Monday, June 4, 2018

Saint June 5 : St. Boniface : Apostle of Germany : Patron of Brewers and Tailors with Litany and Novena Prayers

Born: 673-680 at Crediton, Devonshire, England
Died:5 June 754 at Dokkum, Freisland Patron of:brewers; file cutters; tailors (WINFRID, WYNFRITH). Apostle of Germany, date of birth unknown; martyred 5 June, 755 (754); emblems: the oak, axe, book, fox, scourge, fountain, raven, sword. He was a native of England, though some authorities have claimed him for Ireland or Scotland. The place of his birth is not known, though it was probably the south-western part of Wessex. Crediton (Kirton) in Devonshire is given by more modern authors. The same uncertainty exists in regard to the year of his birth. It seems, however, safe to say that he was not born before 672 or 675, or as late as 680. Descended from a noble family, from his earliest years he showed great ability and received a religious education. His parents intended him for secular pursuits, but, inspired with higher ideals by missionary monks who visited his home, Winfrid felt himself called to a religious state. After much difficulty he obtained his father's permission and went to the monastery of Adescancastre on the site of the present city of Exeter, where, under the direction of Abbot Wolfhard, he was trained in piety and learning. About seven years later he went to the Abbey of Nhutscelle (Nutshalling) between Winchester and Southampton. Here, leading an austere and studious life under Abbot Winbert, he rapidly advanced in sanctity and knowledge, excelling especially in the profound understanding of scriptures, of which he gives evidence in his letters. He was also well educated in history, grammar, rhetoric, and poetry. He made his profession as a member of the Benedictine Order and was placed in charge of the monastic school. At the age of thirty he was ordained priest. Through his abbot the fame of Winfrid's learning soon reached high civil and ecclesiastical circles. He also had great success as a preacher. With every prospect of a great career and the highest dignities in his own country, he had no desire for human glory, for the thought of bringing the light of the Go
spel to his kindred, the Old Saxons, in Germany, had taken possession of his mind. After many requests Winfrid at last obtained the permission of his abbot. In 716 he set out for the mission in Friesland. Since the Faith had already been preached there by Wigbert, Willibrord, and others, Winfrid expected to find a good soil for his missionary work, but political disturbances caused him to return temporarily to England. Towards the end of 717 Abbot Winbert died, and Winfrid was elected to succeed him, but declined and induced Daniel, Bishop of Winchester, to influence the monks to elect another. Winfrid was left free to follow out his intentions, but before going back to his apostolic work he wished to visit Rome and to obtain from the pope the apostolic mission and the necessary faculties. Bishop Daniel gave him an open letter of recommendation to kings, princes, bishops, abbots, and priests, and a private letter to the pope. On Winfrid's arrival in Rome, in the fall of 718, Pope Gregory II received him kindly, praised his resolutions, and having satisfied himself in various conferences as to the orthodoxy of Winfrid, his morals, and the purity of his motives, on 15 May, 719, he gave him full authority to preach the Gospel to the heathens in Germany to the right of the Rhine, ordering him at the same time to adhere to the Roman practice in the administration of the Sacrament of Baptism, and to consult with the Holy See in case of difficulties. Having received instructions to make to make his first journey through the country, only a tour of inspection, he travelled through Bavaria and found the Church flourishing, with a number of churches and monasteries. In Alamannia, which he crossed on his way to Thuringia, he found similar conditions. Thuringia was considered by Rome as Christian, and the mission of Winfrid was supposed to be that of an authorized reformer. He found the country, however, in a bad condition, St. Kilian had laboured with energy, but without success. Duke Gotzbert and some years later his son, Hethan II, both converts of St. Kilian had been murdered, perhaps on account of their injudicious zeal in trying to spread Christianity. Great numbers of their rebellious subjects had lapsed into heathenism, or a mixture of Christianity and idolatry. Winfrid tried to enkindle a missionary spirit in the priests and to make the people live up to the pure precepts of the Christian religion. Though he converted some of the heathens, he did not meet with the success which he had anticipated. On his way to the court of Charles Martel, possibly to interest that prince in the matter, he received news of the death of the Frisian King Radbod, and went to Friesland. Here he spent three years under the aged St. Willibrord, travelling about with tireless energy and preaching fearlessly as he went. Multitudes of Christians who had fallen away during the persecution of Radbod were brought to repentance and thousands of pagans accepted the Faith. Many of the converts were brought together to lead a religious life under the Rule of St. Benedict. St. Willibrord, feeling the weight of his years, wished to make Winfrid his assistant and successor in the See of Utrecht. Winfrid refused, giving as his main reason that the pope had sent him for missionary work. He therefore left and followed in the wake of the army of Charles Martel as far as Trier. Near this city was the Abbey of Pfalzel (Palatiolum). From there he took with him as a disciple and companion Gregory, a boy of about fourteen or fifteen, afterwards abbot in Utrecht, and continued his journey to Thuringia, where he converted many. He then went into Hessia, where many more were brought into the fold of Christ. With the assistance of two chiefs whom he had converted he established a monastic cell at Amöneburg at the River Ohm (then called Amana) in Upper Hessia, as a kind of missionary centre in which native clergy were to be educated.
