Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Saint July 6 : St. Maria Goretti : Patron of #Teen #Girls and Crime #Victims

St. Maria Goretti was born to a poor peasant family on 16 October 1890 in Corinaldo, a town near Ancona, Italy. Maria was the third of seven children of Luigi and Assunta Goretti.
When she was seven years old, the Goretti family moved to Ferriere di Conca, a village near Anzio, where they shared a home with Giovanni Serenelli and his son Alessandro. Maria was nine years old when her father died of malaria. While her mother worked the farm Maria took care of her siblings and also cooked for the Serenellis.
Maria was known for her unusual serious-mindedness and piety. Every night she would recite the Holy Rosary for the repose of her father’s soul. As Ferriere had no parish church, nor a priest, Maria would walk for kilometers for the privilege of hearing Mass.
At the time it was not customary to receive First Holy Communion before the age of twelve, but Maria, extremely devout and religious, pleaded with her mother to let her take instructions when Maria was not quite eleven years of age. Every day, Maria walked to the village of Mazzoleni, where she received catechetical instructions. During this time Maria intensified her piety, obedience to her mother and love for her siblings. She was busy preparing her soul to receive Jesus. On Thursday, 29 May 1902, the feast of Corpus Christi, she received her Lord for the first time. Maria would receive the Body of Christ only 4 more times before she died.
Being a beautiful child, Maria attracted the attention of 20-year-old Alessandro. It was 5 July 1902 when Alessandro tried to force his attention on her. He was furious over her refusal to commit an act of impurity and when Maria resisted him with all her strength, crying out repeatedly, “It is a sin. God forbids it,” he drew a knife and stabbed her fourteen times.
At about 6 o’clock in the evening her weakened body was put on a stretcher and put in a horse-drawn ambulance which took her to the hospital at Nettuno. Doctors worked feverishly to save her life. No anesthetic was administered because the attendants feared peritonitis. Despite the intense pain, she uttered not a sound, till she finally lost consciousness. In the morning of 6 July 1902, Maria received Holy Communion for the last time, and openly forgave Alessandro, her murderer. Then Maria died.
Alessandro Serenelli was captured soon after Maria’s death. Originally, he was going to be sentenced to death, but since he was a minor at that time the sentence was commuted to 30 years in prison. He remained unrepentant and incommunicative to the world. In his 8th year of imprisonment he had a vision of Maria. He saw a garden, where a young girl dressed in white was gathering lilies. She smiled, came near him and invited him to accept an armful of lilies. As he accepted them, each lily transformed into a still white flame. Maria then disappeared.
A local bishop, Monsignor Giovanni Blandini, visited Alessandro in jail. He wrote a thank you note to the Bishop, asking for his prayers and telling him about his dream. Alessandro’s conversion was complete. When he was released from prison after serving 27 years, his first act was to travel to Maria’s mother, Assunta, to beg her forgiveness. She forgave him, saying that if Maria had forgiven him on her deathbed then she could not do less, and they attended Mass together the next day, receiving Holy Communion side by side. Alessandro reportedly prayed every day to Maria Goretti, referring to her as “my little saint.”
Alessandro later became a Capuchin laybrother, living in a convent and working as its receptionist and gardener, until dying peacefully in 1970.
On 27 April 1947, His Holiness, Pope Pius XII beatified Maria, and on 24 June 1950, the same Pope solemnly canonized her and proclaimed Saint Maria Goretti the new patroness of Catholic Youth. This ceremony was attended by 250,000 faithful, including her mother (the first mother to see her child canonized) and her brothers and sisters. St. Maria Goretti has also been a principal patron of the World Youth Day celebrations, begun by Blessed Pope John Paul II, and held around the world.
O Saint Maria Goretti, who, strengthened by God’s grace, did not hesitate, even at the age of twelve, to shed your blood and sacrifice life to defend your virginal purity, deign to look graciously on the unhappy human race, which has strayed far from the path of eternal salvation.
Teach us all, and especially modern youth, with what courage and promptitude we should flee anything that could offend Jesus and defile our souls with sin. Obtain for us from God great horror of sin so that, keeping our souls undefiled, we may live holy lives on earth and win eternal glory in heaven.  Amen.
Text from stmariagoretti-toronto.com 

Wow Group of Nuns use Internet to bring the LOVE of Jesus through Music! SHARE #Nuns Joy!

