Monday, December 17, 2018

#BreakingNews Wow Pope Francis Celebrates his Birthday with Sick Children! - @Pontifex

Happy 82nd Birthday, Pope Francis!
As Pope Francis celebrates his 82nd birthday on Monday, well-wishers in the Vatican and around the world send their greetings.
Ad multos annos, Franciscus!
Pope Francis on Monday is celebrating his 82nd birthday. He once described birthdays as an occasion in which to “remember all that God has done for us”, saying that “memory is an aspect of life.” and that it is “a great misfortune to lose the memory of all that God has done for us.”

The Pope’s birthdays are always memorable occasions: last year, he threw a “Pizza Party” in which he served a 4m long pizza. The year before that he hosted a birthday breakfast, to which he invited 8 homeless people to taste sweets from his country of origin – Argentina. Three years ago, thousands of people gathered to dance a tango “en masse” for the Pope in St Peter’ Square.

Listen to our report
This year the Pope chose to celebrate his birthday a day early, by throwing a small party for himself and a group of children who are receiving medical care from the “Santa Marta” Paediatric Dispensary inside the Vatican. The children surprised him with a huge cake and the Pope thanked them, expressing how glad he was to be with them. The atmosphere was so warm that the Pope stated that he thought that if the Holy Family had been living in Rome and the Baby Jesus had had a cold, Mary would have surely taken him to the dispensary to be treated.

The children at the dispensary, said the Pope, have so much to teach us.
FULL TEXT Share from VaticanNewsva

What are the O Antiphons of Advent - Beautiful Video and #Secret Meaning #Advent - SHARE - #OAntiphons

THE "O ANTIPHONS" are known from the Roman Breviary as the Antiphonæ majores, "greater antiphons". They come from Old Testament bible passages of Isaiah.

The seven  verses are sung or recited before the Magnificat prayer in the ferial Office of the seven days preceeding the vigil of Christmas; so called because all begin with the interjection "O". Boethius (c. 480-524) made  reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time.
The opening words are:
Dec. 17 - O Sapientia (Wisdom)
Dec. 18 - O Adonai (Lord)
Dec. 19 - O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse)
Dec. 20 - O Clavis David (Key of David)
Dec. 21 - O Oriens (Dayspring)
Dec. 22 - O Rex Gentium (King of the nations)
Dec. 23 - O Emmanuel (God is with us)
A paraphrase of some of these is found in the hymn. "Veni, veni, Emmanuel" .
If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one - Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia - the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” These antiphons are prayers that can help us prepare for the coming of Jesus in Advent.

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,

fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: 

veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other mightily,
and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.


O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel,
qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:

O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm


O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem Gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

O Root of Jesse, stand as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us,
and delay no longer


O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel;
qui aperis, et nemo claudit;
claudis, et nemo aperit:
veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death

O Oriens splendor lucis aeternae,
veni, et illumina sedentes
in tenebris, et umbra mortis

O Dayspring, Splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay


O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver,
the Desire of all nations, and their Salvation:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Compiled from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis calls for an End to the Death Penalty "It is therefore legitimate to enforce the right to life itself..."


Monday, December 17, 2018

Speech delivered by the Holy Father

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:

I greet all of you cordially and wish to express my personal gratitude for the work that the International Commission against the Death Penalty carries out in favor of the universal abolition of this cruel form of punishment. I also appreciate the commitment that each of you has had with this cause in your respective countries.

I have addressed a letter to whoever was your President on March 20, 2015 and I have expressed the commitment of the Church to the cause of abolition in my speech before the United States Congress on September 24, 2015.

I have shared some ideas on this topic in my letter to the International Association of Criminal Law and the Latin American Association of Criminal Law and Criminology, on May 30, 2014. I have deepened them in my address to the five major world associations dedicated to the study of criminal law, criminology, victimology and prison issues, of October 23, 2014. The certainty that every life is sacred and that human dignity must be guarded without exceptions, has led me, from the beginning of my ministry , to work at different levels for the universal abolition of the death penalty.

This has been reflected recently in the new wording of n. 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which now expresses the progress of the doctrine of the last Pontiffs as well as the change in the conscience of the Christian people, which rejects a penalty that seriously harms human dignity (cf., Discourse on the occasion of the XXV anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, October 11, 2017). A penalty contrary to the Gospel because it implies suppressing a life that is always sacred in the eyes of the Creator and of which only God is true judge and guarantor (see Letter to the President of the International Commission against the Death Penalty, March 20, 2009). 2015).

In past centuries, when the instruments available to us for the protection of society were lacking and the current level of development of human rights had not yet been achieved, recourse to the death penalty was sometimes presented as a logical and just consequence. Even in the Papal State, this inhuman form of punishment has been resorted to, ignoring the primacy of mercy over justice.

That is why the new wording of the Catechism implies also taking responsibility for the past and recognizing that the acceptance of this form of punishment was a consequence of a mentality of the time, more legalistic than Christian, that sacralized the value of laws lacking in humanity and mercy. The Church could not remain in a neutral position in the face of the current demands of reaffirmation of personal dignity.

The reform of the text of the Catechism in the point dedicated to the death penalty does not imply any contradiction with the teaching of the past, because the Church has always defended the dignity of human life. However, the harmonious development of the doctrine imposes the need to reflect in the Catechism that, notwithstanding the gravity of the crime committed, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that the death penalty is always inadmissible because it attempts against the law. inviolability and the dignity of the person.

In the same way, the Magisterium of the Church understands that the perpetual penalties, which remove the possibility of a moral and existential redemption, in favor of the condemned and that of the community, are a form of death penalty in disguise (cf. a delegation of the International Association of Criminal Law, October 23, 2014). God is a Father who always awaits the return of the son who, knowing that he has made a mistake, asks for forgiveness and starts a new life. No one, then, can be deprived of his life or the hope of his redemption and reconciliation with the community.

As it has happened in the heart of the Church, it is necessary that a similar commitment be assumed in the concert of the nations. The sovereign right of all countries to define their legal system can not be exercised in contradiction with their obligations under international law nor can it represent an obstacle to the universal recognition of human dignity.

The resolutions of the United Nations on moratorium on the use of the death penalty, which aim to suspend the application of the death penalty in member countries, are a path that must be traveled without implying rejection of the initiative of universal abolition.
On this occasion, I would like to invite all States that have not abolished the death penalty but do not apply it, to continue to comply with this international commitment and that the moratorium be applied not only to the execution of the sentence but also to the imposition of death sentences. The moratorium can not be lived by the condemned as a mere prolongation of the wait for its execution.

To the States that continue to apply the death penalty, I urge you to adopt a moratorium with a view to the abolition of this cruel form of punishment. I understand that to reach abolition, which is the goal of this cause, in certain contexts it may be necessary to go through complex political processes. The suspension of executions and the reduction of crimes punishable by capital punishment, as well as the prohibition of this form of punishment for minors, pregnant women or people with mental or intellectual disabilities, are minimum objectives with which leaders around the world They must commit.

As I have done on previous occasions, I would like to call attention to extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, which are a regrettably recurrent phenomenon in countries with or without legal death penalty. These are deliberate homicides committed by state agents, which are often passed as a result of confrontations with alleged criminals or are presented as unintended consequences of the reasonable, necessary and proportional use of force to protect citizens.

Self-love is a fundamental principle of morality. It is therefore legitimate to enforce the right to life itself, even when it is necessary to inflict a mortal blow on the aggressor (CEC, No. 2264).

Legitimate defense is not a right but a duty for the one who is responsible for the life of another (ibid., N.2226). The defense of the common good requires placing the aggressor in the situation of not being able to cause harm. For this reason, those who have legitimate authority must reject any aggression, even with the use of weapons, whenever this is necessary for the preservation of one's own life or that of the persons in their care. As a consequence, any use of lethal force that is not strictly necessary for this purpose can only be considered an illegal execution, a crime of state.

Any defensive action, to be legitimate, must be necessary and measured. As St. Thomas Aquinas taught, "such an act, in regard to the preservation of one's own life, has nothing illicit, since it is natural for all beings to preserve their existence as much as possible. However, an act that comes from good intention can become illicit if it is not proportionate to the end. Therefore, if one, to defend his own life, uses more violence than the precise one, this act will be unlawful. But if he rejects aggression moderately, the defense will be lawful, since, according to law, it is lawful to repel force with force, moderating defense according to the needs of threatened security "(Summa theologiae, 2-2, q. , a.7).

Finally, I want to share with you a reflection that is linked to the work you do, to your struggle for a truly human justice. Reflections in the legal field and philosophy of law have traditionally dealt with those who injure or interfere in the rights of others. Less attention has sparked the omission to help others when we can. It is a reflection that can not wait anymore.

The traditional principles of justice, characterized by the idea of ​​respect for individual rights and their protection from all interference in them by others, must be complemented by an ethic of care. In the field of criminal justice, this implies a greater understanding of the causes of behavior, its social context, the situation of vulnerability of offenders to the law and the suffering of victims. This way of reasoning, inspired by divine mercy, should lead us to contemplate each specific case in its specificity, and not to deal with abstract numbers of victims and victimizers. In this way, it is possible to address the ethical and moral problems that arise from conflict and social injustice, understand the suffering of the specific people involved and reach other types of solutions that do not deepen those sufferings.
We could say it with this image: we need a justice that besides being a father is also a mother. The gestures of mutual care, characteristic of love that is also civil and political, are manifested in all the actions that seek to build a better world (Cf. Enc. Laudato si ', n.231). The love of society and the commitment to the common good are an excellent form of charity, which not only affects relations between individuals, but also "macro-relations, such as social, economic and political relations" (Benedict XVI, Letter Enc. Caritas in veritate, June 29, 2009, 2: AAS 101 [2009], 642).

Social love is the key to an authentic development: "In order to shape a more human, more dignified society, it is necessary to revalue love in social life -political, economic, cultural-, making it the constant and supreme norm. of the action »(Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, n 582). In this framework, social love moves us to think about great strategies that encourage a culture of care in the different areas of life in common. The work that you do is part of that effort to which we are called.

Dear friends, I thank you again for this meeting, and I assure you that I will continue working together with you for the abolition of the death penalty. The Church is committed to this and I hope that the Holy See will collaborate with the International Commission against the Death Penalty in the construction of the necessary consensus for the eradication of capital punishment and all forms of cruel punishment.

It is a cause to which all men and women of good will are called and a duty for those of us who share the Christian vocation of Baptism. Everyone, in any case, needs the help of God, who is the source of all reason and justice.

I invoke, therefore, for each of you, with the intercession of the Virgin Mother, the light and strength of the Holy Spirit. I bless you with my heart and, please, I ask you to pray for me.

Official Novena for Christmas : Day 1 : #Novena Plenary #Indulgence - SHARE - #ChristmasNovena

Opening Prayer:

V. O God, come to my assistance.

R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father and to
the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, world without


Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.


Day 1 Prayers

The Incarnation.

O most sweet infant Jesus, who descended from the bosom of the eternal Father into the womb of the Virgin Mary, where, conceived by the Holy Ghost, you took upon yourself, O Incarnate Word, the form of a servant for our salvation. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary full of Grace the Lord is with Thee blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

NOVENA PREPARATORY TO CHRISTMAS In order to the devout preparation of ourselves for the glorious Birthday of our most loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, which the holy Church recalls to our memory every year on the 25th of December, and at the same time to render Him thanks for this great benefit, Pope Pius VII., by a Rescript of the Segretaria of the Memorials, dated August 12th, 1815 (which said Rescript is preserved in the Segretaria of the Vicariate), granted to all faithful Christians who, being contrite in heart, should prepare themselves for that great solemnity by a novena, consisting of pious exercises, prayers, acts of virtue, &c. -
i. An indulgence of 300 days each day of the said novena, and -
ii. A plenary indulgence to be gained on Christmas day, or on some day in its octave, by those who, after Confession and Communion, shall have made the said novena every day, and who shall pray according to the intentions of the Sovereigns Pontiff: and note that the Confession and Communion may be made on  any one of the days of the said novena, provided the novena is correctly kept. This was declared by Pope Pius VIII., of holy memory, by means of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 9, 1830. These indulgences were extended by the above-named Pius VII. to one other time in the year, besides the the specified, when any one should make the aforesaid novena in honour of the Child Jesus.

#BreakingNews New Primate of New Ukrainian Autocephalous Church - Epifanyj - with Video

Epifanyj is the primate of the new Ukrainian autocephalous Church (Video)
by Vladimir Rozanskij
The 39-year-old metropolitan was elected to the Unification Council two days ago. Also present were Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, a representative of the Patriarch of Constantinople, two bishops linked to the patriarchate of Moscow, accused of being "Judas". The autocephalous Tomos should be delivered by Constantinople on January 6th.
Moscow (AsiaNews) - The 39-year-old Epifanyj (Dumenko), until now metropolitan of Perejaslav-Khmel'nitsky and Belotserkovsky of the independent Kiev Patriarchate, has been elected primate of the autocephalous Ukrainian Church, which will receive the institutive Tomos from the patriarchate of Constantinople, becoming the chief of the fifteenth Orthodox Church in the world.
The election took place during the Unification Council in Kyiv on December 15 (photo 2), presided over by Metropolitan Emmanuel of Gallia, on behalf of the Patriarch of Constantinople. The candidacy of Epifanyj was decided by the synod of the bishops of the Kiev Patriarchate, which met on December 13th. His young age assumes a symbolic meaning for Russian society: he is the first real exponent of the "Majdan generation" to take a leading role in Ukraine.
Immediately after the Council, President Poroshenko (who sat at the Council's side of the President, together with Senate President Andrej Parubyj and former President Viktor Jushenko - see photo 3) turned to the crowd with the exclamation "Glory to God, and glory to Ukraine!", while the first words of the newly elected primate, more modestly, were: "We succeeded, overcoming all the difficulties! "(see video). On the morning of December 16, the new head of the Ukrainian Church celebrated its first Sunday Divine Liturgy in the church of the Golden Monastery of St. Michael, one of the oldest in the city.
According to local sources, the head of the new church was chosen by secret ballot in the second round, after Epifanyj had already obtained the majority in the first round. Metropolitan Mikhail of Volynia and Lutsk reportedly came in second place, and Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnitsa and Bar in third, the latter coming from the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow. Together with the other "Russian" metropolitan Aleksandr (Drobinko), he was called "Judas" by Metropolitan Ilarion (Alfeev), head of the external relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, who immediately declared after the election: "If among the 12 apostles there was a Judah, we could expect that at least 6 or 7 of them would come out of it. "
The newly elected primate assumed the title of metropolitan of Kiev and of all of Ukraine (not that of patriarch). Epifanyj was born on 3 February 1979 in the village of Volkovo, in the Ivanovsk province of the Odessa region, into a family of workers. In 1999 he concluded his studies at the Kiev seminary, and in 2004 those in the theological academy of the patriarchate, with a license in theology. He pronounced his monastic vows in 2007, and after a period of study and monastic practice in Greece he became secretary of the patriarch Filaret (Denisenko). In 2009 he was consecrated bishop of Vyshgorod, becoming metropolitan in 2013. Among his roles are the administration of the parishes of the Kiev region, the direction of the Theological Academy and the Committee for the studies of the patriarchate.
According to the approved statutes, the new Church will be autocephalous, that is independent of all the other local Churches, obviously including the "opposing" one of Moscow, which however does not recognize the canonicity of this election. It will be governed by the local Church Council (to be convened every 5 years), guided in turn by a permanent Synod formed by the primate together with 12 bishops (who will meet at least once a year). For the first time the Synod foresees the presence of representatives of the three unified Churches (patriarchy, autocephalous and Muscovite), while the canonization of the saints and the consecration of miron, the sacred chrism, are reserved to Constantinople. These and other possible rules will be specified by Tomos which, according to the forecasts, will be handed over to Epifanyj by Patriarch Bartholomew (Archontonis) on January 6th in Constantinople, on the eve of the Orthodox Christmas.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday December 17, 2018 - #Eucharist in #Advent

Monday of the Third Week in Advent
Lectionary: 193

Reading 1GN 49:2, 8-10

Jacob called his sons and said to them:
“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel, your father.

“You, Judah, shall your brothers praise
–your hand on the neck of your enemies;
the sons of your father shall bow down to you.
Judah, like a lion’s whelp,
you have grown up on prey, my son.
He crouches like a lion recumbent,
the king of beasts–who would dare rouse him?
The scepter shall never depart from Judah,
or the mace from between his legs,
While tribute is brought to him,
and he receives the people’s homage.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 72:1-2, 3-4AB, 7-8, 17

R. (see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
The mountains shall yield peace for the people,
and the hills justice.
He shall defend the afflicted among the people,
save the children of the poor.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 1:1-17

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,
whose mother was Tamar.
Perez became the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab became the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab.
Boaz became the father of Obed,
whose mother was Ruth.
Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon,
whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asaph.
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah became the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amos,
Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile,
Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud.
Abiud became the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok.
Zadok became the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar.
Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Thus the total number of generations
from Abraham to David
is fourteen generations;
from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations;
from the Babylonian exile to the Christ,
fourteen generations.