Sunday, May 1, 2016
In 1283 Saint Philip, Prior General of the Friar Servants of Saint Mary, attempted to lead back to obedience to the Apostolic See the citizens of Forlì then under interdict. He was driven out of the city with insults and violence. While this true follower of Christ was praying for his persecutors, one of the crowd, an eighteen year old by the name of Peregrine of the famous Laziosi family, repented and humbly asked Philip for forgiveness. The holy Father received him with love. From that moment the young man began to scorn the vanities of the world and to pray most fervently to the Blessed Virgin, asking that she show him the way of salvation. A few years later, guided by the Virgin, he received the habit of Our Lady in the priory of Siena where he dedicated himself to her service. There, together with Blessed Francis of Siena, he committed himself totally to the Servite life.
St. PeregrineAfter some years he was sent back to Forlì where, because of his love for God and Our Lady, he gave himself to the recitation of psalms, hymns and prayers, and to meditation on the law of God. On fire with love for others, he lavished a wealth of charity on the poor. It is said that he miraculously multiplied grain and wine during a severe shortage in his area.
Above all else, he was outstanding in his love for penance; in tears, he would reflect on the errors which he thought he had made and would frequently confess to the priest. He afflicted his body with various forms of mortification: when tired he would support himself on a choir stall or a rock; when overcome by sleep, he preferred the bare earth to a bed. As a result of this type of life, at the age of sixty he suffered from varicose veins which degenerated into cancer of the right leg. St. PeregrineHis condition deteriorated to the point that a physician, Paolo Salazio, who visited him in the priory, decided, with the consent of all the friars, to amputate the leg as soon as possible. The night before the operation Peregrine dragged himself before the crucifix in the chapter room. There he became drowsy and seemed to see Jesus descend from the cross to heal his leg. The following day, the doctor arrived to perform the amputation but could find no sign of the cancer, or even of a wound. He was so shocked that he spread the news of the miracle throughout the town. This only increased the people’s veneration of Peregrine. The saint died of a fever about 1345 when he was almost eighty years old. An extraordinary number of people from the town and countryside honored him in death. Some of the sick who came were healed through his intercession.
His body rests in the Servite church of Forlì where it is greatly honored by the people. Pope Paul V declared him blessed in 1609 and Pope Benedict XIII canonized him in 1726.
Text shared from StPeregrine Org
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Fr. Daniel Berrigan, SJ, Peace Activist and Writer, Dies at Age 94
April 30, 2016 — Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan, a peace activist and writer, died on April 30 in New York City at the age of 94. He was a Jesuit for 76 years and a priest for 63 years.
An acclaimed poet who for decades famously challenged U.S. Catholics to reject war and nuclear weapons, he wrote more than 50 books on Scripture, spirituality and resistance to war. Jesuit Father James Martin described him as “one of the great Catholics of our time, a champion of social justice and tireless promoter of peace.”
Fr. Berrigan was best known for his dramatic acts of civil disobedience against the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons. He burned draft files with homemade napalm and later hammered on nuclear weapons to enact the Isaiah prophecy to “beat swords into plowshares.” His actions challenged Americans and Catholics to reexamine their relationship with the state and reject militarism. He constantly asked himself and others: What does the Gospel demand of us?Fr. Berrigan was born on May 9, 1921, in Virginia, Minnesota, the fifth of six boys, and grew up on a farm near Syracuse, New York.
At age 18, Fr. Berrigan entered the Society of Jesus with a close childhood friend after receiving a brochure about the Jesuits’ rigorous training program. At the time, he knew no Jesuits. It was “an act of faith on both sides,” he later wrote. “Not a bad arrangement.”
During his first teaching assignment, at St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey, in the late 1940s, Fr. Berrigan brought students across the Hudson to introduce them to the Catholic Worker. They often attended the “clarification of thought” meetings on Friday evenings, when speakers addressed topics of importance to the young Catholic movement. There he met Dorothy Day.
“Dorothy Day taught me more than all the theologians,” Fr. Berrigan told The Nation in 2008. “She awakened me to connections I had not thought of or been instructed in — the equation of human misery and poverty with warmaking. She had a basic hope that God created the world with enough for everyone, but there was not enough for everyone and warmaking.”
After being ordained a priest on June 19, 1952, Fr. Berrigan went to France for a year of studies and ministry, the final stage of Jesuit formation, and was influenced by the Worker Priest movement. Fr. Berrigan professed final vows on the Feast of the Assumption in 1956.
Fr. Berrigan taught French and philosophy at Brooklyn Preparatory School from 1954 to 1957, won the prestigious Lamont Poetry Prize in 1957 for his first book of poetry, “Time Without Number” and then taught New Testament at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York.
In 1963, Fr. Berrigan embarked on a year of travel, spending time in France, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rome, South Africa and the Soviet Union. He encountered despair among French Jesuits related to the situation of Indochina, as the United States ramped up military involvement in Vietnam.
Fr. Berrigan returned home in 1964 convinced that the war in Vietnam “could only grow worse.” So he began, he later wrote, “as loudly as I could, to say ‘no’ to the war…. There would be simply no turning back.”
