Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Saint April 14 : St. Lydwine of Schiedam - Patron of Ice #Skaters and #Chronically Ill

Born at Schiedam, Holland, 18 April 1380;
Died 14 April, 1433.
Patronof sickness; chronically ill, ice skaters, town of Schiedam
Her father, Peter by name, came of a noble family while her mother Petronella, born at Kethel, Holland, was a poor country girl. Both were poor. Very early in her life St. Lidwina was drawn towards the Mother of God and prayed a great deal before the miraculous image of Our Lady of Schiedam. During the winter of the year of 1395, Lidwina went skating with her friends, one of whom caused her to fall upon some ice with such violence that she broke a rib in her right side. This was the beginning of her martyrdom. No medical skill availed to cure her. Gangrene appeared in the wound caused by the fall and spread over her entire body. For years she lay in pain which seemed to increase constantly. Some looked on her with suspicion, as being under the influence of the evil spirit. Her pastor, Andries, brought her an unconsecrated host, but the saint distinguished it at once. But God rewarded her with a wonderful gift of prayer and also with visions. Numerous miracles took place at her bed-side. The celebrated preacher and seer, Wermbold of Roskoop, visited her after previously beholding her in spirit. The pious Arnold of Schoonhoven treated her as a friend. Hendrik Mande wrote for her consolation a pious tract in Dutch. When Joannes Busch brought this to her, he asked her what she thought of Hendrik Mande's visions, and she answered that they came from God. In a vision she was shown a rose-bush with the words, "When this shall be in bloom, your suffering will be at an end." In the spring of the year 1433, she exclaimed, "I see the rose-bush in full bloom!" From her fifteenth to her fifty-third year, she suffered every imaginable pain; she was one sore from head to foot and was greatly emaciated. On the morning of Easter-day, 1433, she was in deep contemplation and beheld, in a vision, Christ coming towards her to administer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction. She died in the odour of great sanctity. At once her grave became a place of pilgrimage, and as early as 1434 a chapel was built over it. Joannes Brugmann and Thomas à Kempis related the history of her life, and veneration of her on the part of the people increased unceasingly. In 1615 her relics were conveyed to Brussels, but in 1871 they were returned to Schiedam. On 14 March, 1890, Leo XIII put the official sanction of the Church upon that veneration which had existed for centuries.
Shared From The Catholic Encyclopedia

Anthem Lights sings Breathtaking Hymns in #VIRALVideo with over 2 Millions views - SHARE

Anthem Lights sings a Breathtaking mix of “How Great Thou Art,” “It Is Well,” and “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”— It has been viewed over 2 Million times...SHARE this Beautiful Hymn to God!

#BreakingNews Elderly Woman Whipped publicly for selling Alcohol in #Indonesia

Aceh, elderly Christian woman publically whipped for selling alcohol

The woman, 60, was caught breaking Islamic law in Aceh also now also regulates the life of non-Muslims. She is the first Christian to be punished under sharia, with 30 lashes. Two others accused of adultery given 100 lashes.

Banda Aceh (AsiaNews) – A Christian woman of 60 years of age has been publically flogged in Aceh for selling alcohol despite a ban under Sharia law.  The woman received 30 lashes  in front of about 1,000 people in Takengon, Aceh, the province with special status in the north of Sumatra and only place Indonesia where Islamic law is enforced. A couple caught in adultery was punished alongside the woman, with 100 lashes.

Aceh Central Government official, Lili Suparli, says that this "is the first time that a citizen outside the Muslim community has been punished for breaking the rules contained in the Koran". Sharia, in fact, was only applicable to Muslims, however a law which came into force last year under which in certain situations it can also regulate the work of non-Muslims.
Aceh province began to apply a stricter version of Islamic law (shari'a) in 2005, following a peace agreement between Jakarta and the Islamic separatist group Free Aceh Movement (GAM). Among the toughest laws are public clubbing for those who have sex with men, gamblers, the alcohol drinkers and those who meet with women outside of wedlock. Many  in Aceh oppose greater restrictions, especially with regards to women wearing jeans and tight skirts , travelling astride motorcycles, ordancing in public because they "stir desire" and a ban on St. Valentines Day.
SHARED from AsiaNewsIT

#PopeFrancis "...the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces" #Audience FULL TEXT/Video

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
We heard the Gospel of the calling of Matthew. Matthew was a “publican,” namely a tax collector for the Roman Empire and, therefore, considered a public sinner. However, Jesus called him to follow Him and to become His disciple. Matthew accepted, and invited Him to dine in his home together with the disciples. Then a discussion arose between the Pharisees and Jesus’ disciples because the latter shared the table with publicans and sinners. “But you can’t go to these people’s house,” they said Jesus, in fact, does not move away from them, rather He frequents their homes and sits by them. This means that they also can become His disciples. Likewise, it is true that to be Christians does not make us sinless. Like the publican Matthew, each one of us entrusts himself to the Lord’s grace despite our sins. We are all sinners; we have all sinned. By calling Matthew, Jesus shows sinners that He does not look at their past, at their social condition, at external conventions, but rather opens a new future to them. Once I heard a good saying: “There is no saint without a past and there is no sinner without a future.” This is what Jesus does. There is no saint without a past or sinner without a future. Suffice it to respond to the invitation with a humble and sincere heart. The Church is not a community of the perfect, but of disciples on the way, who follow the Lord because they recognize themselves sinners and in need of His forgiveness. Therefore, the Christian life is a school of humility that is open to grace.
Such behavior is not understood by one with the presumption of believing himself “just” and better than others. Arrogance and pride do not enable one to recognize oneself in need of salvation; instead, they impede seeing the merciful face of God and of acting with mercy. They are a wall. Arrogance and pride are a wall, which impedes a relationship with God. Yet, Jesus’ mission is precisely this: to come in search of each one of us, to heal our wounds and call us to follow Him with love. He said it clearly: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (v. 12). Jesus presents Himself as a good doctor! He proclaims the Kingdom of God, and the signs of His coming are evident: He heals sicknesses, frees from fear, from death and from the devil. Before Jesus, no sinner is excluded — no sinner is excluded! — because God’s healing power knows not infirmities that cannot be cured; and this must give us confidence and open our heart to the Lord so that He will come and heal us. Calling sinners to His table, He heals them, re-establishing them in the vocation they thought was lost and that the Pharisees had forgotten: that of guests at the banquet of God. According to Isaiah’s prophecy: “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wine on the lees well refined. And he will destroy on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death for ever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken’ (25:6-9).
If the Pharisees see only sinners in the guests and refuse to sit with them, Jesus on the contrary reminds them that they are also God’s table companions. So, to sit at table with Jesus means to be transformed and saved by Him. Jesus’ table is twofold in the Christian community: there is the table of the Word and there is the table of the Eucharist (cf. Dei Verbum, 21). These are the medicines with which the Divine Doctor heals and nourishes us. With the first – the Word – He reveals Himself and invites us to a dialogue between friends. Jesus was not afraid to dialogue with sinners, publicans, prostitutes. No, he was not afraid; He loved all! His Word penetrates us and, as a scalpel, operates in depth to free us from the evil that nests in our life. Sometimes this Word is painful, because it cuts into hypocrisies, unmasks false excuses, exposes the hidden truth but, at the same time, it illumines and purifies, gives strength and hope, is a precious re-constituent of our journey of faith. For its part, the Eucharist nourishes us with the very life of Jesus and, as a very powerful medicine continually renews the grace of our Baptism in a mysterious way. By approaching the Eucharist, we nourish ourselves with the Body and Blood of Jesus, though, coming into us, it is Jesus that unites us to His Body!
Concluding the dialogue with the Pharisees, Jesus reminds them of a word of the prophet Hosea (6:6): “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Matthew9:13). Addressing the people of Israel, the prophet reproves them because the prayers they raised were empty and incoherent words. Despite God’s covenant and mercy, the people often lived with a “facade” religiosity, without living profoundly the Lord’s command. See why the prophet insisted: “I desire mercy,” that is, the loyalty of a heart that recognizes its sins, that repents and turns to be faithful to the covenant with God. “And not sacrifice”: every religious action is ineffectual without a repentant heart! Jesus applies this prophetic phrase also to human relations: the Pharisees were very religious in the form, but they were not willing to share the table with publicans and sinners; they did not acknowledge the possibility of repentance and hence of healing; they did not put mercy in the first place: though being faithful custodians of the Law, they showed they did not know God’s heart! It is as if you were given a parcel with a gift inside and you, instead of looking for the gift, look only at the paper in which it is wrapped: only the appearances, the form, and not the kernel of grace, the gift that is being given!
Dear brothers and sisters, we are all invited to the table of the Lord. Let us make our own the invitation to sit by Him together with His disciples. Let us learn to look with mercy and to recognize in every one of them a table companion of ours. We are all disciples in need of experiencing and living the consoling word of Jesus. We are all in need of nourishing ourselves of God’s mercy, because it is from this source that our salvation flows. Thank you!
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
In Italian
I give a cordial welcome to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I am happy to receive the faithful of the diocese of Mileto-Nicotera-Tropea and of Teggino-Policastro, accompanied by the Pastors, Monsignor Renzo and Monsignor De Luca; the Deacons of the Archdiocese of Milan and the Sacramentine Sisters of Bergamo. I greet the Arch-Confraternities of Mercy of Italy with the Bishop of Prato, Monsignor Agostinelli; the faithful of Mazara del Vallo, with Monsignor Mogavero; Trieste, Padula and Borgo Tossignano. I exhort you to live the Jubilee of Mercy with faith, to obtain the Jubilee Indulgence for yourselves, for your dear ones and for your deceased.
A special greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. May the paschal proclamation continue to make you live the astonishment of the disciples of Emmaus: dear young people, only the Lord Jesus is able to respond completely to the aspirations of happiness and goodness in your life; dear sick, there is no more beautiful consolation to your suffering than the certainty of Christ’s Resurrection; and you, dear newlyweds, live your marriage in concrete adherence to Christ and to the teachings of the Gospel.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
The Holy Father’s Appeal
Saturday, I will go to the Island of Lesbos, where many refugees have passed. I will go, together with my brothers the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, and the Archbishop of Athens and of All Greece, Hieronymos, to express our closeness and solidarity to the refugees and citizens of Lesbos and to all the Greek people so generous in their hospitality. I ask, please, that you accompany me with prayer, invoking the light and the strength of the Holy Spirit and the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. April 13, 2016

Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 275

Reading 1ACTS 8:1B-8

There broke out a severe persecution of the Church in Jerusalem,
and all were scattered
throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria,
except the Apostles.
Devout men buried Stephen and made a loud lament over him.
Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the Church;
entering house after house and dragging out men and women,
he handed them over for imprisonment.

Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
Thus Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Responsorial PsalmPS 66:1-3A, 4-5, 6-7A

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaSEE JN 6:40

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 6:35-40

Jesus said to the crowds,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
But I told you that although you have seen me,
you do not believe.
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”

Saint April 13 : Pope St. Martin I : #Martyr

Feast Day:April 11
Born:Todi, Tuscany, Italy
Died:655 at Cherson, Crimea
Martyr, born at Todi on the Tiber, son of Fabricius; elected Pope at Rome, 21 July, 649, to succeed Theodore I; died at Cherson in the present peninsulas of Krym, 16 Sept., 655, after a reign of 6 years, one month and twenty six days, having ordained eleven priests, five deacons and thirty-three bishops. 5 July is the date commonly given for his election, but 21 July (given by Lobkowitz, "Statistik der Papste" Freiburg, 1905) seems to correspond better with the date of his death and reign (Duchesne "Lib. Pont.", I, 336); his feast is on 12 November.The Greeks honor him on 13 April and 15 September, the Muscovites on 14 April. In the hymns of the Office the Greeks style him infallibilis fidei magister because he was the successor of St. Peter in the See of Rome (Nilles, "Calendarium Manuale", Innsbruck, 1896, I, 336).
Martin, one of the noblest figures in a long line of Roman pontiffs (Hodgkin, "Italy", VI, 268) was, according to his biographer Theodore (Mai, "Spicil. Rom.", IV 293) of noble birth, a great student, of commanding intelligence, of profound learning, and of great charity to the poor. Piazza, II  45 7 states that he belonged to the order of St. Basil. He governed the Church at a time when the leaders of the Monothelite heresy, supported by the emperor, were making most strenuous efforts to spread their tenets in the East and West. Pope Theodore had sent Martin as apocrysiary to Constantinople to make arrangements for canonical deposition of the heretical patriarch, Pyrrhus. After his election, Martin had himself consecrated without waiting for the imperial confirmation, and soon called a council in the Lateran at which one hundred and five bishops met. Five sessions were held on 5, 8, 17, 119 and 31 Oct., 649 (Hefele, "Conciliengeschichte", III, 190). The "Ecthesis" of Heraclius and the "Typus" of Constans II were rejected; nominal excommunication was passed against Sergius, Pyrrus, and Paul of Constantinople, Cyrus of Alexandria and Theodore of Phran in Arabia; twenty canons were enacted defining the Catholic doctrine on the two wills of Christ. The decrees signed by the pope and the assembled bishops were sent to the other bishops and the faithful of the world together with an encyclical of Martin. The Acts with a Greek translation were also sent to the Emperor Constans II.
The pope appointed John, Bishop of Philadelphia, as his vicar in the East with necessary instructions and full authority . Bishop Paul of Thessalonica refused to recall his heretical letters previously sent to Rome and added others,—he was, therefore, formally excommunicated and deposed. The Patriarch of Constantinople, Paul, had urged the emperor to use drastic means to force the pope and the Western Bishops at least to subscribe to the "Typus". The emperor sent Olympius as exarch to Italy, where he arrived while the council was still in session. Olympius tried to create a faction among the fathers to favor the views of the emperor, but without success. Then upon pretense of reconciliation he wished to receive Holy Communion from the hands of the pontiff with the intention of slaying him. But Divine Providence protected the pope, and Olympius left Rome to fight against the Saracens in Sicily and died there. Constans II thwarted in his plans, sent as exarch Theodore Calliopas with orders to bring Martin to Constantinople. Calliopas arrived in Rome, 15 June, 653, and, entering the Lateran Basilica two days later, informed the clergy that Martin had been deposed as an unworthy intruder, that he must be brought to Constantinople and that another was to be chosen in his place. The pope, wishing to avoid the shedding of human blood, forbade resistance and declared himself willing to be brought before the emperor. The saintly prisoner, accompanied by only a few attendants, and suffering much from bodily ailments and privations, arrived at Constantinople on 17 Sept., 653 or 654, having landed nowhere except the island of Naxos. The letters of the pope seem to indicate he was kept at Naxos for a year. Jaffe, n. 1608, and Ewald, n 2079, consider the annum fecimus an interpolation and would allow only a very short stop at Naxos, which granted the pope an opportunity to enjoy a bath. Duchesne, "Lib. Pont.", I, 336 can see no reason for abandoning the original account; Hefele,"Conciliengeschichte" III, 212, held the same view (see "Zeitschr. für Kath. Theol.", 1892, XVI, 375).
From Abydos messengers were sent to the imperial city to announce the arrival of the prisoner who was branded as a heretic and rebel, an enemy of God and of the State. Upon his arrival in Constantinople Martin was left for several hours on deck exposed to the jests and insults of a curious crowd of spectators. Towards evening he was brought to a prison called Prandearia and kept in close and cruel confinement for ninety-three days, suffering from hunger, cold and thirst. All this did not break his energy and on 19 December he was brought before the assembled senate where the imperial treasurer acted as judge. Various political charges were made, but the true and only charge was the pope's refusal to sign the "Typus". He was then carried to an open space in full view of the emperor and of a large crowd of people. These were asked to pass anathema upon the pope to which but few responded. Numberless indignities were heaped upon him, he was stripped of nearly all his clothing, loaded with chains, dragged through the streets of the city and then again thrown into the prison of Diomede, where he remained for eighty five days. Perhaps influenced by the death of Paul, Patriarch of Constantinople, Constans did not sentence the pope to death, but to exile. He was put on board a ship, 26 March, 654 (655) and arrived at his destination on 15 May. Cherson was at the time suffering from a great famine. The venerable pontiff here passed the remaining days of his life. He was buried in the church of Our Lady, called Blachernæ, near Cherson, and many miracles are related as wrought by St Martin in life and after death. The greater part of his relics are said to have been transferred to Rome, where they repose in the church of San Martino ai Monti. Of his letters seventeen are extant in P.L., LXXXVII, 119.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)