Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Saint January 17 : St. Anthony the Abbot : Patron of #Amputees; Butchers; Epilepsy; graveyards; Monks; Pigs; Skin diseases;

Feast Day: January 17
Born: 251, Herakleopolis Magna, Egypt
Died: 356, Mount Colzim, Egypt
Major Shrine: Monastery of Anthony, Egypt; Vienna, Austria His body was at Saint-Antoine l'Abbaye, Isère, France
Patron of: against pestilence; amputees; animals; basket makers; basket weavers; brushmakers; butchers; cemetery workers; domestic animals; eczema; epilepsy; epileptics; ergotism; erysipelas; gravediggers; graveyards; hermits; hogs; Hospitallers; monks; pigs; relief from pestilence; shingles; skin diseases; skin rashes; swine; swineherds

Founder of Christian monasticism. The chief source of information on St. Anthony is a Greek Life attributed to St. Athanasius (ca. 296-373). Anthony was born at Coma, near Heracleopolis Magna in Fayum, about the middle of the third century. He was the son of well-to-do parents, and on their death, in his twentieth year, he inherited their possessions. He had a desire to imitate the life of the Apostles and the early Christians, and one day, on hearing in the church the Gospel words, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell all thou hast", he received them as spoken to himself, disposed of all his property and goods, and devoted himself exclusively to religious exercises. Long before this it had been usual for Christians to practice asceticism, abstain from marriage and exercising themselves in self-denial, fasting, prayer, and works of piety; but this they had done in the midst of their families, and without leaving house or home. Later on, in Egypt, such ascetics lived in huts, in the outskirts of the towns and villages, and this was the common practice about 270, when Anthony withdrew from the world. He began his career by practising the ascetical life in this fashion without leaving his native place. He used to visit the various ascetics, study their lives, and try to learn from each of them the virtue in which he seemed to excel. Then he took up his abode in one of the tombs, near his native village, and there it was that the Life records those strange conflicts with demons in the shape of wild beasts, who inflicted blows upon him, and sometimes left him nearly dead.
After fifteen years of this life, at the age of thirty-five, Anthony determined to withdraw from the habitations of men and retire in absolute solitude. He crossed the Nile, and on a mountain near the east bank, then called Pispir, now Der el Memum, he found an old fort into which he shut himself, and lived there for twenty years without seeing the face of man, food being thrown to him over the wall. He was at times visited by pilgrims, whom he refused to see; but gradually a number of would-be disciples established themselves in caves and in huts around the mountain, Thus a colony of ascetics was formed, who begged Anthony to come forth and be their guide in the spiritual life. At length, about the year 305, he yielded to their importunities an emerged from his retreat, and, to the surprise of all, he appeared to be as when he had gone in, not emaciated, but vigorous in body and mind.
For five or six years he devoted himself to the instruction and organization of the great body of monks that had grown up around him; but then he once again withdrew into the inner desert that lay between the Nile and the Red Sea, near the shore of which he fixed his abode on a mountain where still stands the monastery that bears his name, Der Mar Antonios. Here he spent the last forty-five years of his life, in a seclusion, not so strict as Pispir, for he freely saw those who came to visit him, and he used to cross the desert to Pispir with considerable frequency. The Life says that on two occasions he went to Alexandria, once after he came forth from the fort at Pispir, to strengthen the Christian martyrs in the persecution of 311, and once at the close of his life (c. 350), to preach against the Arians. The Life says he died at the age of a hundred and five, and St. Jerome places his death in 356-357. All the chronology is based on the hypothesis that this date and the figures in the Life are correct. At his own request his grave was kept secret by the two disciples who buried him, lest his body should become an object of reverence.
Of his writings, the most authentic formulation of his teaching is without doubt that which is contained in the various sayings and discourses put into his mouth in the Life, especially the long ascetic sermons (16-43) spoken on his coming forth from the fort at Pispir. It is an instruction on the duties of the spiritual life, in which the warfare with demons occupies the chief place. Though probably not an actual discourse spoken on any single occasion, it can hardly be a mere invention of the biographer, and doubtless reproduces St. Anthony's actual doctrine, brought together and co-ordinated. It is likely that many of the sayings attributed to him in the "Apophthegmata" really go back to him, and the same may be said of the stories told of him in Cassian and Palladius. There is a homogeneity about these records, and a certain dignity and spiritual elevation that seem to mark them with the stamp of truth, and to justify the belief that the picture they give us of St Anthony's personality, character, and teaching is essentially authentic. A different verdict has to be passed on the writings that go under his name, to be found in P.G., XL. The Sermons and twenty Epistles from the Arabic are by common consent pronounced wholly spurious. St. Jerome (Illustrious