Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Saint March 15 : St. Louise de Marillac : Patron of Disappointing children, Rejected by #religious orders, Social workers

12 August 1591 at Meux, France
15 March 1660 at Paris, France
11 March 1934 by Pope Pius XI
Major Shrine:
Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Rue du Bac, Paris, France
Patron of:
disappointing children, loss of parents, people rejected by religious orders, sick people, social workers, Vincentian Service Corps, widows
Foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, born at Paris, 12 August, 1591, daughter of Louis de Marillac, Lord of Ferri res, and Marguerite Le Camus; died there, 15 March, 1660. Her mother having died soon after the birth of Louise, the education of the latter devolved upon her father, a man of blameless life. In her earlier years she was confided to the care of her aunt, a religious at Poissy. Afterwards she studied under a preceptress, devoting much time to the cultivation of the arts. Her father's serious disposition was reflected in the daughter's taste for philosophy and kindred subjects. When about sixteen years old, Louise developed a strong desire to enter the Capuchinesses (Daughter of the Passion). Her spiritual director dissuaded her, however, and her father having died, it became necessary to decide her vocation. Interpreting her director's advice, she accepted the hand of Antoine* Le Gras, a young secretary under Maria de' Medici. A son was born of this marriage on 13 October, 1613, and to his education Mlle Le Gras devoted herself during the years of his childhood. Of works of charity she never wearied. In 1619 she became acquainted with St. Francis de Sales, who was then in Paris, and Mgr. Le Campus, Bishop of Belley, became her spiritual adviser. Troubled by the thought that she had rejected a call to the religious state, she vowed in 1623 not remarry should her husband die before her.
M. Le Gras died on 21 December, 1625, after a long illness. In the meantime his wife had made the acquaintance of a priest known as M. Vincent (St. Vincent de Paul), who had been appointed superior of the Visitation Monastery by St. Francis of Sales. She placed herself under his direction, probably early in 1625. His influence led her to associate herself with his work among the poor of Paris, and especially in the extension of the Confrérie de la Charité, an association which he had founded for the relief of the sick poor. It was this labour which decided her life's work, the founding of the Sisters of Charity. The history of the evolution of this institute, which Mlle Le Gras plays so prominent a part, has been given elsewhere (see Charity, Sister of); it suffices here to say that, with formal ecclesiastical and state recognition, Mlle Le Gras' life-work received its assurance of success. Her death occurred in 1660, a few month before the death of St. Vincent, with whose labours she had been so closely united.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis "The Lord gives peace; He gives us the grace to forgive those that have offended us." FULL TEXT Audience + Video

The Holy Father’s Catechesis
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
We continue with the Catechesis on the Holy Mass. In the Last Supper, after Jesus took the bread and the chalice of the wine, and rendered thanks to God, we know that He “broke the bread.” In the Eucharistic Liturgy of the Mass, the breaking of the Bread corresponds to this action, preceded by the prayer that the Lord taught us, namely, the “Our Father.”
And so we begin the rites of Communion, prolonging the praise and supplication of the Eucharistic Prayer with the communal recitation of the “Our Father.” This isn’t one of the many Christian prayers, but the prayer of the children of God; it’s the great prayer that Jesus taught us. In fact, consigned to us in the day of our Baptism, the “Our Father” makes resound in us the same sentiments that were in Christ Jesus. When we pray the “Our Father,” we pray as Jesus prayed. It’s the prayer that Jesus did, and He taught it to us, when the disciples said to him: “Master, teach us to pray as you pray.” And Jesus prayed thus. It’s so good to pray like Jesus! Formed to His divine teaching, we dare to address God calling Him “Father,” because we are reborn as His children through water and the Holy Spirit (Cf. Ephesians 1:5). No one, in truth, would be able to call Him familiarly “Abba”—“Father” —without being generated by God, without the inspiration of the Spirit, as Saint Paul teaches (Cf. Romans 8:15). We must think: no one can call Him “Father” without the inspiration of the Spirit. How many times there are people that say “Our Father,” but don’t know what they say. Because yes, He is the Father, but when you say “Father” do you feel He is Father, your Father, Father of humanity, Father of Jesus Christ? Do you have a relationship with this Father? When we pray the “Our Father,” we connect with the Father who loves us, but it’s the Spirit that gives us this connection, this sentiment of being children of God.
What better prayer, than that taught by Jesus, can dispose us to sacramental Communion with Him? In addition to being prayed in the Mass, the “Our Father” is prayed in the morning and in the evening, in Lauds and in Vespers; in this way, the filial attitude to God and of fraternity with our neighbour contribute to give a Christian form to our days.
In the Lord’s Prayer – in the “Our Father” — we ask for our “daily bread,” in which we make a particular reference to the Eucharistic Bread, of which we are in need to live as children of God. We also implore “the forgiveness of our trespasses,” and to be worthy to receive God’s forgiveness, we commit ourselves to forgive those that have offended us. And this isn’t easy; it’s a grace we must request: “Lord, teach me to forgive as you have forgiven me.” It’s a grace. We can’t <forgive> with our own strength; to forgive is a grace of the Holy Spirit. So, while we open our heart to God, the “Our Father” disposes us also to fraternal love. Finally, we also ask God to “deliver us from evil,” which separates us from Him and divides us from our brothers. We understand well that these are very apt requests to prepare us for Holy Communion [Cf. Ordinamento Generale del Messale Romano, (OGMR),  81].
In fact, what we request in the “Our Father,” is prolonged by the prayer of the priest who, in the name of all, prays: “Deliver us, O Lord, from all evils and grant peace in our days.” And then it receives a sort of seal in the rite of peace: invoked from Christ first of all is the gift of his peace (Cf. John 14:27)) – so different from that of the world – it makes the Church grow in unity and in peace, according to His will; then, with the concrete gesture exchanged between us, we express  “ecclesial communion and mutual love before communing with the Sacrament” (OGMR, 82). In the Roman Rite the exchange of the sign of peace, placed since antiquity before Communion, is ordered to Eucharistic Communion. According to Saint Paul’s admonition, it’s not possible to commune with the one Bread, which renders us one Body in Christ, without recognizing ourselves pacified by fraternal love (Cf. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:29). The peace of Christ can’t root itself in a heart incapable of living fraternity and of recomposing it after having wounded it. The Lord gives peace; He gives us the grace to forgive those that have offended us.
The gesture of peace is followed by the breaking of the Bread, which since apostolic times has given the name to the entire celebration of the Eucharist (Cf. OGMR, 83; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1329). Carried out by Jesus during the Last Supper, the breaking of the Bread is the revealing gesture that enabled the disciples to recognize Him after His Resurrection. We recall the disciples of Emmaus who, speaking of the encounter with the Risen One, recount “how they recognized Him in the breaking of the bread” (Cf. Luke 24:30-31.35).

The breaking of the Eucharistic Bread is accompanied by the invocation of the “Lamb of God,” figure with which John the Baptist indicated Jesus “He who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The biblical image of the lamb speaks of the Redemption (Cf. Exodus 12:1-14; Isaiah 53:7; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 7:14). In the Eucharistic Bread, broken for the life of the world, the praying assembly recognizes the true Lamb of God, namely, Christ the Redeemer, and begs Him: “Have mercy on us . . . grant us peace.” “Have mercy on us,” “grant us peace” are invocations that, from the “Our Father” prayer to the breaking of the Bread, help us to dispose our spirit to take part in the Eucharistic feast, source of communion with God and with brothers.
Let us not forget the great prayer: that which Jesus taught, and which is the prayer with which He prayed to the Father. And this prayer prepares us for Communion.
[Original text: Italian]  [Blog Entry Share of ZENIT’s Working translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
In Italian
A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking faithful.
I’m happy to receive the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians; the parish groups, in particular those of Castellaneta, accompanied by the Bishop, Monsignor Claudio Maniago, of Bitritto and of Mesagne. I hope that for you all the visit to the Eternal City becomes an occasion to rediscover the faith and to grow in charity.
I greet the school institutes; the former Salesian pupils of Livorno and the Group of the “Livio Tempesta” Prize for Goodness in school, hoping that you will be able to pick up the many positive examples and to finalize formative efforts to generous service of the common good.
A special thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Dear friends, Christ has promised to remain always with us and He manifests His presence in many ways. Up to each one is the responsible and courageous task to proclaim and witness His love, which sustains us in every occasion of life. Don’t tire, therefore, of entrusting yourselves to Christ and of spreading His Gospel everywhere.

