Friday, January 8, 2016

Saint January 9 : St. Adrian of Canterbury : #Abbot

An African by birth, Adrian became a monk and an abbot in Italy, and finally supervised a flourishing school in Canterbury.
An African by birth, then a monk and an abbot in Italy, and finally chosen to accompany the Greek monk Theodore of Tarsus to become archbishop of Canterbury, Adrian supervised a flourishing school in that cathedral town. Patrick Duffy tells his story.
An unusual appointmentAdrian was born in Africa and became a monk and eventually abbot of Nerida, not far from Naples. In the early years of the See of Canterbury after St Augustine, the archbishops were chosen from the companions who had come with him from Rome. Two Englishmen then succeeded, but as both fell victim to the plague in 664 and 665, the pope of the time, Vitalian (657-672) wanted to appoint Adrian. He refused but suggested the nomination of a Greek monk Theodore of Tarsus. Vitalian accepted this suggestion, provided Adrian accompany Theodore as his adviser and helper. Which he did.
A golden age for the Church in England
adrianOn arrival in Canterbury Theodore appointed Adrian abbot of the monastery of Saints Peter and Paul (later St Augustine’s). An excellent administrator as well as a Greek and Latin scholar, Adrian insured that the monastery grew into a centre of theological learning drawing students from all over England and even Ireland. Adrian helped his archbishop in the pastoral governance of the English Church. Bede says of this time: “Never had there been such happy times as these since the English settled in Britain.”
Death and influenceAdrian worked at Canterbury for nearly forty years, far outliving Theodore. He was buried in the church of the monastery. His body was still incorrupt when renovations made the translation of Canterbury saints necessary. Many of the miracles for which his tomb became famous were in favour of boys who studied in the monastery and were in trouble with their masters.
Shared from Catholic Ireland Net

#PopeFrancis "They search for God or meet God in different ways” #Interreligious Video with Pope

(Vatican Radio) Revealing his prayer intention for January, Pope Francis says he is praying so that “sincere dialogue between men and women of different religions may yield fruits of peace and justice”. For the first time the Pope’s traditional monthly prayer intention is available on video, thanks to a new initiative launched by the worldwide Apostleship of Prayer. The video-message is in Spanish, with subtitles in 10 different languages.
It shows Pope Francis together with believers of other religions – Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist - each of whom professes his or her faith and all together declare they believe in love.     
You can watch the video here.

“Most of the planet's inhabitants declare themselves believers – says Pope Francis - This should lead to dialogue among religions”.
 “Sólo con el diálogo, eliminaremos la intolerancia…”
“Only through dialogue – he says – will we be able to eliminate intolerance and discrimination”. Interreligious dialogue is “a necessary condition for world peace”. “We must not cease praying for it or collaborating with those who think differently”.
 “Confío en vos para difundir mi petición…”
“I hope that you – the Pope says – will spread my prayer request for this month: that sincere dialogue between men and women of different religions may produce the fruits of peace and justice”. There are many people – he continues – “who think and who feel differently. They search for God or meet God in different ways”. “Some declare themselves to be agnostic, they do not know whether God exists. Others say they are atheists”.

 “En esta multitud, en este abanico de religiones…”
“Within this multitude – Pope Francis concludes – in this wide range of religions and lack of religious, there is one certainty: we are all children of God”.
“I have confidence in your prayers”.

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

07-01-2016 - Year XXVI - Num. 3 

- Solemnity of the Lord's Epiphany: Let us Follow the Light that God Gives
- Angelus: Star is the Gospel; In Following It We Follow Jesus
- Eastern Christian Brothers and Sisters in Pope's Heart
- Other Pontifical Acts
08-01-2016 - Year XXVI - Num. 4 

- Other Pontifical Acts

- The Holy Father visits Greccio
- Notice
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 8 January 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Fr. Juan Carlos Elizalde Espinal as bishop of Vitoria (area 350, population 329,000, Catholics 298,000, priests 291, permanent deacons 5, religious 738), Spain. The bishop-elect was born in Mezkiritz, Spain in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1987. He holds a licentiate in spiritual theology from the Pontifical University of Comillas in Madrid, and has served in a number of roles in the archdiocese of Pamplona y Tudela, including director of diocesan university residences, parish priest and professor of theology and head of pastoral ministry of the Public University of Navarra. He is currently episcopal vicar of the zone of Pamplona-Cuenca-Roncesvalles. He succeeds Bishop Miguel Jose Asurmendi Aramendia, S.D.B., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez Perez, archbishop of Valladolid, Spain, as member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA).

Solemnity of the Lord's Epiphany: Let us Follow the Light that God GivesVatican City, 6 January 2015 (VIS) – “The Magi represent the men and woman throughout the world who are welcomed into the house of God. Before Jesus, all divisions of race, language and culture disappear.” These were among the words spoken by the Holy Father this morning in the homily of the Mass for the Solemnity of Epiphany celebrated in the Vatican Basilica. Following is the complete text of the Pope's homily, given after the Gospel reading and the announcement that Easter will be celebrated on 27 March this year.
“The words of the Prophet Isaiah – addressed to the Holy City of Jerusalem – are also meant for us. They call us to go forth, to leave behind all that keeps us self-enclosed, to go out from ourselves and to recognize the splendour of the light which illumines our lives: 'Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.' That 'light' is the glory of the Lord. The Church cannot delude herself into thinking that she shines with her own light. Saint Ambrose expresses this nicely by presenting the moon as a metaphor for the Church: 'The moon is in fact the Church… [she] shines not with her own light, but with the light of Christ. She draws her brightness from the Sun of Justice, and so she can say: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”.' Christ is the true light shining in the darkness. To the extent that the Church remains anchored in him, to the extent that she lets herself be illumined by him, she is able to bring light into the lives of individuals and peoples. For this reason the Fathers of the Church saw in her the 'mysterium lunae'.”
“We need this light from on high if we are to respond in a way worthy of the vocation we have received. To proclaim the Gospel of Christ is not simply one option among many, nor is it a profession. For the Church, to be missionary does not mean to proselytize: for the Church to be missionary means to give expression to her very nature, which is to receive God’s light and then to reflect it. There is no other way. Mission is her vocation. How many people look to us for this missionary commitment, because they need Christ. They need to know the face of the Father.”
“The Magi mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew are a living witness to the fact that the seeds of truth are present everywhere, for they are the gift of the Creator, who calls all people to acknowledge him as good and faithful Father. The Magi represent the men and woman throughout the world who are welcomed into the house of God. Before Jesus, all divisions of race, language and culture disappear: in that Child, all humanity discovers its unity. The Church has the task of seeing and showing ever more clearly the desire for God which is present in the heart of every man and woman. Like the Magi, countless people, in our own day, have a 'restless heart' which continues to seek without finding sure answers. They too are looking for a star to show them the path to Bethlehem.”
“How many stars there are in the sky! And yet the Magi followed a new and different star, which for them shone all the more brightly. They had long peered into the great book of the heavens, seeking an answer to their questions, and at long last the light appeared. That star changed them. It made them leave their daily concerns behind and set out immediately on a journey. They listened to a voice deep within, which led them to follow that light. The star guided them, until they found the King of the Jews in a humble dwelling in Bethlehem.”
“All this has something to say to us today. We do well to repeat the question asked by the Magi: 'Where is the child who has been born the King of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.' We are impelled, especially in an age like our own, to seek the signs which God offers us, realizing that great effort is needed to interpret them and thus to understand his will. We are challenged to go to Bethlehem, to find the Child and his Mother. Let us follow the light which God offers us! The light which streams from the face of Christ, full of mercy and fidelity. And once we have found him, let us worship him with all our heart, and present him with our gifts: our freedom, our understanding and our love. Let us recognize that true wisdom lies concealed in the face of this Child. It is here, in the simplicity of Bethlehem, that the life of the Church is summed up. For here is the wellspring of that light which draws to itself every individual and guides the journey of the peoples along the path of peace.”
Angelus: Star is the Gospel; In Following It We Follow JesusVatican City, 6 January 2015 (VIS) – At noon, after the Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.
“In today's Gospel,” he began, “the story of the Magi who came to Bethlehem from the East to adore the Messiah confers upon the feast of Epiphany an air of universality. This air is the breath of the Church, who desires all the peoples of the earth to encounter Jesus and to experience his merciful love. This is the Church's wish: that all may find Jesus' mercy, his love. The new-born Christ does not yet know how to speak and yet people of all the nations—represented by the Magi—can already meet him, recognize him, worship him. The Magi say: 'We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage'.”
“...The Magi were prestigious men, from distant lands and different cultures, and they had journeyed toward Israel to worship the king who had been born. The Church has always seen in them an image of all of humanity and, with today's celebration of the Feast of Epiphany, it wants to respectfully show every man and woman of this world the Child who was born for the salvation of all. On Christmas Eve, Jesus revealed himself to shepherds, humble and unappreciated men—some say robbers. They were the first to bring a little warmth into that cold grotto in Bethlehem. Now the Magi come from distant lands, also mysteriously attracted by that Child. The shepherds and the Magi are very different from one another but one thing unites them: the sky.”
“...The shepherds and the Magi teach us that, to encounter Jesus, it is necessary to know how to raise our gaze to the heavens, and not be turned in on ourselves, on our own selfishness, but to have our hearts and minds open to the horizon of God, which always surprises us, and to know how to welcome its message and respond promptly and generously. The Magi, the Gospel says, 'were overjoyed at seeing the star'. Even for us there is great consolation in seeing the star, namely in feeling guided and not abandoned to our fate. The star is the Gospel, the Word of the Lord that, as the psalm says, 'is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path'. This light guides us towards Christ. Without listening to the Gospel it is not possible to encounter him.”
“The Magi,” he added, “following the star, came to the place where Jesus was. And there 'they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage'. The experience of the Magi urges us not to be content with mediocrity, not to 'just get along' but to seek out the meaning of things, passionately scrutinizing the great mystery of life. It teaches us not to be scandalized by smallness and poverty, but to recognize the majesty of humility and to know how to kneel before it. May the Virgin Mary, who welcomed the Magi to Bethlehem, help us to lift our gaze from ourself and to be guided by the star of the Gospel so that we might meet Jesus and know how to humble ourselves in order to worship him. In that way we can bring a ray of its light to others and share the joy of the journey with them.”
Eastern Christian Brothers and Sisters in Pope's HeartVatican City, 6 January 2015 (VIS) – Following the Angelus, the Pope gave his customary greeting to the numerous faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. He expressed his “spiritual nearness” to the brothers and sisters of the Christian East, “many of whom celebrate the birth of the Lord tomorrow.” He sent them a wish for peace and wellness.
He also mentioned that the 6th of January marks the “World Day of Missionary Childhood”. “It is the day for children,” he said, “who with their prayers and sacrifices, help their contemporaries most in need, acting as missionaries and witnesses of fraternity and solidarity”. At the end of his remarks, he wished all a good feastday.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 7 January 2016 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father erected the apostolic exarchate for Syrian Catholics in Canada with territory taken from the Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance of Newark. The Holy Father appointed Fr. Antoine Nassif as first exarch of the newly-erected apostolic exarchate. Bishop-elect Nassif was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1969 and ordained for the Syrian Catholic patriarchal eparchy in 1992. After ordination he served in various roles including: principal of the school of Charfet, Lebanon; vice-pastor in two parishes; and, most recently, as rector of the Patriarchal Major Seminary of Charfet. He speaks French, English, and Italian.
Yesterday, 6 January, the Holy Father appointed:
Bishop Luiz Gonzaga Fechio as Bishop of Amparo (area 2,084, population 381,500, Catholics 314,000, priests 53, permanent deacons 1, religious 123), Brazil. Bishop Fechio was previously auxiliary of Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Bishop Juarez Sousa da Silva as Coadjutor Bishop of Parnaiba (area 20,839, population 623,000, Catholics 514,000, priests 48, religious 69), Brazil. Bishop da Silva was previously bishop of the Diocese of Oeiras, Brazil and apostolic administrator of Sao Raimundo Nonato, Brazil

05-01-2016 - Year XXVI - Num. 2 

The Holy Father visits Greccio
Vatican City, 5 January 2016 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon the deputy director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Ciro Benedettini C.P., reported on the Holy Father's visit to the Franciscan shrine of Greccio, Italy.
In the late morning the Pope travelled by car to Rieti, where he met privately with the bishop Domenico Pompili. In the afternoon, accompanied by the bishop, he left for the shrine of Greccio, arriving shortly before 3 p.m. He greeted a group of young participants in the diocesan meeting “Giovani Greccio 2016”.
Upon arrival at the shrine he was welcomed by the Franciscan friars, and paused to pray before the fresco depicting the first creche realised in Greccio by St. Francis of Assisi. He then greeted the Franciscan community and, at 3.30 p.m., departed by car for Rome.
Vatican City, 5 January 2016 (VIS) – Tomorrow, Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord and a holiday in Vatican City, the Vatican Information Service bulletin will not be transmitted. Service will resume on Thursday 7 January.

#PopeFrancis "Serving our neighbour, our brother, our sister in need..." at #Homily in #Vatican

Pope Francis celebrating Mass in the Santa Marta residence. - OSS_ROM
Pope Francis celebrating Mass in the Santa Marta residence. - OSS_ROM
07/01/2016 14:25
The cue for the Pope’s homily came from the first letter of John where the Apostle writes of remaining in the Lord. The Pope explained that a Christian is somebody who remains in God, who has the Holy Spirit and who is guided by Him.  Noting that John warned against Antichrists, Pope Francis said not every spirit is to be trusted and it's necessary to test them to see whether they are from God.  He said to do this we need to discern if we follow the spirit of God.  And this is the daily rule of life that John teaches us."
But what does it mean to "test the spirits," asked the Pope? It is not about "ghosts", it is about testing, to see "what happens in my heart", what is at the root "of what I'm feeling now, where does it come from? This is to test if "what I’m hearing comes from God" or comes from the other," from the Antichrist. 
Pope Francis went on to warn against worldliness, saying this is the spirit that distances us from the Spirit of God. He said we need to have a good discernment of what is happing in our soul and the Apostle John gives us that guideline.
"The criterion is the Incarnation. I can feel so many things inside, even good things, good ideas. But if these good ideas, these feelings, do not lead to God who became flesh, do not lead me to my neighbour, my brother, then they are not from God. For this reason, John begins this passage of his letter by saying: 'This is God's commandment that we should believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another.'"
We can, the Pope continued, have "many pastoral plans", imagine new "methods to get closer to the people", but "if we do not follow the path of God who became flesh, the path of the Son of God who became man to walk with us, we are not on the path of the good spirit: it is the Antichrist, it is worldliness, it is the spirit of the world."
"How many people seem spiritual: 'How spiritual that person is!' but they do not talk about doing works of mercy. Why? Because the works of mercy are the visible sign of our confession that the Son of God became flesh: visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, taking care of those who are abandoned... works of mercy: why? The reason is because each of our brothers, whom we must love, is the flesh of Christ.  God became flesh to identify with us. And those who suffer are one and the same as the suffering Christ."
Pope Francis went on to warn against believing every spirit, saying “you have to test to test the spirits to see whether they are from God." "Serving our neighbour, our brother, our sister in need", maybe "in need, also, of good advice, of a listening ear," "these are the signs that we are following the path of the good spirit, namely the path of the Word of God made flesh."
"Let us ask the Lord today, he concluded, for the grace to know exactly what happens in our hearts, our desires, if we are more open to the spirit of God, that brings me to the service of others, or to the spirit of the world that revolves around myself, my closed views, my selfishness, so many other things ... Let us ask for the grace to discern what happens in our hearts." 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Fri. January 8, 2016 -

Friday after Epiphany
Lectionary: 216

Reading 11 JN 5:5-13

Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is the one who came through water and Blood, Jesus Christ,
not by water alone, but by water and Blood.
The Spirit is the one who testifies,
and the Spirit is truth.
So there are three who testify,
the Spirit, the water, and the Blood,
and the three are of one accord.
If we accept human testimony,
the testimony of God is surely greater.
Now the testimony of God is this,
that he has testified on behalf of his Son.
Whoever believes in the Son of God
has this testimony within himself.
Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar
by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son.
And this is the testimony:
God gave us eternal life,
and this life is in his Son.
Whoever possesses the Son has life;
whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life.

I write these things to you so that you may know
that you have eternal life,
you who believe in the name of the Son of God.

Responsorial PsalmPS 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20

R. (12a) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
R. Alleluia.
Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
R. Alleluia.
He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
R. Alleluia.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaSEE MT 4:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 5:12-16

It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was;
and when he saw Jesus,
he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said,
“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
And the leprosy left him immediately.
Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but
“Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing
what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”
The report about him spread all the more,
and great crowds assembled to listen to him
and to be cured of their ailments,
but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.