Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Saint January 5 : St. John Neumann : #Redemptorist Bishop

28 March 1811 at Prachititz, Bohemia
Died:5 January 1860
19 June 1977 by Pope Paul VI
Major Shrine:National Shrine of Saint John Neumann, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Saint John Neumann’s Story
Perhaps because the United States got a later start in the history of the world, it has relatively few canonized saints, but their number is increasing.
John Neumann was born in what is now the Czech Republic. After studying in Prague, he came to New York at 25 and was ordained a priest. He did missionary work in New York until he was 29, when he joined the Redemptorists and became its first member to profess vows in the United States. He continued missionary work in Maryland, Virginia and Ohio, where he became popular with the Germans.
At 41, as bishop of Philadelphia, he organized the parochial school system into a diocesan one, increasing the number of pupils almost twentyfold within a short time.
Gifted with outstanding organizing ability, he drew into the city many teaching communities of sisters and the Christian Brothers. During his brief assignment as vice provincial for the Redemptorists, he placed them in the forefront of the parochial movement.
Well-known for his holiness and learning, spiritual writing and preaching, on October 13, 1963, John Neumann became the first American bishop to be beatified. Canonized in 1977, he is buried in St. Peter the Apostle Church in Philadelphia.


Neumann took seriously our Lord’s words, “Go and teach all nations.” From Christ he received his instructions and the power to carry them out. For Christ does not give a mission without supplying the means to accomplish it. The Father’s gift in Christ to John Neumann was his exceptional organizing ability, which he used to spread the Good News. Today the Church is in dire need of men and women to continue in our times the teaching of the Good News. The obstacles and inconveniences are real and costly. Yet when Christians approach Christ, he supplies the necessary talents to answer today’s needs. The Spirit of Christ continues his work through the instrumentality of generous Christians.
Source: Franciscanmedia

How to Bless your Home for #Epiphany - CMB Chalk Blessing - SHARE - Christus Mansionem Benedicat

Epiphany means to manifest. Pious customs among Christians have placed the letters 20CMB17 and the year above door posts relating to the blood on the door posts of the Old Testament. CMB means "Christus Mansionem Benedicat" in Latin - May Christ bless this dwelling place. CMB also stand for the 3 Magi Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.  These were the 3 Kings who visited the Baby Jesus. (Image share from Fr. Trigillio Jr.) 
Prayers to be Said During the Blessing:
Blessing the Chalk
V. Our help is the name of the Lord:
R. The maker of heaven and earth.
V. The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in:
R. From this time forth for evermore.

Let us pray.Loving God, bless this chalk which you have created, that it may be helpful to your people; and grant that through the invocation of your most Holy Name that we who use it in faith to write upon the door of our home the names of your holy ones Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, may receive health of body and protection of soul for all who dwell in or visit our home; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
How to Bless the Home
Use the blessed chalk to mark the frame of your front door :
20 + C + M + B + 17 while saying:
The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and fifteen years ago. May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.
Then offer the following prayer: Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live or visit here with the gift of your love; and grant that we may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives we touch. May we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort, and strengthen us in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen

#PopeFrancis "...consider every day of the New Year a gift of God, to be lived with gratitude and rectitude, and always going forward!" Audience FULL TEXT + Video

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
In today’s catechesis I would like to contemplate with you the figure of a woman who speaks to us of hope lived in weeping – hope lived in weeping. It is Rachel, wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph and Benjamin, she that, as the Book of Genesis recounts, died in giving birth to her second-born, namely, Benjamin.
The prophet Jeremiah makes reference to Rachel when addressing the Israelites in exile to console them, with words full of emotion and poetry; namely, he takes up Rachel’s weeping but gives hope:
Thus says the Lord: “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are not” (Jeremiah 31:15). In these verses, Jeremiah presents this woman of his people, the great matriarch of his tribe, in a reality of sorrow and weeping, but at the same time with a prospect of unimaginable life. Rachel, who in the Genesis account died giving birth and assumed that death so that her son could live now, instead, is represented by the prophet as alive at Ramah, there where the deported gathered, weeping for her children who in a certain sense are dead by going into exile; children that, as she herself says, “are not,” have gone for ever.
And, because of this, Rachel does not want to be consoled. Her refusal expresses the depth of her sorrow and the bitterness of her weeping. In face of the tragedy of the loss of children, a mother is unable to accept words or gestures of consolation, which are always inadequate, but capable of soothing the pain of a wound that cannot and will not be healed — a sorrow proportionate to the love.
Every mother knows all this; and there are so many mothers, also today, who weep, who are not resigned to the loss of a child, inconsolable in face of a death that is impossible to accept. Rachel encloses in herself the sorrow of all the mothers of the world, of all times, and the tears of every human being who weeps for irreparable losses.
This refusal of Rachel, who does not want to be consoled, teaches us also how much delicacy is required in face of others’ sorrow. To speak of hope to one who is desperate requires sharing his despair, to dry a tear from the face of one who is suffering requires uniting our sorrow to his. Only thus will our words be really capable of giving some hope. And if I cannot say such words — weeping, sorrowing, then silence is better — a caress, a gesture and no words.
And God, with His delicacy and His love, responds to Rachel’s weeping with true not feigned words thus, in fact, Jeremiah’s text proceeds:
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Cease your cries of weeping, hold back your tears! There is compensation for your labor— oracle of the LORD—they shall return from the enemy’s land. There is hope for your future—oracle of the LORD—your children shall return to their own territory.’”(Jeremiah 31:16-17). In fact, because of the mother’s weeping, there is hope again for the children, who will live again.
This woman, who accepted death at the moment of giving birth, so that her son could live, with her, is now weeping for the beginning of a new life for her exiled children, [who are] prisoners, far from their homeland. To Rachel’s sorrow and bitter weeping, the Lord responds with a promise that can now be for her a motive for true consolation: the people will be able to return from exile and live in faith, and free, their relation with God. The tears generated hope. And this is not easy to understand, but it is true. Many times in our life tears sow hope; they are seeds of hope.
As we know, this text of Jeremiah was later taken up by the evangelist Matthew and applied to the massacre of the innocents (cf. 2:16-18). A text that puts us before the tragedy of the killing of vulnerable human beings, to the horror of power that scorns and does away with life. The children of Bethlehem died because of Jesus. And He, innocent Lamb, would then die in turn for all of us. The Son of God entered in the pain of men. We must not forget this.
When someone turns to me and asks me difficult questions, for instance: “Tell me, Father, why do children suffer?” I truly do not know what to answer. I just say: “Look at the Crucified: God has given us His Son, He suffered, and perhaps you will find an answer there. “ But answers from here [he points to his head] there are none. Only by looking at God’s love that gives His Son, who offers His life for us, can indicate some way of consolation. And because of this we say that the Son of God entered in the pain of men; He shared and accepted death; His Word is definitively word of consolation, because it is born of weeping.
And on the cross it is He, the dying Son, who gives new fecundity to His Mother, entrusting her to the disciple John and rendering her Mother of the believing people. Death is conquered, and thus Jeremiah’s prophecy reaches fulfilment. Mary’s tears also, as those of Rachel, generated hope and new life. Thank you.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]
Italian Greetings
A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking pilgrims, and I wish all serenity and peace for the New Year. I am happy to receive the members of the “Prayer and Charity Associative Family” group, celebrating the 45th anniversary of their foundation and the representatives of the of the Blessed Vincenzo Romano Apostolic Center, gathered here for 25 years of service to the charism of vocational formation, and I thank them for the gift of the effigy of their Founder.
I greet the [temporary] professed of the Minor Brothers of the Province of Saint Anthony and the Youth Movement of the Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany: I exhort each one to intensify his prayer to grow in a true and profound friendship with Jesus.
Finally, I am happy to greet the young people, the sick and the newlyweds. I hope that you, dear young people, will be able to consider every day of the New Year a gift of God, to be lived with gratitude and rectitude, and always going forward! Always. May the New Year bring you, dear sick, consolation in body and spirit. May the Lord be close to you and Our Lady console you. And you, dear newlyweds, commit yourselves to realize a sincere communion of life in keeping with God’s plan.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]
 The Holy Father’s Appeal
Yesterday, the news reached us from Brazil of the tragic massacre that happened in the prison of Manaus, where a violent clash between rival bands caused dozens of deaths. I express sorrow and concern for what has happened. I invite you to pray for the deceased, for their families and for all the detainees in that prison and for all who work there. And I renew my appeal for prisons to be places of re-education and re-integration into society, and that the conditions of life of the detainees be worthy of human persons.
I invite you to pray for these dead and alive detainees, and also for all the detainees in the world, so that prisons are for reinsertion and are not overcrowded; that they be places of reintegration. Let us pray to Our Lady, Mother of detainees: Hail Mary …
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]

#Novena to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton - #Prayers to SHARE


Say for 9 Days - 
Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be each day of the Novena:
Oh, God our Father, 
glorify here upon earth your servant, 
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, 
by manifesting the power of her intercession 
through the favour I now implore.

(State your intention here...)

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, 
Your Son, who lives and reigns with You 
and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, 
forever and ever. 


Soul of Jesus, Sanctify me.  Blood of Jesus, Wash me, Passion of Jesus, Comfort me. Wounds of Jesus, Hide me.  Heart of Jesus, Receive me. Spirit of Jesus, Enliven me.  Goodness of Jesus, Pardon me. Beauty of Jesus, Draw me.  Humility of Jesus, Humble me.  Peace of Jesus, Pacify me.  Love of Jesus, Inflame me.  Kingdom of Jesus, Come to me.  Grace of Jesus, Replenish me.  Mercy of Jesus, Pity me. Sanctity of Jesus, Sanctify me.  Purity of Jesus, Purify me.  Cross of Jesus, Support me.  Nails of Jesus, Hold me.  Mouth of Jesus, Bless me in life, in death, in time and eternity. Mouth of Jesus, Defend me in the hour of death. Mouth of Jesus, Call me to come to Thee. Mouth of Jesus, Receive me with Thy saints in glory evermore. Let Us Pray Unite me to Thyself, O adorable Victim. Life-giving heavenly Bread, feed me, sanctify me, reign in me, transform me to Thyself, live in me; let me live in Thee; let me adore Thee in Thy life-giving Sacrament as my God, listen to Thee as to my Master, obey Thee as my King, imitate Thee as my Model, follow Thee as my Shepherd, love Thee as my Father, seek Thee as my Physician who wilt heal all the maladies of my soul. Be indeed my Way, Truth and Life; sustain me, O heavenly Manna, through the desert of this world, till I shall behold Thee unveiled in Thy glory. Amen

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. January 4, 2017 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious
Lectionary: 207

Reading 11 JN 3:7-10

Children, let no one deceive you.
The person who acts in righteousness is righteous,
just as he is righteous.
Whoever sins belongs to the Devil,
because the Devil has sinned from the beginning.
Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the Devil.
No one who is begotten by God commits sin,
because God's seed remains in him;
he cannot sin because he is begotten by God.
In this way,
the children of God and the children of the Devil are made plain;
no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God,
nor anyone who does not love his brother.

Responsorial PsalmPS 98:1, 7-8, 9

R. (3cd) All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy before the LORD.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
The LORD comes;
he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

AlleluiaHEB 1:1-2

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets:
in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 1:35-42

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
"Behold, the Lamb of God."
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
"What are you looking for?"
They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher),
"where are you staying?"
He said to them, "Come, and you will see."
So they went and saw where he was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
"We have found the Messiah," which is translated Christ.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
"You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas," which is translated Peter.