Saturday, February 9, 2019

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. February 10, 2019 - #Eucharist - 5th Sun. in Ordinary Time - C

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 75

Reading 1 IS 6:1-2A, 3-8

In the year King Uzziah died,
I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne,
with the train of his garment filling the temple.
Seraphim were stationed above.

They cried one to the other,
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!
All the earth is filled with his glory!"
At the sound of that cry, the frame of the door shook
and the house was filled with smoke.

Then I said, "Woe is me, I am doomed!
For I am a man of unclean lips,
living among a people of unclean lips;
yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"
Then one of the seraphim flew to me,
holding an ember that he had taken with tongs from the altar.

He touched my mouth with it, and said,
"See, now that this has touched your lips,
your wickedness is removed, your sin purged."

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
"Whom shall I send?  Who will go for us?"
"Here I am," I said; "send me!"

Responsorial PsalmPS 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8

R. (1c) In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
 your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
 you built up strength within me.
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you, O LORD,
when they hear the words of your mouth;
and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD:
"Great is the glory of the LORD."
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

Reading 2 1 COR 15:1-11

I am reminding you, brothers and sisters,
of the gospel I preached to you,
which you indeed received and in which you also stand.
Through it you are also being saved,
if you hold fast to the word I preached to you,
unless you believed in vain.
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he was buried;
that he was raised on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.
After that, Christ appeared to more
than five hundred brothers at once,
most of whom are still living,
though some have fallen asleep.
After that he appeared to James,
then to all the apostles.
Last of all, as to one born abnormally,
he appeared to me.
For I am the least of the apostles,
not fit to be called an apostle,
because I persecuted the church of God.
But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and his grace to me has not been ineffective.
Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them;
not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me.
Therefore, whether it be I or they,
so we preach and so you believed.

Or1 COR 15:3-8, 11

Brothers and sisters,
I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he was buried;
that he was raised on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more
than five hundred brothers at once,
most of whom are still living,
though some have fallen asleep.
After that he appeared to James,
then to all the apostles.
Last of all, as to one abnormally born,
he appeared to me.
Therefore, whether it be I or they,
so we preach and so you believed. 

AlleluiaMT 4:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me
and I will make you fishers of men.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 5:1-11

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening
to the word of God,
he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
He saw two boats there alongside the lake;
the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
"Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch."
Simon said in reply,
"Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets."
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.
They signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats
so that the boats were in danger of sinking.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said,
"Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man."
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him
and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who were partners of Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men."
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.

Saint February 10 : St. Scholastica - Patron of #Nuns and Storms - Sister of St. Benedict

Feast Day:
February 10
480, Nursia, Italy
Patron of:
convulsive children; nuns; invoked against storms and rain

“St. Gregory tells us that St. Benedict governed nuns as well as monks, and it seems clear that St. Scholastica must have been their abbess, under his direction. She used to visit her brother once a year and, since she was not allowed to enter his monastery, he used to go with some of his monks to meet her at a house a little way off. They spent these visits praising God and in conversing together on spiritual matters.
“St. Gregory gives a remarkable description of the last of these visits. After they had passed the day as usual they sat down in the evening to have supper. When it was finished, Scholastica, possibly foreseeing that it would be their last interview in this world, begged her brother to delay his return till the next day that they might spend the time discoursing of the joys of Heaven. Benedict, who was unwilling to transgress his rule, told her that he could not pass a night away from his monastery. When Scholastica found that she could not move him, she laid her head upon her hands which were clasped together on the table and besought God to interpose on her behalf.
“Her prayer was scarcely ended when there arose such a violent storm of rain with thunder and lightning that St. Benedict and his companions were unable to set foot outside the door. He exclaimed, ‘God forgive you, sister; what have you done?’ Whereupon she answered, ‘I asked a favour of you and you refused it. I asked it of God, and He has granted it.’
“Benedict was therefore forced to comply with her request, and they spent the night talking about holy things and about the felicity of the blessed to which they both ardently aspired and which she was soon to enjoy.
“The next morning they parted, and three days later St. Scholastica died. St. Benedict was at the time alone in his cell absorbed in prayer when, lifting up his eyes, he saw his sister’s soul ascending to Heaven as a dove. Filled with joy at her happiness, he thanked God and announced her death to his brethren. He then sent some of the monks to fetch her body which he placed in a tomb which he had prepared for himself.”
Edited from Butler's Lives of the Saints

