Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Pope Francis "The Sign of the Cross expresses the seal of Christ...Teach children to do the Sign of the Cross well." FULL TEXT + Video


St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Catechesis on Baptism. 2. The sign of the Christian faith

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

We continue the catechesis on Baptism during this Easter season. The meaning of baptism clearly stands out from its celebration, so we turn our attention to it. Considering the gestures and words of the liturgy we can grasp the grace and commitment of this sacrament, which is always to be rediscovered. We remember this in the sprinkling with the holy water that can be done on Sundays at the beginning of the Mass, as well as in the renewal of the baptismal promises during the Easter Vigil. In fact, what happens in the celebration of baptism arouses a spiritual dynamic that goes through the whole life of the baptized; it is the beginning of a process that allows one to live united to Christ in the Church. Therefore, returning to the source of Christian life leads us to better understand the gift received on the day of our Baptism and to renew the commitment to respond to it in the condition in which we find ourselves today. Renew the commitment, better understand this gift, which is baptism, and remember the day of our baptism. Last Wednesday I asked to do homework and each of us, remember the day of the baptism, which day I was baptized. I know that some of you know it, others, no; those who do not know it, ask the relatives, those people, godparents, godmothers ... ask: "What is the date of my baptism?" Because Baptism is a rebirth and it is like a second birthday. I got it? Do this homework, ask: "What is the date of my baptism?".

First of all, in the welcoming rite, the candidate's name is asked, because the name indicates the identity of a person. When we introduce ourselves, we immediately say our name: "I call myself so", so as to get out of anonymity, the anonymous is the one that has no name. To get out of anonymity, let's say our name right away. Without name you remain unknown, without rights and duties. God calls each one by name, loving us individually, in the concreteness of our history. Baptism ignites the personal vocation to live as Christians, which will develop throughout life. And it implies a personal and not borrowed answer, with a "copy and paste". In fact, Christian life is interwoven with a series of calls and answers: God continues to pronounce our name over the years, making his call to conform to his Son Jesus resound in a thousand ways. The name is therefore important! Is very important! Parents think of the name to give to their child before birth: this too is part of the expectation of a child who, in his own name, will have his original identity, even for the Christian life tied to God.

Of course, becoming a Christian is a gift that comes from above (cf. Jn 3: 3-8). Faith can not be bought, but to ask yes, and to receive as a gift yes. "Lord, give me the gift of faith", it is a beautiful prayer! "That I have faith" is a beautiful prayer. Ask for it as a gift, but you can not buy it, you ask. In fact, "Baptism is the sacrament of that faith, by which men, enlightened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, respond to the Gospel of Christ" (Rite of the Baptism of Children, Introductory Gen., No. 3). The formation of catechumens and the preparation of parents tend to arouse and awaken a sincere faith in response to the Gospel, such as listening to the Word of God in the celebration of baptism.

If adult catechumens show firsthand what they want to receive as a gift from the Church, children are presented by their parents, with their godparents. Dialogue with them, allows them to express the will that children receive Baptism and the Church intends to celebrate it. "Expression of all this is the sign of the cross, which the celebrant and his parents trace on the foreheads of children" (Rite of the Baptism of Children, Introd., No. 16). "The sign of the cross expresses the seal of Christ on the one who is about to belong to him and signifies the grace of redemption that Christ has acquired for us through his cross" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1235). In the ceremony we make the sign of the cross on children. But I would like to go back to a subject that I spoke to you about. Do our children know how to make the sign of the cross well? So many times I have seen children who can not make the sign of the cross. And you, father, mother, grandparents, grandmothers, godparents, godmothers, you must teach to do well the sign of the cross because it is to repeat what has been done in Baptism. You got it right? Teach children to do the sign of the cross well. If they learn it as children they will do well later, when they grow up.

The cross is the badge that shows who we are: our speaking, thinking, looking, working is under the sign of the cross, that is, under the sign of Jesus' love until the end. The children are marked in front. Adult catechumens are also marked on the senses, with these words: "Receive the sign of the cross on your ears to hear the voice of the Lord"; "On the eyes to see the splendor of the face of God"; "On the mouth, to answer the word of God"; "On the chest, because Christ dwells through faith in your hearts"; "On the shoulders, to support the gentle yoke of Christ" (Rite of the Christian initiation of adults, No. 85). Christians become the extent to which the cross is imprinted in us as an "Easter" mark (cf. Rev 14: 1, 22: 4), making visible, even outwardly, the Christian way of facing life. Making the sign of the cross when we wake up, before meals, before a danger, to defend against evil, the night before sleep means to tell ourselves and others who we belong to, who we want to be. This is why it is so important to teach children to do the sign of the cross. And, as we do when we enter the church, we can do it at home, keeping some blessed water in a small pot - some families do it: so, every time we come back or go out, making the sign of the cross with that water we remember that we are baptized. Do not forget, I repeat: to teach children to make the sign of the cross.
Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, en particulier les nombreux jeunes venus de France ainsi que la Délégation du Collège théologique de la Diaconie apostolique de l’Eglise de Grèce, conduite par l’Evêque Agatanghelos. Frères et sœurs, en faisant le signe de la croix quand nous nous réveillons, avant les repas, face à un danger, pour nous protéger du mal, le soir avant de dormir, nous exprimons à nous-même et aux autres à qui nous appartenons, à qui nous voulons être. Je vous invite à faire souvent dans la journée le signe de la croix. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
[I cordially greeted the French pilgrims, in particular the French youth, I did not delegate the Collegio Teologico della Apostoliki Diakonia della Chiesa di Grecia, guided by the Vescovo Agathanghelos. Brothers and sisters, doing the sign of the cross: when I get up, first of all, before the pericolo, to protect him from the male and the first before sleep, let's say, yes to others, what I belong to and what do I want be gay. I invite you to take the sign of the croce spesso during the day. I gave you blessed!]
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United States of America. I offer a special welcome to the group of benefactors from Ireland, with gratitude for their support of the forthcoming World Meeting of Families in Dublin. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father. May the Lord bless you all!
Von Herzen grüße ich die Pilger deutscher und niederländischer Sprache und heiße insbesondere die Stiftung Pro Oriente, die Delegation der Stadt Homburg und die Gruppe des katholischen Senders Katholieke Radio Omroep aus den Niederlanden willkommen. Der Heilige Geist helfe uns, jeden Tag aus der Taufgnade zu leben und unseren Mitmenschen die Liebe Christi sichtbar zu machen, der für uns gestorben und auferstanden ist. Der Herr segne euch alle.
[With affection I greet the pilgrims of Germanic language and of Dutch language. A welcome welcome to the Fondazione Pro Oriente, the Delegation of the Town of Homburg and the group of the Kro dei Cattolici dei Paesi Bassi. The Holy Spirit helps us to live every day the grace of the Battesimo and make visible to our neighbors the love of the dead Christ and rescue us. The Lord blessed you all.]
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española provenientes de España y América Latina. En este tiempo de pascua, pidamos a la Virgen María que nos ayude a renovar la gracia del bautismo que hemos recibido, para vivir cada día más unidos a Cristo como miembros de la Iglesia. Que el Señor los bendiga. Muchas gracias.
I cordially greet Spanish pilgrims from Spain and Latin America. In this time of Easter, we ask the Virgin Mary to help us renew the grace of baptism we have received, to live more and more together with Christ as members of the Church. May the Lord bless you. Thank you very much.

