Saturday, August 25, 2018

Saint August 26 : Our Lady of Czestochowa of #Poland - #BlackMadonna - #Czestochowa

Our Lady of Czestochowa
Feast day: August 26 ( Hist. )
The image of Our Lady in Czestochowa, Poland [at right] is among that small group of Black Madonnas recognized throughout the entire world, largely due to the recent manifestations of public piety shown by the reigning Polish Pope, John Paul II. The image is sometimes called Our Lady of Jasna Gora after the name of the monastery site in which it has been kept for six centuries. Joan Carroll Cruz relates the following 'miracle story' regarding the selection of this site:
St. Ladislaus determined to save the image from the repeated invasions of the Tartars by taking it to the more secure city of Opala, his birthplace. This journey took him through Czestochowa, where he decided to rest for the night. During this brief pause in their journey, the image was taken to Jasna Gora [meaning "Bright Hill"]. There it was placed in a small wooden church named for the Assumption. The following morning, after the portrait was carefully replaced in its wagon, the horses refused to move. Accepting this as a heavenly sign that the portrait was to remain in Czestochowa, St. Ladislaus had the image solemnly returned to the Church of the Assumption.
Another 'miraculous' aspect of this image is that its antiquity is so great that its origins are unknown, as if "dropped from the heavens." Legend attributes its creation to St. Luke, the evangelist, who "painted a portrait of the Virgin on the cedar wood table at which she had taken her meals." St. Helena, the Queen-Mother of Emperor Constantine is said to have located the portrait during her visit to the Holy Land and to have brought it to Constantinople in the fourth century. After remaining there for five centuries, it allegedly was transferred in royal dowries until it made its way to Poland, and the possession of St. Ladislaus in the fifteenth century.
The legend continues: During Ladislaus' time, the image was damaged during a siege, by a Tartar arrow, "inflicting a scar on the throat of the Blessed Virgin." In 1430, Hussites stole and vandalized the precious image, breaking it into three pieces. Adding insult to injury:
One of the robbers drew his sword, struck the image and inflicted two deep gashes. While preparing to inflict a third gash, he fell to the ground and writhed in agony until his death ... The two slashes on the cheek of the Blessed Virgin, together with the previous injury to the throat, have always reappeared--despite repeated attempts to repair them.
However, modern scholarship has its own views on this legend. Leonard Moss claims: "the figure is distinctly thirteenth-fourteenth century Byzantine in form." In general, its Byzantine style is obvious, a variant on Hodegetria. Janusz Pasierb states of the image that "in 1434 it was painted virtually anew" due to the extensive damage caused by vandalism. He adds that "the authors of the new version were faithful to the original as regards its contents." This might explain the persistence of the damage marks mentioned earlier. Finally, note that Pasierb sees the prototype of Our Lady of Czestochowa as "a Byzantine icon ... which from the fifth century on had been worshipped in a church in Constantinople's ton hodegon quarter."
Prayer to Our Lady of Czestochowa

Holy Mother of Czestochowa, you are full of grace, goodness and mercy. I consecrated to you all my thoughts, words and actions - my soul and body. I beseech your blessings and especially prayers for my salvation.
Today I consecrate myself to you, good Mother, totally - with body and soul amid joy and sufferings, to obtain for myself and others your blessings on this earth and eternal life in heaven. Amen
Our Lady of Czestochowa, Queen of Poland, pray for us.
The miracles worked by Our Lady of Czestochowa seem to occur mainly on a public scale. During her stay in Constantinople, she is reported to have frightened the besieging Saracens away from the city. Similarly, in 1655 a small group of Polish defenders was able to drive off a much larger army of Swedish invaders from the sanctuary. The following year, the Holy Virgin was acclaimed Queen of Poland by King Casimir. It is also recorded that Our Lady dispersed an army of Russian invaders by an apparition at the River Vistula on September 15, 1920. In more recent times, the Czestochowa Madonna has also been acknowledged for her protection of and cooperation with the Polish nation. Beyond these public prodigies:
The miracles attributed to Our Lady of Czestochowa are numerous and spectacular. The original accounts of these cures and miracles are preserved in the archives of the Pauline Fathers at Jasna Gora.
The image is not so well-known only on account of its history of miracles. Its international reputation has been considerably enhanced because of the personal devotion of Blessed John Paul II:
In modern times, Karol Wojtyla, a native son of Poland, prayed before the Madonna during his historic visit in 1979, several months after his election to the Chair of Peter as John Paul II. He made another visit to Our Lady of Czestochowa in 1983 and again in 1991.
Why Is She Black?
A final question remains: why is Our Lady of Czestochowa black? Cruz mentions a possible link to the Canticle of Canticles: "I am black but beautiful."; but concludes that "The darkness is ascribed to various conditions [e.g. accumulated residue from candles], of which its age is primary."
Broschart, by contrast, opines:
the shrine was destroyed by fire, but the picture was not burned--however, the flames and smoke had darkened it and from that day it has been known as the "Black Madonna."
Recall that Moss saw the image as Byzantine in form, dating from the Medieval period. He added: "the skin pigmentation is characteristic of this stylized portraiture."
Interestingly, Ernst Scheyer, an art historian who studied the image, believed that "the present image was restored in the nineteenth century and painted somewhat darker than previously."
Adding to all this confusion, a notable Swiss copy, completed by Kosmoski in 1956 and kept in the Hospice of the Great St. Bernard Pass, is much darker than the version in Jasna Gora, while a copy at a shrine in Doylestown, Pennsylvania is depicted in lighter flesh tones. All of which makes the question of authorial intent extremely complicated. Her miraculous reputation, though, is beyond dispute.
For further information on Our Lady of Czestochowa, refer to "In Quest of the Black Virgin ..." by Leonard W. Moss; pp. 53-74 in Mother Worship: Themes and Variations (1982) by James Preston (ed.); Miraculous Images of Our Lady (1993) by Joan Carroll Cruz; Call Her Blessed (1961) by Charles B. Broschart; and The Shrine of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa (1989) by Janusz Pasierb.
Source: The Marian Library : Michael Duricy

Saint August 25 : St. Joseph Calasanctius : Founder of the #Piarists

St. Joseph Calasanctius
Feast Day August 25 ( New )
Called in religion "a Matre Dei", founder of the Piarists, b. 11 Sept., 1556, at the castle of Calasanza near Petralta de la Sal in Aragon; d. 25 Aug., 1648, at Rome; feast 27 Aug. His parents, Don Pedro Calasanza and Donna Maria Gastonia, gave Joseph, the youngest of five children, a good education at home and then at the school of Petralta. After his classical studies at Estadilla he took up philosophy and jurisprudence at Lérida and merited the degree of Doctor of Laws, and then with honours completed his theological course at Valencia and Alcalá de Henares. His mother and brother having died, Don Pedro wanted Joseph to marry and perpetuate the family. God interfered by sending a sickness in 1582 which soon brought Joseph to the brink of the grave. On his recovery he was ordained priest 17 Dec., 1583, by Hugo Ambrose de Moncada, Bishop of Urgel. Joseph began his labours as priest in the Diocese of Albarracin, where Bishop della Figuera appointed him his theologian and confessor, synodal examiner, and procurator, and when the bishop was transferred to Lérida his theologian followed him to the new diocese. In 1586 della Figuera was sent as Apostolic visitator to the Abbey of Montserrat, and Joseph accompanied him as secretary. The bishop died the following year and Joseph left, though urgently requested to remain. He hurried to Calasanza only to be present at the death of his father. He was then called by his Bishop of Urgel to act as vicar-general for the district of Trempe. In 1592 he embarked for Rome, where he found a protector in Cardinal Marcantonio Colonna who chose him as his theologian and instructor to his nephew. Rome offered a splendid field for works of charity, especially for the instruction of neglected and homeless children, many of whom had lost their parents. Joseph joined a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine and gathered the boys and girls from the streets and brought them to school. The teachers, being poorly paid, refused to accept the additional labour without remuneration. The pastor of S. Dorotea, Anthony Brendani, offered him two rooms and promised assistance in teaching, and when two other priests promised similar help, Joseph, in November, 1597, opened the first public free school in Europe. Pope Clement VIII gave an annual contribution and many others shared in the good work, so that in a short time Joseph had about a thousand children under his charge. In 1602 he rented a house at S. Andrea della Valle and commenced a community life with his assistants and laid the foundation of the Order of Piarists. Much envy and opposition arose against him and his new institute, but all were overcome in time. In 1612 the school was transferred to the Torres palace adjoining S. Pantaleone. Here Joseph spent the remaining years of his life in his chosen calling. He lived and died a faithful son of the church, a true friend of forsaken children. His body rests in S. Paltaleone. His beatification was solemnized on 7 Aug., 1748, and his canonization by Clement XIII, 16 July, 1767. Source: Catholic Encyclopedia

Wow 70,000 with Pope Francis in Ireland "..the family that prays together stays together" FULL TEXT + Video at Festival of Families

(25-26 AUGUST 2018)



Croke Park Stadium (Dublin)
Saturday, 25 August 2018


Dear brothers and sisters, good evening!

Thank you for your warm welcome. It's great to be here! It is beautiful to celebrate, because it makes us more human and more Christian. It also helps us to share the joy of knowing that Jesus loves us, accompanies us on the journey of life and every day attracts us closer to himself.

