Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Saint September 26 : Sts. Cosmas and Damian : Patrons of #Physicians, #Dentists, #Barbers, Veterinarians and Orphanages

Feast: September 26
Feast Day:
September 26
3rd century AD, Arabia
287 AD, Aegea, Roman province of Syria
Major Shrine:
Convent of the Poor Clares in Madrid, Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Bitonto, Bari, Italy
Patron of:
surgeons, physicians, dentists, protectors of children, barbers, pharmacists, veterinarians, orphanages, day-care centers, confectioners, children in house, against hernia, against the plague.
Early Christian physicians and martyrs whose feast is celebrated on 27 September. They were twins, born in Arabia, and practised the art of healing in the seaport Ægea, now Ayash (Ajass), on the Gulf of Iskanderun in Cilicia, Asia Minor, and attained a great reputation. They accepted no pay for their services and were, therefore, called anargyroi, "the silverless". In this way they brought many to the Catholic Faith. When the Diocletian persecution began, the Prefect Lysias had Cosmas and Damian arrested, and ordered them to recant. They remained constant under torture, in a miraculous manner suffered no injury from water, fire, air, nor on the cross, and were finally beheaded with the sword. Their three brothers, Anthimus, Leontius, and Euprepius died as martyrs with them. The execution took place 27 September, probably in the year 287. At a later date a number of fables grew up about them, connected in part with their relics. The remains of the martyrs were buried in the city of Cyrus in Syria; the Emperor Justinian I (527-565) sumptuously restored the city in their honour. Having been cured of a dangerous illness by the intercession of Cosmas and Damian, Justinian, in gratitude for their aid, rebuilt and adorned their church at Constantinople, and it became a celebrated place of pilgrimage. At Rome Pope Felix IV (526-530) erected a church in their honour, the mosaics of which are still among the most valuable art remains of the city. The Greek Church celebrates the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian on 1 July, 17 October, and 1 November, and venerates three pairs of saints of the same name and profession. Cosmas and Damian are regarded as the patrons of physicians and surgeons and are sometimes represented with medical emblems. They are invoked in the Canon of the Mass and in the Litany of the Saints. Text shared from The Catholic Encyclopedia

#Novena to St. Francis of Assisi - #Litany and #Prayers - SHARE

Novena to St. Francis of Assisi

Say once a day for nine days. 

Glorious Saint Francis, who voluntarily renounced all the comforts and riches of thy home to follow more perfectly the life of poverty and abnegation of Jesus Christ: Obtain for us, we pray, a generous contempt of all things in this world, that we may secure the true and eternal things of heaven. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

O glorious Saint Francis, who during the whole course of thy life continually wept over the passion of the Redeemer, and labored most zealously for the salvation of souls: Obtain for us, we pray, the grace of weeping continually over those sins by which we have crucified afresh Our Lord Jesus Christ, that we may attain to be of the number of those who shall eternally bless His supreme mercy. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

O glorious Saint Francis, who, loving above all things suffering and the Cross, merited to bear in thy body the miraculous stigmata, by which thou becamest a living image of Jesus Christ crucified: Obtain for us, we pray, the grace to bear in our bodies the mortifications of Christ, that we may merit one day to receive the consolations which are infallibly promised to all those who now weep. 

"If we be dead with Christ Jesus, we shall live also with Him," says the Apostle; "if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him." 

Pray for us, Saint Francis, that we may obtain the graces and favors we ask for in this novena; pray for us, especially, that we may obtain the grace of perseverance; of a holy death and a happy eternity. 

Pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be five times


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, conceived without sin, 
Pray for us.

Holy Mary, special patroness of the three Orders of Saint Francis, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, seraphic patriarch,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, most prudent father,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, despiser of the world,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, model of penance,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, conqueror of vices,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, imitator of the Saviour,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, bearer of the marks of Christ,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, sealed with the character of Jesus,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, example of purity,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, image of humility,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, abounding in grace,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, reformer of the erring,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, healer of the sick,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, pillar of the Church,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, defender of the Faith,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, champion of Christ,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, defender of thy children, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, invulnerable shield, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, confounder of the heretics, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, converter of the pagans, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, supporter of the lame, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, raiser of the dead, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, healer of the lepers, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, our advocate, 
Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, 
Have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

V. Pray for us, O blessed father Francis,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let Us Pray

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, 
when the world was growing cold, 
in order to renew in our hearts 
the flame of love, 
imprinted the sacred marks of Thy Passion 
on the body of our blessed father Francis, 
mercifully grant that by his merits and prayers 
we may persevere in bearing the cross 
and may bring forth fruits worthy of penance, 
Thou Who livest and reignest, 
world without end.

Lord make me  an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, Let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, Joy.
O Divine Master grant that I may Not so much seek to be consoled As to console; To be understood, As to understand; To be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. And it is in dying that we are Born to eternal life.

Pope Francis at Mass "God wants our love to be free. When we say that we are Christians, when we embrace a way of life,..." FULL TEXT + Video in Estonia

[22-25 SEPTEMBER 2018]
Freedom Square, Tallin (Estonia)
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

In listening to the first reading, the account of the coming of the Jewish people – now freed from slavery in Egypt – to Mount Sinai (Ex 19:1), it is impossible not to think of you as a people.  It is impossible not to think about the entire nation of Estonia and all the Baltic States!  How can we not think of your part in the Singing Revolution, or in the human chain of two million people extending from here to Vilnius?  You know what it is to struggle for freedom; you can identify with that people.  We would do well, then, to listen to what God says to Moses, in order to discern what he is saying to us as a people.
The people who came to Mount Sinai had already seen the love of their God expressed in miracles and powerful signs.  They were a people who had entered into a covenant of love, because God loved them first and made his love known to them.  They did not have to do so; God wants our love to be free.  When we say that we are Christians, when we embrace a way of life, we do so without pressure, without it being a kind of trade-off, in which we remain faithful if God keeps his promise.  First, we know that God’s promise does not take anything away from us; rather, it leads to the fulfilment of all our human aspirations.  Some people think they are free when they live without God or keep him at arm’s length.  They do not realize that, in doing so, they pass through this life as orphans, without a home to return to.  “They cease being pilgrims and become drifters, flitting around themselves and never getting anywhere” (Evangelii Gaudium, 170).
Like the people who came forth from Egypt, we have to listen and seek.  These days, we may think that the strength of a people is measured by other means.  Some people speak in a loud voice, full of self-assurance – with no doubts or hesitation.  Others shout and hurl threats about using weapons, deploying troops and implementing strategies...  That way they appear to be stronger.  But this is not about “seeking” the will of God, but about gaining power so as to prevail over others.  Underlying this attitude is a rejection of ethics and, as such, a rejection of God.  For ethics leads us to a God who calls for a free and committed response to others and to the world around us, a response outside the categories of the marketplace (cf. ibid., 57).  You did not gain your freedom in order to end up as slaves of consumerism, individualism or the thirst for power or domination.
God knows our needs, those we often hide behind our desire for possessions.  He also knows the insecurities we try to overcome through power.  Jesus, in the Gospel we just heard, encourages us to overcome that thirst within our hearts by coming to him.  He is the one who can give us fulfilment by the abundance of his living water, his purity, his irresistible power.  Faith means realizing that he is alive and that he loves us; he does not abandon us and, as a result, he is capable of intervening mysteriously in our history.  He brings good out of evil by his power and his infinite creativity (ibid., 278).
In the desert, the people of Israel were tempted to seek other gods, to worship the golden calf, to trust in their own strength.  But God always called them back to him, and they remembered what they heard and saw on the mountain.  Like that people, we know we are a chosen people, a priestly people, a holy people (cf. Ex 19:6; 1 Pet 2:9).  It is the Spirit who reminds us of all these things (cf. Jn 14:26).
Being chosen does not mean being exclusive or sectarian.  We are the small portion of yeast that must make the dough rise; we do not hide or withdraw, or consider ourselves better or purer.  The eagle shelters her fledglings, carries them to the heights until they can fend for themselves.  Then she has to force them to leave those comfort zones.  She shakes their nest, pushes them into the open air where they have to spread their wings, and she flies beneath them to protect them, to keep them from hurting themselves.  This is how God is with his chosen people; he wants them to “go forth” and fly boldly, knowing that they are always protected by him alone.  We have to leave our fears behind and go forth from our safe places, because today most Estonians do not identify themselves as believers.
So go out as priests, for that is what we are by baptism.  Go out to build relationships with God, to facilitate them, to encourage a loving encounter with the one who cries out: “Come to me!” (Mt 11:28).  We need to be seen as close to others, capable of contemplation, compassion and willingness to spend time with others, as often as necessary.  This is the “art of accompaniment”.  It is carried out with the healing rhythm of “closeness”, with a respectful and compassionate gaze capable of healing, liberating and encouraging growth in the Christian life (Evangelii Gaudium, 169).
Bear witness as a holy people.  We may be tempted to think that holiness is only for a few.  However, “we are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 14).  But, just as the water in the desert was not a personal but a common good, just as the manna could not be stored because it spoiled, so a lived holiness expands, overflows and makes fruitful all that it touches.  Today we choose to be saints by shoring up the outskirts and fringes of our society, wherever our brothers and sisters lie prostrate and experience rejection.  We can’t think somebody else will be the one to stop and help, nor that these are problems to be resolved by institutions.  It is up to us to fix our gaze on those brother and sister and to offer a helping hand, because they bear the image of God, they are our brothers and sisters, redeemed by Jesus Christ.  This is what it is to be a Christian; this is holiness lived on a day-to-day basis (cf. ibid., 98).
In your history you have shown your pride in being Estonians.  You sing it saying: “I am Estonian, I will always be Estonian, it is good to be Estonian, we are Estonians”.  How good it is to feel part of a people; how good it is to be independent and free.  May we go to the holy mountain, to the mountain of Moses, to the mountain of Jesus.  May we ask him - as the motto of this Visit says - to awaken our hearts and to grant us the gift of the Spirit.  In this way, at every moment of history, may we discern how to be free, how to embrace goodness and feel chosen, and how to let God increase, here in Estonia and in the whole world, his holy nation, his priestly people. 

End of Mass Greeting of His Holiness Pope Francis
Dear brothers and sisters,          
Before the final blessing, and the conclusion of this Apostolic Journey in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, I wish to extend my gratitude to all of you, starting with the Apostolic Administrator of Estonia.  Thank you for your welcome, expressed by a small flock with a large heart!  I renew my appreciation to Her Excellency the President of the Republic and to all the other authorities of the country.  A special thought goes to all our Christian brothers and sisters, particularly the Lutherans, who here in Estonia and in Latvia have offered hospitality at the ecumenical meetings.  May the Lord continue to guide us along the path of communion.  I thank you all!       

US Vice President Mike Pence gives Historic #ProLife Speech at Summit - FULL Video - Encourages Prayer, Advocacy and Votes

Vice President Mike Pence spoke Saturday at the Values Voter Summit, hosted by the Family Research Council. (FULL Video Speech Below)  The US Vice President explained that he is 1st a Christian and encouraged pro-lifers to fight back peacefully with prayer, advocacy and their votes.
According to Life News he said, 
“The other side is mobilized, and some say they are motivated as never before, but I say we must match, in fact I say we must surpass, the energy of the American left and their enthusiasm and their passion,” he said. “And if we do, we will win.”
Among what he called accomplishments of the last two years, Pence credited Trump for non-enforcement of the “Johnson Amendment,” a law that prohibits tax-exempt charities like churches from endorsing political candidates, and said the White House will continue to work for its total repeal.
“Finally, let’s keep faith that he who has ever watched over this nation still governs in the affairs of men and that as we hold fast to him we will run and not grow weary, we will walk and not grow faint and that he will yet bless America abundantly more than we could ask or imagine in this one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” the vice president wrapped up his speech.

Pope Francis tells Youth "..where there is Jesus, there is always renewal, there is always the opportunity for conversion..." in Estonia FULL TEXT + Video

[SEPTEMBER 22-25, 2018]



Kaarli Lutheran Church (Estonia)
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dear young people,

Thank you for your warm welcome, for your songs and the testimonies of Lisbel, Tauri and Mirko. I am grateful for the kind and fraternal words of the Bishop of the Estonian Lutheran Church, Urmas Viilma, as well as for the presence of the President of the Council of Churches of Estonia, Archbishop Andres Poder, that of the bishop, Monsignor Philippe Jourdan, apostolic administrator in Estonia, and other representatives of the various Christian confessions present in the country. I also thank for the presence of the President of the Republic.

It is always nice to meet, to share life stories, to express what we think and want; and it is very beautiful to be together again, we who believe in Jesus Christ. These meetings fulfill the dream of Jesus in the Last Supper: "Let all be one, ... that the world may believe" (Jn 17:21). If we strive to think of ourselves as pilgrims who journey together, we will learn to open our hearts with confidence to the companion of the road, without suspicion, without suspicion, looking only at what we really seek: peace in front of the face of the only God. And since peace is an art, having confidence in others is also something of a art, it is a source of happiness: "Happy are the peacemakers" (Mt 5, 9). And this road, this way, we do not go through it only with believers, but with all. All have something to say to us. To all, we have something to say.

The large fresco in the apse of this church contains a phrase from the Gospel according to St. Matthew: "Come to me all who toil under the weight of the burden and I will give you rest" (Mt 11, 28 ). You young Christians can identify yourself with certain elements of this verse of the Gospel.

In previous stories, Matthew tells us that Jesus accumulates frustrations. First, he complains because it seems that nothing is better for those with whom he exchanges (see Mt 11, 16-19). To you young people, it often happens that the adults around you do not know what they want or expect from you; or sometimes, when they see you very happy, they are wary; and if they see you worried, they revitalize what happens to you. In the consultation preceding the Synod that we will be celebrating soon and during which we will reflect on the young, many of you ask that someone accompany you and understand you without judging and that he knows how to listen to you, as well as to answer your questions (cf. Synod dedicated to the Young Instrumentum laboris, 132). Our Christian Churches - and I dare to say every institutionally structured religious process - sometimes persist in attitudes in which it has been easier for us to speak, advise, propose from our experience, rather than listen, rather than to be questioned and illuminated by what you, you live. Very often the Christian communities close, without realizing it, and they do not listen to your concerns. We know what you want and expect: "to be accompanied not by an inflexible judge or by a fearful and hyper-protective parent who maintain dependence, but by someone who is not afraid of his own weakness and He knows how to enhance the treasure which, like a clay vase, he keeps in his bosom (2Co 4, 7) "(ibid: 142). Today, here, I want to tell you that we want to cry with you if you cry, to accompany your joys with our applause and laughter, to help you live after the Lord. You boys and girls, young people, know that when a Christian community is truly Christian it does not proselytize. She only listens, welcomes, accompanies and walks; but it imposes nothing.

