Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Saint April 18 : St. Apollonius the Apologist

St. Apollonius the Apologist
MARTYR Martyr whose Apologia or defense of the faith, is called one of the most priceless documents of the early Church. Apollonius was a Roman senator who was denounced as a Christian by one of his slaves. The Praetorian prefect, Sextus Tigidius Perenis, arrested him, also putting the slave to death as an informer. Perennis demanded that Apollonius denounce the faith, and when he refused, the case was remanded to the Roman senate. There a debate took place between Perennis and Apollonius that clearly outlines the beauty and the value of Christianity. Despite his eloquent defense, Apollonius was condemned and beheaded.

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

#BreakingNews Death of Jesuit Philosopher - RIP Fr. James Schall, SJ at Age 91

 -Fr. James V. Schall, S.J. (1928-2019),  passed away today Wednesday, April 17 at 12:48 PDT.
"All inns lead to that Great Tavern at the end of the world when we shall drink again with our friends in that eternal life that is offered to us by our very God when he called each of us out of nothing to exist and participate in His inner life....Pray for me, jvssj”
Brief Bio: James Vincent Schall, S.J. was born on January 20, 1928 and died April 17, 2019. He was Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Government at Georgetown University.
Fr. Schall retired in December 2012, he gave final lecture on December 7, 2012, at Georgetown - see video below - "The Final Gladness." 
James Schall was born in Pocahontas, Iowa, USA. He was in the U.S. Army (1946–47), and joined the Society of Jesus (California Province) in 1948, and then attended Santa Clara University in California. He had a MA in Philosophy from Gonzaga University, a PhD in Political Theory from Georgetown University, and was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1963. In 1964, he received a M.A. in Sacred Theology from Santa Clara University. Schall served as a member of the Pontifical Commission on Justice and Peace, in Rome from 1977-82. Schall lived in the Jesuit retirement home in Los Gatos, California.

What is Holy Thursday? - Holy Thursday begins the Triduum - #Maundy Thursday a mandate to Love!

Holy Thursday is also called "Maundy Thursday"?
"Maundy" comes from the Latin mandatum.
John 13:34: "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos."
English translation:
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you." 

"Chrism Mass"?

35. The Chrism Mass which the bishop concelebrates with his presbyterium and at which the holy chrism is consecrated and the oils blessed, manifests the communion of the priests with their bishop in the same priesthood and ministry of Christ.
The priests who concelebrate with the bishop should come to this Mass from different parts of the diocese, thus showing in the consecration of the chrism to be his witnesses and cooperators, just as in their daily ministry they are his helpers and counselors.
The faithful are also to be encouraged to participate in this Mass, and to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist.
The chrism and the oil is to be used in the celebration of the sacraments of initiation on Easter night.
The bishop celebrates a "Chrism Mass" and most of the priests of the diocese attend. 

Music for Holy Thursday

50. During the singing of the hymn "Gloria in excelsis" in accordance with local custom, the bells may be rung, and should thereafter remain silent until the "Gloria in excelsis" of the Easter Vigil, unless the Conference of Bishops' or the local Ordinary, for a suitable reason, has decided otherwise.[56] During this same period the organ and other musical instruments may be used only for the purpose of supporting the singing.[57]

Chants accompany the procession traditionally "Ubi caritas est vera." with the gifts on Holy Thursday in the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, and hymns to accompany the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the place of repose; Traditionally "Pange lingua" or some other eucharistic song is used to accompany the Eucharist to the Altar of Repose.

Foot washing is an Option:

51. The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came "not to be served, but to serve. This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained.
(Pope Francis has indicated that this may now include women)

After Mass of the Lord's Supper

According to Paschales Solemnitatis:
54. After the post-Communion prayer, the procession forms, with the crossbar at its head. The Blessed Sacrament, accompanied by lighted candles and incense, is carried through the church to the place of reservation, to the singing of the hymn "Pange lingua" or some other eucharistic song.
This rite of transfer of the Blessed Sacrament may not be carried out if the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion will not be celebrated in that same church on the following day.
55. The Blessed Sacrament should be reserved in a closed tabernacle or pyx. Under no circumstances may it be exposed in a monstrance.
The chapel of repose is not prepared so as to represent the "Lord's burial" but for the custody of the eucharistic bread that will be distributed in Communion on Good Friday.

