holy Mass in a sports stadium is a reminder of this. The Church, like Jesus, lives amid the people and for the people. For this reason the Church, throughout her history, has always carried within her the same question: who is Jesus for the men and women of today?”.
“Safeguarding and announcing the true faith in Jesus Christ is at the heart of our Christian identity, since in recognising the mystery of the Son of God made man, we can enter into the mystery of God and the mystery of man. … Today, too … our joy is sharing this faith and answering the Lord Jesus together: 'You, for us, are the Christ, the Son of the living God'. Our joy is also that of going against the grain and surmounting current opinion, that, like then, does not manage to see Jesus as more than a prophet or a teacher. Our joy is recognising in Him the presence of God, the envoy of His Father, the Son who came to make Himself an instrument of salvation for humanity”.
“At the root of the mystery of salvation is “the will of a merciful God, who does not give up when confronted with man's incomprehension, blame and misery, but rather gives Himself to him, to the point of making Himself man in order to encounter every person in his or her true condition. This, God's merciful love, is what Simon Peter recognises in Jesus' face. It is the same face that we are called upon to recognise in the forms in which the Lord assures us of His presence among us: in His Word, that illuminates the darkness of our minds and our heart; in the Sacraments, that regenerate us from our death to new life; in fraternal communion, that the Holy Spirit generates among His disciples; in boundless love, that renders generous and tender service to all; in the poor, who reminds us that Jesus wished for the supreme revelation of Himself and His Father to take the image of Himself humiliated and crucified. This truth of faith, this truth scandalises … those who do not tolerate the mystery of God impressed on the face of Christ”.
“In reality, the communion between the divine and the human, fully realised in Jesus, is our aim, the culmination of human history according to the Father's plan. … God and man are not the two extremes of an opposition: they always seek each other, as God recognises in man His own image and man recognises himself only by looking at God. … This is the road on which we can encounter humanity … with the spirit of the good Samaritan. It is not by chance that humanism, to whose most creative moments the city of Florence bears witness, has always had the face of charity”.
“At the end of the Mass the Pope greeted the cardinal archbishop of Florence, Giuseppe Betori, and the members of the Italian Episcopal Conference, and thanked the detainees who had constructed the altar. He then transferred by car to the “Luigi Ridolfi” stadium where he departed by helicopter to return to the Vatican.
The Holy See at UNESCO: the importance of education on climate change
Vatican City, 11 November 2015 (VIS) – Archbishop Francesco Follo, Holy See permanent observer at UNESCO, addressed the 38th General Conference of this body, which took place from 25 October to 10 November in Paris.
“UNESCO is heavily involved in the preparations for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 21) and I am sure that the Organisation, through its Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development, plays and will continue to play a very important role in making education in climate change a central and visible element of the international response to this theme. Therefore, the Holy See welcomes with satisfaction … the UNESCO Road Map for the implementation of the programme. Its objective is to help people understand the impact of global warming and to familiarise the young, in particular, with climate change. In order to achieve this, the programme strengthens Member States' capacity to guarantee a quality education in climate change, to encourage innovative education approaches to incorporating education in climate change in school curricula, and to promote awareness of climate change as well as the strengthening of informal education programmes through the communication media, networks and associations”.
Archbishop Follo commented that the 70th anniversary of UNESCO offered a good opportunity to take stock of our history and to reflect on our common future, responding to the Holy Father's urgent invitation to engage in a “new dialogue on the way in which we are constructing the future of the planet” and to promote “an 'ecological' education that must take into account the ethics of life and dialogue”.
This dialogue begins with “becoming aware that inhabiting the earth means living 'in her' with respect, sobriety and simplicity in terms of what we require, take and receive from her”. But we should also live 'with her and care for her'. … A human attitude that derives from work and the assumption of responsibility is required.
Indeed, it is important not to forget that the relationship between humanity and nature “is synthesized by work. In effect, on the one hand nature is the expression of a design of love and truth. It precedes us and was given to us by God as a living environment, Who established it according to an intrinsic order to guide man in cultivating and maintaining it”. With regard to responsibility, “in simple terms, we all know where we area, and in equally simple terms, we all know where we wish to go: we must leave the earth habitable, or render it newly habitable for future generations if we have ransacked it”.
“This purpose is inspired by the encyclical “Laudato si'” that Pope Francis dedicated to our common home”, concluded Archbishop Follo, citing Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, who had encouraged the development of a “human ecology”, since “intelligence requires us to respect others as well as the home where we live. … Pope Francis says that intelligence also commands us to respect our common home as by doing so, we demonstrate our love for our neighbour”.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 11 November 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Fr. Karel Choennie as bishop of Paramaribo (area 163,829, population 505,580, Catholics 115,221, priests 18, permanent deacons 4, religious 16), Suriname. The bishop-elect was born in Suriname in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a licentiate in pastoral theology from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Paramaribo, including parish priest, episcopal vicar, member of the diocesan curia and vicar general. He is currently pastor of the St. Clement parish.
- accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Detroit, United States of America, presented by Archdiocese Francis R. Reiss, upon reaching the age limit.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. November 12, 2015

Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 494

Reading 1WIS 7:22B–8:1

In Wisdom is a spirit
intelligent, holy, unique,
Manifold, subtle, agile,
clear, unstained, certain,
Not baneful, loving the good, keen,
unhampered, beneficent, kindly,
Firm, secure, tranquil,
all-powerful, all-seeing,
And pervading all spirits,
though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.
For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,
and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.
For she is an aura of the might of God
and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nought that is sullied enters into her.
For she is the refulgence of eternal light,
the spotless mirror of the power of God,
the image of his goodness.
And she, who is one, can do all things,
and renews everything while herself perduring;
And passing into holy souls from age to age,
she produces friends of God and prophets.
For there is nought God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom.
For she is fairer than the sun
and surpasses every constellation of the stars.
Compared to light, she takes precedence;
for that, indeed, night supplants,
but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.