While Winfrid was under the jurisdiction of St. Willibrord he had no special reason for reporting to the Holy See, but, now working independently, he considered it his duty to do so. He therefore sent Bynnan, one of his disciples, with a letter to Gregory recounting his labours of the past years and asking for further directions. Bynnan promptly executed his commission and soon returned with the pope's answer, expressing satisfaction with what had been done and a desire to confer with Winfrid personally. Winfrid accordingly set out for Rome, taking his course through France and Burgundy. He was warmly welcomed by the pope, who questioned him carefully, made him take the usual oath of allegiance, received from him a profession of faith, and on 30 November, 722 (723), consecrated him a regional bishop, with the name Boniface. Some say that Winfrid had taken this name at the time of his religious profession; others, that he received it on his first visit to Rome. The same discrepancy of opinion exists in derivation from bonum facere or bonum fatum; perhaps it is only an approximate Latinization of Wyn-frith. Pope Gregory then sent Boniface back with letters to his diocesans in Thuringia and Hessia demanding obedience for their new bishop. A letter was also addressed to Charles Martel asking his protection. Boniface himself had received a set of ecclesiastical canons for his guidance. Boniface returned to Upper Hessia and repaired the losses which occurred during his absence, many having drifted back into paganism; he also administered everywhere the Sacrament of Confirmation. He continued his work in Lower Hessia. To show the heathens how utterly powerless were the gods in whom they placed their confidence, Boniface felled the oak sacred to the thunder-god Thor, at Geismar, near Fritzlar. He had a chapel built out of the wood and dedicated it to the prince of the Apostles. The heathens were astonished that no thunderbolt from the hand of Thor destroyed the offender, and many were converted. The fall of this oak marked the fall of heathenism. Tradition tells us that Boniface now passed on to the River Werra and there erected a Church of St. Vitus, around which sprang up a town which to the present day bears the name of Wannfried. At Eschwege he is said to have destroyed the statue of the idol Stuffo. Thence he went into Thuringia. The difficulties that confronted him here were very great Christianity had indeed made great progress, but it had become mixed up with heretical tenets and pagan customs. This was due to a great extent to some Celtic missionaries, several of whom had never been ordained, while others had been raised to the priesthood by non-Catholic bishops, though all performed priestly functions. These taught doctrines and made use of ceremonies at variance with the teaching and use of the Roman Church, especially in regard to the celebration of Easter, the conferring of baptism, celibacy, the papal and episcopal authority. Besides, many were wanting in education, some scarcely able to read or write, and equally ready to hold services for the Christians and to offer sacrifices to the idols for the heathens. A neighbouring bishop (probably of Cologne) also gave trouble, by laying claim to a part of the district under Boniface's jurisdiction and treating his authority as an intrusion, thereby indirectly strengthening the party of the heretics. All this caused him great anxiety and suffering as may be seen from his letters to England. He overcame all, thanks to his episcopal dignity and to his own personality, full of courage and zeal in the cause which he defended, and supported by the authority of the pope and of Charles Martel. His friends helped him not only by their prayers, but also by material aid. Many valuable books, ecclesiastical articles and the like were sent to him with words of encouragement. Numbers of men and women went to Germany at different times to be his helpers. Among them were Lullus, Denehard, Burchard, Wigbert, Sola, Witta (called also Wizo and Albinus), Wunibald, Willibald and the pious women Lioba, Chunihild, Chunitrude, Berthgit, Walburga, and Thecla. With these, and others recruited in Thuringia and elsewhere in Germany, he continued his labours. The number of the faithful increased wonderfully, including many of the nobility and the educated of the country. These assisted him in the building of churches and chapels. Boniface took care to have institutions in which religious life would be fostered. In Thuringia he built the first monastery Ohrdruf on the River Ohrn near Altenberga. He appointed Thecla Abbess of Kitzingen, Lioba of Bischofsheim, and Walburga of Heidenheim. Pope Gregory II died 11 February, 731, and was succeeded on 18 March by Gregory III. Boniface hastened to send a delegation to the new pontiff, to pay his respects and to assure him of his fidelity. The answer to this seems to be lost. In 732 Boniface wrote again and stated among other things that the work was becoming too much for one man. Gregory III congratulated him on his success and praised his zeal, in recognition sending him the pallium, and making him an archbishop, but still without a fixed see. He gave him instructions to appoint bishops wherever he thought it necessary. Boniface now enlarged the monastery of Amöneburg and built a church, dedicating it to St. Michael. Another monastery he founded at Fritzlar near the River Eder, which was completed in 734. The church, a more magnificent structure, was not finished before 740. In 738 Boniface made his third journey to Rome, intending to resign his office and devote himself exclusively to the mission among the Saxons. He was accompanied by a number of his disciples, who were to see true Christian life in the centre of Christianity. Gregory III received him graciously and was rejoiced at the result of Boniface's labour, but would not allow him to resign. Boniface remained in Rome for about a year and then returned to his mission invested with the authority of a legate of the Holy See. His first care on his return was the Church in Bavaria.
