Monday, February 12, 2018

Saint February 13 : St. Catherine de Ricci : #Mystic and #Counselor to Future #Popes

(In baptism, Alessandra Lucrezia Romola), a Dominican nun, of the Third Order, though enclosed, born in Florence, 23 April, 1522; died 2 February, 1590. She is chiefly known to the world for her highly mystical and miraculous life, and especially as the subject of a marvellous, but fully and most carefully authenticated ecstasy, into which she was rapt every week, from Thursday at noon till 4 p.m. on Friday, for several years. In this state she went through all the stages of Our Lord's Passion, actually realizing, and showing forth to others with wonderful vividness, all that His Blessed Mother suffered in witnessing it. Her father, Pier Francesco de' Ricci, was one of an old and respected family of bankers and merchants. Her mother of the Ricasoli family — died when she was a small child, and she was brought up by a devoted stepmother, Fiammetta da Diacceto. The latter soon observed the child's unusual tendency to holiness — particularly to solitary prayer — and did her utmost to foster and develop it. Whilst still a child, Alessandra resolved to join some strictly observant religious order; but the state of relaxation just then was so universal that it was long before she could find what she desired. Her vocation was finally decided during a stay at Prato, where she made acquaintance with the Dominican Convent of San Vincenzio, founded in 1503 by nine ladies who had been devoted followers of Savonarola. Alessandra there found the spirit of religious fervour high enough to satisfy even her ideal; and, after some difficulties with her father, she entered the novitiate, was clothed in 1535 (taking the name of Catherine), and professed in 1536.
 Both during her novitiate and for four or five years after profession, she was subjected to humiliating trials from the community, owing to their misunderstanding of some of the high supernatural favours she received; but her holiness and humility eventually triumphed. She was then appointed to one important office after another, finally remaining prioress or sub prioress till her death. During all these years, whilst conscientiously fulfilling every religious duty, she was feeling and showing keen interest in all her relations — especially her brothers — and in numerous friends and "spiritual children". The great "Ecstasy of the Passion", above referred to, happened for the first time in February, 1542, and was renewed every week afterwards for twelve years, when it ceased in answer to the prayers of Catherine herself and the community. The fame of it was bringing so many people of every rank and calling to Prato that the peace and strict observance of the convent were suffering. Catherine de' Ricci lived in an age of great saints; among her contemporaries were St. Charles Borromeo, St. Philip Neri, and St. M. Magdalen de Pazzi. With the two last named she is said to have held in different ways, miraculous intercourse, never having met them in a natural way. She was beatified in 1732 by Clement XII, after many delays in the process, and canonized by Benedict XIV in 1746 on both occasions amid great rejoicings at Prato, where her memory is always kept fresh. The lineal descendants of her community still inhabit the convent of San Vincenzio (now commonly called Santa Caterina), and there her body still reposes. Her feast is kept on the 13th of February.
Catholic Encyclopedia

#BreakingNews 70th Official Miracle at Lourdes France of a Religious Sister healed from Paralysis - Confirmed by Bishop

LaStampa: The official recognition of the 70th miracle that took place in Lourdes was announced today, Sunday 11 February 2018, by the Bishop of Beauvais, Monsignor Jacques Benoit-Gonin. The miracle involves the healing of a nun, Sister Bernadette Moriau, who had been suffering from severe paralysis for many years.  

The clergywoman, who is now 70 years old, had been suffering since the late 1960s from the "Cauda equina syndrome”, caused by a spill of the softer central portion of the disc that causes pressure on the bundle of nerves below the end of the spinal cord. Since 1987 she was unable to walk.   

The miracle took place on 11 July 2008, but announced only ten years later, on the day of the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes (11 February), on the 160th anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to the visionary Bernadette Soubirous. Sister Moriau is a religious of the Oblate Franciscans of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is her story from a video broadcast by the diocese of Beauvais.  
“In February 2008 my doctor invited me to the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes scheduled for July 3-7,2008... I had never been there since I became ill... In the cave I felt the mysterious presence of Mary and of little Bernadette.... In no case have I ever asked for healing. I had asked for the conversion of my heart and the strength to continue my path as a sick person”.  
On her return to her community in Besles, near Beauvais, the healing took place. “On July 11th, during our time of adoration in communion with Lourdes, I relived in my heart the strong moment of the blessing of the sick with the Blessed Sacrament and I really felt the presence of Jesus... At the end of the adoration, I felt a feeling of warmth in my body... I felt good".  

Bishop Benoit-Gonin, in the diocese's communiqué, adds, "On 11 July, at the end of the afternoon, Sister Bernadette Moriau spent some time in adoration in communion with Lourdes and the pilgrimage she had just made. Going back to her room, she felt called to get rid of her prostheses: the corset, the crutches, and stopped the neurostimulator.... She immediately started to walk without any help, in a totally autonomous way. As witness, she called her sisters who saw the change”  
  The religious’ doctor took note of the healing, which was subsequently presented to the Bureau Médical Internationalde Lourdes. The case was examined at the annual meeting of the Medical Committee on 18 and 19 November 2016: the verdict was approved by all but one doctorwho concluded that Sister Moriau's recovery "remains unexplained in the current state of our scientific knowledge". 
Text Source: Vatican Insider -

Pope Francis “Lord, give to your people patience to bear their trials.” Homily

Vatican News Release: Patience is focus of Pope's homily at the daily Mass at Casa Santa Marta
Pope Francis reflected on the virtue of patience in his homily during Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Monday. “The testing of your faith produces patience”: Pope Francis based his homily for Monday’s morning Mass on this text from the First Reading, taken from the Letter of St James. 

Patience does not mean resignation – or defeat

But what does patience mean in life and in the face of trials? It’s certainly not easy to understand, the Pope said. Christian patience is neither “resignation” nor an attitude of “defeat,” he continued. Rather, it is a virtue of those who are “on the journey,” those who are moving forward, rather than stopping and becoming closed off. 
When you are on the journey, many things happen that are not always good. For me, the attitude of parents when a child is born sick or disabled says a lot about patience as a virtue on the journey. “But thank God that [our child] is alive!” [They might say.] These are people with patience. And they bear the life of that child with love, even to the end. And it is not easy care for a disabled or sick child year after year after year… but the joy of having that child gives them the strength to go forward. And this is patience, not resignation – that is, it is the virtue that comes when one is on the journey. 

Impatience ignores proper limits

Pope Francis spoke about the etymology of the word, saying “patience” carries with it the sense of responsibility, because it signifies bearing with suffering, rather than letting it go. And, he continued, suffering is borne with joy, gladness, “perfect joy,” according to the Apostle:
Patience means “bearing with,” not entrusting problems to another, who bears the difficulty: “I bear it, this is my difficulty, my problem. Is something causing me suffering? Eh, certainly! But I bear it.” To bear with it. And patience is also the wisdom of being able to dialogue with the limits. There are many limits in life, but impatience doesn’t want them, it ignores them because it doesn’t know how to dialogue with limits. There is some kind of fantasy of omnipotence, or of laziness, we don’t know.

God’s patience accompanies us and waits for us

But this patience St James speaks about is not simply a “counsel” for Christians, the Pope explained. “If we look at the history of salvation,” he said, “we can see the ‘patience of God, our Father,’ who has led and carried His ‘stubborn people’ forward each time they strayed one way or the other.” And the Father shows this patience, too, to each one of us, “accompanying us,” and “waiting” for the right time. God also sent His Son, that He might “enter into patience,” “taking up His mission,” and offering Himself decisively in His Passion.
“And here I think of our persecuted sisters and brothers in the Middle East,” the Pope said, being “chased away” precisely because they are Christians:
And yet they are determined to remain Christians: they have embrace patience just as the Lord embraced patience. With these ideas, perhaps, we can pray today, pray for our people: “Lord, give to your people patience to bear their trials.” And can also pray for ourselves. So often we are impatient: When things don’t go our way, we complain. But, step back for a moment, think about the patience of God the Father, embrace patience, as Jesus did. Patience is a beautiful virtue. Let us ask the Lord for it.

#BreakingNews Man enters Church and Attacks Priest and Faithful during Mass in Indonesia - Please Pray

Asia News Report: Machete attack against priest during Mass in Yogyakarta

Mathias Hariyadi
Fr Karl-Edmund Prier, a German-born Jesuit, suffered injuries to his back, head and hands. Catholics are urged not to spread panic and tensions via social media. For experts, extremist groups are preparing for upcoming elections by causing ethnic and religious polarisation.
Yogyakarta (AsiaNews) – Fr Karl-Edmund Prier, a Jesuit priest and liturgical music expert, was attacked and wounded in a machete attack during Mass in St Lidwina Chapel Church in Bedog, Sleman Regency (Yogyakarta).
The attack took place during today’s morning Mass. Fr Prier, who works at the Liturgical Music Centre, serves the St Lidwina community on week-ends. The church is part of Kumetiran parish, Yogyakarta.
Eyewitnesses told AsiaNews that a stranger armed with a machete similar to those used by samurais entered the church compound through the front door, shouting slogans.
After striking some churchgoers sitting in front of the church façade, he marched into the building where Fr Prier was starting to recite the Gloria prayer. Once at the level of the altar, the attacker began slashing at the priest with the machete.
Fr Prier suffered major injuries to his back, head and hands and was taken to Panti Rapih Catholic Hospital in Yogyakarta where he underwent surgery.
A soldier who lives near the church, upon hearing commotion from the building, went to see what was happening. Upon seeing the attacker, he fired a few warning shots, telling the stranger to surrender. When the latter refused, the soldier shot and killed him.
Please, no social media
So far, neither the Church nor government authorities have issued any statement. A military chaplain at the Yogyakarta Air Force Academy, Fr Yos Bintoro, issued a statement, asking on all Catholics not to spread shocking pictures and "unconfirmed information" about the incident on social media.
Fr Bintoro’s statement follows a spate of social media posts with pictures of the attack and comments and explanations about it. The priest thinks that all this can only increase "bad feelings" by Christians against "other parties".
"Identity politics" and "warring" parties
According to some political analysts, extremist groups are intentionally creating this type of situations ahead of local elections in 171 regions in September 2018, and the presidential election in 2019.
The aim is clear, i.e. "maintain" negative feelings so that "identity politics" based on religion and ethnicity can influence elections.
For decades, Indonesian society has seen provocations that have led to acts of violence against "non-peer” groups, i.e. people who are "not like us" and who “do not belong to our group".
Primordial identities based on ethnicity and religion have been the "easiest" way by which emotions, violence and conflicts can be triggered between different groups in society.
Today's priest attack is the second of its kind in Indonesia. In August 2016, Fr Albertus Pandiangan, a Capuchin priest, was attacked by a stranger armed with a dagger during Mass in St Joseph Church in Medan (North Sumatera). The bishop of Medan, Mgr Anicetus B. Sinaga, also a Capuchin, and the priest later forgave the attacker. 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday February 12, 2018 - #Eucharist

Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 335

Reading 1JAS 1:1-11

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, greetings.

Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters,
when you encounter various trials,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
And let perseverance be perfect,
so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
But if any of you lacks wisdom,
he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly,
and he will be given it.
But he should ask in faith, not doubting,
for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea
that is driven and tossed about by the wind.
For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord,
since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways.

The brother in lowly circumstances
should take pride in high standing,
and the rich one in his lowliness,
for he will pass away "like the flower of the field."
For the sun comes up with its scorching heat and dries up the grass,
its flower droops, and the beauty of its appearance vanishes.
So will the rich person fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

Responsorial PsalmPS 119:67, 68, 71, 72, 75, 76

R. (77a) Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I hold to your promise.
R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
You are good and bountiful;
teach me your statutes.
R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
that I may learn your statutes.
R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
I know, O LORD, that your ordinances are just,
and in your faithfulness you have afflicted me.
R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
Let your kindness comfort me
according to your promise to your servants.
R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.

AlleluiaJN 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 8:11-13

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,
"Why does this generation seek a sign?
Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation."
Then he left them, got into the boat again,
and went off to the other shore.

Saint February 12 : St. Saturninus & Companions : #Bishop & #Martyr

BISHOP, MARTYR Saint Saturninus was a contemporary and a disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ; he came to Palestine from Greece, attracted by the reputation of Saint John the Baptist, which had echoed even to the northern Mediterranean region. He then followed our Saviour, heard His teaching, and was a witness to many of His miracles. He was present in the Cenacle when the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost upon the Mother of Christ, the Apostles and Disciples assembled in the number of 120. (Acts of the Apostles 1:15) He departed to teach Christianity under Saint Peter's authority, evangelizing the lands east of Palestine, and going as far as the region of the Persians and Medes and their neighboring provinces. He cured the sick, the lepers, and the paralytics and delivered souls from the demons; and before he left, he gave written instructions to the new Christians concerning what they should believe and practice.
When Saint Saturninus went with Saint Peter to Rome, the Apostle was inspired to send out a number of fervent evangelists to the West, to dissipate by the light of Christ the darkness in which those regions were still plunged. Saturninus was directed to go to what is now southern France, to Toulouse in particular. Saint Peter consecrated him a bishop, that he might form and ordain native priests for the future Christian churches of Gaul. He was given for his companion Papulus, later to become Saint Papulus the Martyr.
The two companions acquired at Nimes an ardent assistant in the person of Honestus. At Carcassonne, when the three announced Christ they were thrown into a prison, where they suffered from hunger; but an Angel was sent by the Lord to deliver them, and they continued on their way to Toulouse, preaching the doctrine and the name of Christ publicly. At this large and opulent city, where idolatry was entrenched, the idols became mute when the missionaries arrived. This caused great astonishment, and the cause of the silence was sought. Saint Saturninus in the meantime was working miracles which produced a strong impression on the witnesses; among them, the cure of a woman with advanced leprosy. The sign of the cross which he made over crowds often cured many sick persons at the same time, and he then baptized those who showed themselves ready for the sacrament. For a time he left his two disciples there and continued on elsewhere, preaching in the cities of what are now Auch and Eauze. A Spaniard heard of him and crossed the Pyrenees to hear him; this man, by the name of Paternus, advanced so rapidly on the paths of virtue that Saint Saturninus ordained him and then established him bishop of Eauze. He himself returned to Toulouse and sent Honestus to Spain to preach. When the latter returned to ask him to come with him to Spain, he left his disciple Papulus in charge for a time at Toulouse.
At Pampeluna his preaching brought thousands to the truth, delivering these former idolaters from the heavy yoke of the ancient enemy. While he continued his apostolic labors elsewhere, in Toulouse a persecution broke out against Papulus, and the faithful Christian obtained the crown of martyrdom by a violent death. At once Saint Saturnin returned to Toulouse, when he learned of it.
The idols again became mute. One day a great multitude was gathered near a pagan altar, where a bull stood ready for the sacrifice. A man in the crowd pointed out Saturninus, who was passing by, as the cause of the silence. There is the one who preaches everywhere that our temples must be torn down, and who dares to call our gods devils! It is his presence that imposes silence on our oracles! He was chained and dragged to the summit of the capitol, situated on a high hill, and commanded to offer sacrifice to the idols and cease to preach Jesus Christ. An Angel appeared to him to fortify him, and the terrible flagellation he endured could not alter his firmness. I know only one God, the only true one; to Him alone I will offer sacrifice on the altar of my heart... How can I fear gods who you yourselves say are afraid of me? He was tied by a rope to the bull, which was driven down the stairs leading to the capitol. His skull was broken, and the Saint entered into the beatitude of the unceasing vision of God. His body was taken up and buried by two devout young women. Tradition conserved the memory of the place of his burial, where later a church was built.
Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 13