Monday, April 22, 2019

#BreakingNews Death Toll Rises to 290 Killed in Attacks against Christians in Sri Lanka with many Children Dead - Please Pray

The death toll has risen to 290 people killed with the number of injured at 500 people from the multiple suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka, Asia. Many children were among the dead; including those youth pictured above who had recently received their First Communion. Some 24 people were arrested in Sri Lanka in connection with the Easter attack. Tuesday, April 23 has been declared a national day of mourning. The dead include 35 foreigners. A Danish billionaire, Anders Holch Povlsen, lost 3 of his 4 children while visiting Sri Lanka. At least 35 foreigners are among the dead, from Poland, Denmark, China, Japan, Pakistan, the United States, India, Morocco, UK and Bangladesh. At least four US citizens have been killed.

On Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, the attacks occurred in three Christian churches as well as three major hotels in Colombo.  During Holy Week the head of the Methodist Church was taken hostage along with some other Christians; later they were freed.

The Catholic Churches of Asia expressed condolences to the Sri Lanka Church:
 “Allow me to express my sincere anguish at this tragedy that has taken the toll on scores of innocent human lives on the very day when we celebrate world over the victory of life and goodness over death and evil,” wrote the President of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), Cardinal Charles Bo of Myanmar in a letter to Catholic Cardinal Ranjith.

According to investigators, the attacks were carried by suicide bombers. The victims also include a woman and two little girls found in a Dematagoda apartment where a bomb exploded.  The authorities have confirmed that
Pope Francis offered prayers and condolences during his Urbi et Orbi blessing, in St Peter's Square.

 In a statement, the Muslim President of the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), Mufti M. I. M. Rizwe, said, “this is a shameful and heinous act which no human being can tolerate for any reason. Though the attacks were carried out on a day holy to a particular religious community, it is a very sad day for all Sri Lankans.”

A government minister described the coordinated bombings as a "brand new type of terrorism," after a decade of relative calm in Sri Lanka.

Late Sunday, authorities disposed of a six-foot pipe bomb near Bandarayanake International Airport in Colombo. On Easter Monday, Sri Lankan authorities found 87 detonators at a private terminal of the Central Bus Stand-in Colombo.
A 5th grader named Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa, from a private school in Washington, DC, was identified as one of the victims killed in Sunday's Sri Lanka bombings.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is helping Sri Lanka’s authorities as they investigate.

The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) is deploying a team to assist Sri Lanka’s authorities as they investigate Sunday’s bomb blasts.

A US official with the US initial intelligence assessment said the group responsible for the attacks was likely to have been inspired by ISIS.

President Trump called Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today, the White House said.

Here is the full statement:

“President Donald J. Trump called Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe this morning to express condolences to the people of Sri Lanka for the Easter day terrorist attacks that killed nearly 300 and wounded hundreds of others. The near simultaneous attacks on Sri Lankan churches and hotels constitute one of the deadliest terrorist events since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe expressed appreciation for the President’s concern and updated him on the progress of the investigation into the attacks. President Trump pledged United States support to Sri Lanka in bringing the perpetrators to justice, and the leaders re-affirmed their commitment to the fight against global terrorism.”
In Sri Lanka, over 70% of its some 20 million population is Buddhist, with Hindus and Muslims forming the largest minority groups with 12.6% and 9.7% respectively. Christians who number about 1.5 million, are mostly Catholic, forming 7% of the population.
Edited from CNN and Asia News IT   

Pope Francis Celebrated Easter Sunday Mass at St. Peter's Square, Vatican - FULL Video

MASS of Easter Day in the Papal Chapel St. Peter's Square at 10 am on April 21, 2019.  The Holy Father celebrated Mass. At the end of the celebration, from the central loggia of the Basilica,gave the "Urbi et Orbi" Blessing. * * *

BREAKING Ukraine votes Volodymyr Zelensky, former Comedian, as New President in Landslide Victory

Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelensky won a landslide victory in the presidential election.

Mr Zelensky had taken over 73% with President Petro Poroshenko receiving only 24%.

"I will never let you down," Mr Zelensky told supporters.

Mr Zelensky, age 41, is known for starring in a comedic television series "Servant of the People", where his character accidentally becomes Ukrainian president.

He is also an Instagram star with 4.2m followers. Zelensky, is a millionaire and owns a production company called Kvartal 95. He studied Law in University.

It will be about a month before the inauguration. President Poroshenko,  has been in power since 2014. Poroshenko explained, "I will leave office but I want to firmly stress - I will not quit politics."
Edited and shortened from BBC

Quote to SHARE by Saint Pope John Paul II "We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song." #JP2

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” ― Pope John Paul II

Pope Francis says "The risen Jesus walks beside us." at Regina Caeli on Easter Monday - FULL TEXT + Video

Pope at Regina Coeli on Easter Monday: Full text
On Easter Monday, Pope Francis prays the Regina Coeli in St Peter’s Square.

Vatican News translation of the full text of the Pope’s reflection.

Today and throughout this week, the Easter joy of the Resurrection of Jesus, the wonderful event we commemorated yesterday, will continue.

During the Easter Vigil, the words spoken by the Angels at the empty tomb of Christ resounded. To the women who had gone to the tomb at dawn on the first day after the Sabbath, they said: "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, He is risen". The Resurrection of Christ is the most shocking event in human history, attesting to the victory of God's Love over sin and death and giving our hope of life a rock-sold foundation. What was humanly unthinkable happened: "Jesus of Nazareth…God raised Him up, freeing Him from the pains of death".

On this Easter Monday (in Italian "Monday of the Angel"), the liturgy, with the Gospel of Matthew, takes us back to the empty tomb of Jesus. The women, full of awe and joy, are leaving in a hurry to go and bring the news to the disciples; and at that moment Jesus presents Himself before them. They "came up to Him and, falling down before Him, clasped His feet". Jesus drives fear out of their hearts and encourages them even more to announce to their brothers and sisters what has happened. All the Gospels emphasize the role of women, Mary of Magdala and the others, as the first witnesses of the resurrection. The men were frightened, they were closed in the Upper Room. Peter and John, advised by Mary Magdalene, only went out briefly and saw that the tomb was open and empty. But it was the women who were the first to meet the Risen One and to bring the message that He was alive.

Today, dear brothers and sisters, the words of Jesus addressed to the women resound for us too: "Do not be afraid; go and proclaim...". After the liturgies of the Easter Triduum, which allowed us to relive the mystery of our Lord's death and resurrection, now with the eyes of faith, we contemplate Him risen and alive. We too are called to meet Him personally and to become His heralds and witnesses.

With the ancient Easter Sequence, we repeat during these days: "Christ, my hope, is risen!”. In Him we too have risen, passing from death to life, from the slavery of sin to the freedom of love. Let us therefore allow ourselves to be touched by the consoling message of Easter and be enveloped by its glorious light, which dispels the darkness of fear and sadness. The risen Jesus walks beside us. He manifests Himself to those who call on Him and who love Him. First of all in prayer, but also in simple joys lived with faith and gratitude. We can also feel His presence when we share moments of cordiality, welcome, and friendship, or when we contemplate nature. May this feast day, on which it is traditional to enjoy some leisure and free time, help us to experience the presence of Jesus.

Let us ask the Virgin Mary to help us draw with full hands the gifts of peace and serenity of the Risen One, and to share them with our brothers and sisters, especially with those who most need comfort and hope.
************(Translation above from
Pope Francis After the Regina Coeli

Dear brothers and sisters,

I would like to express again my spiritual and paternal closeness to the people of Sri Lanka. I am very close to my dear brother, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, and to the whole archdiocesan Church of Colombo. I pray for the many victims and wounded, and I ask everyone not to hesitate to offer this dear nation all the necessary help. I also hope that everyone condemns these terrorist acts, inhuman acts, never justifiable. Let us pray to Our Lady ...

[Hail Mary

in the Easter climate that characterizes today's day, I affectionately greet all of you, families, parish groups, associations and individual pilgrims, who have come from Italy and from various parts of the world.

I wish each one of us to spend these days of the Easter Octave with faith, in which the memory of the Resurrection of Christ is prolonged. Take every good opportunity to be witnesses of the joy and peace of the Risen Lord.

Good and Holy Easter to all! Please don't forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : #Easter Monday, April 22, 2019 - #Eucharist

Monday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 261

Reading 1ACTS 2:14, 22-33

On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.
Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.

“You who are children of Israel, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.
But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for him to be held by it.
For David says of him:

I saw the Lord ever before me,
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;
my flesh, too, will dwell in hope,
because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.

My brothers, one can confidently say to you
about the patriarch David that he died and was buried,
and his tomb is in our midst to this day.
But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him
that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,
he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,
that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld
nor did his flesh see corruption.
God raised this Jesus;
of this we are all witnesses.
Exalted at the right hand of God,
he poured forth the promise of the Holy Spirit
that he received from the Father, as you both see and hear.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 16:1-2A AND 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

R. (1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaPS 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 28:8-15

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city
and told the chief priests all that had happened.
The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;
then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, “You are to say,
‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’
And if this gets to the ears of the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.