Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Saint November 22 : St. Cecilia : Patron of #Musicians

St. Cecilia
Feast: November 22
Feast Day:
November 22
Major Shrine:
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome, Italy
Patron of:
Church music,great musicians, poets
Glorious saint, who chose to die
Instead of denying your King. We pray you please to help us As His fair praise we sing!
We lift our hearts in joyous song To honor Him this way, And while we sing, remembering, To sing is to doubly pray.
At once in our hearts and in our tongues 
We offer double prayer Sent heavenward on winged notes 
To praise God dwelling there.
While in our hearts and tongues we try
With song to praise God twice, We ask dear saint, to help us be United closed to Christ!
Today, November 22, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Cecilia (died 117), Virgin and Martyr of the Church. Saint Cecilia is one of the most famous of the Roman martyrs, but the facts of her life have been mostly lost to history. Instead, the Holy Legend of Saint Cecilia has been celebrated since the late fourth century. Saint Cecilia further has the distinction of being the patron saint of music—especially the music used during the celebration of Mass—and the patron saint of musicians, composers, instrument makers, and poets. This association grew from her constant song of Christian love in her heart, present throughout her life. From her Acta: “While the profane music of her wedding was heard, Cecilia was singing in her heart a hymn of love for Jesus, her true spouse.”
Cecilia was born in the early part of the third century, in Rome. Born to wealthy, pagan parents, she was likely instructed in the Catholic faith by kind relatives or a nurse. As a noble family—known for their bravery and intelligence—her parents were likely to have accepted (although possibly not approved) of her Catholic faith. By all reports, even as a child, Cecilia loved music, and she would spend her days singing the praises of God, accompanying herself on various instruments.

#Novena to Saint Cecilia - Prayers to SHARE to the Patroness of #Music - #StCecilia

Cecilia embraced the faith from childhood. Drawn to the Lord, she attended Mass daily, desiring nothing more than to embody the virtues of Christ: faith, hope, charity, humility, and purity. As a child, she consecrated herself a bride of Christ, pledging her perpetual virginity to the Lord. As there were no religious orders for women at that time in history (not for at least 200 more years!), Cecilia was limited in her options. She fasted, prayed, and work sackcloth each day. While she spent her days in charitable works, caring for the poor and needy, her parents were searching for a husband for her to marry. They found an upright and honest man, Valerian, who was pagan like themselves.
Cecilia was torn. Obediently, she wish to do as her parents bade her, but she had made a vow of virginity for the Lord. She spent her days and nights in prayer, offering herself to Jesus, fasting, and enacting harsh penances. As her wedding day approached she did little but pray… until the Lord sent comfort. The Lord promised to send an angel to Saint Cecilia, to guard her, and to assist her in keeping her vow. Cecilia was married in a lavish ceremony, internally, in her soul, becoming the bride of Christ.
After the ceremony, Cecilia said to her new earthly husband: “Dear friend, I have a secret to confide to you, but will you promise me to keep it?”
He promised her solemnly that nothing would ever make him reveal it, and she continued, “An Angel of God watches over me, for I belong to God. If he sees that you would approach me under the influence of a sensual love, his anger will be inflamed, and you will succumb to the blows of his vengeance. But if you love me with a perfect love and conserve my virginity inviolable, he will love you as he loves me, and will lavish on you, too, his favors.”
Upon hearing this, Valerian was at first surprised, and then slightly irritated (as one might expect!). "I am very surprised at what you are telling me and I wish to see this angel!"
"You shall see him," Cecilia gently answered, "when you are purified."
"How shall I become so?" asked Valerian.
"Go to Pope Urban," she instructed him. "When you tell the poor that you are Cecilia's friend, they will take you to see the Pope. He will explain to you the mysteries of the Catholic Faith. May God bless you and my angel protect you."
Valerian, for his part, was moved by the grace of the Lord, and traveled to see Pope Urban that very evening. He was converted to Catholicism and baptized into the faith. Wearing his baptismal gown, he returned to his new bride, finding her accompanied by the angel she had promised. The angel, as emissary from the Lord, bestowed upon them both the golden crowns of heaven. Together, they lived in celibacy, and grew in love for the Lord, eventually converting Valerian’s brother, Tiburtius, a man of some importance in Rome—who upon seeing their heavenly crowns was moved to accept Jesus Christ.
Together the brothers made it their mission to find and provide a decent burial to the Christian martyrs being executed throughout Rome. It was not long, however, until word spread of their endeavor. The Governor of Rome, learning of their Christianity through Tiburtius, summoned the brothers before him. When questioned, they refused to recant their faith, stating: "We are Christians and we believe in Jesus Christ, the One and only true God!"
Upon hearing this, the Governor ordered them martyred. Saint Cecilia, assisted by her angel, recovered and buried the bodies. But soon, she was called before the Governor as well. Courageously, she, too, declared her faith: "I too am a Christian and I believe in Jesus Christ, the One and only true God!"
The Governor was not furious. He sentenced her to death, stating: "Cecilia! You are condemned to die for loving the poor and for adoring Christ crucified!"
But Cecilia was not to be harmed. The soldiers tried to scald and suffocated her in the steam bath in her own home, but rather than suffer, she could be heard singing to the Lord, seemingly accompanied by the choir of angels. After 36 hours, in which she should not have been able to survive, she was released. The Governor then ordered her head cut off, but the guard who attempted sliced her neck three times with a sword, but was unable to sever it. Scared, he ran away, leaving her wounded and in great pain.
Cecilia survived for three days, bleeding and injured, but cared for by her angel and the Christians in the small community that had developed. During that time, she preached, converting many, gave away all that she had to the poor, and prayed incessantly. Many came to visit her, soaking up her blood with cloths and sponges, reporting miracles at her intercession later. On the last day of her life, Pope Urban traveled to her home, bestowing upon her the Last Rites, and seeing her to Heaven. On her wishes, Pope Urban ordered Cecilia's house converted into a church, with the steam bath—the site of the start of her martyrdom—the chapel. To this day, one can still see the pipes where the hot steam poured in, and the stone floor where Cecilia was struck with the sword.
The mysteries of Saint Cecilia’s life did not end in death, but continued. After some years, a grand church was built in Rome to honor her. Pope Pascal I, who undertook to rebuild the church many years later, was troubled that the saints holy body had never been recovered. One Sunday, while praying in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Saint Cecilia appeared to him, consoling him, and declaring that he would find her body. Inspired by her words, a search was begun, and Saint Cecilia’s body was discovered, buried in a cemetery now named after her. Gold cloth wrapped the incorrupt body, and the blood-soaked linens that had bound her neck wound were preserved within the tomb. Nearby, the body of her husband, Saint Valerian, was also discovered. The relics of these saints were moved to Saint Cecilia’s Church in 821.
Nearly 800 years later, in 1599, the tomb of Saint Cecilia was opened, and her body was found to be perfectly persevered and incorrupt. At that time, a sculptor was called in to examine and sculpt the body prior to resealing the tomb. A likeness was made with the following carved into the floor at the alter at the base of the statue:
“Behold the body of the most holy virgin Cecilia, whom I myself saw lying incorrupt in the tomb. I have in this marble expressed for you the same saint in the very same posture.”
The life of Saint Cecilia is one of great mystery, as we are left uncertain of the actual events of her marriage and martyrdom. What we do know, from Holy Legend, is that Cecilia was called by the Lord to devote herself to Him—in service to others, in practice of virtues, and in praise and music—all of which she did gladly and with abandon. Despite many obstacles, Saint Cecilia remained pure in the eyes of the Lord, a heavenly instrument of His love on earth!
Lord of mercy, be close to those who call upon you. With St. Cecilia to help us hear and answer our prayers. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (365RosariesBlog)

The Oldest Nun in the World Dies at Age 110 - RIP Sister Cecylia Roszak - #Nun who Saved Jews during #WWII -

A Polish nun who helped hide Vilna ghetto rebels during Holocaust has died at 110 years of age. Sr. Cecylia Roszak is thought to have been the oldest nun in the world.
She was are Roman Catholic nun that was honored by Israel for helping to hide Jewish resistance fighters in her convent during World War II. She died on November 16, 2018 at age 110. She passed away in the Dominican convent in the city of Krakow.
 The archdiocese of Krakow in Poland announced her death:
W Krakowie zmarła najstarsza siostra zakonna na świecie – Matka Cecylia Maria Roszak z klasztoru sióstr dominikanek „Na Gródku”. Z okazji 110. urodzin, które obchodziła 25 marca tego roku, odwiedził ją #abpMarekJędraszewski.@EpiskopatNews
— Archidiecezja Krakowska (@ArchKrakowska) November 16, 2018 
Roszak was born on March 25, 1908 in the village of Kiełczewo in west Poland and joined the Dominican monastery of Gródek in Krakow when she was 21, the Independent reported.
In 1938 Roszak traveled with a group of nine nuns to Vilnius in Lithuania to set up a new convent, but war interrupted the plans.
 According the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial page dedicated to Anna Borkowska, the mother superior of the convent, the sisters took in 17 members of an illegal Jewish underground movement that formed to fight back against the extermination of the ghetto’s residents.
Borkowska was arrested in 1943 and the convent closed down. She and Roszak both survived the war and the latter returned to the monastery in Krakow, where she worked as an organist and cantor.
In 1984 Yad Vashem gave the members of the convent, including Borkowska and Roszak, its Righteous Among Nations award, which honors non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. (Edited from the Times of Israel)

Pope Francis " God is the only one capable of renewing our heart, as long as we open our hearts to him" FULL Text + Video


St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Catechesis on the Commandments, 14-A: Do not desire the spouse of others; do not want the goods of others.

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Our meetings on the Decalogue lead us today to the last commandment. We listened to it at the beginning. These are not only the last words of the text, but much more: they are the fulfillment of the journey through the Decalogue, touching the heart of all that is delivered in it. In fact, on closer inspection, they do not add a new content: the indications «you will not desire your wife [...], nor anything that belongs to your neighbor» are at least latent in the commands on adultery and theft; what then is the function of these words? Is it a summary? Is it something more?

Keep in mind that all the commandments have the task of indicating the boundary of life, the limit beyond which man destroys himself and his neighbor, spoiling his relationship with God. If you go further, destroy yourself, destroy even the relationship with God and the relationship with others. The commandments signal this. Through this last word the fact is emphasized that all transgressions arise from a common inner root: evil desires. All sins are born of an evil desire. All. There begins to move the heart, and one enters that wave, and ends in a transgression. But not a formal, legal transgression: in a transgression that wounds itself and others.

In the Gospel the Lord Jesus explicitly says: "From within, in fact, from the heart of men, the intentions of evil come out: impurity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these bad things come from within and make man impure "(Mk 7,21-23).

We therefore understand that the whole journey made by the Decalogue would have no use if it did not reach this level, the heart of man. Where do all these bad things come from? The Decalogue shows itself lucid and profound on this aspect: the point of arrival - the last commandment - of this journey is the heart, and if this, if the heart is not liberated, the rest is of little use. This is the challenge: freeing the heart from all these evil and ugly things. The precepts of God can be reduced to being only the beautiful facade of a life that still remains an existence of slaves and not sons. Often, behind the pharisaic mask of suffocating correctness, something ugly and unresolved hides.

We must instead let ourselves be unmasked by these commands on desire, because they show us our poverty, to lead us to a holy humiliation. Each of us can ask ourselves: but what bad wishes do I often come to? Envy, greed, gossip? All these things that come from inside me. Everyone can ask and it will do him good. Man needs this blessed humiliation, that for which he discovers he can not free himself, the one for which he shouts to God to be saved. St. Paul explains it in an insuperable way, referring to the commandment not to desire (cf. Rom 7: 7-24).

It is vain to think of being able to correct oneself without the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is futile to think of purifying our heart in a titanic effort of our sole will: this is not possible. We must open ourselves to the relationship with God, in truth and in freedom: only in this way can our efforts be fruitful, because there is the Holy Spirit who carries us forward.

The task of the Biblical Law is not that of deluding man that a literal obedience leads him to an artificial and, moreover, unattainable salvation. The task of the Law is to bring man to his truth, that is, to his poverty, which becomes an authentic openness, a personal openness to the mercy of God, who transforms and renews us. God is the only one capable of renewing our heart, as long as we open our hearts to him: it is the only condition; He does everything, but we have to open his heart.

The last words of the Decalogue educate everyone to recognize themselves as beggars; they help us to face the disorder of our heart, to stop living selfishly and become poor in spirit, authentic in the presence of the Father, allowing ourselves to be redeemed by the Son and taught by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the teacher who guides us: let us help. We are beggars, we are asking for this grace.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 5: 3). Yes, blessed those who stop deluding themselves by believing that they can save themselves from their weakness without the mercy of God, who alone can heal. Only God's mercy heals the heart. Blessed are those who recognize their evil desires and with a repentant and humbled heart do not stand before God and other men as righteous, but as sinners. It is beautiful that Peter said to the Lord: "Get away from me, Lord, that I am a sinner". This is a beautiful prayer: "Get away from me, Lord, that I am a sinner".

These are those who know how to have compassion, who know how to have mercy on others, because they experience it in themselves.

Je salue cordialement les pèlerins venus de France et d’autres pays francophones, en particulier la chorale Hosanna, de Paris. Chers amis, aujourd’hui nous célébrons la fête de la Présentation de la Vierge Marie. N’ayez pas peur de vous confier à elle pour qu’elle vous conduise vers son Fils Jésus. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Ireland, Nigeria, Israel, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Canada and the United States of America. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace. God bless you!
Einen herzlichen Gruß richte ich an die Pilger deutscher Sprache. Gott steht uns wie ein guter Vater bei. Erkennen wir, dass wir seine Söhne und Töchter sind, die jeden Tag die Gaben seiner Barmherzigkeit empfangen. Der Herr segne euch und eure Familien!
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, en modo particular a los grupos provenientes de España y América Latina. En este día que celebramos la Presentación de la Virgen María en el Templo, los animo a que, siguiendo su ejemplo, sean testigos de la misericordia de Dios en medio del mundo, comunicando la ternura y la compasión que han experimentado en sus propias vidas. Muchas gracias.
Queridos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, a todos vos saúdo, em particular o grupo «Canção Nova» de Curitiba, os membros do Tribunal de Justiça de Pernambuco, os fiéis de São Caetano do Sul e de Santo André, bem como os peregrinos de Fátima. Animo-vos a tomar por modelo da vossa vida pessoal e social a Virgem Maria, que hoje veneramos na sua Apresentação a Deus. O segredo da sua paz e coragem está nesta certeza: «A Deus, nada é impossível». De igual modo possam, os vossos corações, encontrar confiança e conforto na misericórdia que o Senhor derrama, sem nunca se cansar, sobre vós e vossas famílias. Rezai por mim. Obrigado.
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللّغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، يعلّمنا يسوع أنَّ المقاصد السيئة تنبعث من قلوب الناس. حافظوا على قلوبكم لكي تسمح للروح القدس أن يدخل إليها ويحملها على دروب الحب التي تقود إلى الإخوة. ليبارككم الرب!
Serdecznie witam polskich pielgrzymów. W sposób szczególny pozdrawiam obecnych tu członków Towarzystwa Kultury Polskiej Ziemi Lwowskiej we Lwowie na Ukrainie. Jak powiedziałem nieco wcześniej, przykazania ukierunkowują nas na duchowej drodze i uwrażliwiają nasze serca, abyśmy potrafili odkryć nasze słabości i złe pragnienia, i pokornie zawierzać je miłosierdziu Boga. Jego łaska i błogosławieństwo niech stale Wam towarzyszy!

Today, the liturgical memorial of the Presentation of Mary Most Holy at the Temple, we celebrate the Day pro Orantibus, dedicated to the memory of religious cloistered communities: dinners are many! It is a most opportune opportunity to thank the Lord for the gift of so many people who, in monasteries and hermitages, dedicate themselves totally to God in prayer, in silence and in hiding. Do not miss these communities the affection, the closeness, the material support of the whole Church!

* * *

I extend a cordial welcome to Italian-speaking pilgrims.

I am pleased to welcome groups of faithful from the parishes, especially those of Sant'Elpidio a Mare and Salerno; and the Laboratory of courage group, accompanied by Archbishop Renato Boccardo.

I greet the Delegation of the basketball project in the Holy Land; the Food Bank; the International Police Association of Puglia and the Garibaldi-Leone Institute of Trinitapoli.

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

Today we celebrate the memory of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Let us look to the one who generated Christ and venerate her as Mother and powerful help of Christians. From it we learn what it is to consecrate ourselves entirely to the project that God has on each one of us and on the whole world.
* * *

Are You Traveling? Prayer to St. Christopher for Safe #Travels and #Motorists - SHARE #StChristopher 's Prayer!

