Saturday, September 15, 2018

Saint September 16 : St. Cornelius : #Pope : Patron of #Fever, #Pets and #Earache

Martyr (251 to 253). We may accept the statement of the Liberian catalogue that he reigned two years, three months, and ten days, for Lipsius, Lightfoot, and Harnack have shown that this list is a first-rate authority for this date. His predecessor, Fabian, was put to death by Decius, 20 January, 250. About the beginning of March, 251 the persecution slackened, owing to the absence of the emperor, against whom two rivals had arisen. It was possible to assemble sixteen bishops at Rome, and Cornelius was elected though against his will (Cyprian, Ep. lv, 24), "by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of almost all the clergy, by the vote of the people then present, by the consent of aged priests and of good men, at a time when no one had been made before him, when the place of Fabian, that is the place of Peter, and the step of the sacerdotal chair were vacant". "What fortitude in his acceptance of the episcopate, what strength of mind, what firmness of faith, that he took his seat intrepid in the sacerdotal chair, at a time when the tyrant in his hatred of bishops was making unspeakable threats, when he heard with far more patience that a rival prince was arising against him, than that a bishop of God was appointed at Rome" (ibid., 9). Is he not, asks St. Cyprian, to be numbered among the glorious confessors and martyrs who sat so long awaiting the sword or the cross or the stake and every other torture?
A few weeks later the Roman priest Novatian made himself antipope, and the whole Christian world was convulsed by the schism at Rome. But the adhesion of St. Cyprian secured to Cornelius the hundred bishops of Africa, and the influence of St. Dionysius the Great, Bishop of Alexandria, brought the East within a few months to a right decision. In Italy itself the pope got together a synod of sixty bishops. (See NOVATIAN.) Fabius, Bishop of Antioch, seems to have wavered. Three letters to him from Cornelius were known to Eusebius, who gives extracts from one of them (Church History VI.43), in which the pope details the faults in Novatian's election and conduct with considerable bitterness. We incidentally learn that in the Roman Church there were forty-six priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons, forty-two acolytes, fifty-two ostiarii, and over one thousand five hundred widows and persons in distress. From this Burnet estimated the number of Christians in Rome at fifty thousand, so also Gibbon; but Benson and Harnack think this figure possibly too large. Pope Fabian had made seven regions; it appears that each had one deacon, one subdeacon and six acolytes. Of the letters of Cornelius to Cyprian two have come down to us, together with nine from Cyprian to the pope. Mgr. Merrati has shown that in the true text the letters of Cornelius are in the colloquial "vulgar-Latin" of the day, and not in the more classical style affected by the ex-orator Cyprian and the learned philosopher Novatian. Cornelius sanctioned the milder measures proposed by St. Cyprian and accepted by his Carthaginian council of 251 for the restoration to communion, after varying forms of penance, of those who had fallen during the Decian persecution (see CYPRIAN).
At the beginning of 252 a new persecution suddenly broke out. Cornelius was exiled to Centumcellæ (Civita Vecchia). There were no defections among the Roman Christians; all were confessors. The pope "led his brethren in confession", writes Cyprian (Ep. lx, ad Corn.), with a manifest reference to the confession of St. Peter. "With one heart and one voice the whole Roman Church confessed. Then was seen, dearest Brother, that faith which the blessed Apostle praised in you (Romans 1:8); even then he foresaw in spirit your glorious fortitude and firm strength." In June Cornelius died a martyr, as St. Cyprian repeatedly calls him. The Liberian catalogue has ibi cum gloriâ dormicionem accepit, and this may mean that he died of the rigours of his banishment, though later accounts say that he was beheaded. St. Jerome says that Cornelius and Cyprian suffered on the same day in different years, and his careless statement has been generally followed. The feast of St. Cyprian was in fact kept at Rome at the tomb of Cornelius, for the fourth century "Depositio Martirum" has "XVIII kl octob Cypriani Africæ Romæ celebratur in Callisti". St. Cornelius was not buried in the chapel of the popes, but in an adjoining catacomb, perhaps that of a branch of the noble Cornelii. His inscription is in Latin: CORNELIUS* MARTYR* whereas those of Fabian and Lucius are in Greek (Northcote and Brownlow, "Roma sotteranea", I, vi). His feast is kept with that of St. Cyprian on 14 September, possibly the day of his translation from Centumcellæ to the catacombs.
Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia Image Source: Google Images

Pope Francis to Youth "Jesus loves you more than you love yourself. Seek him out of yourself..." FULL TEXT




Piazza Politeama (Palermo)
Saturday, September 15th 2018

Dear friends, good evening!

I'm happy to meet you at the height of this day! A day a bit 'tired, but beautiful, beautiful beauty! Thanks to the palermitans! Thanks for the three questions. I knew the three questions and I had written some answers, but I like to emphasize, and if another idea is put to the moment.

The first, yours, was on how to listen to the voice of the Lord and mature an answer. But I would ask: how do you listen to the Lord? How do you listen? Where does the Lord speak? Do you have the phone number of the Lord to call him? ... How do you listen to the Lord? I will tell you this, and this in earnest: the Lord does not listen to himself in an armchair. Do you understand? Sitting, comfortable life, doing nothing, and I would like to listen to the Lord. I assure you that you will listen to anything except the Lord. The Lord, with his comfortable life, in an armchair, can not be listened to. To remain seated in life - listen to this, it is very important for your young life - to remain seated creates interference with the Word of God, which is dynamic. The Word of God is not static, and if you are static you can not hear it. God finds out by walking. If you are not on the path to do something, to work for others, to bear a testimony, to do good, you will never listen to the Lord. To listen to the Lord we must be on a journey, not waiting for something to happen magically in life. We see it in the fascinating story of love that is the Bible. Here the Lord continually calls young people. Always, continuously. And he loves to talk to young people while they are on their way - for example, think of the two disciples of Emmaus - or while they are busy - think of David grazing the flock, while his brothers were at home quietly, or at war. God hates laziness and loves action. Put this good in your heart and mind: God hates laziness and loves action. Lazy people can not inherit the voice of the Lord. I got it? But it is not about moving to keep fit, to run every day to train. No, it's not about that. It is about moving the heart, putting the heart on its way. Think of the young Samuel. He was day and night in the temple, yet he was in constant motion, because he was not immersed in his affairs, but he was in search. If you want to listen to the voice of the Lord, get on the road, live in search. The Lord speaks to those in research. Those looking for, walk. Being in research is always healthy; feeling already arrived, especially for you, is tragic. I got it? Never feel you have arrived, ever! I like to say, taking up the icon of the armchair, I like to say that it is bad to see a retired young man, retired. It's ugly! A young man must be on a journey, not retired. Youth pushes you to this, but if you retire at 22, you've aged too early, too early!

Jesus gives us advice to listen to the voice of the Lord: "Seek and you will find" (Lk 11: 9). Yeah, but where to look? Not on the phone - as I said -: there the Lord's calls do not come. Not on television, where the Lord has no channel. Not even in deafening music and in the daze that stuns: there the line with the sky is interrupted. The Lord should not even be looked in front of the mirror - this is a danger, feel good: the Lord should not even look in front of the mirror - where you are alone risking to be disappointed with what you are. That bitterness that you feel, sometimes, that brings sadness: "but who am I ?, what do I do ?, I do not know what to do ...", and leads you to sadness. No. On the way, always on the way. Do not look for it in your little room, locked in yourselves to think about the past or wander with thought in an unknown future. No, God speaks now in the report. In the journey and in the relationship with others. Do not close yourselves, confide in Him, entrust everything to Him, seek Him in prayer, seek Him in dialogue with others, seek Him always on the move, look for Him on the way. You will understand that Jesus believes in you more than you believe in yourselves. This is important: Jesus believes in you more than you believe in yourselves. Jesus loves you more than you love yourself. Seek him out of yourself, on the way: He awaits you. Make a group, make friends, take walks, make encounters, do church like that, walking. The Gospel is the school of life, the Gospel always leads us to the journey. I believe this is the way to prepare to listen to the Lord
And then, you will hear the Lord's invitation to do one thing, or another ... In the Gospel we see that someone says, "Follow me!", To another he says: "Go and do this ...". The Lord will make you feel what he wants from you, but as long as you are not seated, you are on the way, you seek others and try to make dialogue and community with others, and above all that you pray. Pray with your words: with what comes from your heart. It is the most beautiful prayer. Jesus always calls us to take off: do not be content to look at the horizon from the beach, no, go ahead. Jesus does not want me to stay on the bench, he invites you to take the field. He does not want you behind the scenes to spy on others or in the stands to comment, but he wants you on stage. Get in the game! Are you afraid of making a fool of yourself? Falla, patience. We have all done so many, many. Losing your face is not the drama of life. The drama of life, on the other hand, is not to put our faces on us: that is drama !, it is not to give life! Better to ride the beautiful dreams with some fool who become retired people of the quiet life - pancioni, there, comfortable -. Better idealists than lazy realists: better to be Don Quixote than Sancho Panza!

And another thing that can help you, I said in passing, but I want to repeat it: you dream big! You dream big, big! Because in the great dreams you will find many, many words of the Lord that is telling you something.

Walking, searching, dreaming ... One last word that helps to listen to the voice of the Lord is to serve, to do something for others. Always to others, not folded in on yourself, like those who by name "me, me, with me, for me", those people who live for themselves but in the end they end up like vinegar, so bad ...

The second question. Let's see if I wrote something ... Really, your island is a meeting place of many cultures ... I do not know Sicily, it's the first time: I've been in Lampedusa and now, now, here. Even your language, your dialects have roots of many languages, many, because it has been a crossroads of cultures and all have left a cultural trace. You are a people [fruit of] the meeting of cultures and people. I liked to hear this, to hear from you, from you, that Sicily - is at the center of the Mediterranean, has always been a meeting ground. It is not just a beautiful cultural tradition, it is a message of faith. Your vocation will surely be men and women of encounter. Meet and meet; encourage meetings, because today's world is a world of confrontation; of wars, of clashes ... People do not understand each other ... And faith is founded on the encounter, an encounter with God. God did not leave us alone, He came down to meet us. He comes to meet us, He precedes us, to meet us. Faith is founded on the encounter. And [in] the meeting between us, how important is the dignity of others? God wants us to be saved together, not alone, that we are happy together, not selfishly alone; that we save ourselves as a people. This word, "people": you are a people with a great identity and you must be open to all peoples who, as in other times, come to you. With that work of integration, of acceptance, of respecting the dignity of others, of solidarity ... For us they are not good intentions for educated people, but distinctive traits of a Christian. A Christian who is not in solidarity is not a Christian. Solidarity is a trait of the Christian. What is lacking today, of which there is famine, is love: not sentimental love, which we can look at in the soap operas, in the new shows, but the concrete one, the love of the Gospel. And I will tell you, to you and to all those who have asked the question with you: how is your love? How is the thermometer of your love?

We are good at making distinctions, even just and fine, but sometimes we forget the simplicity of faith. And what does faith tell us? "God loves those who give with joy" (2 Cor 9,7). Love and joy: this is welcome. To live we can not only distinguish, often to justify ourselves; we must get involved. Do I say this in dialect? In human dialect: you have to get your hands dirty! You have understood? If you are not able to get your hands dirty, you will never be welcoming, you will never think of the other, the needs of others. Dear, "life can not be explained, we live!" We leave the explanations for later; but live life. Life is alive. This is not mine, said a great author of this land. It is even more valid for the Christian life: the Christian life is lived. The first question to ask is: do I put my skills, my talents, all that I can do, available? Do I have time for others? Am I welcoming with others? Active a little 'concrete love in my days? Today everything seems connected, but in reality we feel too isolated, distant. Now I make you think, each one of you, of the solitude you have in your heart: how often do you find yourself alone with that sadness, with that loneliness? This is the thermometer that tells you that the temperature of the reception, of getting your hands dirty, of serving others is too low. Sadness is an indication of the lack of commitment [says compromise "], and without commitment you can never be a builder of the future! You must be builders of the future, the future is in your hands! Think this well: the future is in your hands. You can not take the phone and call a company that will make the future: the future you have to do it, with your hands, with your heart, with your love, with your passions, with your dreams. With the others. Cozy and at the service of others.

We need real men and women, not people who pretend to be men and women. Real men and women who report malfeasance and exploitation. Do not be afraid to report, to shout! We need men and women who live free and liberating relationships, who love the weakest and are passionate about legality, a mirror of inner honesty. We need men and women who do what they say - do what you say - and say no to rampant gattopardism. Do what I want to carry on, and do not give a brushstroke of paint and go on like this, no. Life is not made of brushstrokes of paint; life is made in commitment, in the struggle, in the denunciation, in the discussion, in playing one's life for an ideal; in dreams ... You do this, and so it goes. Being welcoming means being oneself, being at the service of others, getting your hands dirty and all that I said. Agree? Do you really agree?

And now, the last question - I wrote something while you were talking ... -: how to live being young in this land? I like to say that you are called to be dawns of hope. Hope will rise in Palermo, in Sicily, in Italy, in the Church from you. You have in your heart and hands the possibility of giving birth and growing hope. To be a dawn of hope one must get up every morning with a young, hopeful heart, struggling not to feel old, not to give in to the irredeemable logic. It is a perverse logic: this does not work, nothing changes, everything is lost ... This is a perverse logic, it is pessimism, according to which there is no salvation for this earth, everything is finished. No! No to fatalism, no to pessimism, yes to hope, yes to Christian hope. And you have in your hands the ability to make hope, to keep hope going. Please, no to resignation! Feel good: a young man can not be resigned. No to resignation! Everything can change. "But, Father, where should I call, to change everything?" To your heart, your dreams, your ability as a man, a woman to carry forward a fruit. To generate. How will you generate a son or a daughter tomorrow, to generate also a new civilization, a welcoming civilization, a fraternal civilization, a civilization of love. Everything can change!

Be free children. While you were talking, I thought that we are experiencing a time of crisis. It's true. We all know it. So many different crises, but it is the world that is in crisis; many small wars, but the world is at war; many financial problems, but the young are without work ... It's a world of crisis; a world in which we can also see the disorientation that leads you to the crisis. The word crisis means that they make you dance in uncertainty; the word crisis says that you can not stay still because everything falls, everything is lost. What are your values?

I have spoken of your hope, of the future: you are the hope. I spoke about the present: you have hope in your hands today. But I ask you: in this time of crisis, do you have roots? Everyone answers in his heart: "What are my roots?". Or have you lost them? "Am I a young man with roots, or am I already a young uprooted?". First I talked about young people in chairs, retired young people, quiet young people who do not start walking. Now I ask you: are you a young man with roots, or uprooted? We talked about this land of so much culture: but are you rooted in the culture of your people? Are you rooted in the values ​​of your people, in the values ​​of your family? Or are you a bit 'in the air, a bit' without roots - excuse me the word - a little '"gassoso", without foundations, without roots? "But, father, where can I find the roots?". In your culture: you will find many roots! In dialogue with others ... But above all - and I want to underline this - talk to old people. Talk to the old ones. Listen to the old ones. "Father, they always say the same things!". Listen to them. Argue with the old, because if you argue with the old, they will speak more deeply and tell you things. They must give you the roots, roots that then - in your hands - they will produce hope that will flourish in the future. Differently, but with roots. Without roots, everything is lost: one can not go and create hope without roots. A poet told us: "What the tree has in bloom, comes from what it has buried," from its roots. Look for the roots.

And if someone thinks that old people are boring, that they always repeat the same things, I advise them: go to them, let them talk, fight with them. And they will begin to tell you interesting things, that will give you strength, will give you strength to go on. "But I have to do the same things they did to them?" No! Take from them strength, belonging. A young man who does not belong in a society, in a family, in a culture, is a young person without identity, without a face. In times of crisis we must dream, we must start, we must serve others, we must be welcoming, we must be young to meet, we must be young with hope in the hands, with the future in the hands and we must be young who take the roots from the roots ability to make hope flourish in the future. I beg you, do not be uprooted, "gaseous", because without roots you will not have belonging and you will have no identity.

I like to see you here, in the Church, joyful bearers of hope, of the hope of Jesus overcoming sin. I will not tell you that you are holy, no. You are sinners, everyone, like me, like everyone. But it is the strength of Jesus that overcomes sin and helps you to move forward. Hope that exceeds death. We dream and live the culture of hope, the culture of joy, the culture of belonging to a people, to a family, the culture that knows how to take from the roots the strength to flourish and bear fruit.

Thank you so much for listening, for your patience ... You are standing ... Excuse me, I have talked to you sitting down, but my ankles made me so bad, by now! Thank you. And do not forget: roots, the present in the hands and work for the hope of the future, to have belonging and identity. Thank you!

Now I would like to give you the blessing. I know that among you there are young Catholics, Christians, other religious traditions, and even some agnostics. For this I will bless everyone, and I will ask God to bless that seed of restlessness that is in your heart.

Lord, Lord God, look at these young people. You know each of them, You know what they think, You know that they want to move on, to make a better world. Lord, make them seekers of good and of happiness; make them active in their journey and in their encounter with others; make them bold in serving; make them humble in seeking the roots and carrying them forward to bear fruit, to have identity, to have belonging. May the Lord, the Lord God, accompany all these young people on the journey and bless everyone. Amen.

Pope Francis "..the Lord asks us to be men and women of forgiveness, able to forgive of heart, to love our enemies..." FULL TEXT




Cathedral (Palermo)
Saturday, September 15th 2018

Good evening!

This morning we celebrated together the memory of Blessed Pino Puglisi; now I would like to share with you three basic aspects of his priesthood, which can help our priesthood and also help the consecrated and consecrated non-priests, our total "yes" to God and to our brothers. They are three simple verbs, therefore faithful to the figure of Don Pino, who was simply a priest, a true priest. And as a priest, a consecrated to God, because even the sisters can participate in this.

The first verb is to celebrate. Even today, as at the center of every Mass, we have pronounced the words of the Institution: "Take and eat all of you: this is my body offered as a sacrifice for you". These words should not remain on the altar, they must be lowered into life: they are our daily life program. We must not only tell her in person Christi, we must live them in the first person. Take and eat, this is my body offered: we tell the brothers, together with Jesus. The words of the Institution then outline our priestly identity: they remind us that the priest is a man of the gift, of the gift of himself, every day, without holidays and without a break. Because ours, dear priests, is not a profession but a gift; not a job, which can also serve to make a career, but a mission. And so also the consecrated life. Every day we can do the examination of conscience even on these words - take and eat: this is my body offered for you - and ask: "Today I gave my life for the love of the Lord, I" let myself eat "by the brothers ? "Don Pino lived like this: the epilogue of his life was the logical consequence of the Mass he celebrated every day.

There is a second fundamental sacramental formula in the priest's life: "I absolve you from your sins". Here is the joy of giving God's forgiveness. But here the priest, a man of the gift, also discovers a man of forgiveness. Even all Christians, we must be men and women of forgiveness. Priests in a special way in the sacrament of Reconciliation. In fact, the words of Reconciliation do not only say what happens when we act in person Christi, but also show us how to act according to Christ. I absolve you: the priest, a man of forgiveness, is called to incarnate these words. He is the man of forgiveness. And similarly, women religious are women of forgiveness. How many times in religious communities there is no forgiveness, there is chatter, there are jealousies ... No. Man of forgiveness, the priest, in Confession, but all the consecrated men and women of forgiveness. The priest does not bear grudges, does not weigh what he has not received, does not hurt badly. The priest is the bearer of the peace of Jesus: benevolent, merciful, able to forgive others as God forgives them through him (cf. Eph 4,32). Door of unity where there is division, harmony where there is quarrel, serenity where there is animosity. But if the priest is a talker, instead of bringing concord he will bring division, he will bring war, he will bring things that will cause the presbytery to end divided within it and with the bishop. The priest is a full-time minister of reconciliation: he administers "forgiveness and peace" not only in the confessional, but everywhere. We ask God to be healthy bearers of the Gospel, able to forgive from the heart, to love our enemies. We think of many priests and many communities, where they hate each other as enemies, for competition, jealousy, climbers ... it's not Christian! A bishop once told me: "I will have some religious communities and some priests baptize them once again to make them Christians". Because they behave like pagans. And the Lord asks us to be men and women of forgiveness, able to forgive of heart, to love our enemies and to pray for those who hurt us (cf. Mt 18.35, 5.44). This to pray for those who hurt us seems like a museum thing ... No, today we have to do it today! The strength of you priests, of your priesthood, the strength of you religious, of your consecrated life, is here: to pray for those who do evil, like Jesus.

The gym where you train to be men of forgiveness is the first seminar and then the presbytery. For the consecrated is the community. We all know that it is not easy to forgive us among ourselves: "Did you do it? You will pay for it! ". But not only in the mafia, even in our communities and in our priests, that's how it is. In the presbytery and in the community the desire to unite, according to God, is to be nourished; not to divide according to the devil. Let's put this good in the head. When there is division there is the devil, he is the great accuser, the one who accuses to divide, divides everything! There, in the presbytery and in the community, brothers and sisters should be accepted, there the Lord calls every day to work to overcome differences. And this is a constituent part of being priests and consecrated. It is not an accident, it belongs to the substance. Putting tares, provoking divisions, gossiping, chatting are not "sins that everyone does", no: it is denying our identity as priests, men of forgiveness, and consecrated men of communion. Always the error must be distinguished from the one who commits it, always they must be loved and expected the brother and the sister. We think of Don Pino, who was available to everyone and everyone was waiting with an open heart, even the criminals.

Priest man of the gift and of forgiveness, here is how to conjugate the verb celebrate in life. You can celebrate Mass every day and then be a man of division, of chatter, of jealousy, even a "criminal" because he kills his brother with his tongue. And these are not my words, this is what the apostle James says. Read the letter of James. Even religious communities can listen to Mass every day, go to communicate, but with hatred in their hearts to their brother and sister. The priest is a man of God 24 hours a day, not a man of the sacred when he wears vestments. The liturgy is life for you, not a ritual. This is why it is fundamental to pray to the One we talk about, to nourish ourselves with the Word we preach, to adore the Bread we consecrate, and to do it every day. Prayer, Word, Bread; Father Pino Puglisi, called "3P", help us to remember these three "P" essential for each priest every day, essential for all the consecrated and consecrated every day: prayer, Word, Bread.

Man of forgiveness, priest who gives forgiveness, that is, a man of mercy and this especially in the confessional, in the sacrament of Reconciliation. It is so bad when in the Confession the priest begins to dig, to dig into the soul of the other: "And how it was, and how you do ...". This is a man who is sick! You are there to forgive in the name of the only Father who forgives, not to measure up to where I can, to where I can not ... I think that on this point of Confession we have to convert so much: receive the penitents with mercy, without digging the soul , without making Confession a psychiatric visit, without making Confession a detective investigation to investigate. Forgiveness, big heart, mercy. The other day a very strict Cardinal, I would say even conservative - because today we say: this is conservative, this is open - a Cardinal said to me: "If one comes to the Father, because I am there in the name of Jesus and the Father Eternal, and says: Forgive me, forgive me, I have done this, this, this ...; and I feel that according to the rules I should not forgive, but which father does not forgive his son who asks him with tears and despair? ". Then, once forgiven, he will be advised: "You will have to do this ..."; or: "I have to do this, and I will do it for you". When the prodigal son arrived with the speech prepared before his father and began to say: "Father, I have sinned! ...", the father embraced him, did not let him speak, he immediately gave him forgiveness. And when the other child did not want to go in, the father went out to give him this trust of forgiveness, of filiation. This is very important for me to heal our very wounded Church that looks like a field hospital.

Finally, always on celebrating, I would like to say something about popular piety, very common in these lands. A Bishop told me that in his diocese I do not know how many confraternities there are and he told me: "I always go to them, I do not leave them alone, I accompany them". It is a treasure that must be appreciated and guarded, because it has an evangelizing force (cf. Evangelii gaudium, 122-126), but the protagonist must always be the Holy Spirit. I therefore ask you to watch carefully, so that popular religiosity is not exploited by the mafia presence, because then, instead of being a means of affectionate adoration, it becomes a vehicle of corrupt ostentation. We have seen this in the newspapers when the Madonna stops and bowed in front of the mafia boss's house; no, this is not right, absolutely not! On popular piety, take care, help, be present. An Italian bishop told me this: "Popular piety is the immune system of the Church", is the Church's immune system. When the Church begins to become too ideological, too gnostic or too Pelagian, popular piety corrects it, defends it.

I propose a second verb: accompany. Accompanying is the keystone of being pastors today. We need ministers who embody the proximity of the Good Shepherd, of priests who are living icons of proximity. This word must be emphasized: "proximity", because it is what God has done. He did it first with his people. On this he also reproaches them, in Deuteronomy - think well - he says to them: "Tell me, have you ever seen a people who have gods so close to you as you have your God near you?". This closeness, this proximity of God in the Old Testament, became flesh, became one of us in Jesus Christ. God made himself close by annihilating himself, emptying himself, so Paul says. Proximity, we must resume this word. Poor goods and proclamations, rich in relationship and understanding. We still think of Don Puglisi who, more than talking about young people, spoke with young people. Being with them, following them, making the most real questions and the most beautiful answers come out with them. It is a mission that arises from patience, from welcoming listening, from having a father's heart, a mother's heart, to the religious, and never a master's heart. The Archbishop told us about the "ear" apostolate, the patience to listen. The pastoral care must be done this way, with patience and dedication, for Christ and full time.

Don Pino ripped from the discomfort by simply doing the priest with a shepherd's heart. We learn from him to reject any disembodied spirituality and get our hands dirty with people's problems. It gives me a bad smell that spirituality that leads you to stand upside down, closed or open, and you're always there ... This is not Catholic! We go to meet people with the simplicity of those who want to love them with Jesus in the heart, without pharaonic projects, without riding the fashions of the moment. At our age, we have seen so many Pharaonic pastoral projects ... What have they done? Anything! Pastoral projects, pastoral plans are necessary, but as a means, a means to help the proximity, the preaching of the Gospel, but in themselves they are not useful. The way of the encounter, of listening, of sharing is the way of the Church. Growing together in the parish, following the paths of young people at school, accompanying vocations, families and the sick; create meeting places where to pray, reflect, play, spend time in a healthy way and learn how to be good Christians and honest citizens. This is a pastoral that generates, and which regenerates the priest himself, the religious herself.

One thing I especially want to say to the Religious: your mission is great, because the Church is a mother and her way of accompanying always must always have a maternal trait. You religious, think that you are an icon of the Church, because the Church is a woman, bride of Christ, you are an icon of the Church. Think that you are an icon of the Madonna, who is the mother of the Church. Your motherhood is so good, so good. Once - I have told this many times, I say it briefly - there were, where my father worked, so many immigrants after the Spanish war, communists, socialists ... all eaten. One of them got sick, he was treated 30 days at home, because the nun came to treat him with a very bad disease, very difficult to treat. In the early days he told her all the bad words he knew, and the nun silently treated him. Once the story is over, that man has reconciled himself. And once, out of the work together with others, two nuns were passing and those others said swear words, and he punched one of those and threw him to the ground and said: "With God and with the priests take it, but the Madonna and the nuns do not touch them! ". You are the door, because you are mothers, and the Church is a mother. The tenderness of a mother, the patience of a mother ... Please do not devalue your charism of women and the charism of consecrated persons. It is important that you be involved in pastoral care to reveal the face of the mother Church. It is important that the bishops call you in the councils, in the various pastoral councils, because the voice of the woman is always important, the voice of the consecrated person is important. And I would like to thank the contemplatives who, with prayer and the total gift of life, are the heart of the Mother Church and the love that connects everything pulsates in the Body of Christ.

Celebrate, accompany, and now the last verb, which is actually the first thing to do: to testify. This concerns us all and in particular applies to religious life, which is in itself testimony and prophecy of the Lord in the world. In the apartment where Padre Pino lived stands a genuine simplicity. It is the eloquent sign of a life consecrated to the Lord, who does not seek consolations and glory from the world. People look for this in the priest and consecrated, look for the testimony. People are not shocked when they see that the priest "slips", is a sinner, repents and goes on ... The scandal of people is when he sees worldly priests, with the spirit of the world. The people's scandal is when he finds an official in the priest, not a pastor. And this puts it right in your head and in your heart: shepherds yes, officials no! Life speaks more than words. The testimony is infectious. In front of Don Pino we ask for the grace to live the Gospel like him: in the light of the sun, immersed in his people, rich only in the love of God. We can make many discussions about the relationship between Church and world and Gospel history, but we do not need if the Gospel does not pass from one's life first. And the Gospel asks us, today more than ever, this: to serve in simplicity, in witness. This means to be ministers: not to perform functions, but to serve happy, without depending on the things that pass and without binding to the powers of the world. Thus, free to testify, it manifests that the Church is a sacrament of salvation, that is, a sign that indicates and an instrument that offers salvation to the world.

The Church is not above the world - this is clericalism - the Church is inside the world, to make it ferment, like leaven in the dough. For this reason, dear brothers and sisters, every form of clericalism must be banned. It is one of the most difficult perversions to remove today, clericalism: they do not have citizenship in you haughty, arrogant or overbearing attitudes. To be credible witnesses it must be remembered that before being priests we are always deacons; before being sacred ministers we are brothers of all, servants. What would you say to a bishop who tells me that some of his priests do not want to go to a village near to say a Mass of the dead if the offer does not arrive first? What would you say to that bishop? And there are! Brothers and sisters, there are! We pray for these brothers, officials. Even careerism and familism are enemies to be ousted, because their logic is that of power, and the priest is not a man of power, but of service. The nun is not a woman of power, but of service. Witnessing, then, means fleeing every duplicity, that hypocrisy, which is so closely linked to clericalism; to escape every duplicity of life, in the seminary, in religious life, in the priesthood. One can not live a double moral: one for the people of God and another in their own home. No, the testimony is only one. The witness of Jesus always belongs to him. And for his sake he undertakes a daily battle against his vices and against all alienating mundanity.

Finally, witness is the one who without many turns of words, but with a smile and with confident serenity knows how to cheer and console, because he naturally reveals the presence of the risen and living Jesus. I wish you priests, consecrated and consecrated, seminarians, to be witnesses of hope, as Fr Pino once said well: "To those who are disoriented, the witness of hope indicates not what hope is, but who is hope. Hope is Christ, and is logically indicated through his own life oriented towards Christ "(Address to the Conference of the Movement" Presence of the Gospel ", 1991). Not with words.

I thank you and I bless you, and excuse me if I was a bit 'strong, but I like to talk like that! I wish you the joy of celebrating, accompanying and witnessing the great gift that God has placed in your hearts. Thank you, and pray for me!

Pope Francis at Mass "This is why true power, the power according to God, is service...Prayer is the strongest voice." FULL TEXT + Video in Palermo




Foro Italico (Palermo)
Saturday, September 15th 2018

Today God speaks to us of victory and defeat. In the first reading Saint John presents faith as "the victory that has conquered the world" (1 Jn 5.4), while in the Gospel he quotes the sentence of Jesus: "He who loves his life loses it" (Jn 12.25 ).

This is the defeat: he loses who loves his life. Because? Certainly not because you have to hate life: life must be loved and defended, it is God's first gift! What leads to defeat is to love one's own life, that is, to love one's own. Who lives for his own loses, is an egoist, we say. It would seem the opposite. Those who live for themselves, those who multiply their turnover, those who succeed, those who fully satisfy their needs appear to be winning in the eyes of the world. Advertising is pounding us with this idea - the idea of ​​seeking one's own, of selfishness - and yet Jesus does not agree with it. According to him who lives for himself does not just lose something, but the whole life; while those who give themselves find the meaning of life and win.

So there is something to choose from: love or selfishness. The egoist thinks of caring for his life and is attached to things, money, power, pleasure. Then the devil has doors open. The devil "enters from the pockets", if you are attached to money. The devil makes believe that everything is fine but in reality the heart is anesthetized with selfishness. Selfishness is a very powerful anesthesia. This way always ends badly: in the end you remain alone, with emptiness inside. The end of the selfish is sad: empty, alone, surrounded only by those who want to inherit. It is like the grain of the Gospel: if it remains closed in itself it remains underground only. If instead it opens and dies, it bears fruit on the surface.

But you could tell me: to give oneself, to live for God and for others is a great effort for nothing, the world does not revolve like that: to get ahead you do not need grains of wheat, you need money and power. But it is a great illusion: money and power do not free man, make him a slave. You see: God does not exercise power to solve our and the world's ills. His way is always that of humble love: only love liberates within, gives peace and joy. This is why true power, the power according to God, is service. Jesus says so. And the strongest voice is not that of those who shout more. Prayer is the strongest voice. And the greatest success is not its fame, like the peacock, no. The greatest glory, the greatest success is one's own testimony.

Dear brothers and sisters, today we are called to choose which side to be: living for oneself - with the closed hand [makes the gesture] - or giving life - the open hand [makes the gesture]. Only by giving life is evil defeated. A high price, but only in this way [defeats evil]. Don Pino taught him: he did not live to be seen, he did not live in anti-Mafia appeals, nor was he content to do nothing wrong, but he sowed good, so well. His seemed a logical loser, while the logic of the portfolio seemed to win. But Father Pino was right: the logic of the god-money is always a loser. Let's look inside. Having always pushes to want: I have one thing and immediately I want another, and then another and more and more, without end. The more you have, the more you want: it's a bad addiction. It's a bad addiction. It's like a drug. Those who swell with things break out. On the other hand, those who love find themselves and discover how beautiful it is to help, how beautiful it is to serve; finds joy inside and a smile outside, as it was for Don Pino.

Twenty-five years ago, like today, when he died on his birthday, he crowned his victory with a smile, with that smile that did not sleep his killer at night, who said: "there was a kind of light in that smile" . Father Pino was helpless, but his smile conveyed the strength of God: not a blinding glare, but a gentle light that digs in and clears the heart. It is the light of love, of gift, of service. We need many smile priests. We need Christians to smile, not because they take things lightly, but because they are rich only in the joy of God, because they believe in love and live to serve. It is giving life that joy is found, because there is more joy in giving than in receiving (cf. Acts 20:35). So I would like to ask you: do you want to live like that too? Do you want to give your life, without waiting for others to take the first step? Do you want to do good without waiting for the exchange, without waiting for the world to become better? Dear brothers and sisters, do you want to risk on this road, risk for the Lord?
Don Pino, he did, he knew he was in danger, but he knew above all that the real danger in life is not to risk, it is to live in some way between comfort, schemes and shortcuts. God frees us from living on the downside, contenting ourselves with half-truths. The half-truths do not satisfy the heart, they do not do good. God free us from a small life, which revolves around the "petioles". Free us from thinking that everything is fine if it suits me well, and the other gets along. Free us from believing we are right if we do nothing to counter injustice. Those who do nothing to counteract injustice are not just men or women. Free us from believing we are good only because we do not do anything wrong. "It is a good thing - said a saint - not to do evil. But it is bad thing not to do good "[S. Alberto Hurtado]. Lord, give us the desire to do good; to seek the truth detesting falsehood; to choose sacrifice, not laziness; love, not hate; forgiveness, not revenge.

Life is given to others, life is given to others, it can not be removed. One can not believe in God and hate his brother, take away life with hatred. The first reading recalls this: "if one says," I love God "and hates his brother he is a liar" (1 Jn 4:20). A liar, because the faith that he claims to have lies, the faith he professes God-love. God-love repudiates all violence and loves all men. Therefore the word hatred must be erased from the Christian life; therefore one can not believe in God and overwhelm his brother. You can not believe in God and be mafia. Who is a mafia does not live as a Christian, because blasphemy with his life the name of God-love. Today we need men and women of love, not of men and women of honor; of service, not of overwhelming. We need to walk together, not to chase power. If the mafia litany is: "You do not know who I am", the Christian one is: "I need you". If the mafia threat is: "You will pay it to me", the Christian prayer is: "Lord, help me to love". Therefore to the mafiosi I say: change, brothers and sisters! Stop thinking about yourself and your money. You know, you know, that "the shroud has no pockets". You can not bring anything with you. Convert yourselves to the true God of Jesus Christ, dear brothers and sisters! I say to you, mafiosi: if you do not do this, your life will be lost and it will be the worst of the defeats.

Today the Gospel ends with Jesus' invitation: "If one wants to serve me, follow me" (v.26). Follow me, that is, start walking. You can not follow Jesus with ideas, we must get busy. "If everyone does something, a lot can be done," Don Pino repeated. How many of us put these words into practice? Today, before him, let us ask ourselves: what can I do? What can I do for others, for the Church, for society? Do not wait for the Church to do something for you, you begin. Do not wait for the company to do it, you start! Do not think of yourself, do not run away from your responsibility, choose love! Feel the life of your people in need, listen to your people. Be afraid of the deafness of not listening to your people. This is the only possible populism: listening to your people, the only "Christian populism": to hear and serve the people, without shouting, accusing and provoking disputes.

So did Father Pino, poor among the poor of his land. In his room the chair where he was studying was broken. But the chair was not the center of life, because he was not sitting down to rest, but he lived on the road to love. Here is the winning mentality. Here is the victory of faith, born of the daily gift of self. Here is the victory of faith, which brings the smile of God on the roads of the world. Here is the victory of faith, born of the scandal of martyrdom. "No one has greater love than this: to give his life for his friends" (Jn 15:13). These words of Jesus, written on the tomb of Don Puglisi, remind everyone that giving life was the secret of his victory, the secret of a beautiful life. Today, dear brothers and sisters, we too choose a beautiful life. So be it.

Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows - #Litany and #Rosary #Prayers and Promises - SHARE

Novena Prayer in Honor of the Sorrows of The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Novena finds it's origin in ancient Church tradition. A Novena is simply any prayer said faithfully for a period of dedicated time. Generally it is said for nine consecutive days, nine Sundays, Fridays or Saturdays, or even nine hours in a row. Novenas have traditionally been known to be very powerful ~ used since the time of the Apostles when most notably, they and the other disciples prayed and fasted for nine days prior to receiving the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentacost. 

Most holy and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, you stood beneath the cross, witnessing the agony of your dying Son. Look with a mother's tenderness and pity on me, who kneel before you. I venerate your sorrows and I place my requests with filial confidence in the sanctuary of your wounded heart. Present them, I beseech you, on my behalf to Jesus Christ, through the merits of His own most sacred passion and death, together with your sufferings at the foot of the cross. Through the united efficacy of both, obtain the granting of my petition. To whom shall I have recourse in my wants and miseries if not to you, Mother of Mercy? You have drunk so deeply of the chalice of your Son, you can compassionate our sorrows. Holy Mary, your soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of your Divine Son. Intercede for me and obtain for me from Jesus (mention request) if it be for His honor and glory and for my good. Amen. 

The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows

The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows consists of 7 groups of 7 beads, with 3 additional beads and a Crucifix.  Say each of the sorrow below followed by 7 Hail Mary's. The 7 groups of 7 Hail Mary's are recited in remembrance of
the 7 Sorrows of Mary:
1. The prophecy of Simeon.
2. The flight into Egypt.
3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple.
4. Mary meets Jesus carrying His cross.
5. The Crucifixion
6. Mary received the Body of Jesus from the cross
7. The Body of Jesus is placed in a tomb.
3 Hail Mary's are added in remembrance of the tears Mary shed because of the suffering of her Divine Son. These are said to obtain true sorrow for our sins.
The concluding prayer follows:
V/. Pray for us, O most sorrowful Virgin.
R/. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
Lord Jesus, we now implore, both for the present and for the hour of our death, the intercession of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose holy soul was pierced at the time of Thy passion by a sword of grief.  Grant us this favor, O Saviour of the world, Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

The Blessed Virgin Mary grants 7 special graces to the souls who honor her daily by saying 7 Hail Mary's
and meditating on her tears and dolors. This devotion was passed on by St. Bridget of Sweden.
Here are the 7 special graces:

1. I will grant peace to their families.
2. They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.
3. I will console them in their pains, and I will accompany them in their work.
4. I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
5. I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy, and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
6. I will visibly help them at the moment of their death; they will see the face of their mother.
7. I have obtained (this grace) from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.

Litany of the Seven Sorrows
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
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 Spirit, 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.
Mother crucified, Pray for us.
Mother sorrowful, Pray for us.
Mother tearful, Pray for us.
Mother afflicted, Pray for us.
Mother forsaken, Pray for us.
Mother desolate, Pray for us.
Mother bereft of thy Child, Pray for us.
Mother transfixed with the sword, Pray for us.
Mother consumed with grief, Pray for us.
Mother filled with anguish, Pray for us.
Mother crucified in heart, Pray for us.
Mother most sad, Pray for us.
Fountain of tears, Pray for us.
Abyss of suffering, Pray for us.
Mirror of patience, Pray for us.
Rock of constancy, Pray for us.
Anchor of confidence, Pray for us.
Refuge of the forsaken, Pray for us.
Shield of the oppressed, Pray for us.
Subduer of the unbelieving, Pray for us.
Comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Medicine of the sick, Pray for us.
Strength of the weak, Pray for us.
Harbor of the wrecked, Pray for us.
Allayer of tempests, Pray for us.
Resource of mourners, Pray for us.
Terror of the treacherous, Pray for us.
Treasure of the faithful, Pray for us.
Eye of the Prophets, Pray for us.
Staff of the Apostles, Pray for us.
Crown of Martyrs, Pray for us.
Light of confessors, Pray for us.
Pearl of virgins, Pray for us.
Consolation of widows, Pray for us.
Joy of all Saints, 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.
Look down upon us, deliver us, and save us from all trouble, in the power of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let us pray: Imprint, O Lady, thy wounds upon my heart, that I may read therein sorrow and love--- sorrow to endure every sorrow for thee, love to despise every love for thee. Amen.
Pray 1 Apostles Creed, 1 Hail Holy Queen, and 3 Hail Mary's,
in honor of the Most Holy Heart of Mary.

~~ originally written in Latin by Pope Pius VII in 1809

Saint September 15 : St. Catherine of Genoa : #Mystic

(CATERINA FIESCHI ADORNO.) Born at Genoa in 1447, died at the same place 15 September, 1510. The life of St. Catherine of Genoa may be more properly described as a state than as a life in the ordinary sense. When about twenty-six years old she became the subject of one of the most extraordinary operations of God in the human soul of which we have record, the result being a marvellous inward condition that lasted till her death. In this state, she received wonderful revelations, of which she spoke at times to those around her, but which are mainly embodied in her two celebrated works: the "Dialogues of the Soul and Body", and the "Treatise on Purgatory". Her modern biographies, chiefly translations or adaptations of an old Italian one which is itself founded on "Memoirs" drawn up by the saint's own confessor and a friend, mingle what facts they give of her outward life with accounts of her supernatural state and "doctrine", regardless of sequence, and in an almost casual fashion that makes them entirely subservient to her psychological history. These facts are as follows: St. Catherine's parents were Jacopo Fieschi and Francesca di Negro, both of illustrious Italian birth. Two popes — Innocent IV and Adrian V — had been of the Fieschi family, and Jacopo himself became Viceroy of Naples. Catherine is described as an extraordinarily holy child, highly gifted in the way of prayer, and with a wonderful love of Christ's Passion and of penitential practices; but, also, as having been a most quiet, simple, and exceedingly obedient girl. When about thirteen, she wished to enter the convent, but the nuns to whom her confessor applied having refused her on account of her youth, she appears to have put the idea aside without any further attempt. At sixteen, she was married by her parents' wish to a young Genoese nobleman, Giuliano Adorno. The marriage turned out wretchedly; Giuliano proved faithless, violent-tempered, and a spendthrift. And made the life of his wife a misery. Details are scanty, but it seems at least clear that Catherine spent the first five years of her marriage in silent, melancholy submission to her husband; and that she then, for another five, turned a little to the world for consolation in her troubles. The distractions she took were most innocent; nevertheless, destined as she was for an extraordinary life, they had the effect in her case of producing lukewarmness, the end of which was such intense weariness and depression that she prayed earnestly for a return of her old fervour. Then, just ten years after her marriage, came the event of her life, in answer to her prayer. She went one day, full of melancholy, to a convent in Genoa where she had a sister, a nun. The latter advised her to go to confession to the nuns' confessor, and Catherine agreed. No sooner, however, had she knelt down in the confessional than a ray of Divine light pierced her soul, and in one moment manifested her own sinfulness and the Love of God with equal clearness. The revelation was so overwhelming that she lost consciousness and fell into a kind of ecstacy, for a space during which the confessor happened to be called away. When he returned, Catherine could only murmur that she would put off her confession, and go home quickly.
From the moment of that sudden vision of herself and God, the saint's interior state seems never to have changed, save by varying in intensity and being accompanied by more or less severe penance, according to what she saw required of her by the Holy Spirit Who guided her incessantly. No one could describe it except herself; but she does so, minutely, in her writings, from which may here be made one short extract: — "[The souls in Purgatory] see all things, not in themselves, nor by themselves, but as they are in God, on whom they are more intent than on their own sufferings. . . . For the least vision they have of God overbalances all woes and all joys that can be conceived. Yet their joy in God does by no means abate their pain. . . . This process of purification to which I see the souls in Purgatory subjected, I feel within myself." (Treatise on Purgatory, xvi, xvii.) For about twenty-five years, Catherine, though frequently making confessions, was unable to open her mind for direction to anyone; but towards the end of her life a Father Marabotti was appointed to be her spiritual guide. To him she explained her states, past and present, in full, and he compiled the "Memoirs" above referred to from his intimate personal knowledge of her. Of the saint's outward life, after this great change, her biographies practically tell us but two facts: that she at last converted her husband who died penitent in 1497; and that both before and after his death — though more entirely after it — she gave herself to the care of the sick in the great Hospital of Genoa, where she eventually became manager and treasurer. She died worn out with labours of body and soul, and consumed, even physically, by the fires of Divine love within her. She was beatified in 1675 by Clement X, but not canonized till 1737, by Clement XII. Meantime, her writings had been examined by the Holy Office and pronounced to contain doctrine that would be enough, in itself, to prove her sanctity.

Text Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis "Know that Jesus loves you: He is a sincere and faithful friend who will never abandon you; you can trust him!" FULL TEXT +Video



Piazza Europa (Piazza Armerina)
Saturday, September 15th 2018

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

I'm glad to be among you. The sun of Sicily is beautiful! It's nice! Thank you for this warm welcome! I thank the Bishop Mgr. Rosario Gisana, the Mayor and the other Authorities, as well as all those who have collaborated on this visit.

Your Bishop has just recalled the choice that the Church of Piazza Armerina is making with joyful hope, amid the various problems that limit the serenity of this territory. There are not a few sores that afflict you. They have a name: social and cultural underdevelopment; exploitation of workers and lack of dignified employment for young people; migration of whole family units; usury; alcoholism and other addictions; gamble; fraying of family ties. And in the face of so much suffering, the ecclesial community may appear, at times, disoriented and tired; sometimes, thanks to God, it is lively and prophetic, while seeking new ways of announcing and offering mercy above all to those brothers who have fallen into disaffection, in mistrust, into the crisis of faith. Because it's true: it is not easy to carry on the faith among so many problems. It's not easy, I understand it.

To consider the wounds of society and of the Church is not a denigratory and pessimistic action. If we want to give substance to our faith, we must learn to recognize in these human sufferings the same wounds of the Lord. Look at them, touch them (see John 20:27). To touch the wounds of the Lord in our wounds, in the wounds of our society, our families, our people, our friends. Touch the sores of the Lord there. And this means for us Christians to take the history and the flesh of Christ as a place of salvation and liberation. I urge you, therefore, to commit yourselves to the new evangelization of this center-Sicilian territory, starting from its crosses and sufferings. After completing the bicentenary of your Diocese, an exciting mission awaits you, to revive the face of a Synodal Church and the Word; Church of missionary charity; Church Eucharistic community.

The perspective of a synodal Church and of the Word requires the courage of listening to each other, but above all listening to the Word of the Lord. Please do not put anything before the essential center of Christian communion, which is the Word of God, but make it your own especially through the lectio divina, a wonderful moment of meeting heart to heart with Jesus, of stopping at the feet of the divine Master. The word of God and synodal communion are the hands of those who live among hopes and disappointments and invoke a merciful Church, ever more faithful to the Gospel and open to the reception of those who feel defeated in body and spirit, or are relegated to the margins. To carry out this mission, it is necessary to always refer to the spirit of the first Christian community which, animated by the fire of Pentecost, courageously witnessed the Risen Jesus. Enter with confidence, dear brothers and sisters, in the time of discernment and fruitful choices, useful for your happiness and for harmonious development. But to go forward in this, you must be accustomed to the Word of God: read the Gospel, every day, a small step of the Gospel. It does not take more than five minutes. Maybe a little Gospel in your pocket, in your bag ... Take it, look, and read. And so, every day, like a drop by drop, the Gospel will enter our hearts and make us more disciples of Jesus and stronger to go out, to help all the problems of our city, our society, our Church. Do it, do it. I ask the Bishop to facilitate the possibility of having a small Gospel for all those who ask him, to take him with him. Reading the Word of God will make you strong.

To be a Church of missionary charity, attention must be paid to the service of charity which today is required by concrete circumstances. Priests, deacons, consecrated persons and lay faithful are called to feel evangelical compassion - this word is clear, it is what Jesus felt: evangelical compassion - for the many evils of the people, becoming itinerant apostles of mercy in the territory, in imitation of God who "is tenderness and wants to lead us to constant and renewing itinerancy" (Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et exsultate, 134). With simplicity you go through the alleys, the crossroads, the squares and the places of working life, and bring to everyone the good news that a coexistence is right between us, pleasant and lovable, and that life is not an obscure curse to bear fatalistically, but trust in the goodness of God and in the love of the brothers.

It is important to foster evangelical love, solidarity and fraternal solicitude in parishes and communities, avoiding the worldly temptation of quiet living, of passing it well, without worrying about the needs of others. I encourage you to continue in your ecclesial service which is expressed in concrete works: Caritas listening centers, canteens and shelters for the most unfortunate brothers, structures to host refugee and disoriented Jesus and houses of love for the elderly, often alone and discouraged. Please do not leave the elderly alone! Our grandparents. They are our identity, they are our roots, and we do not want to be an uprooted people! Our roots are in the old ones. Come on! Take care of the elderly, the old. Taking care of grandparents. And that young people talk to their grandparents, so they will take root. Do not forget that Christian charity is not content to assist; does not expire in philanthropy - two different things: Christian charity and philanthropy - but it pushes the disciple and the whole community to go to the causes of the inconveniences and try to remove them, as much as possible, together with the needy brothers, integrating them into our work.

One aspect of missionary charity is also to pay attention to young people and their problems. I see here many boys and young people, who color the assembly with hope and joy. Dear friends, you young people, boys and girls, I greet you all and encourage you to be joyful architects of your destiny. Always look ahead, without forgetting the roots. Know that Jesus loves you: He is a sincere and faithful friend who will never abandon you; you can trust him! In moments of doubt - we all have had bad, doubtful young moments - in times of difficulty, you can count on Jesus' help, especially to nourish your great ideals. And to the extent that everyone can, it is also good that you trust the Church, called to intercept your needs for authenticity and offer you an alternative environment to the one that pains you every day, where you can rediscover the taste of prayer, union with God, of the silence that brings the heart to the depths of your being and of holiness. So many times I have heard some young people say: "Yes, I trust God, but not of the Church" - But why? - "Because I'm anticlerical". Ah, you are a scapegoat, then approach the priest and say: "I do not trust you for this, for this and for this". Come closer! Also approach the Bishop, and say to him: "I do not trust this Church, for this and for this reason". This is brave youth! But with the desire to hear the answer. Maybe that day the priest will have a bad liver and he will drive you away, but it will only be for that time, he will always tell you something. To listen! To listen! And you, priests, have patience, constructive patience to listen to the young, because there are always seeds of the future in the youth's restlessness. And you have to take them, and help the young to move forward. It takes dialogue.

The third element that I show you is that of the Church Eucharistic community. From there, from the Eucharist we draw the love of Christ to take him to the streets of the world, to go with him to meet our brothers. With Jesus, with Him - this is the secret - we can consecrate all reality to God, make sure that his Face is imprinted on the faces, his love fills the voids of love. As for participation in Holy Mass, especially on Sunday, it is important not to be obsessed with numbers: I urge you to experience the bliss of smallness, of being a mustard seed, small flock, a fist of yeast, tenacious flame, small pebbles salt. How many times have I heard: "Ah, father, I pray, but I do not go to Mass, I will not go" - But why? "Because the sermon bores me, it lasts forty minutes!". No, forty minutes must last all Mass. But the preaching more than eight minutes does not go.
The Eucharist and the ministerial priesthood are inseparable: the priest is the man of the Eucharist. I address a particular thought to priests, good brothers, and exhort them to gather around the Bishop and among themselves to bring the Lord to all. Dear priests, how necessary it is to patiently build the joy of the presbyteral family, loving each other and supporting one another! It is nice to work together, considering the confreres "superior to yourselves" (cf. Phil 2: 3). In the midst of God's people entrusted to you, you are called to be the first to overcome the barriers, the prejudices that divide; the first to pause in humble contemplation before the difficult history of this earth, with the wise pastoral charity which is a gift of the Spirit; the first to indicate paths through which people can go towards open spaces of redemption and true freedom. Consoled by God, you can be comforters, wipe away tears, heal wounds, rebuild lives, broken lives that trustfully entrust themselves to your ministry (cf. Acts 5: 14-16). To you priests, I allow myself to give a recipe, I do not know if it will serve: how do I end the day? Do I need to take the pads to sleep? Then something did not go well. But if I finish the day tired, tired, things are fine. This is an important point.

Dear brothers and sisters, it would be nice to be together a little longer! I feel the warmth of your faith and the hopes you bring into your heart, but I am awaited in Palermo, where we will remember the grateful martyr priest Pino Puglisi. I heard that, twenty-five years ago, just a month before his killing, he spent a few days here in Piazza Armerina. He had come to meet the seminarians, his students at the major seminary in Palermo. A prophetic passage, I believe! A delivery, not only to the priests, but to all the faithful of this diocese: for the love of Jesus, serve the brothers until the end! I entrust you all to the Virgin Mary, whom you venerate as Our Lady of Victories. In silence, now silently pray to her: "Hail Mary ...". She supports you in spiritual combat and directs you decisively towards the victory of the Resurrection. I bless you all from my heart and I ask you to please pray for me. Good day everyone!

Now I will give you the blessing, but let's prepare the heart to receive it. Everyone thinks about his loved ones, because this blessing falls on loved ones. Think of his friends. And you also think about the enemies, the people I do not love, and who do not love me. Open everyone's heart, for this blessing descends on everyone.


#BreakingNews Pope Francis visits Palermo, Sicily in memory of Blessed Pino Puglisi

Pope Francis visits Palermo in memory of Blessed “Pino” Puglisi 
On the 25th Anniversary of the martyrdom of Blessed “Pino” Puglisi, Pope Francis travels to Palermo on Saturday, highlighting this priestly shepherd who bore the brutal condition of his flock. By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp Pope Francis has chosen another significant place and date from which to proclaim the Gospel of Joy. The place: Palermo, on the Italian island of Sicilia—home to Cosa Nostra, one of Italy’s most notorious mafia groups. The date: September 15, 2018—the 25th anniversary of the day that Fr Pino Puglisi was murdered on orders given by Cosa Nostra. Here, the Pope will celebrate Mass in his honor in the Foro Italico, he will visit the parish of San Gaetano where Bl Puglisi lived and died, he will meet with priests, religious and seminarians in Palermo’s cathedral, and with young people in Piazza Politeama. Pope appeals to young people in Sicily to resist the call of the mafia
Who is Bl Pino Puglisi? 
Giuseppe (Pino) Puglisi was born on September 15 in 1937 and was murdered the same day 56 years later. He entered the seminary at the age of 16 and was ordained in 1960. His first assignments were to parishes in Palermo where he ministered particularly to young people. In 1970, he became pastor of a parish in Godrano, about 40 km from Palermo. Here he developed a ministry directed toward reconciliation in families. He returned to Palermo in 1978 and took up duties in the seminary, as well as promoting religious and priestly vocations on the diocesan level. In 1990 he began his last assignment as pastor of San Gaetano, in Palermo’s rough Brancaccio neighborhood. Fr Puglisi is recorded as having said, “I have become the pope’s pastor”, referring to Michele Greco, who called himself “the mafia’s pope”.
 The “Our Father Welcome Center” 
Fr Puglisi founded a center in 1991 which was inaugurated in January, 1993, called the “Our Father Welcome Center”. It was his response to the pastoral situation he inherited in which the elderly were often abandoned, and adolescents and young adults were illiterate, due to the absence of a secondary school. Poverty and high unemployment left most of Fr Puglisi’s parishioners easy prey to the local mafia. The services provided were, and still are, directed toward providing the material and cultural benefits lacking in the lives of the people living in the area. “I’ve been expecting this” Fr Puglisi soon exerted a tremendous Christian influence over his parishioners. He thus became a target of the mafia who saw him as a real threat. Even after several incidents which were clearly meant to intimidate him, Fr Puglisi resolutely continued his fight against the mafia. Besides celebrating two weddings, and his own birthday with friends, on the day he died, Fr Puglisi had also gone to a meeting at Palermo’s city hall to ask that a middle school be built in Brancaccio.
For all that he had done for his flock, the mafia responded by sending a hitman the evening of his birthday. According to the gunman’s testimony, Fr Puglisi greeted him with a smile and the words, “I’ve been expecting this!” Fr Puglisi died according to words he himself had spoken: Holocaust means to burn one’s entire existence on the altar of the cross. For those who are angry toward a society they view as hostile, it is above all necessary to be witnesses. Witness must instill hope in that person, making him understand that his life is worth something only if it is given.
FULL TEXT Share from Vatican News

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday September 15, 2018 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
Lectionary: 442/639

Reading 11 COR 10:14-22

My beloved ones, avoid idolatry.
I am speaking as to sensible people;
judge for yourselves what I am saying.
The cup of blessing that we bless,
is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ?
The bread that we break,
is it not a participation in the Body of Christ?
Because the loaf of bread is one,
we, though many, are one Body,
for we all partake of the one loaf.

Look at Israel according to the flesh;
are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?
So what am I saying?
That meat sacrificed to idols is anything?
Or that an idol is anything?
No, I mean that what they sacrifice,
they sacrifice to demons, not to God,
and I do not want you to become participants with demons.
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons.
You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons.
Or are we provoking the Lord to jealous anger?
Are we stronger than him?

Responsorial PsalmPS 116:12-13, 17-18

R. (17) To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.

Sequence (Optional) Stabat Mater

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had passed.

Oh, how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother highly blessed
Of the sole begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs,
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying, glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
'Whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that mother's pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of his own nation
Saw him hang in desolation
Till his spirit forth he sent.

O sweet Mother! font of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with yours accord.

Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

Let me share with you his pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with you,
Mourning him who mourned for me,
All the days that I may live.

By the cross with you to stay,
There with you to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of you to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine.

Let me to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of yours.

Wounded with his every wound,
Steep my soul till it has swooned
In his very Blood away.

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In his awful judgment day.

Christ, when you shall call me hence,
Be your Mother my defense,
Be your cross my victory.

While my body here decays,
May my soul your goodness praise,
Safe in heaven eternally.
Amen. (Alleluia)


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary;
without dying you won the Martyr's crown
beneath the Cross of the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 19:25-27

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple,
"Behold, your mother."
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

OrLK 2:33-35

Jesus' father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
"Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
and you yourself a sword will pierce
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."