Thursday, April 4, 2019

Saint April 5 : St. Vincent Ferrer : Dominican : Patron of Builders, construction workers, Plumbers

Feast Day:
April 5
January 23, 1350, Valencia, Kingdom of Valencia
April 5, 1419, Vannes, Brittany, France
June 3, 1455, Rome by Pope Calixtus III
Major Shrine:
Vannes Cathedral
Patron of:
builders, construction workers, plumbers

Famous Dominican missionary, born at Valencia, 23 January, 1350; died at Vannes, Brittany, 5 April, 1419. He was descended from the younger of two brothers who were knighted for their valour in the conquest of Valencia, 1238. In 1340 Vincent's father, William Ferrer, married Constantia Miguel, whose family had likewise been ennobled during the conquest of Valencia. Vincent was their fourth child. A brother, not unknown to history, was Boniface Ferrer, General of the Carthusians, who was employed by the antipope Benedict XIII in important diplomatic missions. Vincent was educated at Valencia, and completed his philosophy at the age of fourteen. In 1367 he entered the Dominican Order, and was sent to the house of studies at Barcelona the following year. In 1370 he taught philosophy at Lérida; one of his pupils there was Pierre Fouloup, later Grand Inquisitor of Aragon. In 1373 Vincent returned to the Dominican "Studium arabicum et hebraicum" at Barcelona. During his stay there famine was prevalent; filled with compassion for the sufferers; Vincent foretold, while preaching one day, the near approach of ships bearing wheat. His prediction was fulfilled. In 1377 he was sent to continue his studies at Toulouse, where, in his own words, "study followed prayer, and prayer succeeded study". In 1379 Vincent was retained by Cardinal Pedro de Luna, legate of the Court of Aragon, who was endeavouring to win King Peter IV to the obedience of Avignon. The saint, thoroughly convinced of the legitimacy of the claims of the Avignon pontiffs, was one of their strongest champions. From 1385 to 1390 he taught theology in the cathedral at Valencia.
After this Vincent carried on his apostolic work while in Pedro de Luna's suite. At Valladolid he converted a rabbi, later well known as Bishop Paul of Burgos. At Salamanca Queen Yolanda of Aragon chose him for her confessor, 1391-5. About this time he was cited before the Inquisiton for preaching publicly "the Judas had done penance", but Pedro de Luna, recently raised to the papal chair as Benedict XIII, cited the case before his tribunal and burned the papers. Benedict then called him to Avignon and appointed him confessor and Apostolic penitentiary. Notwithstanding the indifference of so many prelates in the papal Court, he laboured zealously among the people. He steadfastly refused the honours, including the cardinalate, which were offered to him. France withdrew from the obedience of Avignon in September, 1398, and the troops of Charles VI laid siege to the city. An attack of fever at this time brought Vincent to death's door, but during an apparition of Christ accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Francis he was miraculously cured and sent to preach penance and prepare men for the coming judgment. Not until November, 1399, did Benedict allow Vincent Ferrer to begin his apostolate, furnished with full powers of a legate a latere Christi. For twenty years he traversed western Europe, preaching penance for sin and preparation for judgment. Provence was the first field of his apostolate; he was obliged to preach in squares and open places, such were the numbers that flocked to hear him. In 1401 he evangelized Dauphiny, Savoy, and the Alpine region, converting many Catharins and Waldensians. Thence he penetrated into Lombardy. While preaching at Alexandria he singled out from among the hearers a youth who was destined to evangelize Italy, Bernadine of Siena. Another chosen soul with whom Vincent came in contact while in Italy was Margaret of Savoy. During the years 1403-4 Switzerland, Savoy, and Lyons received the missionary. He was followed by an army of penitents drawn from every rank of society, who desired to remain under his guidance. Vincent was ever watchful of his disciples, and never did the breath of scandal touch this strange assemblage, which numbered at times 10,000. Genoa, Flanders, Northern France, all heard Vincent in turn. It would be difficult to understand how he could make himself understood by the many nationalities he evangelized, as he could speak only Limousin, the language of Valencia. Many of his biographers hold that he was endowed with the gift of tongues, an opinion supported by Nicholas Clemangis, a doctor of the University of Paris, who had heard him preach.
In 1408 Vincent was at Genoa consoling the plague-stricken. A meeting had been arranged there between Gregory XII and Benedict XIII in the hope of putting an end to the schism. Vincent again urged Benedict to have pity on the afflicted Church, but in vain. Disappointed, he returned to Spain. It would be difficult to overestimate the influence which he exercised in the Iberian peninsula. Castile, Aragon, Valencia, Murcia, Granada, Andalusia, and Asturias were visited in turn, and everywhere miracles marked his progress; Christians, Jews, and Moslems were all lost in admiration of the thaumaturgus. From 1408 until 1416 he worked almost continuously south of the Pyrenees. At different times in Spanish history strenuous attempts had been made to convert the Jewish people, baptism or spoliation being the alternatives offered to them. This state of affairs existed when Vincent began to work among them; multitudes were won over by his preaching. Ranzano, his first biographer, estimates the number of Jews converted at 25,000. In the Kingdom of Granada he converted thousands of Moors. Vincent was often called upon to aid his country in temporal affairs, as the counsellor of kings and at one time the arbiter of the destiny of Spain. In 1409 he was commissioned by Benedict XIII to announce to Martin of Aragon the death of his only son and heir.
After Martin's death, the representatives of the Kingdoms of Aragon, Valencia, and Catalonia appointed Vincent one of the judges to determine the succession to the Crown. At the judgment, known as the Compromise of Caspe, he took the leading part and helped to elect Ferdinand of Castile. Vincent was one of the most resolute and faithful adherents of Benedict XIII, and by his word, sanctity, and miracles he did much to strengthen Benedict's position. It was not until 1416, when pressed by Ferdinand, King of Aragon, that he abandoned him. On 6 January, preaching at Perpignan, he declared anew to the vast throng gathered around his pulpit that Benedict XIII was the legitimate pope, but that, since he would not resign to bring peace to the Church, Ferdinand had withdrawn his states from the obedience of Avignon. This act must have caused Vincent much sorrow, for he was deeply attached to Benedict. Nevertheless, it was thought that Vincent was the only person sufficiently esteemed to announce such a step to the Spanish races. John Dominici was more fortunate in his attempts to pave the way for reunion, when he announced to the Council of Constance the resignation of Gregory XII. Vincent did not go to the Council of Constance; he continued his apostolic journeys through France, and spent the last two years of his life in Brittany, where consciences without number were reformed and instructed in a Christian way of life.
Vincent felt that he was the messenger of penance sent to prepare men for the judgment. For twenty years he traversed Western Europe preaching penance and awakening the dormant consciences of sinners by his wondrous eloquence. His austere life was but the living expression of his doctrine. The floor was his usual bed; perpetually fasting, he arose at two in the morning to chant the Office, celebrating Mass daily, afterwards preaching, sometimes three hours, and frequently working miracles. After his midday meal he would tend the sick children; at eight o'clock he prepared his sermon for the following day. He usually travelled on foot, poorly clad. Among St. Vincent's writings are: De suppositionibus dialecticis"; "De natura universalis"; "De monderno ecclesiae schismate", a defence of the Avignon pontiffs; and "De vita spirituali". His "Sermons" were published at Antwerp (1570), Augsburg (1729), and Lyons (1816); and his complete works at Valence (1591). He was canonized by Calixtus III at the Dominican Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Rome, 3 June, 1455.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Prayer before Using the Internet - Remember to Pray for Protection before you go Online!

 Remember to pray before going on the Internet. There are always momentsRemember to pray before going on the Internet. There are always moments of temptation that can lead to sin and damage your relationship with God. Share this prayer with your friends and family...

PRAYER before Using the Internet:  

Almighty and eternal God, who has created us in thine image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thy only-begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee that through the intercession of Saint Isidore, bishop and doctor, during our journeys through the internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Father we ask you this, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer to St. Michael, the Archangel for protection:
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Prayer to your Guardian Angel, for protection:

Angel of God My guardian dear To Whom His love Commits me here Ever this day Be at my side To light and guard To rule and guide. Amen.


Pope Francis' Prayer Intention for April : "For doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in war-torn areas, who risk their lives to save the lives of others."

Pope Francis' prayer intention for April,  for doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in war-torn areas, who risk their lives to save the lives of others.

The full text below:
The presence of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers in war-torn areas is a sign of hope.

They are wise, valiant, and good-hearted people who, following their vocation, work under extremely dangerous conditions.

Let us pray for doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in war-torn areas, who risk their lives to save the lives of others.

#BreakingNews Government in China Destroys Catholic Church and Nun's Residence which Helped the Poor

Shaanxi government razes Qianyang parish to ground (video)
Asia News IT Report: by Bernardo Cervellera
The building had an upper floor for the liturgy and a lower one that housed the nuns who offered medical visits and medicines to the population of the very poor area. The parish community is composed of 2 thousand faithful. Motive for destruction uncertain.
Rome (AsiaNews) - This morning, the Qianyang (Shaanxi) government razed the only parish in the city to the ground. A bulldozer reduced the two-story building to rubble under the supervision of a group of policemen. In the video sent to AsiaNews we hear the sobs of some women, while several faithful look astonished at the destruction.

The Qianyang parish was located in a very poor area of ​​Shaanxi and gathers around 2 thousand Catholics, all peasants. It was built with offerings from other communities in the diocese. On the upper floor the building housed the liturgy room; on the ground floor there were offices and the nuns residence. The sisters offered medical aid, medical visits and medicines to the indigent population.

The reasons for the destruction are still not known clearly.

The Diocese of Fengxiang, led until 2017 by Msgr. Luke Li Jingfeng has a special character in the Chinese church scene: it is the only diocese where neither the faithful nor the bishop are members of the Patriotic Association, although there is an Office for Religious Affairs. From 2017, the bishop has been 54 years old Msgr. Peter Li Huiyuan.

Some observers think that violence against the parish is a way to force the diocese to apply the new religious regulations and to have bishops and priests enrolled in the Patriotic Association.

Others point out that the communist cell that presides over the Qianyang government is made up of radical Maoists, for whom "religion is a fantasy that must be eradicated".

The church of Qianyang is famous in the area: in the past, according to the faithful, some miracles have been attributed to the holy water in the parish. Since then, many have flocked to receive holy water that is used as a physical and spiritual remedy for humans and animals.

For some believers, the destruction is due to the Maoists "fear of holy water".
FULL TEXT Source Shared from : Asia News IT
PLEASE Pray for the Church in China and its Persecuted Christians
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Pope Francis in Homily says ‘Pray with courage, putting it all on the line’ at Mass

Pope at Mass: ‘Pray with courage, putting it all on the line’

In his homily at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday, Pope Francis invites us to pray courageously to the Lord, especially during Lent.
Vatican News - By Devin Watkins

Pope Francis invited the faithful at Mass on Thursday to pray face-to-face to the Lord, bringing all our lives to Him with courage.

Prayer, he said, is one of three ways – along with fasting and acts of charity – with which we prepare ourselves for Lent.

Pray with boldness
“Much courage is needed to pray. And we are often lukewarm… True prayer is this: with the Lord. And when I need to intercede, I need to do so with courage. In common parlance, people use an expression that I really like when they have a goal: ‘I put it all on the line’… But perhaps the doubt may arise: ‘I do it, but how do I know the Lord listens to me?’ We have a certainty: Jesus. He is the great intercessor.”

Pope Francis said prayer requires parrhesia – boldness or freedom of speech – to address the Lord with courage.

Biblical guides
The Pope gave the examples of several Biblical figures who excelled at intercessory prayer: Moses, Abraham, Hannah, and the Canaanite woman.

He said they laid it all on the line to obtain their desires. “At times, when we see how these people struggle with the Lord to obtain something, we think it’s as if they were arm-wrestling with God, but they arrive at what they are requesting.”

They pray so forcefully, said the Pope, because they have faith that the Lord can fulfill their desires.

Jesus intercedes for us
Pope Francis reminded the faithful that Jesus has ascended to Heaven and intercedes for us before the Father, just as he had promised Peter before the Passion.

“Jesus prays for us, in this moment. And when I pray – whether I am convinced or pray like a mercantilist or stutter or struggle with the Lord – it is He who takes my prayer and presents it to the Lord. Jesus has no need of speaking before the Father: He shows Him His wounds. The Father sees His wounds and extends His grace. When we pray, let us recall that we do so with Jesus. Jesus is our courage. Jesus is our security, who in this moment intercedes for us.”
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican News va

#BreakingNews Pope Francis appoints 1st African-American Archbishop to Archdiocese of Washington, DC - Wilton Gregory of Atlanta - FULL TEXT

Pope Francis Names Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta as New Archbishop of Washington

April 4, 2019
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named the Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory as the new Archbishop of Washington. The appointment was publicized in Washington, DC, on April 4, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.
Archbishop Wilton Gregory, 71, was born on December 7, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of Saint Mary at Mundelein Seminary, and completed his doctorate in sacred liturgy in 1980 at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute (Sant’ Anselmo) in Rome.
He was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 9, 1973. On December 13, 1983, he was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Chicago. He was then installed as bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, IL on February 10, 1994. Pope John Paull II appointed him as the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He was installed on January 17, 2005.
Archbishop Gregory served as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from Nov. 2001 to 2004, following three years as USCCB vice president. Under his leadership, the USCCB implemented the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” He also previously served on other committees including the Committee on Doctrine, Liturgy, Administrative, and International Policy and also as Chairman of the Bishops’ Committees on Personnel and the Third Millennium/Jubilee Year 2000.
On October 12, 2018, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, 78, from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Washington.
Cardinal Wuerl had presented his resignation almost three years ago, when he reached the retirement age for bishops of 75. Upon acceptance of his resignation, Pope Francis named Cardinal Wuerl as apostolic administrator to oversee the archdiocese until a successor was named. Cardinal Wuerl served as archbishop of Washington from 2006 to 2018.
The Archdiocese of Washington is comprised of 2,104 square miles and has a total population of 2,994,625 of which 658,818 or 22 percent, are Catholic.  
FULL TEXT Release from USCCB

Pope Francis to Home for Elderly " sing together is a consolation, a support, that helps to carry on and to bear the burden of the disease..." FULL TEXT

Room adjacent to the Paul VI Audience Hall
Wednesday, 4 April 2019

Thank you, thank you brothers and sisters, many thanks. My secretary here says to me: this is the most beautiful thing he has seen with the Pope.
When I saw that in your house, that cares for sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease, there is a choir called “Rainbow”, I thanked the Lord. Because I think that for you, to sing together is a consolation, a support, that helps to carry on and to bear the burden of the disease, that must certainly weigh upon you. Rather, I think that your song is made more precious by your vulnerability. I think that the fact of putting together our frailties and mutually accepting them, this is the most beautiful “hymn”, the harmony most pleasing to God, a “rainbow” not of perfections, but of imperfections!
Then, when I saw the conductor, I thought: he has forgotten the baton! But then I saw that his baton is tenderness. Thank you, Mr. Conductor, because you perform gestures of tenderness that make us all more human. And with your tenderness, all your tenderness, of all of you, today we have fulfilled the fourth commandment: to honour the elderly who are our memory. Perhaps some of them have lost their memory, but they are the symbol of the memory of a people, they are the roots of our homeland, of our humanity. They are the roots, and the young must go there to take the sap from the roots, to carry civilization onwards.
Many thanks, thank you from the heart. And now I will give you my blessing and then I will pass by to greet you all. I ask you to pray for me. Le Seigneur vous bénisse tous, le Père, le Fils, et le Saint Esprit.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday April 4, 2019 - #Eucharist in Lent

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 247

Reading 1EX 32:7-14

The LORD said to Moses,
"Go down at once to your people
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
'This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!'
The LORD said to Moses,
"I see how stiff-necked this people is.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation."

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
"Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Why should the Egyptians say,
'With evil intent he brought them out,
that he might kill them in the mountains
and exterminate them from the face of the earth'?
Let your blazing wrath die down;
relent in punishing your people.
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.'"
So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.

Responsorial Psalm PS 106:19-20, 21-22, 23

R. (4a)  Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Verse Before The GospelJN 3:16

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.

GospelJN 5:31-47

Jesus said to the Jews:
"If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John's.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

"I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?"