Monday, May 23, 2016

Saint May 24 : Our Lady Help of Christians : #HelpofChristians

May 24 is the Feast of Mary Help of Christians
The invocation Auxilium Christianorum (Help of Christians) originated in the sixteenth century. In 1576 Bernardino Cirillo, archpriest of Loreto, published at Macerreta two litanies of the Bl. Virgin, which, he contended, were used at Loreto: One a form which is entirely different from our present text, and another form ("Aliae litaniae B.M.V.") identical with the litany of Loreto, approved by Clement VIII in 1601, and now used throughout the entire Church. This second form contains the invocation Auxilium Christianorum. Possibly the warriors, who returning from Lepanto (7 Oct., 1571) visited the sanctuary of Loreto, saluted the Holy Virgin there for the first time with this new title; it is more probable, however, that it is only a variation of the older invocation Advocata Christianorum, found in a litany of 1524.
Torsellini (1597) and the Roman Breviary (24 May, Appendix) say that Pius V inserted the invocation in the litany of Loreto after the battle of Lepanto; but the form of the litany in which it is first found was unknown at Rome at the time of Pius V (see LITANY OF LORETO; Schuetz, "Gesch. des Rosenkranzgebets", Paderborn, 1909, 243 sq.). The feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, was instituted by Pius VII. By order of Napoleon, Pius VII was arrested, 5 July, 1808, and detained a prisoner for three years at Savona, and then at Fontainebleau.
In January, 1814, after the battle of Leipzig, he was brought back to Savona and set free, 17 March, on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, the Patroness of Savona. The journey to Rome was a veritable triumphal march. The pontiff, attributing the victory of the Church after so much agony and distress to the Blessed Virgin, visited many of her sanctuaries on the way and crowned her images (e.g. the "Madonna del Monte" at Cesena, "della Misericordia" at Treja, "della Colonne" and "della Tempestà" at Tolentino). The people crowded the streets to catch a glimpse of the venerable pontiff who had so bravely withstood the threats of Napoleon. He entered Rome, 24 May, 1814, and was enthusiastically welcomed (McCaffrey, "History of the Catholic Church in the Nineteenth Cent.", 1909, I, 52). To commemorate his own sufferings and those of the Church during his exile he extended the feast of the Seven Dolours of Mary (third Sunday in September) to the universal Church, 18 Sept., 1814. When Napoleon left Elba and returned to Paris, Murat was about to march through the Papal States from Naples; Pius VII fled to Savona (22 March, 1815), where he crowned the image of Our Lady of Mercy, 10 May, 1815. After the Congress of Vienna and the battle of Waterloo he returned to Rome, 7 July, 1815. To give thanks to God and Our Lady he (15 Sept., 1815) instituted for the Papal States the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, to be celebrated, 24 May, the anniversary of his first return.
The Dioceses of Tuscany adopted it, 12 Feb., 1816; it has spread nearly over the entire Latin Church, but is not contained in the universal calendar. The hymns of the Office were composed by Brandimarte (Chevalier, "Repert. Hymnolog.", II, 495). This feast is the patronal feast of Australasia, a double of the first class with an octave (Ordo Australasiae, 1888), and in accordance with a vow (1891) is celebrated with great splendour in the churches of the Fathers of the Foreign Missions of Paris. It has attained special celebrity since St. Don Bosco, founder of the Salesian Congregation, 9 June, 1868, dedicated to Our Lady, Help of Christians, the mother church of his congregation at Turin. The Salesian Fathers have carried the devotion to their numerous establishments.

VIRAL #Chewbacca Mask Lady Shares True Story Faith in Jesus is a reason to SHARE her Joy

 Candace Payne, made a Facebook video on May 19 VIRAL Facebook video (with over 130 Million Views- see it Below) about buying a Chewbacca Star Wars mask at a store and trying on inside her car in the parking lot.  This mom of two has done stand-up comedy. She said in an interview with the Christian Examiner that her joy  – from her faith in Jesus Christ. "As far as the joy aspect, it is much deeper than the Chewbacca mask," Payne said. "It was fun watching it go viral and fun watching people get some joy out of it, too," but at the core of real joy is faith. Payne, a worship leader since age 14, sings, plays the guitar and writes music. She and her husband of 15 years met in church and found their "love story" there and have volunteered in student ministry together since then. They worship with their two children at a church southwest of Dallas. "We have a heart for our local church and just being obedient to God in the way we raise our kids and love our friends," Payne said. She has also been told by others they have struggled with depression and anxiety and been uplifted by the video.  "It really is about thanking God for every single thing we have. When you have a heart that is grateful, we laugh more." Paraphrasing, Payne reference John 10:10: "10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and [a]have it abundantly. (NASB)" People often confuse joy with laughter, Payne said, but joy doesn't mean that. Indeed, "you will cry more; feel and hunger for thing passionately (when you have faith in Christ); you will experience joy at a fuller level you will ever think possible." "Joy will radiate that faith," Payne said, just like when inside the mask, she was radiating faith "from Jesus who promises me I will have a fuller life." "When people see that they are attracted to Jesus and His fullness and everybody loves that, every loves that," she repeated. Payne introduced the video, which has gained tens of thousand of viewers every hour since, with the message, "It's the simple joys in life ...." Edited from the Christian Examiner

Saint May 23 : St. Jeanne Antide Thouret : #Foundress of Sisters of Divine Charity

Jeanne Antide Thouret was born on the 27th November 1765 at Sancy-le-Long in the Diocese of Besançon, in the Doubs area of France.  Jeanne was the fifth child of eight children.  Her mother died when Jeanne was 15, leaving her to care for her father and siblings.
Jeanne wanted to join a community that combined prayer with community living and ministry to the poor.  In 1787, at the age of 22, Jeanne entered the congregation of the Daughters of Charity, hoping to live a life of prayer, community life and service to the poor.
During the suppression of religious orders in the French Revolution in 1793, all Religious orders were banned and their members dispersed throughout the country.  Jeanne was ordered home to a secular life.  She refused, and tried to escape the authorities.  She was captured and beaten so badly that it took her months to recover from her injuries.  This did not deter Jeanne from continuing her work as a Daughter of Charity, namely caring for the sick, the poor and those wounded during the Revolution.
They urged Jeanne to return to France and to take in young women and train them in caring for the sick and educating children.
Jeanne accepted the request and was able to return to France in 1799 where she opened a school, a dispensary, and a soup kitchen for the poor in Besançon.
With this small group of helpers, Jeanne founded a new Congregation of the Sisters of Charity to maintain and develop these works.
In 1810, Jeanne Antide was called to Naples.  There, together with a group of sisters, she was faced with a very hierarchical social system where the wealthy never encountered to poor.  Jeanne Antide was given the responsibility of the Hospital of the Incurable, the largest hospital in the city, with the sisters often visiting the poor and sick in their homes.
In 1819, the Pope approved the Rule of Life, a book she wrote as a guide for the women who followed her.  In fact, the Rule of Life is still used today by the Sisters of Charity of St. Jeanne Antide. Jeanne Antide died in Naples in 1826.  In 1934, Pope Pius XI declared her a Saint.

Jeanne Antide writes...

"Let us love Jesus Christ,let us love Him to the end of our livesand we will be sureto possess Him forever in heaven."
"I would cross the oceans,
I would go to any part of the world,if I knew this to be the will of God."
"To touch the poor
to know, love and serve Godis to do in partwhat the Saviour of the worldcame to do on earth,to bring about the Kingdom of God." 
The Sisters of Charity of St.  Jeanne Antide Thouret embrace the CORE GOSPEL VALUES of love, prayer, and service. 
CHARISMA"In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me" (Matthew: 25,40).
Love God and serve him in the poor person.
Prayer and the apostolate are the two faces of only one truth to live: Charity.
The sisters focus their energy and resources in service to the poor. They are attentive to the needs of the poor, becoming personally involved in their lives and serving them with respect and dignity.
The Sisters take four vows: poverty, celibacy, obedience, and service to the poor.
Biography from

