Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Saint November 8 : Four Crowned Martyrs : Roman

The old guidebooks to the tombs of the Roman martyrs make mention, in connection with the catacomb of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus on the Via Labicana, of the Four Crowned Martyrs (Quatuor Coronati), at whose grave the pilgrims were wont to worship (De Rossi, Roma sotterranea, I, 178-79). One of these itineraries, the "Epitome libri de locis sanctorum martyrum", adds the names of the four martyrs (in reality five): "IV Coronati, id est Claudius, Nicostratus, Simpronianus, Castorius, Simplicitus". These are the names of five martyrs, sculptors in the quarries of Pannonia (now a part of Austria-Hungary, south-west of the Danube), who gave up their lives for their Faith in the reign of Diocletian. The Acts of these martyrs, written by a revenue officer named Porphyrius probably in the fourth century, relates of the five sculptors that, although they raised no objections to executing such profane images as Victoria, Cupid, and the Chariot of the Sun, they refused to make a statue of Æsculapius for a heathen temple. For this they were condemned to death as Christians. They were put into leaden caskets and drowned in the River Save. This happened towards the end of 305. The foregoing account of the martyrdom of the five sculptors of Pannonia is substantially authentic; but later on a legend sprang up at Rome concerning the Quatuor Coronati, according to which four Christian soldiers (cornicularii) suffered martyrdom at Rome during the reign of Diocletian, two years after the death of the five sculptors. Their offence consisted in refusing to offer sacrifice to the image of Æsculapius. The bodies of the martyrs were interred at St. Sebastian and Pope Melchiades at the third milestone on the Via Labicana, in a sandpit where rested the remains of others who had perished for the Faith. Since the names of the four martyred soldiers could not be authentically established, Pope Melchiades commanded that, the date of their death (8 November) being the same as that of the Pannonian sculptors, their anniversary should be celebrated on that day, under the names of Sts. Claudius, Nicostratus, Symphorianus, Castor, and Simplicius. This report has no historic foundation. It is merely a tentative explanation of the name Quatuor Coronati, a name given to a group of really authenticated martyrs who were buried and venerated in the catatomb of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus, the real origin of which, however, is not known. They were classed with the five martyrs of Pannonia in a purely external relationship. Numerous manuscripts on the legend as well as the Roman Martyrology give the names of the Four Crowned Martyrs, supposed to have been revealed at a later date, as Secundus, Severianus, Carpoforus, and Victorius. But these four martyrs were not buried in Rome, but in the catacomb of Albano; their feast was celebrated on 7 August, under which date it is cited in the Roman Calender of Feasts of 354. These martyrs of Albano have no connection with the Roman martyrs described above. Of the four Crowned Martyrs we know only that they suffered death for the Faith and the place where they were buried. They evidently were held in great veneration at Rome, since in the fourth and fifth century a basilica was erected and dedicated in the Caelian Hill, probably in the neighbourhood of spot where tradition located their execution. This became one of the titular churches of Rome, was restored several times and still stands. It is first mentioned among the signatures of a Roman council in 595. Pope Leo IV ordered the relics removed, about 850, from the Via Labicana to the church dedicated to their memory, together with the relics of the five Pannonian martyrs, which had been brought to Rome at some period now unknown. Both group of maryrs are commemorated on 8 November. Text - the Catholic Encyclopedia

Ethiopia Elects 1st Female President Sahle-Work Zewde and She is Welcomed by Catholic Church

Ethiopian members of parliament have elected Sahle-Work Zewde as the country's first female president. Ms Sahle-Work was a diplomat who has now become Africa's only female head of state.
 Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed a cabinet with half the posts taken up by women.
President Sahle-Work promised to work hard to make gender equality a reality in Ethiopia.
She also pledged to promote peace:
"I urge you all, to uphold our peace, in the name of a mother, who is the first to suffer from the absence of peace.''
 She was voted in after the unexpected resignation of her predecessor, Mulatu Teshome.
In Ethiopia the Prime Minsiter Abiy Ahmed  holds the political power.
 President Sahle-Work has served as an ambassador for Ethiopia in Senegal and Djibouti. She has also held a number of UN positions, including head of peace-building in the Central African Republic (CAR). Immediately before becoming president, Ms Sahle-Work was the UN representative at the African Union.
According to Vatican News : The Ethiopian Catholic Church says it is pleased that women in Ethiopia are getting their rightful place in the development of the country. According to a statement from the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat, it is a blessing to see that Ethiopians are recognising the invaluable talent women have to offer to the integral development of the nation. The Church’s affirmation came in a statement made available to Vatican Radio’s Africa Service, following the recent election of Sahle-Work Zewde as the first female President of the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Appointment normalises women as decision makers in public life Ethiopian Members of Parliament recently elected the veteran diplomat as its first-ever female head of state to succeed former president, Mulatu Tehsome, who recently resigned following a cabinet reshuffle. This makes Sahle-Work the only female head of state in Africa after Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf completed her term of office this year.

