Saturday, August 31, 2019

Saint September 1 : St. Giles the Patron of Breast Cancer , Beggars and Disabled with Novena Prayer

ABBOT
Feast: September 1
Information: Feast Day: September 1

Born: Athens, Greece

Died: France
Major Shrine: St. Giles' Cathedral (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Patron of: beggars; blacksmiths; breast cancer; breast feeding; cancer patients; disabled people; epilepsy; fear of night; forests; hermits; horses; lepers; mental illness; noctiphobics; outcasts; poor peoples; rams; spur makers; sterility;
An Abbot, said to have been born of illustrious Athenian parentage about the middle of the seventh century. Early in life he devoted himself exclusively to spiritual things, but, finding his noble birth and high repute for sanctity in his native land an obstacle to his perfection, he passed over to Gaul, where he established himself first in a wilderness near the mouth of the Rhone and later by the River Gard. But here again the fame of his sanctity drew multitudes to him, so he withdrew to a dense forest near Nîmes, where in the greatest solitude he spent many years, his sole companion being a hind. This last retreat was finally discovered by the king's hunters, who had pursued the hind to its place of refuge. The king [who according to the legend was Wamba (or Flavius?), King of the Visigoths, but who must have been a Frank, since the Franks had expelled the Visigoths from the neighbourhood of Nîmes almost a century and a half earlier] conceived a high esteem for solitary, and would have heaped every honour upon him; but the humility of the saint was proof against all temptations. He consented, however, to receive thenceforth some disciples, and built a monastery in his valley, which he placed under the rule of St. Benedict. Here he died in the early part of the eighth century, with the highest repute for sanctity and miracles.
His cult spread rapidly far and wide throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, as is witnessed by the numberless churches and monasteries dedicated to him in France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the British Isles; by the numerous manuscripts in prose and verse commemorating his virtues and miracles; and especially by the vast concourse of pilgrims who from all Europe flocked to his shrine. In 1562 the relics of the saint were secretly transferred to Toulouse to save them from the hideous excesses of the Huguenots who were then ravaging France, and the pilgrimage in consequence declined. With the restoration of a great part of the relics to the church of St. Giles in 1862, and the discovery of his former tomb there in 1865, the pilgrimages have recommenced. Besides the city of St-Gilles, which sprang up around the abbey, nineteen other cities bear his name, St-Gilles, Toulouse, and a multitude of French cities, Antwerp, Bridges, and Tournai in Belgium, Cologne and Bamberg, in Germany, Prague and Gran in Austria-Hungary, Rome and Bologna in Italy, possess celebrated relics of St. Giles. In medieval art he is a frequent subject, being always depicted with his symbol, the hind. His feast is kept on 1 September. On this day there are also commemorated another St. Giles, an Italian hermit of the tenth century (Acta SS., XLI, 305), and a Blessed Giles, d. about 1203, a Cistercian abbot of Castaneda in the Diocese of Astorga, Spain (op. cit. XLI, 308).
SOURCE the Catholic Encyclopedia
Novena in Honor of St. Giles
Preparatory Prayer 
For Each  Novena to a Holy Helper
ALMIGHTY and eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy Divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy Heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy Divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the Saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy Divine Son.
Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saying, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul. Amen. Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be each day of the Novena.
Prayer in Honor of St. Giles
O GOD, we beseech Thee to grant us, through the merits and intercession of St. Giles, to flee from the vanity and praise of this world, to avoid carefully all occasions of sin, to cleanse our hearts from all wickedness by a sincere Confession, to leave this world in Thy love and rich in good works, and to find Thee gracious on the day of judgment. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Invocation of St. Giles
ZEALOUS follower of Christ, St. Giles; from early youth thou didst take to heart the words of our Savior: "Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart." Therefore thou didst flee from the praise and honors of the world, and wast rewarded with the grace to preserve thy heart from all sin and to persevere in a holy life to a ripe old age. I, on my part, through pride, self-confidence, and negligence, yielded to my evil inclinations, and thereby sinned grievously and often, offending my God and Lord, my Creator and Redeemer, my most loving Father. Therefore I implore thee to help me through thy mighty intercession to be enlightened by the Holy Ghost, that I may know the malice, grievousness, and multitude of my sins, confess them humbly, fully, and contritely, and receive pardon, tranquillity of heart, and peace of conscience from God. Amen.
Prayer
My Lord and God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the Saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena.
Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen.
SOURCE:
THE FOURTEEN HOLY HELPERS, Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, O.F.M. 