Jesus also laments the cities he has visited, performing in them more miracles and reserving for them the greatest gestures of tenderness and closeness; and he deplores their lack of insight to perceive that the change he had come to propose to them was urgent, that he could not wait. He even goes so far as to say that they are more stubborn and blinded than Sodom and Gomorrah (see Mt 11: 10-24). And when we adults close ourselves to an indisputable reality, you frankly say, "You do not see?" And some more daring have the courage to say, "Do not you realize that no one is listening to you anymore, nor believing you? ". We really need to convert ourselves, to discover that to be by your side, we have to reverse so many situations that are, ultimately, those that take you away; we know - as you told us - that many young people do not ask us anything because they do not consider us as a valid interlocutor for their existence. It is terrible when a church, a community, behaves in such a way that young people think: "They will not tell me anything that can serve me for my life". Some even expressly ask that they be left alone because they find the presence of the Church painful and even irritating. And that's true. They are outraged by sexual and economic scandals, in the absence of zero tolerance; the fact of not being able to correctly understand the life and sensitivity of young people because of lack of preparation or simply the passive role attributed to young people within the Christian community (see Synod dedicated to the Young Instrumentum Laboris, 66). These are just some of your requests. We want to respond to them, we want, as you say yourself, to be a "transparent, welcoming, honest, attractive, accessible, joyful community, a community that communicates and everyone can participate" (ibid # 67), that is to say, a community without fear. Fears close us. Fears push us to be proselytes. And fraternity is something else: the open heart and the fraternal embrace.

Before arriving at the evangelical text that dominates this temple, Jesus begins by raising a praise to the Father. He does this because he realizes that those who understand, those who understand the center of his message and his person, are the little ones, those who have a simple and open soul. And seeing you thus, together, and singing, I unite with the voice of Jesus and I remain admiring, because, despite our lack of witness, you continue to discover Jesus in our communities. Because we know that where there is Jesus, there is always renewal, there is always the opportunity for conversion, leaving behind everything that separates us from him and our brothers. Where there is Jesus, life always has the flavor of the Holy Spirit. You, here today, are the actualization of this wonder of Jesus.

So, yes, we say again, "Come to me all who toil under the weight of the burden, and I will give you rest" (Mt 11:28). But we say it by being convinced that, beyond our limits, our divisions, Jesus continues to be the reason to be here. We know that there is no greater comfort than letting Jesus bear our oppressions. We also know that there are still many who do not know him and live in sadness and misguidance. One of your famous singers, about ten years ago, said in one of her songs: "Love is dead, love has gone away, love does not live here anymore" (Kerli Koiv, L ' love is dead). No Please. Let's make love live, and all we have to do it. And there are many who make this experience: they see that the love of their parents is exhausted, that the love of couples just married dissolves; they experience an intimate pain when they see that it does not matter to anyone that they have to emigrate to look for work or when, there, we look at them with suspicion because they are strangers. It seems that love is dead, as Kerli Koiv said, but we know that it is not so, and we have a word to say, something to announce, with few speeches and many gestures. Because you are the generation of the image, the generation of the action more than the speculation, the theory.

And that pleases Jesus as well; because he has gone on doing good, and when he is dead, he has preferred to words the strong gesture of the cross. We are united by faith in Jesus, and it is He who expects us to share him with all the young people who have lost the meaning of their lives. And the risk is for us believers to lose the meaning of life. And that happens when we, believers, are incoherent. Let us welcome together this newness which God bears in our life; this novelty that drives us to leave again and again to go where the most wounded humanity is; where men, beyond appearances of superficiality and conformism, continue to seek an answer to the question of the meaning of their life. But we will never go alone: ​​God comes with us; he is not afraid, he is not afraid of the peripheries, and even Himself has become a periphery (see Ph 2, 6-8, Jn 1, 14). If we have the courage to go out of ourselves, our selfishness, our closed ideas, and to go to the peripheries, we will find it there, because Jesus precedes us in the life of the brother who suffers and who is rejected. If we have the courage to go out of ourselves, our selfishness, our closed ideas, and to go to the peripheries, we will find it there, because Jesus precedes us in the life of the brother who suffers and who is rejected. He is already there (see Exhort, ap.Gaudete and exsultate, 135).

Boys and girls, love is not dead, it calls us and sends us. He only asks us to open the heart. Let us ask for the apostolic strength to bring the Gospel to others - to offer it, not to impose it - and to renounce making our Christian life a museum of memories. The Christian life is life, it is future, it is hope! She is not a museum. Allow the Holy Spirit to make us contemplate history in the perspective of the risen Jesus, so that the Church, thus our churches, will be able to go forward by welcoming in it the surprises of the Lord (cf. 139), finding again his youth, the joy and the beauty of which Mirko spoke, of the bride who goes to meet the Lord. The surprises of the Lord. The Lord surprises us because life always surprises us. Let's go ahead, to meet these surprises. Thank you !