#BreakingNews ISIS carries out new Attacks in Iraq with over 25 Killed - Please Pray

Islamic State carries out new violent attacks, threatening Iraq’s future

ASIA NEWS REPORT: Declared defeated in December, the Islamic State continues to strike, carrying out attacks in Diyala, Salahuddin and Kirkuk provinces with scores of victims in a few weeks. The most critical area is the city of Kirkuk, a cauldron of ethnic and confessional tensions. The Chaldean Church has expressed concerns.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – In Iraq, the Islamic State (iS) is still a threat despite its military defeat that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi proclaimed last December.
For the past several weeks, the Jihadi group has been engaged in a low-intensity armed insurgency in the provinces of Diyala, Salahuddin and Kirkuk.
Scores of civilians and members of the Iraqi Security Forces have been killed along with a similar number of IS fighters, according to numerous reports.
The US-led coalition is still carrying out air strikes against IS targets, whilst diplomatic efforts continue to stabilise the country ahead of elections slated for May. But the news is grim.
In the latest incident on 11 March, at least 25 people were killed in a double attack by IS fighters in Kirkuk and Ninawa provinces.
IS lured civilians to a fake checkpoint on the Kirkuk-Baghdad highway in Diyala. They then gunned down up to ten civilians in one incident.
On 10 March, several members of the mostly Shia Popular Mobilisation Forces were injured near Kirkuk by an improvised explosive device (IED).
It is difficult to quantify all the attacks because information is not always reported factually, but the emerging picture indicates that an area between the region controlled by Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq, and the territory controlled by Baghdad is slipping into lawlessness.
The most critical part seems to be oil-rich Kirkuk and its province, a territory disputed between Baghdad and Erbil.
Under Kurdish control, from 2014 to 2017, the area is now nominally under Iraqi government control. However, the multi-ethnic and multi-religious city, a reservoir of jihadi recruits in the past, today is at the centre of high tensions involving Kurds, Shias, Sunni Arabs and Turkmen.
A pro-IS media outlet recently claimed that Kirkuk saw 58 attacks in 80 days that killed or wounded more than 150 people, which IS refers to as a “harvest”.
This confirms that Iraq is still unstable. Indeed, Chaldean Church officials recently noted that IS still represents a threat to the country.
The Primate of the Iraqi Church Mar Louis Raphael Sako warned that if people are “homeless and without jobs” the IS danger remains.
Fr Samir Youssef, parish priest in the diocese of Amadiya (Kurdistan), called for a comprehensive "a unified cultural, political and economic" struggle; otherwise, the jihadi threat will return "with a new face".
Source Asia News IT

#BreakingNews 100,000 at #ProLife Rally in Ireland - Biggest Ever to Protect Life from Conception!

Rallyforlife Release: Record-breaking crowds as 100,000 Rally to say ‘Vote No to Abortion’ 
SAVE 8 Rally would like to thank the amazing work done by Youth Defence, Life Institute and Precious Life in mobilising the biggest rally ever seen on this issue.
Save the 8th has said that its campaign is “energised and motivated ” by the huge attendance at today’s Rally for Life in Dublin, which saw up to 100,000 people take to the streets to reject the Government’s plan for a UK-style abortion regime in Ireland.
Niamh Uí Bhriain of Save the 8th said that the crowds who thronged Dublin city centre showed that the government’s abortion proposal had woken a sleeping giant and that the campaign now expected a surge in volunteers to work towards a No vote in the abortion referendum in May. 
“These huge numbers are a rising of the people against the media and political elites and against the powerful international abortion industry who have poured millions into a campaign attacking our pro-life laws. Ireland is at a defining point in our history, and we are challenging the people to reject the abortion industry and to demand a better answer for mothers and babies,” she said. “Abortion has no place in a compassionate and progressive society.”
The rally heard from a range of speakers from diverse backgrounds, including doctors, mothers, people with disabilities, and political figures.
Dr Judy Ceannt, a relative of 1916 leader Eamonn Ceannt, was amongst a host of speakers to address huge crowds in Merrion Square.   Dr Ceannt, a GP, told the Rally that the government wants to repeal the 8th so that they can request that GPs provide abortion on demand for the first three months of an unborn baby’s life.
“They have not even consulted us doctors. The basic law that governs our actions as doctors is first do no harm. We are not meant to intentionally kill or harm any patient, least of all the most helpless, the unborn baby.  The government has no right to impose this on us,” Dr Ceannt said.
Another doctor, Maire Neasta Nic Gearailt, showed the crowd with a €100 voucher for Specsavers, which she said would be sent to Senator Catherine Noone, after the Oireachtas Committee chairwoman said she “could not find” any doctors who favoured retaining the 8th amendment.
 Also speaking at the Rally was Charlie Fien, a Down syndrome activist who recently gave an impassioned plea to the United Nations in March 2017 where she spoke out against the targeted killing of children diagnosed with Down syndrome before birth.
 “I am not suffering,” Ms. Fien told the UN body in Geneva. “I am not ill. None of my friends who have Down’s syndrome are suffering either. We live happy lives.” Text Source:

Wow New Movie “Pope Francis – A Man of His Word” - Stars Pope Francis - FULL Video Trailer

Wim Wenders: ‘Pope speaks directly to viewer in new film’
Wim Wenders, writer and director of the new film “Pope Francis – A Man of His Word”, in an exclusive interview with Vatican News, says the movie allows the Holy Father “to speak directly about all his concerns and all the issues that matter to him.”
As the Holy Father celebrates 5 years of his Papacy, we’re going to preview the trailer of your new film: “Pope Francis – A Man of His Word”. What does this film mean to you? How did the film come to be, and what do you expect?
WW: Not in my wildest dreams would I have expected to make a film about Pope Francis. When I got the letter with an invitation to come to the Vatican and discuss with Don Dario Viganó the possibility of a film about the Pope, I first took a deep breath, and then I walked around the block. It seemed that such a project would represent a huge responsibility, at least it would be a whole different kind of task than any film I had made before. But of course I would go and find out what Don Dario had in mind.
It turned out that he offered me Carte Blanche, let me write a concept and define myself the film I could imagine. And the Vatican would not interfere, and would open its archive for us. I said yes. Of course.
It needed a while for my concept to take shape, for the financing to fall into place and for the first shoot with Pope Francis to be organized. From that first interview to the finished film it took almost 2 years, 3 more long interview sessions and a shoot in Assisi, the home town of Saint Francis. And months and months in the editing room, until the film had taken its final shape. And it fulfilled the high hopes I had for it: that it would allow Pope Francis to speak directly to every viewer and listener, almost face to face, about all his concerns and all the issues that matter to him. This wasn’t meant to be a film about him, but with him.
The Pope was involved in the shooting… Did anything happen on the film set that has particularly impressed you?
WW: Oh yes! Each time, I was very impressed how open Pope Francis was to each question, and how directly and spontaneously he answered. And after each of our four long sessions, he took time to shake everybody’s hands, and did not make any difference between producer or director or electrician or assistant.
You once said the Pope “is a true example of a man who lives what he preaches”. What well-wishes do you have for him today?
WW: I had the highest regard for Pope Francis before I ever met him, just from seeing him on television and from reading his sermons or his encyclicals. But meeting him eye to eye, and then also seeing and hearing him every day in the editing room, not only in our own interviews, but also his many talks all over the world, to refugees, prisoners, politicians, scientists, children, rich or poor or regular people, made me realize how courageous he was, how fearless. And that would be my wish: that he never loses that relentless courage.
Whenever he left our set, the last thing he said was: “Pray for me!” And that wasn’t just his way of saying good-bye, he meant it. And I’ve heard him ask the same from people all over the world. So that would be my other wish: that he is carried by all those prayers for him, from all these people (including my little film crew) for whom he represents a man whose word we can trust in. That has become such a rare and precious thing today: a man who is not acting for himself, but for the common good. Text Source: Vatican News 

