Friday, December 2, 2016

Saint December 3 : St. Francis Xavier Patron of Missionaries; Precious Blood; Navigators; missions; plague

St. Francis Xavier
Feast: December 3

Feast Day:December 3
Born:April 7, 1506, Javier, Navarre
Died:December 3, 1552, China
Canonized:March 12, 1622 by Gregory XV
Patron of:African missions; Apostleship of Prayer; Australia; Bombay, India; China; East Indies; Fathers of the Precious Blood; foreign missions; Goa India; India; Tokyo, Japan; missionaries; Missioners of the Precious Blood; navigators; parish missions; plague epidemics; Propagation of the Faith

Born in the Castle of Xavier near Sanguesa, in Navarre, 7 April, 1506; died on the Island of Sancian near the coast of China, 2 December, 1552. In 1525, having completed a preliminary course of studies in his own country, Francis Xavier went to Paris, where he entered the college de Sainte-Barbe. Here he met the Savoyard, Pierre Favre, and a warm personal friendship sprang up between them. It was at this same college that St. Ignatius Loyola, who was already planning the foundation of the Society of Jesus, resided for a time as a guest in 1529. He soon won the confidence of the two young men; first Favre and later Xavier offered themselves with him in the formation of the Society. Four others, Lainez, Salmeron, Rodriguez, and Bobadilla, having joined them, the seven made the famous vow of Montmartre, 15 Aug., 1534.
After completing his studies in Paris and filling the post of teacher there for some time, Xavier left the city with his companions 15 November, 1536, and turned his steps to Venice, where he displayed zeal and charity in attending the sick in the hospitals. On 24 June, 1537, he received Holy orders with St. Ignatius. The following year he went to Rome, and after doing apostolic work there for some months, during the spring of 1539 he took part in the conferences which St. Ignatius held with his companions to prepare for the definitive foundation of the Society of Jesus. The order was approved verbally 3 September, and before the written approbation was secured, which was not until a year later, Xavier was appointed , at the earnest solicitation of the John III, King of Portugal, to evangelize the people of the East Indies. He left Rome 16 March, 1540, and reached Lisbon about June. Here he remained nine months, giving many admirable examples of apostolic zeal.
On 7 April, 1541, he embarked in a sailing vessel for India, and after a tedious and dangerous voyage landed at Goa, 6 May, 1542. The first five months he spent in preaching and ministering to the sick in the hospitals. He would go through the streets ringing a little bell and inviting the children to hear the word of God. When he had gathered a number, he would take them to a certain church and would there explain the catechism to them. About October, 1542, he started for the pearl fisheries of the extreme southern coast of the peninsula, desirous of restoring Christianity which, although introduced years before, had almost disappeared on account of the lack of priests. He devoted almost three years to the work of preaching to the people of Western India, converting many, and reaching in his journeys even the Island of Ceylon. Many were the difficulties and hardships which Xavier had to encounter at this time, sometimes on account of the cruel persecutions which some of the petty kings of the country carried on against the neophytes, and again because the Portuguese soldiers, far from seconding the work of the saint, retarded it by their bad example and vicious habits.
In the spring of 1545 Xavier started for Malacca. He laboured there for the last months of that year, and although he reaped an abundant spiritual harvest, he was not able to root out certain abuses, and was conscious that many sinners had resisted his efforts to bring them back to God. About January, 1546, Xavier left Malacca and went to Molucca Islands, where the Portuguese had some settlements, and for a year and a half he preached the Gospel to the inhabitants of Amboyna, Ternate, Baranura, and other lesser islands which it has been difficult to identify. It is claimed by some that during this expedition he landed on the island of Mindanao, and for this reason St. Francis Xavier has been called the first Apostle of the Philippines. But although this statement is made by some writers of the seventeenth century, and in the Bull of canonization issued in 1623, it is said that he preached the Gospel in Mindanao, up to the present time it has not been proved absolutely that St. Francis Xavier ever landed in the Philippines.
By July, 1547, he was again in Malacca. Here he met a Japanese called Anger (Han-Sir), from whom he obtained much information about Japan. His zeal was at once aroused by the idea of introducing Christanity into Japan, but for the time being the affairs of the Society demanded his presence at Goa, whither he went, taking Anger with him. During the six years that Xavier had been working among the infidels, other Jesuit missionaries had arrived at Goa, sent from Europe by St. Ignatius; moreover some who had been born in the country had been received into the Society. In 1548 Xavier sent these missionaries to the principal centres of India, where he had established missions, so that the work might be preserved and continued. He also established a novitiate and house of studies, and having received into the Society Father Cosme de Torres, a Spanish priest whom he had met in the Maluccas, he started with him and Brother Juan Fernandez for Japan towards the end of June, 1549. The Japanese Anger, who had been baptized at Goa and given the name of Pablo de Santa Fe, accompanied them.
They landed at the city of Kagoshima in Japan, 15 Aug., 1549. The entire first year was devoted to learning the Japanese language and translating into Japanese, with the help of Pablo de Santa Fe, the principal articles of faith and short treatises which were to be employed in preaching and catechizing. When he was able to express himself, Xavier began preaching and made some converts, but these aroused the ill will of the bonzes, who had him banished from the city. Leaving Kagoshima about August, 1550, he penetrated to the centre of Japan, and preached the Gospel in some of the cities of southern Japan. Towards the end of that year he reached Meaco, then the principal city of Japan, but he was unable to make any headway here because of the dissensions the rending the country. He retraced his steps to the centre of Japan, and during 1551 preached in some important cities, forming the nucleus of several Christian communities, which in time increased with extraordinary rapidity.
After working about two years and a half in Japan he left this mission in charge of Father Cosme de Torres and Brother Juan Fernandez, and returned to Goa, arriving there at the beginning of 1552. Here domestic troubles awaited him. Certain disagreements between the superior who had been left in charge of the missions, and the rector of the college, had to be adjusted. This, however, being arranged, Xavier turned his thoughts to China, and began to plan an expedition there. During his stay in Japan he had heard much of the Celestial Empire, and though he probably had not formed a proper estimate of his extent and greatness, he nevertheless understood how wide a field it afforded for the spread of the light of the Gospel. With the help of friends he arranged a commission or embassy the Sovereign of China, obtained from the Viceroy of India the appointment of ambassador, and in April, 1552, he left Goa. At Malacca the party encountered difficulties because the influential Portuguese disapproved of the expedition, but Xavier knew how to overcome this opposition, and in the autumn he arrived in a Portuguese vessel at the small island of Sancian near the coast of China. While planning the best means for reaching the mainland, he was taken ill, and as the movement of the vessel seemed to aggravate his condition, he was removed to the land, where a rude hut had been built to shelter him. In these wretched surroundings he breathed his last.
It is truly a matter of wonder that one man in the short space of ten years (6 May, 1542-2 December, 1552) could have visited so many countries, traversed so many seas, preached the Gospel to so many nations, and converted so many infidels. The incomparable apostolic zeal which animated him, and the stupendous miracles which God wrought through him, explain this marvel, which has no equal elsewhere. The list of the principal miracles may be found in the Bull of canonization. St. Francis Xavier is considered the greatest missionary since the time of the Apostles, and the zeal he displayed, the wonderful miracles he performed, and the great number of souls he brought to the light of true Faith, entitle him to this distinction. He was canonized with St. Ignatius in 1622, although on account of the death of Gregory XV, the Bull of canonization was not published until the following year.
The body of the saint is still enshrined at Goa in the church which formerly belonged to the Society. In 1614 by order of Claudius Acquaviva, General of the Society of Jesus, the right arm was severed at the elbow and conveyed to Rome, where the present altar was erected to receive it in the church of the Gesu.

The Catholic Encyclopedia

Free Catholic Movie : "Grace, Guts and Glory" : Drama of St. Francis Xavier : Stars Karan Kodade

Here is the drama of GRACE, GUTS AND GLORY - The Life of St. Francis Xavier, in English 
A film on the life of Saint Francis Xavier of Goa (1506-1552), the apostle to India, Indonesia and Japan. A great miracle worker (resurrected people from the dead, communicated after death etc.) He died in China. One of the greatest Catholic saints of all times, whose body remains incorrupt (does not disintegrate) since the 16th century and is kept in the Catholic Cathedral in Goa, India. Saint Francis Xavier was Spanish Jesuit, follower of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Modern Pope Francis is also Jesuit.

Wow #PopeFrancis writes Touching Letter to Dying Girl "I give you a very, very big hug..." read at her Funeral - FULL TEXT

On November 23, in the small Italian village of Massafra, a funeral Mass was offered for a young Italian girl, 10-year-old Paolina, who had died of a terrible illness.
The Requiem Mass took place in the church of Saint Leopold Mandic,, with many parishioners present, including the local mayor.
During the homily at the Mass, the pastor, Father Michele Quaranta read a letter sent to Paolina by Pope Francis. Paolina’s mother had written to the Holy Father to ask his blessing and his prayers for her daughter. Pope Francis had hoped to welcome to the young girl to the Vatican to meet her in person, but Paolina was already too sick to make the voyage.
The full text of the Pope’s letter to Paolina can be read here:
Dearest Paolina,
Your photos are on my desk, because in your truly special gaze I see the light of goodness and of innocence. Thanks for sending them to me! Read this letter together with your and the kiss that I will give you now will be the kiss of the Pope. I join my hands to yours and to those of all those who are praying for you. And so we will make a long chain that, I’m sure, will reach to heaven. But remember that the first link in this chain is you, because you have Jesus in your heart! Remember that! So speak to Him, tell Him about yourself, but also talk about your mom and dad who have so much need of help and comfort in the face of the very difficult steps they are facing. You will certainly be a very good girl by suggesting to Jesus what to do for them! Remember, too, to tell Him what He should do for me, too, while I remember the things He ought to do for you. I give you a very, very big hug, and I bless you, together with your parents and your loved ones, with all my heart.

#BreakingNews Catholic Religious Sister brutally Killed in Democratic Republic of Congo - RIP #Franciscan Sister Clara teacher of Poor - age 40

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - A Congolese religious of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King School, Sister Clara Agano Kahambu has been killed. The incident occurred in the early afternoon of 29 November, at the Mater Dei parish in Bukavu, capital of South Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to what local sources of the Archdiocese told Fides, Sister Clara was in her office with a student, when a man went up to the guardian saying he had to enroll his daughter at the religious school. Once the man entered he threw himself against the nun killing her with a knife in her neck. The man was captured but the religious died before reaching hospital.
"This true advocate of women's rights has died at the age of 40 ... She is added to the long list of human rights defenders who have died in our province", said a statement sent to Agenzia Fides by the "Justice and Peace" Diocesan Commission.
The statement denounces the deterioration of security in Bukavu on the eve of national elections; the resurgence of violence and attacks against the population in a city full of soldiers and policemen; circulation of dangerous and armed individuals, some of them mentally ill, attacking passers-by under the "smiling eyes of law enforcement". "Justice and Peace" reminds us that "even the Archbishop was attacked in his home in his sleep".
Sister Clara Agano was born on July 3, 1976 in Luofu parish, Diocese of Butembo-Beni, daughter of Jean-Pierre and Anastasia Kahindo fifth in a family with ten children.
On 16 November 2000 in Bukavu she became part of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King School, based in Spalato; postulant from August 5, 2001, she began her novitiate on August 25, 2002 and professed her perpetual vows on August 2, 2010.
She taught psychology, pedagogy and catechesis. She was Headmaster of "Marie Madeleine" School in Bukavu and of the "Mater Dei" pastoral center where she taught poor girls to read and write. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 02/12/2016)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday December 2, 2016 - #1stFriday - #Eucharist

Friday of the First Week in Advent
Lectionary: 179

Reading 1IS 29:17-24

Thus says the Lord GOD:
But a very little while,
and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard,
and the orchard be regarded as a forest!
On that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a book;
And out of gloom and darkness,
the eyes of the blind shall see.
The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD,
and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
For the tyrant will be no more
and the arrogant will have gone;
All who are alert to do evil will be cut off,
those whose mere word condemns a man,
Who ensnare his defender at the gate,
and leave the just man with an empty claim.
Therefore thus says the LORD,
the God of the house of Jacob,
who redeemed Abraham:
Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of,
nor shall his face grow pale.
When his children see
the work of my hands in his midst,
They shall keep my name holy;
they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob,
and be in awe of the God of Israel.
Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding,
and those who find fault shall receive instruction.

Responsorial PsalmPS 27:1, 4, 13-14

R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, our Lord shall come with power;
he will enlighten the eyes of his servants.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 9:27-31

As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out,
“Son of David, have pity on us!” 
When he entered the house,
the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them,
“Do you believe that I can do this?” 
“Yes, Lord,” they said to him. 
Then he touched their eyes and said,
“Let it be done for you according to your faith.” 
And their eyes were opened. 
Jesus warned them sternly,
“See that no one knows about this.” 
But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.

#PopeFrancis Authorizes New Saints for Canonization - FULL LIST

(Vatican Radio) On 1 December, the Holy Father Pope Francis received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
In the course of the audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorized the Congregation to promulgate decrees regarding several causes for canonization. The martyrdom of Father Stanley Rother, an American priest killed in Guatemala our of "hatred for the faith," was officially recognized; as was the heroic virtue of Mother Catherine Aurelia of the Precious Blood, the foundress of the Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood, which was the first contemplative community founded in Canada. 
Below, please find the full list of decrees whose promulgation was authorized by Pope Francis: 
  • The miracle, attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Giovanni, Schiavo, professed Priest of the Congregation of San Giuseppe; born 8 July 1903 and died 27 January 1967;
  • The martyrdom of the Servant of God Vicente Queralt Lloret, professed Priest of the Congregation of the Missions, and 20 Companions, amongst them six professed priests of the same Congregation, five diocesan Priests, two religious Daughters of Charity, and seven Lay members of the Association Sons of Mary of the Miraculous Medal, killed in hatred of the Faith during the civil war in Spain between 1936 and 1937;
  • The martyrdom of the Servant of God Teofilius Matulionis, Archbishop-Bishop of Kaišiadorys (Lithuania), born 22 June 1873 and died in hatred of the Faith on 20 August 1962;
  • The martyrdom of the Servant of God Stanley Francis Rother, diocesan Priest; born on 27 March 1935 and died in hatred of the Faith 28 July 1981;
  • The heroic virtue of the Servant of God Guglielmo Massaia, of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, born 8 June 1809, died 6 August 1889;
  • The heroic virtue of the Servant of God Nunzio Russo, diocesan Priest, Founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross; born 30 October 1841, died 22 November 1906;
  • The heroic virtue of the Servant of God José Bau Burguet, diocesan Priest, Pastor in Masarrochos (Spain); born 20 April 1867, died 22 November 1932;
  • The heroic virtue of the Servant of God Mario Ciceri, diocesan Priest; born 8 September 1900, died 4 April 1945;
  • The heroic virtue of the Servant of God Mary Joseph Aubert (née Suzanne Aubert), Foundress of the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion; born 19 June 1835, died 1 October 1926;
  • The heroic virtue of the Servant of God, Luce Rodríguez-Casanova y García San Miguel, Foundress of the Congregation of the Apostolic Ladies of the Sacred Heart; born 28 August 1873, died 8 January 1949;
  • The heroic virtue of the Servant of God Catherine Aurelia of the Precious Blood (Aurelia Caouette), Foundress of the Sisters Adorers of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Union of Saint-Hyacinthe; born 11 July 1833, died 6 July 1905;
  • The heroic virtue of the Servant of God, Leonia Maria Nastał, professed Sister of the Congregation of the Little Servant Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate; born 8 November 1903, died 10 January 1940

#BreakingNews New King of Thailand is Prince Vajiralongkorn known as Rama X - #Thailand

Rama X: Thailand has a new king

Weena Kowitwanij

Prince Vajiralongkorn was proclaimed monarch yesterday, making him the tenth ruler of the Chakri dynasty. The new king will be called Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkul, but will be known as Rama X. 

Bangkok (AsiaNews) - Thailand has a new king. Prince Vajiralongkorn was proclaimed monarch yesterday, making him the tenth ruler of the Chakri Dynasty, successor to King Bhumibol Adulyadej. At 11 pm yesterday (local time) Thai State television broadcast the announcement of the ascent to the throne. The ceremony took place at the Dusit Palace in Bangkok Amphorn Satharn villa, in the presence of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the President of the Legislative Assembly, he said, turning to the prince: "In accordance with the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand [...] I would ask Prince Vajiralongkorn with gratitude to accept the invitation [to become king] ".

The heir to the throne said he would "meet the desire of King Bhumibol for the good of the Thai people." After the ceremony the Prime Minister announced that "according to ancient traditions and laws, the kingdom must not be left without a monarch on the throne, so the beginning of the new reign will be marked Oct. 13, 2016 [the date of the death of the late King]. The royal coronation ceremony will be accomplished after the cremation of His Majesty King Bhumibol, about a year after his death. "

The new king will be called Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkul (มหา ว ชิ รา ลง กร ณ์ บ ดิน ทร เทพ ย ว ราง กู ร), but will be known as Rama X, the tenth king of the Chakri Dynasty (begun in 1782).

All Buddhist temples of the country celebrated the news at the same time playing gongs, drums and bells to bless the new king.

Born July 28, 1952, Prince Vajiralongkorn is the second child (only son) of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit. He has an older sister, Ubonratana Rajchakanya (much loved by the people) and two younger siblings, Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Chulabhorn Walailak. He studied in England and Australia. He was proclaimed heir to the throne December 28, 1972 and for the past 44 years has accompanied the King and Queen on numerous visits to rural areas of the country, giving support to the population in need. Text from AsiaNewsIT