Dirijo uma cordial saudação aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, nomeadamente aos grupos vindos das dioceses de Cascavel, Natal, São José do Rio Preto e São José dos Campos, encorajando todos a ser testemunhas do amor que Jesus nos demonstrou com o seu sacrifício na Cruz. Que a cruz seja o sinal duma vida de jubilosa doação ao próximo. De bom grado vos abençoo a vós e aos vossos entes queridos!
I cordially greet the Portuguese-language pilgrims, especially the groups coming from the dioceses of Cascavel, Natal, São José do Rio Preto and São José dos Campos, encouraging everyone to be witnesses to the love Jesus showed us as his sacrifice on the Cross. That the cross bears the sign duma life of jubilant donation to the next. Good grades I bless you and your beloved beings!
أرحب بمودة بالأشخاص الناطقين باللغة العربية، وخاصة بالقادمين من سوريا، ‏ومن لبنان، ومن الشرق ‏الأوسط. تهبنا المعمودية نعمة قبول الروح القدس الذي ‏يزرع في قلوبنا نعمة الإيمان. وتبقى مسؤوليتنا أن ننمي ‏هذه البذرة من خلال كلمة ‏الله، والأسرار المقدسة، والصلاة وأعمال المحبة.‏ ليبارككم ‏الرب ‏‏جميعا ‏ويحرسكم ‏من ‏الشرير! ‏‏‏
[It was a warm welcome to all Arab language people, in particular to those from Syria, from Lebanon and from the Middle East. Il Battesimo gives us the grace to receive the Holy Spiritual that Our son is born in our hearts the child of faith. Keep our responsibility to grow it through the Word of God, the Sacrament, prayer and charity. The Lord bless you all and I protect you from the evil one!]
Pozdrawiam serdecznie pielgrzymów polskich. W tych dniach, obchodzony jest w Polsce X Tydzień Biblijny, którego motto brzmi: „Jesteśmy napełnieni Duchem Świętym”. Usiłujcie, zatem każdego dnia, indywidualnie lub z rodziną, znaleźć chwilę czasu na lekturę i medytację Pisma świętego, abyście mogli zaczerpnąć z niego nieodzowną moc dla waszego życia chrześcijańskiego. Niech to będzie waszym zadaniem. Z odwagą dzielcie się z innymi Słowem Bożym, żyjcie Nim, na co dzień, dając świadectwo wierności Chrystusowi i Jego Ewangelii. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus.
I cordially greet the Polish pilgrims. In these days, the Bible Week is taking place in Poland, whose motto is: "We are filled with the Holy Spirit". So look for each day, individually or in your family, to find some time to read and meditate on the Holy Scriptures, so that you can draw from it the strength necessary for the Christian life. Be this your commitment. Share the Word of God with others with courage, live by It every day, witnessing fidelity to Christ and His Gospel. Praised be Jesus Christ.]
Od srca pozdravljam sve hrvatske hodočasnike, a osobito vjernike iz Vrhbosanske nadbiskupije u Bosni i Hercegovini, predvođeni njihovim pastirom, kardinalom Vinkom Puljićem. Dragi prijatelji, svakodnevni susret i hod s Uskrslim Gospodinom neka vam ražari srca, kako biste oduševljeno svjedočili svoju vjeru i naviještali silna Božja djela! Hvaljen Isus i Marija!
[I cordially greet the Croatian pilgrims, among whom the faithful of the Archdiocese of Vrhbósna, Bósnia and Erzegóvina, accompanied by their Pastor, Cardinal Vínko Púljić. Dear friends, the daily meeting and the journey with the risen Lord make your hearts burn so that you can testify to the faith and proclaim the great works of God. May Jesus and Mary be praised!]
(Washington, April 21, 2018)

The World Bank Spring Meetings will take place next Saturday in Washington. I encourage the efforts that, through financial inclusion, seek to promote the lives of the poorest, fostering genuine, integral development that respects human dignity.


I draw attention again to Vincent Lambert and the little Alfie Evans, and I would like to reiterate and strongly confirm that the only master of life, from the beginning to the natural end, is God! And our duty, our duty is to do everything to preserve life. We think in silence and pray that the life of all people and especially of these two brothers will be respected. We pray in silence.

* * *

I extend a cordial welcome to the faithful of the Italian language.

I am pleased to welcome the participants in the Seminar promoted by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross of Rome and those at the Convention promoted by the Focolare Movement; the Members of the Italian Presbyteral Commission and the Deacons of the Archdiocese of Milan. I sincerely hope that your pilgrimage to the tomb of Peter will make you ever more generous in your testimony of faith.

I greet the pilgrims of the Order of the Mother of God, in the 80th anniversary of the canonization of the Founder: San Giovanni Leonardi; the Parishes; the educational institutions, in particular the Highlands Institute of Rome; the Sbandieratori and Musici di Asti; the Association "Musica bene comune" of Rome.