#BreakingNews Christian Baseball Player's Pro-Life Wife with Baby and Mother-in-law Killed - Blake says "... I do know God has a plan even though I can’t see it.”


Blake Bivens, the minor-league baseball player lost his wife and child in a shooting. He wrote a Facebook post expressing his grief.

Emily and little one-year-old Cullen Bivens were killed by Blake’s brother-in-law on Tuesday. The suspect has since been charged with triple murder — the third victim was his own mother, also shot dead.
Emily and Blake married in 2016, before having Cullen in 2018. On her Instagram, Emily described herself as, a “follower of Jesus” and someone who was “Amazed by His grace.” On Facebook, she was a great witness for pro-life causes.

Blake wrote on Facebook:
“My life as I knew it is destroyed. The pain my family and I feel is unbearable and cannot be put into words. I shake and tremble at the thought of our future without them,” Bivens wrote.

“Emily, my sweetheart, you are the best wife and mother this world has ever seen. You made me into the man I am today and you loved me with all of my flaws. You brought our precious baby boy into this world and made our family complete. Your love and kindness changed countless lives, including mine.

My sweet little boy, dada loves you so much! I can’t breathe without you here. I finally understood what love was when you were born and I would have done anything for you. You have changed my life forever, you are my reason why. I long to hold the both of you again in heaven. I’m so glad you are with all your Great-grandmothers now, I know they are eating you up. This earth did not deserve either of you; you were just too wonderful to comprehend.”


“We will not let the devil win!” he said. “Thank you God for giving me the most wonderful family in the world! I’ve been blessed beyond belief.”


“I am comforted by all the messages and well wishes,” Blake concluded. “I’m not sure what is next for me, but I do know God has a plan even though I can’t see it.”
*********************

A GoFundMe campaign set up as the “Emily Bivens Family Fund” with prayers and condolences for Blake and his family.


Alongside being mother to Cullen, Rachel also wrote for Baseball Chapel — an organization that provides spiritual support to professional baseball players and their families.


In an article dated July 31 of this year, Rachel talked about God guides us through the storms of life.

“There are so many circumstances in our lives and the lives of people we have the privilege of knowing that looked bad at first, but were turned around for good,” she wrote. “I’m sure you can think of many in your own life as well. God is a Master at making things beautiful (Ecclesiastes 3).”


Emily’s mother, Joan, was also killed in the shooting. She was described in her obituary as having “devoted her life to being the best Mama and Nana there ever was.”

“She was an active member of her church family at Central Boulevard Church of God,” the obituary continued. “The light of Jesus poured from her onto everyone she met. She treasured her family and spent most of her time with them.”

Emily’s father was at the house of the time of the killings but was unhurt.

Continue to pray for Blake and the family at this devastating time.
Images Source: Google Images of Fabwags- Edited from FaithWire

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday, August 31, 2019 - #Eucharist


Saturday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 430

Reading 11 THES 4:9-11

Brothers and sisters:
On the subject of fraternal charity
you have no need for anyone to write you,
for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another.
Indeed, you do this for all the brothers throughout Macedonia.
Nevertheless we urge you, brothers and sisters, to progress even more,
and to aspire to live a tranquil life,
to mind your own affairs,
and to work with your own hands,
as we instructed you.

Responsorial PsalmPS 98:1, 7-8, 9

R.(9) The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

AlleluiaJN 13:34

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"A man going on a journey 
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one– 
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master's money.
After a long time 
the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents
came forward bringing the additional five.
He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
'Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
'Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.'
His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then!  Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'"

Friday, August 30, 2019

Saint August 31 : St. Raymond Nonnatus - a Pro-Life Saint and the Patron of Pregnant, Midwives and Newborns with Novena Prayer

(In Spanish SAN RAMON). Born 1200 or 1204 at Portello in the Diocese of Urgel in Catalonia; died at Cardona, 31 August, 1240. His feast is celebrated on 31 August. He is pictured in the habit of his order surrounded by ransomed slaves, with a padlock on his lips. He was taken from the womb of his mother after her death, hence his name. Of noble but poor family, he showed early traits of piety and great talent. His father ordered him to tend a farm, but later gave him permission to take the habit with the Mercedarians at Barcelona, at the hands of the founder, St. Peter Nolasco. Raymond made such progress in the religious life that he was soon considered worthy to succeed his master in the office of ransomer. He was sent to Algiers and liberated many captives. When money failed he gave himself as a hostage. He was zealous in teaching the Christian religion and made many converts, which embittered the Mohammedan authorities. Raymond was subjected to all kinds of indignities and cruelty, was made to run the gauntlet, and was at last sentenced to impalement. The hope of a greater sum of money as ransom caused the governor to commute the sentence into imprisonment. To prevent him from preaching for Christ, his lips were pierced with a red-hot iron and closed with a padlock. After his arrival in Spain, in 1239, he was made a cardinal by Gregory IX. In the next year he was called to Rome by the pope, but came only as far as Cardona, about six miles from Barcelona, where he died. His body was brought to the chapel of St. Nicholas near his old farm. In 1657 his name was placed in the Roman martyrology by Alexander VII. He is invoked by women in labour and by persons falsely accused. The appendix to the Roman ritual gives a formula for the blessing of water, in his honour, to be used by the sick, and another of candles. Text shared from The Catholic Encyclopedia
NOVENA TO
SAINT RAYMOND NONNATUS
Glorious St. Raymond, filled with compassion for those who invoke you
and with love for those who suffer heavily burdens
with the weight of my troubles,
I cast myself at your feet
and humbly beg of you to take my present concerns
which I recommend to you under your special protection.

[Mention your intention(s) here...]

Promise to recommend these to the Blessed Virgin Mary
and lay them before the Throne of Jesus,
so that He may bring it to a happy ending.
Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted.
Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day
coming face to Face with God,
and with you, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints
praising and blessing together for all eternity.

Amen.

Good St. Raymond,
pray for us and obtain our request.

Good St. Raymond,
pray for us and obtain our request.

Good St. Raymond,
pray for us and obtain our request.

Say 1 Our Father..., Say 1 Hail Mary..., Say 1 Glory Be... (Say these prayers for 9 days)

Free Catholic Movie : A Time for Miracles - on St. Elizabeth Ann Seton - Stars Kate Mulgrew

A Time for Miracles (1980) 1h 37min | Biography, Drama | TV Movie 21 December 1980
 A true story about Saint Elizabeth Bayley Seton, the first American to ever be canonized as a saint by the Pope. She took up Catholicism after the death of her rich husband, fought bigotry and opened free catholic schools and orphanages. Director: Michael O'Herlihy Writer: Henry Denker
Stars: Kate Mulgrew, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Rossano Brazzi | 

Pope Francis' Special Message to people of Mozambique in Africa before Visit "you are all in my prayers."


Pope prays for reconciliation process ahead of Mozambique visit
Pope Francis sends his greetings to the people of Mozambique ahead of his Apostolic Journey on 4-6 September, asking them to pray for him and for reconciliation in the southern African nation.
Vatican News report: By Devin Watkins

The Pope sets off on his Apostolic Journey to Mozambique, Madagascar, and Mauritius next Wednesday.

His first stop is in Maputo, the Mozambiqan capital, where he will meet with civil, interreligious, and Church authorities, and celebrate Mass for local Catholics.

Speaking in Portuguese in a video message sent Friday ahead of his arrival, Pope Francis said his heart reaches out to embrace all the people of Mozambique, even though he is “unable to go beyond the capital”.
Some had hoped he might visit areas hit by Cyclone Idai earlier this year, which caused widespread destruction and loss of life, especially in the coastal city of Beira. At least 600 people died as the storm brought massive flooding and high winds.

But Pope Francis did not forget them, saying that his fraternal embrace extends especially to “those who live in difficult situations.”

“I would like to leave you with this certainty: you are all in my prayers. I look forward to meeting you,” he said.

Reconciliation and peace
The Holy Father went on to thank Mozambique’s president and Catholic bishops for inviting him to visit.

He urged everyone to pray with him for the reconciliation process underway in the country.

The Pope said “fraternal reconciliation” is needed in Mozambique and throughout Africa, calling it “the only hope for a solid and lasting peace.”

The Catholic Church – particularly through the St Egidio Community –worked tirelessly to help seal a peace deal between warring factions. The ruling Frelimo party and former guerrilla movement, Renamo, signed a permanent ceasefire in early August 2019.

More than 1 million people were killed in Mozambique’s civil war that raged from 1977 until 1992, when a truce was inked, though violence has flared periodically.


Pope Francis also made mention of Pope St John Paul II’s visit in 1988, when the civil war was still raging.

The Holy Father said his journey will allow him to see how the seed of peace sown by his predecessor is growing.

“This Journey will allow me to meet the Catholic community and confirm it in its witness to the Gospel,” he said, “which affirms the dignity of every man and woman and asks us to open our hearts to others, especially the poor and needy.”

Gratitude for prayers
The Pope closed his greetings to the people of Mozambique by extending his thanks to those preparing for his visit through their hard work and prayers.

And he prayed that God might bless the nation’s people and that the Virgin Mary protect them.

“See you soon!” he said.
FULL TEXT Source: VaticanNews.va

US Bishops' Conference on case where Nurse was Forced to Participate in Abortion saying “It is a grotesque violation of civil rights, and of federal law, to force someone to perform or participate in an abortion..."

USCCB Committee Chairmen Commend Administration for Actions Enforcing Conscience Law on Abortion

 
August 29, 2019
WASHINGTON-The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights announced yesterday that it is taking corrective action against the University of Vermont Medical Center for forcing a nurse to participate in an elective abortion against the nurse’s beliefs, in violation of the federal Church amendment. The Church amendment, enacted in 1973, prohibits recipients of various federal health program funding from forcing health care personnel to perform or participate in abortions against their religious beliefs or moral convictions. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester, Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, issued the following statement in response to this enforcement action:
“It is a grotesque violation of civil rights, and of federal law, to force someone to perform or participate in an abortion against their beliefs. The action by the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC), forcing a nurse to participate in the killing of a defenseless unborn child under threat of job loss, and other coercive pressure, is abhorrent. We commend and thank the Administration for taking corrective action to enforce the law. Sadly, such violations of federal conscience laws are not infrequent. We hope that today’s action, and future actions by this Administration, will help ensure that no one is forced to participate in an abortion against their beliefs.”
FULL TEXT Release by USCCB
Image Source: Google Images 

Quote to SHARE by St. Augustine “If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don't like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.”


“If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don't like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.”
 by St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church

BREAKING 30,000 People Protest against Sexual Violence of Police in Hong Kong as ongoing Demonstrations continue


UPDATEAgnes Chow and Andy Chan arrested with Wong on the eve of a new anti-government demonstration, now banned by the authorities. About 900 people have been arrested since June, when protests against the extradition bill began. There are fears that China might send military. Please Pray....Asia News Report: 30,000 protest police sexual violence against Hong Kong demonstrators
by Paul Wang
A woman was stripped naked in a search; another was dragged half-naked; others  given offensive slurs. The August 31 demonstration is in doubt: the police fear violence. Tanks in the streets of Hong Kong: for Xinhua this is routine.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - At least 30,000 people attended a rally in Central last night to protest the sexual violence that police allegedly married out against anti-extradition demonstrators, particularly women.

The participants wore a purple bow as a sign of solidarity. The organizers say that during the demonstrations taking place in Hong Kong in recent weeks, the police have often humiliated women to inhibit their participation in the movement.

In one case, the police are accused of completely stripping a woman demonstrator during a search at a police station. In another case, a video shows a half-naked woman being dragged away by policemen in Tin Shui Wai. In another, some women accuse the police of having insulted them with offensive slurs.

According to a survey conducted on August 21, since the beginning of the anti-extradition protests last June, 46 out of 221 women reported having been sexually abused; 23 of them accuse policemen or members of the police. Yesterday's rally was meant to be ideally linked with the international "Me too" movement, against violence against women.

A few hours before the rally, superintendent John Tse Chun-chung defended the police, saying that it has specific policies to protect the rights of prisoners.

The gathering ended peacefully, with an invitation to participate in the march on August 31, organized by the Civil Front for Human Rights.

Meanwhile, rumors are spreading that the police will not give permission for this march due to fears of violence. Another rally organized by the Front, on August 18, brought together 1.7 million people and took place in a peaceful manner.

This morning, the local media report photos of trucks and tanks in the streets of Hong Kong (photo 3). The photos were taken before dawn.

Xinhua immediately specified that the movement of troops, at 4 this morning, is due to an annual rotation of the personnel and the garrison vehicles of the Chinese army stationed in Hong Kong.

Many people and experts fear that the demonstrations that have been going on in the territory for 12 weeks, could provoke a military intervention by Beijing, in a remake of the Tiananmen massacre.
FULL TEXT from Asia News IT 

#BreakingNews Catholic Priest Killed and Set on Fire by Bandits in Nigeria - RIP Father David Tanko

A group of unidentified bandits, attacked and killed Reverend Father David Tanko, a Catholic priest at Kufai Amadu in Takum, Taraba State, in Nigeria, Africa. He was on his way to Takum for a peace meeting with his fellow clergymen on how to resolve the lingering Tiv, Jukun crisis when he was killed. After killing him, the attackers set him and his car on fire.
 In neighbouring Donga Local Government Area (LGA), a student of ECWA Seminary School, was in the early hours of Wednesday killed on his farm. recalls that the Catholic Parish Priest of St. James the Greater Parish, Ugbawka, in Enugu state, Rev Fr Paul Offu was reportedly killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen on Thursday evening.
 The Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Jalingo, Bishop Charles Hammawa, on Thursday, condemned the killing of Rev. Fr. David Tanko of St. Peter’s Catholic Parish Amadu, Taraba by yet- to-be-identified bandits. DAILY POST had reported that a group of unidentified bandits, on Thursday attacked and killed Reverend Father David Tanko, a catholic priest at Kufai Amadu in Takum, Taraba State.
The Bishop said Fr Tanko was killed between Kasuan Haske and Tortsee on his way to Amadu from Takum in Takum Local Government Council of Taraba. He said “We received the news of his death with shock and great sadness, the diocese is mourning. “We have been preaching peace and making efforts to bring the parties that were enmeshed in crisis in the area together for a round table discussion. ”For a priest who has been preaching peace to be killed in this most gruesome manner is pathetic, to say the least, a priest belongs to all. “For now, we are not pointing accusing finger at any group for being responsible.’’
 Hammawa said that the wake in honour of the priest will hold on Monday, Sept 2, 2019 while the burial would take place on Tuesday at the Diocesan Cemetery in Jalingo.
Edited from Nigeria's Daily Post
This is part of ongoing violence against Christians in Nigeria which has seen thousands killed over the years and several priests murdered...Please Pray for Peace.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday, August 31, 2019 - #Eucharist

Reading 1, First Thessalonians 4:1-8

1 Finally, brothers, we urge you and appeal to you in the Lord Jesus; we instructed you how to live in the way that pleases God, and you are so living; but make more progress still.
2 You are well aware of the instructions we gave you on the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3 God wills you all to be holy. He wants you to keep away from sexual immorality,
4 and each one of you to know how to control his body in a way that is holy and honourable,
5 not giving way to selfish lust like the nations who do not acknowledge God.
6 He wants nobody at all ever to sin by taking advantage of a brother in these matters; the Lord always pays back sins of that sort, as we told you before emphatically.
7 God called us to be holy, not to be immoral;
8 in other words, anyone who rejects this is rejecting not human authority, but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 97:1, 2, 5-6, 10, 11-12

1 Yahweh is king! Let earth rejoice, the many isles be glad!
2 Cloud, black cloud enfolds him, saving justice and judgement the foundations of his throne.
5 The mountains melt like wax, before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his saving justice, all nations see his glory.
10 Yahweh loves those who hate evil, he keeps safe his faithful, rescues them from the clutches of the wicked.
11 Light dawns for the upright, and joy for honest hearts.
12 Rejoice in Yahweh, you who are upright, praise his unforgettable holiness.

Gospel, Matthew 25:1-13

1 'Then the kingdom of Heaven will be like this: Ten wedding attendants took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
2 Five of them were foolish and five were sensible:
3 the foolish ones, though they took their lamps, took no oil with them,
4 whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps.
5 The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep.
6 But at midnight there was a cry, "Look! The bridegroom! Go out and meet him."
7 Then all those wedding attendants woke up and trimmed their lamps,
8 and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, "Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out."
9 But they replied, "There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves."
10 They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed.
11 The other attendants arrived later. "Lord, Lord," they said, "open the door for us."
12 But he replied, "In truth I tell you, I do not know you."
13 So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Saint August 30 : St. Jeanne Jugan, Founder of the Little Sisters of the Poor, who was on fire with love for God! - with Novena Prayer



































Who is Jeanne Jugan? Jeanne Jugan, a Saint for old age and every age
Jeanne Jugan is the foundress and first Little Sister of the Poor. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 3, 1982 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009.

A Saint for old age and every age

Jeanne Jugan gave herself entirely to God and the elderly poor. As our aging population continues to grow and dignity at the end of life is increasingly threatened, Jeanne Jugan offers herself as a friend and patron of the elderly. She is a Saint for old age.

But she is more than that!

Jeanne is a Saint for every age as she challenges young people to give themselves to God and neighbor.
She is a role model for those who care for the poor, the sick and the aging.
To those who feel anxious in these tough economic times, she offers an invitation to live the Beatitudes, trusting that God will provide.
She challenges all of us to do everything through love.
Jeanne is a friend of God and a hero for the poor. She is a Gospel witness for our time and a Saint for all times!

Her Life

Growing up in hard times
Jeanne Jugan grew up in a small town in revolutionary France. Times were tough. Violence ruled the day. For thousands, begging was a way of life.
Those who openly practiced their faith were not merely ridiculed—they were imprisoned or killed. Jeanne received her faith formation—secretly and at great risk—from her mother and a group of women who belonged to an ecclesial movement of the day.
By the time Jeanne was four years old her father had been lost at sea. Her mother found odd jobs to make ends meet. Neighbor helped neighbor. As a young girl Jeanne worked as a shepherdess. She learned to knit and spin wool. Later she went to work as a kitchen maid for a wealthy family.

On fire with love for God

Jeanne barely learned to read and write. Her education consisted mostly of on-the-job training in the school of real life. Neither beautiful nor talented in the usual sense, she was gifted with an extraordinary heart. Jeanne was on fire with love for God!
Those who let themselves be seized by the love of Christ cannot help abandoning everything to follow him… Barely out of her teens, Jeanne felt the call of divine love. Preparing to leave home, she told her mother “God wants me for himself. He is keeping me for a work which is not yet founded.”
Jeanne took the road less traveled, setting out to work among the poor and forsaken in a local hospital.

Jeanne meets Christ in the Poor
Many years went by before Jeanne discovered her vocation. Finally, one cold winter night she met Jesus Christ in the person of an elderly, blind and infirm woman who had no one to care for her. Jeanne carried the woman home, climbed up the stairs to her small apartment and placed her in her own bed. From then on, Jeanne would sleep in the attic.
God led more poor old people to her doorstep. Generous young women came to help. Like Jeanne, they wanted to make a difference. Like her, they believed that “the poor are Our Lord.” A religious community was born!
There were so many old people in need of a home, so many souls hungry for love! The work rapidly spread across France and beyond. Struck by their spirit of humble service, local citizens dubbed the group the Little Sisters of the Poor. The name stuck!
For herself Jeanne chose the religious name Sister Mary of the Cross. She would live it in its fullness.…
Jeanne is grafted into the cross
The work of the Little Sisters continued to spread, borne by the wind of the Spirit. So did Jeanne’s renown—until one day she was mysteriously cast aside by an ambitious priest who had taken over the direction of the young community.
Jeanne was replaced as superior and sent out begging on behalf of the poor. And then one day she was placed in retirement, relegated to the shadows. At the time of her death 27 years later, the young Little Sisters didn’t even know that she was the foundress.
Jeanne had often told them, “We are grafted into the cross and we must carry it joyfully unto death.” How she lived these words! What a radiant example of holiness she gave to generations of Little Sisters!