Pope Francis to Academics ".. frankly witnessing to the Christ "Way, truth and life" Full Text + Video


Sala Clementina
Saturday, 9 February 2019

Father Moderator General,
Dear brothers and sisters,

I meet you on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Alphonsian Academy. I thank the Moderator General for his words and I extend a cordial greeting to all of you. This recurrence of your university institution is a moment of gratitude to the Lord for the service of research and theological formation that it has been able to accomplish. The specific theological field of the Alphonsian Academy is that of moral knowledge, which is responsible for the difficult but indispensable task of bringing and accepting Christ in the concreteness of daily life, as the One who, freeing ourselves from sin, sadness, inner emptiness, from isolation, it gives birth and re-birth in us joy (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 1).

In these seventy years, the Alphonsian Academy has committed itself, as your Statutes recall, to deepen the moral theology sub lumine Mysterii Christi trying to respond to the evolution of society and cultures, in constant respect for the Magisterium (see No. 1) ). And he did so by drawing inspiration from his heavenly Patron, Saint Alphonsus Maria de 'Liguori.

The celebration of the anniversary of an institution like yours can not be limited to the memory of what has been done, but it must above all push forward to look forward, to find enthusiasm in the mission, to design courageous steps to better respond to the expectations of the people of God And it is providential that your seventieth comes in the period when all the academic structures of the Church are called to a more resolute commitment to redesign and renewal. This is what I have called to do with the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis gaudium on the Universities and Ecclesiastical Faculties. Enhancing the «rich patrimony of in-depth studies and addresses», originated by Vatican II and implemented with the «persevering commitment of cultural and social mediation of the Gospel put into action by the People of God in the different continental spheres and in dialogue with different cultures», it is necessary to open oneself to «that wise and courageous renewal that is required by the missionary transformation of an" outgoing "Church» (see No. 3).

It is not just a revision of the statutes and study plans, but a renewal of the entire academic life, also favored by the possibilities that IT development offers today to research and teaching. For this purpose it is essential to assume as a "priority and permanent" criterion [...] that of contemplation and spiritual, intellectual and existential introduction into the heart of the kerygma, and that is to say of the ever new and fascinating joyful news of the Gospel of Jesus ". It will then be possible to implement a "wide-ranging dialogue: not as a mere tactical attitude, but as an intrinsic requirement to make a community experience of the joy of Truth and to deepen its meaning and practical implications". And the care for "the inter- and trans-disciplinarity exercised with wisdom and creativity in the light of Revelation" will be accompanied by the recognition of the "urgent need to" make a network "», not only among the ecclesial institutions of the whole world, but also "with the academic institutions of the different countries and with those that are inspired by the different cultural and religious traditions", taking care of the "epochal problems that affect humanity today, coming to propose appropriate and realistic paths of resolution" ( see No. 4).

These are instances to which I am sure that the Alphonsian Academy is already sensitive and will be able to respond promptly and confidently, as in the second half of the last century it managed to implement the renewal of the moral theology desired by the Second Vatican Council.

Fidelity to the Alphonsian roots of your Institute is now asking you for an even more convinced and generous commitment to a moral theology animated by the missionary tension of the Church "outgoing". Like St. Alphonsus, we must always avoid letting ourselves be imprisoned in school positions or in judgments formulated "far from the concrete situation and the real possibilities" of people and families. Likewise, it is necessary to guard against an "excessive idealization" of the Christian life which is not capable of awakening "trust in grace" (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Apostolic Apostolate, Amoris Laetitia, 36). Instead, listening to respectful of reality and trying to discern the signs of the presence of the Spirit, which generates liberation and new possibilities, we can help everyone to walk with joy in the path of goodness.
The reality to listen to is above all the sufferings and the hopes of those who the thousand forms of the power of sin continue to condemn insecurity, poverty and marginalization. St. Alphonsus soon realized that it was not a world from which to defend himself and even less to condemn, but to heal and free, in imitation of Christ's action: to incarnate and share needs, to reawaken the deepest expectations of the heart, to make sure that everyone, however fragile and sinful, is in the heart of the Heavenly Father and is loved by Christ to the cross. Who is touched by this love, feels the urgency to respond loving.