#Quote to SHARE by St. Josemaria Escriva "Love our Lady, and she will obtain abundant grace to help you Conquer in your daily struggle"

St. Josemaria Escriva "Love our Lady, and she will obtain abundant grace to help you Conquer in your daily struggle"

#BreakingNews 7000 at 1st #ProLife March in Croatia #MarchforLife with Thousands!

The civil society group "Walk for Life" on Saturday morning organised an anti-abortion gathering in downtown Zagreb, with around 7,000 participants advocating dignity for human beings from conception to death, while in a nearby square a counter-gathering was held, with some 400 pro-choice activists. Anti-abortion activists set out from the city's King Tomislav Square to the central Ban Josip Jelacic Square, and were met with catcalls and drumming while passing by Josip Juraj Strossmeyer Square, where pro-choice activists gathered. At one moment, there was pushing and shoving between the two groups but no major incidents were reported.
Carrying red, blue and white balloons, participants in the anti-abortion protest gathered in King Tomislav Square, where a bus was parked, with singers singing on it. The protest, held under the slogan "For life, the family and Croatia", is the first "national march for life." The pro-life marchers said their peaceful march was aimed at underlining the dignity and value of each human life from conception to natural death, and the fact that a human being is of the greatest value for the family and Croatia. Addressing the pro-life marchers in the central city square, the event's coordinator, Hajdi Begovic, said that it was a sad fact that as many as 75% of women who opt for abortion do so for economic reasons, while 30% of women who return to work after maternity leave receive a lower salary and 20% cannot return to their job.
 "We in Croatia are a good society, we show solidarity with our elderly and with young people, we care about one another and do not want anyone to persuade us that it is not so. I think this is the beginning of something beautiful. What is Croatia without Croats?," she said. The "Walk for Life" initiative consists of the associations "Choose Life", SKAC, "In the name of the family", Vigilare, the Heart of Jesus prayer group, the Neocatechumenal Way, God's Victory, families and individuals. The "Walk for Life" rally was supported, among others, by Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic's wife Sanja.
The newly-established civil society group "Defend the right to choice" said they wanted to warn about media spins by neoconservative activist groups that were aimed at restricting women's right to a safe, medically assisted termination of pregnancy.
The pro-choice protesters displayed banners reading "Only a secular state can guarantee equality" and "No going back to illegal abortion". The rally was addressed by representatives of the Women's Network Croatia, the Platform 112 civil society association, the Kontra lesbian group, the Welcome initiative, and Zagreb Pride. The coordinator of the civil society group "Defend the right to choice", Bojana Genov, said that they gathered under the message that the right to control one's own reproductive role must stay protected.
"We are against those who want to ban abortion and who under the pretext of care for the family attack the family because it denies them the autonomy and possibility of making a decision without outside interference. The existing law (regulating medically assisted termination of pregnancy), which has been in force for decades, is a very good and modern law and should be protected," Genov said. She said that care should also be taken of women who, in case abortion was banned, would be exposed to unprofessional medical interventions that might result in death. Natasa Bajagic of the Civil Initiative Centre said that data on the number of cases of pregnancy termination was being manipulated because the number of abortions was five times lower than in the early 1990s. "In 2015, there were 2,992 abortions," she said.
The pro-choice rally was joined by former Labour Minister Mirando Mrsic, who said that no government could strip women of the right to choice and reproductive health. He recalled that some doctors quoted conscientious objection as the reason not to perform an abortion, but that the role of healthcare professionals was to provide all women with full medical care. According to police estimates, around 7,000 people attended the pro-life rally, while the pro-choice rally drew around 400 people. (Text and Photo Shared from About Croatia -