Men 88) knew seven epistles translated from the Coptic into Greek; the Greek appears to be lost, but a Latin version exists (ibid.), and Coptic fragments exist of three of these letters, agreeing closely with the Latin; they may be authentic, but it would be premature to decide. Better is the position of a Greek letter to Theodore, preserved in the "Epistola Ammonis ad Theophilum", sect. 20, and said to be a translation of a Coptic original; there seems to be no sufficient ground for doubting that it really was written by Anthony (see Butler, Lausiac History of Palladius, Part I, 223). The authorities are agreed that St. Anthony knew no Greek and spoke only Coptic. There exists a monastic Rule that bears St. Anthony's name, preserved in Latin and Arabic forms (P.G., XL, 1065). While it cannot be received as having been actually composed by Anthony, it probably in large measure goes back to him, being for the most part made up out of the utterances attributed to him in the Life and the "Apophthegmata"; it contains, however, an element derived from the spuria and also from the "Pachomian Rules". It was compiled at an early date, and had a great vogue in Egypt and the East. At this day it is the rule followed by the Uniat Monks of Syria and Armenia, of whom the Maronites, with sixty monasteries and 1,100 monks, are the most important; it is followed also by the scanty remnants of Coptic monachism. It will be proper to define St. Anthony's place, and to explain his influence in the history of Christian monachism. He probably was not the first Christian hermit; it is more reasonable to believe that, however little historical St. Jerome's "Vita Pauli" may be, some kernel of fact underlies the story (Butler, op. cit., Part I, 231, 232), but Paul's existence was wholly unknown unknown till long after Anthony has become the recognized leader of Christian hermits. Nor was St. Anthony a great legislator and organizer of monks, like his younger contemporary Pachomius; for, though Pachomius's first foundations were probably some ten or fifteen years later than Anthony's coming forth from his retreat at Pispir, it cannot be shown that Pachomius was directly influenced by Anthony, indeed his institute ran on quite different lines. And yet it is abundantly evident that from the middle of the fourth century throughout Egypt, as elsewhere, and among the Pachomian monks themselves, St. Anthony was looked upon as the founder and father of Christian monachism.
This great position was no doubt due to his commanding personality and high character, qualities that stand out clearly in all the records of him that have come down. The best study of his character is Newman's in the "Church of the Fathers" (reprinted in "Historical Sketches"). The following is his estimate: "His doctrine surely was pure and unimpeachable; and his temper is high and heavenly, without cowardice, without gloom, without formality, without self-complacency. Superstition is abject and crouching, it is full of thoughts of guilt; it distrusts God, and dreads the powers of evil. Anthony at least had nothing of this, being full of confidence, divine peace, cheerfulness, and valorousness, be he (as some men may judge) ever so much an enthusiast" (op. cit., Anthony in Conflict). Full of enthusiasm he was, but it did not make him fanatical or morose; his urbanity and gentleness, his moderation and sense stand out in many of the stories related of him. Abbot Moses in Cassian (Coll. II) says he had heard Anthony maintaining that of all virtues discretion was the most essential for attaining perfection; and the little known story of Eulogius and the Cripple, preserved in the Lausiac History (xxi), illustrates the kind of advice and direction he gave to those who sought his guidance.
The monasticism established under St. Anthony's direct influence became the norm in Northern Egypt, from Lycopolis (Asyut) to the Mediterranean. In contradistinction to the fully coenobitical system, established by Pachomius in the South, it continued to be of a semi-eremetical character, the monks living commonly in separate cells or huts, and coming together only occasionally for church services; they were left very much to their own devices, and the life they lived was not a community life according to rule, as now understood (see Butler, op. cit., Part I, 233-238). This was the form of monastic life in the deserts of Nitria and Scete, as portrayed by Palladius and Cassian. Such groups of semi-independent hermitages were later on called Lauras, and have always existed in the East alongside of the Basilian monasteries; in the West St. Anthony's monachism is in some measure represented by the Carthusians. Such was St. Anthony's life and character, and such his role in Christian history. He is justly recognized as the father not only of monasticism, strictly so called, but of the technical religious life in every shape and form. Few names have exercised on the human race an influence more deep and lasting, more widespread, or on the whole more beneficent.
Edited from The Catholic Encyclopedia - Image SHARED from Google Images
God our Father,
You gave St Anthony of Egypt
the courage and belief of an apostle
to give up his wealth,
living a life of poverty and solitude,
and to found monasteries.
Help us to be zealous in imitating his virtues
and to follow in the footsteps of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Grant this through the same Christ Our Lord
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Pope Francis "God is looking for you, even if you do not seek him. God loves you, even if you forgot Him." FULL TEXT + Video


Paul VI Hall
Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Catechesis on the "Our Father": 5. "Abba, Father!"

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Continuing the catechesis on "Our Father", today we start from the observation that, in the New Testament, prayer seems to want to reach the essential, to the point of concentrating in one word: Abba, Father.

We have listened to what St. Paul writes in the Letter to the Romans: "You did not receive a slave spirit to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit who makes adoptive sons, through whom we cry out:" Abba! Father! "» (8.15). And to the Galatians the Apostle says: "And that you are sons, the fact proves that God sent into our hearts the Spirit of his Son, who cries out:" Abba! Father! "» (Gal 4,6). Return twice the same invocation, which condenses all the news of the Gospel. After having known Jesus and listening to his preaching, the Christian no longer considers God as a tyrant to be feared, he no longer fears it but he feels his trust in him flourish: he can speak to the Creator calling him "Father". The expression is so important for Christians that it has often been kept intact in its original form: "Abbà".

It is rare that in the New Testament Aramaic expressions are not translated into Greek. We must imagine that in these Aramaic words the voice of Jesus himself remained as "recorded": they respected the language of Jesus. In the first word of the "Our Father" we immediately find the radical novelty of Christian prayer.

It is not just a question of using a symbol - in this case, the figure of the father - to be linked to the mystery of God; instead it is about having, so to speak, the whole world of Jesus poured into one's heart. If we carry out this operation, we can truly pray the "Our Father". Saying "Abba" is something much more intimate, more moving than simply calling God "Father". This is why someone has proposed to translate this original Aramaic word "Abbà" with "Papa" or "Babbo". Instead of saying "Our Father", say "Daddy, Father". We continue to say "Our Father", but with the heart we are invited to say "Dad", to have a relationship with God like that of a child with his father, who says "dad" and says "father". In fact, these expressions evoke love, evoke warmth, something that projects us in the context of childhood: the image of a child completely enveloped by the embrace of a father who feels infinite tenderness for him. And for this, dear brothers and sisters, to pray well, we must get to have a child's heart. Not a sufficient heart: so you can not pray well. Like a child in the arms of his father, his father, his father.

But surely it is the Gospels that introduce us better in the sense of this word. What does this word mean for Jesus? The "Our Father" takes on meaning and color if we learn to pray to him after having read, for example, the parable of the merciful father, in the 15th chapter of Luke (cf. Lk 15: 11-32). Imagine this prayer pronounced by the prodigal son, after experiencing the embrace of his father who had waited a long time, a father who does not remember the offensive words that he had told him, a father who now makes him understand just how much he missed . Then we discover how those words come to life, they take strength. And we ask ourselves: is it possible that You, or God, only know love? You do not know hatred? No - God would answer - I only know love. Where is in you revenge, the claim of justice, the anger for your wounded honor? And God would answer: I only know love.

The father of that parable has in his ways of doing something that is very reminiscent of a mother's soul. It is especially the mothers who excuse their children, cover them, do not interrupt their empathy, continue to love, even when they no longer deserve anything.

It is enough to evoke this single expression - Abbà - to develop a Christian prayer. And St. Paul, in his letters, follows this same path, and it could not be otherwise, because it is the path taught by Jesus: in this invocation there is a force that attracts all the rest of the prayer.

God is looking for you, even if you do not seek him. God loves you, even if you forgot Him. God sees beauty in you, even if you think you have squandered all your talents in vain. God is not only a father, he is like a mother who never ceases to love her creature. On the other hand, there is a "gestation" that lasts forever, well beyond the nine months of the physical one; it is a gestation that generates an infinite circuit of love.

For a Christian, to pray is to simply say "Abba", to say "Papa", to say "Santa", to say "Father" but with the trust of a child.
It may be that we too happen to walk on paths far from God, as happened to the prodigal son; or to fall into a loneliness that makes us feel abandoned in the world; or, again, to be wrong and to be paralyzed by a sense of guilt. In those difficult moments, we can still find the strength to pray, starting from the word "Father", but said with the tender sense of a child: "Abbà", "Papa". He will not hide his face from us. Remember well: maybe someone has bad things inside him, things he does not know how to solve, so much bitterness for having done this and that ... He will not hide his face. He will not close in silence. You tell him "Father" and He will answer you. You have a father. "Yes, but I am a delinquent ...". But you have a father who loves you! Tell him "Father", he begins to pray like that, and in silence he will tell us that he never lost sight of us. "But, Father, I have done this ..." - "I never lost sight of you, I saw everything. But I was always there, close to you, faithful to my love for you ". That will be the answer. Never forget to say "Father". Thank you.
FULL TEXT and Image Shared from Vatican va - Unofficial Translation
Greetings in Various Languages:
Je suis heureux d’accueillir les pèlerins francophones, en particulier les jeunes de Bordeaux et de Lyon. A la veille de l’ouverture de la semaine de prière pour l’unité des chrétiens, je vous invite à nous tourner ensemble vers notre Père commun, en lui disant nous aussi Abba ! Que Dieu vous bénisse !
I welcome the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups coming from Korea and the United States of America. In the context of the forthcoming Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, I offer a special greeting to the group from the Bossey Ecumenical Institute. My cordial greeting also goes to the priest alumni of the Pontifical North American College. Upon all of you I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!
Herzlich heiße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache willkommen. Besonders grüße ich die Delegation des Burgenlandes in Begleitung von Bischof Ägidius Zsifkovics sowie das Festkomitee des Kölner Karnevals zusammen mit Kardinal Rainer Woelki. Gott ist unser Vater, und wir dürfen seiner treuen Liebe zu uns ganz gewiss sein. Der Heilige Geist mache uns zu wahren Kindern Gottes und leite uns allezeit.
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y Latinoamérica. Los animo a dirigirse a Dios como un Padre que nos ama y que sale a nuestro encuentro. No se cansen de llamarlo; porque él como Padre bueno viene a sanar nuestras heridas y a restablecer la alegría de ser sus hijos. Que Dios los bendiga. Muchas gracias.
Queridos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, particularmente os de Terrugem, bem-vindos! Depois de amanhã, começa o Oitavário de Oração pela Unidade dos Cristãos; durante aqueles dias intensifiquemos as nossas preces e penitências, para que se apresse a hora em que se realize plenamente o anseio de Jesus: «Abbá…, ut unum sint – que todos sejam um só!» Desça a bênção de Deus sobre os vossos passos e sobre as vossas preces comuns pela reunificação da Igreja. Obrigado!
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللّغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، تذكّروا على الدوام أنَّ الله-المحبّة ينقل إلينا رغبته في أن ندعوه "أبّا" أيها الآب، بالثقة الكاملة التي يتحلّى بها الطفل الذي يسلّم ذاته بين يديّ ذاك الذي منحه الحياة. لننطلق مجدّدًا من هذه الكلمة وسنختبر فرح أن نكون أبناء محبوبين من الله. ليبارككم الرب!
Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów, a szczególnie grupę z Sanktuarium św. Stanisława, Patrona Polski, w Szczepanowie, miejscu narodzenia tego Biskupa i Męczennika, którzy przybyli, aby przypomnieć o rocznicy wizyty, jaką św. Jan Paweł II złożył tuż przed wyborem na Stolicę Piotrową. Drodzy bracia i siostry, w komunii ze świętymi, z synowską ufnością módlcie się: „Abbà – Ojcze!”, prosząc o Jego błogosławieństwo dla was, dla waszych rodzin i – w tych dniach – dla młodych, których wkrótce spotkam w Panamie. Proszę, nie zapominajcie modlić się za mnie. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus!

Week of prayer for Christian unity
January 18-25, 2019

Next Friday, with the celebration of Vespers in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on the theme: "Try to be truly just". Also this year we are called to pray, so that all Christians return to be one family, coherent with the divine will that wants "that all may be one" (Jn 17:21). Ecumenism is not optional. The intention will be to develop a common and consistent witness in the affirmation of true justice and in the support of the weakest, through concrete, appropriate and effective responses.

* * *

I extend a cordial welcome to Italian-speaking pilgrims.

I am pleased to welcome the Pastoral Unit of Orbetello, the San Paolo Parish Oratory and the Schools of the district.

I greet the parish groups, in particular those of Montoro and Talsano; the Juppiter Association of Capranica and the De Rosa Institute of Sant'Anastasia.

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

I wish everyone that this meeting will revive communion with the universal ministry of the Successor of Peter and, at the same time, be an opportunity for renewal and spiritual graces. I invoke upon you all the joy and peace of the Lord Jesus!

Bishop Accidentally Shoots another Hunter while on Wild Boar Hunt

Croatian bishop inadvertently shot other hunters
According to newspaper "Vecernji List", a criminal case against Bishop of Bjelovar-Krizevci was initiated after a hunting accident
 In Croatia, a hunting accident involving a Catholic bishop caused a public outcry. As Vecernji List reported on Tuesday, Bjelovar-Krizevci's diocesan bishop Vjekoslav Huzjak, 58, apparently accidentally shot another hunter 100 yards away on a wild boar hunt last Friday.Huzjak was charged with criminal proceedings, according to the report. The diocese of Bjelovar confirmed in a statement that the bishop had taken part in a hunt in which a hunter had been wounded. Huzjak expressed "his deep regret over what happened, and wishes the injured hunter a speedy recovery," it said in the short statement.
The wounded hunter was give with medical assistance at the Dubrava Clinical Hospital, where he was diagnosed with severe bodily injuries that are not life-threatening. It was established that the bishop was not under the influence of alcohol. The police took the weapon which he used during the hunt. According to reports criminal charges are filed with the Sisak Municipal Prosecutor's Office. The police have filed criminal charges against him for the criminal offence of endangering life and property by a dangerous act or means, reports Večernji List on January 15, 2019.
Source: Kath News and Total-croatia-news

Quote to SHARE by St. Padre Pio “Pray, hope, and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”

“Pray, hope, and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” 
Saint Padre Pio

Full Official Text of Patriarchate of Constantinople granting Ukrainian Autocephaly as Signed by all Members

Full official text of Ukrainian Tomos. Primacy of Constantinople over Kiev
by Vladimir Rozanskij
Published on the website of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The leading role of the ecumenical patriarch is the cause of the break with Moscow. An ancient church in Kiev donated to Bartholomew I. President Petro Poroshenko rewards the two bishops of Muscovite obedience who took part in the Council of Unification.
Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Patriarchate of Constantinople has published on its website the official version, in Greek, English and French, of the founding document of Ukrainian autocephaly[i] . The authoritative tone of the submission to Constantinople of the Ukrainian Church in all the canonical issues is impressive, as well as the symbolic concession of the Holy Chrism for the sacraments. The ecumenical patriarchate thus confirms its own "primatial" vocation within universal Orthodoxy, the crux that led to the break with the patriarchate of Moscow and other Churches united to Moscow. The new Church should be called "Most Holy Church of Ukraine", and not "in Ukraine" as in earlier published versions (each Church receives a special denomination according to the institutive Tomos).
Ukrainian autocephaly extols the leading role of Constantinople, which preserves the "stavropegial rights", that is of direct presence in the country through its own exarchs. On January 13th, President Poroshenko, together with Metropolitan Epifanyj, visited the Church of the Savior in Berestovo, which will be available to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It is one of the oldest Ukrainian churches, where in 1157 the remains of prince founder of the city of Moscow, Jurij Dolgorukij, were laid. The church had not been open to the public, having been under restoration for almost 20 years, and will now become one of the centers of the "ecumenical" pastoral leadership of the new Ukrainian orthodoxy.
In an interview with the BBC, one of the Constantinopolitan exarchs, Archbishop Daniil, warned the "patriarch emeritus" Filaret (Denisenko) not to interfere in the ecclesiastical administration, leaving the metropolitan Epifanyj (his former secretary) "the freedom to act as a true primate of his Church ... Be a spiritual grandfather, a father, advise, but let him do his job! ". Daniil recalled that Filaret was allowed to keep the title (self-assigned) of patriarch "because of his old age", even if officially he is only the former metropolitan of Kiev.
Furthermore, on 11 January the Constantinopolitan Synod appointed archimandrite Mikhail (Anishenko) as "head of the restored Ecumenical Stavropegia of Kiev", who for years served as "spiritual pastor" of the Orthodox community of Antalya in Turkey, belonging to the metropolis of Pisidia. On the same day, President Poroshenko conferred the state order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise on the two metropolitans of the Moscow jurisdiction who participated in the Council of Unification, Simeon (Shostatsky) and Anatolij (Drabinko).
FULL TEXT Release from Asia News IT
 Below the full text of the Tomos of Autocephaly for the Ukrainian Church.
 Bartholomew, by God’s mercy Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch:
“You have come to Mount Zion . . . and to the Church of the first-born” (Heb. 12.22–23), as the blessed Paul, apostle to the nations, declares to all the faithful, appropriately likening the Church to a mountain to affirm conviction and recognition as well as steadfastness and stability. For although the Church of God both is and is called one flock and one body of Christ—everywhere sharing the confession of Orthodox faith, the communion through the sacraments in the Holy Spirit, and the constancy of apostolic succession and canonical order—already from the earliest apostolic times it also consists of local and native Churches internally self-administered by their own shepherds, teachers and servants of the Gospel of Christ, namely, their regional Bishops, not only for the historical and secular significance of these cities and lands, but also for the particular pastoral needs of these places.
Therefore, inasmuch as the most devout and divinely-protected country of Ukraine has been fortified and magnified by heavenly providence, while also acquiring comprehensive political independence, and inasmuch as its civil and church leaders have avidly sought its ecclesiastical self-administration over more than thirty years—thereby further echoing previous similar requests periodically addressed by its people to the most holy Apostolic Throne of Constantinople, which is obliged by a lengthy canonical tradition to care for the holy Orthodox Churches facing difficulties, especially those with which it has always been associated through canonical bonds, such as the historical Metropolis of Kyiv—our Modesty, along with our most reverend Metropolitans and most honorable beloved brothers and concelebrants in the Holy Spirit, in the imperative concern of the Great Church of Christ within the Orthodox world for healing long standing schisms and divisions in the local Churches, unanimously determine and declare that the entire Orthodox Church contained within the boundaries of the politically constituted and wholly independent State of Ukraine, with its sacred Metropolitan, Archdiocesan and Episcopal sees, its monasteries and parishes, as well as all the ecclesiastical institutions therein, operating under the Founder of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, our Godman Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, shall hereafter exist as canonically a u t o c e p h a l o u s, independent and self-administered, having and recognizing as its First Hierarch in all church matters its presiding canonical Primate, who shall bear the title “His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine,” without any lawful addition or deletion to this title without permission from the Church of Constantinople. This Primate shall preside over the Holy Synod, annually comprised of Hierarchs invited by rotation and seniority from those serving within the geographical boundaries of Ukraine. This is how the affairs of the Church shall be governed in this land, as the sacred and holy Canons declare, freely and in the Holy Spirit and unimpeded, far from any other external interference.
Moreover, we recognize and declare this Autocephalous Church, established within the boundaries of the sovereign territory of Ukraine by means of this signed Patriarchal and Synodal Tomos, as our spiritual daughter, and recommend that all Orthodox Churches throughout the world acknowledge and commemorate it by the name “Most Holy Church of Ukraine” with its see in the historic city of Kyiv, without being henceforth entitled to establish bishops or found extraterritorial altars in regions already lawfully dependent on the Ecumenical Throne, which bears canonical competence over the Diaspora, but instead restricting its proper jurisdiction within the territories of the State of Ukraine. Indeed, we bestow upon this autocephalous ecclesiastical Authority all the attending privileges and sovereign rights, so that from this day the Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine shall commemorate “Every Orthodox Diocese” during the liturgy, while the surrounding choir of most holy Hierarchs shall commemorate his name as First Hierarch and Primate of the most holy Church in Ukraine. As for matters related to internal ecclesiastical administration, these shall be arbitrated, adjudicated and determined absolutely by the Primate and the Holy Synod, adhering to the evangelical and other teachings—in accordance with sacred Tradition and the venerable canonical regulations of our Holy Orthodox Church, as well as the teaching and injunction of Canon 6 of the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea, which dictates that “whereas the common vote of all is reasonable and in accordance with the ecclesiastical canon, in cases where two or three disagree by reason of personal rivalry, let the vote of the majority prevail”—while further preserving the right of all Hierarchs and other clergy to address petitions of appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch, who bears the canonical responsibility of irrevocably passing judgment over matters related to bishops and other clergy in local Churches, in accordance with the sacred Canons 9 and 17 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council in Chalcedon.
In addition to the above, we declare that the Autocephalous Church in Ukraine knows as its head the most holy Apostolic and Patriarchal Ecumenical Throne, just as the rest of the Patriarchs and Primates also do, while having along with its other canonical obligations and responsibilities, as its foremost mission, the preservation of our Orthodox Faith inviolable as well as the canonical unity and communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the other local Orthodox Churches unwavering. Furthermore, the Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine, as well as the Hierarchs of the most holy Church of Ukraine, are from now on elected in accordance with the provisions of the holy and sacred Canons as well as the relevant regulations of its Constitutional Charter, along with mandatory agreement in all matters on the regulations of the present Patriarchal and Synodal Tomos. All the Hierarchs have the duty to shepherd the people of God in a manner pleasing to God, advancing, in the fear of God, peace and concord in their country and Church.
Nonetheless, in order that the bond of spiritual unity and association of the holy Churches of God may remain in every way undiminished—for we have been instructed “to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4.3)—His Beatitude the presiding Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine is required to commemorate, in accordance with the ancient traditions of our holy Fathers, the Ecumenical Patriarch, Their Beatitudes the Patriarchs and other Primates of the local Autocephalous Churches, in the sequence of the Diptychs, according to canonical order, assuming his proper place after the Primate of the Church in the Czech Lands and Slovakia both in the sacred Diptychs and church assemblies.
At the same time, the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, through its Primate or else the canonical locum tenens on the Throne of Kyiv, is obliged to participate in periodical Inter-Orthodox consultations on significant canonical, doctrinal and other issues, in accordance with the sacred custom of the Fathers that has prevailed from the outset. The First Hierarch, after being installed, must also immediately dispatch the necessary Irenic Letters concerning his establishment both to the Ecumenical Patriarch and the other Primates, just as he is also entitled to receive the same from these, while commencing his irenic journey as customary from the First-Throne Church of Constantinople, wherefrom it will likewise receive the Holy Myron as affirmation of its spiritual unity with the latter. In the case of major issues of ecclesiastical, doctrinal and canonical nature, His Beatitude the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine must, on behalf of the Holy Synod of his Church, address our most holy Patriarchal and Ecumenical Throne, seeking its authoritative opinion and conclusive support, while the prerogatives of the Ecumenical Throne over the Exarchate and Sacred Stavropegial institutions in Ukraine shall be preserved unmitigated.
Consequently, on the basis of all the above and on the basis of these conditions, our Holy Great Church of Christ blesses and declares the Orthodox Church in Ukraine as Autocephalous, invoking the abundant gifts of God and boundless treasures of the All-Holy Spirit upon the venerable Hierarchy, the righteous clergy and pious people throughout the land of Ukraine, and praying that the First and Great High Priest Jesus Christ—through the intercessions of our all-holy and most blessed lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary; the holy and glorious prince Vladimir, equal to the apostles; the holy and glorious queen Olga; our venerable and God-bearing Fathers, the ascetics and monastics of the Kyiv Lavra and all the Monasteries—may forever support the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine, now reckoned in the body of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and grant it stability, unity, peace and increase for His glory and that of the Father and the Holy Spirit.
These things, then, are deemed and determined, joyfully proclaimed to you from the venerable Center of Orthodoxy, having been ratified in synod, whereas this Patriarchal and Synodal Tome is issued for permanent protection, being recorded and signed in the Code of the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople, delivered in an identical and accurate copy to His Beatitude Epifanios, the Primate of the Most Holy Church of Ukraine, and to His Excellency the President of Ukraine, Mr. Petro Poroshenko, for abiding verification and permanent confirmation.
On this sixth day of the month January of the year two thousand and nineteen,
Of the XII indiction
+ Bartholomew of Constantinople, hereby determines in Christ God
+ Panteleimon of Vryoula
+ Gennadios of Italy and Malta
+ Avgoustinos of Germany
+ Germanos of Tranoupolis
+ Evangelos of New Jersey
+ Kyrillos of Rhodes
+ Evgenios of Rethymnon and Avlopotamos
+ Ambrose of Korea
+ Konstantinos of Singapore
+ Arsenios of Austria
+ Chrysostomos of Symi
+ Nathanael of Chicago

