Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Novena to St. Joan of Arc and Litany Prayers to Share plus Historical Video Biography

Saint Joan of Arc Novena
(say once a day for nine days) St. Joan of Arc,
Filled with compassion,
For those who invoke you,
Filled with love for those who suffer,
Heavily laden with the weight of my troubles,
I kneel at your feet and humbly beg you,
To take my present need,
Under your special protection.
(Mention your request here). Grant to recommend it,
To the Blessed Virgin Mary,
And lay it before the throne of Jesus.
Cease not to intercede for me,
Until my request is granted.

Above all, obtain for me,
The grace to one day,
Meet God face to face,
And with you and Mary,
And all the angels and saints,
Praise Him through all eternity.
O most powerful Saint Joan,
Do not let me lose my soul,
But obtain for me the grace
Of winning my way to heaven,
Forever and ever. Amen. Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be… (Repeat the prayer nine times.)
The Litany of St. Joan of Arc Lord, have mercy on us! Jesus Christ, have mercy on us! Lord, have mercy on us!
Jesus Christ, hear us! Jesus Christ, graciously hear us! Our Heavenly Father, Who art God, have mercy on us!
Son, Savior of the world, Who art God, have mercy on us!
Holy Spirit, Who art God, have mercy on us!
Holy Trinity, Who art God, have mercy on us! Holy Mary, virgin Mother of God, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Assumption, principal patron of France, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, patron and special protector of France, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria, virgin and Martyr, pray for us.
Saint Margaret of Antioch, virgin and Martyr, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, chosen by God at Domremy, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, informed [of her mission] by Saint Michael, the Archangel and his Angels,
pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, compliant to the call of God, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, confidant and submissive to her voices, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, model of family life and labor, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, faithfully devoted to Our Lady, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, who delighted in the Holy Eucharist, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, model of generosity in the service to God, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, example of faithfulness to the Divine vocation, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, model of union with God in action, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, virgin and soldier, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, model of courage and purity in the field [of battle], pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, compassionate towards all who suffer, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, the pride of Orleans, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, glory of Reims, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, liberator of the Country, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, abandoned and imprisoned at Compiegne, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, pure and patient in thy prison, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, heroic and valiant before thy judges, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, alone with God at the hour of torment, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, Martyr of Rouen, pray for us. Saint Joan or Arc and Saint Therese of Lisieux patronesses of France, pray for us.
All the Saints of France, intercede for us. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, ave mercy on us, Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, Lord.
Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us,
that we may become worthy of the promises of Our Savior Jesus Christ. Let us pray: Oh God, Who hast raised up in an admirable manner, the virgin of Domremy, Saint Joan of Arc, for the defense of the faith and country, by her intercession, we ask Thee that the Church [may] triumph against the assaults of her enemies and rejoice in lasting peace; through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen. ~~by Louis, Bishop of Saint Dié 

Saint May 30 : St. Joan of Arc the Patron of Soldiers , #Martyrs , Prisoners and France

