Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Saint February 13 : St. Catherine de Ricci : Mystic and Counselor to Future Popes

(In baptism, Alessandra Lucrezia Romola), a Dominican nun, of the Third Order, though enclosed, born in Florence, 23 April, 1522; died 2 February, 1590. She is chiefly known to the world for her highly mystical and miraculous life, and especially as the subject of a marvellous, but fully and most carefully authenticated ecstasy, into which she was rapt every week, from Thursday at noon till 4 p.m. on Friday, for several years. In this state she went through all the stages of Our Lord's Passion, actually realizing, and showing forth to others with wonderful vividness, all that His Blessed Mother suffered in witnessing it. Her father, Pier Francesco de' Ricci, was one of an old and respected family of bankers and merchants. Her mother of the Ricasoli family — died when she was a small child, and she was brought up by a devoted stepmother, Fiammetta da Diacceto. The latter soon observed the child's unusual tendency to holiness — particularly to solitary prayer — and did her utmost to foster and develop it. Whilst still a child, Alessandra resolved to join some strictly observant religious order; but the state of relaxation just then was so universal that it was long before she could find what she desired. Her vocation was finally decided during a stay at Prato, where she made acquaintance with the Dominican Convent of San Vincenzio, founded in 1503 by nine ladies who had been devoted followers of Savonarola. Alessandra there found the spirit of religious fervour high enough to satisfy even her ideal; and, after some difficulties with her father, she entered the novitiate, was clothed in 1535 (taking the name of Catherine), and professed in 1536.
 Both during her novitiate and for four or five years after profession, she was subjected to humiliating trials from the community, owing to their misunderstanding of some of the high supernatural favours she received; but her holiness and humility eventually triumphed. She was then appointed to one important office after another, finally remaining prioress or sub prioress till her death. During all these years, whilst conscientiously fulfilling every religious duty, she was feeling and showing keen interest in all her relations — especially her brothers — and in numerous friends and "spiritual children". The great "Ecstasy of the Passion", above referred to, happened for the first time in February, 1542, and was renewed every week afterwards for twelve years, when it ceased in answer to the prayers of Catherine herself and the community. The fame of it was bringing so many people of every rank and calling to Prato that the peace and strict observance of the convent were suffering. Catherine de' Ricci lived in an age of great saints; among her contemporaries were St. Charles Borromeo, St. Philip Neri, and St. M. Magdalen de Pazzi. With the two last named she is said to have held in different ways, miraculous intercourse, never having met them in a natural way. She was beatified in 1732 by Clement XII, after many delays in the process, and canonized by Benedict XIV in 1746 on both occasions amid great rejoicings at Prato, where her memory is always kept fresh. The lineal descendants of her community still inhabit the convent of San Vincenzio (now commonly called Santa Caterina), and there her body still reposes. Her feast is kept on the 13th of February.
Catholic Encyclopedia

Thousands Protest in Streets of Venezuela in Favor of Juan Guaido as President

This year, three huge mobilizations of opposition supporters have shown the government in peaceful protests.
Protests are due to the two men who claim to be Venezuela's legitimate president, Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido.
Greater police presence did not deter Venezuelans from pouring into the streets again Tuesday to protest the Maduro government.
Juan Guaido has declared himself President and asked for foreign aid. Maduro has tried to block necessary humanitarian aid from the US which would help Venezuela's over 200,000 sick and needy people.

Juan Guaidó ✔ @jguaido on Feb. 12, 2019, Tweeted:
Despite the difficulty and the fact that we are going through the deepest crisis, we do not give up.

Anti-government Venezuelans turned out in the thousands despite Maduro's tactics.

Anti-Maduro protesters fill the streets of Caracas, chanting anti-government slogans.
The presence of gangs known as colectivos, armed by the government Socialist Party,  often attack opposition demonstrators from motorcycles. They have been responsible for many of the fatal shootings at past demonstrations.

Image source Google Images

#BreakingNews nearly 70 People Killed in English-Speaking Cameroon - Please Pray

Cameroon: Nearly 70 Killed in Cameroon as Separatists Stop Youth Week Activities

Scores Killed as Separatists Stop Youth Week Activity in Cameroon

Renewed fighting has killed 69 people in English-speaking regions of Cameroon, where armed separatists have ordered people to stay inside their homes as the country prepares to celebrate its national youth day.

February 11 coincides with the 1961 plebiscite, which separatists identify as the day their English-speaking territory was handed to the French-speaking majority.

Patients writhe and scream on the floor and get little medical attention at Saint Mary Clinic, a private hospital in Cameroon's English-speaking coastal city of Limbe. Nurse Frederick Mengoli says they were dumped there on Friday night by the Cameroon military.

"This morning, the military brought 11 wounded patients and we can not take care of them because our staff is not present and we do not have the necessary drugs to take care of them," said Mengoli. "We are just going to clean their wounds. It is very serious situation."

Fighting has been going on since Tuesday, February 5 in the English-speaking southwestern towns of Limbe, Buea, Mutengene, Kumba, Mamfe and Tombel, as well as in the northwestern towns of Bamenda, Kumbo, Ndop, Nkambe, Bafut and Kom. That's when armed separatists began what they call a 10-day lockdown, banning many activities in the war-torn Anglophone regions through February 14.

Here in Buea, hundreds of students from the town's university are shouting as they return home after being forcefully removed from their hostels by the military and locked up for several hours. The military said by staying at home, they were following the separatists instead of obeying government instructions to continue with their activities.

Nineteen-year-old journalism student Edmond Mbella says they cannot continue their studies because their lives are being threatened by the separatists.

"Even the soldiers who are well armed, well trained with sophisticated weapons are being killed, but they [the government] want us to go out. We will not," said Mbella. "Who will be able to protect us when the soldiers can not protect themselves?"

Some of the students remained in detention. The government says at least six military, 47 armed separatists and 16 civilians have been killed. The separatists say on social media they have killed more troops than the government is reporting.

Deben Tchoffo, governor of the English-speaking northwest region, says troops will continue attacking and killing the armed fighters who disturb the public peace.

"Those that will continue to challenge the state, our security, and furthermore the population, are going to be treated accordingly. Soonest, the situation will come back to normalcy in our region," said Tchoffo.

The northern part voted to have independence by joining the Federal Republic of Nigeria, while the southern part, today known as the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, voted to have independence by joining French-speaking Cameroon.

Since then, English-speaking Cameroonians have been complaining the U.N.-sponsored plebiscite did not give them a third option: to have an independent state on its own.

This resulted in an armed insurgency that started in the English-speaking regions in November 2017, after separatists declared the independence of a nation they called "Ambazonia" complaining minority anglophones were being systematically marginalized in the largely French-speaking country.
Edited from AllAfrica.com

#BreakingNews 5 Churches in France Vandalized in a Week - with Excrement thrown on walls and Breaking of Tabernacle

Several Catholic buildings, from Yvelines to Tarn, in France, were vandalized last week.

In Maisons-Laffitte and Houilles, in the Yvelines, Dijon, but also in Nîmes and Lavaur, in the Tarn, degradations were committed in five Catholic churches last week. These are police and diocesan sources who have recounted these acts of vandalism.

The tabernacle of the Saint-Nicolas Church of Maisons-Laffitte was overthrown this Sunday, according to police sources. An investigation was opened and a man, a homeless man of 35 years, was taken into custody.

Last week in Houilles, still in the Yvelines, acts of vandalism were found in the church of Saint-Nicolas. The prefecture condemned "with the greatest firmness this serious and inadmissible violence against these places of worship".

The church targeted three times in 10 days

Degradations - Christ on the cross and a statue of the virgin thrown on the ground and broken, in particular - had already been noted at the end of January in the same church, according to the police.

Father Coeur, who officiates at the Saint-Nicolas church, tells our colleagues in the Parisian have undergone three degradations in the space of ten days. First, "Christ carrying his cross was thrown to the ground in the choir and the seat on which the priest sits was knocked down," he explains to the daily, stating that everything had been "patched up and handed over. in place "before the cross is again targeted. Last Monday, it is to a virgin and child polychrome terracotta nineteenth century was stolen. Then it was found "totally broken" and "irreparable".

Saturday, it is this time the diocese of Dijon who expressed his "sadness" in a tweet relaying photos of damage in the Church Notre-Dame de Dijon: a broken vase, hosts thrown on the altar, a tablecloth rolled into a ball.

Excrement on the walls

Vandalism was also reported Wednesday in a church in Nimes, located in the district of Lovers. The tabernacle was broken, hosts thrown on the walls and on the ground, various degraded religious objects and excrement thrown on the interior walls of the building. The prosecutor's office of Nimes opened an investigation entrusted to the police officers.

Earlier in the week, Tuesday at the end of the day, the fire was also set at an altar in a side chapel of the Saint-Alain de Lavaur cathedral, in Tarn, as the diocese reported on its website.

According to a report from the Ministry of the Interior, in 2017, 978 attacks on religious buildings and burials, including 878 against Christian sites, were counted.
Edited from Lexpress.fr

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday February 2, 2019 - #Eucharist

Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 330

Reading 1GN 1:20—2:4A

God said,
"Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures,
and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky."
and so it happened:
God created the great sea monsters
and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems,
and all kinds of winged birds.
God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying,
"Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas;
and let the birds multiply on the earth."
Evening came, and morning followed–the fifth day.

Then God said,
"Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures:
cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds."
and so it happened:
God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle,
and all kinds of creeping things of the earth.
God saw how good it was.
Then God said:
"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air, and the cattle,
and over all the wild animals
and all the creatures that crawl on the ground."

God created man in his image;
in the divine image he created him;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them, saying:
"Be fertile and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air,
and all the living things that move on the earth."
God also said:
"See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth
and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;
and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air,
and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground,
I give all the green plants for food."
And so it happened.
God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.
Evening came, and morning followed–the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed.
Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing,
he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy,
because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.

Such is the story of the heavens and the earth at their creation.

Responsorial PsalmPS 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (2ab) O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars which you set in place—
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet.
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!

AlleluiaPS 119:36, 29B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Incline my heart, O God, to your decrees;
And favor me with your law.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 7:1-13

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
"Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?"
He responded,
"Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites,
as it is written:

This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.

You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition."
He went on to say,
"How well you have set aside the commandment of God
in order to uphold your tradition!
For Moses said,
Honor your father and your mother,
and Whoever curses father or mother shall die.
Yet you say,
'If someone says to father or mother,
"Any support you might have had from me is qorban"'
(meaning, dedicated to God),
you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother.
You nullify the word of God
in favor of your tradition that you have handed on.
And you do many such things."

Saint February 12 : St. Saturninus & Companions : Bishop & Martyr

BISHOP, MARTYR Saint Saturninus was a contemporary and a disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ; he came to Palestine from Greece, attracted by the reputation of Saint John the Baptist, which had echoed even to the northern Mediterranean region. He then followed our Saviour, heard His teaching, and was a witness to many of His miracles. He was present in the Cenacle when the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost upon the Mother of Christ, the Apostles and Disciples assembled in the number of 120. (Acts of the Apostles 1:15) He departed to teach Christianity under Saint Peter's authority, evangelizing the lands east of Palestine, and going as far as the region of the Persians and Medes and their neighboring provinces. He cured the sick, the lepers, and the paralytics and delivered souls from the demons; and before he left, he gave written instructions to the new Christians concerning what they should believe and practice.
When Saint Saturninus went with Saint Peter to Rome, the Apostle was inspired to send out a number of fervent evangelists to the West, to dissipate by the light of Christ the darkness in which those regions were still plunged. Saturninus was directed to go to what is now southern France, to Toulouse in particular. Saint Peter consecrated him a bishop, that he might form and ordain native priests for the future Christian churches of Gaul. He was given for his companion Papulus, later to become Saint Papulus the Martyr.
The two companions acquired at Nimes an ardent assistant in the person of Honestus. At Carcassonne, when the three announced Christ they were thrown into a prison, where they suffered from hunger; but an Angel was sent by the Lord to deliver them, and they continued on their way to Toulouse, preaching the doctrine and the name of Christ publicly. At this large and opulent city, where idolatry was entrenched, the idols became mute when the missionaries arrived. This caused great astonishment, and the cause of the silence was sought. Saint Saturninus in the meantime was working miracles which produced a strong impression on the witnesses; among them, the cure of a woman with advanced leprosy. The sign of the cross which he made over crowds often cured many sick persons at the same time, and he then baptized those who showed themselves ready for the sacrament. For a time he left his two disciples there and continued on elsewhere, preaching in the cities of what are now Auch and Eauze. A Spaniard heard of him and crossed the Pyrenees to hear him; this man, by the name of Paternus, advanced so rapidly on the paths of virtue that Saint Saturninus ordained him and then established him bishop of Eauze. He himself returned to Toulouse and sent Honestus to Spain to preach. When the latter returned to ask him to come with him to Spain, he left his disciple Papulus in charge for a time at Toulouse.
At Pampeluna his preaching brought thousands to the truth, delivering these former idolaters from the heavy yoke of the ancient enemy. While he continued his apostolic labors elsewhere, in Toulouse a persecution broke out against Papulus, and the faithful Christian obtained the crown of martyrdom by a violent death. At once Saint Saturnin returned to Toulouse, when he learned of it.
The idols again became mute. One day a great multitude was gathered near a pagan altar, where a bull stood ready for the sacrifice. A man in the crowd pointed out Saturninus, who was passing by, as the cause of the silence. There is the one who preaches everywhere that our temples must be torn down, and who dares to call our gods devils! It is his presence that imposes silence on our oracles! He was chained and dragged to the summit of the capitol, situated on a high hill, and commanded to offer sacrifice to the idols and cease to preach Jesus Christ. An Angel appeared to him to fortify him, and the terrible flagellation he endured could not alter his firmness. I know only one God, the only true one; to Him alone I will offer sacrifice on the altar of my heart... How can I fear gods who you yourselves say are afraid of me? He was tied by a rope to the bull, which was driven down the stairs leading to the capitol. His skull was broken, and the Saint entered into the beatitude of the unceasing vision of God. His body was taken up and buried by two devout young women. Tradition conserved the memory of the place of his burial, where later a church was built.
Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 13