Friday, December 14, 2018

Saint December 15 : St. Mary di Rosa : #Foundress of the Handmaids of Charity

St. Mary di Rosa
Feast: December 15

Feast Day: December 15
Born: November 6, 1813, Brescia, Italy
Died: 1855, Brescia, Italy
Canonized: 12 June 1954 by Pope Pius XII
Foundress of the Handmaids of Charity of Brescia, also called the Servants of Charity. Born into a wealthy family in Brescia, Italy, on November 6, 1813, by age seventeen she was running her father's household and caring for the girls in her father's mill and estate. In the cholera epidemic of 1836, she became well-known as she directed a home for girls and begame another residence for deaf and mute young ladies. In 1840, she became superior of a community that evolved into her congregation. The women of the Servants of Charity ministered to the wounded on the battlefields of northern Italy and in hospitals. Maria died at Brescia on December 15. She was canonized in 1954.

Pope Francis "Christmas is always new, as it invites us to be reborn in faith, to open ourselves to hope, to rekindle charity." FULL Official TEXT + Video

Clementine Hall
Friday, 14 December 2018

Dear friends,
We are preparing for the celebration of Christmas. The event of the birth of Jesus, two thousand years ago, occurs in a precise cultural context. Today, Christmas is celebrated in all parts of the world and is manifested according to the most diverse customs and traditions, generating multiple representations, to which you artists contribute with your talents and your passion.
Christmas is always new, as it invites us to be reborn in faith, to open ourselves to hope, to rekindle charity. This year, in particular, it calls us to reflect on the situation of many men, women and children of our time - migrants, refugees and refugees – on the move to escape wars, miseries caused by social injustices and climate change. To leave everything – home, relatives, homeland – and face the unknown, one must have suffered a very difficult situation.
Jesus too came “from another place”. He dwelt in God the Father, with the Holy Spirit, in a communion of wisdom, light and love, which He wanted to bring us with His coming into the world. He came to dwell among us, in the midst of our limits and our sins, to give us the love of the Most Holy Trinity. And as a man He showed us the “way” of love: namely, service, with humility, to give life.
When Herod’s violent rage struck the territory of Bethlehem, the Holy Family of Nazareth experienced the anguish of persecution and, guided by God, took refuge in Egypt. The little Jesus reminds us that half the refugees in the world today are children, innocent victims of human injustice.
The Church responds to these dramas with many initiatives of solidarity and assistance, hospitality and welcome. There is always much to do, there are so many suffering to soothe and problems to be solved. We need greater coordination, more organized actions, able to embrace every person, group and community, according to the plan of fraternity that unites us all. This is why it is necessary to network.
Creating networks of education, first of all, to educate the little ones among migrants, that is, those who instead of sitting among the school desks, like many of their peers, spend their days making long journeys on foot, or on makeshift and dangerous vehicles. They too need training to be able to work tomorrow and to participate as citizens, aware of the common good. And at the same time it is a question of educating us all in acceptance and solidarity, to prevent migrants and refugees from encountering indifference or, worse, intolerance, on their path.
Creating networks of education means allowing people to get up on their feet, to get back on their feet with full dignity, with the strength and courage to face life, making the most of their talents and their hard work.
Creating networks of education is a valid solution for opening the gates of refugee camps, to allow young migrants to enter new societies, encountering and in turn promoting solidarity and generosity.
I thank the Missioni Don Bosco project in Uganda and that of Scholas Occurrentes in Iraq, because they have collected this call to “network with education”, cooperating in the transmission of the message of hope for Christmas.
The Church’s mission has always manifested itself through the creativity and genius of artists, because they, with their works, are able to reach the most intimate aspects of the conscience of men and women of every age. For this, to you here present, I thank you and encourage you to continue in your work, to enkindle in every heart the warmth and tenderness of Christmas. Thank you, and I wish you a good concert!
SHARED from - Official Translation

Wow Beautiful #Advent Hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" with Stunning Images of Art - will touch your heart - SHARE

An absolutely haunting and beautiful rendition of this song from Linda Ronstadt's "A Merry Little Christmas" album, released in 2000. Stunning vocal performance . . .to SHARE

#BreakingNews Integration of Underground Bishops with Government Approved Bishops in China - Please Pray

Mindong: Msgr. Guo Xijin, underground bishop, gives way to formerly excommunicated Msgr. Zhan Silu
The handover in the state hotel in Beijing, in the presence of Msgr. Claudio Maria Celli. Pope Francis reportedly asked for this "sacrifice" from Msgr. Guo to save the unity of the Church and to guarantee the signing of the agreement between China and the Holy See. Msgr. Celli also requested the withdrawal of the elderly Bishop of Shantou, Msgr. Zhuang Jianjian.
Mindong (AsiaNews) - Msgr. Vincent Guo Xijin, an underground bishop of Mindong, recognized by the Vatican, but not by the government and to date ordinary bishop of the diocese, will leave his ordinary post and give it to Msgr. Vincenzo Zhan Silu, recognized by the government, and one of the seven formerly excommunicated bishops whom Pope Francis has re-admitted to communion.
The news was given yesterday by some diocesan priests. According to one of them, yesterday in the afternoon, Msgr. Guo gathered his priests to communicate the new situation in which he now becomes auxiliary bishop. The prelate had just returned from a trip to Beijing where he met with Msgr. Zhan and with Msgr. Claudio Maria Celli, head of a Vatican delegation (see photo).
Msgr. Celli presented a letter signed by card. Pietro Parolin, secretary of state, and by card. Fernando Filoni, prefect of Propaganda Fide to Msgr. Guo in which they asked the underground bishop to cede his role as ordinary to Msgr. Zhan. Also according to the report of the priests of Mindong, Msgr. Celli would have told Msgr. Guo that Pope Francis himself asks for this gesture of obedience "and of sacrifice for the general situation of the Chinese Church". Many priests and lay faithful are saddened by this news. In the past, when an official bishop reconciled with the Holy See, and in the same diocese there was an underground bishop, he remained as ordinary and the other, just reconciled, became the auxiliary. In this case the opposite occurred. Moreover, in the case of Mindong there is a great imbalance: out of the more than 90 thousand members of the diocese, at least 80 thousand belong to the underground Church, served by 45 priests, 200 nuns, 300 consecrated lay women and hundreds of lay catechists. The official bishop Zhan counts some members among the faithful and 12 priests who serve in different parishes.
According to the report received from AsiaNews, Pope Francis expressed his great appreciation for Msgr. Guo and asked him to personally continue to take care of pastoral care for the underground parishes, but also to find a certain integration with Msgr. Zhan Silu.
At the meeting in Beijing, Msgr. Celli also announced that the underground bishop of Shantou, Msgr. Pietro Zhuang Jianjian will give way to the official bishop Giuseppe Huang Bingzhang, also recently reconciled with the Holy See.
In any case, the decision to give the ordinary position to the two official bishops, much appreciated by the government, seems to have been already made a year ago, on another trip to Beijing by Msgr. Celli. On that occasion, Msgr. Celli would have explained to Msgr. Guo that the Pope himself demanded this step back "because otherwise the [sino-vatican] agreement cannot be signed". The Pope feared that without the agreement - on episcopal appointments - the Chinese Church would be invaded by dozens of illegitimate bishops, with serious consequences for Church unity.
Some priests of Mindong point out that in this way, after 40 years of existence the underground Church will die Others appreciate the extreme obedience shown by Msgr. Guo.
According to other priests, with this passage, the Vatican has consigned the Church into the hands of the government. It should be noted that the meeting between Msgr. Celli and the two bishops of Mindong took place at Diaoyutai, one of the Chinese state hotels for official guests.
One more point remains: in order to be able to exercise his episcopal ministry in an open way, Msgr. Guo needs the approval of the government and the Council of official Chinese bishops.
FULL TEXT Release from Asia News IT

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Fri. December 14, 2018 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 185

Reading 1IS 48:17-19

Thus says the LORD, your redeemer,
the Holy One of Israel:
I, the LORD, your God,
teach you what is for your good,
and lead you on the way you should go.
If you would hearken to my commandments,
your prosperity would be like a river,
and your vindication like the waves of the sea;
Your descendants would be like the sand,
and those born of your stock like its grains,
Their name never cut off
or blotted out from my presence.

Responsorial PsalmPS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R. (see John 8:12) Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord will come; go out to meet him!
He is the prince of peace.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 11:16-19

Jesus said to the crowds:
"To what shall I compare this generation? 
It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another,
'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance,
we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.' 
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said,
'He is possessed by a demon.' 
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said,
'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' 
But wisdom is vindicated by her works."

Saint December 14 : St. John of the Cross : Patron of #Contemplatives; #Mystics; Spanish poets

St. John of the Cross
Feast: December 14

Founder (with St. Teresa) of the Discalced Carmelites, doctor of mystic theology,
b. at Hontoveros, Old Castile, 24 June, 1542;
d. at Ubeda, Andalusia, 14 Dec., 1591. John de Yepes, youngest child of Gonzalo de Yepes and Catherine Alvarez, poor silk weavers of Toledo, knew from his earliest years the hardships of life. The father, originally of a good family but disinherited on account of his marriage below his rank, died in the prime of his youth; the widow, assisted by her eldest son, was scarcely able to provide the bare necessities. John was sent to the poor school at Medina del Campo, whither the family had gone to live, and proved an attentive and diligent pupil; but when apprenticed to an artisan, he seemed incapable of learning anything. Thereupon the governor of the hospital of Medina took him into his service, and for seven years John divided his time between waiting on the poorest of the poor, and frequenting a school established by the Jesuits. Already at that early age he treated his body with the utmost rigour; twice he was saved from certain death by the intervention of the Blessed Virgin.
Anxious about his future life, he was told in prayer that he was to serve God in an order the ancient perfection of which he was to help bring back again. The Carmelites having founded a house at Medina, he there received the habit on 24 February, 1563, and took the name of John of St. Matthias. After profession he obtained leave from his superiors to follow to the letter the original Carmelite rule without the mitigations granted by various popes. He was sent to Salamanca for the higher studies, and was ordained priest in 1567; at his first Mass he received the assurance that he should preserve his baptismal innocence. But, shrinking from the responsibilities of the priesthood, he determined to join the Carthusians. However, before taking any further step he made the acquaintance of St. Teresa, who had come to Medina to found a convent of nuns, and who persuaded him to remain in the Carmelite Order and to assist her in the establishment of a monastery of friars carrying out the primitive rule. He accompanied her to Valladolid in order to gain practi cal experience of the manner of life led by the reformed nuns. A small house having been offered, St. John resolved to try at once the new form of life, although St. Teresa did not think anyone, however great his spirituality, could bear the discomforts of that hovel. He was joined by two companions, an ex-prior and a lay brother, with whom he inaugurated the reform among friars, 28 Nov., 1568. St. Teresa has left a classical description of the sort of life led by these first Discalced Carmelites, in chaps. xiii and xiv of her "Book of Foundations". John of the Cross, as he now called himself, became the first master of novices, and laid the foundation of the spiritual edifice which soon was to assume majestic proportions. He filled various posts in different places until St. Teresa called him to Avila as director and confessor to the convent of the Incarnation, of which she had been appointed prioress. He remained there, with a few interruptions, for over five years. Meanwhile, the reform spread rapidly, and, partly through the confusion caused by contradictory orders issued by the general and the general chapter on one hand, and the Apostolic nuncio on the other, and partly through human passion which sometimes ran high, its existence became seriously endangered.
St. John was ordered by his provincial to return to the house of his profession (Medina), and, on his refusing to do so, owing to the fact that he held his office not from the order but from the Apostolic delegate, he was taken prisoner in the night of 3 December, 1577, and carried off to Toledo, where he suffered for more than nine months close imprisonment in a narrow, stifling cell, together with such additional punishment as might have been called for in the case of one guilty of the most serious crimes. In the midst of his sufferings he was visited with heavenly consolations, and some of his exquisite poetry dates from that period. He made good his escape in a miraculous manner, August, 1578.
During the next years he was chiefly occupied with the foundation and government of monasteries at Baeza, Granada, Cordova, Segovia, and elsewhere, but took no prominent part in the negotiations which led to the establishment of a separate government for the Discalced Carmelites. After the death of St. Teresa (4 Oct., 1582), when the two parties of the Moderates under Jerome Gratian, and the Zelanti under Nicholas Doria struggled for the upper hand, St. John supported the former and shared his fate. For some time he filled the post of vicar provincial of Andalusia, but when Doria changed the government of the order, concentrating all power in the hands of a permanent committee, St. John resisted and, supporting the nuns in their endeavour to secure the papal approbation of their constitutions, drew upon himself the displeasure of the superior, who deprived him of his offices and relegated him to one of the poorest monasteries, where he fell seriously ill. One of his opponents went so far as to go from monastery to monastery gathering materials in order to bring grave charges against him, hoping for his expulsion from the order which he had helped to found.
As his illness increased he was removed to the monastery of Ubeda, where he at first was treated very unkindly, his constant prayer, "to suffer and to be despised", being thus literally fulfilled almost to the end of his life. But at last even his adversaries came to acknowledge his sanctity, and his funeral was the occasion of a great outburst of enthusiasm. The body, still incorrupt, as has been ascertained within the last few years, was removed to Segovia, only a small portion remaining at Ubeda; there was some litigation about its possession. A strange phenomenon, for which no satisfactory explanation has been given, has frequently been observed in connexion with the relics of St. John of the Cross: Francis de Yepes, the brother of the saint, and after him many other persons have noticed the appearance in his relics of images of Christ on the Cross, the Blessed Virgin, St. Elias, St. Francis Xavier, or other saints, according to the devotion of the beholder. The beatification took place on 25 Jan., 1675, the translation of his body on 21 May of the same year, and the canonization on 27 Dec., 1726.
Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia
Feast Day:December 14
24 June 1542, Fontiveros, Spain
Died:December 14, 1591, Ubeda, Andalusia, Spain
Canonized:27 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
Major Shrine:Tomb of Saint John of the Cross, Segovia, Spain
Patron of:contemplative life; contemplatives; mystical theology; mystics; Spanish poets