Friday, May 3, 2019

Saint May 4 : St. Florian : Patron of #Firefighters

Saint Florian is the patron saint of firefighters, and many things associated with either fire or water. His feast day is celebrated on May 4. Saint Florian was born in the mid-third century A.D., perhaps around the year 250,somewhere around current-day Austria. He rose through the Roman army ranks to become a commander.
Besides his duties to the military, he was charged with leading the firefighting brigade of the day. Florian was a Christian in a time when the Roman emperors were trying to eliminate Christianity throughout their realm. At one point he was ordered to offer up a sacrifice to the Roman gods, something in which he did not believe.
Other stories state that he refused to participate in the ongoing persecution of Christians, in which the army had been ordered to participate. In either case, Florian's beliefs became known. When questioned, he again stated that he was a Christian.
The popular method of disposing of Christians in that day was to burn them to death, and it was suggested that Florian suffer the same fate. He, however, stated his intention to "climb to Heaven on the flames" of the funeral pyre being prepared for him. The soldiers decided at that point to dispense with him via another route: he was flogged, then flayed, then a large stone was tied around his neck and he was thrown into the Ennis River to drown.
 A faithful lady recovered and buried his body, which was later moved to the Augustinian Abbey of St. Florian, near current-day Linz, Austria. In 1138 some of St. Florian's relics were given to King Casimir of Poland and the Bishop of Cracow. Since his relics arrived in Poland, he has beenregarded as the patron saint of that country. Because of his association with fire, St. Florian is the patron saint of firefighters and chimney sweeps and has been invoked for protection from both fire and water. A statue of St. Florian installed at the front of the main firehouse in Vienna, Austria survived a 1945 bombing with barely a scratch.
Shared from
Prayer to St. Florian for Firefighters (Recited by Firefighters) Dear God, through the intercession of our patron, Saint Florian, have mercy on the souls of our comrades who have made the supreme sacrifice in the performance of their duty, and on all who have gone before us after years of faithful discharge of their responsibilities which now rest on ourselves. Give us Grace to prepare each day for our own summons to Thy tribunal of justice. Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my Spirit, wherever Thou callest me, I am ready to go. Merciful Father of all men, save me from all bodily harm, if it be thy will, but above all, help me to be loyal and true, respectful and honorable, obedient and valiant. Thus fortified by virtue, I shall have no fear, for I shall then belong to Thee and shall never be separated from Thee. Amen.

Free Movie : "Joseph of Nazareth" - #StJoseph stars Tobias Moretti

Joseph of Nazareth (2000) "Gli amici di Gesù - Giuseppe di Nazareth" (original title) TV Movie - 90 min - Drama - 29 April 2001 (USA) The people of Jerusalem are suffering under the reign of HEROD, and are hoping to be delivered from the Roman occupiers by the Messiah whose arrival, it is rumored, is to take place very soon. The 35-year-old widower is not interested in participating in any fighting against the Romans. Joseph gets a visit from JOACHIM and ANNA, asking him to marry their unprotected 14-year-old daughter MARY. Joseph agrees, but promises to preserve her chastity. Nevertheless, one day Mary tells him, in Anna's presence, that she is pregnant. Believing in this immaculate conception is very difficult for Joseph, as is the message that her son JESUS will end the reign of Herod, which is announced to him in a vision. Their son is born in a Bethlehem cattle shed and heralded as the new Messiah by the Three Magi. King Herod also finds out about the rumor, and decides to kill all of Bethlehem's firstborn. Joseph and Mary escape to Egypt.
Directors: Raffaele Mertes, Elisabetta Marchetti Writers: Gareth Jones, Gianmario Pagano (story) Stars: Tobias Moretti, Stefania Rivi, Massimo Reale |

Join the Rosary from Coast to Coast - Prayer Changes the World - Sign up your Church and Family Today!

On Sunday, October 13, thousands of people will join together to pray the rosary in the US and Canada. You can join in the prayer of the rosary no matter where you are in the world!

See Also: How to Say the Rosary - Easy Guide to SHARE - #Rosary - Prayer will Change the World!

We are called upon to help turn our country back towards God.  We will accomplish that through prayer; prayer that can change hearts, change families, change our communities, change our country and change the world. There is no stronger weapon in this Spiritual Battle than the Rosary!
“I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming” — Jesus to St Faustina Kowalska (Diary, 1732).
In 2017, the Church in Poland gathered around the borders of their country to light a spiritual flame, a flame that quickly engulfed the nation in prayer and reparation. Shortly after, the sparks from this conflagration of the Holy Spirit spread, to Ireland, the British Isles and now, the United States. This is a WORLD WIDE EFFORT to combat the Powers of Darkness—the Powers that seek to stifle the Light. 

Pope Francis says "Each and every person is precious before God’s eyes..." FULL TEXT + Video

Consistory Hall
Friday, 3 May 2019

Dear brothers and sisters,
I extend my warm welcome to all of you and I thank Cardinal Turkson for his introduction. I thank you all for having come to the Vatican to engage in this dialogue on the theme of “Mining for the Common Good”.
In my Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, concerned about the worrying of the Planet, I underlined how important it is “to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (n. 3). We need a dialogue that responds effectively to the “cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor” (ibid., 49). I am particularly appreciative that in your meeting, representatives of communities affected by mining activities and leaders of mining companies have come together around the same table. It is laudable; and it is an essential step on the way forward. We should encourage this dialogue to continue and become the norm, rather than the exception. I congratulate you for embarking on the path of mutual dialogue in the spirit of honesty, courage and fraternity.
The precarious condition of our common home has been the result largely of a fallacious economic model that has been followed for too long. It is a voracious model, profit-oriented, shortsighted, and based on the misconception of unlimited economic growth. Although we frequently see its disastrous impacts on the natural world and in the lives of people, we are still resistant to change. “Economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to […] the pursuit of financial gain, which fail to take the context into account, let alone the effects on human dignity and the natural environment” (ibid., 56).
We are aware that “by itself the market cannot guarantee integral human development and social inclusion” (ibid., 109) and that “environmental protection cannot be assured solely on the basis of financial calculations of costs and benefits” (ibid., 190). We need a paradigm shift in all our economic activities, including mining.
In this context, the title for your meeting, “Mining for the Common Good” is very appropriate. What does it concretely imply? Please allow me to articulate a few reflections in this regard which could assist you in your dialogue.
First of all, mining, like all economic activities, should be at the service of the entire human community. As Pope Paul VI wrote: “God intended the Earth and everything in it for the use of all human beings and peoples. … created goods should flow fairly to all”.[1] It is an essential pillar of the Church’s social teaching. In this perspective, the involvement of local communities is important in every phase of mining projects. “A consensus should always be reached between the different stakeholders, who can offer a varie­ty of approaches, solutions and alternatives. The local population should have a special place at the table; they are concerned about their own fu­ture and that of their children, and can consider goals transcending immediate economic interest.” (Laudato Si’, 183).
In the light of the upcoming Synod on the Amazon, I would like to stress that “it is essential to show special care for indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. They are not merely one minority among others, but should be the principal dialogue partners, especially when large projects affecting their land are proposed” (ibid., 146). These vulnerable communities have a lot to teach us. “For them, land is not a commodity but rather a gift from God and from their ancestors who rest there, a sacred space with which they need to interact if they are to maintain their identity and values … Nevertheless, in various parts of the world, pressure is being put on them to abandon their homelands to make room for […] mining projects which are undertaken without regard for the degradation of nature and culture.” (ibid.). I urge everyone to respect the fundamental human rights and voice of the persons in these beautiful yet fragile communities.
Secondly, mining should be at the service of the human person and not vice versa. As Pope Benedict wrote: “In development programs, the principle of the centrality of the human person, as the subject primarily responsible for development, must be preserved.”[2] Each and every person is precious before God’s eyes and his or her fundamental human rights are sacred and inalienable, irrespective of one’s social or economic status. Attention for the safety and wellbeing of the people involved in mining operations as well as the respect for fundamental human rights of the members of local communities and those who champion their causes are indeed non-negotiable principles. Mere corporate social responsibility is not sufficient. We need to ensure that mining activities lead to the integral human development of each and every person and of the entire community.
Thirdly, we need to encourage the implementation of a circular economy, all the more in the sphere of mining activities. I find the observation that my brother bishops of Latin America made in their recent pastoral letter regarding extractive activities very pertinent. They wrote: “By ‘extractivism’ we understand an unbridled tendency of the economic system to convert the goods of nature into capital. The action of ‘extracting’ the greatest amount of materials in the shortest possible time, converting them into raw materials and inputs that industry will use, that will then be transformed into products and services that others will market, society will consume and then nature itself will receive in the form of polluting waste - that is the consumerist loop that is being generated at ever greater speed and ever greater risk.”[3]
We need to denounce and move away from this throwaway culture. “(O)ur industrial system, at the end of its cycle of production and consumption, has not developed the capacity to absorb and reuse waste and by-products. We have not yet managed to adopt a circular model of production capable of preserving resources for present and future generations, while limiting as much as possible the use of non-renewable resources, moderating their consumption, maximizing their efficient use, reusing and recycling them.” (Laudato Si’, 22) The promotion of a circular economy and the “reduce, reuse, recycle” approach are also very much in consonance with the Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns promoted by the 12th Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations. Moreover, religious traditions have always presented temperance as a key component of responsible and ethical life style. Moderation is also vital to save our common home. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Mt 5:5).
My dear brothers and sisters, our efforts and struggles to safeguard our common home are truly an ecumenical journey, challenging us to think and act as members of one common home (oecumene). I am particularly pleased that your meeting has brought together representatives of Churches and faith communities from around the world. I also thank the leaders of the mining industry for having joined this conversation. We need to act together to heal and rebuild our common home. All of us are called to “cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents” (LS 14).
It is my sincere hope that your meeting be truly a moment of discernment that may lead to concrete action. I pray, as my brother bishops from Latin America wrote, that you may “analyze, interpret and discern what are appropriate or inappropriate extractive activities in the territories; then, propose, plan, and act to transform our own way of life, to influence the mining and energy policies of states and governments, and in the policies and strategies of companies dedicated to extractivism, all for the purpose of achieving the common good and a genuine human development that is integral and sustainable.”[4]
Your meeting is so important as you are dealing with questions that concern the future of our common home and the future of our children and the future generations. “We need to see that what is at stake is our own dignity. Leaving an inhabitable planet to future generations is, first and foremost, up to us. The issue is one which dramatically affects us, for it has to do with the ultimate meaning of our earthly sojourn.” (LS 160) May you never lose sight of this larger picture!
With great affection, I bless you, your families and your communities. Please pray for me too. Thank you.

[1] Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 22.
[2] Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, n. 47.
[3] CELAM, Missionary Disciples: Custodians of Our Common Home, 11.
[4] CELAM, Missionary Disciples: Custodians of Our Common Home, 12.
FULL TEXT + Image Share from - Official Translation

Pope Francis Prayer Intention "..that the Church in Africa..may be the seed of unity among her peoples and a sign of hope for the continent." FULL TEXT + Video

Pope's May prayer intention: For the Church in Africa Pope Francis prayer intention for May.
Pope Francis calls us to pray that the Church in Africa may be the seed of unity among her peoples and a sign of hope for the continent.
The full text of his intention: 
The ethnic, linguistic, and tribal divisions in Africa can be overcome by promoting unity in diversity. I want to thank the religious sisters, priests, laity, and missionaries for their work to create dialogue and reconciliation among the various sectors of African society. Let us pray this month that the Church in Africa, through the commitment of its members, may be the seed of unity among her peoples and a sign of hope for this continent. 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : #1stFriday, May 3, 2019 - #Eucharist in Eastertide

Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles
Lectionary: 561

Reading 11 COR 15:1-8

I am reminding you, brothers and sisters,
of the Gospel I preached to you,
which you indeed received and in which you also stand.
Through it you are also being saved,
if you hold fast to the word I preached to you,
unless you believed in vain.
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he was buried;
that he was raised on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more
than five hundred brothers and sisters at once,
most of whom are still living,
though some have fallen asleep.
After that he appeared to James,
then to all the Apostles.
Last of all, as to one born abnormally,
he appeared to me.

Responsorial PsalmPS 19:2-3, 4-5

R. (5)  Their message goes out through all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day;
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 14:6B, 9C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way, the truth, and the life, says the Lord;
Philip, whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 14:6-14

Jesus said to Thomas, "I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him."
Philip said to him,
"Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us."
Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it."