St. Joan of Arc
Feast: May 30

Feast Day:
May 30
6 January c. 1412, Domrémy, France
May 30, 1431, Rouen, France
May 16, 1920, St. Peter's Basilica, Rome by Pope Benedict XV
Patron of:
France; martyrs; captives; militants; people ridiculed for their piety; prisoners; soldiers; Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service; Women's Army Corps
Savior of France and the national heroine of that country, Joan of Arc - In French Jeanne d'Arc; by her contemporaries commonly known as la Pucelle (the Maid).
Born at Domremy in Champagne, probably on 6 January, 1412; died at Rouen, 30 May, 1431. The village of Domremy lay upon the confines of territory which recognized the suzerainty of the Duke of Burgundy, but in the protracted conflict between the Armagnacs (the party of Charles VII, King of France), on the one hand, and the Burgundians in alliance with the English, on the other, Domremy had always remained loyal to Charles.
Jacques d'Arc, Joan's father, was a small peasant farmer, poor but not needy. Joan seems to have been the youngest of a family of five. She never learned to read or write but was skilled in sewing and spinning, and the popular idea that she spent the days of her childhood in the pastures, alone with the sheep and cattle, is quite unfounded. All the witnesses in the process of rehabilitation spoke of her as a singularly pious child, grave beyond her years, who often knelt in the church absorbed in prayer, and loved the poor tenderly. Great attempts were made at Joan's trial to connect her with some superstitious practices supposed to have been performed round a certain tree, popularly known as the "Fairy Tree" (l'Arbre des Dames), but the sincerity of her answers baffled her judges. She had sung and danced there with the other children, and had woven wreaths for Our Lady's statue, but since she was twelve years old she had held aloof from such diversions. It was at the age of thirteen and a half, in the summer of 1425, that Joan first became conscious of that manifestation, whose supernatural character it would now be rash to question, which she afterwards came to call her "voices" or her "counsel." It was at first simply a voice, as if someone had spoken quite close to her, but it seems also clear that a blaze of light accompanied it, and that later on she clearly discerned in some way the appearance of those who spoke to her, recognizing them individually as St. Michael (who was accompanied by other angels), St. Margaret, St. Catherine, and others. Joan was always reluctant to speak of her voices. She said nothing about them to her confessor, and constantly refused, at her trial, to be inveigled into descriptions of the appearance of the saints and to explain how she recognized them. None the less, she told her judges: "I saw them with these very eyes, as well as I see you."
Great efforts have been made by rationalistic historians, such as M. Anatole France, to explain these voices as the result of a condition of religious and hysterical exaltation which had been fostered in Joan by priestly influence, combined with certain prophecies current in the countryside of a maiden from the bois chesnu (oak wood), near which the Fairy Tree was situated, who was to save France by a miracle. But the baselessness of this analysis of the phenomena has been fully exposed by many non-Catholic writers. There is not a shadow of evidence to support this theory of priestly advisers coaching Joan in a part, but much which contradicts it. Moreover, unless we accuse the Maid of deliberate falsehood, which no one is prepared to do, it was the voices which created the state of patriotic exaltation, and not the exaltation which preceded the voices. Her evidence on these points is clear.
Although Joan never made any statement as to the date at which the voices revealed her mission, it seems certain that the call of God was only made known to her gradually. But by May, 1428, she no longer doubted that she was bidden to go to the help of the king, and the voices became insistent, urging her to present herself to Robert Baudricourt, who commanded for Charles VII in the neighbouring town of Vaucouleurs. This journey she eventually accomplished a month later, but Baudricourt, a rude and dissolute soldier, treated her and her mission with scant respect, saying to the cousin who accompanied her: "Take her home to her father and give her a good whipping."
Meanwhile the military situation of King Charles and his supporters was growing more desperate. Orléans was invested (12 October, 1428), and by the close of the year complete defeat seemed imminent. Joan's voices became urgent, and even threatening. It was in vain that she resisted, saying to them: "I am a poor girl; I do not know how to ride or fight." The voices only reiterated: "It is God who commands it." Yielding at last, she left Domremy in January, 1429, and again visited Vaucouleurs. Baudricourt was still skeptical, but, as she stayed on in the town, her persistence gradually made an impression on him. On 17 February she announced a great defeat which had befallen the French arms outside Orléans (the Battle of the Herrings). As this statement was officially confirmed a few days later, her cause gained ground. Finally she was suffered to seek the king at Chinon, and she made her way there with a slender escort of three men-at-arms, she being attired, at her own request, in male costume — undoubtedly as a protection to her modesty in the rough life of the camp. She always slept fully dressed, and all those who were intimate with her declared that there was something about her which repressed every unseemly thought in her regard.
She reached Chinon on 6 March, and two days later was admitted into the presence of Charles VII. To test her, the king had disguised himself, but she at once saluted him without hesitation amidst a group of attendants. From the beginning a strong party at the court — La Trémoille, the royal favourite, foremost among them — opposed her as a crazy visionary, but a secret sign, communicated to her by her voices, which she made known to Charles, led the king, somewhat half-heartedly, to believe in her mission. What this sign was, Joan never revealed, but it is now most commonly believed that this "secret of the king" was a doubt Charles had conceived of the legitimacy of his birth, and which Joan had been supernaturally authorized to set at rest. Still, before Joan could be employed in military operations she was sent to Poitiers to be examined by a numerous committee of learned bishops and doctors. The examination was of the most searching and formal character. It is regrettable in the extreme that the minutes of the proceedings, to which Joan frequently appealed later on at her trial, have altogether perished. All that we know is that her ardent faith, simplicity, and honesty made a favourable impression. The theologians found nothing heretical in her claims to supernatural guidance, and, without pronouncing upon the reality of her mission, they thought that she might be safely employed and further tested. Returning to Chinon, Joan made her preparations for the campaign. Instead of the sword the king offered her, she begged that search might be made for an ancient sword buried, as she averred, behind the altar in the chapel of Ste-Catherine-de-Fierbois. It was found in the very spot her voices indicated. There was made for her at the same time a standard bearing the words Jesus, Maria, with a picture of God the Father, and kneeling angels presenting a fleur-de-lis.
But perhaps the most interesting fact connected with this early stage of her mission is a letter of one Sire de Rotslaer written from Lyons on 22 April, 1429, which was delivered at Brussels and duly registered, as the manuscript to this day attests, before any of the events referred to received their fulfilment. The Maid, he reports, said "that she would save Orléans and would compel the English to raise the siege, that she herself in a battle before Orléans would be wounded by a shaft but would not die of it, and that the King, in the course of the coming summer, would be crowned at Reims, together with other things which the King keeps secret." Before entering upon her campaign, Joan summoned the King of England to withdraw his troops from French soil. The English commanders were furious at the audacity of the demand, but Joan by a rapid movement entered Orléans on 30 April. Her presence there at once worked wonders. By 8 May the English forts which encircled the city had all been captured, and the siege raised, though on the 7th Joan was wounded in the breast by an arrow. So far as the Maid went she wished to follow up these successes with all speed, partly from a sound warlike instinct, partly because her voices had already told her that she had only a year to last. But the king and his advisers, especially La Trémoille and the Archbishop of Reims, were slow to move. However, at Joan's earnest entreaty a short campaign was begun upon the Loire, which, after a series of successes, ended on 18 June with a great victory at Patay, where the English reinforcements sent from Paris under Sir John Fastolf were completely routed. The way to Reims was now practically open, but the Maid had the greatest difficulty in persuading the commanders not to retire before Troyes, which was at first closed against them. They captured the town and then, still reluctantly, followed her to Reims, where, on Sunday, 17 July, 1429, Charles VII was solemnly crowned, the Maid standing by with her standard, for — as she explained — "as it had shared in the toil, it was just that it should share in the victory."
The principal aim of Joan's mission was thus attained, and some authorities assert that it was now her wish to return home, but that she was detained with the army against her will. The evidence is to some extent conflicting, and it is probable that Joan herself did not always speak in the same tone. Probably she saw clearly how much might have been done to bring about the speedy expulsion of the English from French soil, but on the other hand she was constantly oppressed by the apathy of the king and his advisers, and by the suicidal policy which snatched at every diplomatic bait thrown out by the Duke of Burgundy.
An abortive attempt on Paris was made at the end of August. Though St-Denis was occupied without opposition, the assault which was made on the city on 8 September was not seriously supported, and Joan, while heroically cheering on her men to fill the moat, was shot through the thigh with a bolt from a crossbow. The Duc d'Alençon removed her almost by force, and the assault was abandoned. The reverse unquestionably impaired Joan's prestige, and shortly afterwards, when, through Charles' political counsellors, a truce was signed with the Duke of Burgundy, she sadly laid down her arms upon the altar of St-Denis.
The inactivity of the following winter, mostly spent amid the worldliness and the jealousy of the Court, must have been a miserable experience for Joan. It may have been with the idea of consoling her that Charles, on 29 December, 1429, ennobled the Maid and all her family, who henceforward, from the lilies on their coat of arms, were known by the name of Du Lis. It was April before Joan was able to take the field again at the conclusion of the truce, and at Melun her voices made known to her that she would be taken prisoner before Midsummer Day. Neither was the fulfilment of this prediction long delayed. It seems that she had thrown herself into Compiègne on 24 May at sunrise to defend the town against Burgundian attack. In the evening she resolved to attempt a sortie, but her little troop of some five hundred encountered a much superior force. Her followers were driven back and retired desperately fighting. By some mistake or panic of Guillaume de Flavy, who commanded in Compiègne, the drawbridge was raised while still many of those who had made the sortie remained outside, Joan amongst the number. She was pulled down from her horse and became the prisoner of a follower of John of Luxemburg. Guillaume de Flavy has been accused of deliberate treachery, but there seems no adequate reason to suppose this. He continued to hold Compiègne resolutely for his king, while Joan's constant thought during the early months of her captivity was to escape and come to assist him in this task of defending the town.
No words can adequately describe the disgraceful ingratitude and apathy of Charles and his advisers in leaving the Maid to her fate. If military force had not availed, they had prisoners like the Earl of Suffolk in their hands, for whom she could have been exchanged. Joan was sold by John of Luxembourg to the English for a sum which would amount to several hundred thousand dollars in modern money. There can be no doubt that the English, partly because they feared their prisoner with a superstitious terror, partly because they were ashamed of the dread which she inspired, were determined at all costs to take her life. They could not put her to death for having beaten them, but they could get her sentenced as a witch and a heretic.
Moreover, they had a tool ready to their hand in Pierre Cauchon, the Bishop of Beauvais, an unscrupulous and ambitious man who was the creature of the Burgundian party. A pretext for invoking his authority was found in the fact that Compiègne, where Joan was captured, lay in the Diocese of Beauvais. Still, as Beauvais was in the hands of the French, the trial took place at Rouen — the latter see being at that time vacant. This raised many points of technical legality which were summarily settled by the parties interested.
The Vicar of the Inquisition at first, upon some scruple of jurisdiction, refused to attend, but this difficulty was overcome before the trial ended. Throughout the trial Cauchon's assessors consisted almost entirely of Frenchmen, for the most part theologians and doctors of the University of Paris. Preliminary meetings of the court took place in January, but it was only on 21 February, 1431, that Joan appeared for the first time before her judges. She was not allowed an advocate, and, though accused in an ecclesiastical court, she was throughout illegally confined in the Castle of Rouen, a secular prison, where she was guarded by dissolute English soldiers. Joan bitterly complained of this. She asked to be in the church prison, where she would have had female attendants. It was undoubtedly for the better protection of her modesty under such conditions that she persisted in retaining her male attire. Before she had been handed over to the English, she had attempted to escape by desperately throwing herself from the window of the tower of Beaurevoir, an act of seeming presumption for which she was much browbeaten by her judges. This also served as a pretext for the harshness shown regarding her confinement at Rouen, where she was at first kept in an iron cage, chained by the neck, hands, and feet. On the other hand she was allowed no spiritual privileges — e.g. attendance at Mass — on account of the charge of heresy and the monstrous dress (difformitate habitus) she was wearing. As regards the official record of the trial, which, so far as the Latin version goes, seems to be preserved entire, we may probably trust its accuracy in all that relates to the questions asked and the answers returned by the prisoner. These answers are in every way favourable to Joan. Her simplicity, piety, and good sense appear at every turn, despite the attempts of the judges to confuse her. They pressed her regarding her visions, but upon many points she refused to answer. Her attitude was always fearless, and, upon 1 March, Joan boldly announced that "within seven years' space the English would have to forfeit a bigger prize than Orléans." In point of fact Paris was lost to Henry VI on 12 November, 1437 — six years and eight months afterwards. It was probably because the Maid's answers perceptibly won sympathizers for her in a large assembly that Cauchon decided to conduct the rest of the inquiry before a small committee of judges in the prison itself. We may remark that the only matter in which any charge of prevarication can be reasonably urged against Joan's replies occurs especially in this stage of the inquiry. Joan, pressed about the secret sign given to the king, declared that an angel brought him a golden crown, but on further questioning she seems to have grown confused and to have contradicted herself. Most authorities (like, e.g., M. Petit de Julleville and Mr. Andrew Lang) are agreed that she was trying to guard the king's secret behind an allegory, she herself being the angel; but others — for instance P. Ayroles and Canon Dunand — insinuate that the accuracy of the procès-verbal cannot be trusted. On another point she was prejudiced by her lack of education. The judges asked her to submit herself to "the Church Militant." Joan clearly did not understand the phrase and, though willing and anxious to appeal to the pope, grew puzzled and confused. It was asserted later that Joan's reluctance to pledge herself to a simple acceptance of the Church's decisions was due to some insidious advice treacherously imparted to her to work her ruin. But the accounts of this alleged perfidy are contradictory and improbable. The examinations terminated on 17 March. Seventy propositions were then drawn up, forming a very disorderly and unfair presentment of Joan's "crimes," but, after she had been permitted to hear and reply to these, another set of twelve were drafted, better arranged and less extravagantly worded. With this summary of her misdeeds before them, a large majority of the twenty-two judges who took part in the deliberations declared Joan's visions and voices to be "false and diabolical," and they decided that if she refused to retract she was to be handed over to the secular arm — which was the same as saying that she was to be burned. Certain formal admonitions, at first private, and then public, were administered to the poor victim (18 April and 2 May), but she refused to make any submission which the judges could have considered satisfactory. On 9 May she was threatened with torture, but she still held firm. Meanwhile, the twelve propositions were submitted to the University of Paris, which, being extravagantly English in sympathy, denounced the Maid in violent terms. Strong in this approval, the judges, forty-seven in number, held a final deliberation, and forty-two reaffirmed that Joan ought to be declared heretical and handed over to the civil power, if she still refused to retract. Another admonition followed in the prison on 22 May, but Joan remained unshaken. The next day a stake was erected in the cemetery of St-Ouen, and in the presence of a great crowd she was solemnly admonished for the last time. After a courageous protest against the preacher's insulting reflections on her king, Charles VII, the accessories of the scene seem at last to have worked upon mind and body worn out by so many struggles. Her courage for once failed her. She consented to sign some sort of retraction, but what the precise terms of that retraction were will never be known. In the official record of the process a form of retraction is in inserted which is most humiliating in every particular. It is a long document which would have taken half an hour to read. What was read aloud to Joan and was signed by her must have been something quite different, for five witnesses at the rehabilitation trial, including Jean Massieu, the official who had himself read it aloud, declared that it was only a matter of a few lines. Even so, the poor victim did not sign unconditionally, but plainly declared that she only retracted in so far as it was God's will. However, in virtue of this concession, Joan was not then burned, but conducted back to prison. The English and Burgundians were furious, but Cauchon, it seems, placated them by saying, "We shall have her yet." Undoubtedly her position would now, in case of a relapse, be worse than before, for no second retractation could save her from the flames. Moreover, as one of the points upon which she had been condemned was the wearing of male apparel, a resumption of that attire would alone constitute a relapse into heresy, and this within a few days happened, owing, it was afterwards alleged, to a trap deliberately laid by her jailers with the connivance of Cauchon. Joan, either to defend her modesty from outrage, or because her women's garments were taken from her, or, perhaps, simply because she was weary of the struggle and was convinced that her enemies were determined to have her blood upon some pretext, once more put on the man's dress which had been purposely left in her way. The end now came soon. On 29 May a court of thirty-seven judges decided unanimously that the Maid must be treated as a relapsed heretic, and this sentence was actually carried out the next day (30 May, 1431) amid circumstances of intense pathos. She is said, when the judges visited her early in the morning, first to have charged Cauchon with the responsibility of her death, solemnly appealing from him to God, and afterwards to have declared that "her voices had deceived her." About this last speech a doubt must always be felt. We cannot be sure whether such words were ever used, and, even if they were, the meaning is not plain. She was, however, allowed to make her confession and to receive Communion. Her demeanour at the stake was such as to move even her bitter enemies to tears. She asked for a cross, which, after she had embraced it, was held up before her while she called continuously upon the name of Jesus. "Until the last," said Manchon, the recorder at the trial, "she declared that her voices came from God and had not deceived her." After death her ashes were thrown into the Seine.
Twenty-four years later a revision of her trial, the procès de réhabilitation, was opened at Paris with the consent of the Holy See. The popular feeling was then very different, and, with but the rarest exceptions, all the witnesses were eager to render their tribute to the virtues and supernatural gifts of the Maid. The first trial had been conducted without reference to the pope; indeed it was carried out in defiance of St. Joan's appeal to the head of the Church. Now an appellate court constituted by the pope, after long inquiry and examination of witnesses, reversed and annulled the sentence pronounced by a local tribunal under Cauchon's presidency. The illegality of the former proceedings was made clear, and it speaks well for the sincerity of this new inquiry that it could not be made without inflicting some degree of reproach upon both the King of France and the Church at large, seeing that so great an injustice had been done and had so long been suffered to continue unredressed. Even before the rehabilitation trial, keen observers, like Eneas Sylvius Piccolomini (afterwards Pope Pius II), though still in doubt as to her mission, had discerned something of the heavenly character of the Maid. In Shakespeare's day she was still regarded in England as a witch in league with the fiends of hell, but a juster estimate had begun to prevail even in the pages of Speed's "History of Great Britaine" (1611). By the beginning of the nineteenth century the sympathy for her even in England was general. Such writers as Southey, Hallam, Sharon Turner, Carlyle, Landor, and, above all, De Quincey greeted the Maid with a tribute of respect which was not surpassed even in her own native land. Among her Catholic fellow-countrymen she had been regarded, even in her lifetime, as Divinely inspired.
At last the cause of her beatification was introduced upon occasion of an appeal addressed to the Holy See, in 1869, by Mgr Dupanloup, Bishop of Orléans, and, after passing through all its stages and being duly confirmed by the necessary miracles, the process ended in the decree being published by Pius X on 11 April, 1909. A Mass and Office of St. Joan, taken from the "Commune Virginum," with "proper" prayers, have been approved by the Holy See for use in the Diocese of Orléans.
St. Joan was canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV. Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia - Image - Google Images

#BreakingNews Hundreds of Ex-LGBT March in Washington, DC at 2nd Annual Freedom March - Video

Hundreds of Ex-LGBT men and women came to share stories of transformation at 2nd Annual Freedom March in Washington, DC. Men and women who left gay and transgender lives march to the White House with the Freedom March on May 25, 2019. Men and women who once lived and identified as LGBT proclaimed how encountering Jesus transformed their lives for the second time in the nation's capital this weekend. The Freedom March, was founded by Jeffrey McCall, it involves a diverse group of Christians who have left the active practice of homosexuality and transgenderism.
 They say the power of the Holy Spirit has set them free from sexual sin and wounds of all kinds. “I was transformed through the grace of Jesus and found that others have been as well. These marches are a way to ensure that others who have overcome are not feeling isolated and alone," McCall explained in a statement sent to The Christian Post. "There is an entire community of people that have made this transformation, and we are here to support them.”
 The purpose of the march, according to McCall, is to connect those who have left the LGBT life, reach out to the LGBTQ community in each city, and equip local churches that are seeking to know how to minister to LGBT-identified persons.
 McCall noted that the march functions as a platform a to both bring people together and build community, and allow those who have been changed by Jesus to share their stories. Luis Javier Ruiz, a March speaker, who is a survivor of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando 2016, emphasized the centrality of knowing God. “I’ve always said it’s not about gay to straight. It’s about lost to saved,”  “Through the Freedom Marches, we want to spread messages of love and acceptance for people who have shed their LGBTQ identity and show others that we do exist. These marches are our platform to educate, encourage others and share in a community. We’ve had a great response from people, other community groups and churches.”
Vocalist and Freedom March worship leader Edward Byrd noted in a Tuesday email to CP that the greatest misunderstanding about those who have left the LGBT life behind is that they are self-loathing and are suppressing their sexual desires. "They think we are not happy, they think we are unfulfilled when in all actuality we are living our best lives. Not saying it’s always easy but the real joy, peace and freedom we have is nothing I ever known before," Byrd said.
Similar gatherings are planned for other areas in the USA in June.
 The whole notion of "conversion therapy" is misleading, Byrd told CP, "because the majority of us has never experienced conversion therapy; our experiences were encounters with the Holy Spirit that changed our lives." For more Information see :
Edited from Christian Post - CBN - Christian News

Pope Francis gives Exclusive Interview with Valentina Alazraki warning against taking his words out of context

Pope interview addresses violence against women and more
In a wide-ranging interview with Mexican media network Televisa, Pope Francis responds to a series of questions concerning his pontificate and the state of the world.
By Vatican News

Mexican journalist and writer, Valentina Alazraki, has been the Vatican correspondent for Televisa since 1974. In an exclusive interview, published on Tuesday, she asks Pope Francis questions ranging from abortion to migration.

Building bridges not walls
One of the first questions regards the border wall with Mexico. Pope Francis responds by repeating what he has always said, namely that “whoever builds walls ends up a prisoner of the walls he builds... Instead, those who build bridges make friends, shake hands, even if they stay on the other side... But there is dialogue”, he says.

Young people
Turning to the subject of young people, the Pope warns of how youth risk “losing their roots”. He confirms his advice “for young people to talk to old people, and the old to talk to the young, because... a tree cannot grow if we cut off its roots”. The Pope encourages youth to “dialogue with the roots, receive culture from the roots. Then you grow, you bloom and you bear fruit”.

Violence against women
The Pope also addresses the issue of violence against women. Without attempting to give what he calls “a sociological explanation”, the Pope does say that “women are still in second place” and, often, being in second place can mean “to be the object of slavery”. Here he gives the example of prostituted women and speaks of his own visit recently to a rescue shelter in Rome. The Pope goes on to praise the role of women, saying “the world without women doesn't work”.

Relationship with the media
In the interview, Pope Francis responds to a question regarding his relationship with the media: “I feel comfortable”, he says, “I tell you the truth, don't I?” The Pope admits that, sometimes, “the questions may be more difficult to answer”, but he thanks journalists for their patience. “Some questions have made me think”, he continues, giving the example of the trip to Chile when journalists asked him about alleged cases of sexual abuse in the country. “It was largely some of the questions asked with much respect on the return trip”, he said, that helped him realise he had not been adequately informed on the subject. The Pope says that when he returned to Rome, he “thought, prayed, asked for advice and decided to send an Apostolic Visitor, who uncovered what I did not know”. And that “was a help”, said the Pope.

