Friday, April 1, 2016

Saint April 2 : St. Mary of Egypt : #Hermitess



Information:
Born probably about 344; died about 421. At the early age of twelve Mary left her home and came to Alexandria, where for upwards of seventeen years she led a life of public prostitution. At the end of that time, on the occasion of a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, she embarked for Palestine, not however with the intention of making the pilgrimage, but in the hope that life on board ship would afford her new and abundant opportunities of gratifying an insatiable lust. Arrived in Jerusalem she persisted in her shameless life, and on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross joined the crowds towards the church where the sacred relic was venerated, hoping to meet in the gathering some new victims whom she might allure into sin. And now came the turning-point in her career. When she reached the church door, she suddenly felt herself repelled by some secret force, and having vainly attempted three or four times to enter, she retired to a corner of the churchyard, and was struck with remorse for her wicked life, which she recognized as the cause of her exclusion from the church. Bursting into bitter tears and beating her breast, she began to bewail her sins. Just then her eyes fell upon a statue of the Blessed Virgin above the spot where she was standing, and in deep faith and humility of heart she besought Our Lady for help, and permission to enter the church and venerate the sacred wood on which Jesus had suffered, promising that if her request were granted, she would then renounce forever the world and its ways, and forthwith depart whithersoever Our Lady might lead her. Encouraged by prayer and counting on the mercy of the Mother of God, she once more approached the door of the church, and this time succeeded in entering without the slightest difficulty. Having adored the Holy Cross and kissed the pavement of the church, she returned to Our Lady's statue, and while praying there for guidance as to her future course, she seemed to hear a voice from afar telling her that if she crossed the Jordan, she would find rest. That same evening Mary reached the Jordan and received Holy Communion in a church dedicated to the Baptist, and the day following crossed the river and wandered eastward into the desert that stretches towards Arabia.
Here she had lived absolutely alone for forty-seven years, subsisting apparently on herbs, when a priest and monk, named Zosimus, who after the custom of his brethren had come out from his monastery to spend Lent in the desert, met her and learned from her own lips the strange and romantic story of her life. As soon as they met, she called Zosimus by his name and recognized him as a priest. After they had conversed and prayed together, she begged Zosimus to promise to meet her at the Jordan on Holy Thursday evening of the following year and bring with him the Blessed Sacrament. When the appointed evening arrived, Zosimus, we are told, put into a small chalice a portion of the undefiled Body and the precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (P.L. LXXIII, 686; "Mittens in modico calice intemerati corporis portionem et pretiosi sanguinis D.N.J.C." But the reference to both species is less clear in Acta SS., IX, 82: "Accipiens parvum poculum intemerati corporis ac venerandi sanguinis Christi Dei nostri"), and came to the spot that had been indicated. After some time Mary appeared on the eastern bank of the river, and having made the sign of the cross, walked upon the waters to the western side. Having received Holy Communion, she raised her hands towards heaven, and cried aloud in the words of Simeon: "Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace, because my eyes have seen thy salvation". She then charged Zosimus to come in the course of a year to the spot where he had first met her in the desert, adding that he would find her then in what condition God might ordain. He came, but only to find the poor saint's corpse, and written beside it on the ground a request that he should bury her, and a statement that she had died a year before, on the very night on which he had given her Holy Communion, far away by the Jordan's banks. Aided, we are told, by a lion, he prepared her grave and buried her, and having commended himself and the Church to her prayers, he returned to his monastery, where now for the first time he recounted the wondrous story of her life.
The saint's life was written not very long after her death by one who states that he learned the details from the monks of the monastery to which Zosimus had belonged. Many authorities mention St. Sophronius, who became Patriarch of Jerusalem in 635, as the author; but as the Bollandists give good reasons for believing that the Life was written before 500, we may conclude that it is from some other hand. The date of the saint is somewhat uncertain. The Bollandists place her death on 1 April, 421, while many other authorities put it a century later. The Greek Church celebrates her feast on 1 April, while the Roman Martyrology assigns it to 2 April, and the Roman Calendar to 3 April. The Greek date is more likely to be correct; the others may be due to the fact that on those days portions of her relics reached the West. Relics of the saint are venerated at Rome, Naples, Cremona, Antwerp, and some other places. Catholic Encyclopedia
Feast Day:April 2
Born:344, Egypt
Died:421, Trans-Jordan desert, Palestine
Patron of:Chastity; Demons (deliverance from); Fever; Skin diseases

How Long is Easter? 50 Days - Q and A about #Easter and #Pentecost


The Easter Vigil is the "Mother of All Vigils."Easter Sunday, then, is the greatest of all Sundays, and Easter Time is the most important of all liturgical times.Easter is the celebration of the Lord's resurrection from the dead, culminating in his Ascension to the Father and sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Church.There are 50 days of Easter from the first Sunday to Pentecost.It is characterized, above all, by the joy of glorified life and the victory over death, expressed most fully in the great resounding cry of the Christian:Alleluia! (IMAGE SHARE GOOGLE)
All faith flows from faith in the resurrection:"If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, is your faith." (1 Cor 15:14)
"What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind;…So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one. So, too, it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living being," the last Adam a life-giving spirit. But the spiritual was not first; rather the natural and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man, from heaven. As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly, and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one (1 Cor 15:36-37, 42-49).
Easter culminates in Pentecost, wherein the gift of the Spirit brings Christ's victory to the members of his Body, the Church.With the gift of the Spirit, we begin, already now, to share in Christ's rising from the dead.It is this faith which brings peace and hope to troubled hearts in a troubled world.The faith of Easter does not mean there will no longer be evils in this world, but rather that the evils of this world are no longer the final word.Suffering has not been removed, but filled with the presence of the Lord, who inspires hope, endurance and above all, love.
The octave of Easter comprises the eight days which stretch from the first to the second Sunday.It is a way of prolonging the joy of the initial day.In a sense, every day of the Octave is like a little Sunday.
The word "Easter" comes from Old English, meaning simply the "East."The sun which rises in the East, bringing light, warmth and hope, is a symbol for the Christian of the rising Christ, who is the true Light of the world.The Paschal Candle is a central symbol of this divine light, which is Christ.It is kept near the ambo throughout Easter Time, and lit for all liturgical celebrations.

Liturgical Notes for Easter

From Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar:
22. The fifty days from the Sunday of the Resurrection to Pentecost Sunday are celebrated in joy and exultation as one feast day, indeed as one "great Sunday." These are the days above all others in which the Alleluia is sung.
23. The Sundays of this time of year are considered to be Sundays of Easter and are called, after Easter Sunday itself, the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Sundays of Easter. This sacred period of fifty days concludes with Pentecost Sunday.
24. The first eight days of Easter Time constitute the Octave of Easter and are celebrated as Solemnities of the Lord.
25. On the fortieth day after Easter the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated, except where, not being observed as a Holyday of Obligation, it has been assigned to the Seventh Sunday of Easter (cf. no. 7).
26. The weekdays from the Ascension up to and including the Saturday before Pentecost prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
The liturgical color for Easter is white.  The General Instruction of the Roman Missal(no. 346) also states: "On more solemn days, festive, that is, more precious, sacred vestments may be used even if not of the color of the day. The colors gold or silver may be worn on more solemn occasions in the Dioceses of the United States of America."
Especially during Easter Time, instead of the customary Penitential Act, the blessing and sprinkling of water may take place as a reminder of Baptism.
There are six metropolitan sees and their suffragan Dioceses which maintain the Solemnity of the Ascension on Thursday:Boston, Hartford, Newark, New York, Omaha, and Philadelphia.Every other region of the United States has opted to transfer the Solemnity to the following Sunday (the Seventh Sunday of Easter). Source USCCB

