Sunday, March 6, 2016

Saint March 7 : St. Perpetua and St. Felicity : Patron of #Mothers, #Expectant Mothers


Feast Day:March 7
Died:7 March 202 or 203, Carthage, Roman Province of Africa
Patron of:Mothers, Expectant Mothers
Martyrs, suffered at Carthage, 7 March 203, together with three companions, Revocatus, Saturus, and Saturninus. The details of the martyrdom of these five confessors in the North African Church have reached us through a genuine, contemporary description, one of the most affecting accounts of the glorious warfare of Christian martyrdom in ancient times. By a rescript of Septimus Severus (193-211) all imperial subjects were forbidden under severe penalties to become Christians. In consequence of this decree, five catechumens at Carthage were seized and cast into prison, viz. Vibia Perpetua, a young married lady of noble birth; the slave Felicitas, and her fellow-slave Revocatus, also Saturninus and Secundulus. Soon one Saturus, who deliberately declared himself a Christian before the judge, was also incarcerated. Perpetua's father was a pagan; her mother, however, and two brothers were Christians, one being still a catechumen; a third brother, the child Dinocrates, had died a pagan.
After their arrest, and before they were led away to prison, the five catechumens were baptized. The sufferings of the prison life, the attempts of Perpetua's father to induce her to apostatize, the vicissitudes of the martyrs before their execution, the visions of Saturus and Perpetua in their dungeons, were all faithfully committed to writing by the last two. Shortly after the death of the martyrs a zealous Christian added to this document an account of their execution. The darkness of their prison and the oppressive atmosphere seemed frightful to Perpetua, whose terror was increased by anxiety for her young child. Two deacons succeeded, by sufficiently bribing the jailer, in gaining admittance to the imprisoned Christians and alleviated somewhat their sufferings. Perpetua's mother also, and her brother, yet a catechumen, visited them. Her mother brought in her arms to Perpetua her little son, whom she was permitted to nurse and retain in prison with her. A vision, in which she saw herself ascending a ladder leading to green meadows, where a flock of sheep was browsing, assured her of her approaching martyrdom.
A few days later Perpetua's father, hearing a rumour that the trial of the imprisoned Christians would soon take place, again visited their dungeon and besought her by everything dear to her not to put this disgrace on her name; but Perpetua remained steadfast to her Faith. The next day the trial of the six confessors took place, before the Procurator Hilarianus. All six resolutely confessed their Christian Faith. Perpetua's father, carrying her child in his arms, approached her again and attempted, for the last time, to induce her to apostatize; the procurator also remonstrated with her but in vain. She refused to sacrifice to the gods for the safety of the emperor. The procurator thereupon had the father removed by force, on which occasion he was struck with a whip. The Christians were then condemned to be torn to pieces by wild beasts, for which they gave thanks to God. In a vision Perpetua saw her brother Dinocrates, who had did at the early age of seven, at first seeming to be sorrowful and in pain, but shortly thereafter happy and healthy. Another apparition, in which she saw herself fighting with a savage Ethiopian, whom she conquered, made it clear to her that she would not have to do battle with wild beasts but with the Devil. Saturus, who also wrote down his visions, saw himself and Perpetua transported by four angels, towards the East to a beautiful garden, where they met four other North African Christians who had suffered martyrdom during the same persecution, viz. Jocundus, Saturninus, Artaius, and Quintus. He also saw in this vision Bishop Optatus of Carthage and the priest Aspasius, who prayed the martyrs to arrange a reconciliation between them. In the meanwhile the birthday festival of the Emperor Geta approached, on which occasion the condemned Christians were to fight with wild beasts in the military games; they were therefore transferred to the prison in the camp. The jailer Pudens had learnt to respect the confessors, and he permitted other Christians to visit them. Perpetua's father was also admitted and made another fruitless attempt to pervert her.
Secundulus, one of the confessors, died in prison. Felicitas, who at the time of her incarceration was with child (in the eighth month), was apprehensive that she would not be permitted to suffer martyrdom at the same time as the others, since the law forbade the execution of pregnant women. Happily, two days before the games she gave birth to a daughter, who was adopted by a Christian woman. On 7 March, the five confessors were led into the amphitheatre. At the demand of the pagan mob they were first scourged; then a boar, a bear, and a leopard, were set at the men, and a wild cow at the women. Wounded by the wild animals, they gave each other the kiss of peace and were then put to the sword. Their bodies were interred at Carthage. Their feast day was solemnly commemorated even outside Africa. Thus under 7 March the names of Felicitas and Perpetua are entered in the Philocalian calendar, i.e. the calendar of martyrs venerated publicly in the fourth century at Rome. A magnificent basilica was afterwards erected over their tomb, the Basilica Majorum; that the tomb was indeed in this basilica has lately been proved by Pere Delattre, who discovered there an ancient inscription bearing the names of the martyrs.
The feast of these saints is still celebrated on 7 March. The Latin description of their martyrdom was discovered by Holstenius and published by Poussines. Chapters iii-x contain the narrative and the visions of Perpetua; chapters xi-ciii the vision of Saturus; chapters i, ii and xiv-xxi were written by an eyewitness soon after the death of the martyrs. In 1890 Rendel Harris discovered a similar narrative written in Greek, which he published in collaboration with Seth K. Gifford (London, 1890). Several historians maintain that this Greek text is the original, others that both the Greek and the Latin texts are contemporary; but there is no doubt that the Latin text is the original and that the Greek is merely a translation. That Tertullian is the author of these Acts is an unproved assertion. The statement that these martyrs were all or in part Montanists also lacks proof; at least there is no intimations of it in the Acts.

#BreakingNews RIP Nancy Reagan wife of President Ronald Reagan dies at age 94

Nancy Davis Reagan has died today March 6, 2016 at the age of 94 from a heart attack. She was born Anne Frances Robbins, July 6, 1921. Nancy was an actress and the wife US President Ronald Reagan. She was the First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Born in New York City. Nancy Davis, she was a Hollywood actress in the 1940s and 1950s, starring in films such as The Next Voice You Hear. In 1952, she married Ronald Reagan and had two children together; Ron Reagan, Patti Davis (pictured below right). Nancy also helped raise Ronald's daughter from his first marriage and adopted son Michael. She took care of former President Reagan who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1994, until his death at the age of 93. Her parents were Kenneth Seymour Robbins (1894–1972) and Edith Luckett (1888–1987). She was Presbyterian. May she Rest in Peace...Please Pray.

Wow Life After #Death Experience by Priest who saw Heaven, Hell and Purgatory with his Angel - SHARE

Father Jose Maniyangat, is the associate pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Orange Park, Fla., anoints a parishioner. Father Maniyangat survived a motorcycle crash in 1985. Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida. He is also the diocesan spiritual director for the Legion of Mary. He leads a Eucharistic and charismatic healing ministry in which he leads healing missions in parishes in the United States and throughout the world; which is approved by his Bishop.
Here is his testimony:
 I was born on July 16, 1949 in Kerala, India to my parents, Joseph and Theresa Maniyangat. I am the eldest of seven children: Jose, Mary, Theresa, Lissama, Zachariah, Valsa and Tom. At the age of fourteen, I entered St. Mary’s minor seminary in Thiruvalla to begin my studies for the priesthood. Four years later I went to St. Joseph’s Pontifical Major Seminary in Alwaye, Kerala to continue my priestly formation. After completing the seven years of Philosophy and Theology I was ordained a priest on January 1, 1975 to serve as a missionary at the Diocese of Thiruvalla. Charismatic Renewal movement and began conducting charismatic retreats and conferences in Kerala.

 On Sunday April 14, 1985, the Feast of the Divine Mercy, I was going to celebrate Mass at a mission church in the north part of Kerala, and I had a fatal accident. I was riding a motorcycle when I was hit head-on by a jeep driven by a man who was intoxicated after a Hindu festival. I was rushed to a hospital about 35 miles away.
On the way my soul came out from my body and I experienced death. Immediately I met my Guardian angel. I saw my body and the people who were carrying me to the hospital. I heard them crying and praying for me.
 At this time my angel told me: “I am going to take you to Heaven, the Lord wants to meet you and talk with you”. He also said that on the way he wanted to show me hell and purgatory. First, the angel escorted me to hell. It was an awful sight! I saw Satan and the devils, an unquenchable fire of about 2,000 Fahrenheit degrees, worms crawling, people screaming and fighting, others being tortured by demons. The angel told me that all these sufferings were due to unrepented mortal sins. Then, I understood that there are seven degrees of suffering or levels according to the number and kinds of mortal sins committed in their earthly lives. The souls looked very ugly, cruel and horrific. It was a fearful experience. I saw people whom I knew but I am not allowed to reveal their identities. The sins that convicted them were mainly abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, hatefulness, unforgiveness and sacrilege.
 The angel told me that if they had repented they would have avoided hell and gone instead to purgatory. I also understood that some people who repent from these sins might be purified on earth through their sufferings. This way they can avoid purgatory and go straight to heaven. I was surprised when I saw in hell even Priests and Bishops, some of whom I never expected to see.
Many of them were there because they had misled the people with false teaching and bad example. After the visit to hell, my Guardian angel escorted me to Purgatory. Here too, there are seven degrees of suffering and unquenchable fire. But it is far less intense than hell and there was neither quarreling nor fighting. The main suffering of these souls is their separation from God.
 Some of those who are in Purgatory committed numerous mortal sins; but they were reconciled with God before their death. Even though these souls are suffering, they enjoy peace and the knowledge that one day they will see God face to face. I had a chance to communicate with the souls in Purgatory.
They asked me to pray for them and to tell the people to pray for them as well, so they can go to heaven quickly. When we pray for these souls we will receive their gratitude through their prayers and once they enter heaven their prayers become even more meritorious. It is difficult for me to describe how beautiful my Guardian angel is. He is radiant and bright. He is my constant companion and helps me in all my ministries, especially my healing ministry. I experience his presence everywhere I go and I am grateful for his protection in my daily life.
 Next, my angel escorted me to heaven passing through a big dazzling white tunnel. I never experienced this much peace and joy in my life. Then immediately the heaven opened up and I heard the most delightful music, which I never heard before. The angels were singing and praising God. I saw all the saints, especially the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, and many dedicated holy Bishops and Priests who were shining like stars. And when I appeared before the Lord, Jesus told me: “I want you to go back to the world. In your second life you will be an instrument of peace and healing to my people. You will walk in a foreign land and you will speak in a foreign tongue. Everything is possible for you with my grace”. After these words, the Blessed Mother told me: “Do whatever He tells you. I will help you in your ministries”. Words can not express the beauty of heaven. There we find so much peace and happiness, which exceed a million times our imagination. Our Lord is far more beautiful than any image can convey. His face is radiant and luminous and more beautiful than a thousand rising suns. The pictures we see in the world are only a shadow of His magnificence. The Blessed Mother was next to Jesus; she was so beautiful and radiant. None of the images we see in this world can compare with her real beauty. Heaven is our real home, we are all created to reach heaven and enjoy God forever. Then, I came back to the world with my angel. While my body was at the hospital, the doctor completed all examinations and I was pronounced dead. The cause of death was bleeding. My family was notified and since they were far away, the hospital staff decided to move my dead body to the morgue. Because the hospital did not have air conditioners they were concerned that the body would decompose quickly. As they were moving my dead body to the morgue, my soul came back to the body. I felt an excruciating pain because of so many wounds and broken bones. I began to scream and then the people became frightened and ran away screaming. One of them approached the doctor and said: “the dead body is screaming”. The doctor came to examine the body and found that I was alive. So he said: “Father is alive, it is a miracle, take him back to the hospital”. Now, back at the hospital, they gave me blood transfusions and I was taken to surgery to repair the broken bones. They worked on my lower jaw, ribs, pelvic bone, wrists, and right leg. After two months, I was released from the hospital, but my orthopedic doctor said that I would never walk again. I then said to him: “ the Lord who gave me my life back and sent me back to the world will heal me”. Once at home we were all praying for a miracle. Still after a month and with the casts removed I was not able to move. But one day while praying I felt an extraordinary pain in my pelvic area. After a short while the pain disappeared completely and I heard a voice saying: “You are healed. Get up and walk”. I felt the peace and healing power on my body. I immediately got up and walked. I praised and thanked God for the miracle. I reached my doctor with the news of my healing and he was amazed. He said: “your God is the true God. I must follow your God”. The doctor was Hindu and he asked me to teach him about our Church. After studying the faith, I baptized him and he became Catholic. Following the message from my Guardian angel, I came to the United States on November 10, 1986 as a missionary Priest. First, I worked in the Diocese of Boise, Idaho from 1987 to 1989 and then became the Director of Prison Ministry in the Diocese of Orlando, Florida from 1989 to 1992. In 1992, I came to the Diocese of St. Augustine where I was first assigned to St. Matthew's Parish in Jacksonville for two years. I was then appointed Parochial Vicar of Assumption Church from 1994 to 1999. In 1997 I was incardinated as a permanent member of the Diocese. Since June 1999, I have been pastor of St. Mary's Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Macclenny, Florida. I also serve as the Catholic Chaplain for Florida State Prison in Starke, Union Correctional Institution in Raiford and Northeast Florida State Hospital in Macclenny. I am also the Diocesan Spiritual Director of the Legion of Mary. On the first Saturday of each month I conduct an Eucharistic and charismatic-healing ministry in my Parish, St. Mary Mother of Mercy. People come from all over the diocese, many parts of Florida and even from out of the state. I have been invited to conduct the healing ministry in other major cities of the United States including: New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, San Jose, Dallas, Chicago, Birmingham, Denver, Boise, Idaho Falls, Ontario, Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Poolsville; and many other countries: Ireland, Spain, Czech Republic, India, France, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Italy, Canada, Mexico, Cayman Island, Hawaiian Islands. Through this Eucharistic-healing ministry I have seen many people healed physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. People with various illnesses such as: cancer, AIDs, arthritis, heart conditions, eye problems, emphysema, asthma, back pains, bad hearing and many others have been healed completely. In addition, several times during the year I conduct a special healing service for the healing of the family tree, in which the effects from ancestral sins are blocked and the person receives complete healing. Scripture says that the effects from family sins can linger around for three to five generations (Exodus Chapter 34 verse 7). So, in many cases we need generational healing. Doctors and medicines do not help to heal certain sicknesses caused by our family tree. During the Healing ministry, many people rest in the spirit before the Blessed Sacrament and some experience renewal of the soul and healing of the body. Edited from Free Republic

Free Catholic Movie : Mary of #Nazareth - Watch Full Film

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RIP Joey Feek Country Music singer dies of Cancer at age 40 with deep Faith in Jesus....

Rory Feek wrote on his Blog :
My wife’s greatest dream came true today. She is in Heaven. At 2:30 this afternoon, as we were gathered around her, holding hands and praying.. my precious bride breathed her last. And a moment later took her first breath on the other side. 
Joey Feek  the country music singer, with deep faith, died at age 40 on March 4. She was diagnosed with cancer in May 2014, just after giving birth to her daughter, Indiana.She received treatments including chemotherapy and radiation, that ended the cancer before it returned again. Last October, Joey she to stop treatment. Joey entered hospice care in Alexandria, Indiana. Joey married Rory on June 15, 2002, and helped raise his twodaughters from a previous marriage, Heidi and Hopie.  The couple became a musical duo in 2008, as "Joey + Rory". Rory has been chronicling his wife's illness and deep faith in Jesus on his popular Blog.

#PopeFrancis "..Merciful Father who, in Jesus, loves us beyond all measure..." #Angelus - FULL TEXT - Video


Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
In Chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel, we find three parables of mercy: that of the sheep (vv. 4-7), that of the coin found (vv. 8-10), and the great parable of the prodigal son, or rather, the merciful father (vv. 11-32). Today, it would do us well for each of us to open the Gospel, this Chapter 15 of Luke, and read the three parables. Inside the Lenten itinerary, the Gospel presents to us this last parable of the merciful Father, featuring a father with his two sons. The story makes us understand some features of this father as a man always ready to forgive and to hope against hope. It affects primarily his tolerance before the younger son’s decision to leave home: he could resist, knowing that he is still immature, a young boy, or seek some lawyer to not give him his inheritance, still being alive. Instead, he allows him to leave, having predicted some possible risks. God works with us like this: He lets us be free, even to make mistakes, because in creating us, He has given us the great gift of freedom. It is for us to put it to good use. This gift of freedom that God gives us always amazes me!
But the separation from his son is only physical; for his father always carries him in his heart; confidently, he awaits his return; he scans the road in the hope of seeing him. And one day he sees him appear in the distance (cf. v. 20). But this means that this father, every day, climbed on the roof to see if his son came back! Then he is moved to see him, he runs toward him, embraces him, kisses him. How much tenderness! And this son had made big [errors]! But the father welcomes him so.
The same attitude the father also reserves for the eldest son, who has remained at home, and is now indignant and protests because he does not understand and does not share in all that goodwill toward his brother that had wronged. The father comes out also to meet this child and reminds him that they were always together, they share everything (v. 31), but you have to accept with joy your brother who has finally returned home. And this makes me think of something: When one feels they are a sinner, they feel like they are nothing, as I’ve heard someone say — many–: ‘Father, I am a little piece of dirt,’ and therefore, this is the moment to go to the Father. Instead, when one feels righteous– ‘I always did the right thing …’ —, equally, the Father comes to seek us, because this attitude of feeling righteous and ‘right,’ is evil: it is pride. It comes from the devil. The Father waits for those that recognize themselves sinners and goes to search those who feel themselves ‘right.’ This is our Father!
In this parable, you can also take a glimpse at a third child. A third child? ..Where? He’s hidden! And it is, ‘Who, though he was in the form of God,d
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave …’ This Son-Servant is Jesus!
He is ‘the extension of the arms and heart of the Father: He welcomed the prodigal Son and washed his dirty feet; He has prepared the feast for the feast of forgiveness. He, Jesus, teaches us to be “merciful as the Father.”
The figure of the Father in the parable reveals the heart of God. He is the Merciful Father who, in Jesus, loves us beyond all measure, always awaits our conversion every time we wrong; He awaits our return when we turn away from him thinking, we can do without Him; He is always willing to open up His arms no matter what happened. As the Father of the Gospel, God also continues to consider them His children, even when they are lost, and comes to us with tenderness when we return to Him. He speaks to us so kindly when we believe we are right. The errors we commit, even if large, do not scratch away the fidelity of his love. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we can always start out afresh: He welcomes us, gives us the dignity of being His children and tells us: “Go ahead! Be at peace! Get up, go ahead!”
In this stretch of Lent that still separates us from Easter, we are called to intensify the inner journey of conversion. Let us reach by loving gaze of our Father and return to Him with all your heart, rejecting any compromise with sin. May the Virgin Mary accompany us until the regenerating embrace with Divine Mercy.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]
After the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I express my closeness to the Missionaries of Charity for the great loss they had two days ago with the killing of four Sisters in Aden, Yemen, where they were assisting the elderly. I pray for them and for the other people killed in the attack, and for their family members. These are the martyrs of today! Not the covers of newspapers … [they] are not the news: [It is] they that give their blood for the Church. These people are victims of the attack of those who killed them and of indifference, of this globalization of indifference, which doesn’t care …May Mother Teresa, accompany her martyr daughters of charity in Heaven, and intercede for peace and sacred respect for human life.
As a concrete sign of commitment to peace and life, I want to mention and express admiration for a humanitarian initiative for refugees, launched recently in Italy. This pilot project, which combines solidarity and security, allows you to help people fleeing war and violence, as refugees have already moved to Italy, including sick children, disabled people, war widows with children, and the elderly. I also welcome this initiative because it is ecumenical, being supported by the Community of Sant’Egidio, the Italian Federation of Evangelical Churches, and the Waldensian and Methodist Churches.
I greet all of you pilgrims who have came from Italy and from many countries, in particular the faithful of the Catholic Mission of Hagen (Germany), as well as those of Timisoara (Romania), Valencia (Spain) and Denmark.
I greet the parish groups from Taranto, Avellino, Dobbiaco, Fane (Verona) and Rome; the boys of Milan, Almenno San Salvatore, Verdellino-Zingonia, Latimer, and the youth of Vigonovo; Schools “Don Carlo Costamagna” Busto Arsizio “Immaculate” Soresina; the prayer groups “Santa Maria degli Angeli and Hope”; the National Confederation of Alumni of Catholic Schools.
I ask, please, for your prayers for me and my staff, who from tonight until Friday, we will retreat.
I wish you all a good Sunday. Good lunch and goodbye!
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]