Monday, May 6, 2019

Saint May 6 : St. François de Laval - 1st Bishop of Canada - Died 1708 - Quebec

Saint François de Laval
Born in France from a noble background in 1623, François de Laval was trained and educated by the Jesuits. During those formative years he learned about the order’s missionaries in North America and was impressed by their missionary zeal. He was ordained a diocesan priest in 1647. After spending more than a year in Rome training to become an apostolic vicar to missionary regions in Asia, Father Laval returned to France and spent three years living in a retreat house. He was known as a man dedicated to prayer and works of charity, a man of great piety but also of unusually great competence in business matters.

Because of these qualities, in 1658 he was appointed as apostolic vicar to New France and was then ordained a bishop. From the very beginning Laval was regarded as a devoted pastor, generous with the poor, whose life was marked by simplicity and poverty. In 1674, Bishop Laval successfully requested that the Holy See erect a separate diocese — the first in the New World north of Mexico — encompassing most of North America.

Parishes and hospitals were built under his direction and in 1663 he founded the Grand Seminary to support the Church of New France by training future priests and leaders. The seminary eventually evolved into Laval University, the oldest institution of higher education in Canada. His ecclesiastical position required that he be involved in a certain amount of colonial politics, and he was never afraid to disregard civil authority when needed. He boldly defended civil rights in the New World, especially among the natives. As his health began to decline, he resigned his office in 1688. He spent several years in retirement caring for the poor and living a life of prayer. He died in 1708. He was beatified by pope John Paul II in 1980 and canonised by Pope Francis April 3, 2014.

Source :

Pope Francis tells Catholics try " create conditions in which every person can feel loved, especially those who feel forgotten by God..." FULL Text in Bulgaria + Video

Full text of address to Catholic community in Rakovski
Pope Francis meets with the Catholic community in Rakovski, Bulgaria at the Church of St. Michael the Archangel. Here are the Pope's prepared remarks:
Address of His Holiness Pope Francis

Meeting with the Catholic Community

Rakovski, Church of Saint Michael the Archangel

Monday, 6 May 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Good afternoon!  Thank you for your warm welcome and for your dancing and testimonies.  It is always brings me joy to meet the Holy People of God with its myriad faces and charisms.

Bishop Iovcev asked me to help you to “see with eyes of faith and love”.  But first, I would like to thank you for helping me to see better and to understand a little more fully why this land was so dear and important to Saint John XXIII.  Here the Lord was preparing what would be an important step in our ecclesial journey.  Here he developed strong friendships with our Orthodox brothers and sisters, and this led him on a path that would help foster the longed-for, yet ever fragile sense of fraternity between individuals and communities.

To see with the eyes of faith.  I would like to recall something that “Good Pope John” once said.  His heart was so attuned to the Lord that he could register his disagreement with those around him who saw nothing but evil and to refer to them as “prophets of doom”.  He was convinced of the need to trust in God’s providence, which constantly accompanies us and even in the midst of adversity is capable of bringing about his deeper and unforeseeable plans (Opening Address of the Second Vatican Council, 11 October 1962).
God’s people learn to see, trust, discover and let themselves be guided by the power of the resurrection.  They recognize, of course, that there will always be painful times and unjust situations, yet they do not wring their hands, shrink back in fear or, even worse, create a climate of scepticism, discomfort or disruption, since this does nothing but harm the soul, causing hope to flag and hindering every possible solution.  Men and women of God have the courage to take the first step in finding creative ways of directly testifying that Love is not dead, but has triumphed over every obstacle.  They get involved because they have learned that, in Jesus, God himself gets involved.  He put his own flesh at stake so that no one will feel alone or abandoned.

I would like to share with you an experience I had a few hours ago.  This morning I visited the Vrazhdebna refugee camp and met asylum-seekers and refugees from various countries of the world who are looking for a better place to live than the one they left.  I also met the Caritas volunteers.  They told me that at the heart of the Centre’s life and work is the recognition that every person is a child of God, regardless of ethnicity or religious confession.  In order to love someone, there is no need to ask for a curriculum vitae; love precedes, it takes the first step.  Because it is gratuitous.  In that Caritas Centre are many Christians who have learned to see with God’s own eyes.  God is not worried about details, but seeks out and awaits each person with a Father’s eyes.  Seeing with the eyes of faith is a summons not to spend your life pinning labels, classifying those who are worthy of love and those who are not, but trying to create conditions in which every person can feel loved, especially those who feel forgotten by God because they are forgotten by their brothers and sisters.  Those who love do not waste time in self-pity, but always try to do something concrete.  In the Centre, they learn to see problems, to acknowledge them and to confront them; they let themselves be questioned and try to discern things with the eyes of the Lord.  As Pope John said: “I never met a pessimist who managed to do something good”.  The Lord is the first not to be pessimistic.  He constantly tries to open up paths of resurrection for all of us.  How marvellous it is when our communities become building-sites of hope!