A special thought for the young, the elderly, the sick and the newlyweds. I invite everyone to see in the Risen Jesus, alive and present among us, the true teacher of life; his intercession will obtain serenity and peace and his teaching will encourage you in your daily journey towards holiness.
FULL TEXT and Image SHARE from (Unofficial Translation)

RIP Bishop David Edward Foley of Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama - Age 88

David Edward Foley was born on February 3, 1930 and died on April 17, 2018. He was an American Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church who served as the third bishop of the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama. Foley was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Washington on May 26, 1956. He was appointed by Pope John Paul II the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Richmond in Virginia on May 3, 1986. He was consecrated on June 27, 1986. Pope John Paul II later appointed Bishop Foley the third Bishop of Birmingham in Alabama on March 22, 1994. He was installed as Bishop of Birmingham on May 13, 1994. He retired on May 10, 2005, and was then elected Diocesan Administrator on May 19, 2005.  Bishop Foley appeared on the Catholic television network, EWTN, whose studios are located in the Diocese of Birmingham, of Mother Angelica. Bishop Emeritus David Edward Foley, peacefully passed away this evening surrounded by friends at 7:01 p.m at St. John Vianney Residence for Priests in Birmingham. He humbly requested the faithful pray for him. Arrangements will be posted when finalized.

#BreakingNews RIP Barbara Bush - Former First Lady of the USA and Wife of Pres. George Bush- Dies at age 92

Barbara Bush, the former First Lady of the United States of America, has died at the age of 92. She was born Barbara Pierce on June 8th, 1925 and passed away on April 17, 2018. She was the wife of George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, and served as the First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. When her husband was Vice-President to Ronald Reagan she served as the Second Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989. She was also the mother of George W. Bush, the 43rd President, and Jeb Bush, the 43rd Governor of Florida. Mrs. Bush was born in Manhattan.  She met her husband, George Herbert Walker Bush, at age 16. They married in Rye, New York, in 1945. George Bush was on leave during his deployment as a Naval officer in World War II when they married. The Bush family had six children together; George, Robin, Jeb, Neil, Marvin, and  Dorothy. They have 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. As First Lady Barbara Bush she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Barbara was the daughter of Pauline (born: Robinson) and Marvin Pierce, who was president of McCall Corporation, publisher of the popular women's magazines Redbook and McCall's. She came from a family of 4 children with two elder siblings; Martha and James and a younger brother named Scott.  She was well known for her strong Christian faith and prayers.
Bush suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, and Graves' disease. In April 2018, the Bush family released a statement that Mrs. Bush would no longer seek medical treatment and had instead chosen the option of "comfort care". Bush died in her Houston home of complications from COPD at the age of 92 on April 17, 2018.
Her son George W. Bush said:
"My dear mother has passed on at age 92. Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was. Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I'm a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our Family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes."

 President Donald Trump said:"As a wife, mother, grandmother, military spouse, and former First Lady, Mrs. Bush was an advocate of the American family. Amongst her greatest achievements was recognizing the importance of literacy as a fundamental family value that requires nurturing and protection. She will be long remembered for her strong devotion to country and family, both of which she served unfailingly well. The President and First Lady’s thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Mrs. Bush," the White House statement says. 
The funeral for Barbara Bush will be held on Saturday at 11am at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston. She will be at the George Bush Presidential Library.

#BreakingNews Pope Francis meets with Alfie Evan's Dad in Vatican and Appeals for Life of the Child - Video

Pope appeals for Alfie Evans and Vincent Lambert Pope Francis met with the father of seriously ill British toddler Alfie Evans in the Vatican before making an appeal in which he reiterated his call to safeguard the lives of Alfie and of Vincent Lambert.
By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis renewed his appeal for the respect of the lives of Vincent Lambert and Alfie Evans, reiterating that “the only author of life, from its beginning to its natural end, is God.”
Speaking during the General Audience on Wednesday, the Pope said he wanted to highlight their plights and remind us that “it is our duty to do all that is possible to safeguard life”.
“Let us gather in silence and pray so that the lives of all persons, especially of these two brothers of ours, are respected” he said.
Pope Francis had asked for prayers for Vincent Lambert, a severely brain-damaged man in France, and for Alfie Evans, a British infant with an undiagnosed degenerative disease, during his Regina Coeli address on Sunday. Both patients are on life support and their families are fighting legal battles to ensure they continue to receive necessary basic medical care. During that appeal Francis asked that everyone pray for "people, such as Vincent Lambert in France, little Alfie Evans in England, and others in different countries, who have been living, sometimes for a long time, in a condition of serious infirmity, (and are) medically assisted for their basic needs."
These "delicate situations," he said, are "very painful and complex. Let us pray that every sick person may always be respected in their dignity and cared for in an appropriate way for their condition, with the unanimous contribution of family members, doctors and other health-care workers, and with great respect for life." Before the Audience on Wednesday morning Pope Francis met with Alfie Evans’ father in the Vatican.
FULL TEXT Release Vatican News

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. April 18, 2018 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 275

Reading 1ACTS 8:1B-8

There broke out a severe persecution of the Church in Jerusalem,
and all were scattered
throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria,
except the Apostles.
Devout men buried Stephen and made a loud lament over him.
Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the Church;
entering house after house and dragging out men and women,
he handed them over for imprisonment.

Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
Thus Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Responsorial PsalmPS 66:1-3A, 4-5, 6-7A

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, "How tremendous are your deeds!"
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
"Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!"
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaSEE JN 6:40

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 6:35-40

Jesus said to the crowds,
"I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
But I told you that although you have seen me,
you do not believe.
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day."

#BreakingNews 3 Christian Churches Attacked in Kerala, India - Please Pray

Kerala, three Christian places of worship attacked

Asia News Report by: Nirmala Carvalho
Yesterday, the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ cemetery in Ukkinadka was vandalized. On 10 April a pastoral center was attacked, where 150 students were in retreat. On Holy Saturday, an Orthodox priest was insulted and a church damaged. Sajan K George: "A surge in hostile acts against Christians".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - In April, which began only two weeks ago, three attacks against Christian places of worship have already taken place in the Indian state of Kerala, Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians(GCIC), reports to AsiaNews. The Christian leader complains: "The GCIC condemns these acts of vandalism, which offend our [religious] sentiment".
The most recent episode took place yesterday, when some unknown criminals entered the cemetery of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ in Ukkinadka, in the district of Kasaragod, and destroyed the cross that stood in the burial place. Then the vandals damaged another seven tombs.
On April 10, another attack against the "Logos Pastoral Center", in the diocese of Neyyattinkara. At the time of the accident, the center housed about 150 students of the 12th class in retreat. They were accompanied by a priest and two nuns. The Christians were attacked by at least 500 people, "disturbed" by the religious songs that were being sung. Criminals threw stones at the building, shattered windows and entrance doors.
Finally, the third incident occurred on the night between March 31 and April 1, Holy Saturday, in the orthodox church of St. Greogrios of Punnamoodu, in the district of Alappuzha. Around 1:30 am Fr. MK Varghese, vicar of the church, was reaching the building to celebrate the Vigil Mass, when some criminals got in front of him and prevented him from entering. Then they also insulted him. Having heard the commotion, the faithful came and managed to save the priest. In the meantime, however, reports Sajan K George, "the villains vandalized the church hall, broke windows and kicked down the door. The police arrested three people, who justified themselves by claiming that [the vicar] wanted to buy land for the cemetery. "
The president of the GCIC reports that "the surge in hostile acts and intolerance towards Christians is alarming. Although it appears that the attacks are not directed specifically against the faith, there is a certain intolerance towards everything that is related to Christians. This is harmful for the democratic and secular India, while the social fabric of our country is damaged by insensitive comments or provocative statements, false and without foundation against the missionary work of Christians. We see the consequences in these April incidents." The tiny Christian community, he concludes, "is an easy target for extremist forces, and this causes insecurity and fear among Christians"
FULL TEXT Source: Asia News IT

Saint April 18 : St. Apollonius the #Apologist

St. Apollonius the Apologist
MARTYR Martyr whose Apologia or defense of the faith, is called one of the most priceless documents of the early Church. Apollonius was a Roman senator who was denounced as a Christian by one of his slaves. The Praetorian prefect, Sextus Tigidius Perenis, arrested him, also putting the slave to death as an informer. Perennis demanded that Apollonius denounce the faith, and when he refused, the case was remanded to the Roman senate. There a debate took place between Perennis and Apollonius that clearly outlines the beauty and the value of Christianity. Despite his eloquent defense, Apollonius was condemned and beheaded.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints)