Friday, April 26, 2019

Saint April 27 : St. Zita : Patron of Patron of Servants, #Homemakers , Rape victims, Waitresses

St. Zita
Feast: April 27

Feast Day:
April 27
1218 at Monsagrati near Lucca, Italy
27 April 1272 at Lucca, Italy
5 September 1696 by Pope Leo X and Pope Innocent XII
Major Shrine:
Basilica di San Frediano, Lucca
Patron of:
Domestic servants, homemakers, lost keys, people ridiculed for their piety, rape victims, single laywomen, waiters, waitresses

PRAYER TO SAINT ZITA Dear follower of the Son of God, You desired to become a servant and died the death of a slave. You were not only a faithful maid-servant but a practical lover of the poor. Like Mary You could have said: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord." Prompt domestics to be just and charitable, seeing in their employers children of God and setting an example for them as servants of God. Amen.
She was born in the beginning of the thirteenth century at Montsegradi, a village near Lucca in Italy. She was brought up with the greatest care, in the fear of God, by her poor virtuous mother, whose early and constant attention to inspire the tender heart of her daughter with religious sentiments seemed to find no obstacles, either from private passions or the general corruption of nature, so easily were they prevented or overcome. Zita had no sooner attained the use of reason, and was capable of knowing and loving God, than her heart was no longer able to relish any other object, and she seemed never to lose sight of him in her actions. Her mother reduced all her instructions to two short heads, and never had occasion to use any further remonstrance to enforce her lessons than to say, "This is most pleasing to God; this is the divine will"; or, "That would displease God."

The sweetness and modesty of the young child charmed everyone who saw her. She spoke little, and was most assiduous at her work; but her business never seemed to interrupt her prayers. At twelve years of age she was put to service in the family of a citizen of Lucca, called Fatinelli, whose house was contiguous to the church of St. Frigidian. She was thoroughly persuaded that labour is enjoined all men as a punishment of sin, and as a remedy for the spiritual disorders of their souls; and far from ever harbouring in her breast the least uneasiness, or expressing any sort of complaint under contradictions, poverty, and hardships, and still more from ever entertaining the least idle, inordinate, or worldly desire, she blessed God for placing her in a station in which she was supplied with the most effectual means to promote her sanctification, by the necessity of employing herself in penitential labour, and of living in a perpetual conformity and submission of her will to others. She was also very sensible of the advantages of her state, which afforded all necessaries of life, without engaging her in the anxious cares and violent passions by which worldly persons, who enjoy most plentifully the goods of fortune, are often disturbed; whereby their souls resemble a troubled sea, always agitated by impetuous storms, without knowing the sweetness of a true calm. She considered her work as an employment assigned her by God, and as part of her penance; and obeyed her master and mistress in all things as being placed over her by God. She always rose several hours before the rest of the family and employed in prayer a considerable part of the time which others gave to sleep. She took care to hear mass every morning with great devotion before she was called upon by the duties of her station, in which she employed the whole day with such diligence and fidelity that she seemed to be carried to them on wings, and studied when possible to anticipate them.
Notwithstanding her extreme attention to her exterior employments, she acquired a wonderful facility of joining with them almost continual mental prayer and of keeping her soul constantly attentive to the divine presence. Who would not imagine that such a person should have been esteemed and beloved by all who knew her?
Nevertheless, by the appointment of divine providence, for her great spiritual advantage, it fell out quite otherwise and for several years she suffered the harshest trials. Her modesty was called by her fellow-servants simplicity, and want of spirit and sense; and her diligence was judged to have no other spring than affectation and secret pride. Her mistress was a long time extremely prepossessed against her, and her passionate master could not bear her in his sight without transports of rage.
It is not to be conceived how much the saint had continually to suffer in this situation. So unjustly despised, overburdened, reviled, and often beaten, she never repined nor lost her patience; but always preserved the same sweetness in her countenance, and the same meekness and charity in her heart and words, and abated nothing of her application to her duties. A virtue so constant and so admirable at length overcame jealousy, antipathy, prepossession, and malice.
Her master and mistress discovered the treasure which their family possessed in the fidelity and example of the humble saint, and the other servants gave due praise to her virtue. Zita feared this prosperity more than adversity, and trembled lest it should be a snare to her soul. But sincere humility preserved her from its dangers; and her behaviour, amidst the caresses and respect shown her, continued the same as when she was ill-treated and held in derision; she was no less affable, meek, and modest; no less devout, nor less diligent or ready to serve everyone. Being made housekeeper, and seeing her master and mistress commit to her with an entire confidence the government of their family and management of all their affairs, she was most scrupulously careful in point of economy, remembering that she was to give to God an account of the least farthing of what was intrusted as a depositum in her .hands; and, though head-servant, she never allowed herself the least privilege or exemption in her work on that account.
She used often to say to others that devotion is false if slothful. Hearing a man-servant speak one immodest word, she was filled with horror, and procured him to be immediately discharged from the family. With David, she desired to see it composed only of such whose approved piety might draw down a benediction of God upon the whole house and be a security to the master for their fidelity and good example. She kept fast the whole year, and often on bread and water; and took her rest on the bare floor or on a board. Whenever business allowed her a little leisure, she spent it in holy prayer and contemplation in a little retired room in the garret; and at her work repeated frequently ardent ejaculations of divine love, with which her soul appeared always inflamed. She respected her fellow-servants as her superiors. If she was sent on commissions a mile or two in the greatest storms, she set out without delay, executed them punctually, and returned often almost drowned, without showing any sign of reluctance or murmuring.
By her virtue she gained so great an ascendant over her master that a single word would often suffice to check the greatest transports of his rage; and she would sometimes cast herself at his feet to appease him in favour of others. She never kept anything for herself but the poor garments which she wore: everything else she gave to the poor. Her master, seeing his goods multiply, as it were, in her hands, gave her ample leave to bestow liberal alms on the poor, which she made use of with discretion, but was scrupulous to do nothing without his express authority. If she heard others spoken ill of, she zealously took upon her their defence and excused their faults.
Always when she communicated, and often when she heard mass, and on other occasions, she melted in sweet tears of divine love: she was often favoured with ecstasies during her prayers. In her last sickness she clearly foretold her death, and having prepared herself for her passage by receiving the last sacraments, and by ardent signs of love, she happily expired on the 27th of April, in 1272, being sixty years old: one hundred and fifty miracles wrought in the behalf of such as had recourse to her intercession have been juridically proved. Her body was found entire in 1580 and is kept with great respect in St. Frigidian's church, richly enshrined; her face and hands are exposed naked to view through a crystal glass. Pope Leo X granted an office in her honour. The city of Lucca pays a singular veneration to her memory.
The solemn decree of her beatification was published by Innocent XII in 1696, with the confirmation of her immemorial veneration. See her life, compiled by a contemporary writer, and published by Papebroke, the Bollandist, on the 27th of April, p. 497, and Benedict XIV De Canoniz. lib. ii. c. 24, p. 245.
Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler

Pope Francis says "...the Spirit is needed for the Bible to burn in the heart and become life." FULL TEXT + Video


Sala Clementina
Friday, 26 April 2019

Eminences, dear brothers in the episcopate, brothers and sisters,

with the words of the Apostle Paul I welcome you, who are "in Rome, loved by God", wishing you "grace and peace" (Rom 1: 7). I thank Cardinal Tagle for the greeting he addressed to me on your behalf. You have gathered on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Catholic Biblical Federation. This jubilee will have given you the opportunity to take stock of your ecclesial service and to confirm each other in the commitment to spread the Word of God.

Your reflection has developed around two words: Bible and life. I would also like to tell you something about this inseparable combination. "The word of God is alive" (Heb 4:12): it does not die nor does it age, it remains forever (see 1 Pet 1:25). He remains young in the presence of all that passes (see Mt 24:35) and preserves those who put it into practice by inner aging. It is alive and gives life. It is important to remember that the Holy Spirit, the Life-Giver, loves to work through Scripture. The Word brings the breath of God into the world, infuses the warmth of the Lord in the heart. All the academic contributions, the volumes that are published are and cannot but be at the service of this. They are like wood that, painstakingly collected and assembled, is used to heat. But just like wood does not produce heat by itself, nor even the best studies; serve the fire, the Spirit is needed for the Bible to burn in the heart and become life. Then good wood can be useful for feeding this fire. But the Bible is not a beautiful collection of sacred books to study, it is the Word of life to sow, a gift which the Risen asks to receive and distribute so that there may be life in his name (see Jn 20: 31).

In the Church the Word is an irreplaceable injection of life. This is why homilies are fundamental. Preaching is not an exercise in rhetoric and not even a set of wise human notions: it would only be wood. Instead, it is a sharing of the Spirit (see 1 Cor 2: 4) of the divine Word that touched the heart of the preacher, who communicates that warmth, that anointing. So many words flow daily to our ears, transmitting information and giving multiple inputs; many, perhaps too many, to the point of often overcoming our capacity to welcome them. But we cannot renounce the Word of Jesus, the one Word of eternal life (see Jn 6:68), which we need every day. It would be nice to see "a new season of greater love for sacred Scripture on the part of all the members of the People of God flourish, so that ... the relationship with the person of Jesus himself may be deepened" (Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini, 72) . It would be nice for the Word of God to become "the heart of every ecclesial activity" (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 174); the beating heart, which vitalizes the limbs of the Body. It is the desire of the Spirit to shape ourselves as a Church "formed-Word": a Church that does not speak for itself or for itself, but that has in its heart and on its lips the Lord, who daily draws from his Word. Instead, the temptation is always to announce ourselves and talk about our dynamics, but this way life is not transmitted to the world.

The Word gives life to each believer by teaching them to renounce themselves in order to announce Him. In this sense, he acts like a sharp sword which, entering in depth, discerns thoughts and feelings, brings to light the truth, hurts to heal (see Heb. 4, 12; Job 5.18). The Word leads to Easter living: as a seed that dying gives life, like grapes that give wine through the press, like olives that give oil after passing through the mill. Thus, provoking radical gifts of life, the Word vivifies. Do not leave quiet, question. A Church that lives in listening to the Word never pays for its own security. It is docile to the unpredictable novelty of the Spirit. He never tires of announcing, he does not give in to disappointment, he does not give up in promoting communion at every level, because the Word calls to unity and invites each one to listen to the other, overcoming their particularisms.

The Church that feeds on the Word, therefore, lives to proclaim the Word. We don't talk about ourselves, but we descend into the streets of the world: not because they like them or are easy, but because they are the places of the announcement. A Church faithful to the Word does not spare its breath in proclaiming the kerygma and does not expect to be appreciated. The divine Word, which comes from the Father and flows into the world, pushes it to the ends of the earth. The Bible is its best vaccine against closure and self-preservation. It is the Word of God, not ours, and it takes us away from being at the center, preserving us from self-sufficiency and triumphalism, constantly calling us to come out of ourselves. The Word of God possesses a centrifugal force, not a centripetal one: it does not cause to fall back, but pushes to the outside, towards those who have not yet reached. It does not ensure warm comfort, because it is fire and wind: it is Spirit that ignites the heart and shifts horizons, dilating them with its creativity.

Bible and life: let us commit ourselves to embrace these two words, so that one may never be without the other. I would like to conclude as I began, with an expression of the Apostle Paul, who writes towards the end of a letter: "For the rest, brothers, pray". Like him, I also ask you to pray. But St. Paul specifies the reason for the prayer: "that the word of the Lord may run" (2 Thess 3: 3). Let us pray and let us do so that the Bible does not remain in the library among the many books that speak of it, but run through the streets of the world and wait where people live. I wish you to be good bearers of the Word, with the same enthusiasm that we read in these days in the Easter stories, where everyone runs: the women, Peter, John, the two of Emmaus ... They run to meet and announce the living Word. I sincerely hope so, thanking you for all you do.
FULL TEXT + Image Share from - Unofficial Translation

#BreakingNews Woman who was in a Coma for almost 30 years - Miraculously Awakens in UAE

According to the BBC a woman from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who was injured in a car accident in 1991 made a miraculous recovery after awaking from a 27-year-long coma. Munira Abdulla,  was aged 32 at the time of the accident and suffered a severe brain injury after the car she was travelling in collided with a bus on the way to pick up her son from school. Her son, Omar Webair, then just four years old, was in the back of the vehicle, but was left unharmed. Ms Abdulla -  was being driven by her brother-in-law,  regained consciousness in a German hospital last year. Her son Omar said, 'She hugged me to protect me' "I never gave up on her because I always had a feeling that one day she would wake up," to a UAE newspaper. "The reason I shared her story is to tell people not to lose hope on their loved ones; don't consider them dead when they are in such a state," he added. "My mother was sitting with me in the back seat. When she saw the crash coming, she hugged me to protect me from the blow."  She remained in hospital fed through a tube and kept alive. Ms Abdulla underwent physiotherapy to ensure her muscles would not weaken through lack of movement.
At the time of her awakening her son was involved in an argument in her hospital room, which seemed to prompt his mother to move. "There was a misunderstanding in the hospital room and she sensed I was at risk, which caused her a shock," Omar said.  "Then, three days later, I woke up to the sound of someone calling my name. "It was her! She was calling my name, I was flying with joy; for years I have dreamt of this moment, and my name was the first word she said."  She has returned to Abu Dhabi, where she is undergoing physiotherapy. Edited from the BBC

Today"s Mass Readings and Video : Friday April 26, 2019 - #Eucharist in the Octave of Easter

Friday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 265

Reading 1ACTS 4:1-12

After the crippled man had been cured,
while Peter and John were still speaking to the people,
the priests, the captain of the temple guard,
and the Sadducees confronted them,
disturbed that they were teaching the people
and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.
They laid hands on Peter and John
and put them in custody until the next day,
since it was already evening.
But many of those who heard the word came to believe
and the number of men grew to about five thousand.

On the next day, their leaders, elders, and scribes
were assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest,
Caiaphas, John, Alexander,
and all who were of the high-priestly class.
They brought them into their presence and questioned them,
"By what power or by what name have you done this?"
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them,
"Leaders of the people and elders:
If we are being examined today
about a good deed done to a cripple,
namely, by what means he was saved,
then all of you and all the people of Israel should know
that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean
whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead;
in his name this man stands before you healed.
He is the stone rejected by you, the builders,
which has become the cornerstone.

There is no salvation through anyone else,
nor is there any other name under heaven
given to the human race by which we are to be saved."

Responsorial PsalmPS 118:1-2 AND 4, 22-24, 25-27A

R.(22)  The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
"His mercy endures forever."
Let those who fear the LORD say,
"His mercy endures forever."
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
R. Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
R. Alleluia.
O LORD, grant salvation!
O LORD, grant prosperity!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
we bless you from the house of the LORD.
The LORD is God, and he has given us light.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
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.

Gospel JN 21:1-14

Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,
Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
Zebedee's sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing."
They said to him, "We also will come with you."
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?"
They answered him, "No."
So he said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something."
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord."
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat,
for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore,
they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you just caught."
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore
full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.
Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, "Come, have breakfast."
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?"
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.

Saint April 26 : St. Marcellinus Pope and Martyr

=St. Marcellinus
Feast Day:
April 26
Rome, Italy
25 October 304 at Rome, Italy
He succeeded St. Caius in the bishopric of Rome, in 296, about the time that Diocletian set himself up for a deity and impiously claimed divine honours. Theodoret says that in those stormy times of persecution Marcellinus acquired great glory. He sat in St. Peter's chair eight years, three months, and twenty-five days, dying in 304, a year after the cruel persecution broke out, in which he gained much honour. He has been styled a martyr, though his blood was not shed in the cause of religion, as appears from the Liberian Calendar, which places him among those popes that were not put to death for the faith. =It is a fundamental maxim of the Christian morality, and a truth which Christ has established in the clearest terms and in innumerable passages of the gospel, that the cross, or sufferings and mortifications, are the road to eternal bliss. They, therefore, who lead not here a crucified and mortified life are unworthy ever to possess the unspeakable joys of his kingdom. Our Lord himself, our model and our head, walked in this path, and his great apostle puts us in mind that he entered into bliss only by his blood and by the cross. Nevertheless, this is a truth which the world can never understand, how clearly soever it be preached by Christ and recommended by his powerful example and that of his martyrs and of all the saints. Christians still pretend, by the joys and pleasures of this world, to attain to the bliss of heaven, and shudder at the very mention of mortification, penance, or sufferings. So prevalent is this fatal error, which self-love and the example and false maxims of the world strongly fortify in the minds of many, that those who have given themselves to God with the greatest fervour are bound always to stand upon their guard against it, and daily to renew their fervour in the love and practice of penance, and to arm themselves with patience against sufferings, lest the weight of the corruption of our nature, the pleasures of sense, and flattering blandishments of the world, draw them aside and make them leave the path of mortification, or lose courage under its labours, and under the afflictions with which God is pleased to purify them and afford them means of sanctifying themselves. SOURCE: History of the Christian Church