The McCarrick case
The interview also touches on communicating information and the need to clarify matters to both the press and people in the pew. Here Pope Francis confirms how “we have to explain”, especially when it is a question of “presumption of innocence. The McCarrick case was different, says the Pope, because “it was obvious”. Which is why he was able to “cut to the chase before the trial” and remove McCarrick from both the cardinalate and the clerical state.

The Viganò case
The interview continues with a question about the Pope’s silence over unanswered accusations by former Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. “Those who made Roman law say that silence is a way of speaking”, he begins. He also says that, in the case of Viganò, he made a choice to trust the honesty of the journalists: “I said to them: "Look, you have everything, study for yourselves and draw the conclusions… And the result was good, it was better than if I started to explain, to defend myself”. Pope Francis confirms he knew nothing about McCarrick: “I said that several times, that I didn't know, no idea… otherwise I wouldn't have kept quiet”. He again explains his silence, saying “firstly the evidence was there for you to judge”, and secondly because of the example of Jesus: “in moments of viciousness you can't speak, because it's worse. Everything is going to go against you. The Lord taught us that way and I follow it”.

Migrants and refugees
The Pope also answers questions about migrants and refugees, something he calls a top priority in today’s current world scenario. “The phenomenon of migration is such that  I have taken in my hands the Migrants Section of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development,” he says, because every day we receive news of more deaths in the Mediterranean. Pope Francis comments on the problems that arise from some political leaders enforcing policies that close ports of entry, obliging boatloads of migrants and refugees to return to dangerous waters. He reiterates his belief that not only must we have the heart to “welcome”, but that we must follow up with the unique process of “accompaniment, promotion and integration”.

Pope Francis acknowledges that not all countries are able to follow up on that process, but he invites leaders to take into consideration how far they are able to do so, and that requires both dialogue and agreement, he says.

The Pope also mentions the reality of humanitarian corridors as a positive response to the global emergency. He gives the example of Sweden, “because during the dictatorships in the 1970s in Argentina and in Latin America, the so-called ‘Operation Condor’ worked very well”. Pope Francis explains that thanks to that project, Sweden received many Latin American refugees. They were welcomed, given language training, temporary housing and help in seeking employment. Sweden was able to do this, he says, although today it is harder because of the numbers. However, he says, the system has worked, pointing to some of the children of those migrants who today are government ministers.

Pope Francis goes on to speak about how when countries make political agreements and set boundaries, migrants  - who are the weakest and most vulnerable – are the ones who suffer and often end up being trafficked, enslaved, tortured…

He also speaks of the need for security for those who are repatriated: “In order to repatriate we need dialogue with the country of origin; not simply build a wall or close the doors of the house”.

Why does the Pope care so much about migrants today and talk so much about migrants? “Because it is a burning problem”, he says, underscoring how he also continues to talk about life, protecting life, and against abortion about which he reminds the interviewer, he has said “some very hard, very hard things.”

On the subject of abortion, the Pope says, he always asks two very clear questions: “Is it fair to eliminate a human life in order to solve a problem?”. The answer to which is: no. “Second question: is it fair to pay a sniper to solve a problem? No. Abortion is not a religious problem in the sense that just because I am Catholic I must not seek an abortion. It is a human problem”, says Pope Francis. “It is a problem of eliminating a human life. Period”.

Relationships with governments
In the interview, the Pope refers to how, during his travels, he sometimes finds himself in situations in which political leaders may be champions of policies with which he disagrees. Pope Francis says he always strives for dialogue and for the best possible outcome. In his speeches, he says, he touches generically on what may be the problems of a country, but in private, he takes another step, always making the effort to give encouragement in achieving good. “I find something good in everyone”, he says, “be it good will, also in non-believers, they always do something good”, he says, reminding the journalist that it is never good or profitable to speak badly of others.

For the first time, the Pope reveals that "Don’t speak badly of others” is the title of a pamphlet he has had distributed in the Roman Curia in the Vatican. “Gossip is a universal defect and it applies to everyone”, he says, “to rulers, non-rulers, children, young people, men, women, everyone. They say that women are more gossipy: rubbish! Men are also gossips”, says the Pope.

Another question in the interview focusses on possible controversies deriving from gestures and words spoken privately to individuals such when as the Pope embraced a transsexual person and his partner whom he received at the Casa Santa Marta, or his words to a divorced Argentinean woman over the telephone in which he reportedly said she could receive Communion.

'Irregular' situations
“Sometimes people, because of the enthusiasm of being received (in audience), say more things than the Pope said, let's take that into account”, explains Pope Francis. Still, he adds, we are all children of God, and no one must be discarded. “I can't tell a person that his or her behavior is in line with what the Church wants, (…) but I do have to tell them the truth: 'You are a child of God and God wants you that way, settle it with God'”, he says. God loves all of his children, continues Pope Francis. Specifically regarding the lady from Argentina, the Pope says he does not remember exactly what he said to her: “I must have told her: 'look in ‘Amoris laetitia’, it tells you what you have to do’”.

Underscoring his belief that we are all God’s children, the Pope reiterates his stance regarding the fact that families must love and include all of their children, including those who are homosexual. He vehemently denies ever having said homosexuals are in need of a psychiatrist. But, he adds, that “doesn’t mean I approve homosexual acts, far from it”.

Finally, Pope Francis clarifies his famous quote: “Who am I to judge?”.  He made the comment during an inflight presser while returning from Rio de Janeiro soon after becoming Pope. The comment seemingly raised a lot of expectation within the global homosexual community that allegedly hoped he was going to go further. In the interview with Televisa, Pope Francis notes that Catholic doctrine has not changed. Rather, he warns against the temptation to take words out of context, and as far as doctrine is concerned, he defines himself as a “conservative”.

Pro-Life Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas issues Strong condemnation of Abortion

Justice Clarence Thomas issued a strong opinion on May 28, 2019 in a case dealing with a pro-life law out of Indiana that bans abortions in cases of eugenics. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case; however, Justice Thomas voiced his concerns about the eugenic applications for abortion — that abortions would kill babies with Down Syndrome or a certain sex or race that parents may not want.
According to Life News Thomas’s opinion is one of the strongest condemnations of abortion ever issued from the Supreme Court.
“So long as the Supreme Court forces a policy of unfettered elective abortion on the entire country, it ought to at least allow for states to protect babies from unjust discrimination,” he said.
He notes that, while Margaret Singer pushed the eugenic aspects of birth control to prevent the birth of people she perceived to be unwanted, namely African-Americans, abortion can kill babies who are already conceived to have traits that parents may not want.
As Justice Thomas wrote:
The use of abortion to achieve eugenic goals is not merely hypothetical. The foundations for legalizing abortion in America were laid during the early 20th-century birth-control movement. That movement developed alongside the American eugenics movement. And significantly, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger recognized the eugenic potential of her cause. She emphasized and embraced the notion that birth control “opens the way to the eugenist.”