Saint April 2 : St. Francis of Paola : Founder of the Order of #Minims



Feast Day:
April 2
Born:
1416 at Paola, Calabria, Italy
Died:
2 April 1507 at Plessis, France
Canonized:
1512 by Pope Julius II
Founder of the Order of Minims; b. in 1416, at Paula, in Calabria, Italy; d. 2 April, 1507, at Plessis, France. His parents were remarkable for the holiness of their lives. Remaining childless for some years after their marriage they had recourse to prayer, especially commending themselves to the intercession of St. Francis of Assisi. Three children were eventually born to them, eldest of whom was Francis. When still in the cradle he suffered from a swelling which endangered the sight of one of his eyes. His parents again had recourse to Francis of Assisi, and made a vow that their son should pass an entire year in the "little habit" of St Francis in one of the convents of his order, a not uncommon practice in the Middle Ages. The child was immediately cured. From his early years Francis showed signs of extraordinary sanctity, and at the age of thirteen, being admonished by a vision of a Franciscan friar, he entered a convent of the Franciscan Order in order to fulfil the vow made by his parents. Here he gave great edification by his love of prayer and mortification, his profound humility, and his prompt obedience. At the completion of the year he went with his parents on a pilgrimage to Assisi, Rome, and other places of devotion. Returning to Paula he selected a retired spot on his father's estate, and there lived in solitude; but later on he found a more retired dwelling in a cave on the sea coast. Here he remained alone for about six years giving himself to prayer and mortification. In 1435 two companions joined him in his retreat, and to accommodate them Francis caused three cells and a chapel to be built: in this way the new order was begun. The number of his disciples gradually increased, and about 1454, with the permission of Pyrrhus, Archbishop of Cosenza, Francis built a large monastery and church. The building of this monastery was the occasion of a great outburst of enthusiasm and devotion on the part of the people towards Francis: even the nobles carried stones and joined in the work. Their devotion was increased by the many miracles which the saint wrought in answer to their prayers. The rule of life adopted by Francis and his religious was one of extraordinary severity. They observed perpetual abstinence and lived in great poverty, but the distinguishing mark of the order was humility. They were to seek to live unknown and hidden from the world. To express this character which he would have his disciples cultivate, Francis eventually obtained from the Holy See that they should be styled Minims, the least of all religious. In 1474 Sixtus IV gave him permission to write a rule for his community, and to assume the title of Hermits of St. Francis: this rule was formally approved by Alexander VI, who, however, changed their title into that of Minims. After the approbation of the order, Francis founded several new monasteries in Calabria and Sicily. He also established convents of nuns, and a third order for people living in the world, after the example of St. Francis of Assisi. He had an extraordinary gift of prophecy: thus he foretold the capture of Otranto by the Turks in 1480, and its subsequent recovery by the King of Naples. Also he was gifted with discernment of consciences. He was no respecter of persons of whatever rank or position. He rebuked the King of Naples for his ill-doing and in consequence suffered much persecution. When Louis XI was in his last illness he sent an embassy to Calabria to beg the saint to visit him. Francis refused to come nor could he be prevailed upon until the pope ordered him to go. He then went to the king at Plessis-les-Tours and was with him at his death. Charles VIII, Louis's successor, much admired the saint and during his reign kept him near the court and frequently consulted him. This king built a monastery for Minims at Plessis and another at Rome on the Pincian Hill. The regard in which Charles VIII held the saint was shared by Louis XII, who succeeded to the throne in 1498. Francis was now anxious to return to Italy, but the king would not permit him, not wishing to lose his counsels and direction. The last three months of his life he spent in entire solitude, preparing for death. On Maundy Thursday he gathered his community around him and exhorted them especially to have mutual charity amongst themselves and to maintain the rigour of their life and in particular perpetual abstinence. The next day, Good Friday, he again called them together and gave them his last instructions and appointed a vicar-general. He then received the last sacraments and asked to have the Passion according to St. John read out to him, and whilst this was being read, his soul passed away. Leo X canonized him in 1519. In 1562 the Huguenots broke open his tomb and found his body incorrupt. They dragged it forth and burnt it, but some of the bones were preserved by the Catholics and enshrined in various churches of his order. The Order of Minims does not seem at any time to have been very extensive, but they had houses in many countries. The definitive rule was approved in 1506 by Julius II, who also approved a rule for the nuns of the order. The feast of St. Francis of Paula is kept by the universal Church on 2 April, the day on which he died. The Catholic Encyclopedia