Indeed, she reaches from end to end mightily
and governs all things well.

Responsorial PsalmPS 119:89, 90, 91, 130, 135, 175

R. (89a) Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Your word, O LORD, endures forever;
it is firm as the heavens.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Through all generations your truth endures;
you have established the earth, and it stands firm.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
According to your ordinances they still stand firm:
all things serve you.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
The revelation of your words sheds light,
giving understanding to the simple.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Let your countenance shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Let my soul live to praise you,
and may your ordinances help me.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.

AlleluiaJN 15:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the vine, you are the branches, says the Lord:
whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
Jesus said in reply,
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed,
and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’
For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.
For just as lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”

#PopeFrancis "Jesus himself is the living Bread that gives life to the world" #Eucharist Congress FULL TEXT

Pope Francis - ANSA
Pope Francis - ANSA
12/11/2015 08:
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a video message to the participants in India's National Eucharistic Congress, taking place in Mumbai from November 12-15. In the message, Pope Francis praises the gathering, saying, "The Eucharistic Congress is God's gift not only to the Christians of India but to the entire population of a country so culturally diverse and yet so spiritually rich." The theme of the Congress is the Eucharist as nourishment, which moves and inspires us to nourish others.
Click below for the full audio of Pope Francis' message in English
Please find the full text of the Holy Father's message, below
My dear Brother Cardinal Thuttunkal Baselios Cleemis, President of the Bishops Conference,
My dear Brother Cardinal Oswald Gracias, President of the Organizing committee of the National Eucharistic Congress,
Beloved Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of India, brother priests and men and women religious, believers in Jesus Christ and all people of good will in India,
It is with great joy that I greet you as you gather for the National Eucharistic Congress. This Congress has great significance as it marks the golden jubilee ofthe International Eucharistic Congress celebrated in Mumbai in 1964, which was the first Congress to be personally presided over by the Holy Father. The National Eucharistic Congress this year also possesses another special quality because it will be celebrated just before the beginning of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy which I have so desired. The theme chosen for the Eucharistic Congress, Nourished by the Eucharist to nourish others, is indeed very inspiring.
The Eucharistic Congress is God's gift not only to the Christians of India but to the entire population of a country so culturally diverse and yet so spiritually rich. For thousands of years India has been permeated with a desire for truth and a search for the divine, seeking goodness and kindness. As you celebrate this great event, I think of the words of Pope Paul VI in his address to the members of non-Christian religions on 3December 1964: “The Eucharist is the commemoration of Jesus Christ and his love for God the Father in heaven, and for all men, a love unto death. This love of Jesus is not a matter of the past; it is meant to remain present and to live in every human heart. Christ is dear also to this country, not only to those who are Christians – they are a minority – but to the millions of people who have come to know and love him as an inspiration of love and self-sacrifice”.
The Eucharist, as the theme of the Congress rightly points out, nourishes us. As I emphasized in my homily on Corpus Domini: "The Eucharist actualizes the Covenant that sanctifies us, purifies us and unites us in the marvellous Communion with God. Thus we learn that the Eucharist is not only a reward for the good but also the strength for the weak and for sinners. It is forgiveness and sustenance which helps us on our journey" (4 June 2015).
Human beings all over the word today need nourishment. And this nourishment is not only for satisfying physical hunger. There are other hungers – for love, immortality, affection, being cared for, forgiveness, mercy. These hungers can be satisfied only by the Bread that comes from above. Jesus himself is the living Bread that gives life to the world (cf.Jn 6:51). His Body offered for our sake on the cross and his Blood shed for the pardon of the sins of humanity are made available to us in the Eucharist.
But the Eucharistdoes not end withthe partakingof the Body and Blood of the Lord. It leadsus to solidarity withothers. Communion with the Lord is necessarily a communionwith our fellow brothers and sisters.And, therefore, the one who is fed and nourished by the very Body andBlood of Christ cannot remainunaffected when he sees his brothers and sisters suffering want and hunger. Thosenourished by theEucharist are called to bringthe joy of theGospel to those who have not yet received it. Strengthened by the living Bread,we are called to bring hope to those who live in darkness and despair.“In the Eucharist the Lord makes us walk on his road, that of service, of sharing, of giving; and ifit is shared, that littlewe have, that little we are, becomesriches, for the power of God – which is the power of love –comesdown into poverty to transform it" (Homily for Corpus Domini, 2013).
May this Eucharistic Congress be abeacon of light to thepeople of India. May it be the herald ofgreat joy and happiness. May it be an occasion for my Indian brothers and sisters to come together in unityand love. May all those who participate in this Eucharistic Congress walk withMary our Mother singing the Magnificat for all thatthe Lord has done for us.
I bless all of you, my dear brothers and sisters in India. May God be with you and your great country.