#BreakingNews Death Toll in Cebu, Philippines due to Landslide at 55 Killed with Missing - Please Pray

In Naga City, Cebu a landslide has caused the death of 55 people. Dozens remain missing, and classes are suspended in schools that are being used as evacuation centers.  Several water sources were found contaminated with E.coli bacteria. A massive landslide buried dozens of homes near a central Philippine mountain on Thursday. The landslide was triggered by Typhoon Mangkhut. Families of victims are calling it a man-made disaster triggered by the quarry.
Kristine Vanessa Chiong, mayor of Naga city, which has a population of over 100,000, said by telephone that at least 64 people remained missing. "We're really hoping we can still recover them alive." The landslide hit while several northern Philippine provinces were still dealing with deaths and widespread damage wrought by Typhoon Mangkhut, which left at least 88 people dead and more than 60 missing.  Rescuers are at work however it was explained that, "We're running out of time. The ground in the area is still vibrating. We're striking a balance between intensifying our rescue efforts and ensuring the safety of our rescuers," Naga city Coun. Carmelino Cruz said by phone.  4 million Filipinos in the direct path of Typhoon Mangkhut 

Pope Francis "Love that breaks the chains that isolate us and separate us, throwing bridges; love that allows us to build a large family ..."

[22-25 SEPTEMBER 2018]



Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Tallinn (Estonia)
Tuesday, 25 September 2018


Dear brothers and sisters!

Thank you for welcoming me this afternoon in your home. It is important for me to make this visit and be able to stay here among you. Thank you for your testimony and for sharing with us all that you carry in your heart.

First of all, I would like to congratulate you, Marina, and your husband, for the beautiful testimony you have given us. You have been blessed with nine children, with all the sacrifice this means, as you pointed out to us. Where there are children and young people, there is a lot of sacrifice, but above all there is the future, joy and hope. This is why it is comforting to hear you say: "We give thanks to the Lord for the communion and love that reigns in our house". In this land, where the winters are hard, you do not miss the most important heat, that of the house, the one that comes from being in the family. With discussions and problems? Yes, it's normal, but with the desire to move forward together. They are not beautiful words, but a clear example.

And thank you for sharing the testimony of these sisters who were not afraid to go out and go where you were to be a sign of the closeness and the outstretched hand of our God. You said that they were like angels who came to visit you. It's like this: they are angels.

When faith is not afraid to leave comforts, to get involved and have the courage to go out, it manages to manifest the most beautiful words of the Master: "That you love one another; as I have loved you "(Jn 13:34). Love that breaks the chains that isolate us and separate us, throwing bridges; love that allows us to build a large family in which we can all feel at home, as in this house. Love that tastes of compassion and dignity. And this is beautiful. [Look at Marina's nine children sitting on a single bench and counting them] One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Beautiful family! Beautiful family!

Missionary faith goes like these sisters through the streets of our cities, our neighborhoods, our communities, saying with very concrete gestures: you belong to our family, to the great family of God in which we all have a place. Do not stay out. And you, sisters, do this! Thank you.

I think this is the miracle you told us, Vladimir. You have found sisters and brothers who have offered you the opportunity to awaken the heart and see that, at all times, the Lord was trying tirelessly to dress you up (see Lk 15.22) and to celebrate the fact that each of us is the his favorite son. The greatest joy of the Lord is to see ourselves born again, which is why he never tires of giving us a new opportunity. For this reason, the bonds are important, to feel that we belong to each other, that every life is worth, and that we are willing to spend it for this.

I would like to invite you to continue creating links. To go out in the neighborhoods to say to many: you too are part of our family. Jesus called the disciples, and he still calls each of you, dear brothers, to continue sowing and transmitting his Kingdom. He counts on your history, on your life, on your hands to travel the city and share the same reality that you have experienced. Today, can Jesus rely on you? Each of you answers.

Thank you for the time you gave me. And now I would like to give you the blessing, so that the Lord can continue to work miracles through your hands. And please, I need help too; Please do not forget to pray for me. Thank you!

Pope Francis in Estonia "For centuries these lands have been known as “the Land of Mary”, Maarjmaa." FULL TEXT + Video

[22-25 SEPTEMBER 2018]
Rose Garden of the Presidential Palace (Tallinn, Estonia)
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Madam President,
Members of Government and State Authorities,
Distinguished Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased to meet with you here in Tallinn, the northernmost capital that the Lord has allowed me to visit. I thank you, Madam President, for your words of welcome and for this opportunity to meet the representatives of the people of Estonia. I know that among you there is also a delegation from the sectors of civil society and from the world of culture. This allows me to express to them my desire to learn more about your culture, and especially the capacity for resilience that has enabled you to begin anew in the face of so many situations of adversity.
For centuries these lands have been known as “the Land of Mary”, Maarjmaa. A name that is not simply part of your history, but also part of your culture. Thinking of Mary reminds me of two words: memory and fruitfulness. Mary is a woman of memory who treasures all living things in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19) and the fruitful mother who begets the life of her Son.
Hence, I would like to think of Estonia as a land of memory and of fruitfulness.
A land of memory
Your people had to endure, at different times in history, moments of bitter suffering and tribulation. Struggles for a freedom and independence that was constantly disputed or threatened. Nonetheless, in the last twenty-five years or so – since you once again took your proper place in the family of nations – Estonian society has taken “giant steps” forward. Your country, despite its small size, is a leader as concerns the indices of human development and the capacity for innovation; it also ranks high in the areas of freedom of the press, democracy and political freedom. You have also forged bonds of cooperation and friendship with a number of countries. As you consider your past and present, you have good reason to look to the future with hope and to confront new challenges. To be a land of memory is to keep remembering that what you have attained today is due to the efforts, the hard work, the spirit and the faith of your predecessors. Cultivating a grateful memory makes it possible for you to identify today’s achievements as the fruit of a history made up of all those men and women who strove to make freedom possible. In turn, it challenges you to honour them by blazing new trails for generations yet to come.
A land of fruitfulness
As I observed at the beginning of my ministry as Bishop of Rome, “in our time, humanity is experiencing a turning point in its history, as we can see from the advances being made in so many fields. We can only praise the steps being taken to improve people’s welfare” (Evangelii Gaudium, 52). Still, we do well never to forget that “the good life” and a life well lived are not the same thing.
One of the evident effects of technocratic societies is a loss of meaning in life and the joy of living. As a result, slowly and silently the capacity for wonder is dampened, often leaving citizens in an existential ennui. A sense of belonging and commitment to others, of being rooted in a people, a culture and a family, can gradually be lost, depriving the young in particular of their roots and the foundations needed to build their presence and their future. Depriving them of the capacity to dream, to risk and to create. To put all our “trust” in technological progress, as the only way possible, can lead to a loss of the capacity to create interpersonal, intergenerational and intercultural bonds. Ultimately, that vital fabric so important for us to feel part of one another and share in a common project in the broadest sense of the word. Consequently, one of the most important obligations incumbent on all of us who have social, political, educational and religious responsibilities has to do precisely with how we can keep building bonds.
A land of fruitfulness demands contexts in which roots can be planted and give rise to a vital network capable of ensuring that the members of its communities feel “at home”. There is no worse form of alienation than to feel uprooted, belonging to no one. A land will be fruitful, and its people bear fruit and give birth to the future, only to the extent that it can foster a sense of belonging among its members, create bonds of integration between generations and different communities; and avoid all that make us insensitive to others and lead to further alienation. In this effort, dear friends, I wish to assure you that you can count always on the support and help of Catholic Church, a small community in your midst, yet one most desirous of contributing to the fruitfulness of this land.

Madam President, Ladies and Gentlemen: I thank you once more for your welcome and hospitality. May the Lord bless you and the beloved Estonian people. In a special way, may he bless the elderly and the young, so that, by cherishing memory and upholding it, they may make this land a model of fruitfulness. Thank you.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday September 25, 2018 - #Eucharist

Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 450

Reading 1PRV 21:1-6, 10-13

Like a stream is the king's heart in the hand of the LORD;
wherever it pleases him, he directs it.

All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes,
but it is the LORD who proves hearts.

To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Haughty eyes and a proud heart–
the tillage of the wicked is sin.

The plans of the diligent are sure of profit,
but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty.

Whoever makes a fortune by a lying tongue
is chasing a bubble over deadly snares.

The soul of the wicked man desires evil;
his neighbor finds no pity in his eyes.

When the arrogant man is punished, the simple are the wiser;
when the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

The just man appraises the house of the wicked:
there is one who brings down the wicked to ruin.

He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself also call and not be heard.

Responsorial PsalmPS 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44

R. (35) Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
The way of truth I have chosen;
I have set your ordinances before me.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Lead me in the path of your commands,
for in it I delight.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
And I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.

AlleluiaLK 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are those who hear the word of God
and observe it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 8:19-21

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you."
He said to them in reply, "My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it."

#BreakingNews 1st Female President of Vietnam - Đặng Thị Ngọc Trinh

Đặng Thị Ngọc Trinh becomes Vietnam’s first woman president
by Joseph Manh Hung
The 59-year-old jurist with a master's degree in politics has been vice president since January 2016, when the Communist Party Congress reshuffled the country's leadership with the presidency going to Trần Đại Quang, a top conservative leader in the Politburo. The mystery surrounding his death is fuelling the rumour mill. Hanoi (AsiaNews) - For the first time in history, a woman is president of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Appointed after the death of his predecessor Trần Đại Quang, Đặng Thị Ngọc Thịnh (pictured) will be the acting head of state until the National Assembly elects a new leader. Ms Thịnh, a 59-year-old jurist with a master's degree in politics, was first elected vice president in January 2016, when the Communist Party held a congress to renew the country's leadership. That same month, Trần Đại Quang, a key member of the powerful Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Vietnam since 1977, became president. Between 2011 and 2016, he had served as Minister of Public Security. Their appointment signalled the rise of members of the security apparatus inside the Central Committee and the Politburo of the Communist Party, said at the time Prof Carlyle Thayer, a well-known Australian expert on Vietnamese affairs. In Quang’s case, it was the first time that a police general became president of Vietnam, a sign that conservatives had the upper hand in a divided party. According to Thayer, Trần Đại Quang’s appointment has led to greater efforts to fight corruption and pro-democracy activists. During his term in office, he was harshly criticised internationally for cracking down on dissidents, bloggers and journalists. Nonetheless, Quang had worked successfully at improving relations with the United States, especially in relation to Chinese claims in the South China Sea. Daniel Kritenbrink, US ambassador to Vietnam, described the late president as "a friend" of the United States in his message of condolences. The diplomat noted how Donald Trump's visit to Hanoi in November 2017 contributed to "mutual understanding, shared interests, and a common desire to promote peace, co-operation, prosperity and security in the Indo-pacific region.” President Quang had been seriously ill for months, but continued to perform his official duties even though he was visibly tired and had lost weight. Following his death, Vietnamese authorities did not reveal the exact nature of his illness, except to mention "a rare virus". The lack of information about the president’s death after only 28 months into a five-year term has fed the rumour mill. A journalist, who prefers to remain anonymous, said “I was really surprised. Whilst many of the regime’s leaders are healthy or cared for, others like Trần Đại Quang, Nguyễn Bá Thanh or Phạm Quý Ngọ suddenly die of ‘strange illnesses’. They are all victims ... ".
FULL TEXT Release from AsiaNews IT