Saint Christopher Prayer"Motorist's Prayer:" Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye, that no one shall be hurt as I pass by. Thou gavest life, I pray no act of mine may take away or mar that gift of Thine. Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear my company from the evils of fire and all calamity.Teach me to use my car for others need; Nor miss through love of undue speed. The beauty of the world; that thus I may with joy and courtesy go on my way. St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me, and lead me safely to my destiny.
Saint Christopher's Protection Prayer
 Dear Saint Christopher, protect me today in all my travels along the road's way. Give your warning sign if danger is near so that I may stop while the path is clear. Be at my window and direct me through when the vision blurs From out of the blue. Carry me safely to my destined place, like you carried Christ in your close embrace. Amen.

 St. Christopher's Prayer
O Glorious St. Christopher you have inherited a beautiful name, Christbearer, as a result of the wonderful legend that while carrying people across a raging stream you also carried the Child Jesus. Teach us to be true Christbearers to those who do not know Him. Protect all of us that travel both near and far and petition Jesus to be with us always. Amen. Join us on

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. November 21, 2018 - #Eucharist

Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 499

Reading 1RV 4:1-11

I, John, had a vision of an open door to heaven,
and I heard the trumpetlike voice
that had spoken to me before, saying,
"Come up here and I will show you what must happen afterwards."
At once I was caught up in spirit.
A throne was there in heaven, and on the throne sat one
whose appearance sparkled like jasper and carnelian.
Around the throne was a halo as brilliant as an emerald.
Surrounding the throne I saw twenty-four other thrones
on which twenty-four elders sat,
dressed in white garments and with gold crowns on their heads.
From the throne came flashes of lightning,
rumblings, and peals of thunder.
Seven flaming torches burned in front of the throne,
which are the seven spirits of God.
In front of the throne was something that resembled
a sea of glass like crystal.

In the center and around the throne,
there were four living creatures
covered with eyes in front and in back.
The first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf,
the third had a face like that of a man,
and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight.
The four living creatures, each of them with six wings,
were covered with eyes inside and out.
Day and night they do not stop exclaiming:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty,
who was, and who is, and who is to come."
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks
to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
the twenty-four elders fall down
before the one who sits on the throne
and worship him, who lives forever and ever.
They throw down their crowns before the throne, exclaiming:

"Worthy are you, Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things;
because of your will they came to be and were created."

Responsorial PsalmPS 150:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (1b) Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!
Praise the LORD in his sanctuary,
praise him in the firmament of his strength.
Praise him for his mighty deeds,
praise him for his sovereign majesty.
R. Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!
Praise him with the blast of the trumpet,
praise him with lyre and harp,
Praise him with timbrel and dance,
praise him with strings and pipe.
R. Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!
Praise him with sounding cymbals,
praise him with clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath
praise the LORD! Alleluia.
R. Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!

AlleluiaSEE JN 15:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 19:11-28

While people were listening to Jesus speak,
he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem
and they thought that the Kingdom of God
would appear there immediately.
So he said,
"A nobleman went off to a distant country
to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins
and told them, 'Engage in trade with these until I return.'
His fellow citizens, however, despised him
and sent a delegation after him to announce,
'We do not want this man to be our king.'
But when he returned after obtaining the kingship,
he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money,
to learn what they had gained by trading.
The first came forward and said,
'Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.'
He replied, 'Well done, good servant!
You have been faithful in this very small matter;
take charge of ten cities.'
Then the second came and reported,
'Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.'
And to this servant too he said,
'You, take charge of five cities.'
Then the other servant came and said,
'Sir, here is your gold coin;
I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man;
you take up what you did not lay down
and you harvest what you did not plant.'
He said to him,
'With your own words I shall condemn you,
you wicked servant.
You knew I was a demanding man,
taking up what I did not lay down
and harvesting what I did not plant;
why did you not put my money in a bank?
Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.'
And to those standing by he said,
'Take the gold coin from him
and give it to the servant who has ten.'
But they said to him,
'Sir, he has ten gold coins.'
He replied, 'I tell you,
to everyone who has, more will be given,
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king,
bring them here and slay them before me.'"

After he had said this,
he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.