All the words of moral theology must allow themselves to be shaped by this merciful logic, which allows them to be effectively met as words of life in fullness. They are in fact an echo of those of the Master who tells his disciples not to have come "to condemn the world, but to save the world" (Jn 12, 47), and that his Father's will is that "they have life and they have in abundance "(Jn 10,10) and participate in the fullness of his joy (cf. Jn 17,13). "Although it is true that the integrity of the moral teaching of the Church must be treated, special attention must always be given to highlighting and encouraging the highest and most central values ​​of the Gospel, especially the primacy of charity as a response to the free initiative of the Church. 'love of God' (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Apostolic Posts, Amoris Laetitia, 311).

With the apostle Paul, moral theology is called to make everyone experience that "the law of the Spirit, which gives life in Christ Jesus", frees "from the law of sin and death", so we can not "fall back into fear. »Having received« the Spirit who makes adoptive sons, through whom we cry: "Abba! Father! "» (Cf. Rom 8:15). And the same Spirit makes sure that this freedom can never be indifference towards those in need, but "the heart of the neighbor" who lets himself be questioned and is ready to take care of him lovingly.

In recent years moral theology has pledged to welcome the strong warning of Vatican Council II to "overcome individualistic ethics" and to promote awareness that "the more the world is united, the more openly the obligations of men outweigh the groups particular and extend little by little to the whole world "(Cost. past. Gaudium et spes, 30). The steps taken must prompt us to face the new and serious challenges arising from the rapidity with which our society evolves with greater speed. I limit myself to remember those due to the growing domination of the logic of "competitiveness and the law of the strongest" which "considers the human being in itself as a consumer good, which can be used and then thrown" giving "beginning of culture" of the "waste" »(cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 53).

The same must be said for the cry of the earth, raped and wounded in a thousand ways by selfish exploitation. The ecological dimension is an essential component of the responsibility of every person and every nation. It makes me reflect the fact that when I administer Reconciliation - even before, when I did it - someone rarely accuses himself of having violated nature, the earth, and creation. We are not yet aware of this sin. It is your job to do it. Moral theology must make its own the urgent need to participate firmly in a common effort to care for the common home through feasible ways of integral development.

A dialogue and a shared commitment moral research is called to fulfill also with regard to the new possibilities that the development of the biomedical sciences makes available to humanity. However, the frank testimony of the unconditional value of every life must never fail, reaffirming that the weakest and most defenseless life is the one we are called to take on in solidarity and trust.

I am sure that the Alphonsian Academy will continue to work for a moral theology that does not hesitate to "get its hands dirty" with the concreteness of the problems, especially with the fragility and suffering of those who see their future threatened, frankly witnessing to the Christ "Way, truth and life" (Jn 14: 6).

Dear brothers and sisters, as I thank you for this visit, I encourage you to continue your ecclesial service, in constant adherence to the Magisterium of the Church, and I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you all. Please remember to pray for me! Thank you.

February is Black History Month - Free Resources, Prayers and History to Share!

Timely Ministry Resources for Black Catholics

African American Affairs E-Newsletter Archive

View past and current issues in the e-newsletter archive.

Addressing Racism

National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC) XII Pastoral Plan of Action - Read the Pastoral Plan of Action. . . which was developed by delegates who were appointed by bishops from every diocese in the United States. These women and men brought the concerns and needs of their local communities, and worked together to develop a list of pastoral priorities.
Brothers and Sisters to Us - The pastoral letter on racism by the U.S. Catholic Bishops in 1979 explains how racism divides society. The Executive Summary Report on the 25th Anniversary of the U.S. Bishop's Pastoral Letter on Racism outlines the Church's progress in meeting the goal outlined in the pastoral letter.
Pastoral Statements from 1958-2018 - Read statements issued/approved by USCCB and its predecessors about the sin of racism:
Find more information and resources regarding the issue of racism on USCCB's Combatting Racism webpage.

Prayer & Liturgical Resources

Foundational Materials

Below are additional foundation materials:

Marriage and Family Life Ministry


Young Adult Catholics

Read the report from the 2015 Black Catholic Young Adult Listening Session and related material at the Young Adult Resources webpage.


Below are some video and audio resources available:

Torture Awareness Month and International Day of Support of Victims of Torture

June is Torture Awareness Month and June 26 is the International Day of Support of Victims of Torture. The focus of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), a USCCB partner, now includes ending torture in U.S. prisons and campaigning against solitary confinement. Help end torture in U.S. policy, practice and culture by downloading a free toolkit of resources from NRCAT. . . .

Additional Resources

On The Road to Sainthood - Pray for holy men and women on the road to sainthood.
FULL TEXT Release from US Bishops - USCCB

#BreakingNews 60 People Killed by Boko Haram in Nigeria - Please Pray

Radical Islamists attack Northern Nigeria, Killing 60 people and burning homes.

At least 60 people were killed by Islamic terrorists in northern Nigeria last week.

Amnesty International says the terrorists attacked the northeastern Nigeria border town of Rann, The town was almost destroyed, and left in flames.

The attackers, believed to be from the Boko Haram terrorist group, drove motorcycles through the town near the Cameroon border, killing people and setting their houses on fire.

Amnesty tweeted satellite imagery of the town which shows hundreds of burned structures. The group reports tens of thousands of people have fled the area near the border with Chad in recent weeks due to an extremist "resurgence" there.

— Amnesty Int. Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) February 1, 2019

Boko Haram in Nigeria includes a powerful Islamic State offshoot which has been escalating the violence over the past year, according to the US-backed Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

"We have now confirmed that this week's attack on Rann was the deadliest yet by Boko Haram, killing at least 60 people. Using satellite imagery we have also been able to confirm the mass burning of structures as Boko Haram unleashed a massive assault on Rann, most of which is now destroyed," said Osai Ojigho, director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

"Boko Haram has consistently and deliberately targeted civilians in Rann, which makes the Nigerian authorities failure to protect people all the more unacceptable," Ojigho said.

After several attacks in January, nearly 40,000 people fled into Cameroon, hoping to find safety.

"Many people were in a state of shock and were clearly distressed by what they had witnessed. Now they have lost all that they have," said Hugues Robert, the Nigeria program director for Doctors Without Borders.

This latest attack came just two weeks before President Muhammadu Buhari tries for re-election.
Edited from CBN news

Pope Francis tells Judges "In fact, mercy always has the best in judgment" quoting the Bible - FULL Text + Video


Hall of the Consistory
Saturday, 9 February 2019

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

I extend a cordial greeting to you, to your President, whom I thank for his words, to the Central Steering Committee and to the entire National Magistrates Association. It takes one hundred and ten years: an occasion that becomes an occasion for recognition and budget, a moment in which you can confirm your intentions and recalibrate your goals, in the light of the changed context.

For over a century, through initiatives of a cultural, welfare and social security, the National Magistrates Association supervises the proper functioning of the delicate and precious function of the magistrate. At the same time it fulfills an important task of monitoring democratic rules and promoting constitutional values, at the service of the common good. By promoting these values, through internal debate and press releases, national congresses, the magazine and dialogue with the institutions, you make a significant contribution to the most relevant issues concerning the administration of justice. The membership of your Association of about 90% of Italian magistrates makes you privileged interlocutors, in particular for the legislative bodies of the State, because it allows you to draw on a wide range of professional experiences, giving you a direct knowledge of the life of citizens and of its critical points.

We live in a context crossed by tensions and lacerations, which risk weakening the very estate of the social fabric and weaken the civic consciousness of many, with a withdrawal into the private that often generates disinterest and becomes a breeding ground for illegality. The claim of a multiplicity of rights, up to those of third and fourth generation connected to new technologies, is often accompanied by a poor perception of their duties and a widespread insensitivity to the primary rights of many, even multitudes of people. For these reasons, it should be reaffirmed with constancy and determination, in attitudes and practices, the primary value of justice, indispensable for the proper functioning of every area of ​​public life and for everyone to lead a serene life.

