Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Saint March 1 : St. David : #Bishop : Patron of #Wales

(DEGUI, DEWI). Bishop and Confessor, patron of Wales. He is usually represented standing on a little hill, with a dove on his shoulder. From time immemorial the Welsh have worn a leek on St. David's day, in memory of a battle against the Saxons, at which it is said they wore leeks in their hats, by St. David's advice, to distinguish them from their enemies. He is commemorated on 1 March. The earliest mention of St. David is found in a tenth-century manuscript Of the "Annales Cambriae", which assigns his death to A.D. 601. Many other writers, from Geoffrey of Monmouth down to Father Richard Stanton, hold that he died about 544, but their opinion is based solely on data given in various late "lives" of St. David, and there seems no good reason for setting aside the definite statement of the "Annales Cambriae", which is now generally accepted. Little else that can claim to be historical is known about St. David. The tradition that he was born at Henvynyw (Vetus-Menevia) in Cardiganshire is not improbable. He was prominent at the Synod of Brevi (Llandewi Brefi in Cardiganshire), which has been identified with the important Roman military station, Loventium. Shortly afterwards, in 569, he presided over another synod held at a place called Lucus Victoriae. He was Bishop (probably not Archbishop) of Menevia, the Roman port Menapia in Pembrokeshire, later known as St. David's, then the chief point of departure for Ireland. St. David was canonized by Pope Callistus II in the year 1120.
The first biography that has come down to us was written near the end of the eleventh century, about 500 years after the saint's death, by Rhygyfarch (Ricemarchus). According to these other writers St. David was the son of Sant or Sandde ab Ceredig ab Cunnedda, The saint's mother was Nonna, or Nonnita (sometimes called Melaria), a daughter of Gynyr of Caergawch. She was a nun who had been violated by Sant. St. David's birth  took place at "Old Menevia" somewhere about A.D. 454. Afterwards he spent ten years studying the Holy Scripture at Whitland in Carmarthenshire, under St. Paulinus (Pawl Hen), whom he cured of blindness by the sign of the cross. At the end of this period St. Paulinus, warned by an angel, sent out the young saint to evangelize the British. St. David journeyed throughout the West, founding or restoring twelve monasteries (among which occur the great names of Glastonbury, Bath, and Leominster), and finally settled in the Vale of Ross, where he and his monks lived a life of extreme austerity.  Here also his monks tried to poison him, but St. David, warned by St. Scuthyn, who crossed from Ireland in one night on the back of a sea-monster, blessed the poisoned bread and ate it without harm. From thence, with St. Teilo and St. Padarn, he set out for Jerusalem, where he was made bishop by the patriarch. Here too St. Dubric and St. Daniel found him, when they came to call him to the Synod of Brevi "against the Pelagians". St. David was with difficulty persuaded to accompany them; on his way he raised a widow's son to life, and at the synod preached so loudly, from the hill that miraculously rose under him, that all could hear him, and so eloquently that all the heretics were confounded. St. Dubric resigned the "Archbishopric of Caerleon", and St. David was appointed in his stead. One of his first acts was to hold, in the year 569, yet another synod called "Victory", against the Pelagians, of which the decrees were confirmed by the pope. With the permission of King Arthur he removed his see from Caerleon to Menevia, whence he governed the British Church for many years with great holiness and wisdom. He died at the great age of 147, on the day predicted by himself a week earlier. His body is said to have been translated to Glastonbury in the year 966. (Edited from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis "He asks us for the will to be better to receive him who offers Himself to us in the Eucharist." Audience FULL TEXT + Video

FULL TEXT of Audience: 
The Holy Father’s Catechesis
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Continuing with the catechesis on the Holy Mass, the Liturgy of the Word — on which I reflected in the past catechesis –, is followed by the other constitutive part of the Mass, which is the Eucharistic LiturgyIn it, through the holy signs, the Church renders continually present the Sacrifice of the new Covenant sealed by Jesus on the altar of the Cross (Cf. Second Ecumenical Vatican Council, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 47). The first Christian altar was the Cross, and when we come to the altar to celebrate Mass, our memory goes <back> to the altar of the Cross, where the first sacrifice was made. The priest, who represents Christ in the Mass, carries out what the Lord Himself did and entrusted to the disciples in the Last Supper: He took the bread and the chalice, rendered thanks, and gave them to the disciplessaying: “Take, eat . . . drink: this is my Body . . . this is the chalice of my Blood. Do this in memory of Me.”
Obedient to Jesus’ command, the Church ordered the Eucharistic Liturgy in moments that correspond to the words and gestures done by Himon the vigil of his Passion. Thus, in the preparation of the giftsthe bread and wine are taken to the altar, namely, the elements that Jesus took in His hands. In the Eucharistic Prayer we give thanks to God for the work of Redemption and the offerings become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. It’s followed by the breaking of the Bread and Communion, through which we relive the experience of the Apostles, who received the Eucharistic gifts from the hands of Christ Himself (Cf. Ordinamento Generale del Messale Romano), 72).

The preparation of the gifts corresponds, then, to Jesus’ first gesture: “He took the bread and the chalice of wine. It’s the first part of the Eucharistic Liturgy. It’s good that it’s the faithful that present the bread and wine to the priest, because they signify the spiritual offering of the Church, gathered there for the Eucharist. It’s beautiful that it’s in fact the faithful that bring the bread and wine to the altar. Although today “the faithful no longer bring, as before, their own bread and wine destined to the Liturgy, yet the rite of the presentation of these gifts keeps its value and spiritual meaning” (Ibid., 73).  And in this connection, it’s significant that, in ordaining a new presbyter, the Bishop, when he gives him the bread and wine, says: “Receive the offerings of the holy people for the Eucharistic sacrifice” (Roman Pontifical – Ordination of Bishops, of presbyters and of deacons). <It’s> the people of God that brings the offering, the bread and wine, the great offering for the Mass! Therefore, in the signs of the bread and wine the faithful people put their own offering in the priest’s hands, who places it on the altar or table of the Lord, “which is the center of all the Eucharistic Liturgy”((OGMR, 73). That is, the center of the Mass is the altar, and the altar is Christ. It’s always necessary to look at the altar, which is the center of the Mass. Offered, therefore, in the “fruit of the earth and the work of man,” is the commitment of the faithful to make of themselves, obedient to the divine Word, a “pleasing sacrifice to Almighty God the Father,” “for the good of all His Holy Church.” Thus “the life of the faithful, their suffering, their prayer, their work, are united to those of Christ and to His total offering, and in this way they acquire a new value” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1368).
Our offering is certainly a small thing, but Christ is in need of this small thing. The Lord asks little of us, and He gives us so much. He asks little of us. He asks us for good will in ordinary life; He asks us for an open heart; He asks us for the will to be better to receive him who offers Himself to us in the Eucharist. He asks us for these symbolic offerings, which will then become His Body and His Blood. An image of this self-giving movement of prayer is represented by incense that, consumed in the fire, gives off a perfumed smoke that goes up on high: to incense the offerings, as is done on feast days, to incense the cross, the altar, the priest and the priestly people manifest visibly the offertory bond that unites all these realities to Christ’s sacrifice (Cf. OGMR, 75). And don’t forget: it’s the altar that is Christ, but always in reference to the first altar, which is the Cross, and on the altar, which is Christ, we bring our little gifts, the bread and wine, which then will become so much: Jesus Himself who gives Himself to us.
And all this is what the prayer over the offerings expresses. In it the priest asks God to accept the gifts that the Church offers Him, invoking the fruit of the wonderful exchange between our poverty and His richness. In the bread and wine, we present our life to Him, so that it’s transformed by the Holy Spirit into Christ’s sacrifice and becomes, with Him, one spiritual offering pleasing to the Father. While the preparation of the gifts is thus concluded, it disposes us to the Eucharistic Prayer (Cf. Ibid, 77).
May the spirituality of the gift of selfwhich this moment of the Mass teaches, be able to illume our days, our relations with others, the things we do, the sufferings we meet, helping us to build the earthly city in the light of the Gospel.
[Original text: Italian]  [Blogger Share of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
In Italian
A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking faithful.
I am happy to receive the participants in the General Chapter of the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate, the Christian Brothers Schools and “God’s Volunteers” of the Focolare Movement.
I greet the faithful of Pavullo nel Frignano, accompanied by the Bishop, Monsignor Germano Bernardini; the young people guests of the Hospitality Center of L’Aquila; the school Institutes, especially those of Civitavecchia and of the Pallotine Sisters of Rome; the members of the Order of Malta of Lombardy and Veneto and the FAIPA associates: “The Golden Keys.” I hope that you all can live the faith as service to God and to brothers.
Finally I greet the young people, the sick and the newlyweds. Lent is a favourable time to intensify the spiritual life: may the practice of fasting be of help to you, dear young people, to acquire greater mastery over yourselves; may the thought of the future help you, dear elderly, to give hope to young people: speak with them; may prayer be for you, dear sick, the means to entrust your sufferings to God and to feel Him always close; finally, may the works of mercy help you, dear newlyweds, to live your conjugal life always oriented to the needs of brothers.
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
I greet the faithful present in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Thank you! Thank you so much for your patience in waiting up to now. May the Lord bless you — bless your patience. But I thought it was better to be here than in the cold, no? Truly? Yes? All right. Now I will give you the Blessing, but first let us pray to Our Lady.
[Hail Mary . . .]

#BreakingNews 7 People Killed as Christians and Muslims Fight over inter-faith Dating - Please Pray

Seven persons were killed, yesterday, while 15 others were injured, as Christian and Muslim youths clashed at Kasuwan Magani, Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The clash was over forcible conversion and dating of girls of opposite faith.  Several houses were also set ablaze in the bloody clash. There were rumors of an attempt to forcibly convert some Christian girls who were allegedly taken to the residence of the local chief. . A statement by his spokeman, Samuel Aruwan, said while condemning the incidence, Governor El-Rufai expressed his sympathy to those affected by the incidence. The governor urged all citizens and communities to reject violence and division, and uphold their neighbours in peace and harmony.
Edited from All Africa/Vanguard

#BreakingNews 4 Catholic Protesters Killed by Police in Congo and 47 Injured - Please Pray

 At least four anti-government protesters were killed and 47 were injured by security forces at a nationwide protest against Congo President Joseph Kabila. This protest was organized by Christian leaders, according to the United Nations. Leila Zerrougui, the head of Congo's U.N. mission, said Sunday that 47 people were injured and more than 100 were arrested across the country for participating in a protest organized by the Catholic Church and other church groups to call for the government to organize a long overdue presidential election. Slain activist was 36-years-old Rossy Mukendi, who is an assistant university professor shot by police outside of a church in Kinshasa's Lemba neighborhood. "Since 7:00 am we have received three injured people from the Catholic march," Dr. Francois Kajingulu from the St Joseph de Limete hospital told AFP. "Two were seriously injured and one died from a bullet wound in the chest."  Kabila, who has been office since 2001, was the first president elected under these rules and his second term was to end in 2016.  The organizers of Sunday's demonstration are calling for a new election. "Our people no longer believe in the political will of our current leaders to ensure a peaceful transition of power," the Lay Coordination Committee (CLC). In a statement the CLC said that "there will be no respite for the government in place as long as we have not recovered our dignity and our liberty."  According to AFP, three priests were arrested for leading a march in east Kisangani. In Kisangani, hundreds marched but retreated into a Cathedral when police used tear gas and began firing bullets. Deutsche Welle news reported, government forces killed as many as 12 protesters in the previous two recent anti-Kabila demonstrations. Earlier this year, it was reported that security forces in Congo had fired bullets and used tear gas on protesters inside of churches. Eight Christians were killed and at least 82 were arrested.

RIP Brother Chukwunonye Osunwoke, OP - 1st Nigerian Dominican Dies at Age 85

OP Release: The Province of St. Joseph the Worker, Nigeria and Ghana has lost its very first Nigerian Dominican, Brother Chukwunonye Linus Osunwoke, O.P., popularly known as Brother Nonye, aged 85 years. He was a Cooperator Brother. Born in January 15, 1933, he joined the Order in the early 60s, made first profession on October 7, 1964 and solemn profession on October 7, 1970.
Brother Nonye established the popular Dominican Arts in Ibadan in the early 70s. It was well known in Nigeria for the design and production of church vestments and robes, and African traditional wears. In 1977, he went to the United States for the provincial chapter in River Forest. After the Chapter, he was approved to do some studies in the United States. In 1985, he came back with a Masters degree in Clinical Counseling. On his return to Nigeria, he was assigned to the formation house, Ibadan, as Assistant Student Master, (my Assistant Student Master). He loved farming; in the early 1990s, he got over 30 hectares of land and started the Ibadan Farm Project, known as “Moniya Farms”, which today is the Center for Human Resources and Development.
As he advanced in years, he was transferred to St. Dominic Catholic Church, Yaba, Lagos. He was fully involved in the pastoral life of the parish, teaching catechism to the young and old, had ministries to different pious societies in the parish, marriage preparation, administered Holy Communion to the sick and elderly, and helped with the distribution of Holy Communion on Sundays and weekdays, a major ministry in the parish. Brother Nonye was very faithful to this service until his health started to fail. He was also the sacristan for the priory chapel.
Brother Nonye loved his Dominican life and gave all of us a great example. He had a very strong and disciplined personality. As our Assistant Student Master, we used to call him “Lion”. However, he was at the same time a jovial person, and very free with the younger brothers who called him “fellow novitiate”. He loved community life and activities and was regular in observing them. He was regular at community rosary and often led it. He was very meticulous in maintaining the sacred vessels, linens and clothsin the priory chapel. One would often find him alone in the chapel praying the rosary.
He remained strong in health until he celebrated his 80th birth anniversary five years ago. Immediately after that celebration, his health went south. He started becoming weak, there was no specific sickness but he could no longer climb steps easily or do what he regularly did before. He held on to his faith to the end. On January 15 this year, the brothers in St. Dominic Priory celebrated his 85th birthday in his room, sang for him while he watched gleefully. That was his last birthday as he died on February 17. He will be laid to rest at the provincial cemetery, St. Thomas Aquinas, Priory, Ibadan, on March 2. May the soul of Brother Nonye and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
fr. Charles UKWE, op

(24 February 2018)
Full Text Press Release of Order Preachers - (Dominicans)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. February 28, 2018 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
Lectionary: 232

Reading 1JER 18:18-20

The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
"Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word."

Heed me, O LORD,
and listen to what my adversaries say.
Must good be repaid with evil
that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you
to speak in their behalf,
to turn away your wrath from them.

Responsorial PsalmPS 31:5-6, 14, 15-16

R. (17b) Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
You will free me from the snare they set for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side,
as they consult together against me, plotting to take my life.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God."
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

Verse Before The GospelJN 8:12

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.

GospelMT 20:17-28

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day."

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, "What do you wish?"
She answered him,
"Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom."
Jesus said in reply,
"You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
He replied,
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."