In 715 (716) Duke Theodo had come to Rome out of devotion, but probably also to secure ecclesiastical order in his provinces. Gregory II sent three ecclesiastics with instructions to do away with abuses. Their work, however, was rendered futile by the death of Theodo in 717 and the subsequent political quarrels. Boniface had twice passed through the country. Now with the help of Duke Odilo and of the nobles he began the work of reorganization acting entirely according to the instructions of Gregory II. He examined the orders of the clergy, deposed the obstinate, reordained those whose ordination he found invalid, provided they had erred through ignorance and were willing to submit to authority. He made a new circumscription of the dioceses and appointed bishops for the vacant sees, viz., the Abbot John to the See of Salzburg, vacant since the death of St. Rupert in 718; Erembert to Freising, vacant since the death of his brother, St. Corbinian, in 730; Gaubald for Ratisbon. Passau had been established and provided for by the pope himself through the nomination of Vivilo. About this time Boniface founded the new Diocese of Buraburg, and named Witta as its bishop. This diocese existed for only a short time, during the administration of two bishops, and was then joined to Augsburg. Somewhat later the dioceses of Eichstätt and Erfurt (Erphesfurt) were formed, and Willibald was consecrated bishop for the former about October, 741; for the latter Boniface appointed as first (and last) bishop Adalar, who, it seems, never received episcopal consecration, as he is continually spoken of as a priest. Burchard was chosen for Würzburg. Charles Martel had died 22 October, 741, at Quiercy on the Oise and was succeeded by his sons Carloman and Pepin. In Rome Pope Gregory III died 28 November, 741, and was followed by Zachary. Carloman asked Boniface, his former preceptor, to a consultation. The result of this was a letter to the pope in which Boniface reported his actions in Bavaria and asked advice in various matters. He also stated the wish of Carloman that a synod be held. In answer Pope Zachary, 1 April, 742, confirmed the erection of the dioceses, sanctioned the holding of the synod, and gave the requested information. The synod, partly ecclesiastical and partly secular, was held 21 April, 742, but the place cannot be ascertained. The bishops appointed by Boniface were present and several others, but it was mainly the authority of Boniface and the power of Carloman that gave weight to the first German synod. Among its decrees the most noteworthy are those ordaining the subjection of the clergy to the bishop of the diocese and forbidding them to take any active part in wars, to carry arms, or to hunt. Very strict regulations were made against carnal sins on the part of priests and religious. The Rule of St. Benedict was made a norm for religious. Laws were also enacted concerning marriage within the forbidden degrees of kindred. A second national synod was held 1 March, 743, at Liptina in Hainault, and another at Soissons, 2 March, 744. In this synod a sentence of condemnation was passed against two heretics, Adalbert and Clement, the former a native of Gaul, the latter of Ireland. They were strain condemned in 745 and also at a synod held in Rome. Several other synods were held in Germany to strengthen faith and discipline. At the request of Carloman and Pepin the authority of Boniface over Bavaria was confirmed and extended over Gaul.
In 744 St. Willibrord, Bishop of Utrecht, died, and Boniface took the diocese under his charge, appointed an assistant or chor-episcopus. About the same time the See of Cologne became vacant through the death of Ragenfried, and it was the intention of Boniface as well as the wish of Pope Zachary to make this his archiepiscopal see, but the clergy opposed. Before the project could be carried out the Diocese of Mainz lost its bishop through the deposition of Gewilieb who led a very irregular life and had killed the slayer of his father, who was his predecessor in the episcopal office. Pope Zachary, 1 May, 748 (747), appointed Boniface Archbishop of Mainz and Primate of Germany. The new archdiocese comprised the dioceses of Tongem, Cologne, Worms, Speyer, Utrecht, and the dioceses erected by Boniface himself: Buraburg, Eichstätt, Erfurt, and Würzburg. Of Augsburg, Coire, and Constance the decree does not speak, but they are shortly afterwards mentioned as belonging to the province. After a few years Boniface was able to reconcile his enemies with the Holy See, so that the supremacy of the pope was acknowledged in Great Britain, Germany, and Gaul, as well as in Italy.
In 747 Carloman resigned his share of the government to his brother Pepin and left to spend the remainder of his days as a monk. He built a monastery in honour of St. Silvester at Soracte near Rome, and later retired to Monte Cassino. His motives for this are not known, but perhaps he was frightened at the severity of the measures he had felt himself obliged to use in order to obtain a union among the German tribes. Pepin, now the sole ruler, became the founder of the Carlovingian dynasty. That Boniface had anything to do with the dis-establishment of the old royal family and the introduction of a new one cannot be proved. He did not mingle in the politics of the country, except in this, that he did all in his power to convert the people to the true Faith, and to bring them into spiritual subjection to the Roman pontiff. It is generally stated that Boniface anointed and crowned Pepin by order of the pope, though this is denied by some.
The rest of his life Boniface spent in confirming what he had achieved in Germany. This he did by frequently holding synods and by enforcing the sacred canons. He did much for true religious life in the monasteries, especially at Fulda, which had been established under his supervision by St. Sturm, and into which Boniface returned yearly to train the monks and to spend some days in prayer and meditation. At his request Pope Zachary exempted the abbey from all episcopal jurisdiction and placed it under the immediate care of the Holy See. This was something new for Germany, though already known and practised in Italy and England. It seems that Boniface's last act as Archbishop of Mainz was the repudiation of the claim of the Archbishop of Cologne to the diocese of Utrecht. The matter was laid before Pepin, who decided against Cologne. The same decision must have been given by Pope Stephen II (III) who had become the successor of Zachary, 26 March, 752, for after that time no further claim was made by Cologne. No change was made until the ninth century, when Cologne was made an archdiocese and Utrecht one of its suffragan sees. Boniface appointed Abbot Gregory as administrator of Utrecht, and Eoban, who had been assistant, he took as his companion.
When Boniface saw that all things had been properly taken care of, he took up the work he had dreamed of in early manhood, the conversion of the Frisians. With royal consent, and with that of the pope previously given, he in 754 resigned the Archdiocese of Mainz to his disciple Lullus, whom in 752 he had consecrated bishop, again commenced a missionary tour, and laboured with success to the East of the Zuider Zee. Returning in the following year, he ordered the new converts to assemble for confirmation at Dorkum on the River Borne. The heathens fell upon them and murdered Boniface and fifty-two companions (according to some, thirty-seven). Soon afterwards, the Christians, who had scattered at the approach of the heathens, returned and found the body of the martyr and beside him the bloodstained copy of St. Ambrose on the "Advantage of Death". The body was taken to Utrecht, afterwards through the influence of Lullus removed to Mainz, and later, according to a wish expressed by the saint himself during his lifetime, to the Abbey of Fulda. Portions of his relics are at Louvain, Mechlin, Prague, Bruges, and Erfurt. A considerable portion of an arm is at Eichfeld. His grave soon became a sanctuary, to which the faithful came in crowds especially on his feast and during the Octave. England is supposed to have been the first place where his martyrdom was celebrated on a fixed day. Other countries followed. On 11 June, 1874, Pope Pius IX extended the celebration to the entire world. Brewers, tailors, and file-cutters have chosen St. Boniface as their patron, also various cities in Germany. The writings of St. Boniface which have been preserved are: "Collection of Letters"; "Poems and Riddles"; "Poenitentiale"; "Compendium of the Latin Language"; "Compendium of Latin Prosody"; "Sermons" (doubtful). Text Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia
Novena Prayer (to be said for 9 days)
St. Boniface O God, who filled St. Boniface  with the spirit of the Apostles,  continue to spread the Good News  among all people this day.  May your Church witness  in word and deed to your glory,  and, through the intercession of St. Boniface,  ever grow in service to our neighbour. Amen.  Our Father…., Hail Mary…, Glory Be…. 
Feast Day Prayer: St. Boniface May the Martyr Saint Boniface be our advocate,  O Lord,  that we may firmly hold the faith  he taught with his lips and sealed in his blood  and confidently profess it by our deeds.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the  Holy Spirit,  one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 
Litany Prayer to St. Boniface:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us. God, the Son, Redeemer of the World, Have mercy on us.God, the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Pray for us. Holy Mother of God, Pray for us. Holy Virgin of virgins, Pray for us. Queen of the Apostles, Pray for us. Saint Boniface, Pray for us. Apostle of Germany, Pray for us. Worthy successor of the Apostles, Pray for us. Worthy disciple of Saint Benedict, Pray for us. Ornament of the Catholic Church, Pray for us. Thou light, shining for the conversion of pagan nations, Pray for us. Thou light, shining like the sun, Pray for us. Thou great benefactor of many nations, Pray for us. Thou zealous preacher of the Gospel, Pray for us. Thou unwearied laborer in the vineyard of the Lord, Pray for us.Thou founder of the Catholic Church in Germany, Pray for us. Saint Boniface, our Father, Pray for us.St. Boniface, teacher of truth and virtue, Pray for us. St. Boniface, extirpator of heathenism, Pray for us. St. Boniface, destroyer of heresy, Pray for us. St. Boniface, great Bishop and model of missionaries, Pray for us. St. Boniface, protector of missions, Pray for us. St. Boniface, founder of many monasteries, Pray for us. St. Boniface, powerful advocate with God, Pray for us. St. Boniface, who didst work many miracles, Pray for us. St. Boniface, great martyr of faith, Pray for us. That God may preserve and confirm us in our holy Catholic religion, Pray for us. That God may grant us grace to walk piously and faithfully before Him, Pray for us. That God may humble the enemies of His Church, Pray for us. That God may grant the grace of true faith to all heretics and infidels, Pray for us. That God may give us that spirit with which thou didst serve Him, Pray for us. That God may restore the Faith to the whole of Germany, Pray for us. That God may raise up zealous missionaries to convert all pagans and heretics, Pray for us. That the Holy Spirit may enlighten all missionaries, Pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Our Father, etc., for the conversion of Germany and of all heathen.
Let us pray. Merciful God, Who hast shown compassion to so many heathen nations, through Thy faithful servant St. Boniface: we humbly pray Thee to revive and preserve that faith which he preached in Thy Holy Name, that we may receive Thy revelations with a faithful heart, and so regulate our lives as to gain the Heavenly Kingdom. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. R. Amen. Preserve and increase, we beseech Thee, O God, the faith of Thy children, and lead back to the true fold all those who have been separated or have separated themselves from it. Through Christ, Our Lord. R. Amen.
Prayer Source: Kyrie Eleison — Two Hundred Litanies by Benjamin Francis Musser O.F.M., The Magnificat Press, 1944

#BreakingNews Catholic Priest Stabbed in Bethlehem by Attackers as #Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Land tried to Defend Pilgrims

Bethlehem (Agenzia Fides) - Franciscan priest, Father Fadi Shalufa, responsible for the "milk grotto" church, was attacked on 1 June by one of the two young men who had previously harassed a group of pilgrims in visit to the birthplace of Jesus. The two attackers were arrested by the Palestinian police.
Wadie Abunassar, spokesman for the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, reported the dynamics of the aggression, also to correct inaccurate versions, relaunched in local media and social networks. According to the spokesperson of the Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land, the two young men were disturbing a group of pilgrims heading towards the milk grotto church, adjacent to the Basilica of the Nativity. In the face of this behavior, Father Fadi limited himself to allowing the pilgrims to quickly enter the church, and then closed the gate and thus prevented access to the two attackers. From that moment the two began to shout against the friar, and one of them even tried to hit him with a blunt object (probably a knife) fortunately without hurting him. The scene took place in full view of a security camera (see photo). Wadi Abunassar thanked the National Authority for moving quickly and managed to stop the two attackers. And he invited social media users not to relaunch unverified versions of the incident. Also the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, as reported by the online information site, expressed confidence in the Palestinian authorities and in their commitment to ensure free access to the Holy Places, recalling that "the safety of pilgrims, both local and foreigners, Christians or Muslims, is as sacred as the sanctity of the places they visit". (GV) (Text Source: Agenzia Fides, 4/6/2018)

