Monday, April 23, 2018

Saint April 24 : St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen : Patron of Travelers

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

Feast Day:
April 24
1577 at Sigmaringen, Hohenzollern, Germany
24 April 1622 at Grusch, Grisons, Switzerland
29 June 1746 by Pope Benedict XIV
Major Shrine:
Capuchin Convent of Weltkirchen (Feldkirch), Austria
He was born in 1577, at Sigmarengen, a town in Germany, in the principality of Hoinvenzollen. The name of his father was John Rey. The saint was christened Mark, performed his studies in the university of Fribourg in Switzerland, and while he taught philosophy, commenced doctor of laws. He at that time never drank wine, and wore a hair-shirt. His modesty, meekness, chastity, and all other virtues, charmed all that had the happiness of his acquaintance. In 1604, he accompanied three young gentlemen of that country on their travels through the principal parts of Europe. During six years, which he continued in this employment, he never ceased to instil into them the most heroic and tender sentiments of piety. He received the holy sacrament very frequently, particularly on all the principal holidays: in every town where he came, he visited the hospitals and churches, passed several hours on his knees in the presence of the blessed sacrament, and gave to the poor sometimes the very clothes off his back. After this he practiced the law in quality of counsellor or advocate, at Colmar, in Alsace, with great reputation, but with greater virtue. Justice and religion directed all his actions. He scrupulously forbore all invectives, detractions, and whatever might affect the reputation of any adversary. His charity procured him the surname of counsellor and advocate for the poor: but the injustices of a colleague in protracting lawsuits for gain, and his finding fault with our saint for producing all his proofs for his clients in the beginning, in order to the quicker dispatch, gave him a disgust of a profession which was to many an occasion of sin, and determined him to enter among the Capuchin friars. He first received holy orders, and having said his first mass in their convent at Fribourg, on the feast of St. Francis, in 1612, he consecrated himself to God by taking the habit. The guardian gave him, in religion, the name of Fidelis, or Faithful, alluding to that text of the Apocalypse which promises a crown of life to him who shall continue faithful to the end. From that moment humiliations, macerations, and implicit obedience were his delight. He overcame temptations by discovering them to his director, and submitting to his advice with regard to his conduct under them. By his last will, he bequeathed his patrimony to the bishop's seminary, for the establishment of a fund for the support of poor students, to whom he also left his library; and gave the remainder of his substance to the poor.
In regard to dress and furniture, he always chose that for his own use which was the least valuable and convenient. He fasted Advent, Lent, and Vigils, on bread and water, with dried fruits, tasting nothing which had been dressed by fire. His life was a continued prayer and recollection, and at his devotions he seemed rather like an angel than a man. His earnest and perpetual petition to God was, that he would always preserve him from sin, and from falling into tepidity or sloth in his service. He sought the most abject and most painful employments even when superior; knowing that God exalts those highest who have here humbled themselves the lowest and the nearest to their own nothingness. He had no sooner finished his course of theology, than he was employed in preaching and in hearing confessions; and being sent superior to the convent of Weltkirchen, that town and many neighboring places were totally reformed by his zealous labors, and several Calvinists converted. The congregation de propaganda fide, sent to father Fidelis a commission to go and  preach among the Grisons; and he was the first missionary that was sent into those parts after that people had embraced Calvinism. Eight other fathers of his order were his assistants, and labored in this mission under his direction. The Calvinists of that territory, being incensed at his attempt, loudly threatened his life, and he prepared himself for martyrdom on entering upon this new harvest. Ralph de Salis, and another Calvinist gentleman, were converted by his first conferences. The missionary penetrated into Pretigout, a small district of the Grisons, in 1622, on the feast of the Epiphany, and gained every day new conquests to Christ; the conversion of which souls ought to be regarded as more the fruit of the ardent prayers in which he passed great part of the nights, than of his sermons and conferences in the day. These wonderful effects of his apostolic zeal, whereof the bishop of Coire sent a large and full account to the congregation de propaganda, so enraged the Calvinists in that province, who had lately rebelled against the emperor. their sovereign, that they were determined to bear with them no longer. 'The holy father having notice of it, thought of nothing but preparing himself for his conflict, passing whole nights in fervent prayer before the blessed sacrament, or before his crucifix, and often prostrate on the ground. On the 24th of April, 1622, he made his confession to his companion with great compunction, said mass, and then preached at Gruch, a considerable borough. At the end of his sermon, which he delivered with more than ordinary fire, he stood silent on a sudden, with his eyes fixed on heaven, in an ecstasy, during some time. He foretold his death to several persons in the clearest terms, and subscribed his last letters in this manner: "Brother Fidelis, who will be shortly the food of worms." From Gruch he went to preach at Sevis, where, with great energy, he exhorted the Catholics to constancy in the faith. A Calvinist having discharged his musket at him in the church, the Catholics entreated him to leave the place. He answered, that death was his gain and his joy, and that he was ready to lay down his life in God's cause. On his road back to Gruch, he met twenty Calvinist soldiers with a minister at their head. They called him false prophet, and urged him to embrace their sect. He answered: "I am sent to you to confute, not to embrace your heresy. The Catholic religion is the faith of all ages, I fear not death." One of them beat him down to the ground by a stroke on the head with his backsword. The martyr rose again on his knees, and stretching out his arms in the form of a cross, said with a feeble voice "Pardon my enemies, O Lord: blinded by passion they know not what they do. Lord Jesus, have pity on me. Mary, mother of Jesus, assist me." Another stroke clove his skull, and he fell to the ground and lay wetering in his blood. The soldiers, not content with this, added many stabs in his body, and hacked his left leg, as they said, to punish him for his many journeys into those parts to preach to them. A Catholic woman lay concealed near the place during this butchery; and after the soldiers were gone, coming out to see the effects of it, found the martyr's eyes open, and fixed on the heavens. He died in 1622, the forty-fifth year of his age, and the tenth of his religious profession. He was buried by the Catholics the next day. The rebels were soon after defeated by the imperialists, an event which the martyr had foretold them. The minister was converted by this circumstance, and made a public abjuration of his heresy. After six months, the martyr's body was found incorrupt, but the head and left arm separate from the trunk. These being put into two cases, were translated from thence to the cathedral of Coire, at the earnest suit of the bishop, and laid under the high altar with great pomp; the remainder of the corpse was deposited in the Capuchin's church at Weltkirchen. Three miracles performed by his relics and intercession, out of three hundred and five produced, are inserted in the decree of his beatification, published by pope Benedict XIII., in 1729. Other miracles were proved, and the decree of his canonization was published by Benedict XIV., in 1746. The 24th of April is appointed the day of his festival, and his name is inserted in the Roman Martyrology. See the acts of his canonization: also his life, written by Dom. Placid, abbot of Weissenau, or Augia Brigantina, published by Dom. Bernard Pez, librarian in the famous abbey of Melch, in Austria, in his Bibliotheca Ascetica, t. 10, p. 403.
To contribute to the conversion of a soul from sin is something far more excellent than to raise a dead body to life. This must soon fall again a prey to death; and only recovers by such a miracle the enjoyment of the frail and empty goods of this world. But the soul which, from the death of sin, is raised to the life of grace, is immortal, and, from a slave of the devil and a firebrand of hell, passes to the inestimable dignity and privileges of a child of' God; by which divine adoption she is rescued out of the abyss of infinite misery, and exalted to the most sublime state of glory and happiness, in which all the treasures of grace and of heaven are her portion forever. Hunger, thirst, watchings, labors, and a thousand martyrdoms, ought to seem nothing to one employed in the sacred ministry, with the hopes of gaining but  one sinner to Christ. Moreover, God himself will be his recompense, who is witness, and keeps a faithful account of all his fatigues and least sufferings.
source: Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler 

#BreakingNews 10 People Killed and 15 Injured after Man Purposely Drives Van into Pedestrians in Toronto - Canada

UPDATE Now the death toll is at Ten people are dead and 15 others are injured after an attack in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A man driving a van plowed into a number of pedestrians Monday, April 23, 2018 in the area of North York in Toronto. CBC News has confirmed that Alek Minassian, a 25-year-old of Richmond Hill, Ont., is the alleged driver in the attack. His LinkedIn profile shows him as a student at Seneca College. Government officials have indicated that he is not associated with any organized terrorist group; unless this surfaces in the investigation. A Ryder van was used to plow into several people around 1:30 p.m.  Sunnybrook Hospital said 10 victims were transported to its trauma centre. Two of those are among the dead, while five are in critical condition, two are in serious condition and one is in fair condition. The hospital's emergency department has been locked down as a precaution, it said.
Statement from the Archdiocese of Toronto: @archtoronto Cardinal Collins: "I invite the Catholic community across the Archdiocese of Toronto to join me in offering our prayers for all those who were killed or injured in the violent incident earlier today." 

#BreakingNews Hospital has Removed Vent giving Oxygen to Little Alfie Evans as Parents fight to Keep him Alive

Rome, 24 April (askanews) - "I spoke with Alfie's father, Thomas, just now. In this moment, Alfie has an oxygen mask but needs to be transported.. I spoke to Ambassador Trompetta a little while ago. The Team of the Bambino Gesù Hospital has been alerted and is ready to leave in a few minutes. Senator Pinotti (Minister of Defence) is prepared to provide the plane. The situation has to be be resolved in a few minutes."
– Marinella Enoc, head of Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital of the Holy See..Alfie continues to breathe on his own hours after being removed from his ventilator. A source close to the family says that he has been "skin to skin with Mum and Dad and is settled." He has been given some liquids and oxygen. The Italians are threatening murder charges if Alfie is left to die. 
UPDATE The courts have decided that Alfie cannot go to Italy; even with a plane waiting to take him. Thomas Evans says they are not provding Alfie with food. They will go to court again tomorrow. Please continue to pray.

Alfie Evans the young toddler with an illness has had his ventilator giving him constant oxygen removed. This is against his parents wishes. According to latest reports the parents are providing mouth-to-mouth resusitation and he is being given minimal oxygen. Mr. Evans reports that he is turning blue. The Christian Legal Centre, representing Alfie's parents, said: "The Italian ambassador has urgently contacted the court with a request for the Italian government to be allowed to intervene in the case and seek the return of their citizen Alfie Evans to Italy."
Pope Francis gave his support again for the family earlier by tweeting: "Moved by the prayers and immense solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted."
The parents are trying to send him to Italy to the hospital where Pope Francis was involved to accept him for treatment. Italy has even given him citizenship. The Ambassador of Italy is trying to save Alfie by traveling to Liverpol. This post will be updated. Please Pray

Wow Pope Francis Celebrates his Name Day with the Poor and gives out 3000 Free Ice Creams

Pope celebrates his name feast with poor and needy
Pope Francis was born Jorge (George) Mario Bergoglio to parents of Italian descent on 17 December 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was baptized at Christmas that year.
Pope Francis on Monday marked the feast of his namesake, Jorge (George), in his characteristic unassuming way, spending time with the needy and homeless of Rome, the Office of Papal Charities said in a brief note.  It said that on this occasion it would distribute 3000 ice creams to the poor and homeless who daily come to soup kitchens, dormitories and other places run mostly by Caritas in the capital. 
Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio  to parents of Italian descent on 17 December 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  He was baptized Jorge, the Spanish for George, at Christmas that year in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Buenos Aires.
=After graduation, he entered the Jesuit novitiate on 11 March 1958 and went for further studies, including philosophy and theology, and also taught literature and psychology. 
He was ordained a priest on 13 December, 1969. On 22 April, 1973 he made his final vows with the Jesuits, serving the society in various capacities such as novice master, professor, provincial consultor, rector and provincial superior for 6 years.  After that he resumed his teaching and pastoral activities.  
St. John Paul II appointed Jorge Bergoglio the Auxiliary of Buenos Aires on 20 May 1992, and on 3 June, 1997 was raised to the rank of Coadjutor Archbishop with the right of succession.

After the death of Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, Jorge Bergoglio became the Archbishop of  Buenos Aires on 28 February 1998.  
Three years later, at the Consistory of 21 February 2001, St. John Paul II created him Cardinal.  Twelve years later, he was elected Supreme Pontiff on 13 March 2013 and assumed the name Francis, after the popular 13th century Italian saint from Assisi.
FULL TEXT-Image Release from Vatican

#BreakingNews Courts Rule Alfie to be given Lethal Chemical Drugs to Induce Death and Protesters try to Storm Hospital


In a Facebook post, Tom Evans (Father) wrote: "Alfie has been granted Italian citizenship, we await for the Foreign Minister [Boris Johnson] to call. Alfie belongs to Italy." 
This Article will be Updated as the Events Proceed...Please Pray
Please Read the UPDATES at the following link :
Hundreds of Protesters tried to storm Alder Hey hospital. The group named "Alfie’s Army" has lined up outside the children’s hospital in Liverpool to protest against the decision to end end his life support. Little Alfie's supporters tried to break through a police line into the hospital. The police had to hold back demonstrators. Eventually, the crowd retreated to gather around 100 yards away on the road outside, chanting, "Save Alfie Evans". EU courts have rejected a “last minute” plea from parents Tom Evans and Kate James to remove Alfie from Alder Hey and have him treated at the Vatican hospital. The court ruled that doctors at Alder Hey could stop applying life-saving treatment to Alfie, against his parents wishes. Alfie's parents had appealed to Pope Francis, who offered a place for Alfie and proper treatment. 

 Alfie is in a 'semi-vegetative state' and the Court of appeal judges have ruled Alfie Evans cannot go abroad to receive treatment. The parents of Alfie Evans have lost the court case over Alfie's life. In fact, the courts have indicated that a chemical combination of Midazolam and Fentanyl will be given to Alfie when his life-support is removed. Alder Hey requested that only four people from the family be present when Alfie’s “extubation” takes place: his parents and two immediate family members. They say that a “priest may be present at any time”.
The Vatican released this latest post on social media, Bishop Cavina said “Only the power of prayer is able to melt hearts and crumble walls that now appear insurmountable”.

Breathtaking Song "You Were There" Sung by Libera Choir - to Our Lady by Child Jesus - will touch your Heart! SHARE

Full Lyrics:
You were there 
By soloist: Tom Cully
 You were there in everything I knew From the moment I began. Always there in every way I go. Saved me falling, held my hand. You are shelter from the storm.
The shadows fade away, all cares pass away. As hour by hour, day by day Your love lightens up the sky As it shines across the night.
Ave, regina caelorum decora Virgo gloriosa, ave!
 And when the end of day is come, Stay with me through the dark and bring me home. You are there whichever way I go. Keep me safely night and day. Always there, whenever I'm alone, Hear me calling, show the way. 
You are shelter from the storm, The shadows fade away, all cares pass away. As hour by hour, day by day; Your love lightens up the sky As it shines across the night. Ave, regina caelorum decora Virgo gloriosa, ave! And when the end of day is come, Stay with me through the dark and bring me home. Stay with me through the dark and bring me home

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Apologizes for Censoring Catholic and Pro-Life Content at Congressional Hearing

The Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was called to testify before Congress due involvement in privacy violations and foreign interference. Zuckerberg apologized for the data-mining from the firm Cambridge Analytica. Here personal information from 87 million accounts was “improperly shared.”CEO Mark Zuckerberg also faced questions about his Facebook's censorship of Catholic content during his two-day congressional hearing. Zuckerberg apologized and said that the company “made a mistake” in blocking a Catholic theology degree advertisement by Franciscan University of Steubenville.. The ad, that featured a crucifix, was rejected by Facebook saying that its content was “excessively violent” and “sensational.” Facebook later apologized, saying that the ad had been blocked erroneously and did not violate terms of service.  The tech CEO also expressed regret that he did not “take a broad enough view of our responsibility” to prevent tools from being used for harm, particularly with regards to “fake news, for foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy.” Senator Ted Cruz (R.-Texas) asked Zuckerberg about censorship of political and religious content on Facebook. Cruz said Facebook “has blocked over two dozen Catholic pages” as well as conservative content “after determining their content and brand were, quote, ‘unsafe to the community.’” In July 2017,  Facebook blocked 25 Catholic pages in English and Portuguese. Facebook later apologized, saying the error was due to a malfunction. Zuckerberg said that “Facebook and the tech industry are located in Silicon Valley, which is an extremely left-leaning place,” but added that he is committed to “making sure that we do not have any bias.” When asked to “define hate speech” by Senator Ben Sasse, Zuckerberg responded, “I think that this is a really hard question.” Sasse continued, “There are some really passionately held views about the abortion issue on this panel today. Can you imagine a world where you might decide that pro-lifers are prohibited from speaking about their abortion views on your content — on your platform? “I certainly would not want that to be the case,” responded Zuckerberg.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday April 23, 2018 - #Eucharist

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 279

Reading 1ACTS 11:1-18

The Apostles and the brothers who were in Judea
heard that the Gentiles too had accepted the word of God. 
So when Peter went up to Jerusalem
the circumcised believers confronted him, saying,
'You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them." 
Peter began and explained it to them step by step, saying,
"I was at prayer in the city of Joppa
when in a trance I had a vision,
something resembling a large sheet coming down,
lowered from the sky by its four corners, and it came to me. 
Looking intently into it,
I observed and saw the four-legged animals of the earth,
the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky. 
I also heard a voice say to me, 'Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.' 
But I said, 'Certainly not, sir,
because nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.' 
But a second time a voice from heaven answered,
'What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.' 
This happened three times,
and then everything was drawn up again into the sky.
Just then three men appeared at the house where we were,
who had been sent to me from Caesarea. 
The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating. 
These six brothers also went with me,
and we entered the man's house. 
He related to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, saying,
'Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter,
who will speak words to you 
by which you and all your household will be saved.' 
As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them
as it had upon us at the beginning,
and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said,
'John baptized with water
but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' 
If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us
when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,
who was I to be able to hinder God?"
When they heard this,
they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying,
"God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too."

Responsorial PsalmPS 42:2-3; 43:3, 4

R. (see 3a) Athirst is my soul for the living God.
R. Alleluia.
As the hind longs for the running waters,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
R. Alleluia.
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
R. Alleluia.
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 10:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 10:1-10

Jesus said:
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers."
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
they did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."

Saint April 23 : St. Adalbert of Prague - Patron of Poland and Bohemia

Feast Day:
April 23
939, Libice nad Cidlinou, Bohemia
997, Truso (Elbląg) or Kaliningrad Oblast
Patron of:
Bohemia; Poland; Prussia
Born 939 of a noble Bohemian family; died 997. He assumed the name of the Archbishop Adalbert (his name had been Wojtech), under whom he studied at Magdeburg. He became Bishop of Prague, whence he was obliged to flee on account of the enmity he had aroused by his efforts to reform the clergy of his diocese. He betook himself to Rome, and when released by Pope John XV from his episcopal obligations, withdrew to a monastery and occupied himself in the most humble duties of the house. Recalled by his people, who received him with great demonstrations of joy, he was nevertheless expelled a second time and returned to Rome. The people of Hungary were just then turning towards Christianity. Adalbert went among them as a missionary, and probably baptized King Geysa and his family, and King Stephen. He afterwards evangelized the Poles, and was made Archbishop of Gnesen. But he again relinquished his see, and set out to preach to the idolatrous inhabitants of what is now the Kingdom of Prussia. Success attended his efforts at first, but his imperious manner in commanding them to abandon paganism irritated them, and at the instigation of one of the pagan priests he was killed. This was in the year 997. His feast is celebrated 23 April, and he is called the Apostle of Prussia. Boleslas I, Prince of Poland, is said to have ransomed his body for an equivalent weight of gold. He is thought to be the author of the war-song, "Boga-Rodzica", which the Poles used to sing when going to battle. (The Catholic Encyclopedia