In every family celebration, the presence of everyone is felt: fathers, mothers, grandparents, grandchildren, uncles and aunts, cousins, those who could not come and those who live too far away, all. Today in Dublin we are gathered for a family celebration of thanksgiving to God for what we are: one family in Christ, spread throughout the earth. The Church is the family of the children of God. A family in which one rejoices with those who are in joy and cries with those who are in pain or feel knocked out of life. A family in which care is taken of each one, because God our Father has made us all his children in Baptism. That's why I keep encouraging parents to have their children baptized as soon as possible, so that they can become part of God's great family. We need to invite everyone to the party, even the little baby! And for this it must be baptized soon. And there is another thing: if the child is baptized, the Holy Spirit enters his heart. Let's make a comparison: a child without baptism, because the parents say: "No, when it will be great", and a child with baptism, with the Holy Spirit inside: this is stronger, because it has the power of God inside!
You, dear families, are the great majority of the People of God. What would the Church look like without you? A Church of statues, a Church of lonely people ... It is to help us recognize the beauty and importance of the family, with its lights and its shadows, which was written in the Exhortation Amoris laetitia on the joy of love, and I wanted the theme of this World Meeting of Families to be "the Gospel of the family, joy for the world". God wants every family to be a beacon that radiates the joy of his love in the world. What does it mean? It means that, after having met the love of God who saves, we try, with or without words, to manifest it through small gestures of goodness in the daily routine and in the simplest moments of the day.

And what's his name? This is called holiness. I like to speak of the saints "in the next door", of all those common people who reflect the presence of God in life and in the history of the world (see Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et exsultate, 6-7). The vocation to love and holiness is not something reserved for the privileged few, no. Even now, if we have eyes to see, we can see it around us. It is silently present in the hearts of all those families who offer love, forgiveness, mercy when they see that it is needed, and they do it quietly, without the sound of trumpets. The Gospel of the family is truly joy for the world, since there, in our families, Jesus can always be found; there he dwells in simplicity and poverty, as he did in the house of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

Christian marriage and family life are understood in all their beauty and attractiveness if they are anchored in the love of God, who created us in his image, so that we could give him glory as icons of his love and his holiness in the world. . Dads and mothers, grandparents and grandmothers, children and grandchildren: everyone, all called to find the fulfillment of love in the family. The grace of God helps every day to live with one heart and one soul. Even the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law! Nobody says it's easy, you know it better than me. It's like making tea: it's easy to boil water, but a good cup of tea takes time and patience; you need to leave it in infusion! So, day after day, Jesus warms us with his love, making sure that all our being penetrates. From the treasure of his Sacred Heart, pour on us the grace that we need to heal our infirmities and open our minds and hearts to listen to us, understand each other and forgive one another.
We have just heard the testimonies of Felicité, Isaac and Ghislain, who come from Burkina Faso. They told us a moving story of forgiveness in the family. The poet said that "to err is human, to forgive is divine". And it is true: forgiveness is a special gift from God that heals our wounds and brings us closer to others and to him. Small and simple gestures of forgiveness, renewed every day, are the foundation on which a solid Christian family life is built. They force us to overcome pride, detachment and embarrassment to make peace. Many times we are angry with each other and we want to make peace, but we do not know how. It's an embarrassment to make peace, but we want to do it! It is not difficult. It's easy. Caress, and so peace is made! It's true, I like to say that in families we need to learn three words - you [Ghislain] said them - three words: "sorry", "please" and "thank you". Three words. How were the three words? All: [Sorry, please, thank you] Another time: [Sorry, please, thank you] I do not hear ... [Sorry, please, thank you] Thank you very much! When you argue at home, make sure you have apologized and said you are sorry before going to bed. Before the day ends, make peace. And do you know why it is necessary to make peace before ending the day? Because if you do not make peace, the next day, the "cold war" is very dangerous! Watch out for the cold war in the family! But perhaps sometimes you are angry and you are tempted to go to sleep in another room, alone and secluded; if you feel like that, simply knock at the door and say: "Please, can I come in?". What is needed is a look, a kiss, a sweet word ... and everything returns as before! I say this because, when families do it, they survive. There is no perfect family; without the habit of forgiveness, the family grows sick and gradually collapses.

Forgiving means giving something of oneself. Jesus always forgives us. With the strength of his forgiveness, we can forgive others too, if we really want it. Is not that for which we pray when we say our Father? Children learn to forgive when they see their parents forgiving each other. If we understand this, we can appreciate the greatness of Jesus' teaching about fidelity in marriage. Far from being a cold legal obligation, it is above all a powerful promise of God's fidelity to his word and his boundless grace. Christ died for us because we in turn can forgive and reconcile one another. In this way, as individuals and as families, we learn to understand the truth of those words of Saint Paul: while everything passes, "love will never end" (1 Cor 13: 8).

