Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Saint March 8 : St. John of God : Patron of #Alcoholics; #Publishers, #Dying; Sick

Born at Montemoro Novo, Portugal, 8 March, 1495, of devout Christian parents; died at Granada, 8 March, 1550. The wonders attending the saints birth heralded a life many-sided in its interests, but dominated throughout by implicit fidelity to the grace of God. A Spanish priest whom he followed to Oropeza, Spain, in his ninth year left him in charge of the chief shepherd of the place, to whom he gradually endeared himself through his punctuality and fidelity to duty, as well as his earnest piety. When he had reached manhood, to escape his master's well-meant, but persistent, offer of his daughter's hand in marriage, John took service for a time in the army of Charles V, and on the renewal of the proposal he enlisted in a regiment on its way to Austria to do battle with the Turks.
Succeeding years found him first at his birthplace, saddened by the news of his mother's premature death, which had followed close upon his mysterious disappearance; then a shepherd at Seville and still later at Gibraltar, on the way to Africa, to ransom with his liberty Christians held captive by the Moors. He accompanied to Africa a Portuguese family just expelled from the country, to whom charity impelled him to offer his services. On the advice of his confessor he soon returned to Gilbratar, where, brief as had been the time since the invention of the printing-press, he inaugurated the Apostolate of the printed page, by making the circuit of the towns and villages about Gilbratar, selling religious books and pictures, with practically no margin of profit, in order to place them within the reach of all.
It was during this period of his life that he is said to have been granted the vision of the Infant Jesus, Who bestowed on him the name by which he was later known, John of God, also bidding him to go to Granada. There he was so deeply impressed by the preaching of Blessed John of Avila that he distributed his worldly goods and went through the streets of the city, beating his breast and calling on God for mercy. For some time his sanity was doubted by the people and he was dealt with as a madman, until the zealous preacher obliged him to desist from his lamentations and take some other method of atoning for his past life. He then made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, where the nature of his vocation was revealed to him by the Blessed Virgin. Returning to Granada, he gave himself up to the service of the sick and poor, renting a house in which to care for them and after furnishing it with what was necessary, he searched the city for those afflicted with all manner of disease, bearing on his shoulders any who were unable to walk.
For some time he was alone in his charitable work soliciting by night the needful supplies, and by day attending scrupulously to the needs of his patients and the rare of the hospital; but he soon received the co-operation of charitable priests and physicians. Many beautiful stories are related of the heavenly guests who visited him during the early days of herculean tasks, which were lightened at times by St.Raphael in person. To put a stop to the saint's habit of exchanging his cloak with any beggar he chanced to meet, Don Sebastian Ramirez, Bishop of Tuy, had made for him a habit, which was later adopted in all its essentials as the religious garb of his followers, and he imposed on him for all time the name given him by the Infant Jesus, John of God. The saint's first two companions, Antonio Martin and Pedro Velasco, once bitter enemies who had scandalised all Granada with their quarrels and dissipations, were converted through his prayers and formed the nucleus of a flourishing congregation. The former advanced so far on the way of perfection that the saint on his death-bed commended him to his followers as his successor in the government of the order. The latter, Peter the Sinner, as he called himself, became a model of humility and charity.
Among the many miracles which are related of the saint the most famous is the one commemorated in the Office of his feast, his rescue of all the inmates during a fire in the Grand Hospital at Granada, he himself passing through the flames unscathed. His boundless charity extended to widows and orphans, those out of employment, poor students, and fallen women. After thirteen years of severe mortification, unceasing prayer, and devotion to his patients, he died amid the lamentations of all the inhabitants of Granada. His last illness had resulted from an heroic but futile effort to save a young man from drowning. The magistrates and nobility of the city crowded about his death-bed to express their gratitude for his services to the poor, and he was buried with the pomp usually reserved for princes. He was beatified by Urban VIII, 21 September, 1638, and canonized by Alexander VIII, 16 October, 1690. Pope Leo XIII made St. John of God patron of hospitals and the dying. (See also BROTHERS HOSPITALLERS OF ST. JOHN OF GOD.)
Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis "Eucharistic Prayer we give thanks to God...the offerings become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ." FULL TEXT Audience + Video

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]  [Blog 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]  [Blog share of 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 . . .]
[Original text: Italian]  [Blog share of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Wow Star Actor Jim Caviezel Tells Crowd of Youth to "Be Saints" and that "Forgiveness is Everything!" SHARE

Stand out from this corrupt generation....Be saints; is what actor Jim Caviezel emphasized.
Movie star Jim Caviezel participated at a panel discussion at Franciscan University of Steubenville for his new movie on St. Paul.  "Forgiveness is everything. It is forgiveness at all costs, it does not mean weakness. It means that one meets the evil with love. That's the power behind this movie.  He told the students to stay away from the "corrupt generation" and become saint. "You were born to be different. Stand out from this corrupt generation. Be holy. " Before loud cheers from the crowd he said:
"Freedom exists not to do what you like but having the right to do what you ought" 
"This message is for you: a great man once said evil is powerless if the good are unafraid."
Caviezel even said that he believed that the devil was more afraid of him than he of the devil.
 The panel discussion also included Steubenville professor and author Scott Hahn, and EWTN's Raymond Arroyo. 

Wow Pope Francis will Celebrate a "24 Hours for the Lord" #Confession Service at Vatican

Pope Francis to open ‘24 Hours for the Lord’ initiative
Vatican News Release: The annual ’24 Hours for the Lord’ initiative will be kicked off on Friday with a penitential celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica presided over by Pope Francis. Pope Francis on Friday is to preside over the opening of the ‘24 Hours for the Lord’ with a penitential celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica. The annual event is organized and promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.
The 24 Hours for the Lord initiative is an opportunity for people to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. A church in every diocese around the world will be open for 24 consecutive hours as part of the initiative. Pope Francis, in his Lenten Message for 2018, invited the faithful to live the occasion as an opportunity “to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation in the context of Eucharistic adoration.” A press statement from the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization said Pope Francis “will open this great initiative with the Penitential Celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica”. This is the 5th recurrent of the 24 Hours for the Lord initiative.
“The objective,” according to Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, President of the Council, “is to offer to all – especially to those who feel uncomfortable entering a church – the opportunity to seek the merciful embrace of God”. He called it “a unique occasion to return to the Father”.
The Pontifical Council has prepared a pastoral guide in various languages to accompany those participating in the 24 Hours for the Lord initiative.
Text Source: Vatican News 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. March 7, 2018 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 239

Reading 1DT 4:1, 5-9

Moses spoke to the people and said:
"Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
which I am teaching you to observe,
that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land
which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
Therefore, I teach you the statutes and decrees
as the LORD, my God, has commanded me,
that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy.
Observe them carefully,
for thus will you give evidence
of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,
who will hear of all these statutes and say,
'This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.'
For what great nation is there
that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
whenever we call upon him?
Or what great nation has statutes and decrees
that are as just as this whole law
which I am setting before you today?

"However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children's children."

Responsorial PsalmPS 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20

R. (12a) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
He spreads snow like wool;
frost he strews like ashes.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Verse Before The GospelSEE JN 6:63C, 68C

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
You have the words of everlasting life.

Gospel MT 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Oscar Romero Soon to be Saints as Pope Francis approves Miracles

Vatican News Release: Pope Francis approves decrees of miracles for Paul VI and Oscar Romero The Congregation for the Causes of Saints is making public the following decrees which Pope Francis authorized in a meeting with Cardinal Angel Amato, Prefect of the Congregation.
Pope Francis: Paul VI will be a saint this year
— a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini), Supreme Pontiff; born in Concesio (Italy) on 26 September 1897 and died inCastel Gandolfo (Italy) on 6 August 1978;
— a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez, Archbishop of San Salvador (El Salvador), Martyr; born in Ciudad Barrios (El Salvador) on 15 August 1917 and murdered in San Salvador (El Salvador) on 24 March 1980;
— a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Francesco Spinelli, Diocesan priest, Founder of the Institute of the Sister Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament; born in Milan (Italy) on 14 April 1853 and died at Rivolta d’Adda (Italy) on 6 February 1913;
— a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Vincenzo Romani, Diocesan priest; born at Torre del Greco (Italy) on 3 June 1751 and died there on 20 December 1831;
— a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Maria Catherine Kasper, Foundress of the Institute of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ; born on 26 May 1820 in Dernbach (Germany) and died there on 2 February 1898;
— a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God María Felicia Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (secular name: María Guggiari Echeverría), Professed Sister of the Order of Discalced Carmelites; born in Villarica (Paraguay) on 12 gennaio 1925 e died in Asunción (Paraguay) on 28 aprile 1959;
— the martyrdom of the Servant of God Anna Kolesárová, Laywoman; born in Vysoká nad Uhom (Slovakia) on 14 July 1928 e killed in hatred of the Faith on 22 November 1944;
— the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Bernard Łubieński, Professed priest of the Congregation of the Holy Redeemer; born in Guzów (Poland) on 9 December 1846 and died in Warsaw (Poland) on 10 September 1933;
— the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Cecilio Maria Cortinovis (secular name: Antonio Pietro), Professed religious of the Order of Friars Minor, Capuchin; born in Nespello (Italy) on 7 November 1885 and died in Bergamo (Italy) on 10 April 1984;
— the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Giustina Schiapparoli, Foundress of the Congregation of the Benedictine Sisters of Divine Providence of Voghera; born in Castel San Giovanni (Italy) on 19 July 1819 and died at Voghera (Italy) on 30 November 1877;
— the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Maria Schiapparoli, Foundress of the Congregation of the Benedictine Sisters of Divine Providence of Voghera; born in Castel San Giovanni (Italy) on 19 April 1815 and died at Vespolate (Italy) on 2 May 1882;
— the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Maria Antonella Bordoni, Laywoman of the Third Order of Saint Dominic, Foundress of the Lay Fraternity of the Little Daughters of the Mother of ; born on 13 October 1916 in Arezzo (Italy) and died in Castel Gandolfo (Italy) on 16 January 1978;
— the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Alessandra Sabattini, Layman; born on 19 August 1961 in Riccione (Italy) and died in Bologna (Italy) on 2 May 1984.
Text Source: Vatican News

#BreakingNews RIP Archbishop of Vietnam Msgr. Paul Bùi Văn Đọc - Dies of Stroke at Vatican on Visit -

The archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City dies in Rome during his ad limina visit

J.B. An Dan
ASIA NEWS IT Release: Msgr. Paul Bùi Văn Đọc was struck by a stroke yesterday during a concelebration in the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the walls. He had met Pope Francis the day before. Originally from Da Lat, he was consecrated bishop of My Tho by John Paul II. Pope Francis had appointed him coadjutor archbishop of Ho Chi Minh in 2013.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City, Msgr. Paul Bùi Văn Đọc died yesterday in Rome during the ad limina visit, just a day after his meeting with Pope Francis along with other Vietnamese prelates.
Msgr Paul Bùi Văn Đọc suffered a sudden stroke yesterday at 11 am during the mass that the 32 Vietnamese bishops were celebrating in the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the walls, over which he was presiding. Despite the efforts of the doctors and nurses, he died later at San Camillo hospital. His body is still at the hospital and the Vietnamese community still does not know what to do.
The prelates of the Episcopal Conference of Vietnam are in Italy since March 2, after having made a brief visit to the Society for the foreign missions of Paris (the MEPs). During the period of the visit, the bishops had planned several meetings with the Vatican dicasteries.
Msgr. Paul Bùi Văn Đọc was president of the Episcopal Conference during the period 2013-2016. He was born on 11 November 1944 in Da Lat, in the mountainous province of the central highlands. In 1956 he began his studies in the seminary in Saigon. Between 1960 and 1970 he then continued his studies in philosophy and theology at the Urbanianum University in Rome and was ordained a priest on December 17, 1970 in Da Lat.
In 1975 he was appointed rector of the major seminary of Minh Hòa, in the diocese, where he remained until his appointment as vicar general in 1995. For this long period he also worked as a professor of theology in the seminaries of Saigon, Hà Nội and Huế (1986-2008).
Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop of My Tho on March 26, 1999. His episcopal consecration took place on March 20 of the following year, through the hands of Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Phạm Minh Mẫn of Ho Chi Minh City.
On September 28, 2013, Pope Francis appointed him coadjutor archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City and on 22 March 2014, he succeeded Card. Phạm Minh Mẫn, as the third pastor of the archdiocese, which was erected in 1960.