Thursday, March 14, 2019

Saint March 15 : St. Louise de Marillac : Patron of Disappointing children, Rejected by #Religious orders, Social workers

12 August 1591 at Meux, France
15 March 1660 at Paris, France
11 March 1934 by Pope Pius XI
Major Shrine:
Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Rue du Bac, Paris, France
Patron of:
disappointing children, loss of parents, people rejected by religious orders, sick people, social workers, Vincentian Service Corps, widows
Foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, born at Paris, 12 August, 1591, daughter of Louis de Marillac, Lord of Ferri res, and Marguerite Le Camus; died there, 15 March, 1660. Her mother having died soon after the birth of Louise, the education of the latter devolved upon her father, a man of blameless life. In her earlier years she was confided to the care of her aunt, a religious at Poissy. Afterwards she studied under a preceptress, devoting much time to the cultivation of the arts. Her father's serious disposition was reflected in the daughter's taste for philosophy and kindred subjects. When about sixteen years old, Louise developed a strong desire to enter the Capuchinesses (Daughter of the Passion). Her spiritual director dissuaded her, however, and her father having died, it became necessary to decide her vocation. Interpreting her director's advice, she accepted the hand of Antoine* Le Gras, a young secretary under Maria de' Medici. A son was born of this marriage on 13 October, 1613, and to his education Mlle Le Gras devoted herself during the years of his childhood. Of works of charity she never wearied. In 1619 she became acquainted with St. Francis de Sales, who was then in Paris, and Mgr. Le Campus, Bishop of Belley, became her spiritual adviser. Troubled by the thought that she had rejected a call to the religious state, she vowed in 1623 not remarry should her husband die before her.
M. Le Gras died on 21 December, 1625, after a long illness. In the meantime his wife had made the acquaintance of a priest known as M. Vincent (St. Vincent de Paul), who had been appointed superior of the Visitation Monastery by St. Francis of Sales. She placed herself under his direction, probably early in 1625. His influence led her to associate herself with his work among the poor of Paris, and especially in the extension of the Confrérie de la Charité, an association which he had founded for the relief of the sick poor. It was this labour which decided her life's work, the founding of the Sisters of Charity. The history of the evolution of this institute, which Mlle Le Gras plays so prominent a part, has been given elsewhere (see Charity, Sister of); it suffices here to say that, with formal ecclesiastical and state recognition, Mlle Le Gras' life-work received its assurance of success. Her death occurred in 1660, a few month before the death of St. Vincent, with whose labours she had been so closely united.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

#BreakingNews Missionary Nun who Served during WWII as a Nurse Dies at age 101 - RIP Sister Othmara

Southern Cross Report: Pallottine Sister Othmara Metzger, the long-time matron of St Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children in Cape Town, died on February 17 at the age or 101.

Born Justina Metzger in Werbachhausen, southern Germany, on July 17, 1917, she was the youngest of seven children in a very religious family.

From an early age, it was her deep desire to enter religious life and to dedicate herself to the Lord and his people.

In 1934, Justina applied to be admitted to the Pallottine Sisters, becoming a postulant in 1937. In August 1938 she received the name Sr Othmara. Her first profession was in 1940.

Sr Othmara served in several places in her homeland. During World War II she served as a professional nurse in the military hospital in Limburg, where she experienced first-hand the horrors of war.

After the war, in1946, Sr Othmara made her final profession.

In 1948, she was sent to South Africa with nine other sisters, at the request of Bishop Francis Hennemann of Cape Town, himself a Pallottine.

In 1946 Sr Othmara’s sister Armella also joined the Pallottine Missionary Sisters. In April 1952, Armella followed her sibling to South Africa.

Most of Sr Othmara’s missionary work was performed as a professional nurse caring for the chronically ill children in St Joseph’s Home. She was the matron there for from 1964-81.

She was well known as a generous, capable and courageous religious woman, who developed a large network of contacts worldwide.

After her retirement in 1981, Sr Othmara came to stay at the provincial house, St Vincent Pallotti convent in Pinelands.

For some time, she continued to visit former children and staff from the home until she was confined to bed.

During this time the religious Sisters remember her as a loving, non-complaining community member.
FULL TEXT and Image Share from the Southern Cross in Africa 

Quote to SHARE by St. Thomas Aquinas for Lent - “Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit....quenches the fire of lust, kindles the true light of chastity.”

“Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, kindles the true light of chastity.” 
St. Thomas Aquinas

Wow Latest Statistics show Percentage of Catholics in the World has Grown to 1.3 Billion

There are more Catholics in the world, 1.313 billion
The greatest growth in Asia and Africa, respectively of + 1.5% and + 2.5%. America with its + 0.96% is below the world, while Europe is the only continent to have an almost zero trend (+ 0.1%).

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The number of Catholics is growing worldwide: 1.313 billion or 17.7% of the population. The data contained in the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2017 is even more significant if we take into account that the growth rate of the world population is 1.1% while the rates of variation of Asia and Africa are respectively + 1.5% % and + 2.5%, America with its + 0.96% is below the world, while Europe is the only continent to have an almost zero trend (+ 0.1%).

The reading of the data by continent highlights 2017, but those of the previous year are substantially similar, as the presence of Catholics is differentiated in the various geographical areas: from 63.8% of Catholics in the American population to 39.7% in Europe, 19.2% in Africa, up to 3.3% in Asia. It is of some importance to underline how the American area is in itself very differentiated: if in North America the percentage of Catholics is only 24.7%, in that Continental Center and Antilles (84.6%) and in that of the South ( 86.6%) the presence of Catholics appears much more conspicuous.

If these are the faithful, the apostolic forces have grown. At the end of 2017 there were 4,666,073, with an increase of 0.5% compared to 2016. The breakdown between the different components is quite different from continent to continent. In the world average, at the end of 2017 the percentage ratio between the total number of clerics and the total of pastoral workers was 10.4%, with lower numbers in Africa (6.4%) and America (8.4%) and higher ones in Europe (19.3%) and Oceania (18.2%).

In Asia the percentage follows the global average. A comparison with the numerical situation of 2016 is striking, because it is the first time since 2010 that there has been a decrease of priests, passing from 414.969 in 2016 to 414.582 in 2017. Instead, there is an increase in the number of bishops, permanent deacons, lay missionaries and catechists.

Candidates to the priesthood worldwide pass from 116.160 in 2016 to 115.328 in 2017, with a drop of 0.7%. The picture of continental flows appears satisfactory in the African and Asian Church, while in Europe and America the decrease appears very evident. The distribution of major seminarians by continent remains substantially stable over the last two years. With reference to the year 2017 it is observed that Europe contributes 14.9% to the world total, America for 27.3%, Asia for 29.8% and Africa for 27.1%.
FULL TEXT Release from Asia News IT -Image source: Google Images

BREAKING - Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium Dies at Age 85 - RIP

News Release from the Church of Belgium: Cardinal Godfried Danneels, Archbishop Emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels, died this morning, March 14, 2019, in his hometown in Mechelen.
Cardinal Jozef De Kesel, archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and chairman of the Belgian bishops' conference, has the sad duty to inform you that Cardinal Godfried Danneels, emeritus archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, this morning, Thursday March 14, 2019, in his hometown in Mechelen is deceased. His funeral will take place in the metropolitan St. Rombouts Cathedral in Mechelen next Friday, March 22, 2019.

Godfried Danneels was born on 4 June 1933 in Kanegem as the eldest of six in an educational family. From 1945 to 1951 he went to school at the Sint-Jozefscollege in Tielt. Subsequently, he started the priesthood training at the seminary of the diocese of Bruges. That immediately sent him to the Catholic University of Leuven to study Philosophy. After obtaining his degree in law, he subsequently studied Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome (1954-1959).

In 1957 he was ordained a priest in the parish church of Kanegem.

From 1959 he was spiritual director and lecturer in liturgy and sacrament at the Great Seminary of Bruges. In 1961 he was promoted to Doctor of Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome. From 1969 he combined his assignments at the Bruges Major Seminary with a teaching position at the Faculty of Theology at KU Leuven. He then also became editorial secretary of Collationes, the Flemish magazine for theology and pastoral.

On November 16, 1977, he was appointed bishop of Antwerp by Pope Paul VI. On December 18 of that year, he was ordained a bishop by Cardinal Leo Suenens, with bishop Emiel-Jozef De Smedt, Jules Victor Daem, Jean Huard and Guillaume Marie van Zuylen. He chose Apparuit humanitas Dei nostri as the bishop's slogan (Appeared is the humanity of our God) according to the apostle Paul's letter to Titus (3, 4).

On December 21, 1979, Pope Joannes Paul II appointed Godfried Danneels Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels. On January 4, 1980 he took possession of the seat. On 2 February 1983, he was created as a cardinal priest. He was assigned the title church of St Anastasia Basilica in Rome.

On 4 June 2008, the day on which he turned 75, Cardinal Danneels, as prescribed by ecclesiastical law, submitted his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI as the resigning archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels. It was accepted on February 27, 2010.

With his retirement Godfried Danneels withdrew from public life. He could now give full attention to what was dear to him: prayer, literature and other forms of art and time for friends and acquaintances. At the express request of Pope Francis, he still participated in family synods in 2014 and 2015. His physical health gradually deteriorated.

Today, March 14, 2019, he died at the age of 85.

The funeral of Cardinal Godfried Danneels takes place in the metropolitan St. Rombouts Cathedral in Mechelen. The service will be led by Cardinal Joseph De Kesel, in concelebration with, among others, the Papal Nunciï, the Belgian Bishops and the priests and deacons of the Archdiocese.

Cardinal Jozef De Kesel offers his Christian participation to the family, friends and many former colleagues and employees of Cardinal Danneels on behalf of the entire Belgian Catholic Church. Cardinal Jozef De Kesel: “We are very grateful to Cardinal Danneels. For many years he has exercised shepherding in the Church in a period of fundamental changes in Church and society. Gradually his appearance has grown, both in our country and in the world church. Through his word, spoken and written with so much passion, he has always led us to the source. Always with a soft hand. He has also experienced trials, and in the end he was greatly weakened and exhausted. We continue to thank him gratefully. May he rest in God's peace. "
Source: - Unofficial Translation

How is Jesus Christ seen in other Religions?

1. Preliminary Remarks
At the beginning of February 2019, our Holy Father was the first Pope to visit the Arab Crescent to celebrate a holy mass for 180,000 people in the sports stadium of Abu Dhabi.
Previously, he had signed the 'Explanation of Forbearance' with the great-man of the Egyptian Al-Aznar University; It says, among other things: "Pluralism and diversity in religion, color, gender, ethnicity and language are in line with a wise divine will with which God created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to confessional freedom and the freedom to be different are derived. "[ -abu-dhabi-joint-explanation-grossimam.html]
Some Christians, such as the schismatic FSSPX [é-des-generalober-der-priesterbruderschaft-st-pius-x-45347], are now wondering if this wording is a mistake or . can lead to errors.

2.Nature and grace: the Catholic theme par excellence
The nature of man is severely wounded in his image by original sin, but it is possible for him, with the help of reason, to recognize that there is a God.
And it is possible for us humans to realize that we can not keep the law of God with our own resources.
The Apostle to the Apostle Paul says in his Epistle to the Romans that we humans are all capable of natural knowledge of God through the proof of creation: "Since the creation of the world, its invisible reality is perceived in the works of creation with reason, its eternal power and deity. Therefore, they are inexcusable. "(Rom 1,20)
In short, no one can apologize that he did not know about God.
And further: "For though they did know God, they did not honor him as God and did not thank him, but fell into their thoughts of nothingness and their incomprehensible heart was darkened." (Rom 1:21)
In other words, the natural knowledge of God does not lead to the salvation of man; because we humans are so profoundly evil that we just push God aside.

Absolutely, we need God's supernatural grace to be saved. Conversely, however, our human nature must first come to its right, for the basic human intentions of reason and conscience must be healed.
The principle of St. Thomas is: "Grace does not destroy nature, but builds upon it and perfects it" ["'Gratia non destruit, sed supponit et perficit naturam' (STh I, I, 8 ad 2; I, 2 , 2 ad I; De Veritate 14, 10 da 9) "(quoted from Siebenrock, 606, footnote 51).]

3.What does the Council of Trent say about nature and grace?
Since the greatest council of all time, the Tridentinum, it has been stated against Martin Luther that man as a likeness of God is seriously ill, but the basic intuitions of the will, reason and conscience have been preserved in remnants.
The decree De iustificatione [DH 1520-1583.] Mentions the entire range of all natural aids of God.
Gratia praeveniens, the term preceding the Grace, refers to the aid of the Holy Spirit, auxilia gratiae, in reference to reason: preaching the Word of God in the gospel, spiritual books, inspirations of thoughts, as well as memories of past incidents, etc.
Eternal Providence is also to be mentioned here, so that the seeker will find a church at all. in the Arab Crescent is not easy, or can travel abroad.
This preparation for the incorporation of the Gentile in Jesus Christ, praeparatio gratiae, is absolutely necessary, because without real knowledge of God through reason, there can be no genuine love of God.
Nature and grace are not just like a ladder leading to the tree, but nature always remains the foundation that is healed by the supernatural grace and becomes even more beautiful because it is perfected.
Only when the seeker agrees to his salvation in Jesus Christ is the sacramental supernatural grace given: Gratia sanctificans. Baptism, confession and the Eucharist enable us to truly love God.

4.What does the Second Vatican Council say?
It says nothing other than what the holy church has always taught. Only it specifies some things, e.g. on the question of religious freedom.
The Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitas humanae, states unequivocally: "We believe that this one true religion is there in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus entrusted the task of spreading it to all people" ["Hanc unicam veram Religion subsistere credimus in catholica et apostolica Ecclesia, cui Dominus Iesus munus condredidit eam ad universos homines diffudendi "(Translation and Latin text after, The Second Vatican Council, 437).]
In a word, the Council Fathers did not see the slightest difference between the claim of the Catholic Church to be the only true religion and the freedom of religion.
Thus, Dignitas humanae teaches: "According to their dignity, all men, because they are persons, i. with reason and free will and therefore increased by personal responsibility, pushed by their own nature and held by a moral obligation to seek the truth [...] So the right to religious freedom is based not in a subjective constitution of the person, but their nature That is why the right to be free lasts even in those who do not satisfy the obligation to seek the truth and to cling to it; and their exercise must not be impeded, as long as only the just public order is respected. "[Documents of the Second, 439; see. also KKK 2104-2109.]
The reasoning is simple: human free will itself is the reason for religious freedom.
Let us remember the Fall.

5.Religion freedom in paradise
Adam and Eve knew all about God in Paradise, but wanted a little more insight. There was one fruit of the tree of knowledge. The devil in the guise of the serpent first seduced Adam and Eve Adam - and already the first two people had created a new religion (compare the third chapter in the first book of Moses). Let's call them: God religion No.2. Because God is not enough, it must be a bit more, a special revelation, plus'.
Adam and Eve no longer worshiped the one true God, but their sensual desire, their belly.
The apostle Paul mentions the same connection in relation to the early Christians: "their God is the belly" (Phil 3:19).
In a word, we Christians also sin when they seek the plus, the more, and are not immune from false idols. Religious freedom is therefore always necessary for us Christians as the freedom of repentance and repentance.

6.God's omnipotence and omniscience
We have seen that the proposition that "pluralism and the diversity of religions" is a "wise divine will" is not heretical at all.
For the perfect foundation of world history is the wisdom of God. For in eternity our merciful Father in Heaven knew that Adam and Eve would sin.
Far from being embarrassed by the devil, our Heavenly Father has thought of the greatest of all: salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Yes, Heavenly Father has once again surpassed Nature by perfecting it.
Saint Thomas wrote in the sentence above, according to which the grace of God perfected human nature: "Gratia [...] perficit naturam" [S.o.].
So instead of suffering a defeat, God the Father created a still more beautiful Paradise by improving the world of man for the better.
And He did so by creating a new heaven and a new earth, as the Evangelist John writes in the twenty-first chapter, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away." (Rev 21,1).

7. We pray for SSPX
We have seen: far from being a heretic, the Holy Father has done what is His office, to feed the sheep and proclaim the gospel.
Let us pray for SSPX leaders that they return to the flock of Christ and refrain from making false accusations by repenting.

-The Documents of the Second Vatican Council, Bilingual Study Edition, ed. v. Peter Hünermann, Freiburg-Basel-Vienna 2012.
-Heinrich Denzinger, Compendium of Creeds and Church Teaching Decisions, Freiburg-Basel-Wien 40.Aufl. 2005 (DH).
-Siebenrock, Roman A., Theological commentary on the Declaration on the Church's attitude to the non-Christian religions Nostra Aetate, in: Herder's theological commentary, Volume 3, Freiburg-Basel-Vienna 2005, 591-693.

About the Author: Stephan Gröne, I was born 1966 in Berlin, Capital of Germany. At the age of 25 I found Jesus Christ.  I studied ‚Protestant Theology‘ with a Diploma at Humboldt-University. 
As a Protestant I preached the Gospel. I teach religion in public schools and had a research contract with University of Zurich (Switzerland) to analyse paradoxes and write a book on it: ‚Gödel, Wittgenstein, Gott: Paradoxes in Philosophy and Theology‘.
As a Catholic  I am praying and writing articles in my blog.
Stephan Gröne, lives in Germany and submitted this Article to Catholic News World

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday, March 14, 2019 - Eucharist in #Lent

Thursday of the First Week in Lent
Lectionary: 227

Reading 1EST C:12, 14-16, 23-25

Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish,
had recourse to the LORD.
She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids,
from morning until evening, and said:
"God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God.

"And now, come to help me, an orphan.
Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion
and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy,
so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.
Save us from the hand of our enemies;
turn our mourning into gladness
and our sorrows into wholeness."

Responsorial PsalmPS 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 7C-8

R. (3a)  Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
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. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
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. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
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. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Verse Before The GospelPS 51:12A, 14A

A clean heart create for me, O God;
give me back the  joy of your salvation.

GospelMT 7:7-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.

"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the law and the prophets."

Saint March 14 : St. Matilda : Patron of Death of children, Queens, Widows

Feast Day:
March 14
895 at Engern, Westphalia, Germany
14 March 968 at Quedlinburg, Germany
Patron of:
death of children, disappointing children, falsely accused people, large families, people ridiculed for their piety, queens, second marriages, widows
Queen of Germany, wife of King Henry I (The Fowler), born at the Villa of Engern in Westphalia, about 895; died at Quedlinburg, 14 March, 968. She was brought up at the monastery of Erfurt. Henry, whose marriage to a young widow, named Hathburg, had been declared invalid, asked for Matilda's hand, and married her in 909 at Walhausen, which he presented to her as a dowry. Matilda became the mother of: Otto I, Emperor of Germany; Henry, Duke of Bavaria; St. Bruno, Archbishop of Cologne; Gerberga, who married Louis IV of France; Hedwig, the mother of Hugh Capet. In 912 Matilda's husband succeeded his father as Duke of Saxony, and in 918 he was chosen to succeed King Conrad of Germany. As queen, Matilda was humble, pious, and generous, and was always ready to help the oppressed and unfortunate. She wielded a wholesome influence over the king. After a reign of seventeen years, he died in 936. He bequeathed to her all his possessions in Quedlinburg, Poehlden, Nordhausen, Grona, and Duderstadt.
It was the king's wish that his eldest son, Otto, should succeed him. Matilda wanted her favourite son Henry on the royal throne. On the plea that he was the first-born son after his father became king, she induced a few nobles to cast their vote for him, but Otto was elected and crowned king on 8 August, 936. Three years later Henry revolted against his brother Otto, but, being unable to wrest the royal crown from him, submitted, and upon the intercession of Matilda was made Duke of Bavaria. Soon, however, the two brothers joined in persecuting their mother, whom they accused of having impoverished the crown by her lavish almsgiving. To satisfy them, she renounced the possessions the deceased king had bequeathed to her, and retired to her villa at Engern in Westphalia. But afterwards, when misfortune overtook her sons, Matilda was called back to the palace, and both Otto and Henry implored her pardon.
Matilda built many churches, and founded or supported numerous monasteries. Her chief foundations were the monasteries at Quedlinburg, Nordhausen, Engern, and Poehlden. She spent many days at these monasteries and was especially fond of Nordhausen. She died at the convents of Sts. Servatius and Dionysius at Quedlinburg, and was buried there by the side of her husband. She was venerated as a saint immediately after her death. Her feast is celebrated on 14 March.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)