But Sanger’s arguments about the eugenic value of birth control in securing “the elimination of the unfit,” … apply with even greater force to abortion, making it significantly more effective as a tool of eugenics. Whereas Sanger believed that birth control could prevent “unfit” people from reproducing, abortion can prevent them from being born in the first place. Many eugenicists therefore supported legalizing abortion, and abortion advocates—including future Planned Parenthood President Alan Guttmacher— endorsed the use of abortion for eugenic reasons.
Technological advances have only heightened the eugenic potential for abortion, as abortion can now be used to eliminate children with unwanted characteristics, such as a particular sex or disability. Given the potential for abortion to become a tool of eugenic manipulation, the Court will soon need to confront the constitutionality of laws like Indiana’s.
This case highlights the fact that abortion is an act rife with the potential for eugenic manipulation. From the beginning, birth control and abortion were promoted as means of effectuating eugenics. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was particularly open about the fact that birth control could be used for eugenic purposes. These arguments about the eugenic potential for birth control apply with even greater force to abortion, which can be used to target specific children with unwanted characteristics. Even after World War II, future Planned Parenthood President Alan Guttmacher and other abortion advocates endorsed abortion for eugenic reasons and promoted it as a means of controlling the population and improving its quality.
Although the Court declines to wade into these issues today, we cannot avoid them forever. Having created the constitutional right to an abortion, this Court is dutybound to address its scope.
“Enshrining a constitutional right to an abortion based solely on the race, sex, or disability of an unborn child, as Planned Parenthood advocates, would constitutionalize the views of the 20th-century eugenics movement,” he writes. “In other contexts, the Court has been zealous in vindicating the rights of people even potentially subjected to race, sex, and disability discrimination.”
Edited from Life

Pope Francis says "In fact, it is through prayer that one overcomes loneliness, temptation, suspicion and opens one's heart to communion." Full Text


St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles: 1. He showed himself to them alive ... and ordered them ... to await the fulfillment of the Father's promise "(Acts 1: 4,4).

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today we begin a course of catechesis through the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. This biblical book, written by St. Luke the Evangelist, tells us about the journey - a journey: but which journey? Of the journey of the Gospel in the world and shows us the marvelous union between the Word of God and the Holy Spirit that inaugurates the time of evangelization. The protagonists of the Acts are just a lively and effective "couple": the Word and the Spirit.

God "sends his message on earth" and "his word runs fast" - says the Psalm (147.4). The Word of God runs, it is dynamic, it irrigates every ground on which it falls. And what is his strength? St. Luke tells us that the human word becomes effective not thanks to rhetoric, which is the art of good talk, but thanks to the Holy Spirit, which is the dýnamis of God, the dynamic of God, his strength, which has the power to purify the word, to make it the bearer of life. For example, in the Bible there are stories, human words; but what is the difference between the Bible and a history book? That the words of the Bible are taken by the Holy Spirit who gives a very great strength, a different strength and helps us to make that word a seed of holiness, a seed of life, to be effective. When the Spirit visits the human word it becomes dynamic, like "dynamite", that is able to light hearts and blow up patterns, resistances and walls of division, opening up new ways and expanding the boundaries of God's people. And we will see this in the course of these catecheses, in the book of the Acts of the Apostles.

The one who gives vibrant sonority and incisiveness to our fragile human word, even capable of lying and escaping from its responsibilities, is only the Holy Spirit, through whom the Son of God was generated; the Spirit who anointed him and sustained him in the mission; the Spirit through which he chose his apostles and who guaranteed perseverance and fruitfulness to their proclamation, as he also guarantees them today in our announcement.

The Gospel ends with the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, and the narrative plot of the Acts of the Apostles starts right here, from the overabundance of the life of the Risen One transfused into his Church. Saint Luke tells us that Jesus "showed himself ... alive, after his passion, with many trials, during forty days, appearing ... and speaking of things concerning the kingdom of God" (Acts 1: 3). The Risen Christ, the Risen Jesus, makes very human gestures, like sharing a meal with his own, and invites them to trustingly await the fulfillment of the Father's promise: "you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1: 5).

The baptism in the Holy Spirit, in fact, is the experience that allows us to enter into a personal communion with God and to participate in his universal salvific will, acquiring the gift of parresia, courage, that is the ability to utter a word "from children of God ", not only from men, but from children of God: a clear word, free, effective, full of love for Christ and for the brothers.

There is therefore no struggle to earn or merit the gift of God. Everything is given for free and in due time. The Lord gives everything for free. Salvation cannot be bought, it is not paid: it is a free gift. Faced with the anxiety of knowing in advance the time in which the events announced by Him will happen, Jesus answers his own: "It is not up to you to know times or moments that the Father has reserved for his power, but you will receive the strength from the Holy Spirit who will come down on you, and on me you will be witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth "(Acts 1,7-8).

The Risen One invites his own people not to live the present with anxiety, but to make an alliance with time, to know how to wait for the unraveling of a sacred history that has not been interrupted but is advancing, it always goes on; to know how to wait for the "steps" of God, the Lord of time and space. The Risen One invites his people not to "manufacture" the mission by themselves, but to wait for the Father to energize their hearts with his Spirit, to be able to get involved in a missionary witness capable of radiating from Jerusalem to Samaria and to go beyond the borders of Israel to reach the outskirts of the world.
This expectation, the Apostles live it together, they live it as the family of the Lord, in the upper room or cenacle, whose walls are still witnesses of the gift with which Jesus consigned himself to his own in the Eucharist. And how await the strength, the dýnamis of God? Praying with perseverance, as if there were not so many but one. Praying in unity and with perseverance. In fact, it is through prayer that one overcomes loneliness, temptation, suspicion and opens one's heart to communion. The presence of women and of Mary, the mother of Jesus, intensifies this experience: they first learned from the Master to witness to the fidelity of love and the strength of communion that overcomes all fear.

We also ask the Lord for patience in waiting for his steps, for not wanting to "manufacture" us his work and to remain docile by praying, invoking the Spirit and cultivating the art of ecclesial communion.
Greetings in Various Languages:
Je salue cordialement les personnes de langue française, en particulier les pèlerins du diocèse de Pontoise, accompagnés de leur Evêque, Monseigneur Stanislas Lalanne, ainsi que les jeunes venus de France et de Suisse, et les Ecoles de Charité et de Mission. A l’exemple des Apôtres et de Marie réunis au Cénacle, demandons au Seigneur la patience d’attendre ses pas, et de ne pas vouloir fabriquer nous-mêmes son œuvre. Qu’il nous aide à rester dociles en priant l’Esprit Saint et en cultivant l’art de la communion ecclésiale. Que Dieu vous bénisse.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Canada and the United States of America. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father. May the Lord bless you all!
Gerne heiße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache willkommen. Besonders grüße ich die Teilnehmer am peace ride der Jesus-Biker. Liebe Brüder und Schwestern, bitten wir den Herrn um die Geduld, sein Wirken zu erwarten und nicht Erzeuger, sondern Werkzeug seines Heilswerks zu sein und uns stets vom Heiligen Geist leiten zu lassen. Schönen Aufenthalt in Rom!
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y Latinoamérica. Pidamos a Dios el don del Espíritu Santo que nos asista en nuestra vida y nos dé la fuerza para que con nuestras palabras y obras podamos ser testigos misioneros de su amor con todos los que están a nuestro alrededor. Que Dios los bendiga.
Com grande afeto, saúdo os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, em particular os grupos das dioceses de Barretos, Piracicaba e Jundiaí, desejando a todos vós a paciência de esperar os «tempos» fixados pelo Pai celeste e permanecer dóceis, orando ao Espírito Santo e cultivando a arte da comunhão eclesial. Vele sobre o vosso caminho a Virgem Maria e vos ajude a ser sinal de confiança e instrumento de caridade no meio dos vossos irmãos. Sobre vós e vossas famílias desça a Bênção de Deus.
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللّغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، يدعونا الرب لنفتح قلوبنا على عطيّة الروح القدس لكي يقودنا على دروب التاريخ. فهو يومًا بعد يوم يربّينا على منطق الإنجيل ومنطق المحبّة التي تستضيف؛ "يعلّمنا كل شيء" ويذكِّرنا بكلِّ ما قاله الرب لنا". ليبارككم الرب!
[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Middle East! Dear brothers and sisters, the Lord invites us to open our hearts to the gift of the Holy Spirit, to guide us along the paths of history. Day by day he educates us to the logic of the Gospel, the logic of welcoming love, "teaching us everything" and "reminding us of everything the Lord told us". The Lord bless you!]
Witam serdecznie Polaków. Szczególne pozdrowienie kieruję dzisiaj do młodzieży, która w sobotę przybędzie do Lednicy na Spotkanie Młodych. Przed Wniebowstąpieniem Pan Jezus zapytał Szymona Piotra: „Czy kochasz mnie?”. Żałując zaparcia się Syna Bożego, wyznał: „Ty wiesz, że cię kocham”. Te słowa, będące hasłem waszego spotkania, Bóg powtarza nieustannie do każdego w sakramencie Pokuty i Pojednania, a zwłaszcza w Eucharystii. Uważnie słuchajcie Jego głosu. Niech chwile przeżywane w „Polskiej Panamie”, jak nazywacie w tych dniach Lednicę, przenika entuzjazm waszej wiary, modlitwy, radości i wspólnego świętowania. Zabierzcie ze sobą w drogę to, co otrzymacie w darze: pieczęć, symbol więzi z Duchem Świętym oraz specjalny rachunek sumienia oparty na treści obrazu Caravaggia „Powołanie świętego Mateusza”. Pamiętajcie, że przeobrażenie się grzesznika w świętego, jak w życiu Celnika z Kafarnaum jest możliwe! Niech was prowadzi entuzjazm nawróconego serca, a Bóg niech wam błogosławi. Ogarniam was moją modlitwą.

* * *

I warmly welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims.

I am pleased to welcome the capitulars of the Congregation of the Holy Family, the participants in the General Assembly of the Pontifical Mission Societies and the Directors of the "Salesian Bulletin".

I greet the "Adultissimi" group of the Italian Catholic Action; the seminarians of the Propedeutico di Molfetta; the parish communities, in particular those of Forino, of Oppido Lucano and of Chianche; the participants in the "Clericus cup"; educational institutions, especially that of Crema; members of the Military Judiciary Council; as well as those of the Police Headquarters and of the Fermo Traffic Police.

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

Tomorrow we will celebrate the Ascension of the Lord Jesus to Heaven. As to the Apostles, also to us today, the Lord repeats: "I will not leave you orphans, I will be with you all the days until the end" (see Jn 14: 17-18). If you are friends of Jesus, He will make his presence felt in your life, and you will never feel alone or abandoned.

#BreakingaNews 300 Hindu Radicals attack Homes of 3 Christian Families who Refused to Convert in India

Attacks on Chhattisgarh Christians resume post-elections
In the village of Bodiguda a crowd of 300 Hindu radicals devastated the homes of three Christian families who refused to convert. The police refuse to file the report.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - Attacks on Christians resumed in India in the aftermath of the 2019 general elections. The last incident took place in a Chhattisgarh village on May 23, but the news was released yesterday. A crowd of about 300 people looted and devastated the homes of three Christian families "guilty" of not wanting to renounce their faith.

The violence took place in the village of Bodiguda, in the district of Sukma. According to witnesses, the village council was summoned on the day of the attack to deliberate on the fate of the minority faithful. Faced with the refusal to renounce Christianity, a crowd of 300 Hindu radicals turned the houses upside down and demolished the roofs. Then the fathers of the three family - Sariyam Irma, Urma Deta and Padam Supa - were ordered to leave the village, under threat of worse consequences.

Speaking to AsiaNews New Delhi activist and director of development at ADF India (Alliance Defending Freedom), AC Michael, said that Son Singh Jhali, a lawyer who follows the case, "helped the Christians to compile the complaint, but the police refused the registration of a formal complaint. The agents wanted to force the Christians to find a compromise with the persecutors ". Finally, he adds, the lawyer "accompanied them to the office of the district magistrate, where they were able to register the case. The official promised appropriate actions".

This year's election was marked by numerous episodes of violence and intimidation against religious minorities: not only Christians, but also Muslims. The incident is not a good sign in view of the creation of that "inclusive" India that Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about as soon as he was re-elected. In fact, just under his first term, activists and religious leaders have reported a surge of abuse against those who do not profess the majority Hindu religion.
FULL TEXT Source : Asia News IT

Florida Lawmaker Rep. Mike Hill plans to Introduce Pro-Life Bill like Alabama's saying God spoke to him

The Pensacola News Journal reported that a Florida lawmaker plans to introduce a bill modeled after Alabama's strict new abortion law. He also explained that God asked him to do it.

