Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Saint April 5 : St. Vincent Ferrer : #Dominican : Patron of #Builders, construction workers, Plumbers

Feast Day:
April 5
January 23, 1350, Valencia, Kingdom of Valencia
April 5, 1419, Vannes, Brittany, France
June 3, 1455, Rome by Pope Calixtus III
Major Shrine:
Vannes Cathedral
Patron of:
builders, construction workers, plumbers

Famous Dominican missionary, born at Valencia, 23 January, 1350; died at Vannes, Brittany, 5 April, 1419. He was descended from the younger of two brothers who were knighted for their valour in the conquest of Valencia, 1238. In 1340 Vincent's father, William Ferrer, married Constantia Miguel, whose family had likewise been ennobled during the conquest of Valencia. Vincent was their fourth child. A brother, not unknown to history, was Boniface Ferrer, General of the Carthusians, who was employed by the antipope Benedict XIII in important diplomatic missions. Vincent was educated at Valencia, and completed his philosophy at the age of fourteen. In 1367 he entered the Dominican Order, and was sent to the house of studies at Barcelona the following year. In 1370 he taught philosophy at Lérida; one of his pupils there was Pierre Fouloup, later Grand Inquisitor of Aragon. In 1373 Vincent returned to the Dominican "Studium arabicum et hebraicum" at Barcelona. During his stay there famine was prevalent; filled with compassion for the sufferers; Vincent foretold, while preaching one day, the near approach of ships bearing wheat. His prediction was fulfilled. In 1377 he was sent to continue his studies at Toulouse, where, in his own words, "study followed prayer, and prayer succeeded study". In 1379 Vincent was retained by Cardinal Pedro de Luna, legate of the Court of Aragon, who was endeavouring to win King Peter IV to the obedience of Avignon. The saint, thoroughly convinced of the legitimacy of the claims of the Avignon pontiffs, was one of their strongest champions. From 1385 to 1390 he taught theology in the cathedral at Valencia.
After this Vincent carried on his apostolic work while in Pedro de Luna's suite. At Valladolid he converted a rabbi, later well known as Bishop Paul of Burgos. At Salamanca Queen Yolanda of Aragon chose him for her confessor, 1391-5. About this time he was cited before the Inquisiton for preaching publicly "the Judas had done penance", but Pedro de Luna, recently raised to the papal chair as Benedict XIII, cited the case before his tribunal and burned the papers. Benedict then called him to Avignon and appointed him confessor and Apostolic penitentiary. Notwithstanding the indifference of so many prelates in the papal Court, he laboured zealously among the people. He steadfastly refused the honours, including the cardinalate, which were offered to him. France withdrew from the obedience of Avignon in September, 1398, and the troops of Charles VI laid siege to the city. An attack of fever at this time brought Vincent to death's door, but during an apparition of Christ accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Francis he was miraculously cured and sent to preach penance and prepare men for the coming judgment. Not until November, 1399, did Benedict allow Vincent Ferrer to begin his apostolate, furnished with full powers of a legate a latere Christi. For twenty years he traversed western Europe, preaching penance for sin and preparation for judgment. Provence was the first field of his apostolate; he was obliged to preach in squares and open places, such were the numbers that flocked to hear him. In 1401 he evangelized Dauphiny, Savoy, and the Alpine region, converting many Catharins and Waldensians. Thence he penetrated into Lombardy. While preaching at Alexandria he singled out from among the hearers a youth who was destined to evangelize Italy, Bernadine of Siena. Another chosen soul with whom Vincent came in contact while in Italy was Margaret of Savoy. During the years 1403-4 Switzerland, Savoy, and Lyons received the missionary. He was followed by an army of penitents drawn from every rank of society, who desired to remain under his guidance. Vincent was ever watchful of his disciples, and never did the breath of scandal touch this strange assemblage, which numbered at times 10,000. Genoa, Flanders, Northern France, all heard Vincent in turn. It would be difficult to understand how he could make himself understood by the many nationalities he evangelized, as he could speak only Limousin, the language of Valencia. Many of his biographers hold that he was endowed with the gift of tongues, an opinion supported by Nicholas Clemangis, a doctor of the University of Paris, who had heard him preach.
In 1408 Vincent was at Genoa consoling the plague-stricken. A meeting had been arranged there between Gregory XII and Benedict XIII in the hope of putting an end to the schism. Vincent again urged Benedict to have pity on the afflicted Church, but in vain. Disappointed, he returned to Spain. It would be difficult to overestimate the influence which he exercised in the Iberian peninsula. Castile, Aragon, Valencia, Murcia, Granada, Andalusia, and Asturias were visited in turn, and everywhere miracles marked his progress; Christians, Jews, and Moslems were all lost in admiration of the thaumaturgus. From 1408 until 1416 he worked almost continuously south of the Pyrenees. At different times in Spanish history strenuous attempts had been made to convert the Jewish people, baptism or spoliation being the alternatives offered to them. This state of affairs existed when Vincent began to work among them; multitudes were won over by his preaching. Ranzano, his first biographer, estimates the number of Jews converted at 25,000. In the Kingdom of Granada he converted thousands of Moors. Vincent was often called upon to aid his country in temporal affairs, as the counsellor of kings and at one time the arbiter of the destiny of Spain. In 1409 he was commissioned by Benedict XIII to announce to Martin of Aragon the death of his only son and heir.
After Martin's death, the representatives of the Kingdoms of Aragon, Valencia, and Catalonia appointed Vincent one of the judges to determine the succession to the Crown. At the judgment, known as the Compromise of Caspe, he took the leading part and helped to elect Ferdinand of Castile. Vincent was one of the most resolute and faithful adherents of Benedict XIII, and by his word, sanctity, and miracles he did much to strengthen Benedict's position. It was not until 1416, when pressed by Ferdinand, King of Aragon, that he abandoned him. On 6 January, preaching at Perpignan, he declared anew to the vast throng gathered around his pulpit that Benedict XIII was the legitimate pope, but that, since he would not resign to bring peace to the Church, Ferdinand had withdrawn his states from the obedience of Avignon. This act must have caused Vincent much sorrow, for he was deeply attached to Benedict. Nevertheless, it was thought that Vincent was the only person sufficiently esteemed to announce such a step to the Spanish races. John Dominici was more fortunate in his attempts to pave the way for reunion, when he announced to the Council of Constance the resignation of Gregory XII. Vincent did not go to the Council of Constance; he continued his apostolic journeys through France, and spent the last two years of his life in Brittany, where consciences without number were reformed and instructed in a Christian way of life.
Vincent felt that he was the messenger of penance sent to prepare men for the judgment. For twenty years he traversed Western Europe preaching penance and awakening the dormant consciences of sinners by his wondrous eloquence. His austere life was but the living expression of his doctrine. The floor was his usual bed; perpetually fasting, he arose at two in the morning to chant the Office, celebrating Mass daily, afterwards preaching, sometimes three hours, and frequently working miracles. After his midday meal he would tend the sick children; at eight o'clock he prepared his sermon for the following day. He usually travelled on foot, poorly clad. Among St. Vincent's writings are: De suppositionibus dialecticis"; "De natura universalis"; "De monderno ecclesiae schismate", a defence of the Avignon pontiffs; and "De vita spirituali". His "Sermons" were published at Antwerp (1570), Augsburg (1729), and Lyons (1816); and his complete works at Valence (1591). He was canonized by Calixtus III at the Dominican Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Rome, 3 June, 1455.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis "Every time I go out of the Mass, I must leave better...Through the Eucharist, the Lord Jesus enters in us," FULL TEXT + Video

General Audience - FULL Text of The Holy Father’s Catechesis (Video below)
 Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning and Happy Easter!
You see that today there are flowers: flowers that speak of joy and gladness. In some places, Easter is also called “flowering Easter,” because the Risen Christ flowers: he is the new flower; our justification flowers, the holiness of the Church flowers. Therefore, many flowers — it’s our joy. We celebrate Easter the whole week, the whole week. And therefore all of us say to one another once again the wish of a “Happy Easter.” We say together: “Happy Easter,”  — all! [They answer: Happy Easter!] I would like us also to say Happy Easter  — because he was Bishop of Rome – to our beloved Pope Benedict, who follows us on television. We all say Happy Easter to Pope Benedict [They say: “Happy Easter!”] and loud applause.
With this catechesis, we conclude today the series dedicated to the Mass, which is, in fact, the commemoration, but not only as memory, in which the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus are relived. The last time we arrived at Communion and the Prayer after Communion. After this Prayer, the Mass ends with the blessing imparted by the priest and the dismissal of the people (Cf. Ordinamento Generale del Messale Romano, 90). As it began with the sign of the cross, in the Name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, it’s again in the Name of the Trinity that the Mass is sealed, namely, the liturgical action.
However, we know well that while the Mass finishes, the commitment opens to Christian witness. Christians don’t go to Mass to carry out a weekly task and then forget, no. Christians go to Mass to take part in the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord and then to live more as Christians: the commitment of Christian witness opens. We leave the church to “go in peace” to bring God’s blessing to our daily activities, in our homes, in work environments, among the occupations of the earthly city, “glorifying the Lord with our life.” However, if we leave the church chatting and saying: “look at this,” Look at that… .,” talking too much, the Mass has not entered our heart. Why? — because we are unable to live the Christian witness. Every time I go out of the Mass, I must leave better than I entered, with more life, with more strength, with a greater desire to give Christian witness. Through the Eucharist, the Lord Jesus enters in us, in our heart and in our flesh, so that we can “express in life the Sacrament received in faith” (Messale Romano, Collect of Monday of the Octave of Easter).
From the celebration to life, therefore, aware that the Mass finds its fulfillment in the concrete choices of one who is personally involved in Christ’s mystery. We must not forget that we celebrate the Eucharist to learn to become Eucharistic men and women. What does this mean? It means to let Christ act in our works: that His thoughts be our thoughts, His sentiments ours, His choices our choices. And this is holiness: to do as Christ did is Christian holiness. Saint Paul expresses it with precision, speaking of his own assimilation to Jesus, and he says thus: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:19-20). This is Christian witness. Paul’s experience illumines us also: in the measure in which we mortify our egoism, namely, that we die to what is opposed to the Gospel and to the love of Jesus, greater room is created in us by the power of His Spirit. Christians are men and women that let their soul be enlarged with the strength of the Holy Spirit, after having received the Body and Blood of Christ. Let your soul be enlarged! Not these narrow and closed, small and egoistic souls, no! Wide souls, great souls, with great horizons . . . Let your soul be enlarged with the strength of the Spirit, after having received the Body and Blood of Christ.
Because Christ’s real presence in the consecrated Bread doesn’t end with the Mass (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1374), the Eucharist is kept in the Tabernacle for Communion <to be taken> to the sick and for silent adoration of the Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament; Eucharistic worship outside of the Mass, be it in a private or communal way, helps us in fact to remain in Christ (Cf. Ibid., 1378-1380).
Therefore, the fruits of the Mass are destined to mature in everyday life. We can say so, forcing somewhat the image: the Mass is as the grain, the grain of wheat, which then grows in ordinary life, it grows and matures in good works, in attitudes that make us similar to Jesus. So the fruits of the Mass are destined to mature in everyday life. In truth, enhancing our union with Christ, the Eucharist updates the grace that the Spirit gave us in Baptism and in Confirmation so that our Christian witness is credible (Cf. Ibid., 1391-1392).

Again, by enkindling divine charity in our hearts, what does the Eucharist do? It separates us from sin. “The more we share the life of Christ and progress in His friendship, the more difficult it is to break away from Him by mortal sin” (Ibid., 1395). The regular approach to the Eucharistic Banquet renews, strengthens and deepens the bond with the Christian community to which we belong, according to the principle that the Eucharist makes the Church (Cf. Ibid., 1396), it unites us all.
Finally, to take part in the Eucharist commits us in our relations with others, especially the poor, educating us to pass from the flesh of Christ to the flesh of brethren, in which He waits to be recognized, served, honored and loved by us (Cf. Ibid., 1397). Bearing the treasure of union with Christ in earthen vessels (Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:7) we have constant need to return to the holy altar until we enjoy fully in Paradise the beatitude of the wedding banquet of the Lamb (Cf. Revelation 19:9).
We thank the Lord for the journey of rediscovery of the Holy Mass, which He has given us to fulfill together, and we let ourselves be drawn with renewed faith to this real encounter with Jesus, dead and risen for us, our contemporary. And may our life always be “flowering,” as Easter, with the flowers of hope, of faith <and> of good works. May we always find the strength for this in the Eucharist, in union with Jesus. Happy Easter to all!
[Original Text: Italian]  [Entry 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 Deacons of the International College of Jesus of Rome and the youngsters of the Profession of Faith from the dioceses of Milan and of Cremona. I encourage each one to live the faith coherently, witnessing it every day with charitable gestures.
I greet the Group of the Golden San Donnino Prize of Faenza and the Parishes, especially those of the Most Holy Immaculate Mary of Pontecagnano-Faiano, Mary Help of Christians in Portichetto-Luisago and the Most Holy Trinity of Naples. I hope that this meeting is for all a renewed occasion of adherence to the risen Jesus and His teachings of life.
A special thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Christ has overcome death and He helps us to accept sufferings as a privileged occasion of redemption and salvation. Try to live the Easter message, witnessing in life’s places peace and joy, gifts of the Risen One.
[Original text: Italian]  [Entry Share of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

#BreakingNews Catholic Priest Kidnapped Easter Sunday and held for $500K Ransom in DRC - Please Pray

