Friday, November 30, 2018

Saint December 2 : St. Bibiana : Patron of hangovers, headaches, mental illness, torture victims

St. Bibiana
Feast: December 2
Feast Day:December 2
Born:4th century in Rome
Patron of:against epilepsy, against hangovers, against headaches, against insanity, against mental illness, epileptics, mentally ill people, single laywomen, torture victims
The earliest mention in an authentic historical authority of St. Bibiana (Vibiana), a Roman female martyr, occurs in the "Liber Pontificalis" where in the biography of Pope Simplicius (468-483) it is stated that this pope "consecrated a basilica of the holy martyr Bibiana, which contained her body, near the 'palatium Licinianum'" (ed. Duchesne, I, 249). This basilica still exists. In the fifth century, therefore, the bodily remains of St. Bibiana rested within the city walls. We have no further historical particulars concerning the martyr or the circumstances of her death; neither do we know why she was buried in the city itself. In later times a legend sprang up concerning her, connected with the Acts of the martyrdom of Sts. John and Paul and has no historical claim to belief. According to this legend, Bibiana was the daughter of a former prefect, Flavianus, who was banished by Julian the Apostate. Dafrosa, the wife of Flavianus, and his two daughters, Demetria and Bibiana, were also persecuted by Julian. Dafrosa and Demetria died a natural death and were buried by Bibiana in their own house; but Bibiana was tortured and died as a result of her sufferings. Two days after her death a priest named John buried Bibiana near her mother and sister in her home, the house being later turned into a church. It is evident that the legend seeks to explain in this way the origin of the church and the presence in it of the bodies of the above mentioned confessors. The account contained in the martyrologies of the ninth century is drawn from the legend.source The Catholic Encyclopedia

Dear Saint Bibiana, through your fasting and prayer you were given the grace to endure suffering and torment at the hands of your persecutors. Intercede for us, dear saint, that we also remember that our Lord is always there to strengthen us and give us the grace to persevere. Amen.

Pope Francis at Mass urges all to take on “the mission of proclaiming Christ” #Homily on Feast of St. Andrew

Pope at Mass: Christians must provide credible witness with their lives
On the Feast of St Andrew Pope Francis addressed believers at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta urging them to be close to the Church of Constantinople, of which Saint Andrew the Apostle is the patron. By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis has invited the faithful to “leave everything in order to go forward in proclamation and witness, just as Peter and Andrew did”. Speaking during the homily at morning Mass on the Feast of St Andrew the Apostle, the Pope also invited Christians to be close to the Church of Constantinople and he prayed for unity between the Churches. Be coherent in proclaiming Christ
The Pope focused his reflection on announcing the Gospel urging believers to put aside “that attitude, that sin, that vice” that each of us has “within” in order to be “more coherent” and to be able to be credible in proclaiming Jesus with our own witness.
Taking his cue from the First Reading in which Saint Paul explains how faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ, the Pope highlighted the importance of the proclamation of the Gospel,” the proclamation that Christ died and was resurrected to save us.
To proclaim Jesus Christ, he said, is not just bringing “simple news” but “the only great Good News” he said.
He underscored the fact that it has nothing to do with advertising a good person who has done good, has healed many people and taught us beautiful things: “No, it's not advertising. It's not proselytizing (…) it is not what a preacher does according to the logic of marketing.”
Announcing Christ, the Pope continued, is neither proselytism nor advertising nor marketing: it goes well beyond.
Thus, he reflected on the mission of the apostle who puts his own life on the line and he recalled an Argentinean saying that uses the image of “putting one’s own flesh on the grill:” that is, really putting oneself at stake.  
He specified that “this journey to announce the Gospel by putting my life on the line” is a one-way journey: “There is no return ticket” the Pope said, “turning back would be apostasy” while testimony means “putting one’s life on the line” and “doing what I say I do”.


To be able to proclaim the Word we must be witness, the Pope reiterated and he lamented the “scandal” brought about by those who proclaim to be Christians and then live “as pagans, as non-believers”, as if they did not have “faith”.
He called for coherence in life which is what gives credibility to witness and described those who “put their lives on the line to the end” as martyrs.
He recalled how God the Father "to make himself known" sent "his Son in the flesh who gave his own life” and said this is fact that “continues to scandalize” because God became “one of us on a one-way journey”.
He pointed out that the devil tried to convince Jesus to take another path, but He lived in accordance with the will of the Father until the end.
The proclamation of Jesus, the Pope said, must follow the same path: the path of testimony, because He was the witness of the Father made flesh.
The Pope upheld the witness of martyrs whom, he said, are those who show the proclamation is true.
He spoke of men and women who have given their lives - the apostles gave their lives – but also of the many unseen men and women in our society and in our families, who bear witness every day, in silence, with their lives and their coherence to Jesus Christ.

A fruitful proclamation

All of us, the Pope concluded, take on “the mission of proclaiming Christ” and of living as Jesus “taught us to live (…) in harmony with what we preach” when we are baptized, otherwise the result is scandal and that does “so much harm to the people of God”.
FULL TEXT Release from Vatican News va

Novena for the #ImmaculateConception of Mary : #Prayers - Plenary #Indulgence - SHARE

The Immaculate Conception – Celebrating the Blessed Virgin’s Mary’s conception as freed from all sin -

Feast: December 8

Plenary indulgence to all who shall assist at these Novenas every day, and who shall afterwards, either on the Feast-day itself, to which each Novena respectively has reference, or on some one day in its Octave, after Confession and Communion, pray to our Lord and to the Blessed Virgin according to the pious intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.


Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.


Virgin most pure, conceived without sin, all fair and stainless from thy Conception; glorious Mary, full of grace, Mother of my God, Queen of angels and of men, - I humbly venerate thee as Mother of my Saviour, who, though He was God, taught me by His own veneration, reverence, and obedience to thee, the honour and homage which are due to thee. Vouchsafe, I pray thee, to accept this Novena, which I dedicate to thee. Thou art the safe refuge of the penitent sinner; it is very fitting, then, that I should have recourse to thee. Thou art the Mother of compassion; then wilt thou surely be moved with pity for my many miseries. Thou art my best hope after Jesus; thou canst not but accept the loving confidence that I have in thee. Make me worthy to be called thy son, that so I may dare to cry unto thee,
Monstra te esse matrem.
Show thyself a mother.

Nine Ave Maria’s, one Gloria Patri, and the following Prayer.


Behold me at thy sacred feet, O Immaculate Virgin. I rejoice with thee, because from all eternity thou wast elected to be the Mother of the Eternal Word, and wast preserved stainless from the taint of original sin. I praise and bless the Most Holy Trinity, who poured out upon thy soul in thy Conception the riches of that privilege. I humbly pray thee to obtain for me grace effectually to overcome the sad effects produced in my soul by original sin; make me wholly victorious over them, that I may never cease to love my God.

After the Litanies, or Hymn as above, say as follows:

V. All fair art thou, O Mary.
R. All fair art thou, O Mary.
V. The original stain is not in thee.
R. The original stain is not in thee.
V. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem.
R. Thou art the joy of Israel.
V. Thou art the honour of our people.
R. Thou art the advocate of sinners.
V. O Mary.
R. O Mary.
V. Virgin most prudent.
R. Mother most clement.
V. Pray for us.
B. Intercede for us to our Lord Jesus Christ.

V. In thy Conception, O Virgin, thou wast immaculate.
R. Pray for us to the Father, whose Son was born of thee.

Let us pray.
O God, who through the Immaculate Conception of a Virgin didst prepare a worthy dwelling-place for Thy Son, we beseech Thee, who by the death of that Son, foreseen by Thee, didst preserve her from every stain of sin, to grant that by her intercession we also may be purified, and so may come to Thee.

O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, graciously look down upon Thy servant N., whom Thou host chosen to be the pastor of Thy Church; and grant him, we beseech Thee, both by word and example, so to direct those over whom Thou hast placed him, that, together with the flock entrusted to his care, he may attain eternal life.

O God, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all holiness, listen to the pious prayers of thy Church, and grant that what we ask in faith we may effectually obtain. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The same order is to be observed en all the other days of the Novena, the Prayers for the Day alone being changed.


Mary, unsullied Lily of purity, I rejoice with thee, because from the first moment of thy Conception thou wast filled with grace, and hadst given unto thee the perfect use of reason. I thank and I adore the Ever-blessed Trinity, who gave thee these high gifts. Behold me at thy feet overwhelmed with shame to see myself so poor in grace. O thou who wast filled full of heavenly grace, grant me a portion of that same grace, and make me a partaker in the treasures of thy Immaculate Conception.
Litanies, &c., as before.


Mary, mystic Rose of purity, I rejoice with thee at the glorious triumph thou didst gain over the serpent by thy Immaculate Conception, in that then wast conceived without original sin. I thank and praise with my whole heart the Ever-blessed Trinity, who granted thee that glorious privilege and I pray thee to obtain for me courage to overcome every snare of the great enemy, and never to stain my soul with mortal sin. Be thou always mine aid, and enable me with thy protection to obtain the victory over all the enemies of man’s eternal welfare.
Litanies, &c., as before.


Mary, Immaculate Virgin, Mirror of holy purity, I rejoice exceedingly to see how from thy Immaculate Conception there were infused into thy soul the most sublime and perfect virtues, with all the gifts of the Most Holy Spirit. I thank and praise the Ever-Blessed Trinity, who bestowed upon thee these high privileges, and I beseech thee, gracious Mother, obtain for me grace to practise every Christian virtue, and so to become worthy to receive the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost.
Litanies, &c., as before.


Mary, bright Moon of purity, I congratulate thee in that the mystery of thy Immaculate Conception was the beginning of salvation to the human race, and was the joy of the whole world. I thank and bless the Ever-blessed Trinity, who did so magnify and glorify thy Person. I entreat thee to obtain for me the grace so to profit by the Death and Passion of thy dear Son, that His Precious Blood may not have been shed upon the cross for me in vain, but that after a holy life I may be saved.
Litanies, &c., as before.


Mary Immaculate, brilliant Star of purity, I rejoice with thee, because thy Immaculate Conception brought exceeding joy to all the angels in Paradise. I thank and bless the Ever-blessed Trinity, who enriched thee with this privilege. Enable me also one day to take part in this heavenly joy, praising and blessing thee in the company of angels world without end. Amen.
Litanies, &c., as before.


Mary immaculate, rising Morn of purity, I rejoice with thee, and I am filled with admiration at beholding thee confirmed in grace and rendered sinless from the first moment of thy Conception. I thank and praise the Ever-blessed Trinity, who elected thee alone from all mankind for this especial privilege. Holiest Virgin, obtain for me an entire and lasting hatred of sin, as the worst of all evils, that I may rather die than ever again commit a mortal sin.
Litanies, &c., as before.


Mary, Virgin, Sun without stain, I congratulate thee, and I rejoice with thee, because God gave unto thee in thy Conception a greater and a more abundant grace than He gave to all His angels and His saints together, even when their merits were most exalted. I thank and admire the immense beneficence of the Ever-blessed Trinity, who hath dispensed to thee alone this privilege. O, enable me too to correspond with the grace of God, and never more to receive it in vain; change my heart, and help me to begin in earnest a new life.
Litanies, &c., as before.


Immaculate Mary, living Light of holiness, Model of purity, Virgin and Mother, as soon as thou wast conceived thou didst profoundly adore thy God, giving Him thanks, because by means of thee the ancient curse was blotted out, and blessing was again come upon the sinful sons of Adam. Let this blessing kindle in my heart love towards God; and do thou inflame my heart still more and more, that I may ever love Him more constantly, and afterwards eternally enjoy Him in heaven, there to thank and praise Him more and more fervently for all the wondrous privileges conferred on thee, and to rejoice with thee for thy high crown of glory.
Litanies, &c., as before.

Pope Francis Message on Feast of St. Andrew to Ecumenical Patriarch - Bartholomew I "... unity of Christians is a sign of hope..." FULL TEXT


To His Holiness Bartholomew
Archbishop of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarch
It is with particular joy, on the feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Patron of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, that I convey my sentiments of deep affection, together with the assurance of my prayers for Your Holiness, beloved brother in Christ, and for the Church entrusted by our Lord to your pastoral care. I also extend cordial greetings to the members of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, to the clergy, monks and nuns, and all the faithful gathered in the Patriarchal Church of Saint George for the solemn celebration in honour of Saint Andrew, the first-called and brother of Saint Peter.
The exchange of delegations between the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople, on the occasion of their respective feast days, has become a joyful custom over the years and expresses the profound bond that unites our two Sees. While centuries of mutual misunderstanding, differences and silence may seem to have compromised this relationship, the Holy Spirit, Spirit of unity, has enabled us to recommence a fraternal dialogue. This was definitively resumed by our venerable predecessors, Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Saint Paul VI, and has enabled us to rediscover those bonds of communion that have always existed between us.
Our Churches have safeguarded the Apostolic tradition with great care, along with the teaching of the first Ecumenical Councils and the Church Fathers, despite the differences that developed in local traditions and in theological formulations, which need to be more deeply understood and clarified. At the same time both Churches, with a sense of responsibility towards the world, have sensed that urgent call, which involves each of us who have been baptized, to proclaim the Gospel to all men and women. For this reason, we can work together today in the search for peace among peoples, for the abolition of all forms of slavery, for the respect and dignity of every human being and for the care of creation. With God’s help, through encounter and dialogue on our journey together over the last fifty years, we already experience being in communion, even though it is not yet full and complete.
The search for the re-establishment of full communion is above all a response to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who on the eve of his Passion prayed that his disciples “may all be one” (Jn 17:21). United we give a more effective response to the needs of so many men and women of our own time, especially those who suffer from poverty, hunger, illness and war. Here I would express my profound gratitude to Your Holiness for your presence at the day of prayer and reflection for peace in the Middle East, held last 7 July in Bari, attended by the Heads of Churches, or their representatives, from that deeply troubled area. It is a source of great comfort to share with Your Holiness the same concerns for the tragic situation of our brothers and sisters in the region.
In a world wounded by conflict, the unity of Christians is a sign of hope that must radiate ever more visibly. With this in mind, I also assure Your Holiness of my prayer that God, fount of reconciliation and peace, may grant us Christians to “be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another” (1Pt 3:8). We have been called by God for this, so that we “might inherit a blessing” (1Pt3:9).
Trusting in the intercession of our patrons, Saint Peter and Saint Andrew, I assure you and all the faithful of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of my renewed prayerful best wishes, on behalf of the whole Catholic Church. With sentiments of profound esteem and fraternal affection, trusting also in your own prayers, I exchange with Your Holiness an embrace of peace in Christ our Lord.

FULL Official Translation from Vatican va

Pope Francis to Defenders of Christians in Pakistan "....courageous faith in the Lord Jesus and the ability to put love where there is hatred." FULL TEXT + Video


Hall of the Consistory
Friday, November 30th 2018

Dear brothers and sisters!

I extend a cordial welcome to you and, through you, I wish to extend my greetings to all Christians in Pakistan, especially those who live in the most difficult situations.

I thank Mr. Paul Bhatti for his speech. I pay tribute to the memory of my dear brother Shahbaz, and I am delighted to know that today he is loved and esteemed by many in Pakistan and that his sacrifice is bearing fruits of hope. The word of Jesus is also valid for him: "If the grain of wheat, fallen on the ground, does not die, it remains alone; if it dies, it produces much fruit "(Jn 12,24). Fruit of dialogue, understanding, reconciliation; fruit of fortitude, of courage, of meekness.

And one of the fruits of the sufferings of Christians is the multiplication of groups and associations - like yours - that throw bridges of fraternity across the world, overcoming differences in language, culture and sometimes even in religion. Bridges of fraternity, first of all among the Churches and ecclesial communities themselves, which the Spirit animates more and more to walk together in service to peace and justice. Bridges of fraternity and dialogue with other believers, to foster relationships of respect and mutual trust.

Your appeal to solidarity has found a prompt and generous response in Italy, especially in the Triveneto, involving Pastors and communities, and I am happy and grateful for this. I encourage you to go forward with this evangelical style that combines firmness and meekness, to assure the victims of false accusations and, at the same time, to realize concrete signs of the fight against poverty and modern slavery.

I hope that, supported by prayer and by the active solidarity of many, you can extend your action in all areas of Pakistan where Christians and other minorities are more present and, unfortunately, also discriminated against and subjected to abuses and violence. May your hallmark always be the one that shines in the testimony of Shahbaz Bhatti and of many other martyrs of our time, namely the humble and courageous faith in the Lord Jesus and the ability to put love where there is hatred. This - we know - is not our work but of the Spirit, and therefore I ask the Virgin Mary to keep you always open and docile to the Paraclete.

Thank you for the gift of this visit. I accompany you with my prayer and my blessing, that I ask you to participate in the people you meet in your service in Pakistan, saying to them: "The Pope thinks of Pakistan".

And I ask you to please pray for me.

Pope Francis "Even the building of a fact, passes the testimony of the faith of the Church..." FULL TEXT


To the Venerable Brother
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi
President of the Pontifical Council for Culture

I address a cordial greeting to the participants at the Convention, convened by the Pontifical Council for Culture, in collaboration with the Italian Episcopal Conference and the Pontifical Gregorian University, on the dismissal of churches and their ecclesial reuse and on the management of cultural heritage integrated into ordinary pastoral care, and I express my gratitude to the distinguished speakers and organizers of the initiative.

St. Paul VI, a pastor very sensitive to the values ​​of culture, addressing the participants in a conference of ecclesiastical archivists, said that taking care of the documents is equivalent to having the cult of Christ, to have the sense of the Church, telling ourselves and who will come after us the history of the «transitus Domini» in the world (cf. Discourse to ecclesiastical archivists, September 26, 1963: Insegnamenti, I [1963], 615). This happy expression can naturally be extended to all the cultural heritage of the Church.

Also St. John Paul II, particularly attentive to the pastoral relevance of art and cultural heritage, said: «In formulating their pastoral projects, the local Churches will not fail to use their cultural heritage adequately. These, in fact, have a singular ability to push people to a deeper perception of the values ​​of the spirit and, witnessing in various ways the presence of God in the history of men and in the life of the Church, they have the hearts of the acceptance of the evangelical novelty. »(Address to the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, March 31, 2000: Insegnamenti, XXIII [2000], 505).

I myself have intended to give a more markedly social expression to theological theology, affirming, for example, in the Encyclical Laudato, that "paying attention to beauty and loving it helps us to get out of utilitarian pragmatism" (n.215); as well as recalling, in a speech to the Pontifical Academies, the importance of the work of architects and artists in the redevelopment and rebirth of urban suburbs and in general in the creation of urban contexts that safeguard the dignity of man (cf. Message to the XXI participants Public Meeting of the Pontifical Academies, 6 December 2016).

Following the thought of the ecclesial Magisterium, we can therefore elaborate almost a theological discourse on cultural heritage, considering that they are part of the sacred liturgy, evangelization and the exercise of charity. In fact, they are in the first place among those "things" (res) that are (or have been) instruments of worship, "holy signs" according to the expression of the theologian Romano Guardini (The spirit of the liturgy. 1930, 113-204), "res ad sacrum cultum pertinentes", according to the definition of the conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium (No. 122). The common sense of the faithful perceives for the environments and objects destined to worship the permanence of a kind of imprint that does not end even after they have lost this destination.

Furthermore, the ecclesiastical cultural assets are witnesses of the faith of the community that has produced them over the centuries and for this reason they are in their own way instruments of evangelization that are flanked by the ordinary instruments of proclamation, preaching and catechesis. But their original eloquence can be preserved even when they are no longer used in the ordinary life of the people of God, especially through a correct museum exhibition, which does not consider them only documents of the history of art, but gives them back almost a new life, so that they can continue to carry out an ecclesial mission.

Finally, cultural assets are aimed at the charitable activities carried out by the ecclesial community. This is highlighted for example in the Passio of the Roman martyr Lorenzo, where it is said that he "had the order to deliver the treasures of the Church, showed the tyrant, making fun of it, the poor, who had nourished and dressed with the goods. data in alms "(Martyrologium Romanum, editio altera, Typis Vaticanis 2004, 444). And sacred iconography has often interpreted this tradition by showing Saint Lawrence in the act of selling the precious furnishings of the cult and distributing the proceeds to the poor. This constitutes a constant ecclesial teaching which, while inculcating the duty of protection and conservation of the Church's goods, and in particular of cultural heritage, declares that they do not have an absolute value, but in case of necessity they must serve the greater good of being human and especially at the service of the poor.
Well therefore opportunely in these days your Conference is placed. The observation that many churches, until a few years ago necessary, now no longer, due to the lack of faithful and clergy, or a different distribution of population in cities and rural areas, should be welcomed in the Church not with anxiety, but as a sign of the times that invites us to reflection and requires us to adapt. It is what in some way affirms the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium when, claiming the superiority of time on space, declares that "giving priority to time means taking care of starting processes rather than possessing spaces. Time orders spaces, illuminates them and transforms them into rings of a constantly growing chain, without reverse gear "(No. 223).

This reflection, initiated a long time on the technical level in the academic and professional, has already been addressed by some episcopates. The contribution of the present conference is certainly to make people perceive the breadth of the problems, but also to share virtuous experiences, thanks to the presence of the delegates of the Episcopal Conferences of Europe and some countries of North America and Oceania.

The conference will certainly give suggestions and indicate lines of action, but the concrete and ultimate choices will be given to the Bishops. I warmly recommend to them that every decision is the result of a vocal reflection conducted within the Christian community and in dialogue with the civil community. Disposal should not be the first and only solution to think about, nor ever be carried out with a scandal of the faithful. Should it be necessary, it should be inserted in time in the ordinary pastoral planning, be preceded by adequate information and be shared as much as possible.

In the First Book of the Maccabees we read that, once Jerusalem was liberated and the temple defiled by the pagans restored, the liberators, having to decide the fate of the stones of the old demolished altar, preferred to put them aside "until a prophet appeared to decide them" (4.46). Even the building of a church or its new destination are not operations that can only be treated technically or economically, but must be evaluated according to the spirit of the prophecy: through them, in fact, passes the testimony of the faith of the Church, which welcomes and enhances the presence of his Lord in history.

In looking forward to the best outcome of the Convention, I cordially impart to you, dear Brother, the collaborators, the speakers and all the participants the Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, 29 November 2018


Christmas Novena of St. Andrew - Miracle Prayer - SHARE #Novena #Prayer of #Christmas

St. Andrew Christmas NOVENA -

Starts November 30, the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, and concludes on Christmas Eve. It is piously believed to be very
efficacious. Recite 15 times a day until December 24- possibly 5 times before each meal.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday November 30, 2018 - #Eucharist

Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle
Lectionary: 684

Reading 1 ROM 10:9-18

Brothers and sisters:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
The Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
There is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone to preach?
And how can people preach unless they are sent?
As it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
But not everyone has heeded the good news;
for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?
Thus faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
But I ask, did they not hear?
Certainly they did; for

Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.

Responsorial PsalmPS 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R. (10) The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R. (John 6:63) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

AlleluiaMT 4:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 4:18-22

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.

Pope Francis "...Shrines are irreplaceable because they keep popular piety alive, enriching it with a catechetical formation..." FULL TEXT + Video


Sala Regia
Thursday, November 29th 2018


Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

I was waiting for this moment that allows me to meet many representatives of the countless Shrines scattered in every region of the world. How much we need the Shrines in the daily journey that the Church does! They are the place where our people more willingly gather to express their faith in simplicity, and according to the various traditions that have been learned since childhood. In many ways, our Shrines are irreplaceable because they keep popular piety alive, enriching it with a catechetical formation that sustains and reinforces the faith and nourishes at the same time the testimony of charity. This is very important: keep popular piety alive and do not forget that jewel that is the number 48 of Evangelii nuntiandi, where St. Paul VI changed the name from "popular religiosity" to "popular piety". It's a gem. That is the inspiration of popular piety which, as once said by an Italian bishop, "is the Church's immune system". It saves us from many things.

I thank Archbishop Rino Fisichella for the words with which he introduced our meeting and that offer me the opportunity for some considerations.

I think, first of all, of the importance of hospitality to be reserved for pilgrims. We know that more and more often our Sanctuaries are a destination not of organized groups, but of individual pilgrims or autonomous groups who set out to reach these holy places. It is sad when it happens that, on their arrival, there is no one to give them a word of welcome and welcome them as pilgrims who have made a journey, often long, to reach the Sanctuary. And uglier still is when they find the door closed! It can not happen that more attention is paid to material and financial needs, forgetting that the most important reality is the pilgrims. They are the ones that count. The bread comes later, but first them. Toward each of them we must be careful to make sure that he feels "at home", like a family long awaited who has finally arrived.

We must also consider that many people visit the Sanctuary because it belongs to the local tradition; sometimes because his works of art are an attraction; or because it is located in a natural environment of great beauty and charm. These people, when they are welcomed, become more open to opening their hearts and allowing it to be shaped by grace. A climate of friendship is a fertile seed that our Shrines can throw into the soil of the pilgrims, allowing them to rediscover that trust in the Church that sometimes may have been disappointed by an indifference received.

The Sanctuary is above all - second thing - place of prayer. Most of our shrines are dedicated to Marian piety. Here the Virgin Mary opens the arms of her maternal love to listen to everyone's prayer and to fulfill it. The feelings that every pilgrim feels in the most profound of the heart are those that he finds also in the Mother of God. Here she smiles giving consolation. Here you shed tears with those who cry. Here he presents to each one the Son of God held tight in his arms as the most precious good that every mother possesses. Here Mary becomes the street companion of every person who raises her eyes asking for a grace, certain to be granted. The Virgin responds to all with the intensity of her gaze, which the artists have been able to paint often guided in turn from above in contemplation.

About the prayer in the Shrines I would like to underline two requirements. First of all, to encourage the prayer of the Church that makes salvation present and efficacious with the celebration of the sacraments. This allows anyone present in the Shrine to feel part of a larger community that from every part of the earth professes the only faith, witnesses the same love and lives the same hope. Many Shrines have arisen precisely because of the prayer request that the Virgin Mary has addressed to the seer, so that the Church never forgets the words of the Lord Jesus to pray without interruption (cf. Lk 18: 1) and to remain always vigilant in waiting for the his return (cf. Mk 14:28).
Moreover, the Sanctuaries are called to nourish the prayer of the individual pilgrim in the silence of his heart. With the words of the heart, with silence, with his formulas learned by heart as a child, with his gestures of piety ... everyone must be able to be helped to express his personal prayer. Many come to the Shrine because they need to receive a grace, and then return to thank them for having experienced it, often for having received strength and peace in the trial. This prayer makes the Shrines fertile places, because the piety of the people is always nourished and grows in the knowledge of the love of God.

No one in our Shrines should feel like a stranger, especially when he comes to us with the weight of his own sin. And here I would like to make the last consideration: the Sanctuary is a privileged place to experience mercy that knows no boundaries. This is one of the reasons that led me to want the "Door of mercy" also in the Shrines during the Extraordinary Jubilee. In fact, when mercy is lived, it becomes a form of real evangelization, because it transforms those who receive mercy into witnesses of mercy. In the first place, the sacrament of Reconciliation, which is so often celebrated in the Shrines, needs well-trained, holy, merciful priests who are able to make the true encounter with the forgiving Lord taste. I hope that especially in the Shrines the figure of the "Missionary of Mercy" will never be lacking - if in some sanctuary there is not, ask the dicastery - as a faithful witness of the love of the Father who extends his arms and goes happy encounter for having rediscovered those who had left (cf. Lk 15: 11-32). Finally, the works of mercy ask to be lived in a particular way in our Shrines, because in them generosity and charity are realized in a natural and spontaneous way as acts of obedience and love to the Lord Jesus and to the Virgin Mary.

Dear brothers and sisters, I ask the Mother of God to support you and accompany you in this great pastoral responsibility entrusted to you. I bless you and I pray for you. And you too, please, do not forget to pray and have me pray in your shrines.

And, before finishing, I would like to talk about an experience, an experience of a brother and even mine. The Shrine is a place, so to speak, of the meeting not only with the pilgrim, with God, but also with the meeting of us pastors with our people. The liturgy of February 2nd tells us that the Lord goes to the Shrine to meet his people, to go out to meet his people, understand the people of God, without prejudices; the people endowed with that "nose" of faith, of that infallibilitas in believing of which n. 12 of the Lumen gentium. This meeting is fundamental. If the pastor who is in the Shrine can not meet the people of God, it is better for the bishop to give him another mission, because he is not suitable for that; and he will suffer so much and make the people suffer. I remember - and now I come to the anecdote - a professor of literature, a man who had so much genius. All of life was a Jesuit; All of his life has been a professor of high-level literature. Then he retired and asked the Provincial: "I am retired, but I would like to do something pastoral in a poor neighborhood, have contact with the people, with the people ...". And the Provincial entrusted him with a neighborhood of very devout people, who went to the Sanctuaries, which had this spirit, but very poor, more or less a shantytown. And he had to come once a week to the community of the theology faculty, where I was rector. He spent the whole day with us, in fraternity, then returned. Thus he maintained life in community. And since he had genius, one day he told me: "You must tell the professor of ecclesiology that he lacks two theses" - "How come?" - "Yes, two theses that he must teach" - "And what are they?" - " The first: the holy faithful people of God is ontologically Olympic, that is to say that he does what he wants; and second: it is metaphysically tedious, that is, stove ". He had understood in the meetings how and why he tired the people of God. If you are in contact with the people of God, you will get tired. A pastoral worker who does not get tired leaves me very perplexed! And with regard to the fact that he is "Olympic", that is, he does what he wants, I remember when I was a novice master: I went every year - as a provincial with novices - to the Sanctuary of Salta, to the North of Argentina, to the feasts of Señor del Milagro. Coming out of the Mass - I confessed, during the Mass - there were so many people, and a lady of the people approached another priest with some saints: "Father, blesses them?", And that priest, a very smart theologian, he says: "But madam, have you been to the Mass?" - "Yes" - "And do you know that at Mass there is the sacrifice of Calvary, is Jesus Christ present?" 
"Yes, padrecito, yes" - "And do you know that all these things are more than blessed?" - "Yes, padrecito" - "And you know that in the final blessing you bless everything?" - "Yes, padrecito". And at that moment, another priest came out, and the lady: "Father, do you bless me?". And he touched them and blessed them. He got what he wanted: to touch them. The religious sense of touch. People touch the images, "touch God".

Thanks for what you do! And now I give you the blessing.

Saint November 30 : St. Andrew #Apostle : Patron of Fishermen, Singers, Scotland, Russia

early 1st Century, Bethsaida

mid-late 1st Century, Patras
Major Shrine:
Church of St. Andreas at Patras
Patron of:
Scotland, Russia, Sicily, Greece, Romania, Amalfi, Luqa (Malta) and Prussia; Army Rangers, mariners, fishermen, fishmongers, rope-makers, singers and performers
The name "Andrew" (Gr., andreia, manhood, or valour), like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews from the second or third century B.C. St. Andrew, the Apostle, son of Jonah, or John (Matthew 16:17; John 1:42), was born in Bethsaida of Galilee (John 1:44). He was brother of Simon (Peter) (Matthew 10:2; John 1:40). Both were fishermen (Matthew 4:18; Mark 1:16), and at the beginning of Our Lord's public life occupied the same house at Capharnaum (Mark 1:21, 29).
 From the fourth Gospel we learn that Andrew was a disciple of the Baptist, whose testimony first led him and John the Evangelist to follow Jesus (John 1:35-40). Andrew at once recognized Jesus as the Messias, and hastened to introduce Him to his brother, Peter, (John 1:41). Thenceforth the two brothers were disciples of Christ. On a subsequent occasion, prior to the final call to the apostolate, they were called to a closer companionship, and then they left all things to follow Jesus (Luke 5:11; Matthew 4:19-20; Mark 1:17-18).
Finally Andrew was chosen to be one of the Twelve; and in the various lists of Apostles given in the New Testament (Matthew 10:2-4); Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13) he is always numbered among the first four. The only other explicit reference to him in the Synoptists occurs in Mark 13:3, where we are told he joined with Peter, James and John in putting the question that led to Our Lord's great eschatological discourse. In addition to this scanty information, we learn from the fourth Gospel that on the occasion of the miraculous feeding of the five thousand, it was Andrew who said: "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fishes: but what are these among so many?" (John 6:8-9); and when, a few days before Our Lord's death, certain Greeks asked Philip that they might see Jesus, Philip referred the matter to Andrew as to one of greater authority, and then both told Christ (John 12:20-22). Like the majority of the Twelve, Andrew is not named in the Acts except in the list of the Apostles, where the order of the first four is Peter, John, James, Andrew; nor have the Epistles or the Apocalypse any mention of him.
From what we know of the Apostles generally, we can, of course, supplement somewhat these few details. As one of the Twelve, Andrew was admitted to the closest familiarity with Our Lord during His public life; he was present at the Last Supper; beheld the risen Lord; witnessed the Ascension; shared in the graces and gifts of the first Pentecost, and helped, amid threats and persecution, to establish the Faith in Palestine.
When the Apostles went forth to preach to the Nations, Andrew seems to have taken an important part, but unfortunately we have no certainty as to the extent or place of his labours. Eusebius (Church History III.1), relying, apparently, upon Origen, assigns Scythia as his mission field: Andras de [eilechen] ten Skythian; while St. Gregory of Nazianzus (Oration 33) mentions Epirus; St. Jerome (Ep. ad Marcell.) Achaia; and Theodoret (on Ps. cxvi) Hellas. Probably these various accounts are correct, for Nicephorus (H.E. II:39), relying upon early writers, states that Andrew preached in Cappadocia, Galatia, and Bithynia, then in the land of the anthropophagi and the Scythian deserts, afterwards in Byzantium itself, where he appointed St. Stachys as its first bishop, and finally in Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, and Achaia. It is generally agreed that he was crucified by order of the Roman Governor, Aegeas or Aegeates, at Patrae in Achaia, and that he was bound, not nailed, to the cross, in order to prolong his sufferings. The cross on which he suffered is commonly held to have been the decussate cross, now known as St. Andrew's, though the evidence for this view seems to be no older than the fourteenth century. His martyrdom took place during the reign of Nero, on 30 November, A.D. 60); and both the Latin and Greek Churches keep 30 November as his feast.
St. Andrew's relics were translated from Patrae to Constantinople, and deposited in the church of the Apostles there, about A.D. 357. When Constantinople was taken by the French, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, Cardinal Peter of Capua brought the relics to Italy and placed them in the cathedral of Amalfi, where most of them still remain. St. Andrew is honoured as their chief patron by Russia and Scotland. Shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Wow Deaf Boy Disrupts Audience but Pope Francis gives him as an Example 'am I also free like that before God?' Watch Video

A young deaf boy made his way past security at Pope Francis' Wednesday Audience to touch the hand of the Swiss Guard. The mother rushed to explain: “We're from Argentina...”
 The pope smiled at the boy's actions and said: “He's Argentinian, undisciplined.” The little boy moved freely  on the stage and called his sister to join him.
 Pope Francis was touched and explained
“This boy can't talk, he is mute, but he knows how to communicate. He knows how to express himself. He has something that made me think. He is free. A undisciplined freedom... but he is free. It made me think, 'am I also free like that before God?' When Jesus says that we have to become like children, He tells us that we have to have the freedom that a child has before his father. I think he preached to all of us. Let's ask for the grace that this boy can speak.”

Cardinal Müller Defends Pope Francis against Viganò “No one has the right to indict the pope or ask him to resign!” in Interview

Andrea Tornielli, journalist for the Vatican Insider published an interview on Nov. 27, 2018. In the interview he speaks with German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The lengthy interview covered many issues but notably the Cardinal came out in strong support of Pope Francis. In fact, in response to allegations by former Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Cardinal Müller rebukes him saying:
“No one has the right to indict the pope or ask him to resign!” 
Müller said, this referring to the Aug. 26, 2018 statement  by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, nuncio to the U.S. from 2011-2016. In this statement Vigano accuses Francis of ignoring the sexual misconduct of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and asked him to resign. 
Cardinal Müller also commented on politics: "We are all united in the revealed faith, and not by the prejudices of political ideologies. We are not a political entity.” However, these conversations “must take place in private, in the proper places, and without ever making a public controversy,” he said, since “attacks” “end up questioning the credibility of the Church and her mission.”
In strong defense of Pope Francis, Müller said,
  "I am personally convinced that Pope Francis is doing everything possible to counter the phenomenon of child abuse and to foster a new spirituality for priests, who must act according to the heart of Christ and do the good of all people, especially children and young people".
 Cardinal Muller also defended Pope Francis' decision to postpone the American Bishops' conference on abuse saying:
"I thought it was necessary for the presidency of the American Bishops' Conference to first consult with our experts at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Holy Father is a single person, he cannot deal with everything. That is why there are the departments of the Roman Curia, to collaborate and arrive at a well-developed proposal to bring to the Pope".
When asked about accusations that Pope Francis appoints bad bishops Cardinal Müller explained: "Even today it is possible that the Pope may appoint a person who is "false", who is not suitable for the role, for the episcopate. Jesus Christ himself, even though he knew everything thanks to his divine intellect, left freedom to the traitor Judas. Everyone is then responsible for their sin: we can, through the process of selection with the Congregations, through all our human judgments, do everything possible to elect a good candidate. But the Pope is not responsible for what these bishops then do, as the bishops are not responsible for everything their priests do. Everyone is personally responsible for the evil they commit".
Quotations from Interview by LaStampa - Vatican Insider by Andrea Tornielli

Pope Francis "Hope is our strength for moving forward. But we must ask it of the Holy Spirit.” #Homily

Pope at Mass: ‘So-called Christian societies will end if pagan'
In his homily at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday, Pope Francis reflects on the end of the world and says the Christian life cannot be reconciled with a worldly mentality.
Pope Francis turned his thoughts at Mass on Thursday to the end of the world. He took his cue from the readings of the day from the Book of Revelations, which describes the destruction of Babylon, a symbol of worldliness, and from the Gospel of Luke (21:20-28), in which Jesus tells of the devastation of Jerusalem, the holy city.
The fall of Babylon
On the day of judgment, Babylon will be destroyed with a mighty cry of victory, the Pope said. The great harlot will fall, he said, condemned by the Lord, and she will show her truth: “a haunt for demons, a cage for every unclean spirit.”
Pope Francis said that corruption will be revealed under her magnificent beauty and that her feasts will be exposed as false happiness.
“The melodies of musicians, harpists, flutists, and trumpeters will never be heard in you again. There will be no more beautiful feasts… Craftsmen of every type will never be found in you again; because you are not a city of work but of corruption. The sound of the millstone will not be heard in you again; no lamplight will be seen in you again. The city may be illuminated, but she will be without light, not luminous. Hers is a corrupt society – the voices of brides and grooms will never be heard in you again. There were many couples, many people, but there will no longer be any love. This destruction starts from within and ends when the Lord says: ‘Enough’. And there will come a day when the Lord says: ‘Enough with the appearances of this world.’ This is the crisis of a society that sees itself as proud, self-sufficient, dictatorial, and it ends in this manner.”
Jerusalem opened her heart to pagans
Pope Francis then turned to the fate of Jerusalem. She will see her ruin, he said, in another type of corruption, “the corruption that comes from unfaithfulness to love; she was not able to recognize the love of God in His Son.” The holy city will be “trampled underfoot by pagans” and punished by the Lord, the Pope said, because she opened the doors of her heart to pagans.
“The paganization of life can occur, in our case the Christian life. Do we live as Christians? It seems like we do. But really our life in pagan, when these things happen: when we are seduced by Babylon and Jerusalem lives like Babylon. The two seek a synthesis which cannot be effected. And both are condemned. Are you a Christian? Are you Christian? Live like a Christian. Water and oil do not mix. They are always distinct. A contradictory society that professes Christianity but lives like a pagan shall end.”
Salvation for those who hope in the Lord
Returning to the two readings, Pope Francis said that, after the condemnation of the two cities, the voice of the Lord will be heard: Salvation follows destruction. “And the Angel said: ‘Come: Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.’ The great feast; the true feast,” he said.
“Faced with the tragedies of life, we are called to look to the horizon, because we have been redeemed and the Lord will come to save us. This teaches us to live the trials of the world, not in a compromise with worldliness or paganism which brings about our destruction, but in hope, separating ourselves from this worldly and pagan seduction by looking to the horizon and hoping in Christ the Lord. Hope is our strength for moving forward. But we must ask it of the Holy Spirit.”
The humble remain after all collapses
Finally, Pope Francis invited us to think about the Babylonians of our time and about the many powerful empires of the last century which have fallen.
“The great cities of today will also end,” he said, “and so will our lives, if we continue along this road towards paganism.” The Pope said the only ones who will remain are those who place their hope in the Lord. “Let us open our hearts with hope and distance ourselves from the paganization of life.” FULL TEXT Source: Vatican News va