He co-founded the Catholic Peace Fellowship and the interfaith group Clergy and Laity Concerned about Vietnam, whose leaders included Martin Luther King Jr., Richard John Neuhaus and Abraham Joshua Heschel.
A dramatic year of assassinations and protests that shook the conscience of America, 1968 also proved to be a watershed year for Fr. Berrigan. In February, he flew to Hanoi, North Vietnam, with the historian Howard Zinn and assisted in the release of three captured U.S. pilots. On their first night in Hanoi, they awoke to an air-raid siren and U.S. bombs and had to find shelter.
As the United States continued to escalate the war, Fr. Berrigan worried that conventional protests had little chance of influencing government policy. His brother, Philip, then a Josephite priest, had already taken a much greater risk: In October 1967, he broke into a draft board office in Baltimore and poured blood on the draft files.
Undeterred at the looming legal consequences, Philip planned another draft board action and invited his younger brother to join him. Daniel agreed.
On May 17, 1968, the Berrigan brothers joined seven other Catholic peace activists in Catonsville, Maryland, where they took several hundreds of draft files from the local draft board and set them on fire in a nearby parking lot, using homemade napalm.
Fr. Berrigan was tried and convicted for the action. When it came time for sentencing, however, he went underground and evaded the FBI for four months.
“I knew I would be apprehended eventually,” he told America in an interview in 2009, “but I wanted to draw attention for as long as possible to the Vietnam War and to Nixon’s ordering military action in Cambodia.”
The FBI finally apprehended him in August 1970. He spent 18 months in Danbury federal prison, during which he and Philip appeared on the cover of Time Magazine. He wrote of the incident and the trial in his play “.”The brothers, lifelong recidivists, were far from finished.
On Sept. 9, 1980, Daniel and Philip joined seven others in entering the General Electric missile plant in King of Prussia, Pa., where they hammered on an unarmed nuclear weapon — the first Plowshares action. They faced 10 years in prison for the action but were sentenced to time served.
In his courtroom testimony at the Plowshares trial, Fr. Berrigan described his daily confrontation with death as he accompanied the dying at St. Rose Cancer Home in New York City. He said the Plowshares action was connected with this ministry of facing death and struggling against it. In 1984, he began working at St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York City, where he ministered to men and women with HIV-AIDS.
Fr. Berrigan’s later years were devoted to Scripture study, writing, giving retreats, correspondence with friends and admirers, mentorship of young Jesuits and peace activists, and being an uncle to two generations of Berrigans. He published several biblical commentaries that blended scholarship with pastoral reflection and poetic wit.
From 1976 to 2012, Fr. Berrigan was a member of the West Side Jesuit Community, later the Thompson Street Jesuit Community, in New York City. During those years, he helped lead the Kairos Community, a group of friends and activists dedicated to Scripture study and nonviolent direct action.
Even as an octogenarian, Fr. Berrigan continued to protest, turning his attention to the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the prison in Guantánamo Bay and the Occupy Wall Street movement. Friends remember Fr. Berrigan as courageous and creative in love, a person of integrity who was willing to pay the price, a beacon of hope and a sensitive and caring friend. [Source: America magazine]
Shared from the Jesuits of America Website
The only tools he had were a saw, a hammer, a T-square. When the staircase was completed, the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. The Loretto Sisters ran an advertisement in a local newspaper in search for the man but found no trace of him. But Mother Magdalen and her community of Sisters and students knew that the stairway was Saint Joseph’s answer to their fervent prayers. Many think that the humble carpenter was Saint Joseph himself. According to the annals of Mother Magdalen, the construction of the Chapel was placed under the special patronage of St. Joseph "in whose honor we communicated every Wednesday, that he might assist us." Then she adds, "Of his powerful help we have been witnesses on several occasions." At the time of sale in 1971, Our Lady of Light Chapel was deconsecrated as a Catholic Chapel. Fortunately, however, there was such an outcry from the people of Santa Fe, that the Chapel with the miraculous stairs was preserved as a national monument.
POPE Francis Message to Orthodox for Easter
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent his greetings to the faithful of the Eastern Churches who are celebrating Holy Easter on Sunday, May 1 according to the Julian calendar.
Speaking to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Regina Coeli prayer he said: “May the Risen Lord bring to our brothers of the Eastern Churches all the gifts of His light and His peace. Christos anesti!” Earlier, in a tweet launched through his @Pontifex account, the Pope said “I address a cordial greeting to the faithful of the Eastern Churches who are celebrating Holy Pascha today. Χριστὸς ἀνέστη!”
Meanwhile during negotiations in Minsk, on the occasion of the Eastern Orthodox Easter, it was agreed that Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists were to observe a comprehensive cease-fire in the south-east of Ukraine where the festivity is observed both by the Orthodox and by Greek Catholics. The armistice was supposed to go into effect at midnight Saturday, but according to Ukrainian government sources a soldier was killed and several wounded on Sunday in the country’s east in what appears to be a violation of the armistice.
In a message, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, urged the faithful to bear witness to the love of their neighbors amid the atrocities of the contemporary world which, he said, is torn by terrorism, wars and suffering.
The Orthodox Metropolitan of Italy and Malta, Gennasius, also issued an appeal “to purify one's heart” to be able “to fully feel the presence of the Risen One”, while the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Irinej, sent a message asking the faithful to forgive, “not to judge others” and “not to be afraid of the world in spite of worldly ideologies, disunity, hatred and violence.”
#PopeFrancis "“May the risen Lord bear his gifts of light and peace to all." #ReginaCoeli FULL Video - Text
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday reiterated his plea for peace in Syria appealing to all parties involved in the conflict to respect the cessation of hostilities and commit to dialogue. Speaking after the Regina Coeli prayer in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope said he is deeply pained by the dramatic news of the spiral of violence in Syria which, he said, “continues to aggravate the already desperate humanitarian situation in the country”. He referred in particular to the situation in the city of Aleppo which continues to “claim innocent victims, even amongst children, sick people and those who, at the cost of great sacrifice, are bringing aid to those in need”. And Francis had words of encouragement for an Italian association that fights all forms of abuse against minors: “This is a tragedy! We must not tolerate the abuse of minors! We must defend minors and severely punish those who abuse them” he said, thanking the “Associazione Meter” for its dedicated work. And marking May 1st, International Labour Day, the Pope also mentioned an International Conference which opens on Monday in Rome on the theme: “Sustainable Development and the most Vulnerable Forms of Work” which takes place within the context of the Jubilee of Mercy. “I hope – he said – that the event will sensitize the authorities, political and economic institutions and civil society in order to promote a model of development that will safeguard human dignity within full respect for labour and environmental legislation”. Pope Francis also had a special greeting to “our brothers of the Eastern Churches who are celebrating Easter.” “May the risen Lord – he said – bear his gifts of light and peace to all. Christos anesti!”
APRIL 23: HOW IT STARTED The herdsmen were believed to have hatched the plot to attack Ukpabi-Nimbo, last weekend,and notified the natives. The development triggered tension in the community. The herdsmen, it was learnt, were bent on taking over portions of the vast fertile land in the community for cattle grazing, a stance the community opposed. The herdsmen allegedly told the natives that their kinsman, Muhammadu Buhari, is the President and so, they takeover land wherever they wanted to graze their cattle at the expense of the host community. The herdsmen, it was learnt, assembled about 500 other herdsmen to launch the attack. It was gathered that the herdsmen in a neighbouring town had imported the 500 others from Nasarawa State to help them invade Ukpabi-Nimbo on the grounds that some of their cattle were missing.
The herdsmen were alleged to have consistently raped,maimed and killed victims from the communities situated on the Nsukka-Adani-Umulokpa expressroad in the council area. Those kidnapped allegedly paid ransoms ranging from N500,000 to about N5 million before they regained their freedom.
APRIL 25: BLACK MONDAY At about 5.15 am, the assailants struck,casualty figure immediately stood at 40,while six more bodies were recovered the following day. The affected villages of Nimbo Ngwoko, Ugwuijoro, Ekwuru, Ebor, Enugu Nimbo, Umuome and Ugwuachara became deserted as blood littered everywhere. Christ Holy Catholic Church, Odozi-Obodo, at Onu-Eke, Nimbo and 11 houses were razed even as 14 victims are lying in critical conditions at Royal Cross Hospital, Nsukka, Nsukka District General Hospital and Bishop Shanahan Hospital, Nsukka.
A member, Board of Governors, Civil Liberty Organization, CLO, told Sunday Vanguard that the killings are targeted at the South-East, the South-West, and the South-South geopolitical zones to reduce the Christian population. It is a grand plan to Islamize Nigeria. The pertinent question is that since when have herdsmen begun to rear cattle with guns? Who bought the guns for them and taught them how to use the guns. Why has Buhari not condemned or commiserated with Benue and Enugu State people over the killings?"
The traditional ruler of Ukpabi-Nimbo, Igwe John Akor, who said:
"The killing,raping,kidnapping of my subjects have come to a head. There is no week that passes that we do not experience kidnapping and killing by herdsmen. It has got out of hand. It was a black Monday. We have been doing our best to have peace with the herdsmen but to no avail. We have called several meetings with those of them from Kogi State,Adani and Enugu. We are appealing to the federal, state and local with governments to come to our aid by giving us adequate security presence. Again,our vast fertile land is what they take advantage of. They harass our people and kill insisting that they own the land and their cattle must graze there. They hold our men at gun point in their farmland and rape their wives,destroy the farms and livestock. Our people have not be going to farm for the past eight months because they are scared not to fall victim to the herdsmen's siege.The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, expressed outrage over the Ukpabi-Nimbo attack. The CAN leader maintained that it would be wrong "for our people to fold their hands and watch helplessly while our women are being raped, our men are being killed and our ancestral land is being taken away." While calling for investigation of security agencies in the state, he announced one-day of mourning to commiserate with all those who lost their lives in the attack. "In honour of those whose lives were snuffed away by these herdsmen, CAN declares one-day of mourning.
Within this period, we ask our people to pray fervently and ask God to take control", he added.Edited from All Africa