#BreakingNews Asia Bibi Released from Prison and on a Plane to Unknown Area for Asylum

The Pakistani Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who acquitted of blasphemy after eight years on death row has now been freed from prison.  Saif ul Malook, her lawyer, explained to International News Agencies, that Asia Bibi was "on a plane but no one knows where she is landing". (UPDATE: Pakistan officials have denied Reports that she was flown out of the country)
 When she was acquitted there were violent protests from Islamists. Thus, the government barred her from leaving the country. Her husband made many pleas for asylum explaining they were in great danger in Pakistan. The order to release her had been sent to the prison in the city of Multan, where she was being held. Asia Bibi, also known as Asia Noreen, was convicted in 2010 of insulting the Prophet Muhammad during a row with neighbours. According to reports several countries have offered her asylum. Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudry  told the BBC that security has been "beefed up".
Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, confirmed that Bibi was released from prison, saying he waits her in Europe.

has left the prison and has been transferred to a safe place! I thank the Pakistani authorities. I look forward meeting her and her family, in the European Parliament as soon as possible.

Pope Francis "..Jesus Christ reveals to us the full meaning of the Scriptures. «Do not steal» means: love with your goods, take advantage of your means to love as you can." FULL TEXT + Video


St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Catechesis on the Commandments, 12: Do not steal

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Continuing the explanation of the Decalogue, today we arrive at the Seventh Word: "Do not steal".

Listening to this commandment we think about the theft and respect for the property of others. There is no culture in which theft and abuse of goods are lawful; in fact, human sensitivity is very susceptible to the defense of possession.

But it is worthwhile to open ourselves up to a wider reading of this Word, focusing on the theme of the property of goods in the light of Christian wisdom.

In the social doctrine of the Church we speak of the universal destination of goods. What does it mean? Let us listen to what the Catechism says: "At the beginning, God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common management of humanity, to take care of it, to dominate it with its work and to enjoy its fruits. The goods of creation are destined for all mankind "(No. 2402). And again: "The universal destination of goods remains primary, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for private property, the right to it and its exercise" (No. 2403). [1]

Providence, however, has not arranged a "series" world, there are differences, different conditions, different cultures, so one can live by providing for one another. The world is rich in resources to ensure all primary goods. Yet many live in scandalous poverty and the resources, used without criteria, are deteriorating. But the world is one only! Humanity is one! [2] The wealth of the world, today, is in the hands of the minority, of the few, and the poverty, even the misery and suffering, of many, of the majority.
If there is hunger on earth, it is not because food is missing! Indeed, for the needs of the market we sometimes get to destroy it, it is thrown out. What is lacking is a free and far-sighted entrepreneurship, which ensures adequate production, and a solidarity approach, which ensures fair distribution. The Catechism also says: "Man, using created goods, must consider the external things that he legitimately possesses, not only as his own, but also as common, in the sense that they can benefit not only him but also others" ( No. 2404). Every wealth, to be good, must have a social dimension.

In this perspective the positive and broad meaning of the commandment "do not steal" appears. "The ownership of a good makes him who owns it an administrator of Providence" (ibid.). Nobody is the absolute master of property: he is an administrator of property. Possession is a responsibility: "But I am rich in everything ..." - this is a responsibility you have. And every good removed from the logic of God's Providence is betrayed, it is betrayed in its deepest sense. What I really own is what I can give. This is the measure to evaluate how I manage wealth, whether good or bad; this word is important: what I really own is what I can give. If I can give, I am open, then I am rich not only in what I possess, but also in generosity, generosity also as a duty to give wealth, so that everyone can participate. In fact, if I can not give something, it's because that thing has me, has power over me and I'm a slave. The possession of goods is an opportunity to multiply them with creativity and use them with generosity, and thus grow in love and freedom.

Christ himself, despite being God, "did not consider being a privilege like God, but he emptied himself" (Phil 2: 6-7) and enriched us with his poverty (cf. 2 Cor 8,9).

While humanity struggles to get more, God redeems us by making himself poor: that Crucified Man has paid for all an inestimable ransom from God the Father, "rich in mercy" (Eph 2: 4, see Gc 5,11 ). What makes us rich are not goods but love. So many times we have heard what the people of God say: "The devil enters from his pockets". We start with the love of money, the hunger to possess; then comes the vanity: "Ah, I am rich and I am proud"; and, in the end, pride and pride. This is the devil's way of acting in us. But the front door is the pockets.

Dear brothers and sisters, once again Jesus Christ reveals to us the full meaning of the Scriptures. «Do not steal» means: love with your goods, take advantage of your means to love as you can. Then your life becomes good and possession becomes truly a gift. Because life is not the time to possess but to love. Thank you.

Greetings in Various Languages: 
Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, en particulier le Collège Fénelon-Sainte Marie de Paris. Notre vie n’est pas faite pour posséder mais pour aimer. Efforçons-nous, frères et sœurs, de faire du bien, autant que possible, avec les biens que nous possédons. Notre vie sera bonne et nos biens deviendront un don pour tous. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from Denmark, Japan, the Philippines and the United States of America. I offer a special greeting to the participants in the first International Men’s Meeting here in Rome. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace. God bless you!
Von Herzen grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache, insbesondere die Freunde des Vatikanischen Geheimarchivs aus Bamberg sowie die Schulgemeinschaft der Mädchenrealschule Volkach. Der Herr schenke euch den Reichtum und die Freude eines Lebens im Geist der Hingabe. Wenn wir mit anderen teilen, werden wir nicht arm, sondern reich an dem, was wirklich zählt: reich an Liebe. Der Herr segne euch!
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y Latinoamérica. Que el Señor Jesús nos conceda entender que la vida no es un tiempo para poseer sino para amar con nuestros bienes, porque solo tenemos aquello que sabemos donar. Que la Virgen María nos ampare e interceda por nosotros. Muchas gracias.
Saúdo cordialmente os vários grupos do Brasil e de Portugal e todos os peregrinos presentes de língua portuguesa: obrigado pela vossa presença e sobretudo pelas vossas orações! À Virgem Maria confio os vossos passos ao serviço do crescimento em dignidade humana e divina dos nossos irmãos e irmãs. Sobre vós e vossas famílias, desça a Bênção do Senhor!
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللّغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، أحبُّوا بواسطة خيوركم، واستفيدوا من الوسائل التي تملكونها لكي تحبّوا بحسب قدرتكم؛ لأنَّ الحياة ليست زمنًا للامتلاك وإنما للحب! ليبارككم الرب!Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, w przyszłą niedzielę przypada 100.rocznica niepodległości Polski. Z tej okazji jednoczę się w dziękczynnej modlitwie z wami i z wszystkimi waszymi rodakami. Życzę, by naród polski mógł żyć darem wolności w pokoju i pomyślności, budując szczęśliwą przyszłość ojczyzny w jedności osadzonej na duchowym dziedzictwie przodków i na bratniej miłości. Niech zawsze 
wam towarzyszy opieka Maryi Królowej Polski i Boże błogosławieństwo!

I extend a cordial welcome to Italian-speaking pilgrims.

I am pleased to welcome the Sisters Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with the lay collaborators; the parish groups, especially that of Andria, and the Faculty of Canon Law "Saint Pius X", of Venice, on the 10th anniversary of the erection, accompanied by the Patriarch, Mons. Francesco Moraglia.

I greet the national coordination center for Italian masks; the Association of Wine and Flavors of the Hills of Forlì and Cesena; the "Flying House" Association of Gazzo Veronese; the Comprehensive Institute of San Marco dei Cavoti and the group of gymnastic students of "Azuolynas" of Klaipeda.

A particular thought I address to the young, the elderly, the sick and the newlyweds.

The day after tomorrow we will celebrate the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, the Cathedral of the Pope. Pray for me to always confirm the brothers in the faith. Thank you.

[1] See Enc. Laudato si ', 67: "Every community can take from the goodness of the earth what it needs for its own survival, but it also has the duty to protect it and guarantee the continuity of its fertility for future generations. Ultimately, "of the Lord is the earth" (Ps 24: 1), "the earth and all it contains" belong to him (Dt 10: 14). Therefore God denies any claim to absolute property: "The lands can not be sold forever, because the earth is mine and you are with me as strangers and guests" (Lv 25,23) ».

[2] Cf. St. Paul VI, Enc. Populorum progressio, 17: "But every man is a member of society: he belongs to the whole of humanity. It is not only this or that man, but all men are called to this plenary development. [...] Heirs of past generations and beneficiaries of the work of our contemporaries, we have obligations to all, and we can not lose interest in those who come after us to enlarge the circle of the human family. Universal solidarity, which is a fact and for us a benefit, is also a duty ".

#BreakingNews Asia Bibi is back in Prison as Islamic extremists forced the government to revise the ruling - Please PRAY

As Asia Bibi goes back to prison, husband appeals 'Pray for us'

The Christian woman, acquitted of blasphemy, is back in Multan prison. Her family is not under police protection. For Pakistani activist, “Only our Lord Jesus Christ is our protector.” He adds that Christians love Pakistan “with all our strength”.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) – Asia Bibi, the Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy but still threatened of hanging by Pakistan's Islamic radicals, "is back in Multan prison,” said Joseph Nadeem, executive director of the Renaissance Education Foundation. He spoke to AsiaNews whilst in the company of Asia's husband, Ashiq Masih, and their two daughters.
Despite her exoneration by Pakistan’s highest court, Islamic extremists forced the government to revise the ruling. This is why she is back in prison waiting for another decision.
Since then her family has been in hiding, waiting to embrace her as free woman. In a message to the world, Ashid said, “We need protection. Help us and pray for us, pray for our salvation and justice for Asia Bibi."
For Nadeem, Bibi’s relatives "were very happy after the Supreme Court ruling and could not wait to finally welcome her in their arms".
However, the verdict "triggered protests by fundamentalists throughout the country, blocking roads, causing lawlessness.” To stops this, "unfortunately the government struck a deal [with them]. We hope Asia can reach a safe place as soon as possible to be saved". For the activist. Asia Bibi is "innocent. In theory she ought to be free already. Instead, the government failed to stand up to extremist pressure. This is another reason for the crisis."
"This is not a case that concerns Asia Bibi alone,” he said. “Justice, respect for the law, the Supreme Court and the honorable justices are also involved."
Although contacted by AsiaNews, the leaders of the Pakistani Church have not issued any statement on the matter. Nadeem instead, despite the government caving in, wants to "speak only favourably about our country, which we love with all our strength."
He is certain "that the Supreme Court will not overturn the sentence that its own worthy justices have pronounced".
Lastly, he does not approve of the decision of Saif Mulook, Asia Bibi's defense lawyer, to flee for his life to the Netherlands." We have all received death threats. Anything could happen to us, but we haven’t fled. He received a lot of money to handle the case; yet he left Asia Bibi alone. We need him in Pakistan.”
Asia Bibi’s family "is sad about what's going on, but we're sure she will be released soon. We are not protected by anyone; only our Lord Jesus Christ is our protector."
FULL TEXT Release by Asia News IT

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. November 7, 2018 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 487

Reading 1PHIL 2:12-18

My beloved, obedient as you have always been,
not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent,
work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
For God is the one who, for his good purpose,
works in you both to desire and to work.
Do everything without grumbling or questioning,
that you may be blameless and innocent,
children of God without blemish
in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,
among whom you shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life,
so that my boast for the day of Christ may be
that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
But, even if I am poured out as a libation
upon the sacrificial service of your faith,
I rejoice and share my joy with all of you.
In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me.

Responsorial PsalmPS 27:1, 4, 13-14

R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life's refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Alleluia1 PT 4:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of God rests upon you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 14:25-33

Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
"If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?
Otherwise, after laying the foundation
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
'This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.'
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
and decide whether with ten thousand troops
he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
But if not, while he is still far away,
he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
In the same way,
everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple."