Sunday, March 17, 2019

Saint March 18 : St. Cyril of Jerusalem : Bishop of Jerusalem and Doctor of the Church

 born about 315; died probably 18 March, 386. In the East his feast is observed on the 18th of March, in the West on the 18th or 20th. Little is known of his life. We gather information concerning him from his younger contemporaries, Epiphanius, Jerome, and Rufinus, as well as from the fifth-century historians, Socrates, Sozomen and Theodoret. Cyril himself gives us the date of his "Catecheses" as fully seventy years after the Emperor Probus, that is about 347, if he is exact. Constans (d. 350) was then still alive. Mader thinks Cyril was already bishop, but it is usually held that he was at this date only as a priest. St. Jerome relates (Chron. ad ann. 352) that Cyril had been ordained priest by St. Maximus, his predecessor, after whose death the episcopate was promised to Cyril by the metropolitan, Acacius of Caesarea, and the other Arian bishops, on condition that he should repudiate the ordination he had received from Maximus. He consented to minister as deacon only, and was rewarded for this impiety with the see. Maximus had consecrated Heraclius to succeed himself, but Cyril, by various frauds, degraded Heraclius to the priesthood. So says St. Jerome; but Socrates relates that Acacius drove out St. Maximus and substituted St. Cyril. A quarrel soon broke out between Cyril and Acacius, apparently on a question of precedence or jurisdiction. At Nicaea the metropolitan rights of Caesarea had been guarded, while a special dignity had been granted to Jerusalem. Yet St. Maximus had held a synod and had ordained bishops. This may have been as much as the cause of Acacius' enmity to him as his attachment to the Nicene formula. On the other hand, Cyril's correct Christology may have been the real though veiled ground of the hostility of Acacius to him. At all events, in 357 Acacius caused Cyril to be exiled on the charge of selling church furniture during a famine. Cyril took refuge with Silvanus, Bishop of Taraus. He appeared at the Council of Seleucia in 359, in which the Semi-Arian party was triumphant. Acacius was deposed and St. Cyril seems to have returned to his see. But the emperor was displeased at the turn of events, and, in 360, Cyril and other moderates were again driven out, and only returned at the accession of Julian in 361. In 367 a decree of Valens banished all the bishops who had been restored by Julian, and Cyril remained in exile until the death of the persecutor in 378. In 380, St. Gregory of Nyssa came to Jerusalem on the recommendation of a council held at Antioch in the preceding year. He found the Faith in accord with the truth, but the city a prey to parties and corrupt in morals. St. Cyril attended the great Council of Constantinople in 381, at which Theodosius had ordered the Nicene faith, now a law of the empire, to be promulgated. St. Cyril then formally accepted the homoousion; Socrates and Sozomen call this an act of repentance. Socrates gives 385 for St. Cyril's death, but St. Jerome tells us that St. Cyril lived eight years under Theodosius, that is, from January 379.
Source The Catholic Encyclopedia

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Pope Francis "..this Lent, we too go up the mountain with Jesus! But how?...with prayer: silent prayer, prayer of the heart, prayer always seeking the Lord." Full Text + Video


St. Peter's Square
II Sunday of Lent, March 17, 2019

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

On this second Sunday of Lent, the liturgy allows us to contemplate the event of the Transfiguration, in which Jesus grants the disciples Peter, James and John a foretaste of the glory of the Resurrection: a patch of heaven on earth. The evangelist Luke (see 9,28-36) shows us Jesus transfigured on the mountain, which is the place of light, a fascinating symbol of the unique experience reserved for the three disciples. They go up with the Master on the mountain, they see him plunging into prayer, and at a certain point "his face changed appearance" (v. 29). Accustomed to seeing him daily in the simple semblance of his humanity, in front of that new splendor, which also envelops his whole person, they remain amazed. And alongside Jesus appear Moses and Elijah, who talk with him about his next "exodus", that is, his Easter of death and resurrection. It is an anticipation of Easter. Then Peter exclaims: "Master, it is good for us to be here" (v. 33). He would like that moment of grace never to end!

The Transfiguration takes place at a very precise moment in the mission of Christ, that is, after He confided to the disciples that he must "suffer a lot, [...] be killed and resurrected on the third day" (v. 21). Jesus knows that they do not accept this reality - the reality of the cross, the reality of Jesus' death -, and so he wants to prepare them to bear the scandal of the passion and death of the cross, so that they know that this is the way through which the Father heavenly will bring his Son to glory, raising him from the dead. And this will also be the path of the disciples: no one comes to eternal life except by following Jesus, bringing his own cross into earthly life. Each of us has his own cross. The Lord shows us the end of this journey which is the Resurrection, the beauty, carrying our own cross.

Therefore, the Transfiguration of Christ shows us the Christian perspective of suffering. Suffering is not a sadomasochism: it is a necessary but transitory passage. The point of arrival to which we are called is as luminous as the face of Christ transfigured: in him is salvation, bliss, light, God's love without limits. Showing his glory in this way, Jesus assures us that the cross, the trials, the difficulties in which we struggle have their solution and their overcoming in Easter. Therefore, in this Lent, we too go up the mountain with Jesus! But how? With prayer. We climb to the mountain with prayer: silent prayer, prayer of the heart, prayer always seeking the Lord. We remain some moments in recollection, every day a little bit, we fix the inner look on his face and let his light pervade and radiate in our life.

In fact, the evangelist Luke insists that Jesus was transfigured "while he prayed" (v. 29). He had immersed himself in an intimate conversation with the Father, in which also the Law and the Prophets - Moses and Elijah - resounded, and while he adhered with the whole of himself to the will of salvation of the Father, including the cross, the glory of God invaded him revealing also on the outside. Thus it is, brothers and sisters: prayer in Christ and in the Holy Spirit transforms the person from within and can illuminate others and the surrounding world. How many times have we found people who illuminate, who give off light from their eyes, who have that luminous look! They pray, and prayer does this: it makes us luminous with the light of the Holy Spirit.

We continue our Lenten journey with joy. We give space to prayer and to the Word of God, which the liturgy offers us abundantly in these days. The Virgin Mary teaches us to stay with Jesus even when we do not understand it and do not understand it. Because only by remaining with Him will we see his glory.
After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters,

these days, to the pain of wars and conflicts that continue to afflict all of humanity, we have added the one for the victims of the horrific attack against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand I pray for the dead and the wounded and their families. I am close to our Muslim brothers and to that whole community. I renew the invitation to unite with prayer and gestures of peace to combat hatred and violence. Let us pray together, in silence, for our Muslim brothers who have been killed.

I address a cordial greeting to all of you present here: faithful of Rome and of many parts of the world. I greet the pilgrims from Poland, those from Valencia in Spain, and those from Cajazeiras in Brazil and Benguela from Angola. How many Angolans!

I greet the parish groups coming from Verona, Quarto di Napoli and Castel del Piano in Perugia; the students of Corleone, the altar boys of Brembo in Dalmine and the association "Uno a Cento" of Padua.
I wish you all a good Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!

Novena to St. Patrick SHARE this Miracle Prayer with your Friends! #StPatrick

Novena Prayer to St. Patrick: (say for 9 days)

Blessed saint Patrick, glorious Apostle of Ireland, who didst become a friend and father to me for ages before my birth, hear my prayer and accept, for God, the sentiments of gratitude and veneration with which my heart is filled. Through thee I have inherited that faith which is dearer than life. I now make thee the representative of my thanks, and the mediator of my homage to Almighty God. Most holy Father and patron of my country, despise not my weakness; remember that the cries of little children were the sounds that rose, like a mysterious voice from heaven, and invited thee to come amongst us. Listen, then, to my humble supplication; may my prayer ascend to the throne of God, with the praises and blessings which shall ever sanctify thy name and thy memory.
May my hope be animated by the patronage and intercession of our forefathers, who now enjoy eternal bliss and owe their salvation, under God, to thy courage and charity. Obtain for me grace to love God with my whole heart, to serve him with my whole strength, and to persevere in good purposes to the end, o faithful shepherd of the Irish flock, who wouldst have laid down a thousand lives to save one soul, take my soul, and the souls of my countrymen, under thy special care. Be a father to the Church of Ireland and her faithful people.
Grant that all hearts may share the blessed fruits of that Gospel thou didst plant and water. Grant that, as our ancestors of old had learned, under thy guidance, to unite science with virtue, we too, may learn, under thy patronage, to consecrate all Christian duty to the glory of God. I commend to thee my native land, which was so dear to thee while on earth. Protect it still, and, above all, direct its chief pastors, particularly those who teach us. Give them grace to walk in thy footsteps, to nurture the flock with the word of life and the bread of salvation, and to lead the heirs of the Saints thou hast formed to the possession of that glory which they, with Thee, enjoy in the kingdom of the Blessed: through Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen. V. Pray for us, O glorious saint Patrick. R. And obtain for us the intention of this Novena. Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be each day of the Novena.