Thank you Nisha and Ted for your testimonies from India, where you are teaching your children to be a true family. You have also helped us understand that social media is not necessarily a problem for families, but can help build a "network" of friendships, solidarity and mutual support. Families can connect through the internet and benefit from it. Social media can be beneficial if used sparingly and moderately. For example, you, who participate in this World Meeting of Families, form a spiritual "network", a plot of friendship; and social media can help you maintain this link and extend it to other families in many parts of the world. It is important, however, that these means never become a threat to the true network of flesh and blood relations, imprisoning us in a virtual reality and isolating us from concrete relationships that stimulate us to give our best in communion with others. Perhaps the story of Ted and Nisha can help all families to question the need to reduce the time they spend on these technological means, and spend more quality time with each other and with God. But when you use social media too much, you "go into orbit". When at the table, instead of talking to the family, everyone has a cell phone and connects outside, it is "in orbit". But this is dangerous. Because? Because it takes you from the concrete of the family and leads you to a "gassy" life, without consistency. Beware of this. Remember the story of Ted and Nisha, who teach us how to use social media well.
We have heard from Enass and Sarmaad how love and faith in the family can be sources of strength and peace even in the midst of violence and destruction, caused by war and persecution. Their history brings us back to the tragic situations that many families suffer every day, forced to abandon their homes in search of security and peace. But Enass and Sarmaad have also shown us how, starting from the family and thanks to the solidarity shown by many other families, life can be rebuilt and hope can be reborn. We saw this support in the video of Rammy and his brother Meelad, in which Rammy expressed deep gratitude for the encouragement and for the help that their family received from many other Christian families around the world, who made them possible to return to their villages. In every society, families generate peace, because they teach love, acceptance, forgiveness, the best antidotes against hatred, prejudice and revenge that poison the lives of people and communities.

As a good Irish priest taught, "the family that prays together stays together", and radiates peace. Such a family can be a special support for other families who do not live in peace. After the death of Father Ganni, Enass, Sarmaad and their families chose forgiveness and reconciliation rather than hatred and resentment. They saw, in the light of the Cross, that evil can only be opposed with good and hatred can only be overcome with forgiveness. Almost unbelievably, they have been able to find peace in the love of Christ, a love that makes all things new. And tonight they share this peace with us. They prayed. Prayer, pray together. While listening to the choir, I saw a mother there teaching her son to make the sign of the cross. I ask you: do you teach children to make the sign of the cross? Yes or no? [Yes] Or do you teach to do something like this [makes a quick gesture], that you do not understand what it is? It is very important that children from small children learn to do well the sign of the cross: it is the first Creed that they learn, the Creed in the Father, in the Son and in the Holy Spirit. This evening, before going to bed, you parents ask: do I teach my children to make the sign of the cross well? Think about it, it's your thing!

The love of Christ that renews everything is what makes marriage possible and a conjugal love marked by fidelity, indissolubility, unity and openness to life. This is what is seen in the fourth chapter of Amoris laetitia. We have seen this love in Mary and Damian and in their family with ten children. I ask you [to Mary and Damian]: do they make you angry, children? Eh, life is like that! But it's nice to have ten children. Thank you. Thank you for your words and for your testimony of love and faith! You have experienced the capacity of God's love to completely transform your life and to bless you with the joy of a beautiful family. You have told us that the key to your family life is sincerity. We understand from your story how important it is to continue to go to that source of truth and love that can transform our lives. Who is it? Jesus, who inaugurated his public ministry at a wedding party. There, at Cana, he changed the water into a new and good wine that allowed to proceed magnificently with the joyful celebration. But, you thought, what would have happened if Jesus had not done this? Have you thought how bad it is to end a wedding party with water only? It's ugly! Our Lady understood and said to the Son: "They have no wine". And Jesus understood that the party would end badly only with water. Thus it is with conjugal love. The new wine begins to ferment during the time of engagement, necessary but fleeting, and matures along the married life in a mutual gift of self, which makes spouses capable of becoming, as two, "one flesh". And also to open hearts to those in need of love, especially to those who are alone, abandoned, weak and, as vulnerable, often shelved from the culture of waste. This culture that we live today, that discards everything: discards everything that is not needed, discards the children because they annoy, discard the old because they do not serve ... Only love saves us from this culture of waste.
Families are everywhere called to continue to grow and move forward, despite difficulties and limitations, just as the past generations have done. We are all part of a large chain of families, which dates back to the beginning of time. Our families are living treasures of memory, with children who in turn become parents and then grandparents. From them we receive identity, values ​​and faith. We have seen him in Aldo and Marissa, married for more than fifty years. Their marriage is a monument to love and fidelity! Their grandchildren keep them young; their home is full of joy, happiness and dancing. It was nice to see Grandma teach her granddaughters dancing! Their mutual love is a gift from God, a gift that they are transmitting with joy to their children and grandchildren.

A society - listen to this! - a company that does not value grandparents is a society without a future. A Church that does not care about the alliance between generations will end up lacking what really matters, love. Our grandparents teach us the meaning of conjugal and parental love. They themselves grew up in a family and experienced the affection of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. This is why they constitute a treasure of experience, a treasure trove of wisdom for the new generations. It is a big mistake not to ask the elderly about their experiences or to think that talking to them is a waste of time. In this regard, I would like to thank Missy for her testimony. She told us that, among the nomads, the family has always been a source of strength and solidarity. His testimony reminds us that in the house of God there is a place at the table for everyone. No one must be excluded; our love and our attention must extend to everyone.

It's late and you're tired! Me too! But let me tell you one last thing. You, families, are the hope of the Church and of the world! God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, created humanity in his image and likeness to make her share in his love, to be a family of families and to enjoy that peace that only he can give. With your testimony to the Gospel, you can help God realize his dream. You can help bring all the children of God closer together, because they grow in unity and learn what it means for the whole world to live in peace like a big family. For this reason, I wanted to give each of you a copy of Amoris laetitia, prepared in the two Synods on the family and written to be a sort of guide for living the Gospel of the family with joy. May our Mother, Queen of the family and of peace, support all of you in the journey of life, love and happiness!

And now, at the end of our evening, we will recite the prayer of this Meeting of Families. Together we recite the official prayer of the Meeting of Families: [great applause]

God, our Father, ...

Prayer and Blessing (in English)

Goodnight, sleep well! And see you tomorrow!
Source: - Unofficial Translation of Italian

Pope Francis "Our world needs a revolution of love!" at Pro- Cathedral in Ireland - FULL TEXT + Video

(25-26 AUGUST 2018)



Procathedral of Santa Maria (Dublin)
Saturday, 25 August 2018


Good afternoon!

Dear friends,

I am happy to meet you in this historic Procathedral of Santa Maria, which over the years has seen countless celebrations of the sacrament of marriage. Looking at you, so young, I wonder: but then what they say is not true, that young people do not want to get married? Thank you! Getting married and sharing life is a beautiful thing. There is a saying in Spanish that says: "Pain in two, half pain; joy in two, a joy and a half ". This is the path of marriage. How much love has been manifested, how many graces have been received in this sacred place! I thank Archbishop Martin for his cordial welcome. I am particularly happy to be with you, engaged couples and spouses who are in different stages of the path of sacramental love. It is also nice to hear that music that comes from there: children who cry ... That is a hope, it is the most beautiful music; but also the most beautiful sermon, to hear a crying child, because it is the cry of hope, that life continues, that life goes on, that love is fruitful. Looking at the children ... But I also greeted an elderly person: we must also look at the elderly, because the elderly are full of wisdom. Listening to the elderly: "How was your life? ...". I liked this, that it was you [addressing the elderly couple who spoke first] to start, after 50 years of marriage, because you have so much experience to share. The future and the past meet in the present. They, the old ones - allow me the word: the old, the old - have the wisdom. Even the mother-in-law have the wisdom ... [laughs, laughs]. And children must listen to wisdom, you young people must listen to wisdom, and talk with them to go on, because they are the roots. They are the roots, and you take from the roots to move on. This I will certainly say later, but I have to say it from the heart.

In a special way, as I said, I am grateful for the testimony of Vincent and Teresa, who told us about their experience of fifty years of marriage and family life. Thank you both for your words of encouragement and for the challenges you have presented to new generations of newlyweds and boyfriends, not only here in Ireland but all over the world. They will not be like you, they will be different. But they need your experience to be different, to go further. It is so important to listen to the elderly, listen to grandparents! We have much to learn from your experience of married life supported every day by the grace of the sacrament. I want to ask you: did you fight a lot? But this is part of the marriage! A marriage in which you do not fight is a bit 'boring ... [laugh] But there is a secret: they can also fly the dishes, but the secret is to make peace before the day ends. And to make peace it is not necessary a speech, just a caress, so, and peace is made. And do you know why it's important? Because if you do not make peace before going to bed, the "cold war" of the next day is too dangerous, the grudge begins ... Yes, fight as long as you want, but in the evening make peace. Agree? Do not forget it, you young people. Growing together in this community of life and love, you have experienced many joys and, certainly, even a few sufferings. Together with all the spouses who have come a long way along the road, you are the custodians of our collective memory. We will always need your testimony full of faith. It is a precious resource for young couples, who look to the future with emotion and hope ... and also, perhaps, with a pinch of anxiety: how will this future be?

I also thank the young couples who have asked me some honest questions. It is not easy to answer these questions! Denis and Sinead are about to embark on a journey of love that, according to God's plan, involves a lifelong commitment. They asked how they can help others understand that marriage is not simply an institution but a vocation, a life that goes on, a conscious and lifelong decision to take care, help each other and protect each other.

Of course we must recognize that today we are not used to something that really lasts for a lifetime. We live a culture of the temporary, we are not used to it. If I feel hungry or thirsty, I can feed myself, but my feeling of being full does not last even a day. If I have a job, I know I could lose it against my will or that I might have to choose a different career. It is difficult even to keep up with the world, as everything around us changes, people come and go in our lives, promises are made but often they are broken or left unfinished. Perhaps what you are asking me is actually something even more fundamental: "Is there really nothing precious that can last?". This is the question. It seems like nothing beautiful, no precious thing, it lasts. "But is not there really something precious that can last? Not even love? ". And there is the temptation that that "for life" that you will say to one another, is transformed and, in time, dies. If love does not grow with love, it lasts a little. That "for life" is a commitment to make love grow, because in love there is no provisional. If not, it's called enthusiasm, it's called, I do not know, enchantment, but love love is definitive, it's an "you and me". As we say, it is "half of orange": you are my orange half, I am your orange half. Love is like this: everything and for life. It is easy to remain prisoners of the culture of the ephemeral, and this culture attacks the very roots of our processes of maturation, of our growth in hope and love. How can we experience, in this ephemeral culture, what really lasts? This is a strong question: how can we experience, in this ephemeral culture, what really lasts?