Pope Francis to Journalists "... to a communication that knows how to put the truth before personal or corporate interests."


Sala Clementina
Monday, 4 June 2018

Dear friends,

Welcome! I greet and thank Dr. Simona Agnes, the members of the Jury and all of you present, who in various capacities cover important roles in communication. The Foundation that promotes the Award bears the name of Biagio Agnes, one of the best known Italian journalists, defender of the public service, who repeatedly intervened on the role of the journalist as the guarantor of correct, reliable, authentic and timely information.

By making use of his teaching, all of you commit yourselves, first of all personally, to a communication that knows how to put the truth before personal or corporate interests. In addition, by observing what is produced by the cultural industry, with this award you report to the company journalists and journalists who are distinguished by responsibility in the exercise of the profession. In fact, being a journalist has to do with the formation of people, their vision of the world and their attitudes before events. It is a demanding job, which at the moment is experiencing a season characterized, on the one hand, by digital convergence and, on the other, by the transformation of the same media.

Often I happen to see, on the occasion of apostolic trips or other meetings, a difference in production methods: from the classic TV crews to the boys and girls who know how to package news for a portal with a mobile phone. Or even from traditional radios to real interviews always done with a cell phone. All this says that we are indeed experiencing a pressing transformation of the forms and languages ​​of information. It is difficult to enter into this process of transformation, but it is increasingly necessary if we want to continue to be educators of the new generations. I said it was tiring, and I would add that wise vigilance is needed. In fact, «the dynamics of the media and of the digital world, [...] when they become omnipresent, do not favor the development of a capacity to live with wisdom, to think deeply, to love with generosity. The great scholars of the past, in this context, would run the risk of seeing their wisdom suffocated in the midst of the dispersal noise of information (Enc. Laudato si ', 47).

There are no recipes, but I would like to underline three words: suburbs, truth and hope.

Suburbs. Very often, the nerve centers of news production are found in large centers. But this should never make us forget the stories of people living far away in the suburbs. They are stories sometimes of suffering and degradation; other times they are stories of great solidarity that can help everyone to look at reality in a renewed way.

Truth. We all know that a journalist is called to write what he thinks, what corresponds to his conscious and responsible understanding of an event. It is necessary to be very demanding with oneself so as not to fall into the trap of the logic of opposition for interests or ideologies. Today, in a world where everything is fast, it is increasingly urgent to appeal to the painful and arduous law of in-depth research, confrontation and, if necessary, also of keeping quiet rather than hurting a person or a group of people or delegitimizing an event. I know it is difficult, but the story of a life is understood at the end, and this must help us to become courageous and also, I would say, prophetic.

Hope. It is not about telling a world without problems: it would be an illusion. It is a matter of opening spaces of hope while denouncing situations of degradation and despair. A journalist should not feel right for the mere fact of having recounted, according to his own free and conscious responsibility, an event. It is called to keep open an area of ​​exit, of meaning, of hope.

I conclude by recalling one of the initiatives that the Biagio Agnes Foundation, thanks to the tenacity of its President, carries forward: the Scientific Dissemination Forum "Check-Up for Italy", a project born from an idea by Biagio Agnes, which has the objective to deepen medical-scientific topics through accurate information that contrasts the proliferation of "do-it-yourself" information and approximate news, which more and more often can be found on the Net and which attract the public's attention much more than science. The Pontifical Council for Culture has just concluded an international conference on these issues. In this regard, I would like to remind you that "it is necessary to ensure a responsible and wide-ranging scientific and social debate, capable of considering all the information available and of calling things by their name. Sometimes the complete information is not put on the table, but it is select according to their own interests, be they political, economic or ideological "(Laudato si ', 135). Thank you again and I extend my congratulations to the Prize winners. And please, remember to pray for me. Thank you.
Text Source - Unofficial Translation - Image Vatican News

Pope Francis to Lutherans "With the help of God, we hope for a future striving towards the complete overcoming of divisions"


Monday, 4 June 2018

Dear Bishop Ulrich, dear friends,

I give you my warm welcome, pleased with your presence. I sincerely thank you, Bishop Ulrich, for the words he addressed to me and which testify to your ecumenical commitment. I also cordially greet the other representatives of the German National Committee of the World Lutheran Federation and of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany, together with their guests.

With joy I remember the moments shared last year on the occasion of the Common Commemoration of the Reformation. Already on 31st October 2016 we had met in Lund to characterize in a spirit of fraternal communion what, for the wounds of the past, could instead have provoked controversy and hatred. Grateful to God, we have seen that the five hundred years of history - sometimes very painful - that have seen us opposed and often in conflict, have left space, in the last fifty years, to a growing communion. Thanks to the work of the Spirit, fraternal meetings, gestures based on the logic of the Gospel rather than human strategies, and through the official Lutheran-Catholic dialogue, it has been possible to overcome old prejudices on both sides. With the help of God, we hope for a future striving towards the complete overcoming of divisions. We have to move on.

The Common Commemoration of the Reformation has confirmed to us that ecumenism will continue to mark our path. It is increasingly becoming a necessity and a desire, as shown by the various prayers in common and the many ecumenical meetings that took place last year in the world. Let us not forget to start from prayer, so that it is not human projects that indicate the way, but the Holy Spirit: He alone opens the way and enlightens the steps to be taken. The Spirit of love can not but push us on the paths of charity. As Christians, Catholics and Lutherans we are called above all to love "intensely, of one true heart, one another", because "they are regenerated through the word of God alive and eternal" (1 Pt 1,22-23). But we are also called to alleviate together the miseries of the needy and the persecuted. The sufferings of many brothers oppressed because of faith in Jesus are also a pressing invitation to reach an ever more concrete and visible unity among us. The ecumenism of blood.

Let us support one another in the journey, also by carrying forward the theological dialogue. No ecumenical dialogue can advance if we remain still. We must walk, continue: not with the enthusiasm of running forward to earn coveted goals, but walking patiently together, under the gaze of God. Some themes, I think of the Church, the Eucharist and the ecclesial ministry, deserve precise reflections and well shared. Ecumenism also asks not to be elitist, but to involve as many brothers and sisters as possible in the faith, growing as a community of disciples who pray, love and proclaim. It is on this basis that ecumenical dialogue will help us to progress, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in the common understanding of divine revelation, which is deepened by knowing and loving together the Lord Jesus Christ, because "it is in him that he inhabits all fullness bodily. of the divinity "(Col 2: 9) and" it pleased God [...] that through him [...] all things be reconciled "(Col 1: 19-20).

May the Lord accompany us, so that our Christian being may be more centered in him and courageous in his mission; because pastoral care is enriched with service and, in its various dimensions, is more imbued with an ecumenical spirit. I invoke upon you all the blessing of the Lord: let the Holy Spirit descend and unite what is still divided.

It would be nice, at the end of these words, to pray together the Our Father: "Vater Unser ...".
Text Source - Unofficial Translation - Image Vatican News

RIP Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo - Faithful Archbishop-emeritus in Nicaragua at the age of 92

Pope sends condolences for death of Cardinal Obando Bravo
Expressing his condolences in a telegramme, Pope Francis says the late-Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo gave his life to the service of God and the Church.
By Devin Watkins
Pope Francis sent a telegramme of condolence for the death of Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo, SDB, Archbishop-emeritus of Managua in Nicaragua. Cardinal Bravo died on Sunday at the age of 92. The Pope expressed his sorrow to the “beloved Archdiocese” of Managua upon receiving news of the Cardinal’s death. He recalled Cardinal Bravo’s “generous fidelity” and said he “gave his life to the service of God and of the Church.”
“I offer prayers for the eternal repose of his soul, so that the Lord Jesus may grant him the crown of unfading glory,” said Pope Francis. With his death, the College of Cardinals is composed of 212 Cardinals, 115 of whom are Cardinal-electors and 97 non-electors.
  Biography of Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo: Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo, S.D.B., Archbishop emeritus of Managua (Nicaragua), was born on 2 February 1926 in La Libertad, Nicaragua, in the actual diocese of Juigalpa. After having attended the Salesian College of Granada he obtained a baccalaureate in Latin and Greek; in San Salvador he received a doctorate in mathematics, physics and philosophy. After entering the Salesians he studied theology in Guatemala and thereafter vocational psychology in Colombia, in Venezuela and in Rome. He was ordained a priest on 10 August 1958 and was professor of mathematics and physics in the superior schools of Nicaragua and El Salvador; Prefect of discipline of the Salesian seminary of San Salvador (1959); Rector of the Rinaldi Institute; Member of the provincial council for Central America of the Congregation (1962); Delegate for Central America and Panama at the XIX General Chapter of the Salesians which was held in Rome in 1965.
Nominated by Paul VI titular bishop of Puzia di Bizacena and Auxiliary of Matagalpa (Nicaragua) on 18 January 1968, he received episcopal ordination on 31 March1968. During this period in Matagalpa, he dedicated particular pastoral attention to the campesinos and to their urgent problems.
On 16 February 1970 he was nominated Archbishop of Managua, taking possession of the archdiocese on 4 April 1970.
He was delegate of the Nicaraguan Bishops for the General Assembly of the Synod of 1971; President of the Nicaraguan Bishops’ Conference for 6 different terms from 1971-1997 and then again in 1999; President of the Bishops’ Secretariat of Central America and Panama from 1976-1980; President of the Department for Religious of the Latin American Bishops’ Conference from 1981 to 1985. Many international organizations have given him prestigious recognition for his uninterrupted pastoral and humanitarian work.
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Nicaragua, December 1999 - November 2005.
Archbishop emeritus of Managua, 1 April 2005.
He participated in the conclave of April 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI. Created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the Consistory of 25 May 1985, of theTitle of St. John the Evangelist a Spinaceto.