 Eucharistic adoration 

Paschales Solemnitatis:
 After the Mass of the Lord's Supper the faithful should be encouraged to spend a suitable period of time during the night in the church in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament which has been solemnly reserved.
Where appropriate, this prolonged eucharistic adoration may be accompanied by the reading of some part of the Gospel of St. John (chs. 13-17).
From midnight onwards, however, the adoration should be made without external solemnity, because the day of the Lord's passion has begun.

Ornaments in the Church -  Paschales Solemnitatis:

 After Mass the altar should be stripped.
It is fitting that any crosses in the church be covered with a red or purple veil, unless they have already been veiled on the Saturday before the Fifth Sunday of Lent.
Lamps should not be lit before the images of saints.

Hauntingly Beautiful - Just before the Fire - Last Hymn Sung in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris - "Stabat Mater"

KTO Television captured the video (below) of this last hymn sung in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France, just before it burned down. Here the choir sings the "Stabat Mater" about Our Lady standing at the foot of the Cross watching Jesus die. Music by Jean-Charles Gandrille. Full lyrics below in Latin with English translation:
1. Stabat Mater dolorosa iuxta crucem lacrimosa dum pendebat Filius
The grieving Mother stood weeping beside the cross where her Son was hanging

2. Cuius animam gementem contristatam et dolentem pertransivit gladius
Through her weeping soul, compassionate and grieving, a sword passed.

3. O quam tristis et afflicta fuit illa benedicta Mater Unigeniti
O how sad and afflicted was that blessed Mother of the Only-begotten!

4. Quae moerebat et dolebat et tremebat cum videbat nati poenas incliti
Who mourned and grieved and trembled looking at the torment of her glorious Child

5. Quis est homo qui non fleret Matri Christi si videret in tanto supplicio?
Who is the person who would not weep seeing the Mother of Christ in such agony?

6. Quis non posset contristari Matrem Christi contemplari dolentum cum filio?
Who would not be able to feel compassion on beholding Christ’s Mother suffering with her Son?

7. Pro peccatis suae gentis vidit Iesum in tormentis et flagellis subditum
For the sins of his people she saw Jesus in torment and subjected to the scourge.

8. Vidit suum dulcem natum moriendo desolatum dum emisit spiritum
She saw her sweet offspring dying, forsaken, while He gave up his spirit

9. Eia Mater, fons amoris, me sentire vim doloris fac ut tecum lugeam
O Mother, fountain of love, make me feel the power of sorrow, that I may grieve with you

10. Fac ut ardeat cor meum in amando Christum Deum ut sibi complaceam
Grant that my heart may burn in the love of Christ my Lord, that I may greatly please Him

11. Sancta Mater, istud agas, crucifixi fige plagas cordi meo valide
Holy Mother, grant that the wounds of the Crucified drive deep into my heart.

12. Tui nati vulnerati tam dignati pro me pati poenas mecum divide
That of your wounded Son, who so deigned to suffer for me, I may share the pain

13. Fac me vere tecum flere crucifixo condolere donec ego vixero
Let me sincerely weep with you, bemoan the Crucified, for as long as I live

14. Iuxta crucem tecum stare et me tibi sociare in planctu desidero
To stand beside the cross with you, and gladly share the weeping, this I desire

15. Virgo virginum praeclara mihi iam non sis amara fac me tecum plangere
Chosen Virgin of virgins, be not bitter with me, let me weep with thee

16. Fac ut portem Christi mortem passionis fac consortem et plagas recolere
Grant that I may bear the death of Christ, share his Passion, and commemorate His wounds

17. Fac me plagis vulnerari fac me cruce inebriari et cruore filii
Let me be wounded with his wounds, let me be inebriated by the cross and your Son’s blood

18. Flammis ne urar succensus, per te, Virgo, sim defensus in die iudicii
Lest I burn, set afire by flames, Virgin, may I be defended by you, on the day of judgement

19. Christe cum sit hinc exire da per matrem me venire ad palmam vicoriae
Christ, when it is time to pass away, grant that through your Mother I may come to the palm of victory

20. Quando corpus morietur fac ut animae donetur paradisi gloria. Amen
When my body dies, grant that to my soul is given the glory of paradise. Amen
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Pope Francis "Jesus prays for those who have been evil to Him, for his killers." Full Text + Video


St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Catechesis - Easter: prayer to the Father in the trial

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

In these weeks we are reflecting on the prayer of the "Our Father". Now, on the eve of the Easter Triduum, let us dwell on some words with which Jesus, during the Passion, prayed to the Father.

