Monday, September 25, 2017

Saint September 26 : Sts. Cosmas and Damian : Patrons of #Physicians, #Dentists, #Barbers, Veterinarians and Orphanages

Feast: September 26
Feast Day:
September 26
3rd century AD, Arabia
287 AD, Aegea, Roman province of Syria
Major Shrine:
Convent of the Poor Clares in Madrid, Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Bitonto, Bari, Italy
Patron of:
surgeons, physicians, dentists, protectors of children, barbers, pharmacists, veterinarians, orphanages, day-care centers, confectioners, children in house, against hernia, against the plague.
Early Christian physicians and martyrs whose feast is celebrated on 27 September. They were twins, born in Arabia, and practised the art of healing in the seaport Ægea, now Ayash (Ajass), on the Gulf of Iskanderun in Cilicia, Asia Minor, and attained a great reputation. They accepted no pay for their services and were, therefore, called anargyroi, "the silverless". In this way they brought many to the Catholic Faith. When the Diocletian persecution began, the Prefect Lysias had Cosmas and Damian arrested, and ordered them to recant. They remained constant under torture, in a miraculous manner suffered no injury from water, fire, air, nor on the cross, and were finally beheaded with the sword. Their three brothers, Anthimus, Leontius, and Euprepius died as martyrs with them. The execution took place 27 September, probably in the year 287. At a later date a number of fables grew up about them, connected in part with their relics. The remains of the martyrs were buried in the city of Cyrus in Syria; the Emperor Justinian I (527-565) sumptuously restored the city in their honour. Having been cured of a dangerous illness by the intercession of Cosmas and Damian, Justinian, in gratitude for their aid, rebuilt and adorned their church at Constantinople, and it became a celebrated place of pilgrimage. At Rome Pope Felix IV (526-530) erected a church in their honour, the mosaics of which are still among the most valuable art remains of the city. The Greek Church celebrates the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian on 1 July, 17 October, and 1 November, and venerates three pairs of saints of the same name and profession. Cosmas and Damian are regarded as the patrons of physicians and surgeons and are sometimes represented with medical emblems. They are invoked in the Canon of the Mass and in the Litany of the Saints. Text shared from The Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis "You elevate your soul to the things of Heaven and of God, and your soul is quieted in the peace of God." Video + Homily at Casa Santa Marta

(Vatican Radio)  Let us ask the Lord to help us recognize true consolation and to conserve it. That was Pope Francis’ message at morning Mass on Monday in the Casa Santa Marta.
Reflecting on the First Reading in his homily, Pope Francis said the Lord “visited His people and returned them to Jerusalem.” The word “visited”, he explained, is important in salvation history, because “every act of redemption by God is a visitation.”
“When the Lord visits us He gives us joy, that is, He places us in a state of consolation… You have seeded in tears, but now the Lord consoles us and gives us spiritual consolation. Consolation happens not only in a certain moment in time but is a state in the spiritual life of every Christian. The entire Bible teaches us this.”
The Holy Father went on to exhort those present “to wait” for the Lord’s visitation. Some moments are stronger than others, but the Lord “will help us to sense His presence” with spiritual consolation.
He said the Christian must recognize consolation, because there are false prophets who seem to console us but are, in fact, tricking us.
“The Lord’s consolation moves you and makes you increase in charity, love, and hope, also making you weep for your sins. When we observe Jesus and his Passion, we weep with Jesus… You elevate your soul to the things of Heaven and of God, and your soul is quieted in the peace of God. This is true consolation.”
In conclusion, Pope Francis reminded all to thank the Lord in prayer, that He may “pass by” to visit us, helping us to go forward, in hope, to carry our Cross.
“Conserve these traces of consolation in your memory, just as God’s people remembered its liberation… Wait for consolation, recognize it, and conserve it. And, what remains from this passing moment? Peace, for peace is the highest level of consolation.”

#BreakingNews Gunman opens Fire at Church and Kills 1 with 7 Injured in Tennessee, USA - Please Pray

1 was killed, and 7 injured in Tennessee church shooting Police say gunman shot himself after opening fire on people leaving a church. Kaitlyn Adams, a member of the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, hugs another church member at the scene after a deadly shooting at the church on Sunday in Antioch, Tenn. Kaitlyn Adams, a member of the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, hugs another church member at the scene after a deadly shooting at the church on Sunday in Antioch, Tenn. (Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean via AP) Police in Nashville, Tenn., say a gunman has been captured after opening fire at a church, killing one and wounding seven. Nashville fire department spokesman Joseph Pleasant says the wounded were transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. The gunman was among the wounded, but his condition is unknown. Metropolitan Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said at a news conference that the gunman arrived in the parking lot as services were being let out Sunday at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, about 19 kilometres from Nashville. The suspect fatally shot a woman who was walking to her vehicle. The gunman then entered the rear of the church and six people were shot. A churchgoer who confronted the gunman was pistol-whipped by the suspect, who then shot himself. Aaron said the suspect, who was in his mid 20s and was from Rutherford County, was taken to a hospital. Barry said in a statement Sunday her "heart aches for the family and friends of the deceased as well as for the wounded victims and their loved ones. Their lives have been forever changed, as has the life of their faith community at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ."
Edited from CBC News 

#PopeFrancis "You must seek the Lord and do everything to find Him; but the important thing is that He is looking for you." Homily at Mass

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis
 said Mass for the Corps of Gendarmes – the Vatican police force – in the Lourdes Grotto of the Vatican on Sunday to mark the 201st anniversary of the founding of the Corps.
In remarks following the Readings of the Day, Pope Francis focused especially on the 1st Reading, from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, saying, “In the first Reading, the prophet Isaiah urges us to seek the Lord, to convert: ‘Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found: call upon him, while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts.’ (55: 6-7).
Conversion and God's search for us
Conversion,” he went on to say, “is a [real] thing: [Isaiah] tells us that this is the way: to seek the Lord, to change one’s life, to convert – and that is true. Nevertheless, Jesus changes the logic and goes beyond, with a logic that no one could understand: it is the logic of God’s love. True, you must seek the Lord and do everything to find Him; but the important thing is that He is looking for you. More important than seeking the Lord, is to realize that He is looking for [you and] me.”
The Father always ready to embrace us
Reflecting then on the Gospel parable of the Prodigal Son, Pope Francis said, “[God] goes out of Himself to look for us, so much has he gone out of Himself, that He has sent His Son to find us. Our God always has His gaze fixed on us. We think of the father of the prodigal son: the Gospel says that he saw him coming from far (cf. Lk 15:20). But why did he see him? Because every day, and perhaps several times a day, he went up to the terrace to see whether the son was approaching, whether the son was coming back. This is the heart of our God: it always waits for us – and when someone says, ‘I've found God,’ he is mistaken. God finally found you and has carried you with Him. It is He who makes the first step. He does not tire of going out, ever out [in search] ... He respects the freedom of every man, but there He is, waiting for us to open a door to Him.”
Open the door to God's merciful love
The Holy Father concluded his reflections with an expression of hope and an exhortation.
“May the Lord, in this day that is so joyful for you, grant you this grace – to me, as well, and to everyone: the grace of being sure that He is always at the door, awaiting that I should open it [even] a little bit, in order that he should enter. Also, have no fear: when the prodigal son met the father, the father descended from the terrace and went to meet his son. That old man hurried, and the Gospel tells us that, when the son began to say, ‘Father, I have sinned,” the father did not let him speak; he embraced him, he kissed him. (Lk 15:20-21)”
“This,” said Pope Francis, “is what awaits us if only we should open the door a little bit: the embrace of the Father.”

RIP Bishop Matthew Hu Xiande of China who spent 7 years in Forced Labor

Msgr. Mathew Hu Xiande, bishop of Ningbo, has died

Paul Wang

Because of persecution, he had to delay his priestly ordination for nearly 30 years. Subjected to seven years of forced labor. He contributed to the rebirth of the diocese. He was an official bishop, recognized by the Holy See and the Chinese government.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Bishop Mathew Hu Xiande of Ningbo (Zhejiang), died today at 2.35 am (local time). He was forced to delay his priestly ordination for decades and spent seven years in forced labor camps because of his fidelity to the faith.
The Ningbo diocese has indicated that bishop's funeral will take place on September 28; the bishop's body may be honored by the faithful from 25 to 28 in the Jiangbei Church. The bishop is highly respected and loved by the faithful because he contributed with great energy to rebuilding community life, which almost became extinct during the persecution of the Cultural Revolution.
Msgr. Hu was born on 27 August 1934. Between 1950 and 1958 he studied at the seminaries in Ningbo and Shanghai. With the tightening of the campaign for an independent Church from the Vatican, from 1958 to 1965 he was subjected to forced labor (reform through labor). In 1978, after being rehabilitated, he continued to work as a farmer until 1984 when he was able to study at the Shanghai Seminary in Sheshan. He was ordained in 1985 by then bishop Jin Luxian and worked as a pastor in the diocese. In December 1987 he began pastoral work at Cixi, about 60km northwest of Ningbo, where there is a lively Catholic community.
Ordained bishop coadjutor of Ningbo on May 14, 2000 by Msgr. Giuseppe Ma Xuesheng, he succeeded in leading the diocese until his death in 2004. Msgr Hu, recognized by the government, was a bishop approved by the Holy See.
The life of the Ningbo Church was virtually wiped out during the Cultural Revolution. At present there are 30,000 faithful served by 31 priests and 31 sisters. There are also 14 seminarians.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday September 25, 2017 - #Eucharist

Monday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 449

Reading 1EZR 1:1-6

In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia,
in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah,
the LORD inspired King Cyrus of Persia
to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom,
both by word of mouth and in writing:
"Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia:
'All the kingdoms of the earth
the LORD, the God of heaven, has given to me,
and he has also charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem,
which is in Judah.
Therefore, whoever among you belongs to any part of his people,
let him go up, and may his God be with him!
Let everyone who has survived, in whatever place he may have dwelt,
be assisted by the people of that place
with silver, gold, goods, and cattle,
together with free-will offerings
for the house of God in Jerusalem.'"

Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin
and the priests and Levites–
everyone, that is, whom God had inspired to do so–
prepared to go up to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem.
All their neighbors gave them help in every way,
with silver, gold, goods, and cattle,
and with many precious gifts
besides all their free-will offerings.

Responsorial PsalmPS 126:1B-2AB, 2CD-3, 4-5, 6

R. (3) The Lord has done marvels for us.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.

AlleluiaMT 5:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 8:16-18

Jesus said to the crowd:
"No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel
or sets it under a bed;
rather, he places it on a lampstand
so that those who enter may see the light.
For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible,
and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.
Take care, then, how you hear.
To anyone who has, more will be given,
and from the one who has not,
even what he seems to have will be taken away."