Here's what I'd like to tell you. Among all the forms of human fruitfulness, marriage is unique. It is a love that gives rise to a new life. It implies mutual responsibility in transmitting the divine gift of life and offers a stable environment in which new life can grow and flourish. Marriage in the Church, that is, the sacrament of marriage, participates in a special way in the mystery of God's eternal love. When a Christian man and woman unite in the bond of marriage, God's grace enables them to freely promise one another. to the other an exclusive and lasting love. Thus their union becomes a sacramental sign - this is important: the sacrament of marriage - becomes a sacramental sign of the new and eternal covenant between the Lord and his spouse, the Church. Jesus is always present among them. He sustains them throughout life in the mutual gift of self, in fidelity and in indissoluble unity (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 48). The love of Jesus for couples is a rock, it is a refuge in times of trial, but above all it is a source of constant growth in a pure and forever love. Make strong bets for a lifetime. You risk! Because marriage is also a risk, but it is a risk that is worth it. Throughout life, because love is like that.
We know that love is God's dream for us and for the entire human family. Please do not ever forget it! God has a dream for us and asks us to do it right. Do not be afraid of that dream! You dream big! Make it a treasure and dream it together every day again. In this way you will be able to support each other with hope, with strength and with forgiveness in times when the path becomes difficult, it becomes difficult to see the way. In the Bible, God commits himself to remain faithful to his covenant, even when we sadden him and our love weakens. What does God say in the Bible to his people? Listen well: «I will not leave you and I will not forsake you» (Hebrews 13: 5). And you, as husband and wife, join each other with these words of promise, every day for the rest of your life. And never stop dreaming! Always repeat in the heart: "I will not leave you, I will not abandon you".

Stephen and Jordan are newlyweds and have asked the very important question of how parents can pass on their children's faith. I know that the Church here in Ireland has carefully prepared catechesis programs to educate the faith in schools and parishes. This is certainly essential. But the first and most important place for faith to pass is the home: one learns to believe at home, through the calm and daily example of parents who love the Lord and trust in his word. There, in the house, which we can call the "domestic church", children learn the meaning of fidelity, honesty and sacrifice. They see how mum and dad behave among themselves, how they take care of each other and others, how they love God and the Church. Thus the children can breathe the fresh air of the Gospel and learn to understand, judge and act in a way worthy of the faith they have inherited. Faith, brothers and sisters, is transmitted around the table at home, at home, in ordinary conversation, through the language that only persevering love can speak. Never forget, brothers and sisters: faith is transmitted in dialect! The dialect of the house, the dialect of domestic life, there, of family life. Think of the seven Maccabee brothers, as the mother spoke to them "in dialect", that is, what they had learned about God as children. It is more difficult to receive faith - it can be done, but it is more difficult - if it has not been received in that mother tongue, at home, in dialect. I am tempted to talk about my experience as a child ... If I need it, I say it. I remember once - I was five years old - I went home and there, in the dining room, dad came from work, at that moment, before me, and I saw dad and mom kissing each other. I never forget it! What a nice thing! Tired of work, but had the strength to express love to his wife! May your children see you this way, that you caress, kiss, embrace; this is beautiful, because they learn this dialect of love, and faith, in this dialect of love.

Therefore, it is important to pray together in the family; talk about good and holy things; and let Mary our Mother come into your life, family life. Celebrate Christian holidays: let your children know what a family party is. Live in deep solidarity with those who suffer and are on the margins of society, and that children learn. Another anecdote. I met a lady who had three children, seven, five and three years old more or less; they were good spouses, they had so much faith and they taught their children to help the poor, because they helped them so much. And once they were at lunch, mother with three children - dad was at work. Knock at the door, and the biggest one goes to open, then comes back and says: "Mom, there's a poor man who asks for something to eat". They were eating Milanese steaks, breaded - they are delicious! [laugh] - and the mother asks her children: "What do we do?". All three: "Yes, mum, give something". There were also some advanced steaks, but Mama takes a knife and starts cutting each of those children in half. And the children: "No, mother, from those, not ours!" - "Ah no: to the poor from yours, not from what advances!". So that woman of faith taught her children to give their own to the poor. But all these things can be done at home, when there is love, when there is faith, when that dialect of faith is spoken. In short, your children will learn from you how to live as Christians; you will be their first teachers in the faith, the transmitters of the faith.

The virtues and truths that the Lord teaches us are not always popular in today's world - sometimes, the Lord asks for things that are not popular - today's world has little consideration for the weak, the vulnerable and for all those who believe "unproductive". The world tells us to be strong and independent, caring little for those who are alone or sad, rejected or sick, not yet born or dying. Soon I will go privately to meet some families facing serious challenges and real hardships, but to which the Capuchin Fathers show love and support. Our world needs a revolution of love! The "storm" we live is rather of selfishness, of personal interests ... the world needs a revolution of love. May this revolution start with you and your families!

A few months ago someone told me that we are losing our ability to love. Slowly but surely we are forgetting the direct language of a caress, the strength of tenderness. It seems that the word tenderness has been removed from the dictionary. There can not be a revolution of love without the revolution of tenderness! With your example, may your children be guided to become a more caring, loving, faith-filled generation for the renewal of the Church and of all Irish society.

Thus your love, which is a gift from God, will sink even deeper roots. No family can grow if it forgets its roots. Children do not grow up in love if they do not learn to communicate with their grandparents. So let your love sink deep roots! Let us not forget that "all that on the tree has flowered / lives on what lies buried" (F. L. Bernárdez, sonnet Si para recobrar lo recobrado). So says an Argentine poem, allow me publicity.

Together with the Pope, may the families of the whole Church, represented this afternoon by the elderly and young couples, thank God for the gift of faith and the grace of Christian marriage. For our part, we commit ourselves to the Lord to serve the coming of his kingdom of holiness, justice and peace with fidelity to the promises we have made and with constancy in love!

Thanks for this meeting!

And now, I invite you to pray together for the Family Meeting. Then I will give you the blessing. And I ask you to pray for me, do not forget it!
Source: - UnOfficial Translation

Watch the Welcome Ceremony of Pope Francis in Ireland - FULL Video

First Message to the People of Ireland
Pope Francis begins his Apostolic Journey with a brief message in the book of honour at the Presidential Residence Áras an Uachtaráin Pope Francis' first stop in Ireland is the Presidential Residence, Áras an Uachtaráin, where he is meeting with Irish President Michael Higgins. In a brief ceremony, the Holy Father penned a brief message, to the Irish people in the book of honour: "With gratitude for the warm welcome I have received , I assure you and the people of Ireland of my prayer that the Almighty God may guide and protect you all." The Pope is paying a courtesy visit to the President, before transferring to Dublin Castle, where he will address government authorities, leaders of civil society, and members of the diplomatic corps.
Text Source: Vatican News

#BreakingNews Pope Francis Arrives in Ireland "...true peace is ultimately God’s gift" - Address to Civil Authorities - FULL Official Text + Video

[25-26 AUGUST 2018]
Dublin Castle
Saturday, 25 August 2018

Members of Government and of the Diplomatic Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the beginning of my visit to Ireland, I am grateful for the invitation to address this distinguished assembly representing the civil, cultural and religious life of the country, together with the members of the diplomatic corps and guests.  I appreciate the friendly welcome I have received from the President of Ireland, which reflects the tradition of cordial hospitality for which the Irish are known throughout the world.  I likewise appreciate the presence of a delegation from Northern Ireland.  I thank the Taoiseach for his words.
As you know, the reason for my visit is to take part in the World Meeting of Families, held this year in Dublin.  The Church is, in a real way, a family among families, and senses the need to support families in their efforts to respond faithfully and joyfully to their God-given vocation in society.  The Meeting is not only an opportunity for families to reaffirm their commitment to loving fidelity, mutual assistance and reverence for God’s gift of life in all its forms, but also to testify to the unique role played by the family in the education of its members and the development of a sound and flourishing social fabric.
I would like to see the World Meeting of Families as a prophetic witness to the rich patrimony of ethical and spiritual values that it is the duty of every generation to cherish and protect.  One need not be a prophet to perceive the difficulties faced by our families in today’s rapidly evolving society, or to be troubled by the effects that breakdown in marriage and family life will necessarily entail for the future of our communities at every level.  Families are the glue of society; their welfare cannot be taken for granted, but must be promoted and protected by every appropriate means.
It was in the family that each of us took his or her first steps in life.  There we learned to live together in harmony, to master our selfish instincts and reconcile our differences, and above all to discern and seek those values that give authentic meaning and fulfilment to our lives.  If we speak of our entire world as a single family, it is because we rightly acknowledge the bonds of our common humanity and we sense our call to unity and solidarity, especially with the weakest of our brothers and sisters.  Yet all too often, we feel impotent before the persistent evils of racial and ethnic hatred, intractable conflicts and violence, contempt for human dignity and for fundamental human rights, and the growing divide between rich and poor.  How much we need to recover, in every instance of political and social life, the sense of being a true family of peoples!  And never to lose hope or the courage to persevere in the moral imperative to be peacemakers, reconcilers and guardians of one another.
Here in Ireland, this challenge has a special resonance, in light of the long conflict that separated brothers and sisters of a single family.  Twenty years ago, the international community followed attentively the events in Northern Ireland that led to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.  The Irish government, in union with the political, religious and civil leaders of Northern Ireland and the British government, and with the support of other world leaders, created a dynamic context for the peaceful settlement of a conflict that had caused untold pain on both sides.  We can give thanks for the two decades of peace that followed this historic agreement, while expressing firm hope that the peace process will overcome every remaining obstacle and help give birth to a future of harmony, reconciliation and mutual trust. 
The Gospel reminds us that true peace is ultimately God’s gift; it flows from a healed and reconciled heart and branches out to embrace the entire world.  Yet it also requires constant conversion on our part, as the source of those spiritual resources needed to build a society of authentic solidarity, justice and service of the common good.  Without that spiritual foundation, our ideal of a global family of nations risks becoming no more than another empty platitude.  Can we say that the goal of creating economic or financial prosperity leads of itself to a more just and equitable social order?  Or could it be that the growth of a materialistic “throwaway culture” has in fact made us increasingly indifferent to the poor and to the most defenceless members of our human family, including the unborn, deprived of the very right to life?  Perhaps the most disturbing challenges to our consciences in these days is the massive refugee crisis, which will not go away, and whose solution calls for a wisdom, a breadth of vision and a humanitarian concern that go far beyond short-term political decisions.
I am very conscious of the circumstances of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters – I think especially of those women and children who in the past endured particularly difficult situations, and to the orphans of that time.  With regard to the most vulnerable, I cannot fail to acknowledge the grave scandal caused in Ireland by the abuse of young people by members of the Church charged with responsibility for their protection and education.  I was deeply moved by the words spoken to me by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs; I thank her for those words.  The failure of ecclesiastical authorities – bishops, religious superiors, priests and others – adequately to address these repellent crimes has rightly given rise to outrage, and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community.  I myself share those sentiments.  My predecessor, Pope Benedict, spared no words in recognizing both the gravity of the situation and in demanding that “truly evangelical, just and effective” measures be taken in response to this betrayal of trust (cf. Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, 10).  His frank and decisive intervention continues to serve as an incentive for the efforts of the Church’s leadership both to remedy past mistakes and to adopt stringent norms meant to ensure that they do not happen again.  More recently, in a Letter to the People of God, I reaffirmed the commitment, and the need for an even greater commitment, to eliminating this scourge in the Church, at any cost, moral and of suffering.
Each child is in fact a precious gift of God, to be cherished, encouraged to develop his or her gifts, and guided to spiritual maturity and human flourishing.  The Church in Ireland, past and present, has played a role in promoting the welfare of children that cannot be obscured.  It is my hope that the gravity of the abuse scandals, which have cast light on the failings of many, will serve to emphasize the importance of the protection of minors and vulnerable adults on the part of society as a whole.  In this regard, all of us are aware of how urgent it is to provide our young people with wise guidance and sound values on their journey to maturity. 
Dear friends,
Almost ninety years ago, the Holy See was among the first international institutions to recognize the Irish Free State.  That initiative signalled the beginning of many years of dynamic cooperation and harmony, with only an occasional cloud on the horizon. Recently intensive endeavour and goodwill on both sides have contributed significantly to a promising renewal of those friendly relations for the mutual benefit of all.
The threads of that history reach back to over a millennium and a half ago, when the Christian message, preached by Palladius and Patrick, found a home in Ireland and became an integral part of Irish life and culture.  Many “saints and scholars” were inspired to leave these shores and bring their newfound faith to other lands.  To this day, the names of Columba, Columbanus, Brigid, Gall, Killian, Brendan and so many others are still revered throughout Europe and beyond.  On this island monasticism, as a source of civilization and artistic creativity, wrote a splendid page in Irish and universal history.
Today as in the past, the men and women who live in this country strive to enrich the life of the nation with the wisdom born of their faith.  Even in Ireland’s darkest hours, they found in that faith a source of the courage and commitment needed to forge a future of freedom and dignity, justice and solidarity.  The Christian message has been an integral part of that experience, and has shaped the language, thought and culture of people on this island.
It is my prayer that Ireland, in listening to the polyphony of contemporary political and social discussion, will not be forgetful of the powerful strains of the Christian message that have sustained it in the past, and can continue to do so in the future.
With these thoughts, I cordially invoke upon you, and upon all the beloved Irish people, God’s blessings of wisdom, joy and peace.  Thank you.

Source: - Official Translation

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Sat. August 25, 2018 - #Eucharist

Saturday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 424

Reading 1EZ 43:1-7AB

The angel led me to the gate which faces the east,
and there I saw the glory of the God of Israel
coming from the east.
I heard a sound like the roaring of many waters,
and the earth shone with his glory.
The vision was like that which I had seen
when he came to destroy the city,
and like that which I had seen by the river Chebar.
I fell prone as the glory of the LORD entered the temple
by way of the gate which faces the east,
but spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court.
And I saw that the temple was filled with the glory of the LORD.
Then I heard someone speaking to me from the temple,
while the man stood beside me.
The voice said to me:
Son of man, this is where my throne shall be,
this is where I will set the soles of my feet;
here I will dwell among the children of Israel forever.

Responsorial PsalmPS 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14

R. (see 10b) The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD –for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

AlleluiaMT 23:9B, 10B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You have but one Father in heaven;
you have but one master, the Christ.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
"The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people's shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.'
As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.'
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called 'Master';
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."