Sunday, February 25, 2018

Saint February 26 : St. Porphyrius : Bishop of #Gaza in #Palestine

St. Porphyrius

Feast Day:
February 26
347, Thessalonica, Greece
February 26, 420, Gaza, Palestine
Bishop of Gaza in Palestine, b. at Thessalonica about 347; d. at Gaza, 26 February, 420. After five years in the Egyptian desert of Scete he lived five years in a cave near the Jordan. In spite of his impaired health, he frequently visited the scene of the Resurrection. Here he met the Asiatic Mark, at a later date a deacon of his church and his biographer. To effect the sale of the property still owned by Porphyrius in his native city, Mark set out for Thessalonica and, upon his return, the proceeds were distributed among the monasteries of Egypt and among the necessitous in and around Jerusalem. In 392 Porphyrius was ordained to the priesthood, and the relic of the Holy Cross was intrusted to his care. In 395 he became Bishop of Gaza, a stronghold of paganism, with an insignificant Christian community. The attitude of the pagan population was hostile so that the bishop appealed to the emperor for protection and pleaded repeatedly for the destruction of pagan temples. He finally obtained an imperial rescript ordering the destruction of pagan sanctuaries at Gaza. A Christian church was erected on the site of the temple of Marnas. In 415 Porphyrius attended the Council of Diospolis. The "Vita S. Porphyrii" of Mark the Deacon, formerly known only in a Latin translation, was published in 1874 by M. Haupt in its original Greek text; a new edition was issued in 1895 by the Bonn Philological Society.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis "... stop and listen to Jesus; in bad times, stop and listen to Jesus." FULL TEXT Lent Homily in Rome + Video

On Sunday 25 February the Pope traveled to the Roman parish of Saint Gelasius in Ponte Mammolo . During the visit, Pope Francis meets with young people, the sick, families and the Caritas workers from the parish, and presided over Mass.
Homily of Pope Francis
Jesus shows himself to the Apostles as he is in Heaven: glorious, luminous, triumphant, victorious. And this is done to prepare them to bear the Passion, the scandal of the cross, because they could not understand that Jesus would die like a criminal, they could not understand it. They thought that Jesus was a liberator, but as are the earthly liberators, those who win in battle, those who are always triumphant. And the path of Jesus is another: Jesus triumphs through humiliation, the humiliation of the cross. But since this would have been a scandal for them, Jesus makes them see what comes next, what is after the cross, what awaits us, all of us. This glory and this Heaven. And this is very beautiful! It is very beautiful because Jesus - and this feels good - always prepares us to the test. In one way or another, but this is the message: it always prepares us. It gives us the strength to go on in the moments of trial and win them with its strength. Jesus does not leave us alone in the trials of life: he always prepares us, helps us, as he has prepared these [the disciples], with the vision of his glory. And so they then remembered this [moment] to bear the weight of humiliation. This is the first thing that the Church teaches us: Jesus always prepares us for tests and with us, he does not leave us alone. Never.

The second thing we can take from the words of God: "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him. " This is the message that the Father gives to the Apostles. Jesus' message is to prepare them by showing them his glory; the message of the Father is: "Listen to him". There is no moment in life that can not be lived fully by listening to Jesus. In beautiful moments, stop and listen to Jesus; in bad times, stop and listen to Jesus. This is the way. He will tell us what we have to do. Always.

And let us go forward in this Lent with these two things: in the trials, remember the glory of Jesus, that is, what awaits us; that Jesus is always present, with that glory to give us strength. And during all of life, listen to Jesus, what Jesus tells us: in the Gospel, in the liturgy, he always speaks to us; or in the heart.

In everyday life, perhaps we will have problems, or we will have to solve many things. Let's ask ourselves this question: what does Jesus say to me today? And we try to listen to the voice of Jesus, the inspiration from within. And so we follow the advice of the Father: "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him. " It will be Our Lady to give you the second council, at Cana in Galilee, when there is the miracle of water [transformed] into wine. What does the Madonna say? "Do what He tells you". Listening to Jesus and doing what He says: this is the sure path. Go forward with the memory of the glory of Jesus, with this advice: listen to Jesus and do what He tells us.

Final greeting

I'm thinking of one thing: open a parish to the North Pole, and you who have felt so cold, you can go there to do the parish ... what do you think? You like it?

Thank you, thank you for staying here, in the cold. Thank you so much for coming. Thank you for your welcome and for your kindness. The Lord bless you so much. And I would like to give you the blessing now. Let us pray for one another, for all the families of the parish, for the priests, for all those who work here and for all the faithful and the non-faithful.


And please, I ask you to pray for me, do not forget. Thank you! Thank you!
Text Source: - Google Translation from Italian - Image

#BreakingNews Boko Haram Attacks School and Kidnaps Girls again in Nigeria - 110 still Missing - Please Pray

 - On Monday Boko Haram attackedg the town of Dapchi, Yobe state. One hundred and ten girls are missing after an attack on a school in northeast Nigeria by suspected Boko Haram insurgents. The information ministry confirmed the number on Sunday,  what may be one of the largest abductions since the Chibok kidnappings of 2014. In 2014, Islamist militant Boko Haram kidnapped 270 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok. The Campaign Bring Back Our Girls was started. Boko Haram's name translates to "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa language They have killed 20,000 people and forced two million to flee since 2009. President Muhammadu Buhari said that the Yobe abduction is a "national disaster." The insurgents drove into the town of Dapchi on Monday and attacked the girls' school, sending hundreds of students fleeing. Some of the attackers were camouflaged. "The federal government has confirmed that 110 students of the Government Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State, are so far unaccounted for, after insurgents believed to be from a faction of Boko Haram invaded their school on Monday," the information ministry said in a statement. The Nigerian Air Force is searching for the girls. (Textual Information from MSN and ABC)
PLEASE SHARE and Pray for the Safe Return of theses Girls and for Peace in Nigeria

Free Catholic Movie : "Lilies of the Field" - Stars Sidney Poitier

The film Lilies of the Field, released in 1963,  a wandering ex-G.I. stops by a farm being run by five German nuns and agrees to help them out with various and sundry tasks and chores. At their insistence, he stays on to build a chapel for them, and the nuns are sure that he is a miracle sent from God. Frankly, the real miracle here is that this movie got made at all.  it was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Moreover, Lilies of the Field achieved motion picture history as Sidney Poitier was awarded the Best Actor Oscar, marking the first time in history an Academy Award was awarded to a black man. 

Pope Francis "... not only a man but the Son of God, who has saved us, with His faithful love to death." FULL TEXT Angelus + Video