On the other hand, to see things with the eyes of God, we need other people.  We need them to teach us to look and feel the way Jesus looks and feels, to let our heart beat with his own feelings.  This is why it pleased me when Mitko and Miroslava, with their little daughter Bilyana, told us that for them the parish has always been a second home, the place where they always found strength to carry on, amid community prayer and the support of loved ones.

The parish, in this way, becomes a home in the midst of homes.  It manages to make the Lord present there, where every family, every person tries to earn their daily bread.  There, at every street corner, is the Lord, who did not want to save us by decree, but came into our midst.  He wants to enter into the heart of our families and say to us, as he did to the disciples: “Peace be with you!”

I am happy that you like the “advice” I share with spouses: “Never go to bed angry, not even for one night”.  From what I see, it works for you!  It is a bit of advice that can also be helpful for all of us Christians.  It is true that, as you also said, we experience various trials; that is why we need to be on guard against anger, resentment or bitterness taking possession of our hearts.  We have to help each other in this, caring for one another, so that the fire that the Spirit has kindled in our hearts never goes out.

You appreciate, and are grateful, that your priests and religious sisters care for you.  As I was listening to you, I was struck by that priest who spoke not about how successful he had been during his years of ministry, but about all those people God placed in his path to help him become a good minister of God.

The People of God is grateful to its priests, and priests recognize that they learn how to be believers with the help of their people, their family, living in their midst.  A living community, one that supports, accompanies, integrates and enriches.  Never separated, but united, where everyone learns to be a sign and blessing of God for others.  A priest without his people loses his identity, and a people can grow apart without its priests.  The unity between the priest who supports and fights for his people, and the people who support and fight for their priest.  Each dedicates his or her life to the others.  None of us can live only for ourselves; we live for others.  The priestly people can say with its priests: “This is my body given up for you”.  That is how we learn to be a Church, a family and a community that welcomes, listens, accompanies, cares for others, revealing its true face, which is that of a mother.  A Church that is a mother – Mother Church – experiences and makes her children’s problems her own, not offering ready-made answers, but seeking together paths of life and reconciliation.  Trying to make present the Kingdom of God.  A Church, a family and a community that takes up the knotty problems of life, which are often like balls of tangled wool; before untangling them, it has to make them its own, taking them into its hands and loving them.

A family among families, open to bearing witness in today’s world, as our sister told us, open to faith, hope and love for the Lord and for those whom he has a preferential love.  A home with open doors.

In this sense, I have a “job” for you.  You are the children, in faith, of the great witnesses who testified by their lives to the love of the Lord in these lands.  The brothers Cyril and Methodius, holy men with great dreams, were convinced that the most authentic way to talk to God was in one’s own language.  This made them boldly decide to translate the Bible, so that no one would be without the Word of life.

Being a home with open doors, in the footsteps of Cyril and Methodius, means that today too, we need to be bold and creative.  We have to ask how we can translate the love God has for us into concrete and understandable language for the younger generation.  We know from experience that “young people frequently fail to find in our usual programmes a response to their concerns, their needs, their problems and issues” (Christus Vivit, 202).  And this requires of us new and imaginative efforts in our pastoral outreach.  Finding ways to touch their hearts, to learn about their expectations and to encourage their dreams, as a community-family that supports, accompanies and points to the future with hope.  A great temptation faced by young people is the lack of deep roots to support them; as a result, they feel uprooted and alone.  Our young people, when they feel called to express all the potential they possess, often give up half-way because of the frustrations or disappointments they experience, since they have no roots to rely on as they look to the future (cf. ibid. 179-186).  How much more so, when they are forced to leave behind their homes, their country and their family.

Let us not be afraid to meet new challenges, as long as we make every effort to ensure that our people never lack the light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus, a community of faith to support them, and ever new horizons that can give them meaning and a goal in life (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 49).  May we never forget that the most beautiful chapters in the life of the Church were written when God’s People set out with creativity to translate the love of God in their own time, with the challenges they gradually encountered.  It is good to know that you can count on a great living history, but it is even more beautiful to realize that you are being asked to write its next chapter.  Never tire of being a Church that continues to give birth, amid the contradictions, sorrows and poverty, to the sons and daughters that this land needs today, at the start of this twenty-first century.  Always listen with one ear to the Gospel and the other to the heart of your people.

I thank you for this very enjoyable meeting and, thinking of Pope John, I would like the blessing I now give you to be a caress of the Lord for each of you.
FULL TEXT +Image Share from - Official Translation

Pope Francis at 1st Communion Mass "...Jesus is alive, he is here with us, so today we can meet him in the Eucharist." FULL TEXT Homily + Video

[5-7 MAY 2019]

HOLY MASS WITH THE FIRST COMMUNIONS - 245 1st Communion children received by Pope Francis


Church of the Sacred Heart by Rakovsky
Monday, 6 May 2019

Dear brothers and sisters, Christos Vozkrese!

I am happy to greet the boys and girls of First Communion, as well as their parents, relatives and friends. To all of you I address the beautiful greeting greetings that are also used in your country during this Easter season: «Christos vozkrese! This greeting is the expression of the joy of us Christians, disciples of Jesus, because he, who gave his life for love on the cross to destroy sin, rose again and made us adoptive children of God the Father. We are happy because He is alive and present among us today and always.

You, dear children and dear little girls, have come here from every corner of this "Land of Roses" to participate in a wonderful feast, which I am sure you will never forget: your first encounter with Jesus in the sacrament of the Eucharist. Can any of you ask me, but how can we meet Jesus, who lived many years ago and then died and was put in the grave? It is true: Jesus made an immense act of love to save humanity of all times. He remained in the tomb for three days, but we know - the Apostles assured us and many other witnesses who saw him - that God his Father and Father and ours raised him up. And now Jesus is alive, he is here with us, so today we can meet him in the Eucharist. We do not see it with these eyes, but we see it with the eyes of faith.

I see you here dressed in white tunics: this is an important and beautiful sign, because you are dressed up. First Communion is first and foremost a feast, in which we celebrate Jesus who has always wanted to remain by our side and who will never be separated from us. Feast that was possible thanks to our fathers, our grandparents, our families, our communities that helped us grow in faith.

You have come a long way to come here to this town of Rakovski. Your priests and catechists, who have followed your path of catechesis, have also accompanied you on the road that brings you today to meet Jesus and to receive him in your heart. He, as we heard in the Gospel (see Jn 6: 1-15), miraculously multiplied five loaves and two fish, filling the hunger of the crowd that had followed and listened to him. Did you notice how the miracle started? From the hands of a child who brought what he had: five loaves and two fish (see Jn 6: 9). In the same way that you today help the miracle to come true, to have all of us here remember the first meeting we had with Jesus in the Eucharist and to be able to give thanks for that day. Today you allow us to celebrate again and celebrate Jesus who is present in the Bread of Life. Because there are miracles that can happen only if we have a heart like yours, capable of sharing, of dreaming, of giving thanks, of trusting and honoring others. Making first communion means wanting to be more united with Jesus every day, growing in friendship with him and wishing that others can also enjoy the joy he wants to give us. The Lord needs you to be able to realize the miracle of reaching many of your friends and family with his joy.

Dear children, dear little girls, I am happy to share this great moment with you and to help you meet Jesus. You are truly living a day in a spirit of friendship, a spirit of joy and fraternity, a spirit of communion between you and the whole Church that , especially in the Eucharist, expresses fraternal communion among all its members. Our identity card is this: God is our Father, Jesus is our Brother, the Church is our family, we are brothers, our law is love.

I wish to encourage you to always pray with that enthusiasm and that joy you have today. And remember that this is the sacrament of First Communion but not of the last Communion. Today remember that Jesus always awaits you. Therefore, I hope that today is the beginning of many Communions, so that your heart may always be like today, in celebration, full of joy and above all gratitude.

At this point the Holy Father added an "arm" interview with the children, making use of the presence of the translator in the Bulgarian language

Pope Francis: Dear children and dear girls, I welcome you! I am happy to see you here for First Communion. I will ask you a question: are you happy to make First Communion?

Children: Yes!

Pope Francis: Sure?

Children: Yes!

Pope Francis: And why are you happy? Because Jesus comes! Let's say together: "I'm happy because Jesus comes".
Before the "Lamb of God" the Holy Father gave this statement:

Dear little boys and girls, now you will receive Jesus. You must not get distracted, think of other things, but only think of Jesus. Come to the altar to receive Jesus in silence; keep silence in your heart and think that this is the first time that Jesus comes to you. Then, it will come so many other times. Think of your parents, your catechists, your grandparents, your friends; and if you have quarreled with someone, forgive him heartily before coming. In silence, we approach Jesus.

At the end of the Mass in Rakovski

Dear brothers and sisters,

before concluding this celebration, I wish to thank all of you, starting with the brother Bishops present, the priests, the religious and the religious and families. I sincerely thank all those involved in the preparation and organization; and also those who could not participate but prayed, especially the sick and the elderly.

I take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to the Authorities of the country and to all those who in different ways have collaborated for the success of my visit.
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Pope Francis visits Refugee Center saying "Your path is not always beautiful, and then there is the pain of leaving..." in Bulgaria

Apostolic Journey to Bulgaria: Visit of the Holy Father to the Vrazhdebna Refugee Center

This morning, having left the Apostolic Nunciature, the Holy Father Francis drove to the Vrazhdebna Refugee Center on the outskirts of Sofia.

Upon arrival, at 8.25 am (7.25 am Rome time), the Pope was greeted by the Director of the Center and the Director of Caritas at the main entrance of the structure. Then he went to the refectory where about 50 people were gathered between parents and children. The children in the Center come from Syria and Iraq.

After the brief greeting of a volunteer, the singing performed by the children and the gift of the children's drawings to the Pope, the Holy Father greeted the families received in the Center and addressed a few words to them. He then gave his blessing and took his leave, moving by car to Sofia International Airport to leave for Plovdiv.

"Vrazhdebna" refugee camp (Sofia)
Monday, 6 May 2019

Thank you very much for your welcome. Thanks to the children, for their beautiful singing. They bring joy to your journey. Your path is not always beautiful, and then there is the pain of leaving your homeland and trying to enter another homeland ... There is always hope ... Today the world of migrants and refugees is a bit of a cross, a cross of humanity, it is the cross that so many people suffer ... I thank you, your good will, and wish you and your fellow citizens the best you have left in your homeland. May God bless you and pray for me.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday, May 6, 2019 - #Eucharist in Eastertide

Monday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 273

Reading 1ACTS 6:8-15

Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyreneans, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.
Then they instigated some men to say,
"We have heard him speaking blasphemous words
against Moses and God."
They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes,
accosted him, seized him,
and brought him before the Sanhedrin.
They presented false witnesses who testified,
"This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law.
For we have heard him claim
that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place
and change the customs that Moses handed down to us."
All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him
and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Responsorial PsalmPS 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30

R.(1ab) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
R. Alleluia.
Though princes meet and talk against me,
your servant meditates on your statutes.
Yes, your decrees are my delight;
they are my counselors.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
R. Alleluia.
I declared my ways, and you answered me;
teach me your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
R. Alleluia.
Remove from me the way of falsehood,
and favor me with your law.
The way of truth I have chosen;
I have set your ordinances before me.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaMT 4:4B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 6:22-29

[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.]
The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea
saw that there had been only one boat there,
and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat,
but only his disciples had left.
Other boats came from Tiberias
near the place where they had eaten the bread
when the Lord gave thanks.
When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
"Rabbi, when did you get here?"
Jesus answered them and said,
"Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me
not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal."
So they said to him,
"What can we do to accomplish the works of God?"
Jesus answered and said to them,
"This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent."

Saint May 6 : St. Eadbert : Bishop

St. Eadbert
Feast: May 6

Feast Day:May 6
Born:7th century England Died: May 698
Venerable Bede assures us, that this holy man excelled both in the knowledge of the holy scriptures, and in the observance of the divine precepts. All his lifetime he was remarkable for his alms-deeds, and it was a law with him to lay aside yearly the tenth part of his goods for the poor. He was ordained successor to St. Cuthbert, in the see of Lindisfarne, in 687, and most worthily governed that church eleven years. It was his custom twice a year, in Lent, and during forty days before Christmas, to retire into a solitary place, encompassed by the waters of the sea, where St. Cuthbert had for some time served God in private before he went to the isle of Ferne. St. Eadbert spent this time remote from all company, in abstinence, prayers, and tears. St. Cuthbert had been buried about eleven years, when the brethren desired, with the approbation of Eadbert, to take up the bones of that eminent servant of God, whose life had been signalized by many illustrious miracles. Instead of dust, to which they expected they were reduced to their great surprise they found the body as entire, and the joints all as pliable as if it had been living—all the vestments and clothes in which it was laid were also sound, and wonderfully fresh and bright. The monks made haste to inform the holy bishop, who was then in his Lent retreat, and they brought him part of the garments which covered the holy body. These he devoutly kissed, and ordered that the blessed body should be laid in other garments, put into the new coffin which was made for the holy relics, and, for greater veneration, placed above the pavement in the sanctuary. He added, that the grave which had been sanctified by so great a miracle of heavenly grace, would not remain long empty. This was accordingly done, and presently after Eadbert, the bishop beloved of God, fell dangerously sick, and his distemper daily increasing, on the 6th of May following he departed to our Lord. His body was laid in St. Cuthbert's grave, and over the place was deposited the uncorrupted body of that glorious servant of God. "Miracles here wrought from time to time, in curing the sick, bear testimony to the merits of them both," says Bede. The same historian informs us, that St. Eadbert covered with lead the church of Lindisfarne, which was dedicated by the archbishop Theodorus, under the patronage of St. Peter. It had been formerly built by bishop Finan, after the Scottish fashion, of oak boards and thatched with reeds. source: Lives of the SaintsHoly/saints/WrittenbyAlbanButler - Edited