#BreakingNews #ProLife Prime Minister of Poland hopes for Full Ban on Abortion


Prime Minister Beata Szydło has stated that she is in favour of a complete ban on abortion, following an appeal by church leaders.
Prime Minister Beata Szydło. Photo: Polish Radio/Wojciech KusińskiPrime Minister Beata Szydło. Photo: Polish Radio/Wojciech Kusiński
The prime minister told Polish Radio on Thursday that this is her personal opinion and not necessarily that of all members of conservative ruling party Law and Justice.
Besides the Polish Episcopate's appeal on Wednesday for complete prohibition, Poland's PRO Foundation (Fundacja Pro) is currently gathering signatures for a so-called citizen's bill, under the slogan 'Stop Abortion'.
At least 100,000 signatures are needed for the draft legislation to be submitted to parliament.
Szydło claimed that if the bill is taken up by parliament, she will not insist that other Law and Justice MPs vote in favour of a complete ban.
Each of us will be guided by our own conscience,” she noted.
Stringent laws
Poland currently has among the most stringent abortion laws in Europe.
Abortion is only permissible if a woman's life or health is jeopardised by the continuation of a pregnancy, if the pregnancy is a result of a criminal act such as rape, or if the foetus is seriously malformed. The abortion must be carried out within the first 25 weeks of the pregnancy.
Church's stance
In an open letter signed by the leaders of the Polish Episcopate on Wednesday, bishops described the current laws, which have been in force since 1993, as “a compromise.”
The bishops appealed to parliamentarians to back the new initiative, noting that this year sees the 1050th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland.
The life of every person is protected by the fifth of the Ten Commandments: 'Thou shalt not kill.'
Therefore, the position of Catholics in this regard is clear and unchanging.”
Source: IAR
Shared from TheNews.Pl

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday April 1, 2016 #1stFriday


Friday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 265


Reading 1ACTS 4:1-12

After the crippled man had been cured,
while Peter and John were still speaking to the people,
the priests, the captain of the temple guard,
and the Sadducees confronted them,
disturbed that they were teaching the people
and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.
They laid hands on Peter and John
and put them in custody until the next day,
since it was already evening.
But many of those who heard the word came to believe
and the number of men grew to about five thousand.

On the next day, their leaders, elders, and scribes
were assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest,
Caiaphas, John, Alexander,
and all who were of the high-priestly class.
They brought them into their presence and questioned them,
“By what power or by what name have you done this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them,
“Leaders of the people and elders:
If we are being examined today
about a good deed done to a cripple,
namely, by what means he was saved,
then all of you and all the people of Israel should know
that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean
whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead;
in his name this man stands before you healed.
He is the stone rejected by you, the builders,
which has become the cornerstone.

There is no salvation through anyone else,
nor is there any other name under heaven
given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 118:1-2 AND 4, 22-24, 25-27A

R. (22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.or:
R. Alleluia.
O LORD, grant salvation!
O LORD, grant prosperity!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
we bless you from the house of the LORD.
The LORD is God, and he has given us light.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaPS 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 21:1-14

Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,
Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We also will come with you.”
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
They answered him, “No.”
So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something.”
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat,
for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore,
they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore
full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.
Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?”
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.

#BreakingNews Collapse Kills 24 with 90 Injured and many Trapped - Please PRAY

More deaths and people still trapped under collapsed overpass in Calcutta



The collapse occurred in the Burrabazar area, full of shops, buildings and roads. The flyover was under construction since 2009. The construction company is suspected of having used cheap materials. A survivor worker reported seeing the bolts protruding from the metal beams.
Calcutta (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The death toll from the collapse of an overpass in one of the most crowded areas of Calcutta, West Bengal India has risen to 24 dead, 90 seriously injured and dozens of people still trapped under the rubble.
The incident occurred yesterday in the late afternoon, when a long portion of about 100 meters of a viaduct under construction since 2009 collapsed, burying cars, rickshaws and pedestrians. According to witnesses, at the edge of the construction yard makeshift huts had been built where several destitute families lived. The responsibilities are yet to be ascertained, but there are suspicions about the quality of the material used for the construction and the lack of adequate security certificates.
The collapse occurred in the Burrabazar in the Girish Park area, north of the city. The area is known as one of the most congested parts of Calcutta, crammed with shops, roads and houses.
Rescue teams, including 300 soldiers, firefighters and civil protection teams, have struggled to deliver cranes and rescue equipment and the operations continued throughout the night. The total number of people involved is still uncertain, given the difficulty of reaching the wounded still trapped under heavy concrete pillars and steel.

A worker pulled alive from the rubble said that he was working in the yard and before the collapse saw bolts protruding from the metal beams. "We were bracing two supporting beams - he said - but we could not control the weight of the cement".
Police in Calcutta has registered the case against the manufacturer, the IVRCL of Hyderabad, which has expressed its willingness to cooperate with investigators. Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the state, said that the authorities will take "severe action" against those responsible for the disaster.
In recent years there have been many similar incidents in India, due to inadequacy of the materials used. In November 2010, 69 people were buried in Delhi in a building collapse; in June 2014, the collapse of a building on the outskirts of Chennai claimed more than 60 victims; in April 2013 74 people were victims of another collapse in Mumbai; in July 2015 five people in Delhi were buried by the implosion of a four-storey building; a month later 11 other people died in Mumbai. Shared from AsiaNews

Vatican Radio Interviews CEO of EWTN on #MotherAngelica 's Death ‘a great witness and a missionary apostle,’

Mother Angelica with Saint  John Paul II  - RV
Mother Angelica with Saint John Paul II - RV
01/04/2016 12:


(Vatican Radio) A Requiem Mass for Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, PCPA – better known as Mother Angelica – will be celebrated Friday at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama, USA.
The Shrine is located on the grounds of the Monastery of Mother Angelica’s order, the Poor Clare Nuns of the Annunciation, which is also the home of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), founded by Mother Angelica.
The principle celebrant for the Mass will be the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, OFM Cap. Through a spokesperson, Archbishop Chaput described Mother Angelica as “a remarkable figure in the Church.”
Vatican Radio spoke with Michael Warsaw, chairman and CEO at EWTN, about the life and legacy of Mother Angelica. “I think there’s no question that Mother Angelica is the pioneer of Catholic communications here in the United States, and really around the world,” he said. “It was really Mother Angelica who, building on the legacy of Fulton Sheen, perhaps, of thirty years earlier, who really embraced new technologies, the use of then satellite and cable television, and then of course all the emerging platforms that would come in the years later. She used those really most effectively for the spread of the Gospel in a way that really the Church had not done before.”
Listen to  Michael Warsaw, chairman and CEO at EWTN interviewed by Chris Wells:
 
Warsaw described Mother Angelica as “one of the key and transformative figures of the Church” in the latter part of the twentieth century.
Born Rita Antoinette Rizzo in 1923, Mother Angelica entered the Poor Clare monastery in Cleveland in 1944, and made her solemn profession of vows 1953. She founded the EWTN corporation in 1981.
“I think it’s quite interesting, and quite an interesting part of her story, the fact that here is this cloistered, Poor Clare nun in Birmingham Alabama, who had no training, no background in media, was 58 years old, in terrible health, with two hundred dollars in the bank, her twelve nuns, and a garage,” Warsaw said. “And yet she persevered and pushed forward to build EWTN and to create this now global communications for the Church.”
When Mother Angelica began EWTN, Warsaw noted, “she faced a lot of opposition both from outside, but inside the Church, especially of people who said well, you know, this is not something that a nun can, or this is not something that a woman should be doing.” But, he said, “Mother Angelica took all of that in stride, and really pushed forward with her vision, what she believed God was calling her to do.” He quoted Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who described Mother Angelica as “arguably the most significant, most influential Catholic woman in the Church in America in the last fifty years.”
Vatican spokesman Jesuit  Father Federico Lombardi  has also commented on her passing away saying: “Mother Angelica was ‘a great witness and a missionary apostle,’  expressing the hope to  CNA on the 28th of March ‘that she prays for us more than we for her’.”