Before the Angelus
 Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Today’s Gospel, second Sunday of Lent, invites us to contemplate the Transfiguration of Christ (Cf. Mark 9:2-10). This episode is linked to what happened six days before when Jesus revealed to His disciples that at Jerusalem He would “suffer much and be rejected by the Elders, the Heads of the priests and scribes, be killed and, after three days, resurrect” (Mark 8:31). This announcement put Peter and the whole group of the disciples in crisis, who rejected the idea that Jesus would be rejected by the leaders of the people and then killed. They, in fact, awaited a powerful, strong, dominating Messiah, instead, Jesus presents Himself as the meek, as the humble Servant of God and Servant of men, who must give His life in sacrifice, passing through the way of persecution, of suffering and of death. However, how could one follow a Master and Messiah, whose earthly fortune would end in such a way? The answer comes, in fact, from the Transfiguration. What is Jesus’ Transfiguration? It’s an anticipated paschal apparition.
Jesus took with Him three disciples: Peter, James and John and “led them up a high mountain “ (Mark 9:2); and there He showed them His glory for a moment, the glory of the Son of God. So this event of the Transfiguration enables the disciples to face the Passion of Jesus in a positive way, without being overwhelmed. And Jesus thus prepares them for the test. The Transfiguration helps the disciples, and also us, to understand that Christ’s Passion is a mystery of suffering, but it’s especially a gift of infinite love on Jesus’ part. The event of Jesus, who is transfigured on the mountain, makes us also understand better His Resurrection. To understand the mystery of the cross it’s necessary to know in anticipation that He that that suffers and is glorified is not only a man but the Son of God, who has saved us, with His faithful love to death. Thus the Father renews His Messianic declaration on the Son, already made on the banks of the Jordan after the Baptism, and He exhorts: “listen to Him!” (v. 7). The disciples are called to follow the Master with confidence and hope, despite His death; Jesus’ divinity must manifest itself precisely on the cross, precisely in His dying “in that way,” so much so that the evangelist Mark puts on the centurion’s mouth the profession of faith: “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (15:39).
We now turn in prayer to the Virgin Mary, the human creature transfigured interiorly by the grace of Christ. We entrust ourselves confidentially to her maternal help, to continue the Lenten journey with faith and generosity.
© Libreria Editrice Vatican
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Angelus
 Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In these days my thought often goes to beloved and martyred Syria, where the war has intensified, especially in eastern Ghouta. This month of February has been one of the most violent in seven years of conflict: hundreds, thousands of civilian victims, children, women and elderly. Hospitals have been hit; people can’t procure for themselves <something> to eat . . .  Brothers and sisters, all this is inhuman. Evil can’t be combated with another evil, and war is an evil.  Therefore, I make my heartfelt appeal for violence to cease immediately, for access to be given to humanitarian aid – food and medicine – and for the wounded and sick to be evacuated. Let us pray together to God for this to happen immediately.
[Pause of silence] Hail Mary . . .
A warm greeting goes to all of you, pilgrims of Rome, of Italy and of different countries, particularly those who have come from Spis in Slovakia.
I greet the representatives of the diocesan television station of Prato with their Bishop, the young people of the orchestra of Oppido Mamertina and the scouts of Genoa. I greet the Confirmation candidates and the youngsters of the profession of faith from Serravalle, Scrivia, Verdellino, Zingonia, Lodi, Renate and Verduggio.
I greet the group that has come on the occasion of the “Day for Rare Diseases,” with encouragement to the Associations that work in this field. Thank you. Thank you for what you do.
I wish you all a happy Sunday. Don’t forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!
[Original text: Italian]  [Blogger Entry Share of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. February 25, 2018 - #Eucharist - 2nd #Lent - Readings + Video

Second Sunday of Lent
Lectionary: 26

Reading 1GN 22:1-2, 9A, 10-13, 15-18

God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am!" he replied.
Then God said:
"Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love,
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust
on a height that I will point out to you."

When they came to the place of which God had told him,
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD's messenger called to him from heaven,
"Abraham, Abraham!"
"Here I am!" he answered.
"Do not lay your hand on the boy," said the messenger.
"Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son."
As Abraham looked about,
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.

Again the LORD's messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said:
"I swear by myself, declares the LORD,
that because you acted as you did
in not withholding from me your beloved son,
I will bless you abundantly
and make your descendants as countless
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore;
your descendants shall take possession
of the gates of their enemies,
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth
shall find blessing—
all this because you obeyed my command."

Responsorial PsalmPS 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19

R. (116:9) I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
I believed, even when I said,
"I am greatly afflicted."
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
O LORD, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the house of the LORD,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.

Reading 2 ROM 8:31B-34

Brothers and sisters:
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son
but handed him over for us all,
how will he not also give us everything else along with him?

Who will bring a charge against God's chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us, who will condemn?
Christ Jesus it is who died—or, rather, was raised—
who also is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us.

Verse Before The Gospel CF. MT 17:5

From the shining cloud the Father's voice is heard:
This is my beloved Son, listen to him.

GospelMK 9:2-10

Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
"Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
"This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.

Saint February 25 : St. Tarasius : #Pariarch of #Constantinople

Patriarch of Constantinople, date of birth unknown; died 25 February, 806.
He was the son of the Patrician and Prefect of Constantinople, George, and his wife Eukratia, and entered the service of the State. In 784 when Paul IV Patriarch of Constantinople died Tarasius was an imperial secretary, and a champion of the veneration of images. It may be that before his death the patriarch had recommended Tarasius as his successor in the patriarchate to the Empress Irene who was regent for her son Constantine VI (780-797). After the burial of Paul IV a great popular assembly was held before the Magnaura Palace to discuss the filling of the vacant see. The empress delivered an oration on the new appointment to the patriarchate and the people proclaimed Tarasius as the most worthy candidate. The empress agreed but said that Tarasius refused to accept the position. Tarasius now made a speech himself in which he declared he felt himself unworthy of the office, further that the elevation of a layman was very hazardous, and that the position of the Church of Constantinople had become a very difficult one, as it was separated from the Catholics of Western Europe and isolated from the other Oriental patriarchates; consequently he would only be willing to accept the position of patriarch on condition that Church unity be restored and that, in connection with the pope, an oecumenical council be called. The majority of the populace approved of these views and the imperial Court agreed to it. So on 25 December, 784, Tarasius was consecrated patriarch. In 785 he sent the priest George as his legate to Hadrian I with a letter in which he announced his appointment. In his reply the pope expressed his disapproval of the elevation of Tarasius directly from the laity to the dignity of a bishop contrary to canonical regulation, but allowed clemency to rule in view of the orthodoxy of the new patriarch's views, and recognized him as patriarch. After this by joint action with the pope and the imperial Court Tarasius called the Second Council of Nicaea, the Seventh Ecumenical Council, which rejected Iconoclasm. Union with the Roman Church was restored.
After the synod the patriarch had a number of struggles not only with the Iconoclastic party of the capital but also with a party of Orthodox monks. First, the latter upbraided him for restoring to office the bishops who had formerly maintained Iconoclasm, but who had submitted to the decrees of the Council of 787. As, however, this was in accordance with the decrees of the council the accusation was allowed to drop. Another accusation was much more serious, namely, that Tarasius tolerated and encouraged simony, because those bishops who had given money to obtain their positions were only commanded by him to do a year's penance and were permitted to retain their offices. The patriarch defended himself in writing against this accusation which he denied in toto; moreover, he issued a severe synodal letter against Simonists. The monks, however, were not satisfied; they maintained their accusations and also attacked the Council of 787. At a later date Theodore of Studium, who took part in these disputes, changed his opinion of Tarasius, and also of the Second Council of Nicaea, the oecumenical character of which he acknowledged. Many serious difficulties still existed in regard to Western Europe. There were also fresh disputes in Constantinople when the Emperor Constantine VI put aside his lawful wife and wished to marry Theodata, a relative of Abbot Theodore of Studium. Tarasius positively refused to perform the second marriage and expressed his displeasure at the conduct of the priest Joseph who had married the emperor. The zealous monks, whose leaders were the Abbots Plato of Saccudium and Theodore of Studium, accused the patriarch of weakness, because he took no further steps against the emperor. They refused to have Church fellowship any longer with Tarasius, and were, consequently, violently persecuted by the emperor who, however, also treated the patriarch harshly. After Irene had dethroned Constantine in 797, Tarasius deposed the priest Joseph and peace was once more restored between the patriarch and the monks. (See THEODORE OF STUDIUM). In 802 Tarasius crowned as emperor Nicephorus, who had overthrown Irene, an act that greatly dissatisfied the populace. The patriarch had nothing to do with the intrigues of the court. His life was ascetic and simple, he checked the luxury of the clergy, preached with great zeal, and was very benevolent to the poor. After his death he was venerated as a saint. His name is also placed in the Roman Martyrology under the date of 25 February. Catholic Enclopedia