The first invocation takes place after the Last Supper, when the Lord, "lift your eyes to heaven, said:" Father, the hour has come: glorify your Son - and then - glorify me before you with that glory which I had before you before the world was "" (Jn 17: 5.5). Jesus asks for glory, a request that seems paradoxical while the Passion is at the door. What glory is it? Glory in the Bible indicates the revealing of God, is the distinctive sign of his saving presence among men. Now, Jesus is the one who shows God's presence and salvation in a definitive way. And he does it in the Passover: raised up on the cross, he is glorified (see Jn 12: 23-33). There God finally reveals his glory: he takes away the last veil and astonishes us as never before. In fact we discover that the glory of God is all love: pure love, crazy and unthinkable, beyond all limits and measure.

Brothers and sisters, let us make Jesus' prayer our own: let us ask the Father to remove the veils from our eyes because in these days, looking at the Crucifix, we can accept that God is love. How many times do we imagine it a master and not a Father, how often we think of it as a severe judge rather than a merciful Savior! But God at Easter clears the distance, showing himself in the humility of a love that demands our love. We therefore give him glory when we live all that we do with love, when we do everything with the heart, as for Him (see Col 3:17). True glory is the glory of love, because it is the only one that gives life to the world. Of course, this glory is the opposite of worldly glory, which comes when one is admired, praised, acclaimed: when I am in the center of attention. The glory of God, on the other hand, is paradoxical: no applause, no audience. At the center there is not the ego, but the other: at Easter we see in fact that the Father glorifies the Son while the Son glorifies the Father. No one glorifies himself. We can ask ourselves today: "What is the glory I live for? My or God's? Do I just want to receive from others or even give to others? "
After the Last Supper, Jesus enters the garden of Gethsemane; here too he prays to the Father. While the disciples are unable to stay awake and Judas is arriving with the soldiers, Jesus begins to feel "fear and anguish". Experience all the anguish for what awaits him: betrayal, contempt, suffering, failure. He is "sad" and there, in the abyss, in that desolation, he addresses to the Father the most tender and sweet word: "Abba", that is, father (see Mk 14: 33-36). In the test Jesus teaches us to embrace the Father, because in prayer to Him there is the strength to go on in pain. In fatigue, prayer is relief, trust, comfort. In the abandonment of all, in the interior desolation Jesus is not alone, he is with the Father. Instead, in our Gethsemane we often choose to remain alone rather than say "Father" and entrust ourselves to Him, like Jesus, to entrust ourselves to his will, which is our true good. But when we are closed in on ourselves in the test, we dig a tunnel inside, a painful introverted path that has a single direction: more and more deeply in ourselves. The biggest problem is not pain, but how it is dealt with. Solitude offers no way out; prayer is yes, because it is relationship, it is trust. Jesus entrusts everything and entrusts himself to the Father, bringing him what he feels, leaning on him in the struggle. When we enter our Gethsemane - each of us has our own Gethsemane or has had them or will have them - we remember this: when we enter, when we enter our Gethsemane, let us remember to pray like this: "Father".
Finally, Jesus addresses a third prayer for us to the Father: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Lk 23:34). Jesus prays for those who have been evil to Him, for his killers. The Gospel specifies that this prayer occurs at the moment of crucifixion. It was probably the moment of the sharpest pain when the nails were driven into Jesus' wrists and feet. Here, at the summit of pain, love reaches its climax: forgiveness comes, that is, the gift to the nth power, which breaks the circle of evil. Dear brothers and sisters, praying in these days the "Our Father", we can ask for one of these graces: to live our days for the glory of God, that is to live with love; to know how to entrust ourselves to the Father in trials and to say "dad" to the Father and to find forgiveness and the courage to forgive in the encounter with the Father. Both things go together. The Father forgives us, but gives us the courage to forgive.
Greetings in Various Languages:
Je suis heureux de saluer les pèlerins venus de France et d’autres pays francophones, en particulier les pèlerins de Carcassonne, Tournon et Rennes. En ces jours saints, que le Seigneur nous apprenne à vivre chaque jour pour sa gloire, autrement dit avec amour, à nous confier à lui dans les épreuves, à recevoir son pardon et le courage de pardonner.
Colgo questa occasione per esprimere alla comunità diocesana di Parigi, a tutti i parigini e all’intero popolo francese il mio grande affetto e la mia vicinanza dopo l’incendio nella Cattedrale di Notre-Dame. Cari fratelli e sorelle, sono rimasto addolorato e mi sento tanto vicino a tutti voi. A quanti si sono prodigati, anche rischiando di persona, per salvare la Basilica va la gratitudine di tutta la Chiesa. La Vergine Maria li benedica e sostenga il lavoro di ricostruzione: possa essere un’opera corale, a lode e gloria di Dio. Dio vi benedica!
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from the Netherlands, Australia, the Philippines, Canada and the United States of America. My particular greeting goes to the delegation from the NATO Defense College. May this Holy Week lead us to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with hearts purified and renewed by the grace of the Holy Spirit. God bless you all!
Herzlich grüße ich alle Pilger deutscher Sprache. Ich wünsche euch eine gnadenreiche Feier der heiligen drei Tage vom Leiden, Sterben und der Auferstehung des Herrn. Verbinden wir uns innerlich und im Gebet mit ihm auf seinem Weg der vertrauensvollen Hingabe an den Vater. Gesegnete Feiertage!
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y de Latinoamérica. Pidamos al Señor que la celebración de la Pascua no sea sólo un momento más en nuestra vida, sino que nos impulse a vivir cada día para la gloria de Dios, confiando al Padre las pruebas que nos afligen y encontrando en Él el abrazo misericordioso que nos anima a perdonar a los demás. Que el Señor los bendiga.
Uma saudação aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, particularmente os fiéis da paróquia Cristo Rei no Porto e os diversos grupos de brasileiros: Deixai-vos iluminar e transformar pela força da Ressurreição de Cristo, para que as vossas existências tornem um testemunho da vida que é mais forte do que o pecado e a morte. Um Santo Tríduo Pascal para todos!
أرحب بالحاضرين الناطقين باللغة العربية، وخاصة بالقادمين من سوريا، ومن لبنان، ومن الشرق الأوسط. يعلمنا يسوع، في درب صليبه، أن الطريقة الوحيدة للتغلب على التجارب هي الثقة الكاملة في الله، وفي محبته الخلاصية، وفي إرادته المقدسة. ليبارككم الرب جميعا ويحرسكم دائما من الشرير!
[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, in particular those from Syria, Lebanon and the Middle East. Jesus teaches us, in His Way of the Cross, that the only way to overcome trials is to entrust oneself completely to God, to His saving love and to His holy will. May the Lord bless you and always protect you from the evil one!]
Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, przeżywajmy te dni Triduum Męki Pańskiej na chwałę Boga, to znaczy z miłością, powierzając się Ojcu w próbach i szukając w spotkaniu z Ojcem przebaczenia i odwagi przebaczenia. Zjednoczenie z cierpiącym Chrystusem, który tak nas umiłował, że życie za nas dał, niech nas prowadzi do chwały Jego zmartwychwstania. Niech Bóg wam błogosławi!
I warmly welcome the Italian-speaking faithful.

I am pleased to welcome the Participants to the UNIV 2019 Meeting. Dear young people who live these days of formation, following the example of St. Josemaria, increasingly base your life on the values ​​of faith, so that, changing yourself on the model of Christ, you can transform the world around you.

I greet the Parishes; educational institutions, in particular those of Aversa and Teramo; the group of the Carabinieri Legion Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta and the Christian Family Association.

I am particularly interested in young people, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds.

Tomorrow the Easter Triduum begins, the fulcrum of the entire liturgical year. The Easter of Christ Jesus makes you reflect on the love that God has shown to have for all of you. May the Lord grant you to participate fully in the mystery of his death and resurrection, and help you to make his feelings yours and to share them with your neighbor.
FULL TEXT and Image Source Share from - Unofficial Translation

Official Easter Message from the Patriarchs of Jerusalem "We continue to pray for a just and lasting peace..." FULL TEXT

Easter Message of the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem 2019
He is not here: for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. (Matthew 28.6)
We, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, bring you Easter greetings in the name of our Risen Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. From the heart of Jerusalem and the center of the world we proclaim again: Christ is Risen; He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia! This Easter greetings have been handed over to us by our faithful fathers and mothers across the centuries. “He is not here. He has been raised…,” this was the announcement of the angel who appeared to the women at the tomb, and proclaimed that it is not death that has the final word, rather, it is the God of life.
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10.10). We, as people of faith, are called to walk in Jesus’ risen life; in abundance, not in scarcity. Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus brought about new creation and restored all things; including God’s image in human beings. The Feast of the Resurrection reminds us that human dignity is to be respected and honoured.
Human beings are created in God’s image, and therefore stand equal before God. Easter is a season where the human family is celebrated in the light of the divine life and abundance. Jerusalem, the city of the resurrection, is the beacon of hope and life. The empty tomb constantly reminds us of the events that took place in and around the holy city. Jesus came to offer abundant life in which sin and death are defeated. The city of life is also the city of peace and reconciliation. Therefore, the multi-religious and multi-cultural status of Jerusalem have to be maintained and all Abrahamic faiths may find it none other than the city of peace and tranquility. We continue to pray for a just and lasting peace in Jerusalem and throughout the world.
We are steadfast in praying for all regions of violence and distress, especially, violence against innocent people and places of worship. We also remember in our prayers all women and children who face violence and injustice throughout the globe. We call upon all people to respect the dignity of every human person and walk together toward wholeness and fullness of life.
We invite all our fellow Christians around the world in general, and our faithful people in the Holy Land and the wider Middle East in particular, to take strength in the Easter celebrations. May we all be witnesses to the resurrection through promoting the values of our Risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, through active involvement in the life of the church and the wider society.
Christ is Risen; He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem
+Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
+Patriarch Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator, Latin Patriarchate
+Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land
+Archbishop Anba Antonious, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem
+Archbishop Gabriel Daho, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Aba Embakob, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Yaser AL-Ayash, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate
+Archbishop Mosa El-Hage, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate
+Archbishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
+Bishop Ibrahim Sani Azar, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
+Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
+Most Rev. Krikor-Okosdinos Coussa, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
FULL TEXT Source: The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

#BreakingNews 1.6 Million Children in Need after Cyclone Idai hits South-East Africa

 A month after Cyclone Idai, 1.6 million children are in need.
At least 1.6 million children need urgent assistance – in healthcare, nutrition, protection, education, water and sanitation – one month after Cyclone Idai devastated parts of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

More than 1 million children in dire need of assistance
The needs in Mozambique are great, with 1 million children in need of assistance, followed by more than 443,000 in Malawi and 130,000 in Zimbabwe.

Mozambique has already seen cases of cholera and malaria surge to 4,600 and 7,500 respectively since the cyclone hit.

Children are at risk of disease and exploitation.
More 130,000 children who remain displaced following the cyclone, most of whom are in Mozambique and Malawi. More than 200,000 homes were destroyed by the storm in Mozambique alone.

Thousands are still stranded in evacuation centres
Across the three countries, flood waters have largely receded, and some affected families have started to return home. Yet thousands remain in evacuation camps because their houses were damaged or destroyed. Food security is also a major issue because the storm destroyed crops weeks before the harvest.
(Text based on a report by

You can Donate to Aid to the Church in Need which is helping people in the regions in Africa where cyclone Idai hit:

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - #Eucharist in Lent

Wednesday of Holy Week
Lectionary: 259

Reading 1IS 50:4-9A

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
That I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
And I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
My face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
He is near who upholds my right;
if anyone wishes to oppose me,
let us appear together.
Who disputes my right?
Let him confront me.
See, the Lord GOD is my help;
who will prove me wrong?

Responsorial PsalmPS 69:8-10, 21-22, 31 AND 33-34

R. (14c) Lord, in your great love, answer me.
For your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my mother's sons,
because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak,
I looked for sympathy, but there was none;
for consolers, not one could I find.
Rather they put gall in my food,
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving:
"See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not."
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Verse Before The Gospel

Hail to you, our King;
you alone are compassionate with our errors.


Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father;
you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.

GospelMT 26:14-25

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
"What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?"
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?"
He said,
"Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
'The teacher says, "My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples."'"
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
"Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
"Surely it is not I, Lord?"
He said in reply,
"He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born."
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
"Surely it is not I, Rabbi?"
He answered, "You have said so."

Saint April 17 : St. Kateri Tekakwitha : Patron of Ecology and #Natives - #Mohawks (in Canada)

Born:1656, Ossernenon, Iroquois Confederacy (Modern Auriesville, New York)
Died:17 April 1680 at Caughnawaga, Canada
Beatified:22 June 1980 by Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine:St Francis Xavier Church, Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada
FEAST DAY is April 17 in Canada and July 14 in the USA

In 1656,  Kateri Tekakwitha known as “Lily of the Mohawks” was born of an Algonquin mother and Mohawk father in Ossernenon in the Mohawk Valley, now known as Auriesville, New York. Kateri was four years old when the horrible European disease of smallpox devastated her village. Many perished along with Kateri’s parents and younger brother. She survived the deadly disease but her eyesight was greatly affected and her face ravaged with smallpox scars.

Because of Kateri’s near blindness, she held her hands in front of her to feel her way along and protect herself from injury. It was from this characteristic she was renamed Tekakwitha or “She moves things”.

In 1667, 11 year old Kateri Tekakwitha meets the Jesuit Missionaries in her uncle’s cabin. By this time the village had moved to the north side of the Mohawk River to Caughnawaga, now known as Fonda New York. As a young girl, she helped with the meals, collected berries from the woods, made baskets, did beadwork and strung the wampums. With the coming of the missionaries Kateri found comfort and understanding of her situation in Christianity and began her dialogue with Father James de Lamberville and expressed the ardent desire for Baptism in 1666, and was subsequently baptized in 1676 at the age of 20.

In 1677, Kateri Tekakwitha traveled from the Mohawk valley to the north eastern part of the Territory to the village of Kahnawake and the Mission of Saint Francis Xavier on the shore of the Saint Lawrence River. Father de Lamberville had given her a letter for the Superior of the Mission.  The words of this letter were, “ I ask you to please take charge of directing her; it is a treasure which we are giving you.  Guard it well and make it bear fruit for the glory of God and the salvation of a soul which is certainly very dear to Him.”  A few months after her arrival, she received her First Holy Communion on Christmas Day at the age of 21.

In 1680 with her health failing, she became gravely ill and on April 17, 1680, 24 year old Kateri Tekakwitha died. Soon after her death and because of her faith in Christ, her scared face was restored to its former beauty and softness. She was buried in a wooden coffin next to the wooden cross where she prayed on the banks of the great river.  The favors and miracles obtained through her intercession began immediately.

In 1717, the Mohawks of Kahnawake moved to their final and present day location where Kateri’s remains were housed in a sacred chest of polished wood in the sacristy of the Mission.

On Saturday December 6, 1884 the Bishops and Archbishops of the United States of America of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore addressed the Sovereign Pontiff Leo XIII to institute the process for the beautification of Catherine Tekakwitha. Letters were submitted by various Indian tribes, petitioning the Introduction of the Cause of the  Servant of God, Catherine Tekakwitha to the Sovereign Pontiff Leo XIII.

In 1931, after years of preparation the cause was instituted by the Most Reverend Bishop of Albany, Edmund Francis Gibbons and in June 1938, the Historical Section of the Congregation of Rites at Rome declared that the documents of the case of Tekakwitha were complete, genuine and trustworthy, that they established Tekakwitha’s renown for holiness, and a solid basis for final judgement that her virtues were heroic.

On January 3rd 1943 his Holiness Pope Pius XII offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Then he  solemnly proclaimed: It has been proved in this instance and for the purpose under consideration, that the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, Love of God and Neighbour, and the cardinal virtues, Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude and subordinate virtues of the Venerable Servant of God, Catherine Tekakwitha, were heroic.  Pope Pius XII signed the DECREE in which Catherine Tekakwitha was “Venerable”.

In 1980,  Kateri Tekakwitha was beatified by Pope John Paul II and declared “BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA”.

In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI announced the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha.  He signed a decree approving a miracle attributed to Kateri for saving the life of a young boy, Jake Finkbonner who suffered from a flesh eating disease.The official date for her canonization ceremony was October 21, 2012 in Rome Italy. St Kateri Tekakwitha’s Shrine is located at the St. Francis Xavier Mission in Kahnawake. Text from