A Catholic priest was abducted on Easter Sunday in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The captors have demanded a ransom for his release. The National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) said that the kidnappers demanded the equivalent of 500,000 US dollars in exchange for freedom. Father Celestin Ngango of St. Paul of Karambi parish  was made to get out of his car and led into the jungle by armed men on Sunday. This was just after he had celebrated Easter Mass in his parish in the Diocese of Goma in North Kivu province. At the end of March ten people were killed in an attack in the North Kivu area perpetrated by an alliance of militias. Three fathers of the Assumptionist Order, Jean-Pierre Ndulani, Edmond Kisughi and Anselme Wasukundi, were seized there in October 2012, and fellow priests Jean-Pierre Akilimali and Charles Kipasa were abducted in July last year. According to CENCO there has been no news of any of them since then.
SHARE and Please Pray for the Release of these priests.

50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. - 5 Amazing Facts you might not know to SHARE

Martin Luther King Jr.(born Michael King Jr., January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist. He advanced the civil rights movement using nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs and inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.
Here are five interesting facts about Martin Luther King Jr.
1. King’s father was born Michael King, but changed his name in 1931 in reverence to the German theologian Martin Luther.
2. Martin was almost assassinated before many of his famous civil rights accomplishments in the early 1960s. Izola Ware Curry approached Martin at a book signing for “Stride Towards Freedom.” After receiving confirmation that he was indeed Martin Luther King Jr. she exclaimed “I’ve been looking for you for five years” and stabbed Martin in the chest with a letter opener.  The blade pressed against his aorta and took several hours of careful surgery to remove.
3. Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 at the age of 35.  This made him the youngest male recipient of the prestigious award.  He donated the entire prize of $54,123 (now equivalent to $400,000) to the civil rights movement. Martin won dozens more awards for his work including the Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal, and a Grammy.  The Grammy was for Best Spoken Word Album, awarded in 1971 for King’s “Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam.”
4. Martin Luther King Jr. was targeted by the FBI for being “the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation" from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and Records of Martin taken by the FBI are held in the National Achieve but remain sealed from public access until 2027.
5.   His most famous speech "I have a Dream" continues to be an inspiration. 

#BreakingNews ISIS Kills 4 Christians from a Family on Easter Monday in Pakistan - Please Pray

ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack which killed four Christians in Pakistan's Balochistan province on Easter Monday. An Islamic State press statement released on Tuesday said that a "covert unit" of ISIS militants "managed to target a number of the combatant Christians." According to the statement the attackers "shot them with a pistol, which resulted in the killing of four of them, and all praise is due to Allah" This occurred in the western city of Quetta. Armed men opened fire at a rickshaw carrying the family of three who were returning home from a bazaar at around 6:45 p.m. local time. All the victims were part of the local Christian community. A Pakistani security personnel stood guard during a Easter mass outside a Church in Quetta on April 1, 2018. Christians are a minority in Pakistan and have often suffered attacks. Please Pray for Christians in Pakistan.

Wow Former Prime Minister of Vietnam becomes Catholic at Easter

Trần Thiện Khiêm became Catholic at Easter He was one of the leading figures in the Vietnam war. During the Sixties he was involved in several coups d'état. He became prime minister in 1969 and remained in office until one month before the fall of Saigon. Trần Thiện Khiêm (pictured), is a former general and prime minister of the Republic of (South) Vietnam, received the baptism in California (United States). On 25 March, Palm Sunday, Fr Lê Trung Tướng, parish priest of St Elizabeth, Milpitas (San José) celebrated the baptism of the former Prime Minister. At the age of 93, General Trần Thiện Khiêm decided to join the Catholic Church, choosing Saint Paul as his patron saint. Born on 15 December 1925, he was a prominent figure during the war that devastated his country. Khiêm became Prime Minister of the Republic of Vietnam in 1969 and remained in office until March 1975. suggested for years that Khiêm was a devout Catholic who could not profess his religion in public but was willing to betray his co-religionists. The former prime minister told journalists that during the war he followed the traditional Vietnamese beliefs. He said that becoming a Catholic was one of the most profound and joyful experiences of his life, and that he himself had decided to join the Church after studying Catholicism for a long time. Edited from Asia News .

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday April 4, 2018 - #Eucharist

Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 263

Reading 1ACTS 3:1-10

Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o'clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called "the Beautiful Gate" every day
to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, "Look at us."
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, "I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you:
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk."
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one
who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.

Responsorial PsalmPS 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9

R. (3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations—
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaPS 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus' disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
"What are you discussing as you walk along?"
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
"Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?"
And he replied to them, "What sort of things?"
They said to him,
"The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his Body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see."
And he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?"
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, "Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over."
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
"Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?"
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the Eleven and those with them who were saying,
"The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!"
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.