God lifts up the lowly

Like the grain of wheat that falls into the earth and dies, Jeanne’s life would bear much fruit. Thousands of young women followed in her footsteps. The Little Sisters’ mission of hospitality spread to the ends of the earth, like a great wave of charity.
In his time, God would raise Jeanne up. At her beatification Pope John Paul II said that “God could glorify no more humble a servant than she.”
Pope Benedict said that Saint Jeanne’s canonization would “show once again how living faith is prodigious in good works, and how sanctity is a healing balm for the wounds of humankind.”

A friend of the poor — a Gospel witness for our time — a Saint for old age and every age!

Shared from Little Sisters of the Poor Website

#BreakingNews 150 Eritrean Christians including Children Arrested by Government


WWM Release: At least 150 Eritrean Christians were arrested by government officials during the last two months, with some of them held in an underground prison made up of tunnels.
The most recent arrests occurred 18 August when Eritrean security officials detained 80 Christians from Godayef, an area near the airport of the capital, Asmara. They were taken to a police station and have been held there ever since, a local source told World Watch Monitor.
Four days later, on 22 August, the United Nations observed its first annual commemoration of victims of religiously motivated violence. “On this day, we reaffirm our unwavering support for the victims of violence based on religion and belief. And we demonstrate that support by doing al in our power to prevent such attacks and demanding that those responsible are held accountable,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
Eritrea’s government current clampdown on Christians began 23 June when Eritrean security officials arrested 70 members of the Faith Mission Church of Christ, in Eritrea’s second city, Keren.
The church’s members, among them 35 women and 10 children, were taken to Ashufera prison, 25kms from the city.
The prison is a vast underground tunnel system and the conditions in which the detainees are held are very harsh, the local source said. It’s location far from a main road, the source said, “means that anyone who wants to visit loved ones there will have to walk a minimum of 30 minutes to reach the entrance. Inmates are forced to dig additional tunnels when officers need extra space for more prisoners.”
After the arrests, the government officials also closed the church-run school, said the local source, whose identity World Watch Monitor is withholding for security reasons.
The Faith Mission Church of Christ was the last church still open in the majority-Muslim city 90kms northwest of Asmara. It was established more than 60 years ago and once had schools and orphanages all over the country, according to religious freedom advocacy group CSW.
It had been waiting for registration since it submitted an application in 2002 when the government introduced a new law that forbids all Churches except for the Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran Churches, as well as Sunni Islam.
On 16 August, six Christians, also from Keren and who were government employees, were taken to a court in Asmara where the judge told them to renounce their faith. The six responded by saying they would “not negotiate their faith” and would “continue following Jesus,” the source said. “Reportedly, the judge angrily told them to leave while he considers the next steps. They don’t know when to expect his decision.”
The government clampdown has sent other Christians in Keren into hiding, the source said.
It follows the government’s June seizure of all Catholic-run health clinics in the country, and the arrest of five Orthodox priests. The moves prompted the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Eritrea, Daniela Kravetz, to call on the government to uphold religious freedom for its citizens and “release those who have been imprisoned for their religious beliefs.”
In May, a monitoring group for the UN said “thousands” of Christians are facing detention as “religious freedom continue[s] to be denied in Eritrea” and questioned why the UN was not monitoring the situation more closely.
Earlier this month, Eritrea’s Orthodox patriarch, Abune Antonios, was expelled by pro-government bishops of his church on accusations of heresy. Antonios had been under house arrest since 2007, when he refused to comply with the regime’s attempts to interfere with church affairs.
Eritrea is 7th on the Open Doors 2019 World Watch List of the 50 countries in which it is most difficult to live as a Christian.
Source: (VaticanNews.va )World Watch Moniter Full Text Release

#BreakingNews Young Catholic Female Volunteer Killed - RIP Genifer Buckley, age 24, - from the Jesuit Volunteer Philippines Movement - #JVP


ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Filipino female Jesuit volunteer killed: the Church thanks her for the testimony of love and service


Cagayan De Oro City (Agenzia Fides) - The killing of a Jesuit volunteer woman "was an execrable act, which we condemn: we ask for justice, while we pray for her and her family", Jesuit Father Jason Dy told Fides, Chaplain of the Jesuit Volunteer Philippines Movement (JVP).
On 23 August, Genifer Buckley, a young 24-year-old, originally from Zamboanga del Sur, was stabbed to death in the house where she lived with her companion. The other volunteer, lawyer Anne Kathleen Gatdula, 30, was injured but managed to escape after being chased, and is currently hospitalized in a local hospital. The two volunteers were serving at Pangantucan Community High School, Bukidnon, in a project of the JVP movement. Police arrested a suspect, Arnold Naguilla, 36, shortly after the murder. According to first investigations, the man allegedly attacked the two young women while he was trying to steal, but it is not yet clear why he killed them. "Justice in this case will be of primary importance. Our sincere prayers go to members of Buckley's family and Gatdula's speedy recovery", said Father Dy.
A local resident, Agnes Medina, told Fides: "We are grateful to Buckley and Gatdula for serving the people of Bukidnon. We express condolences to the Buckley’s family and friends. The JVP Volunteers have been assisting poor communities in Mindanao for many years . We thank them for the testimony of love and service".
Buckly earned a bachelor's degree in Education at Zamboanga University run by the Jesuits in 2015 and subsequently taught at the University's Junior High School for four years before enrolling in the JVP this year. Later she volunteered to teach at Pangantucan Community High School since May 27th.
Jesuit Father Karel San Juan, president of the Zamboanga University, praised Buckly for her service to the community as a teacher and volunteer: "We will miss her very much. We remember her with affection and for her precious service to people. She was a courageous soul, eager to take the path of loving service for God and for the Country".
The JVP is committed to bringing hope to marginalized populations. For 39 years, Jesuit volunteers have been working with schools, parishes and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to teach, train community leaders, assist cooperatives, implement livelihood projects, assist disabled people and victims of violence, engage in the training of young people, supporting environmental issues, defending the dignity of indigenous peoples, fighting for the rights of the oppressed.
The JVP, says a note from the organization, is made up of young people "eager to take the path of loving service to God and the Country". A JVP member must be single, under the age of 35, a graduate or university student, willing to serve, share knowledge and skills in a community for at least 10 months. (SD) (Full Text Source: Agenzia Fides, 28/8/2019)
Image Source: Facebook via Fr Danny Huang SJ/Fr Karen San Juan SJ:

RIP Cardinal Achille Silvestrini - a great Vatican Diplomat - Death of Cardinal Silvestrini at age 95 - Video


Death of Cardinal Achille Silvestrini
The Italian cardinal, a great figure of Vatican diplomacy, died on Thursday 29 August 2019, just weeks before his 96th birthday.
Born in Brisighella in northeastern Italy in 1923, Achille Silvestrini entered the diocesan seminary at the age of 19, before being ordained a priest in July 1946. After studying at the Roman Lateran University, he entered the prestigious Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, which trained the diplomatic staff of the Holy See. Then begins a long and prolific career at the Secretariat of State, where he deals with issues related to Asia (China, Vietnam, Indonesia).

He then became the close collaborator of the Secretaries of State Domenico Tardini and Amleto Giovanni Cicognani during the pontificates of St. John XXIII and John Paul I. He is then responsible for relations with international organizations; as such, it deals with issues of peace and disarmament. He then became a figurehead of the Vatican ostpolitik advocated by Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, then Secretary of State, and accompanied him to Moscow in 1971 to deposit the accession of the Holy See to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. nuclear. In 1979, he was appointed Secretary for Relations with States; the diplomatic missions entrusted to it in the course of its functions are innumerable: Malta, Buenos-Aires (Falklands crisis), Nicaragua and Salvador, Poland, Syria and Lebanon, etc.

Saint John Paul II created him cardinal during the consistory of June 28, 1988, and named him three days later Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. From 1991 to 2000, he also served as prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches.

He lost his cardinal-elector status in 2003, when he was 80 years old, and therefore did not participate in the conclaves of 2005 (election of Benedict XVI) and 2013 (election of François).

He was also very attentive to young people, as evidenced by his close proximity to Maison Nazareth, a university institution founded in 1946 by Cardinal Tardini, of which he was president. This structure welcomes free students with a brilliant and exemplary school career, but whose parents can not pay for their studies.
FULL TEXT Source: https://www.vaticannews.va/fr/vatican/news/2019-08/deces-cardinal-achille-silvestrini.html