Early on in the 2019 legislative session, Rep. Mike Hill (R-Pensacola) filed HB-235, which would ban abortions in Florida after a heartbeat is detected. The bill had 20 co-sponsors but never got a hearing in any committee.

While speaking about the recent wave of strict abortion legislation in states like Alabama, Georgia and Missouri, Hill told an audience Thursday he will take another shot at banning more abortions, at the urging of God.

"As plain as day, God spoke to me," Hill said at a meeting of Women for Responsible Legislation in Pensacola. "He said, ‘That wasn't my bill,' talking about the heartbeat detection bill that I filed. He said, ‘That wasn't my bill.' I knew immediately what he was talking about. He said, ‘You remove those exceptions and you file it again.' And I said, ‘yes Lord. I will. It's coming back. It's coming back.' We are going to file that bill without any exceptions just like what we saw passed in Alabama."

"The priorities were health care, transportation and the Everglades," Hill said. "All of that, you know, which are important, but life is of preeminence import. Without life, you won't even have a need for all this other stuff."
According to the News Journal, Hill said his bill — including the exceptions — would have passed in Florida's Senate as he had 21 confirmed votes out a 40 member chamber. He believed every Republican in the House would also have voted in favor of the bill. Hill said that "health care, transportation and the Everglades" were the main focus of the legislative session and that those items kept his bill from getting a hearing.
Edited from Newsweek and WFLA

Senate in France stipulates Notre Dame Cathedral to be Restored Exactly as it was before the Fire

The Senate in France has stipulated that Notre-Dame cathedral must be restored exactly how it was before the devastating fire that damaged the Church.
On Monday, May 27,2019, the French Senate approved the government's Notre-Dame restoration bill. However, a clause that it must be restored to the state it was before the blaze. The government  had launched an international architecture competition to consider different ideas on restoration.

The cathedral was left badly damaged after fire tore through the roof and destroyed the spire on April 15. Traditionalists want an exact restoration and others are favour a more modern approach were in debate.

The Senate has now approved the restoration bill already passed by the French parliament to allow work on the structure to be completed in time for the Paris Olympics in 2024 - but requires that the restoration be faithful to the “last known visual state” of the cathedral.
 French president Emmanuel Macron called for “an inventive reconstruction”, while Paris' Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo favors an identical restoration and called herself “conservative” on the subject.

On Twitter Anne Hidalgo wrote:
 La cathédrale #NotreDame est une œuvre qui appartient à tous les Parisiens, à tous les Français et au monde entier. Je suis favorable à une restauration à l’identique, fondée sur les savoir-faire ancestraux des compagnons du devoir et du tour de France. …

Edited from The

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - #Eucharist in Eastertide

Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 293

Reading 1ACTS 17:15, 22—18:1

After Paul's escorts had taken him to Athens,
they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy
to join him as soon as possible.

Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said:
"You Athenians, I see that in every respect
you are very religious.
For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines,
I even discovered an altar inscribed, 'To an Unknown God.'
What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.
The God who made the world and all that is in it,
the Lord of heaven and earth,
does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands,
nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything.
Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.
He made from one the whole human race
to dwell on the entire surface of the earth,
and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions,
so that people might seek God,
even perhaps grope for him and find him,
though indeed he is not far from any one of us.
For 'In him we live and move and have our being,'
as even some of your poets have said,
'For we too are his offspring.'
Since therefore we are the offspring of God,
we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image
fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination.
God has overlooked the times of ignorance,
but now he demands that all people everywhere repent
because he has established a day on which he will 'judge the world
with justice' through a man he has appointed,
and he has provided confirmation for all
by raising him from the dead."

When they heard about resurrection of the dead,
some began to scoff, but others said,
"We should like to hear you on this some other time."
And so Paul left them.
But some did join him, and became believers.
Among them were Dionysius,
a member of the Court of the Areopagus,
a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.

Responsorial PsalmPS 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14

R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
He has lifted up the horn of his people;
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 14:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will ask the Father
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you always.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you."

Saint May 29 : St. Maximinus of Trier a Bishop of Trier and Defender against Arianism

Feast Day:
May 29
at Silly near Poitiers, France
12 September 349 or 29 May 352 (records vary)
Patron of:
Trier, Germany
Bishop of Trier, b. at Silly near Poitiers, d. there, 29 May, 352 or 12 Sept., 349. He was educated and ordained priest by St. Agritius, whom he succeeded as Bishop of Trier in 332 or 335. At that time Trier was the government seat of the Western Emperor and, by force of his office, Maximinus stood in close relation with the Emperors Constantine II and Constans. He was a strenuous defender of the orthodox faith against Arianism and an intimate friend of St. Athanasius, whom he harboured as an honoured guest during his exile of two years and four months (336-8) at Trier. He likewise received with honours the banished patriarch Paul of Constantinople in 341 and effected his recall to Constantinople. When four Arian bishops came from Antioch to Trier in 342 with the purpose of winning Emperor Constans to their side, Maximinus refused to receive them and induced the emperor to reject their proposals. In conjunction with Pope Julius I and Bishop Hosius of Cordova, he persuaded the Emperor Constans to convene the Synod of Sardica in 343 and probably took part in it. That the Arians considered him as one of their chief opponents is evident from the fact that they condemned by name along with Pope Julius I and Hosius of Cordova at their heretical synod of Philippopolis in 343 (Mans, "Sacrorum Conc. nova et ampl. Coll.", III, 136 sq.). In 345 he took part in the Synod of Milan and is said to have presided over a synod held at Cologne in 346, where Bishop Euphratas of Cologne was deposed on account of his leanings toward Arianism. (Concerning the authenticity of the Acts of this synod see the new French translation of Hefele's "Conciliengeschichte", I, ii (Paris, 1907), pp. 830-34.) He also sent Sts. Castor and Lubentius as missionaries to the valleys of the Mosel and the Lahn. It is doubtful whether the Maximinus whom the usurper Magnentius sent as legate to Constantinople in the interests of peace is identical with the Bishop of Trier (Athanasius, "Apol. ad Const. Imp.", 9). His cult began right after his death. His feast is celebrated on 29 May, on which day his name stands in the martyrologies of St. Jerome, St. Bede, St. Ado, and others. Trier honours him as its patron. In the autumn of 353 his body was buried in the church of St. John near Trier, where in the seventh century was founded the famous Benedictine abbey of St. Maximinus, which flourished till 1802. Catholic Encyclopedia