Evangelizing with the Gospel through new media and music these Nuns from Colombia exude Joy! They are called The Eucharistic Communicators of the Heavenly Father and live in Cali, Colombia. They were founded in 2004, by Father Antonio Lootens from Belgium and Mother Gabriela del Amor from Colombia. Their community includes 65 religious women.
Quoted in an article SISTER NATASHA says; "It is something that is also created by our founders, who were inspired by Pope John Paul II when he said that there had to be people dedicated to evangelize in mass communication, precisely because the powerful reach it has among followers. Father Antonio told us that today people no longer read books, they are more involved in the world of communications. These is how people rationalizing world concepts, their reasons for living. And that's when the Pope stressed that we must be the gospel in this form of media, Christ must be present.” SISTER JERUT says,"This arose before the Year of Mercy, but we did not give the same level of strength before. It was there on standby. And then the Holy Year came and through the Lord's grace we said, 'we must record it'. And it was the last song that was published in our social networks.” They are a contemplative-active community. They pray at night and work during the day, You can see more of their songs on their Youtube channel. "

#PopeFrancis “First, he says, to pray for an end to this war in Syria..." Peace is Possible - New Video Message

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is urging governments to find a political solution to the war in Syria.
In a video message released on Tuesday in support of a new Caritas Internationalis campaign, "Syria: Peace is Possible", the Pope reiterates his belief that “there is no military solution for Syria, only a political one”.“The international community must therefore support peace talks towards the building of a national unity government” he says.

And, Pope Francis continues: “I invite you to ask those who are involved in peace talks to take these agreements seriously and to commit to facilitating access to humanitarian aid.”
“While the people suffer, an incredible amount of money is being spent on giving fighters weapons. Some of the countries providing these arms are also those talking of peace. How can one believe in those who caress you with the right hand while hitting you with the left?” the Pope says.
Caritas, the Catholic Church’s global network of humanitarian agencies, provides food, healthcare, basic needs, education, shelter, counselling, protection and livelihoods in Syria and to refugees in host countries. 
National Caritas organisations reached 1.3 million people last year alone.
Dealing with the humanitarian consequences of the five year war in Syria it is the largest Caritas relief operation in the world. 
Caritas Internationalis Secretary General, Michel Roy, told Vatican Radio’sLinda Bordoni that Caritas is launching a new website to support the campaign and it is urging people across the globe to take action.
Michel Roy explains that Caritas Internationalis’ reinforced campaign for “Peace in Syria” is also a response to repeated pleas on the part of its colleagues in Syria and in the whole of the Middle East that more be done “to help them get out of that war that is imposed upon them”.
That’s why, he explains, Caritas has decided to move ahead with three requests: 
“First, he says, to pray for an end to this war in Syria because we do believe that in the situation we are facing now prayer has a role to play”.
“Second: We challenge our respective governments – and this campaign is a world campaign because we believe that every government in the world has to engage in some way, they cannot remain indifferent to what is going on – we cannot  leave it just to the main powers (the EU, Russia the US) – everyone has something to do. And so we are asking all our members to reach out to their MPs, to their Ministers of Foreign Affairs, to their Heads of State or of Government, to mobilise them so they will do something”.
What we want, Roy says, is that the ceasefire is maintained and extended to other areas in Syria, because first hand witnesses say that the ceasefire, when it is respected, does bring a lot of relief to the people.
And, he continues, we are asking for more engagement  in political discussions.
“Whoever, in Syria, has to be at the table – has to be at the table – and the supporting powers just have to facilitate, ensure that all parties sit at the table and that a political solution is found” he says.
“The third request, he says, is to increase the humanitarian support that is needed because so many are trapped in Syria, or have been displaced”.
Roy says the international community is not coming up with enough money to respond to the demand, that’s why we all have to ask our respective governments to engage in more humanitarian support.
He speaks about Pope Francis’ support for the campaign pointing out that the video message is for Caritas members but also for all Christians and men and women of goodwill.
Roy points out that the Pope supports the Caritas initiative with all of its requests but he adds one point which is important which is “we cannot believe that there is not enough money to support the people who are suffering when so much more money is engaged in arms deals”.
“He is wondering if the countries that supply the arms can be believed in their efforts for peace because they are the ones talking about peace on one side, and they are selling arms on the other,  so Pope Francis is questioning what their real motivation is” he says.  