The philosophical tradition presents justice as a cardinal virtue, and the cardinal virtue par excellence, because the others also contribute to its realization: prudence, which helps to apply the general principles of justice to specific situations; fortress and temperance, which perfects its attainment. Justice is therefore a virtue, that is, an internal dress of the subject: not an occasional dress or to be worn for parties, but a dress that must always be worn, because it covers and envelops you, influencing not only concrete choices, but also intentions and intentions. And it is cardinal virtue, because it indicates the right direction and, like a pivotal point of reference, it is a point of support and junction. Without justice, all social life remains jammed, like a door that can no longer open up, or ends up grinding and creaking in a muddled movement.

Therefore, all the positive energies present in the social body must contribute to the attainment of justice, because it, in charge of making each one his own, is the main requirement for achieving peace. To you, magistrates, justice is entrusted in a very special way, because not only do you practice it with alacrity, but you also promote it without tiring; it is not in fact an order already realized to be preserved, but a goal towards which to strive every day.

I am aware of the many difficulties you encounter in your daily service, hampered in its effectiveness by the lack of resources for the maintenance of the structures and for the recruitment of personnel, and by the increasing complexity of legal situations. Every day you must then deal with the overabundance of laws, which can cause overlap or conflict between different laws, old and new, national and supranational; and, on the other, with legislative gaps in some important issues, including those relating to the beginning and the end of life, to family law and the complex reality of immigrants. These critical issues require the magistrate to assume responsibility that goes beyond his normal duties, and demands that he establishes the events and pronounces themselves on them with even greater accuracy.
In a time in which so often the truth is counterfeited, and we are almost overwhelmed by a whirlwind of fleeting information, it is necessary that you be the first to affirm the superiority of reality on the idea (see Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 233); in fact, "reality is simply, [while] the idea is elaborated" (ibid., 231). Your commitment to ascertaining the reality of the facts, even if made more difficult by the amount of work entrusted to you, is therefore always punctual, accurately reported, based on an in-depth study and on a continuous updating effort. It will be able to make use of the dialogue with the various extra-juridical knowledge, to better understand the changes taking place in society and in people's lives, and be able to implement with skill, where necessary, an evolutionary interpretation of the laws, on the basis of fundamental principles enshrined in the Constitution.

In a social context in which more and more is perceived as normal, without any scandal, the search for individual interest even at the expense of the collective, you are called to offer a sign of disinterested dedication that your Statute recalls from its first article , and made possible by the important prerogative of independence, which has always been guarded as a National Association. External independence, which leads to firm affirmation of its non-political character (cf. Statute, article 2), keeps away favoritism and currents from you, which pollute choices, relations and appointments; and internal independence (cf. Statute, article 1), instead, frees you from seeking personal advantages, capable of rejecting "pressure, signaling or direct solicitation to unduly influence the timing and methods of administration of justice" (Statute, art. . 2).

Precisely the times and the ways in which justice is administered touch the living flesh of people, especially those most in need, and leave signs of relief and consolation in it, or wounds of forgetfulness and discrimination. Therefore, in your precious task of discernment and judgment, always try to respect the dignity of every person, "without discrimination and prejudices of sex, culture, ideology, race, religion" (Statute, Article 9). Your gaze on those you are called to judge is always a look of goodness. "In fact, mercy always has the best in judgment" (Letter of James 2:13), teaches us the Bible, reminding us that a careful look at the person and his needs is able to grasp the truth in an even more authentic way. The justice that you administer becomes increasingly "inclusive", attentive to the last and to their integration: in fact, having to give everyone what is due to him, he can not forget the extreme weakness that affects the lives of many and influences their choices.

The high moral concern, expressed with clarity from your Code of Ethics, always animate your action, because you are more than officials, but models in front of all citizens and especially towards younger people. For this I congratulate you because you remember the magistrates who suffered and lost their lives in the faithful performance of their duties. To each of them I also address a particular and grateful memory today.

The Lord blesses all of you, your work and your families. Thank you.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday February 9, 2019 - #Eucharist

Saturday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 328

Reading 1HEB 13:15-17, 20-21

Brothers and sisters:
Through Jesus, let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise,
that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have;
God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.

Obey your leaders and defer to them,
for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account,
that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow,
for that would be of no advantage to you.

May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead
the great shepherd of the sheep
by the Blood of the eternal covenant,
furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will.
May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ,
to whom be glory forever and ever.  Amen.

Responsorial PsalmPS 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

R. (1)  The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose.
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

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 6:30-34

The Apostles gathered together with Jesus
and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them,
"Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while."
People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.

When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.

Saint February 9 : St. Apollina : Martyr : Patron of #Dentists

A holy virgin who suffered martyrdom in Alexandria during a local uprising against the Christians previous to the persecution of Decius (end of 248, or beginning of 249). During the festivities commemorative of the first millenary of the Roman Empire, the agitation of the heathen populace rose to a great height, and when one of their poets prophesied a calamity, they committed bloody outrages on the Christians whom the authorities made no effort to protect. The great Dionysius, then Bishop of Alexandria (247-265), relates the sufferings of his people in a letter addressed to Fabius, Bishop of Antioch, long extracts from which Eusebius has preserved for us (Church History I.6.41). After describing how a Christian man and woman, named respectively Metras and Quinta, were seized by the seditious mob and put to death with the most cruel tortures, and how the houses of several other Christians were completely pillaged, Dionysius continues: "At that time Apollonia the parthénos presbûtis (virgo presbytera, by which he very probably means not a virgin advanced in years, but a deaconess) was held in high esteem. These men seized her also and by repeated blows broke all her teeth. They then erected outside the city gates a pile of fagots and threatened to burn her alive if she refused to repeat after them impious words (either a blasphemy against Christ, or an invocation of the heathen gods). Given, at her own request, a little freedom, she sprang quickly into the fire and was burned to death." Apollonia belongs, therefore, to that class of early Christian martyrs who did not await the death they were threatened with, but either to preserve their chastity, or because confronted with the alternative of renouncing their faith or suffering death, voluntarily embraced the latter in the form prepared for them. In the honour paid to her martyrs the Church made no distinction between these women and others. St. Augustine touches on this question in the first book of the "City of God", apropos of suicide (City of God I.26); "But, they say, during the time of persecution certain holy women plunged into the water with the intention of being swept away by the waves and drowned, and thus preserve their threatened chastity. Although they quitted life in this wise, nevertheless they receive high honour as martyrs in the Catholic Church and their feasts are observed with great ceremony. This is a matter on which I dare not pass judgment lightly. For I know not but that the Church was divinely authorized through trustworthy revelations to honour thus the memory of these Christians. It may be that such is the case. May it not be, too, that these acted in such a manner, not through human caprice but on the command of God, not erroneously but through obedience, as we must believe in the case of Samson? When, however, God gives a command and makes it clearly known, who would account obedience thereto a crime or condemn such pious devotion and ready service?" The narrative of Dionysius does not suggest the slightest reproach as to this act of St. Apollonia; in his eyes she was as much a martyr as the others, and as such she was revered in the Alexandrian Church. In time, her feast was also popular in the West. A later legend assigned a similar martyrdom to Apollonia, a Christian virgin of Rome in the reign of Julian the Apostate. There was, however, but one martyr of this name, i.e. the Saint of Alexandria. The Roman Church celebrates her memory on 9 February, and she is popularly invoked against the toothache because of the torments she had to endure. She is represented in art with pincers in which a tooth is held. There was a church dedicated to her at Rome but it no longer exists. The little square, however, in which it stood is still called "Piazza Sant' Apollonia".
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Prayer for Toothache to Saint Apollonia
O Glorious Apollonia, patron saint of dentistry and refuge to all those suffering from diseases of the teeth, I consecrate myself to thee, beseeching thee to number me among thy clients. Assist me by your intercession with God in my daily work and intercede with Him to obtain for me a happy death. Pray that my heart like thine may be inflamed with the love of Jesus and Mary, through Christ our Lord. Amen. O My God, bring me safe through temptation and strengthen me as thou didst our own patron Apollonia, through Christ our Lord. Amen
St. Apollonia, please Pray for those suffering from dental diseases or toothaches. Amen