Monday, June 13, 2016

Saint June 14 : St. Methodius I of Constantinople : #Patriarch


Feast: June 14

Feast Day:
June 14
8th century at Syracuse
Patriarch of Constantinople (842-846), defender of images during the second Iconoclast persecution, b. at Syracuse, towards the end of the eighth century; d. at Constantinople, 14 June, 846. The son of a rich family, he came, as a young man, to Constantinople intending to obtain a place at Court. But a monk persuaded him to change his mind and he entered a monastery. Under the Emperor Leo V (the Armenian, 813-820) the Iconoclast persecution broke out for the second time. The monks were nearly all staunch defenders of the images; Methodius stood by his order and distinguished himself by his opposition to the Government. In 815 the Patriarch Nicephorus I (806-815) was deposed and banished for his resistance to the Iconoclast laws; in his place Theodotus I (815-821) was intruded. In the same year Methodius went to Rome, apparently sent by the deposed patriarch, to report the matter to the pope (Paschal I, 817-824). He stayed in Rome till Leo V was murdered in 820 and succeeded by Michael II (820-829). Hoping for better things from the new emperor, Methodius then went back to Constantinople bearing a letter in which the pope tried to persuade Michael to change the policy of the Government and restore the Patriarch Nicephorus. But Michael only increased the fierceness of the persecution. As soon as Methodius had delivered his letter and exhorted the emperor to act according to it, he was severely scourged (with 70 stripes), taken to the island Antigoni in the Propontis, and there imprisoned in a disused tomb. The tomb must be conceived as a building of a certain size; Methodius lived seven years in it. In 828 Michael II, not long before his death, mitigated the persecution and proclaimed a general amnesty. Profiting by this, Methodius came out of his prison and returned to Constantinople almost worn out by his privations. His spirit was unbroken and he took up the defence of the holy images as zealously as before.
Michael II was succeeded by his son Theophilus (829-842), who caused the last and fiercest persecution of image-worshippers. Methodius again withstood the emperor to his face, was again scourged and imprisoned under the palace. But the same night he escaped, helped by his friends in the city, who hid him in their house and bound up his wounds. For this the Government confiscated their property. But seeing that Methodius was not to be overcome by punishment, the emperor tried to convince him by argument. The result of their discussion was that Methodius to some extent persuaded the emperor. At any rate towards the end of the reign the persecution was mitigated. Theophilus died in 842 and at once the whole situation was changed. His wife, Theodora, became regent for her son Michael III (the Drunkard, 842-867). She had always been an image-worshipper in secret; now that she had the power she at once began to restore images, set free the confessors in prison and bring back everything to the conditions of the Second Nicene Council (787). The Patriarch of Constantinople, John VII (832-842), was an Iconoclast set up by the Government. As he persisted in his heresy he was deposed and Methodius was made patriarch in his place (842-846). Methodius then helped the empress-regent in her restoration. He summoned a synod at Constantinople (842) that approved of John VII's deposition and his own succession. It had no new laws to make about images. The decrees of Nicæa II that had received the assent of the pope and the whole Church as those of an Œcumenical Council were put in force again. On 19 Feb., 842, the images were brought in solemn procession back to the churches. This was the first "Feast of Orthodoxy", kept again in memory of that event on the first Sunday of Lent every year throughout the Byzantine Church. Methodius then proceeded to depose Iconoclast bishops throughout his patriarchate, replacing them by image-worshippers. In doing so he seems to have acted severely. An opposition formed itself against him that nearly became an organized schism. The patriarch was accused of rape; but the woman in question admitted on examination that she had been bought by his enemies.
On 13 March, 842, Methodius brought the relics of his predecessor Nlicephorus (who had died in exile) with great honour to Constantinople. They were exposed for a time in the church of the Holy Wisdom, then buried in that of the Apostles. Methodius was succeeded by Ignatius, under whom the great schism of Photius broke out. Methodius is a saint to Catholics and Orthodox. He is named in the Roman Martyrology (14 June), on which day the Byzantine Church keeps his feast together with that of the Prophet Eliseus. He is acclaimed with the other patriarchs, defenders of images, in the service of the feast of Orthodoxy: "To Germanus, Tarasius, Nicephorus and Methodius, true high priests of God and defenders and teachers of Orthodoxy, R. Eternal memory (thrice)." The Uniate Syrians have his feast on the same day. The Orthodox have a curious legend, that his prayers and those of Theodora saved Theophilus out of hell. It is told in the Synaxarion for the feast of Orthodoxy.
St. Methodius is reputed to have written many works. Of these only a few sermons and letters are extant (in Migne, P.G., C, 1272-1325). An account of the martyrdom of Denis the Areopagite by him is in Migne, P.G., IV, 669-682, two sermons on St. Nicholas in N. C. Falconius, "S. Nicolai acta primigenia" (Naples, 1751), 39-74. For other fragments and scholia, see Krumbacher, "Byzantinische Litteratur" (Munich, 2nd ed., 1897), 167.

Novena to St. Anthony - #Miracle Prayer - Litany - SHARE! #Novena #StAnthony

Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony
"Blessed be God in His angels and in His saints."
O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were ever ready to speak for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I implore of you to obtain for me (state request here). The answer to my prayer may require a miracle, even so, you are the Saint of Miracles.

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O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the Sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.
(Then say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be)
Novena to St. Anthony of Padua
 Say once a day for nine days. Some pray a Novena to St. Anthony on thirteen consecutive Tuesdays, per the instructions of Pope Leo XIII, or on all Tuesdays.O White lily of purity, sublime example of poverty, true mirror of humility, resplendent star of sanctity. O glorious St Anthony, who didst enjoy the sweet privilege of receiving into thy arms the Infant Jesus, I beseech thee to take me under they powerful protection. Thou in whom the power of working miracles shines forth among the other gifts of God, have pity upon me and come to my aid in this my great need.

(Mention your intentions here). 

Cleanse my heart from every disorderly affection, obtain for me a true contrition for my sins and a great love of God and of my neighbour that serving God faithfully in this life, I may come to praise, enjoy and bless Him eternally with thee in Paradise. Amen 

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be.
Seeking a Lost Article
Dear St. Anthony, you are the patron of the poor and the helper of all who seek lost articles. Help me to find the object I have lost so that I will be able to make better use of the time that I will gain for God's greater honor and glory. Grant your gracious aid to all people who seek what they have lost---especially those who seek to regain God's grace. Amen.
Litany of St. Anthony
Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy. Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
St. Anthony of Padua, pray for us.
St. Anthony, glory of the Friars Minor, pray for us.
St. Anthony, ark of the testament, pray for us.
St. Anthony, sanctuary of heavenly wisdom, pray for us.
St. Anthony, destroyer of worldly vanity, pray for us.
St. Anthony, conqueror of impurity, pray for us.
St. Anthony, example of humility, pray for us.
St. Anthony, lover of the Cross, pray for us.
St. Anthony, martyr of desire, pray for us.
St. Anthony, generator of charity, pray for us.
St. Anthony, zealous for justice, pray for us.
St. Anthony, terror of infidels, pray for us.
St. Anthony, model of perfection, pray for us.
St. Anthony, consoler of the afflicted, pray for us.
St. Anthony, restorer of lost things, pray for us.
St. Anthony, defender of innocence, pray for us.
St. Anthony, liberator of prisoners, pray for us.
St. Anthony, guide of pilgrims, pray for us.
St. Anthony, restorer of health, pray for us.
St. Anthony, performer of miracles, pray for us.
St. Anthony, restorer of speech to the mute, pray for us.
St. Anthony, restorer of hearing to the deaf, pray for us.
St. Anthony, restorer of sight to the blind, pray for us.
St. Anthony, disperser of devils, pray for us.
St. Anthony, reviver of the dead, pray for us.
St. Anthony, tamer of tyrants, pray for us.

From the snares of the devil, St. Anthony deliver us.
From thunder, lightning and storms, St. Anthony deliver us.
From all evil of body and soul, St. Anthony deliver us.
Through your intercession, St. Anthony protect us.
Throughout the course of life, St. Anthony protect us.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V. St. Anthony, pray for us.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: O my God, may the pious commemoration of St. Anthony, Your Confessor and Doctor, give joy to Your Church, that she may ever be strengthened with Your spiritual assistance and merit to attain everlasting joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

#BreakingNews 2nd Canadian Hostage Killed by Islamic Terrorist Group in Philippines - Please PRAY

Abu Sayyaf kills Canadian hostage

Robert Hall was killed because his country did not pay the ransom demanded by the Islamic terrorist group. A Filipino woman and a Norwegian man are left in the latter’s hands. Manila announces military operations against the extremist Muslim stronghold.
Manila (AsiaNews) – The Abu Sayyaf Islamic terror group has killed Robert Hall, a Canadian they abducted in September 2015, after no ransom was paid.
Mr Hall was killed on Monday after a deadline for a ransom expired, security sources told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Filipino news website Rappler.
Meanwhile, the Philippines have launched military operations against the militant group, whose stronghold is the south of the country.
Mr Hall, his Filipina partner Marites Flor, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, and fellow Canadian John Ridsdel were kidnapped from a marina near the city of Davao last September.
They were taken to an Abu Sayyaf stronghold on the remote island of Jolo, and Mr Ridsdel was killed on 25 April.
Abu Sayyaf is small but makes up for it as the most dangerous and violent Islamist groups fighting for the secession of southern Philippines.
It is very active in the provinces of Basilan and Sulu (whose capital is Jolo).
Kidnapping for ransom is their largest source of income, which is why the Philippines and Canada are opposed to paying ransoms for hostages.
"In Zamboanga (which is near Basilan), Abu Sayyaf is increasingly present,” a Catholic source, anonymous for security reasons, told AsiaNews.
“As long as the army is present, its members melt away into the background, living among family and friends. Everyone knows it. This has become their modus vivendi.” Shared from AsiaNewsIT

#PopeFrancis “I was hungry and you gave me food..." FULL TEXT to UN #Food Program + Video

Pope Francis on Monday made his first visit to the United Nations World Food Programme, 
the United Nations agency that fights hunger. Monday during his first visit to the World Food Program, the Rome-based United Nations agency that fights hunger.

WFP is currently engaged in and committed to the “One Future Zero Hunger” Global Goal set by world leaders for 2030. ( FULL TEXT by Radio Vatican)
Below find the English translation of Pope Francis' prepared address to the Executive Board of the World Food Programme
Address of His Holiness Pope Francis
To the Executive Board of the World Food Programme
Rome, 13 June 2016
            I thank Executive Director Ertharin Cousin for her invitation to inaugurate the 2016 annual meeting of the Executive Board of the World Food Programme, and for her kind words of welcome.  I greet Ambassador Stephanie Hochstetter Skinner-Klée, President of this important gathering of representatives of different governments called to promote concrete initiatives in the fight against hunger.  In offering a warm greeting to all of you, I express my gratitude for your many efforts and commitments in service of a cause that challenges us all: combatting the hunger from which so many of our brothers and sisters are suffering.
            A few moments ago, I prayed before the Memorial Wall, a testimony to the sacrifice made by members of this organization who gave their lives so that, in complex and difficult situations, others would not go hungry.  We remember them best by continuing to fight for the great goal of “zero hunger”.  Those names, enshrined at the entrance of this building, are an eloquent sign that the WFP, far from a cold and anonymous institution, is an effective means for the international community to carry out ever more robust and productive activities. The credibility of an institution is not based on its declarations, but on the work accomplished by its members.
            We live in an interconnected world marked by instant communications.  Geographical distances seem to be shrinking.  We can immediately know what is happening on the other side of the planet.  Communications technologies, by bringing us face to face with so many tragic situations, can help, and have helped, to mobilize responses of compassion and solidarity.  Paradoxically though, this apparent closeness created by the information highway seems daily to be breaking down.  An information overload is gradually leading to the “naturalization” of extreme poverty.  In other words, little by little we are growing immune to other people’s tragedies, seeing them as something “natural”.  We are bombarded by so many images that we see pain, but do not touch it; we hear weeping, but do not comfort it; we see thirst but do not satisfy it.  All those human lives turn into one more news story.  While the headlines may change, the pain, the hunger and the thirst remain; they do not go away. 
This tendency – or temptation – demands something more of us.  It also makes us realize the fundamental role that institutions like your own play on the global scene.  Today we cannot be satisfied simply with being aware of the problems faced by many of our brothers and sisters.  It is not enough to offer broad reflections or engage in endless discussion, constantly repeating things everyone knows.  We need to “de-naturalize” extreme poverty, to stop seeing it as a statistic rather than a reality.  Why?  Because poverty has a face!  It has the face of a child; it has the face of a family; it has the face of people, young and old.  It has the face of widespread unemployment and lack of opportunity.  It has the face of forced migrations, and of empty or destroyed homes. 
We cannot “naturalize” the fact that so many people are starving.  We cannot simply say that their situation is the result of blind fate and that nothing can be done about it.  Once poverty no longer has a face, we can yield to the temptation of discussing “hunger”, “food” and “violence” as concepts, without reference to the real people knocking on our doors today.  Without faces and stories, human lives become statistics and we run the risk of bureaucratizing the sufferings of others.  Bureaucracies shuffle papers; compassion deals with people. 
Here I believe that we have much to do.  In addition to everything already being done, we need to work at “denaturalizing” and “debureaucratizing” the poverty and hunger of our brothers and sisters.  This requires us to intervene on different scales and levels, focusing on real people who are suffering and starving, while drawing upon an abundance of enthusiasm and potential that we need to help exploit.
1.         “Denaturalizing” poverty
            During my visit to the FAO for the Second International Conference on Nutrition, I spoke of the paradox that, while there is enough food for everyone, yet “not everyone can eat”, even as we witness “waste, excessive consumption and the use of food for other purposes” (Address to the Plenary of the Conference [20 November 2014], 3).
            Let us be clear.  Food shortage is not something natural, it is not a given, something obvious or self-evident.  The fact that today, well into the twenty-first century, so many people suffer from this scourge is due to a selfish and wrong distribution of resources, to the “merchandizing” of food.  The earth, abused and exploited, continues in many parts of the world to yield its fruits, offering us the best of itself.  The faces of the starving remind us that we have foiled its purposes.  We have turned a gift with a universal destination into a privilege enjoyed by a select few.  We have made the fruits of the earth – a gift to humanity – commodities for a few, thus engendering exclusion.  The consumerism in which our societies are immersed has made us grow accustomed to excess and to the daily waste of food.  At times we are no longer able even to see the just value of food, which goes far beyond mere economic parameters.  We need to be reminded that food discarded is, in a certain sense stolen, from the table of poor and the starving.  This reality invites us to reflect on the problem of unused and wasted food, and to identify ways and means which, by taking this problem seriously, can serve as a vehicle of solidarity and sharing with those most in need (cf. Catechesis, 5 June 2013).
2. “Debureaucratizing” hunger
            We need to be frank: some issues have been bureaucratized.  Some activities have been “shelved”.  Everyone is aware of the present instability of the world situation.  Lately war and the threat of war have been uppermost in our minds and our discussions.  Thus, given the wide gamut of present conflicts, arms seem to have gained unprecedented importance, completely sidelining other ways of resolving the issues at hand.  This approach is so deeply engrained and taken for granted that it prevents food supplies from being distributed in war zones, in violation of the most fundamental and age-old principles and rules of international law. 
We thus find ourselves faced with a strange paradox.  Whereas forms of aid and development projects are obstructed by involved and incomprehensible political decisions, skewed ideological visions and impenetrable customs barriers, weaponry is not.  It makes no difference where arms come from; they circulate with brazen and virtually absolute freedom in many parts of the world.  As a result, wars are fed, not persons.  In some cases, hunger itself is used as a weapon of war.  The death count multiplies because the number of people dying of hunger and thirst is added to that of battlefield casualties and the civilian victims of conflicts and attacks. 
We are fully aware of this, yet we allow our conscience to be anesthetized.  We become desensitized.  Force then becomes our one way of acting, and power becomes our only goal.  Those who are most vulnerable not only suffer the effects of war but also see obstacles placed in the way of help.  Hence it is urgent to debureaucratize everything that keeps humanitarian assistance projects from being realized.  In this regard, you play a fundamental role, for we need true heroes capable of blazing trails, building bridges, opening channels concerned primarily with the faces of those who suffer.  Initiatives of the international community must similarly be directed to this end.
            It is not a question of harmonizing interests that remain linked to narrow national interests or shameful forms of selfishness.  Rather, it is a matter of the member states decisively increasing their commitment to cooperate with the World Food Program.  In this way the WFP will not only be able to respond to urgent needs, but also to carry out sound projects and promote long-term development programmes, as requested by each of the governments and consonant with the needs of peoples.
            Through its mission and its activities, the World Food Programme has shown that it is possible to coordinate scientific knowledge, technical decisions and practical actions with efforts aimed at obtaining resources and distributing them impartially, that is to say, with respect for the needs of those who receive them and the will of the donors.  This method, in those areas that are most depressed and poor, can and must ensure an appropriate development of local capacities and gradually eliminate external dependence, while at the same time making it possible to reduce food loss and to ensure that nothing goes to waste.  In a word, the WFP is an excellent example of how one can work throughout the world to eradicate hunger through a better allotment of human and material resources, strengthening the local community.  In this sense, I encourage you to move forward.  Do not grow weary or let problems dissuade you.  Believe in what you are doing and pursue it enthusiastically.  That is how the seed of generosity grows and bears abundant fruit.
            The Catholic Church, in fidelity to her mission, wishes to cooperate with every initiative that defends and protects the dignity of persons, especially of those whose rights are violated.  In implementing this urgent priority of “zero hunger”, I assure you of our complete support and encouragement for the efforts in course.
“I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink”.  These words embody one of the axioms of Christianity.  Independent of creeds and convictions, they can serve as a golden rule for our peoples.  A people plays out its future by its ability to respond to the hunger and thirst of its brothers and sisters.  In that ability to come to the aid of the hungry and thirsty, we can measure the pulse of our humanity.  For this reason, I desire that the fight to eradicate the hunger and thirst of our brothers and sisters, and with our brothers and sisters, will continue to challenge us to seek creative solutions of change and transformation.  May Almighty God sustain with his blessing the work of your hands.  Thank you.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Mon. June 13, 2016

Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 365

Reading 11 KGS 21:1-16

Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel
next to the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria.
Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard to be my vegetable garden,
since it is close by, next to my house.
I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or,
if you prefer, I will give you its value in money.”
Naboth answered him, “The LORD forbid
that I should give you my ancestral heritage.”
Ahab went home disturbed and angry at the answer
Naboth the Jezreelite had made to him:
“I will not give you my ancestral heritage.”
Lying down on his bed, he turned away from food and would not eat.

His wife Jezebel came to him and said to him,
“Why are you so angry that you will not eat?”
He answered her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite
and said to him, ‘Sell me your vineyard, or,
if you prefer, I will give you a vineyard in exchange.’
But he refused to let me have his vineyard.”
His wife Jezebel said to him,
“A fine ruler over Israel you are indeed!
Get up.
Eat and be cheerful.
I will obtain the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite for you.”

So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and,
having sealed them with his seal,
sent them to the elders and to the nobles
who lived in the same city with Naboth.
This is what she wrote in the letters:
“Proclaim a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people.
Next, get two scoundrels to face him
and accuse him of having cursed God and king.
Then take him out and stone him to death.”
His fellow citizens—the elders and nobles who dwelt in his city—
did as Jezebel had ordered them in writing,
through the letters she had sent them.
They proclaimed a fast and placed Naboth at the head of the people.
Two scoundrels came in and confronted him with the accusation,
“Naboth has cursed God and king.”
And they led him out of the city and stoned him to death.
Then they sent the information to Jezebel
that Naboth had been stoned to death.

When Jezebel learned that Naboth had been stoned to death,
she said to Ahab,
“Go on, take possession of the vineyard
of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you,
because Naboth is not alive, but dead.”
On hearing that Naboth was dead, Ahab started off on his way
down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite,
to take possession of it.

Responsorial PsalmPS 5:2-3AB, 4B-6A, 6B-7

R. (2b) Lord, listen to my groaning.
Hearken to my words, O LORD,
attend to my sighing.
Heed my call for help,
my king and my God!
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
You hate all evildoers.
You destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the LORD abhors.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.

AlleluiaPS 119:105

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 5:38-42

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”

Free Catholic Movie : St. Anthony Warrior of God - #StAnthony

JCE WORLD NEWS IS SHARING Anthony - Warrior of God.
(Image share - Google)
(2006) "Antonio guerriero di Dio" (original title) 110 min - (Italy) The life of Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) from his arrival on Sicily's shores via shipwreck in 1221 to his death. He's a Portuguese monk who, once in Italy, seeks out St. Francis. Director: Antonello Belluco Stars: Jordi Mollà, Paolo De Vita, Matt Patresi |

 YOUTUBE ABOUT SHARE: St. Anthony began life as a young nobleman who enjoyed all the sumptuous pleasures and privileges of that medieval Europe could offer. Yet he was compelled by a mysterious inner voice to gaze upon the unspeakable misery, disease and cruelty around him. Overcome with boundless compassion, he entered a monastery, dedicating his fine mind and fragile body to defending the poor and oppressed against injustice. This revolutionary saint dared to challenge the highest spheres of society, the government and even the Church, if they were guilty of exploiting the common people. His story continues to this day with the many accounts of those who have been transformed by "the most famous saint in the world," St. Anthony of Padua.