The new “Syria: Peace is Possible” Caritas website can be found atsyria.caritas.org . It includes specially commissioned artwork from Syrian artist Tammam Azzam, an animated film on the war, an award winning photo series and testimony from Syrians living both inside the country and as refugees in bordering nations and beyond.
You can also follow the campaign on Twitter #peacepossible4syria @iamCaritas 

(Linda Bordoni)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday July 5, 2016 - #Eucharist

Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 384

Reading 1HOS 8:4-7, 11-13

Thus says the LORD:
They made kings in Israel, but not by my authority;
they established princes, but without my approval.
With their silver and gold they made
idols for themselves, to their own destruction.
Cast away your calf, O Samaria!
my wrath is kindled against them;
How long will they be unable to attain
innocence in Israel?
The work of an artisan,
no god at all,
Destined for the flames—
such is the calf of Samaria!

When they sow the wind,
they shall reap the whirlwind;
The stalk of grain that forms no ear
can yield no flour;
Even if it could,
strangers would swallow it.

When Ephraim made many altars to expiate sin,
his altars became occasions of sin.
Though I write for him my many ordinances,
they are considered as a stranger’s.
Though they offer sacrifice,
immolate flesh and eat it,
the LORD is not pleased with them.
He shall still remember their guilt
and punish their sins;
they shall return to Egypt.

Responsorial PsalmPS 115:3-4, 5-6, 7AB-8, 9-10

R. (9a) The house of Israel trusts in the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Our God is in heaven;
whatever he wills, he does.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the handiwork of men.
R. The house of Israel trusts in the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
They have mouths but speak not;
they have eyes but see not;
They have ears but hear not;
they have noses but smell not.
R. The house of Israel trusts in the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
They have hands but feel not;
they have feet but walk not.
Their makers shall be like them,
everyone that trusts in them.
R. The house of Israel trusts in the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 10:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 9:32-38

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
“Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
But the Pharisees said,
“He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”

#BreakingNews Police arrest 4 Priests in Nigeria and Shut down Cathedral - Please Pray

4 Catholic Priests Arrested for Allegedly Conniving to Shoot a Divisional Police Officer
12 persons, including four Catholic priests, have been arrested by the Imo state Police Command, for their alleged involvement in the shooting of a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Ahiazu Mbaise Police Division, Mr. Danjuma Ragga.
According to Vanguard, the drama started after the DPO led a team of officers to speak to the youths Rev. Fr. John Ogoekwe of Christ the King Catholic Parish, Uvuru, Aboh Mbaise, who were protesting the hosting of the National President of the Catholic Women Organisation at the St Roses Catholic Church in Ezinihitte Mbaise. But it turned to an ugly affair as the youth revolted against the police, threatened to burn down their vehicles and even fired into he church premises, eventually hitting the DPO in the leg.
Vanguard adds that the state’s Commissioner of Police Taiwo Lakanu, confirmed that the diocese has always been engulfed in crisis. Text from Saynigeria
Here’s what the Commissioner of Police said:
“The Catholic Diocese of Ahiara has been engulfed in crisis in the past, over the appointment and enthronement of a bishop. The crisis necessitated the appointment of a Vicar General, Rev. Fr. Clement Ebii, who has been carrying out the functions of the bishop.
On Saturday, July 2, 2016, the priest hosted the National President of the Catholic Women Organization, CWO, in St. Roses Catholic Church, Ezinihitte Mbaise. However, youths who congregated at the Catholic Cathedral, Nnarambia, Ahiazu Mbaise, insisted on processing to the Ezinihitte Parish, to stop the hosting of the CWO National President.
The youths set up bonfires, barricaded the highway and disrupted the peace of the town.
The DPO, Ahiazu Mbaise Police Division, Danjuma Ragga, a superintendent of police, led a team of policemen from his Division, to advise the youths to sheath their swords and embrace peace, since the matter is being looked into by the Catholic hierarchy.
The youths, led by Rev. Fr. John Ogoekwe of CKC Uvuru, Aboh Mbaise, defied the appeal of the DPO and started hauling missiles at the police. They even threatened to burn the police patrol vehicle and disarm the police officers involved in the legitimate operation.
The youths later fired gunshots from inside the Catholic Cathedral, which hit the DPO on both legs and hands. He is currently receiving treatment.
Further attempts made to restore peace and order, as well as arrest the culprits, were rebuffed by the youths, who continued to fire at the police.
Our men exhibited a very high sense of professionalism and did not return the fire, despite the provocation.
However, 12 suspects, including four Reverend Fathers, were eventually arrested and are being interrogated.
The Police also said “I hereby order that the cathedral be put under lock and key to avoid further violence.” 

RIP Father Apollinaire Malumalu - Catholic #Priest who Organized 1st Democratic elections in DRC

AFRICA/DR CONGO - Father Apollinaire Malumalu has died, organizer of the first free elections in the DRC

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "A shocking news that troubles us strongly. The death of Father Malumalu is one of the greatest difficulties that the DRC has to overcome. It is a catastrophe, and a great loss for the entire nation". This is how the Study Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights (CEPADHO) defines the death of Father Apollinaire Malumalu, the Catholic priest who organized the first free elections of the Republic democratic of Congo, in 2006, in a statement sent to Agenzia Fides.
Father Malumalu was in fact the President of the Commission électorale Indépendante (CEI), replaced in the disputed elections of 2011 by the Commission électorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI), also led by the priest. In 2013 the Bishops had however imposed canonical sanctions to Father Malumalu when he was again elected at the head of CENI (see Fides 02/07/2013). Later the priest was forced to leave his post for health reasons (see Fides 12/10/2015).
Father Malumalu died in the night between June 30 and July 1 in Dallas, where he was being treated for cancer. The announcement of his death was given by His Exc. Mgr. Melchisédech Sikuli Paluku, Bishop of Butembo-Beni, the diocese of origin of the deceased priest. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 01/07/2016)

Saint July 5 : St. Antonio Maria Zaccaria : Founder of #Barnabites or Clerks Regular of St. Paul

Founder of the Clerks Regular of St. Paul, commonly known as the Barnabites; b. in Cremona, Italy, 1502; d. 5 July, 1539. While he was still an infant his father died, leaving the care of the child's education to his mother, who taught him compassion for the poor and suffering by making him her almoner. After completing the studies given in the schools at Cremona he was sent to Padua for his philosophy, and in 1520, when he had finished this course, began the study of medicine in the university at that place. At the age of twenty-two he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine and returned to Cremona to practise his profession. Three years later he began to study theology and received holy orders in 1528.
 He now devoted himself with renewed energy to works of charity and mercy, visiting and consoling the sick in hospitals and poor-prisons. The ministry of preaching and the administration of the sacraments produced such great fruit that St. Antonio was encouraged to seek a larger field for his labours and to carry out a great project which he hard formed for the good of souls. He went to the populous city of Milan, of which he was a burgess, and entered the Confraternity of Eternal Wisdom. Among the members of this religious body he allied himself with two priests, Fathers Ferrari and Morigia, and told them of his idea of founding a congregation of secular clergy. Northern Italy at this period was in a deplorable condition.
Frequent wars had devastated the country. The advent of the Lutheran soldiery and their contempt for everything Catholic had spread the contagion of bad example, while famine and plague followed in the track of the soldiers. These scourges combined to produce a state of misery that appealed most powerfully to Antonio and his associates. "The Congregation of the Regular Clerks of St. Paul", St. Antonio's work, which began with five members, was canonically sanctioned by Pope Clement VII in 1533. Their rule bound them to "regenerate and revive the love of the Divine worship, and a truly Christian way of life by frequent preaching and the faithful administration of the sacraments." The first superior of the new congregation was St. Antonio, who soon became known in Milan as an apostle. Besides giving conferences in churches to ecclesiastics and lay people, he went into the streets of the city with crucifix in hand, and produced great fruit in souls by preaching on the Passion and Death of Christ and the need of penance for sin. In 1536 he resigned the superiorship to Father Morigia and later went to Vicenza at the request of Cardinal Ridolfi. There he succeeded in reforming morals and in bringing two religious communities of women to a stricter observance of their rule. In the latter labour he was greatly aided by a congregation of nuns "The Angelicals of St. Paul", which he had founded in Milan. He introduced, also, the devotion of the "Forty Hours' Prayers", in Vicenza. The last two years of his life were spent in Milan. He sought there a more suitable church for his Congregation and accepted the offer of the church of S. Barnabas, but died before the affair was arranged. From this church of St. Barnabas, the Congregation received the name by which its members are commonly known, i.e. Barnabites. Worn out by his voluntary penances, as well as by his untiring labours of charity, he was attacked by fever during one of his mission. Knowing that this illness was his last, he had himself brought to his native city, Cremona. There, in his mother's house, he received the last sacraments and peacefully expired at the early age of thirty-seven. His body was found incorrupt 27 years after his death. He was declared Blessed by Pope Pius IX in 1849. (See BARNABITES.) On 15 May, 1897, he was solemnly canonized in St. Peter's, Rome, by Pope Leo XIII. His writings are: "Detti notabili, raccolti da varii autori" (Venice, 1583); "Constitutiones ordinis clericorum regularium" (not published); "Sermones super praeceptis Decalogi" (not published).
Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia