Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Saint December 15 : St. Mary di Rosa : #Foundress of the Handmaids of Charity

St. Mary di Rosa
Feast: December 15

Feast Day: December 15
Born: November 6, 1813, Brescia, Italy
Died: 1855, Brescia, Italy
Canonized: 12 June 1954 by Pope Pius XII
Foundress of the Handmaids of Charity of Brescia, also called the Servants of Charity. Born into a wealthy family in Brescia, Italy, on November 6, 1813, by age seventeen she was running her father's household and caring for the girls in her father's mill and estate. In the cholera epidemic of 1836, she became well-known as she directed a home for girls and begame another residence for deaf and mute young ladies. In 1840, she became superior of a community that evolved into her congregation. The women of the Servants of Charity ministered to the wounded on the battlefields of northern Italy and in hospitals. Maria died at Brescia on December 15. She was canonized in 1954.

Wow wish #PopeFrancis a Happy 80th Birthday via Email - #Vatican Releases Address and #HashTag - #Pontifex80 - SHARE

The Vatican has created new email addresses for well wishers to leave Birthday messages for the Pope.
Pope Francis turns 80 years old on December 17th. 
According to his staff, Pope Francis will be working “just as normal” on the day itself. He will receive the President of Malta in audience and will later meet with the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Oullet, as well as other guests and dignitaries. He will also celebrate Mass in the Pauline Chapel in the Vatican, along with those Cardinals who are living and working in Rome. 
Seven new Vatican email addresses have been created to allow well wishers to leave Birthday messages for the Pope. Messages can be left in Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Polish and Latin.
The email addresses are:  (Latin)   (Italian)  (Spanish / Portuguese)  (English)  (French)  (German)  (Polish) 
A social media hashtag has also been created. #Pontifex80 

#PopeFrancis "God. He is able to overcome the greatest sin, the most shameful, the most terrible...with love" #Audience FULL TEXT - Video

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning! We are approaching Christmas, and the prophet Isaiah helps us once again to open ourselves to hope, receiving the Good News of the coming of salvation. Chapter 52 of Isaiah begins with the invitation addressed to Jerusalem to awake, to shake herself from the dust and loose the bonds, and to put on her beautiful garments, because the Lord has come to liberate His people (vv. 1-3). And he adds: “My people shall know my name, that it is I who speak; here am I” (v. 6).
To this “Here am I” said by God, which summarizing His whole will of salvation and of closeness to us, the song of joy of Jerusalem responds, in keeping with the prophet’s invitation. It is a very important historical moment. It is the end of the exile of Babylon; it is the possibility for Israel to find God again and, in faith, to find itself again. The Lord makes Himself close, and the “little remnant,” namely the few people that remained after the exile and that in exile endured in faith, that went through the crisis and continued to believe and to hope even in the midst of darkness, that “little remnant” will be able to see the wonders of God.

At this point the prophet inserts a song of exultance:
How beautiful upon the mountains*
are the feet of the one bringing good news,
Announcing peace, bearing good news,
announcing salvation, saying to Zion,
“Your God is King!”a
Break out together in song,
O ruins of Jerusalem!
For the LORD has comforted his people,
has redeemed Jerusalem.
The LORD has bared his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations;
All the ends of the earth can see
the salvation of our God. (Isaiah 52:7.9-10).
These words of Isaiah, on which we wish to pause a little, make reference to the miracle of peace, and they do so in a very particular way, fixing the eyes not on the messenger but on his feet, which run swiftly: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger …”
It is like the Bride of the Canticle of Canticles, who runs to her Beloved: “Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills” (Canticle 2:8). Thus runs also the messenger of peace, bringing the happy announcement of liberation, of salvation, and proclaiming that God reigns.
God has not abandoned His people and did not let Himself be defeated by evil, because He is faithful, and his grace is greater than sin. We must learn this, because we are obstinate and do not learn it. But I will ask a question: what is greater, God or sin? God! And who wins at the end, God or sin? God. He is able to overcome the greatest sin, the most shameful, the most terrible, the worst of sins. With what weapon does God overcome sin? With love! This means that “God reigns”; these are the words of faith in a Lord whose power bends over humanity, abases Himself, to offer mercy and liberate man from what disfigures in him the beautiful image of God, because when we are in sin, God’s image is disfigured. And the fulfilment of so much love will be in fact the Kingdom established by Jesus, that Kingdom of forgiveness and peace that we celebrate at Christmas and that is realized definitively at Easter. And the most beautiful joy of Christmas is this interior joy of peace: the Lord has cancelled my sins, the Lord has forgiven me, the Lord has had mercy on me, He came to save me. This is the joy of Christmas!
These are, brothers and sisters, the reasons for our hope. When everything seems finished, when, in face of so many negative realities, faith becomes difficult and the temptation comes to say that nothing has meaning anymore, see instead the Good News brought by those swift feet: God is coming to realize something new, to establish a kingdom of peace. God has “bared His arm” and is coming to bring freedom and consolation. Evil will not triumph forever, there is an end to pain. Despair is defeated because God is among us.
And we are also asked to awake somewhat, like Jerusalem, in keeping with the invitation addressed to her by the prophet. We are called to become men and women of hope, collaborating with the coming of this Kingdom made of light and destined to all, men and women of hope. How awful it is when we meet a Christian that has lost hope! “But I don’t hope for anything, everything has ended for me”: so says a Christian who is unable to look at horizons of hope and, before his eyes there is only a wall. But God destroys these walls with forgiveness! And we must pray for this, that God may give us hope every day, and that He may give it to everyone; that hope that is born when we see God in the crib in Bethlehem. The message of the Good News that has been entrusted to us is urgent. We must also run like the messenger on the mountains, because the world cannot wait; humanity has hunger and thirst for justice, for truth <and> for peace.
And seeing the little Babe of Bethlehem, the little ones of the world will know that the promise has been fulfilled, the message has been realized. Enclosed in a newly born child, needy of everything, wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger, is the whole power of the God that saves. Christmas is a day to open the heart: it is necessary to open one’s heart to so much littleness, which is there in that Baby, and to so much wonder. It is the wonder of Christmas, for which we are preparing, with hope, in this Season of Advent. It is the surprise of a Child God, of a poor God, of a weak God, of a God who abandons His greatness to make himself close to each one of us.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]
In Italian
In these days of joyous preparation for Christmas, a warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I thank you all for your good wishes for my forthcoming birthday, thank you so much! But I will tell you something that will make you laugh: in my land, to express good wishes beforehand brings bad luck! And one who expresses good wishes beforehand is one who “casts the evil eye!” I am happy to receive you new priests of the Legionaries of Christ with your relatives and also you, seminarians of Brescia: I hope you will be able to live your priesthood with authenticity, a spirit of service and the capacity of mediation between God’s grace and the frailty of the human condition. Capacity of mediation: you must be mediators, never intermediaries.
I greet the faithful of Petrignano of Assisi, and thank them for the gift of the artistic Crib; the military men committed in the Safe Streets Operation for the Jubilee; and the Agents of the Catholic Insurance Group, observing the seventieth anniversary of activity.
Finally, a thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Today the Liturgy remembers Saint John of the Cross, zealous Pastor and mystic Doctor of the Church: dear young people, meditate on the greatness of the love of Jesus, who was born and died for us; dear sick, in union with Christ, accept your cross with meekness for the conversion of sinners; and you, dear newlyweds, make room for prayer especially in this Season of Advent, so that your conjugal life becomes a journey of Christian perfection.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. December 14, 2016

Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 189

Reading 1IS 45:6C-8, 18, 21C-25

I am the LORD, there is no other;
I form the light, and create the darkness,
I make well-being and create woe;
I, the LORD, do all these things.
Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above,
like gentle rain let the skies drop it down.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth;
let justice also spring up!
I, the LORD, have created this.

For thus says the LORD,
The creator of the heavens,
who is God,
The designer and maker of the earth
who established it,
Not creating it to be a waste,
but designing it be lived in:
I am the LORD, and there is no other.

Who announced this from the beginning
and foretold it from of old?
Was it not I, the LORD,
besides whom there is no other God?
There is no just and saving God but me.

Turn to me and be safe,
all you ends of the earth,
for I am God; there is no other!
By myself I swear,
uttering my just decree
and my unalterable word:
To me every knee shall bend;
by me every tongue shall swear,
Saying, “Only in the LORD
are just deeds and power.
Before him in shame shall come
all who vent their anger against him.
In the LORD shall be the vindication and the glory
of all the descendants of Israel.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14

R. (Isaiah 45:8) Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.

Alleluia SEE IS 40:9-10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Raise your voice and tell the Good News:
Behold, the Lord GOD comes with power.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 7:18B-23

At that time,
John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask,
“Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
When the men came to the Lord, they said,
“John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask,
‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’”
At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits;
he also granted sight to many who were blind.
And Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”