US Bishops Full Text Release on Court Ruling that forces Little Sisters of the Poor to support HHS

Bishops Express Dismay at Court Ruling Enjoining Moral and Religious Exemption to HHS Mandate

January 15, 2019
WASHINGTON–In response to Monday’s federal court ruling from Pennsylvania granting a nationwide injunction barring the broadened moral and religious exemption to the HHS mandate, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, issued the following statement:
“Yesterday’s court ruling freezing these common-sense regulations leaves those with conscientious or religious objections to the HHS mandate out in the cold. In a free country, no one should be forced to facilitate or fund things like contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs and devices, which go against their core beliefs. We pray that this decision will be appealed and that future courts will respect the free exercise arguments of the Little Sisters of the Poor and so many others who simply seek the freedom to serve their neighbors without the threat of massive government fines hanging over their heads.”

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday January 16, 2019 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 307

Reading 1HEB 2:14-18

Since the children share in blood and Flesh,
Jesus likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one
who has the power of death, that is, the Devil,
and free those who through fear of death
had been subject to slavery all their life.
Surely he did not help angels
but rather the descendants of Abraham;
therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way,  
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God
to expiate the sins of the people.
Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested.

Responsorial PsalmPS 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8a)  The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generationsB
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R.  Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord.
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 1:29-39

On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn,
he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, "Everyone is looking for you."
He told them, "Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come."
So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons
throughout the whole of Galilee.

Saint January 16 : St. Berard of Carbio : Franciscan Friar Minor : Martyr

St. Berard of Carbio
Feast: January 16
Feast Day:
January 16
Carbio, Umbria, Italy
16 January 1220, Morocco
1481, Rome by Pope Sixtus IV
Of the noble family of Leopardi, and a native of Carbio in Umbria, Berard was received into the Franciscan Order by the Seraphic Patriarch  himself, in 1213. He was well versed in Arabic, an eloquent preacher, and was chosen by St. Francis, together with two other priests, Peter and Otho, and two lay-brothers, Accursius and Adjutus, to evangelize the infidels of the East. On the conclusion of the Second General Chapter in 1219, St. Francis believed that the time had then come for the religious of his order to extend their apostolic labours beyond the Italian peninsula and Northern Europe; and, choosing for himself and twelve other religious the greater part of Syria and Egypt, he allotted to Berard and his companions the missions of Morocco. The five missionaries set sail from Italy, and after sojourning some time in Spain and Portugal finally arrived in the Kingdom of Morocco. Their open preaching of the Gospel there and their bold denunciation of the religion of Mahomet soon caused them to be apprehended and cast into prison. Having vainly endeavoured to persuade them to abandon the true religion, the Moorish king in a fit of rage opened their heads with his scimitar, and thus were offered to God the first fruits of the blood of the Friars Minor. Berard and his companions were canonized by Sixtus V, in 1481. The feast of the martyrs of Morocco is kept in the order on the 16th of January.
SOURCE: Catholic Encyclopedia