Thursday, March 28, 2019

Saint March 29 : Saint Ludovico of Casoria : Founder of Gray Brothers and Sisters

Saint Ludovico of Casoria
(March 11, 1814 – March 30, 1885) Born in Casoria, near Naples, Arcangelo Palmentieri was a cabinet-maker before entering the Friars Minor in 1832, taking the name Ludovico. After his ordination five years later, he taught chemistry, physics, and mathematics to younger members of his province for several years.

In 1847, he had a mystical experience which he later described as a cleansing. After that, he dedicated his life to the poor and the infirm, establishing a dispensary for the poor, two schools for African children, an institute for the children of nobility, as well as an institution for orphans, the deaf, and the speechless, and other institutes for the blind, elderly, and for travelers. In addition to an infirmary for friars of his province, he began charitable institutes in Naples, Florence, and Assisi. He once said, “Christ’s love has wounded my heart.” This love prompted him to great acts of charity.

To help continue these works of mercy, in 1859 he established the Gray Brothers, a religious community composed of men who formerly belonged to the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later, he founded the Gray Sisters of St. Elizabeth for the same purpose.

Toward the beginning of his final, nine-year illness, Ludovico wrote a spiritual testament which described faith as “light in the darkness, help in sickness, blessing in tribulations, paradise in the crucifixion, and life amid death.” The local work for his beatification began within five months of Ludovico’s death. He was beatified in 1993 and canonized in 2014.
Bio Source:

Saint March 29 : St. Barachisius and St. Jonas of Persia

Sts. Barachisius and Jonas
Feast: March 29

Feast Day:
March 29
24 December 327
They were monks at a monastery in Perisa (modern Iran) and were arrested during the persecution conducted by Sassanid King Shapur II (r. 309-379). Barachisius and Jonas were giving spiritual support to other martyrs when they were taken into custody. Refusing to abjure the faith, Jonas was crushed to death, and his body cut to pieces. Barachisius had brimstone and boiling pitch poured down his throat.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints)

#BreakingNews Remains Found of Dead Body of Catholic Priest who went Missing in '17 - RIP Fr. Marvin Reif

Rev. Marvin Reif,  walked away from a care facility over a year and a half ago. Marvin, 55 years old, walked away from Protection Valley Manor in Protection on April 3, 2017, where he had lived for a few months. He suffered from depression and anxiety. The Comanche County Sheriff's Office confirms human remains found Wednesday in a pasture near Protection are those of Father Marvin Reif, a priest reported missing two years ago after he left the nursing home in Protection where he lived.

The sheriff's office says the Coldwater Police Department and Protection Police Department responded to the scene where the remains were found Wednesday and determined those remains were human.

The state coroner's office was then notified and responded to assist with the investigation. The Comanche County Sheriff's Office says the remains were transported to the Comanche County Hospital for a positive identification, and then on to a funeral home in Hoisington.

"The family (of Father Reif) has been notified and the remains released to them," the sheriff's office says.
Source: Edited from
Please Pray for the Repose of his Soul...
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#BreakingNews Catholic Priest Kidnapped in Nigeria - Please Pray for Fr. John Bako Shekwolo

AFRICA/NIGERIA - Fr. John Bako Shekwolo kidnapped, parish priest of Saint Teresa of Ankuwa, in the State of Kaduna
Wednesday, 27 March 2019
Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Yet another kidnapping of a Catholic priest in Nigeria. According to news sent to Agenzia Fides Fr. John Bako Shekwolo was kidnapped on March 25 in his home in the village of Ankuwai, in the state of Kaduna, in central - northern Nigeria. The kidnapping was confirmed by the Chancellor, Archdiocese of Kaduna, Reverend Father Daniel J. Kyomm: "We regret to announce that one of our priests, Rev. Fr. John Bako Shekwolo has been kidnapped by unknown persons. As we ask for the prayers of the faithful of our Archdiocese and beyond for the quick release of Fr. Shekwolo, we appeal to the consciences of those who abducted him to kindly release him unharmed". The local police are doing their best to release Fr. Shekwolo, who is the parish priest of the church of St. Teresa of Ankuwa.
The kidnapping of the Catholic priest was stigmatized by the Christian Association of Nigeria - CAN, which brings together the various Christian confessions in the Country, with a statement of its president, Reverend John Joseph Hayab. "CAN condemns the abduction of Bako in its entirety. While we note that kidnapping in Kaduna State has become a big business, we appeal to the kidnappers to kindly release Bako unhurt". "It is sad that Kaduna State has become the centre of kidnapping with government doing almost nothing to stop it. This shows there is governance failure, as far as security of lives and property is concerned", the reverend said. "Government and security agencies must wake up to their responsibilities of protecting lives and property, which is the essence of government", the statement concludes. (L.M.) (FULL TEXT Source: Agenzia Fides, 27/3/2019)