#BreakingNews Man who Threatened people with Knife in Berlin Cathedral was Shot by Police

A  53-year-old Austrian man yelled and waved a knife inside the Berlin cathedral in Germany. The Berlin police shot and wounded him. The German news agency quoted police as saying the man appeared to be confused. The man entered the Berliner Dom and waved a knife in the area of the altar. Cathedral workers called police and safely led about 100 visitors out of the Church. Two officers responded and asked the suspect to put down the knife but he would not listen. The officers used a chemical spray but this had no effect. One of the officers then opened fire, wounding the man. The second officer also was accidently wounded by the shot fired by his colleague. The suspect and the police officer were taken to a hospital. A Sunday evening prayer service at the church was canceled.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday June 4, 2018 - #Eucharist

Monday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 353

Reading 12 PT 1:2-f7

May grace and peace be yours in abundance
through knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has bestowed on us
everything that makes for life and devotion,
through the knowledge of him
who called us by his own glory and power.
Through these, he has bestowed on us
the precious and very great promises,
so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature,
after escaping from the corruption that is in the world
because of evil desire.
For this very reason,
make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,
virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control,
self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion,
devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.

Responsorial PsalmPS 91:1-2, 14-15B, 15C-16

R. (see 2b) In you, my God, I place my trust.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
Say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.
Because he clings to me, I will deliver him;
I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in distress.
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.
I will deliver him and glorify him;
with length of days I will gratify him
and will show him my salvation.
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.

AlleluiaSEE RV 1:5AB

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ, you are the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead;
you have loved us and freed us from our sins by your Blood.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 12:1-12

Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes,
and the elders in parables.
"A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey.
At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants
to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard.
But they seized him, beat him,
and sent him away empty-handed.
Again he sent them another servant.
And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully.
He sent yet another whom they killed.
So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed.
He had one other to send, a beloved son.
He sent him to them last of all, thinking, 'They will respect my son.'
But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.'
So they seized him and killed him,
and threw him out of the vineyard.
What then will the owner of the vineyard do?
He will come, put the tenants to death,
and give the vineyard to others.
Have you not read this Scripture passage:

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?"

They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd,
for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them.
So they left him and went away.

Saint June 4 : Saint Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad : Founder of Bridgettines who Saved Jews in WWII

Saint Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad was born on June 4, 1870 – (died 24 April 1957) and baptised into the Reform Church. Mary was born in Faglavik, Alvsborg province, Sweden. In 1886 she migrated to the United States to earn money for her family back home. After working as a nurse, she converted to Catholicism in 1902. Moving to Rome, she dedicated her life and her religious order to prayer and work for the attainment of Christian unity. She refounded the Order of the Most Holy Saviour of St Bridget, known as the Bridgettines. Mother Riccarda later succeeded her as mother superior at the order’s Rome motherhouse. Here, Mary Elizabeth saved the lives of more than 60 people She hid Jews from the Nazis during the Second World at the motherhouse in Rome. Pope Francis approved a miracle attributed to her intercession. She was a convert from Lutheranism. The hiding was recounted by an Italian Jew. Mr Piperno told the Times newspaper: “We were three families, 13 in all. We stayed in three rooms, all the men in one, except an uncle who slept in a dark, small room with no windows, and another two for the women. In the beginning we all ate in one room by ourselves.” For six months –until liberation of Rome – the Piperno family hid in the convent. The nuns took in Fascist refugees as well as Jews. Saint Mary Elizabeth,was named as a Righteous among the Nations,  by Yad Vashem. She was beatified by St John Paul II in 2000.
Mary was the fifth of thirteen children born to Augusto Roberto Hesselblad and Cajsa Pettesdotter Dag. Raised in the Reformed Church of Sweden.She emigrated to New York at age 18 to seek work to support her family back in Sweden. Mary studied nursing at Manhattan’s Roosevelt Hospital and she worked as a nurse from 1888; and did home care for the sick and aged. She converted to Catholicism, received conditional baptism on 15 August 1902 by the Jesuit priest Giovani Hagen at Washington. She went to Rome, Italy in late 1902, receiving Confirmation there. She settled at the Carmelite House of Saint Bridget of Sweden on 25 March 1904. In 1906 she obtained permission from Pope Pius X to take the habit of the Brigittines (Order of the Most Holy Saviour of Saint Bridget). She worked to restore the Order in Sweden and Italy, especially in Rome. Then she returned to Sweden in 1923, and ministered to the poor. She received control of Rome‘s Brigittine house and church in 1931. Established Brigittine foundations in India in 1937.  Died 24 April 1957 in Rome, Italy of natural causes.