Monday, January 14, 2019

Saint January 15 : St. Ita : Religious : Patron of Ireland

475, County of Waterford, Ireland
15 January 570
Patron of:
Diocese of Limerick, Ireland

St. Ita was born of Christian parents towards the end of the fifth century. She belonged to the noble tribe of the Decii in County Waterford. All her early biographers favor the pleasant metaphor describing her as the 'Brigid of Munster'. Actually the differences were more striking than the resemblances between those two foremost women saints of the Celtic church (see St. Brigid). Brigid's effective life as a nun was spent in continual movement. When she had made a success of one convent settlement, she moved off to found another. Organization was her bent. Ita did just the opposite. Instead of entering one of Brigid's convents, she founded another in a district where there was none, at Killeedy, County Limerick. There she remained all her life, courting retirement. Again, there is an emphasis on austerity in Ita's life not found in Brigid's. Ita's mortifications were on a par with those of the greatest contemporary missionaries.

A strongly individualistic character is glimpsed in the legends of Ita. When she decided to settle in Killeedy, a chieftain offered her a large grant of land to support the convent. But Ita would accept only four acres, which she cultivated intensively. The convent became known as a training school for little boys, many of whom later became famous churchmen. One of these was St. Brendan, whom Ita accepted in fosterage when he was a year old and kept until he was six. The great Navigator revisited her between his voyages and always deferred to her counsel. He once asked her what were the three clings which God most detested, and she replied: 'A scowling face, obstinacy in wrong-doing, and too great a confidence in the power of money'. St. Mochoemoc, whom because of his beauty she called 'Pulcherius', was another great personage of the Celtic church she fostered in infancy.
Ita died on January 15th, which is now kept as her feast, about the year 570. There is a strong local cult of her in Munster, particularly in Waterford and Limerick, and her name is a popular one for Irish girls. In the middle of the nineteenth century a new move was made in Ireland for the development of her cult, when Bishop Butler of Limerick obtained from Pope Pius IX a special office and mass for her feast

Pope Francis sends Pro-Life Message ahead of March for Life “Despite attempts to trivialize abortion this gesture poses a true case of conscience to the whole civil society."

Pope has words of encouragement for Paris March for Life
Pope Francis has sent a message to participants and organizers of the 13th March for Life.
By John Waters

In a message of encouragement to the organizers of the 13th March for Life in Paris, Pope Francis notes that evil and contempt for life go hand in hand.

The march, is scheduled to take place on 20th January.

The March for Life began as a peaceful protest march to demonstrate against changes to abortion laws in America in 1973. It has since become a global movement, with marches in many cities across the world. The March for Life, Paris, has been running since 2005.

Pope Francis’ message to the Paris March for Life was delivered by the Apostolic Nuncio to France, Archbishop Luigi Ventura.

In his message Pope Francis cordially greets the participants of the March for Life and reminds them that “all the evil in the world is summed up by contempt for life.”

Looking ahead to the march itself, the organizers of this year’s event, which include a number of Catholic bodies, reminded participants that “Despite attempts to trivialize abortion this gesture poses a true case of conscience to the whole civil society. The March aims to be an appeal to French citizens to be open to receive life, and uphold the right to conscientious objection.”
FULL TEXT Release from Vatican News va

Children in China Forbidden from going to Church at Christmas and forced to go to School - Please Pray

Beijing’s war on children's Christmas
by Fr Stanislaus (达尼老)
Forced to go to school on Christmas Day; no entry into the church for children under 18. Now even traditional New Year poems forbidden if they have a religious references.
Shanghai (AsiaNews) - Children under 18 were stopped at the entrance to churches to enforce a ban on not having them participate in the Christmas Mass; in schools, students were ordered not to celebrate the Christian festival in any way and forced to attend lessons. Even the couplets (traditional greeting cards for the Chinese New Year, to be put on the side of the doors of the house, which Christians adapt with religious thoughts) have been forbidden. The testimony of Fr. Stanislaus, a priest from northeastern China. His story tells of the resistance of the young, who pressed to enter the church. Only the intervention of the parish priest has calmed the waters.
The day before yesterday, the morning before Christmas, the officials of the United Front and the Religious Affairs Bureau came to give their best wishes. They warned of security problems and then reminded me that minors were forbidden to attend Mass or evening meetings, even during the Christmas season. In addition, the Spring Festival greeting cards cannot be sold or posted before they have been approved.
I replied: on many problems we need to continue discussing; many opinions can only be opinions, not norms, and could not be as general as constitutional policies. The leaders of the United Front perhaps did not intend to argue; open the topic, they were quick to leave. However, before Christmas, the Department of Education informed each school, either verbally or in writing, that the classes had to be continued during the day and in the evening. Orders were also given for students not give gifts or organize religious parties or meetings during Christmas. Fortunately trusting in God's grace, our children, one after the other, came to Midnight Mass. The police men eventually held out by being on guard only for public security, without interfering with the affairs of others. Early in the morning I received a call from my mother: she spoke excitedly. She told me that at the church in our village government officials had strictly forbidden minors to attend the functions sparking a heated argument. In the end, in order to proceed with the function the parish priest blessed the children, leaving them to return home.
The next day I learned that the same thing happened in another church in the area: children were not allowed to participate. Government officials were present watching from beginning to end.
At the church in my city, the Religious Affairs Bureau sent people to watch, so the minors were in other clubs and did not attend midnight Mass.
In another church of a large city in my province minors were not allowed to participate. Security systems were placed at the gate and at the door, on the one hand to check, on the other to send people back.
In the news we heard the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Wah, full of rhetoric and self-assured saying to the world: "You do not understand China. Do not you know how many Buddhist and Taoist temples and Christian churches operate legally in China? According to the law, Chinese citizens enjoy full religious freedom! We have taken preventive measures against terrorists and extremists, to allow so many ordinary people to fully enjoy normal religious freedom! "The news continues to speak of" confidence in one's own culture" and "religious freedom".
In the country churches of my area the crosses were removed and then put back; but maybe in the future they will be destroyed. What is of note is that these are registered places of worship.
The Church of my province did not even have permission to print the couplets for the Spring Festival. The Church's couplets have been destroyed in the typography’s warehouse. (I personally wrote them, holding the brush and dipping it in ink).
Full Text Share from Asia News IT

Pope Francis "...Jesus Christ, who marked and redeemed so deeply the history of man to mark the passage of time in a first of Him and a later of Him."


Hall of the Consistory
Saturday, 12 January 2019

Dear brothers and sisters!

I welcome you and thank you for your visit, very welcome. I thank the President for his introduction, in particular for having reminded us all of the ancient saying "historia magistra vitae", a very significant maxim linked to your important and generous teaching.

A friend of your "founding fathers" and of your Association, the Jesuit priest Giacomo Martina, an acute historian of the Church, long teacher at the Gregorian and teacher of many of you, tell me that he used to remind his students that history is certainly teacher of life, but who also has very few students!

Instead you, of "students", in a broad sense, have many - as you, Father, said -: you have them in seminaries, in pontifical universities, in conferences, in study meetings, and also in the magazine, of which you have me paid tribute. So you are giving a valuable help to the study of history and its magisterium: thank you for this service and for this passionate testimony.

In fact, history, studied with passion, can and must teach much today, so disrupted and thirsty for truth, peace and justice. It would be enough that, through it, we would learn to reflect with wisdom and courage on the dramatic and evil effects of the war, of the many wars that have troubled the human journey on this earth. And we do not learn!

Italy - and in particular the Italian Church - is so rich in testimonies of the past! This wealth should not be a treasure to be jealously guarded, but must help us to walk in the present towards the future. The history of the Church, of the Italian Church in fact represents an essential reference point for all those who want to understand, deepen and even enjoy the past, without turning it into a museum or, worse, in a cemetery of nostalgia, but to make it alive and well present in our eyes.

But - as you teach me - at the center of history there is a Word that is not born written, it does not come from man's research, but is given to us by God and is witnessed first of all with life and within life. A Word that acts in history and transforms it from within. This Word is Jesus Christ, who marked and redeemed so deeply the history of man to mark the passage of time in a first of Him and a later of Him.

And the full reception of his saving and merciful action should make the historical believer a scholar who is even more respectful of the facts and of the truth, delicate and attentive in research, a coherent witness in teaching. It should keep him away from all the mundancies related to the presumption of knowledge, such as the greed of career or academic recognition, or the conviction of being able to judge facts and people by himself. In fact, the ability to glimpse the presence of Christ and the path of the Church in history make us humble, and they take us away from the temptation to take refuge in the past to avoid the present. And this was the experience of many, many scholars, who have begun, I do not say atheists, but a little 'agnostics, and have found Christ. Because history could not be understood without this strength.

Here then, dear brothers and sisters, my wish: that your not easy magisterium and your testimony help to make contemplate Christ, the cornerstone, who works in the history and in the memory of humanity and of all cultures. And that He always gives you to taste his saving presence in the facts, in the documents, in the events, big or small. Above all, I would say, the facts of the humble, the last, even they actors of history. And this will really be the main road to have perhaps a few students next to him, but really good, generous and prepared.

I would not like to finish without a memory for Father Giacomo Martina, whom I mentioned, and to say the experience I had with him. I was introduced by an Argentine Jesuit, not Italian, Father Ugo Vanni: they were friends. Then I went to see Father Martina, and he always advised concrete things: "Read this. Read that other ... ". And so I was thrilled to read the story, and I also had the patience to read the whole story of the Popes of von Pastor, thanks to these tips. Thirty-seven volumes! And he did me good.

I thank you again for this meeting and I warmly bless you and your work. Please do not forget to pray for me.

FULL TEXT Release from Vatican va - Original Italian - Unofficial Translation

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday January 14, 2019 - #Eucharist

Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 305

Reading 1HEB 1:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways
to our ancestors through the prophets;
in these last days, he spoke to us through the Son,   
whom he made heir of all things
and through whom he created the universe,

who is the refulgence of his glory,
the very imprint of his being,
and who sustains all things by his mighty word.
When he had accomplished purification from sins,
he took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
as far superior to the angels
as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

For to which of the angels did God ever say:
You are my Son; this day I have begotten you?
Or again:
I will be a father to him, and he shall be a Son to me?
And again, when he leads the first born into the world, he says:
Let all the angels of God worship him

Responsorial PsalmPS 97:1 AND 2B, 6 AND 7C, 9

R. (see 7c) Let all his angels worship him.
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many isles be glad.
Justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. Let all his angels worship him.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
Let all his angels worship him.
R. Let all his angels worship him.
Because you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth,
exalted far above all gods.
R. Let all his angels worship him.

AlleluiaMK 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand;
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 1:14-20

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God:
"This is the time of fulfillment.
The Kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the Gospel."

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
Then they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.

Saint January 14 : St. Sava : Patron of #Serbia

Feast Day:
January 14
January 14, 1235, Tarnovgrad, Bulgariaa
Major Shrine:
Temple of Saint Sava (Belgrade)
Patron of:
Born, Rastko, he was the third son of Stephen I Nemanja (r. 1167-1196), ruler of Serbia. In 1191, he went to Mount Athos, where he took the name Sava and became a monk. He was joined there five years later by his father, who had abdicated in favor of his eldest son, Stephen. With his father, Sava established on Mount Athos the monastery of Khilander (Hilandar), which emerged as one of the leading monastic centers for the Serbians. Sava returned to Serbia in 1208 and became archimandrite of Studenica, using the post to wield considerable political and religious influence throughout the kingdom.

He opposed his brother's religious policy of treating with the Holy See and in 1219 was consecrated the metropolitan of an independent Serbian Church by the patriarch of Nicaea with the approval of the Byzantine emperor, who was much in favor of keeping Serbia within the sphere of Greek Orthodox influence. Sava worked to establish dioceses throughout Serbia, promoted native clergy, built churches, and translated numerous religious texts into Serbian. In 1229, he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, returning there in 1233 to win recognition of the Bulgarian patriarch from the patriarchs of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch. he died while on his way home, at Tirnovo, Bulgaria.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints