Sunday, March 5, 2017

Saint March 6 : Our Lady of Nazareth - #Nazaré #OurLady


by: Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Biographical selection: 

The chronicles of the old Portugal report this episode that took place in the year 1182, on the day of the exaltation of the Holy Cross. Dom Fuas Roupinho, a knight and vassal of King Afonso Henriques, was out hunting on a foggy day. He was pursuing a deer when it came to an unexpected precipice and fell to its death into the sea below.


The horse, which was in close pursuit, reared on the very edge of the cliff, and it seemed certain that Dom Fuas would follow the deer to his death. Knowing that a little distance to his left was a cave with the statue of the Virgin of Nazareth, Dom Fuas immediately invoked her protection. He was saved, and in thanksgiving he built a small “chapel of memory” (Ermida da Memória) over the cave in her honor.

According to a document found with it, the little statue of the Virgin had been venerated in Nazareth in the times of early Christianity. When the iconoclast heresy started in Constantinople and the heretics were destroying all the statues, a monk called Ciriaco took it to a monastery in Spain in the proximity of Merida.

In 714, when the Saracens invaded the Iberian Peninsula, King Rodrigo fled with Friar Germano to the Atlantic coast, bearing the statue with them. They hid the statue in a small cave off the coast of the site that was later to become Nazaré, where it remained until it was found by a shepherd in 1179.

After Our Lady miraculously saved the life of Dom Fuas, the devotion to Our Lady of Nazareth spread broadly through the country and was the source of countless graces for the people. In 1377 King Fernando ordered a Church to be built near the little chapel, and the statue is venerated there now.

Comments of Prof. Plinio: 

The fact is full of grandiose memories from History. Dom Fuas Roupinho was one of the great heroes in the battles that marked the birth of Portugal and its independence from Spain.



The scene is superb: a noble hunting on a foggy day near the ocean. The deer he is chasing falls to a sudden death from a precipice. His horse rears at the edge of the cliff, and it seems certain he will die. He prays to Our Lady in a nearby cave, and she intervenes. The horse recovers and the noble is saved.

The statue of Our Lady is one that was venerated in Nazareth at the beginning of Christianity. How many crooked lines Divine Providence used to make this statue be there to save a Portuguese noble, right at the very time when Portugal was being founded. The episode is very poetic. It also shows the diverse ways Our Lady uses to foster a devotion.

The statue was venerated in Nazareth. Then, in flight during a persecution, it went to Spain. There it made a profound impression on the King, who took it with him when he was also obliged to flee. He and his companion, a friar, placed the image in a cave. Later it was found by a shepherd, and the devotion continued, although it was barely surviving. It would, however, grow enormously after Our Lady saved Dom Fuas Roupinho.

When devotion began to diminish in the Middle East, Our Lady made her statue go to Spain. When the devotion began to cool in Spain, she inspired a King to bring her to a place that would be part of a new country, Portugal. From there, the devotion would spread throughout that land and to other countries for the good of many people. Two hundreds years ago, the same devotion came from Portugal to Brazil, to the city of Belém do Pará. At the sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazareth, there is a center of pilgrimage year round. On the day of her feast, more than one million people go to venerate her.

The story reveals the way Our Lady often works her wonders. It reminds me of that principle of the theology of History – residuum revertetur [the remnant will return]. When everything seems to be near an end, when only a remnant remains faithful, then everything is reborn from it. A series of failures followed by rebirths - this is often found in the ways of Our Lady.



Our Lady of Nazaré, Brazil
Her ways are the royal ways of a Queen. She permits everything to almost disappear, and then she proves that she can re-establish everything. She restores what was there before and even more from only a remnant.

This is the rhythm History follows: we had the apogee of the Catholic spirit in the Middle Ages. Now we have its complete failure and the apogee of the revolutionary spirit. A remnant remains faithful fighting to destroy the Revolution and make the Reign of Mary, which will be built and reach an apex still higher than the Middle Ages.

The decadence of the Reign of Mary will bring, in its turn, another epoch that will represent the victory of the Antichrist. Then also, a remnant will remain faithful to fight the evil. The fidelity of that remnant will be rewarded with the second coming of Our Lord and His final triumph, along with the triumph of Our Lady.

This grandiose historical law also applies to our individual spiritual lives. When we experience an apparent failure, we should confide and pray to Our Lady because often it will be the re-starting of a new step in our devotion to her.
Source: Tradition in Action

Pope Francis "I ask, please, for your prayers for me and my collaborators, who until Friday will be on retreat." goes on Retreat for Lent

























On Twitter Pope Francis said, "I ask, please, for your prayers for me and my collaborators, who until Friday will be on retreat."

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis and members of the Vatican Curia travelled on Sunday afternoon to the "Casa del Divin Maestro,” a retreat centre in Ariccia, located in the Alban hills just outside Rome. They are taking part in the week-long Curial Spiritual Exercises. Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni: 0:00 The Pope himself reminded the faithful of his annual retreat after praying the Angelus in St Peter’s Square and asked them for prayers for himself and for his collaborators. Each day will include moments of prayer, meditation, and Eucharistic adoration. At the heart of this year’s meditations is the theme of the Passion, the Death and the Resurrection of Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. The spiritual exercises will be led by Franciscan Friar Giulio Michelini. The exercises are traditionally conducted during the first week of Lent, and as always, all the Pope’s audiences, including Wednesday’s General Audience, are suspended. The participants will return to the Vatican on Friday

#PopeFrancis "What would happen if we read God’s messages contained in the Bible as we read our phone messages?" Angelus FULL TEXT + Video


Before the Angelus
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
In this first Sunday of Lent, the Gospel introduces us on the path towards Easter, showing Jesus, who stays forty days in the desert, subjected to the devil’s temptations (cf. Matthew4:1-11). This episode is placed in a specific moment of Jesus’ life: immediately after His Baptism in the river Jordan and before His public ministry. He has just received His solemn investiture: the Spirit of God descended on Him, the Father of heaven declared Him: ”This is my beloved Son” (Matthew 3:17). Jesus is now ready to begin His mission; and because it has a declared enemy, namely Satan, He confronts him immediately, body to body.” In fact, the devil appeals to His title of “Son of God,” to dissuade Jesus from carrying out His mission: “If you are the Son of God . . .”, he repeats to Him (vv. 3.6), and he suggests that He engage miraculous gestures — to be a “magician” — such as transforming the stones into bread to satiate His hunger, and throwing Himself  from the wall of the Temple, having the Angels rescue Him. These two temptations are followed by a third: to adore him, the devil, to have dominion over the world (cf. v. 9).
Through this threefold temptation, Satan wants to divert Jesus from the way of obedience and humiliation – because he knows that, through this way, evil will thus be defeated – and lead Him on the false shortcut of success and glory. However, the devil’s poisonous arrows are all “stopped” with the shield of the Word of God (vv. 4.7.10), which expresses the Father’s will. Jesus does not say a single word of his own: He responds only with the Word of God. And thus the Son, full of the strength of the Holy Spirit, comes out victorious from the desert.
As Christians we are invited, during the forty days of Lent, to follow in Jesus steps and face the spiritual combat against the Evil One with the strength of the Word of God. Not with our word, which is useless. The Word of God: that which has the strength to defeat Satan. Therefore, it is necessary to draw confidence from the Bible: to read it often, meditate on it and assimilate it. The Bible contains the World of God, which is always timely and effective. Someone said: what would happen if we treated the Bible as we treat our mobile phone? If we always carried it with us, or at least a small pocket Bible, what would happen? If we went back when we forgot it: you forgot your mobile phone – O, I don’t have it, I’ll go back to find it; if we opened it several times a day; what would happen if we read God’s messages contained in the Bible as we read our phone messages? The paragon is clearly paradoxical, but it makes us reflect. In fact, if we had the Word of God always in the heart, no temptation would be able to estrange us from God  and no obstacle would be able to make us deviate from the path of goodness; we would be able to overcome the daily suggestions of evil that are in us and outside of us; we would be more capable of living a resurrected life according to the Spirit, receiving and loving our brothers, especially the weakest and neediest, and also our enemies.
May the Virgin Mary, perfect icon of obedience to God and of unconditional trust in His will, sustain us on our Lenten journey, so that we place ourselves in docile listening to the Word of God, to undertake a true conversion of the heart.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
*
After the Angelus
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I extend a warm greeting to the families, the parish groups, the Associations and all the pilgrims from Italy and from various countries. I greet the faithful from the dioceses of Madrid, Cordoba and Warsaw, as well as those from Belluno and Mestre. I greet the youngsters of the deanery of Baggio (Milan) and the participants in the meeting promoted by the Maestre Pie Filippini.
A few days ago we began Lent, which is the journey of the People of God toward Easter, a journey of conversion, of struggle against evil with the weapons of prayer, fasting and works of charity. I hope that the Lenten journey is rich in fruits for all; and I ask you to remember me and my collaborators of the Roman Curia in prayer, who this evening will begin the week of Spiritual Exercises — my heartfelt thanks for this prayer.
And please, don’t forget – don’t forget! – what would happen if we treated the Bible as we treat our mobile phone. Think about it — the Bible always with us, close to us!
Have a good Sunday! Have a good lunch and see you soon.
[Original text: Italian]  [BLOG SHARE of ZENIT Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Sunday Mass Online : 1st of #Lent Sun. March 5, 2017 - Readings + Video - #Eucharist


First Sunday of Lent
Lectionary: 22


Reading 1GN 2:7-9; 3:1-7

The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground
and blew into his nostrils the breath of life,
and so man became a living being.

Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east,
and placed there the man whom he had formed.
Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow
that were delightful to look at and good for food,
with the tree of life in the middle of the garden
and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals
that the LORD God had made.
The serpent asked the woman,
"Did God really tell you not to eat
from any of the trees in the garden?"
The woman answered the serpent:
"We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
it is only about the fruit of the tree
in the middle of the garden that God said,
'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'"
But the serpent said to the woman:
"You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil."
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her,
and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized that they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together
and made loincloths for themselves.

Responsorial PsalmPS 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17

R. (cf. 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
"Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight."
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Reading 2 ROM 5:12-19

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned—
for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world,
though sin is not accounted when there is no law.
But death reigned from Adam to Moses,
even over those who did not sin
after the pattern of the trespass of Adam,
who is the type of the one who was to come.
But the gift is not like the transgression.
For if by the transgression of the one, the many died,
how much more did the grace of God
and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ
overflow for the many.
And the gift is not like the result of the one who sinned.
For after one sin there was the judgment that brought condemnation;
but the gift, after many transgressions, brought acquittal.
For if, by the transgression of the one,
death came to reign through that one,
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace
and of the gift of justification
come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, just as through one transgression
condemnation came upon all,
so, through one righteous act,
acquittal and life came to all.
For just as through the disobedience of the one man
the many were made sinners,
so, through the obedience of the one,
the many will be made righteous.

OrROM 5:12, 17-19

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.

For if, by the transgression of the one,
death came to reign through that one,
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace
and of the gift of justification
come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, just as through one transgression
condemnation came upon all,
so, through one righteous act,
acquittal and life came to all.
For just as through the disobedience of the one man
the many were made sinners,
so, through the obedience of the one,
the many will be made righteous.

Verse Before The GospelMT 4:4B

One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

GospelMT 4:1-11

At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert
to be tempted by the devil.
He fasted for forty days and forty nights,
and afterwards he was hungry.
The tempter approached and said to him,
"If you are the Son of God,
command that these stones become loaves of bread."
He said in reply,
"It is written:
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth
from the mouth of God
."

Then the devil took him to the holy city,
and made him stand on the parapet of the temple,
and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.
For it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you
and with their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone
."
Jesus answered him,
"Again it is written,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test."
Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain,
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,
and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you,
if you will prostrate yourself and worship me."
At this, Jesus said to him,
"Get away, Satan!
It is written:
The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve."


Then the devil left him and, behold,
angels came and ministered to him.