#PopeFrancis “The Christian identity card is joy, the Gospel’s joy..." #Homily

Pope Francis giving his Homily at Mass at Santa Marta in the Vatican 23 May 2016 - OSS_ROM
Pope Francis giving his Homily at Mass at Santa Marta in the Vatican 23 May 2016 - OSS_ROM
23/05/2016 13:06
(Vatican Radio)  No Christian can exist without joy: that’s what Pope Francis said in his Homily at Mass Monday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta guesthouse.  The Pope stressed that even through life’s difficulties, the Christian knows he can trust in Jesus and find hope.  The Pope also reminded the faithful they should not allow riches to dominate their lives because they ultimately lead to sadness. 
Listen to our report:
Christians live in joy and amazement because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Commenting on the First Letter of St. Peter the Apostle, Francis pointed out that, even if we are plagued by trials, we can never lose the joy of knowing that God “regenerated us in Christ and gave us hope".
The identity card of the Christian is the joy of the Gospel
He noted that we can go towards that “hope” which "the early Christians depicted as an anchor in heaven."  We too, can “ take the rope and go up there," to "that hope" that brings joy:
"A Christian is a man, or a woman, of joy: a man and a woman with joy in their heart. There is no Christian without joy!”  You may be told that there are many such Christians, the Pope warned, but  “they are not Christians! They say they are, but they are not! They are missing something.”
“The Christian identity card is joy, the Gospel’s joy, the joy of having been chosen by Jesus, saved by Jesus, regenerated by Jesus; the joy of that hope that Jesus is waiting for us, the joy that - even with the crosses and sufferings we bear in this life - is expressed in another way, which is peace in the certainty that Jesus accompanies us, is with us. "
"The Christian,” he added,   “grows in joy through trusting in God. God always remembers his covenant." And in turn, "the Christian knows that God remembers him, that God loves him , that God accompanies him, that God is waiting for him. And this is joy."
Slavery to riches is an evil which leads to sadness
Turning to the day’s Gospel story regarding Jesus’s encounter with the wealthy man, the Pope observed the young man “was not able to open his heart to joy [and] chose sadness," "for he had many possessions."
"He was shackled  to his belongings! Jesus told us that one cannot serve two masters: either one must serve God or serve riches. Riches are not bad in themselves, but slavery to wealth – this, is wickedness. The poor young man went away sad ... 'He frowned and he went away sorrowful'. When in our parishes, in our communities, in our institutions we find people who say they are Christians and want to be Christian but are sad, something is wrong there. And we must help them to find Jesus, to take away that sadness, so that they may rejoice in the gospel, can have this joy which is truly of the Gospel. "
"Joy and amazement:" that’s what the Christian feels when faced with God’s revelation and love, and “the emotions stirred by the Holy Spirit,” Pope Francis added.   And here, the Pope recalled Jesus’s disappointment  when he told the Apostles that the young man could not follow him, because he was too attached to his riches.  And when the Apostles asked the Lord, ‘who then, can be saved?’  The Lord answered, "Impossible for men," "but not for God."
Christian joy, then, and the ability to “be saved from worldly attachments” can “only come through the power of God, with the strength of the Holy Spirit."
Concluding, Pope Francis prayed that the Lord “graces us with amazement in his presence, in the presence of the many spiritual treasures he has given us; and with this amazement, may he give us joy, the joy of our lives - and of having our hearts at peace even when faced with many difficulties.  And may he protect us from seeking happiness in so many things that ultimately sadden us:  they promise much, but they will not give us anything! Remember well: a Christian is a man, and  a woman, of joy, joy in the Lord; a man and a woman of wonder ."

It's Mary's Month -- Properly Representing Devotion to Our Lady

May is the month of Our Lady, a month devoted to honoring the Mother of God. But, I suppose one would have to assent to belief in God before finding any necessity in honoring the women chosen from all time to be His mother.
Well, maybe assent to belief in God is not enough either. A majority of Christian's do not see any value in honoring Mary or venerating those dead who have been deemed by the Church to have lived lives worthy of canonization -- our Communion of Saints. Yet, all ofthem as Christians assent to belief in Jesus as their Lord and Savior and to heaven where their departed loved ones will dwell in life everlasting.  In other words, they are alive in heaven where Mary is, in a special and profound way, as the Mother of God, assumed body and soul (cf. CCC 971).

What's a Catholic to do about this issue?

I mean, Mary, our first tabernacle, deserves to be honored for the role she played in Salvation History and her continuing intercession for her children striving for heaven here on earth. And, how do we share this truth in a way that can be properly understood by all Christians?

Let's start here. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this about Our Lady:

The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by his grace. It was fitting that the mother of him in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" should herself be "full of grace." She was, by sheer grace, conceived without sin as the most humble of creatures, the most capable of welcoming the inexpressible gift of the Almighty. It was quite correct for the angel Gabriel to greet her as the "Daughter of Zion": "Rejoice." It is the thanksgiving of the whole People of God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle lifts up to the Father in the Holy Spirit while carrying within her the eternal Son (CCC 722).
She, the one whose "fiat" would make her the Mother of God (Theotokos) was prepared by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Her name was changed, "Hail, favored one" (Luke 1:28) which in all of Salvation History means that a covenant was formed between God and Mary in her fiat. This also means that God chose from all women throughout time the one that would best serve to be the "Vessel of Singular Devotion" to carry His Son, and bring about the Incarnation of the Word. She became the opposing force to the disobedience of Eve, or the "New Eve"; again not only does her role in human history change, but also her name.

St. Irenaeus proclaimed this truth in the 2nd century:

For just as [Eve] was led astray by the word of an angel, so that she fled from God when she had transgressed His word; so did [Mary], by an angelic communication, receive the glad tidings that she should sustain God, being obedient to His word. And if the former did disobey God, yet the latter was persuaded to be obedient to God, in order that the Virgin Mary might become the patroness of the virgin Eve.
And thus, as the human race fell into bondage to death by means of a virgin, so is it rescued by a virgin; virginal disobedience having been balanced in the opposite scale by virginal obedience. (Against Heresies, V.19.1, A.D. 180)
Close your eyes and consider Mary visited by the Angel Gabriel. She was young, betrothed to be married, and suddenly an enormous task of love was presented to her. A plan that would change her life and ours forever. Without being prepared for this express purpose, would you have said yes? Mary was Immaculately Conceived to prepare her for this precise moment; free from original sin, and all sin, she is able to offer the perfect vessel, and the perfect DNA to bring forth Jesus, the God-Man.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church offers us this:

The eyes of faith can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysterious reasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin. These reasons touch both on the person of Christ and his redemptive mission, and on the welcome Mary gave that mission on behalf of all men (CCC 502).

Not any woman could do this. Not at all -- chosen from all time, from all women, to bring forth the gift of restoration of mankind through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of her Son, Jesus Christ.

Assent to Marian doctrine, is part of proper worship of God -- the worship God deserves in justice. To honor His Mother is to tell Jesus that you believe in Him and the miracles, both large and small, that Trinity work in our lives.Mary helps us to grow in our right relationship to the Holy Trinity:

"All generations will call me blessed": "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship." The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration" (CCC 971)

Mary was the first Holy Communion, carrying the Body and Blood of Our Lord within her. This is her month. Ask Mary, who is closer than any human being to Our Lord to send you the grace of faith and devotion. She's alive in heaven as a result of her Son's sacrifice. She's waiting to hear from you and to send you forth on a mission to bring people closer to Christ Jesus -- to help them to assent to understanding the Communion of Saints, but the teachings of the Church established by her Son.

O, Mary conceived without sin; pray for us who have recourse to you.

By: Kathy Vestermark, US Correspondent of Catholic News World, Professor at CDU and Homeschooling Mother of 6