Pope Francis warns of “Parked Christians...The true Christian takes risks, he goes out of his comfort zone." Homily

Pope Francis: Don’t be “parked Christians” Pope Francis says true Christians don’t stop going forward after receiving the first gift of grace. They are always advancing, seeking after the joy of being with the Lord.
News Release of Vatican News
“Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” That was the complaint Jesus made to the official who asked Him to heal his son. The people knew that Jesus had already performed great miracles; and in Monday’s Gospel reading, the Lord seemed to lose patience, because His miracles seemed to be the only thing that mattered to them. In his homily at the morning Mass, Pope Francis reflected on this passage:
“Where is your faith? Seeing a miracle, a wonder, and saying, ‘You have power, you are God.’ Yes, it is an act of faith, but so small. Because it is evident that this man has a strong power; but faith begins there, but then it has to go forward. Where is your desire for God? Because this is the faith: to have the desire to find God, to encounter Him, to be with Him, to be happy with Him.”
The Lord calls us to true joy
But what is the great miracle the Lord accomplishes? The first reading, taken from the book of the Prophet Isaiah, explains it for us, the Pope said. “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth… be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create.” The Lord attracts our desire to the joy of being with Him: “When the Lord passes into our life and performs a miracle in each of us, and each of us knows what the Lord has done in our life, it does not end there: this is the invitation to go forward, to continue on the journey, ‘seeking the face of God,’ the Psalm says; seeking this joy.”
Many Christians put their lives in parking mode
Miracles, then, are only the beginning, the Pope said. He asked what Jesus would think of so many Christians who stay put after they first grace they have received, who do not continue on the journey. He compared them to someone who would go to a restaurant and be content with an appetizer, and who would then return home, not realizing that the main course would be even better: “Because there are so many Christians who are stopped, who don’t continue on the journey; Christians who have run aground on the concerns of daily life – good things in themselves! – but they don’t grow, they remain small. Parked Christians: they’ve parked. Caged Christians who don’t know how to fly with the dream to this beautiful thing to which the Lord calls us.”
A true Christian takes risks
Pope Francis said we can all ask ourselves the question, “What do I really desire?” Do I really desire God, and seek to be with Him? “Or am I afraid? Am I mediocre?” What is the measure of my desire? Am I satisfied with the appetizer, or do I desire the banquet that is set before me? The Holy Father concluded his reflection by encouraging those present to maintain their desire, to not be content with where they are. “Go forward a little bit, take risks,” he said. “The true Christian takes risks, he goes out of his comfort zone."

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. March 14, 2018 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 246

Reading 1IS 49:8-15

Thus says the LORD:
In a time of favor I answer you,
on the day of salvation I help you;
and I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people,
To restore the land
and allot the desolate heritages,
Saying to the prisoners: Come out!
To those in darkness: Show yourselves!
Along the ways they shall find pasture,
on every bare height shall their pastures be.
They shall not hunger or thirst,
nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them;
For he who pities them leads them
and guides them beside springs of water.
I will cut a road through all my mountains,
and make my highways level.
See, some shall come from afar,
others from the north and the west,
and some from the land of Syene.
Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth,
break forth into song, you mountains.
For the LORD comforts his people
and shows mercy to his afflicted.

But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me."
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.

Responsorial PsalmPS 145:8-9, 13CD-14, 17-18

R. (8a) The Lord is gracious and merciful.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.
The LORD is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.

Verse Before The GospelJN 11:25A, 26

I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord;
whoever believes in me will never die.

GospelJN 5:17-30

Jesus answered the Jews:
"My Father is at work until now, so I am at work."
For this reason they tried all the more to kill him,
because he not only broke the sabbath
but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.

Jesus answered and said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own,
but only what he sees the Father doing;
for what he does, the Son will do also.
For the Father loves the Son
and shows him everything that he himself does,
and he will show him greater works than these,
so that you may be amazed.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life,
so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes.
Nor does the Father judge anyone,
but he has given all judgment to the Son,
so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.
Whoever does not honor the Son
does not honor the Father who sent him.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word
and believes in the one who sent me
has eternal life and will not come to condemnation,
but has passed from death to life.
Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here
when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God,
and those who hear will live.
For just as the Father has life in himself,
so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself.
And he gave him power to exercise judgment,
because he is the Son of Man.
Do not be amazed at this,
because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs
will hear his voice and will come out,
those who have done good deeds
to the resurrection of life,
but those who have done wicked deeds
to the resurrection of condemnation.

"I cannot do anything on my own;
I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just,
because I do not seek my own will
but the will of the one who sent me."

Saint March 14 : St. Matilda : Patron of #Death of children, #Queens, #Widows

Feast Day:
March 14
895 at Engern, Westphalia, Germany
14 March 968 at Quedlinburg, Germany
Patron of:
death of children, disappointing children, falsely accused people, large families, people ridiculed for their piety, queens, second marriages, widows
Queen of Germany, wife of King Henry I (The Fowler), born at the Villa of Engern in Westphalia, about 895; died at Quedlinburg, 14 March, 968. She was brought up at the monastery of Erfurt. Henry, whose marriage to a young widow, named Hathburg, had been declared invalid, asked for Matilda's hand, and married her in 909 at Walhausen, which he presented to her as a dowry. Matilda became the mother of: Otto I, Emperor of Germany; Henry, Duke of Bavaria; St. Bruno, Archbishop of Cologne; Gerberga, who married Louis IV of France; Hedwig, the mother of Hugh Capet. In 912 Matilda's husband succeeded his father as Duke of Saxony, and in 918 he was chosen to succeed King Conrad of Germany. As queen, Matilda was humble, pious, and generous, and was always ready to help the oppressed and unfortunate. She wielded a wholesome influence over the king. After a reign of seventeen years, he died in 936. He bequeathed to her all his possessions in Quedlinburg, Poehlden, Nordhausen, Grona, and Duderstadt.
It was the king's wish that his eldest son, Otto, should succeed him. Matilda wanted her favourite son Henry on the royal throne. On the plea that he was the first-born son after his father became king, she induced a few nobles to cast their vote for him, but Otto was elected and crowned king on 8 August, 936. Three years later Henry revolted against his brother Otto, but, being unable to wrest the royal crown from him, submitted, and upon the intercession of Matilda was made Duke of Bavaria. Soon, however, the two brothers joined in persecuting their mother, whom they accused of having impoverished the crown by her lavish almsgiving. To satisfy them, she renounced the possessions the deceased king had bequeathed to her, and retired to her villa at Engern in Westphalia. But afterwards, when misfortune overtook her sons, Matilda was called back to the palace, and both Otto and Henry implored her pardon.
Matilda built many churches, and founded or supported numerous monasteries. Her chief foundations were the monasteries at Quedlinburg, Nordhausen, Engern, and Poehlden. She spent many days at these monasteries and was especially fond of Nordhausen. She died at the convents of Sts. Servatius and Dionysius at Quedlinburg, and was buried there by the side of her husband. She was venerated as a saint immediately after her death. Her feast is celebrated on 14 March.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)