5 Powerful Prayers against Evil by Late Exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth to Help you in Life

Father Gabriele Amorth the Chief Exorcist from the Diocese of Rome  died at the age of 91. He performed thousands of Exorcisms.
In one of his books he revealed the secret to being free from the Devil.
It is really not something one says but rather keeping oneself free from sin and striving to live a Holy life. He noted in particular that Regular Confession and reception of the Holy Eucharist are most important. The following prayers were recommended by Fr. Gabriele these prayers should be said together with the Our Father Prayer and the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.
 Prayers of Deliverance
 1. Prayer Against Malefice from the Greek Ritual
Kyrie eleison. God, our Lord, King of ages, All-powerful and All-mighty, You Who made everything and Who transform everything simply by Your will. You Who in Babylon changed into dew the flames of the ‘seven-times hotter’ furnace and protected and saved the three holy children. You are the doctor and the physician of our soul. You are the salvation of those who turn to You. We beseech You to make powerless, banish, and drive out every diabolic power, presence, and machination; every evil influence, malefice, or evil eye and all evil actions aimed against Your servant [name of person/s]. Where there is envy and malice, give us an abundance of goodness, endurance, victory, and charity. O Lord, You Who love man, we beg You to reach out Your powerful hands and Your most high and mighty arms and send the angel of peace over us, to protect us, body and soul. May he keep at bay and vanquish every evil power, every poison or malice invoked against us by corrupt and envious people. Then, under the protection of Your authority may we sing, in gratitude, ‘The Lord is my salvation; whom should I fear? I will not fear evil because You are with me, my God, my strength, my powerful Lord, Lord of peace, Father of all ages.” Yes, Lord our God, be merciful to us, Your image, and save your servant [name of person/s] from every threat or harm from the evil one, and protect him/her by raising him/her above all evil. We ask You this through the intercession of our Most Blessed, glorious Lady, Mary ever Virgin, Mother of God, of the most splendid archangels and all Your saints. Amen!
 2. Anima Christi Soul of Christ, sanctify me; Body of Christ, save me; Blood of Christ, inebriate me; Water from the side of Christ, wash me; Passion of Christ, strengthen me; O good Jesus, hear me; within Thy wounds, hide me; let me never be separated from Thee; from the evil one, deliver me; at the hour of my death, call me and bid me come to Thee, that with Thy saints, I may praise Thee forever and ever. Amen.
 3. Prayer Against Every Evil Spirit of our God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Most Holy Trinity, Immaculate Virgin Mary, angels, archangels, and saints of heaven, descend upon me. Please purify me, Lord, mold me, fill me with yourself, use me. Banish all the forces of evil from me, destroy them, vanish them, so that I can be healthy and do good deeds. Banish from me all spells, witchcraft, black magic, malefice, ties, maledictions, and the evil eye; diabolic infestations, oppressions, possessions; all that is evil and sinful, jealously, perfidy, envy; physical, psychological, moral, spiritual, diabolical aliments. Burn all these evils in hell, that they may never again touch me or any other creature in the entire world. I command and bid all the power who molest me – by the power of God all powerful, in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary – to leave me forever, and to be consigned into the everlasting hell, where they will be bound by Saint Michael the archangel, Saint Gabriel, Saint Raphael, our guardian angels, and where they will be crushed under the heel of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Amen.
 4. Prayer for Inner Healing Lord Jesus, You came to heal our wounded and troubled hearts. I beg You to heal the torments that cause anxiety in my heart; I beg You, in a particular way, to heal all who are the cause of sin. I beg You to come into my life and heal me of the psychological harms that struck me in my early years and from the injuries that they caused through my life. Lord Jesus, You know my burdens. I lay them all on Your Good Shepherd’s Heart. I beseech You – by the merits of the great, open wound in Your heart-to heal the small wounds that are in mine. Heal the pain of my memories, so that nothing that has happened to me will cause me to remain in pain and anguish, filled with anxiety. Heal, O Lord, all those wounds that have been the cause of all the evil that is rooted in my life. I want to forgive all those who have offended me. Look to those inner sores that make me unable to forgive. You Who came to forgive the afflicted of heart, please, heal my own heart. Heal, my Lord Jesus, those intimate wounds that cause me physical illness. I offer You my heart. Accept it, Lord, purify it and give me the sentiments of Your Divine Heart. Help me to be meek and humble. Heal me, O Lord, from the pain caused by the death of my loved ones, which is oppressing me. Grant me to regain peace and joy in the knowledge that You are the Resurrection and the Life. Make me an authentic witness to Your Resurrection, Your victory over sin and death, Your living presence among us. Amen.
 5. Prayer for Deliverance My Lord, you are all powerful, you are God, you are Father. We beg you through the intercession and help of the archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All saints of Heaven, come to our aid. From anxiety, sadness and obsessions, we beg You. Free us, O Lord. From hatred, fornication, envy, we beg You, Free us, O Lord. From thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death, we beg You, Free us, O Lord. From every thought of suicide and abortion, we beg You, Free us, O Lord. From every form of sinful sexuality, we beg You, Free us, O Lord. From every division in our family, and every harmful friendship, we beg You, Free us, O Lord. From every sort of spell, malefic, witchcraft, and every form of the occult, we beg You, Free us, O Lord. Lord, You Who said, “I leave you peace, My peace I give you,” grant that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may be liberated from every evil spell and enjoy your peace always. In the name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.
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Pope Francis at Mass says Jesus invites each one of us saying, “Return to me with your whole heart, for I am gracious and merciful.” in Homily

Pope at Mass: hardened heart is unfaithful and slanders the Lord
Listen to the voice of the Lord so as not to end up with a hardened heart that discredits the Lord. This was the exhortation of Pope Francis in his homily during Mass, Thursday morning, at the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.
By Robin Gomes

The Pope warned against having a heart that does not listen to the voice of the Lord, saying, by doing so for "days, months, years", it becomes hard like soil without water.  And when there is something that one dislikes about God, he or she discredits and slanders Him.

Risk of infidelity
The Pope said that many times we are deaf and do not listen to the voice of the Lord, but always listen to the news and the gossip of the neighbourhood.

In the First Reading from the Book of Jeremiah, the Pope said, we hear God’s lamentation regarding the "stubborn people, who do not want to listen".  Instead of listening and turning to Him, they close their ears, turn their backs to Him and proceed obstinately according to their evil hearts.

The Pope drew attention to the First Reading where God recalls how with great care He sent His prophets to his people but they did not listen to them.  Instead, they stiffened their necks and did worse than what their fathers did.

The Pope said that in the day’s liturgy, the Church wants each one of us to examine our conscience on our faithfulness to the Lord.  It is not about attending Sunday Masses.  It is about being aware whether the heart is turning hard, stubborn and deaf, shutting the Lord out and doing what one wants.

The Pope explained that a person with a hardened heart does not just stop at being deaf to the Lord.  Unhappy with the things of the Lord, he or she puts God aside with an excuse and discredits, slanders and defames God.

For or against Me
The Pope said Jesus had the same experience with the people. When Jesus performed miracles and healed the sick, the stubborn people said it was through the power of Beelzebub, the leader of demons.  First, one refuses to listen to the Lord and then discredits Him.  This, the Pope said, is the penultimate step of the refusal of the Lord.  The last step from which there is no return is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the Pope said, pointing to the warning of Jesus at the end of the Gospel.

The Pope noted that just as the prophet ends with the clear words - "Faithfulness has disappeared" – so too Jesus ends with the words that can help us: "Whoever is not with me, is against me".

The Pope said that one cannot be with Jesus and be at a distance.  Either you are with Jesus or you are against Jesus; either you are faithful or you are unfaithful; either you have an obedient heart or you have lost your fidelity.

The Holy Father urged each one to examine their conscience.  The words - "faithfulness has disappeared" and "whosoever is not with me is against me" – hold out hope for us, the Pope said.

Return to the Lord
This hope, the Pope said, comes in the Acclamation to the Gospel where Jesus invites each one of us saying, “Return to me with your whole heart, for I am gracious and merciful.”   “I will forget everything.  I care that you come to me, and forget the rest.”   The Pope concluded inviting all to open their hearts for the Lord to enter, because this is the time for the Lord’s mercy and compassion.
FULL TEXT Release from Vatican News va   
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Cardinal Daniel DiNardo - Head of US Bishops' Conference is Released from Hospital after Stroke

USCCB Release: WASHINGTON—The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has issued the following update on the recovery of Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and Presidentof the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Cardinal DiNardo suffered a mild stroke last Friday, March 15. We join with the archdiocese in continued prayers for the Cardinal’s full recovery.

Archdiocesan Statement re: Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo:

Following a mild stroke experienced last Friday evening while leading a Lenten observance of the Stations of the Cross, we are pleased to report that Cardinal DiNardo’s condition has improved to the point that he was discharged from St. Joseph’s Hospital today — and has entered a standard rehabilitation program which usually lasts in the neighborhood of two weeks. Based on recent trends, doctors expect the Cardinal to make a full recovery. “I could not be more grateful to the truly wonderful doctors and nurses at St. Joseph’s for their expert care and compassion, which has helped hasten my way down the road to a full recovery,” said Cardinal DiNardo. “I am also doubly thankful for the many kindwishes and especially the prayers that have been directed towards my healing, which I can assure you are making a true difference. I look forward to getting back to work soon and continuing the important work we have before us.”
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#BreakingNews Floods in Iran leave 43 Dead - affecting 30 provinces with 27,000 in Shelters

Teheran (AsiaNews) - The toll, still provisional, of the floods that have hit Iran in recent days, whose cause according to Teheran is attributable to climate change, has risen to at least 43 dead. President Hassan Rouhani, criticized for visiting the most affected areas only yesterday and too late,  has spoken of an "unprecedented phenomenon" for the Islamic Republic.

Struck by the tragedy, Pope Francis yesterday sent a message of condolence to the victims of the floods in Iran and of solidarity and closeness to all the Iranian people. In a telegram from the Secretary of State Card Pietro Parolin, the pontiff expresses "pain" for the loss of human lives, for the wounded and for the damage "inflicted on various regions of Iran".

"His Holiness - he continues - entrusts the souls of the dead to the love of the merciful God and invokes divine blessing" that they be a source of "consolation and strength" for those in mourning. Finally, the Pope addresses a thought and a prayer to the rescuers and "entrusts the people of Iran to the providence of the Almighty God".

10 days after the emergency, the floods have reached a range never recorded in the recent history of the country. Yesterday President Rouhani visited the province of Golestan, one of the most affected by the disaster.

The floods began on March 19, affecting the northern part of the country and causing the first 10 victims. The emergency then expanded, also affecting the southern and western provinces, once famous for being among the driest in the region.

According to President Rouhani, at least "25 out of 31 the provinces" of the Islamic Republic are affected by the floods. Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian points the finger at "climate change" as the source of exceptional phenomena. Morteza Salimi, head of the Iranian Red Crescent, adds that "over 43,000 people have been rescued" in at least 30 provinces and about 27,000 are in emergency shelters ".

The extreme weather is heading towards the eastern sector of the country. According to the weather report, new, far-reaching phenomena could occur from March 30th. The authorities have already sent text alerts to the population and state television has stepped up broadcasting security advice.
FULL TEXT Release share from Asia News IT

Saint March 28 : St. Catherine of Bologna : Poor Clare : Patron of Art and Artists

Poor Clare and mystical writer, born at Bologna, 8 September, 1413; died there, 9 March, 1463. When she was ten years old, her father sent her to the court of the Marquis of Ferrara, Nicolr d'Este, as a companion to the Princess Margarita. Here Catherine pursued the study of literature and the fine arts; and a manuscript illuminated by her which once belonged to Pius IX is at present reckoned among the treasures of Oxford. After the marriage of the Princess Margarita to Roberto Malatesta, Prince of Rimini, Catherine returned home, and determined to join the little company of devout maidens who were living in community and following the rule of the Third Order of St. Augustine in the neighboring town of Ferrara.
Later the community, yielding to the entreaties of Catherine, adopted the Rule of St. Clare, and in 1432 they were clothed with the habit of the Second Order of St. Francis by the provincial of the Friars Minor. The increasing number of vocations, however, made it necessary to establish other monasteries of the Poor Clares in Italy, and in pursuance of the Brief of Callistus III, "Ad ea qui in omnipotentis Dei gloriam", convents were founded at Bologna and Cremona. St. Catherine was chosen abbess of the community in her native town, which office she held until her death. The grievous and persistent temptations which in the early days of her religious life had tried her patience, humility, and faith, especially the latter virtue, gave place in later years to the most abundant spiritual consolation, and enjoyment of the heights of contemplation. A large part of St. Catherine's counsels and instructions on the spiritual life are to be found in her "Treatise on the Seven Spiritual Weapons", which contains, besides, an account of the saint's own struggles in the path of perfection, and which she composed with the aid of her confessor shortly before her death. The body of St. Catherine, which remains in-corrupt, is preserved in the chapel of the Poor Clares at Bologna. St. Catherine was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII. Her feast is kept on the 9th of March throughout the Order of Friars Minor. Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia
Prayer to St. Catherine: Dear saintly Poor Clare, Saint Catherine of Bologna, so rich in love for Jesus and Mary, you were endowed with great talents by God and you left us most inspiring writings and paintings for wondrous beauty. You did all for God’s greater glory and in this you are a model for all. Make artists learn lessons from you and use their talents to the full.

#BreakingNews New Outbreak of Ebola Kills 600 People with nearly 1,000 Infected in DRC, Africa - Please Pray

-CISA Report: A fresh Ebola outbreak has claimed over 600 lives, with reported cases approaching 1,000 in the eastern parts Democratic Republic of Congo.

“As the Ebola outbreak in DRC approaches 1000 cases amid increased violence, WHO re-affirms its commitment both to ending the outbreak and working with the government and communities to build resilient health systems…there have been 993 confirmed and probable cases and 621 deaths in North Kivu and Ituri provinces,” WHO said in a March 23 statement.

“As we mourn the lives lost, we must also recognize that thousands of people have been protected from this terrifying disease,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.

He expressed confidence that the health workers are better prepared to handle this latest outbreak compared to previous outbreaks.
“We are working in exceptionally challenging circumstances, but thanks to support from donors and the efforts of the Ministry of Health, WHO and partners, we have saved thousands of lives,” he said.

New technologies like a trial vaccine, experimental treatments and futuristic cube-shaped mobile units for treating patients have helped curb the spread of the virus.

“More than 96 000 people have been vaccinated against Ebola in DRC, along with health workers in Uganda and South Sudan. As of 21 March, 38 of 130 affected health areas have active transmission. More than 44 million border screenings have helped to slow the spread of Ebola in this highly mobile population. No cases have spread beyond North Kivu and Ituri provinces, and no cases have crossed international borders,” said a March 23 report by WHO.

Cases of insecurity in parts of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where Ebola has struck are however complicating the response.

“Despite the increased frequency of attacks by armed groups, WHO will stay the course and will work with communities to end this outbreak together with the Ministry of Health and partners…we need redoubled support from the international community, and a commitment to push together to bring this outbreak to an end,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General affirmed.
FULL TEXT Release from CISA News Africa - Image Source: Google Images Share

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday, March 28, 2019 - #Eucharist in Lent

Thursday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 240

Reading 1JER 7:23-28

Thus says the LORD:
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Walk in all the ways that I command you,
so that you may prosper.

But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.
From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day,
I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets.
Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed;
they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers.
When you speak all these words to them,
they will not listen to you either;
when you call to them, they will not answer you.
Say to them:
This is the nation that does not listen
to the voice of the LORD, its God,
or take correction.
Faithfulness has disappeared;
the word itself is banished from their speech.

Responsorial PsalmPS 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
"Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works."
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Verse Before The GospelJL 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
for I am gracious and merciful.

GospelLK 11:14-23

Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute,
and when the demon had gone out,
the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed.
Some of them said, "By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons."
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
"Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself,
how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters."