Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Saint June 12 : St. John of Sahagun a Hermit and Patron of Spain - #Espana

St. John of Sahagun HERMIT
1419, SahagĂșn, Province of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Spain
June 11, 1479, Salamanca, Province of Salamanca, Kingdom of Castile, Spain
October 16, 1690, Rome by Pope Alexander VIII
Patron of:
Salamanca, Spain
Hermit, b. 1419, at SahagĂșn (or San Fagondez) in the Kingdom of Leon, in Spain; d. 11 June, 1479, at Salamanca; feast 12 June. In art he is represented holding a chalice and host surrounded by rays of light. John, the oldest of seven children, was born of pious and respected parents, John Gonzalez de Castrillo and Sancia Martinez. He received his first education from the Benedictines of his native place. According to the custom of the times, his father procured for him the benefice of the neighbouring parish Dornillos, but this caused John many qualms of conscience. He was later introduced to Alfonso  de Cartagena, Bishop of Burgos (1435-1456) who took a fancy to the bright, high-spirited boy, had him educated at his own residence, gave him several prebends, ordained him priest in 1445, and made him canon at the cathedral. Out of conscientious respect for the laws of the Church, John resigned all and retained only the chaplaincy of St. Agatha, where he laboured zealously for the salvation of souls.

Finding that a more thorough knowledge of theology would be beneficial, he obtained permission to enter the University of Salamanca, made a four years' course, and merited his degree in divinity. During this time he exercised the sacred ministry at the chapel of the College of St. Bartholomew (parish of St. Sebastian), and held the position for nine years. He was then obliged to undergo an operation for stone, and during his illness vowed that if his life were spared, he would become a religious. On his recovery in 1463, he applied for admission to the Order of Hermits of St. Augustine, at the church of St. Peter, at Salamanca, and on 28 Aug., 1464, he made his profession.

He made such progress in religious perfection that he was soon appointed master of novices, and in 1471 prior of the community. Great was his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and at Mass he frequently saw the Sacred Host resplendent in glory. He was gifted with special power to penetrate the secrets of conscience, so that it was not easy to deceive him, and sinners were almost forced to make good confessions; he obtained wonderful results in doing away with enmities and feuds. In his sermons he, like another St. John the Baptist, fearlessly preached the word of God and scourged the crimes and vices of the day, though thereby the rich and noble were offended. He soon made many enemies, who even hired assassins, but these, awed by the serenity and angelic sweetness of his countenance, lost courage. Some women of Salamanca, embittered by the saint's strong sermon against extravagance in dress, openly insulted him in the streets and pelted him with stones until stopped by a patrol of guards. His scathing words on impurity produced salutary effects in a certain nobleman who had been living in open concubinage, but the woman swore vengeance, and it was popularly believed that she caused the saint's death by poison (this statement is found only in later biographies). Soon after death his veneration spread in Spain.
The process of beatification began in 1525, and in 1601 he was declared Blessed. New miracles were wrought at his intercession, and on 16 Oct., 1690, Alexander VIII entered his name in the list of canonized saints. Benedict XIII fixed his feast for 12 June. His relics are found in Spain, Belgium, and Peru. His life written by John of Seville towards the end of the fifteenth century with additions in 1605 and 1619, is used by the Bollandists in "Acta SS.", Jun., III, 112.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis at Mass explains “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give,” Homily

Pope at Mass: ‘Serve others freely, as God freely loves you’
In his homily at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis reminds us that our relationship with God is completely gratuitous and requires only that we open our hearts to His grace.
By Devin Watkins
“Give freely that which you have received freely,” Pope Francis said at Mass on Tuesday morning.

Focusing his remarks on the Christian’s relationship with God, the Pope noted that we are called to serve and love our brothers and sisters in the same way that God has done with us.

Vocation to serve, not to make use of others
Taking his cue from the day’s Gospel (Mt 10:7-13) in which Jesus commissions the disciples to go out on mission, Pope Francis said Christians cannot remain stationary, since our way of life impels us to “hit the road, always”.

He said Jesus has already given us our mission: “As you go, make this proclamation: 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons.”

“Christian life is for service. It saddens us to find Christians who at the beginning of their conversion, or awareness of being Christian, serve and are open to serve the people of God, but who later end up making use of the people of God. This causes much harm to God’s people. Our vocation is to ‘serve’, not to ‘make use of’.”

Christian life, said Pope Francis, is lived gratuitously. “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give,” he said, was how Jesus described the core of salvation.

He said salvation cannot be bought, because God “saves us free of charge” and “requires no payment”.

As God has done with us, so we are to do with others, he said.

“Realize that the Lord is full of gifts for us. He asks just one thing: that our hearts be open. When we say ‘Our Father’ and we pray, we open our heart, allowing this gratuitousness to enter. Often when we need some spiritual grace, we say: ‘Well, now I will fast, do penance, pray a novena…’ Fine, but be careful: this is not done to ‘pay’ or ‘buy’ grace. We do it to open our hearts so that grace might enter. Grace is freely given.”

All God’s gifts, said Pope Francis, are given without cost. And he warned that sometimes “the heart folds in on itself and remains closed”, and it is no longer able to receive “such freely given love”.

We should not bargain with God, he said.

Freely give
Pope Francis then invited Christians, and especially pastors and bishops, to give freely and not try to sell God’s graces.

“It pains the heart,” he said, when we see pastors “that make money off of God’s grace: ‘I can help you, but it will cost this much…’”

“In our spiritual life we always run the risk of slipping up on the question of payment, even when speaking with the Lord, as if we needed to bribe the Lord. No! That is not the correct path… I make a promise, in order to expand my heart to receive what is already there, waiting for us free of charge. This relationship of gratuitousness with God is what will help us to have the same rapport with others, whether it be in Christian witness, Christian service, or the pastoral work of those who guide the people of God. We do so along the way. Christian life means walking. Preach and serve, but do not make use of others. Serve and give freely that which you have received freely. May our life of holiness be permeated by this openness of heart, so that the gratuitousness of God – the graces that He wishes to give us without cost – may enter our hearts.”
FULL TEXT + Image  shared from VaticanNews.va - 

#BreakingNews 95 Killed, including Women and Children, in Attack against Village in Mali - Please Pray

AFRICA/MALI - New massacres in Mali and Burkina Faso increase fears regarding the stability of the Sahel
Tuesday, 11 June 2019
Bamako (Agenzia Fides) - A clash between the Peuls and Dogons populations is most probably at the base of the massacre of the inhabitants of the village of Sobame Da, in the Mopti region in central Mali, where at least 95 people were killed in the night between 9 and 10 June. Fifty heavily armed men on pick-ups and motorcycles attacked the village in the middle of the night. Women, children and the elderly were not spared.
It is suspected that the massacre was carried out by an armed group of Peuls, a population of nomadic breeders, perhaps as revenge for the slaughter committed on March 24, when at least 160 people of the Peuls ethnic group lost their lives in the assault on the village of Ogossagou committed by alleged Dogons hunters (see Fides, 26/3/2019).
According to local Church sources contacted by Agenzia Fides, on Sunday 9 June, the large Catholic community in the village had celebrated the confirmation of a group of young people in Sobame Da.
The Catholic and Evangelical Church in Mali are trying to prevent the conflict between the Muslim Peuls and other populations of the Country. The clashes between nomadic populations, dedicated to pastoralism, and those of settled farmers, are frequent in different parts of Africa, but in recent years with the spread of war weapons, they have become more bloody.
A further alarm is the massacre that took place in Burkina Faso in the area of Arbinda in an area on the border with Mali, committed by a jihadist group on Sunday 9 June, with the death of 19 people and the wounding of 13. (L.M.) (Full Text Source: Agenzia Fides, 11/6/2019)

Pope Francis tells Chaplains "You represent God’s ever-present love in an environment crowded with people at work..." Full Text

Clementine Hall
Monday, 10 June 2019

Your Eminence,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I offer all of you a cordial welcome at the start of this International Seminar on the theme: “Catholic Civil Aviation Chaplains and Members of the Airport Chaplaincy at the Service of Integral Human Development”.  I thank Cardinal Turkson for his kind words of introduction.
In the course of my Apostolic Journeys, I have passed through many airports, where you, dear chaplains and pastoral workers, provide pastoral care in complex and very particular situations.  Technological advances, a frenzied pace of activity and a constant flow of people all tend to create an atmosphere of anonymity and indifference in airports, making them great human outposts.  Millions of people of different nationalities, cultures, religions and languages daily cross paths with one another.  Each has his or her own story, known only to God, with its joys and sorrows, its hopes and troubles.  In this setting, you are called to bring the message and presence of Christ, who alone knows what lies hidden in the heart of each person, and to bring to everyone, whether Christian or not, the Good News of God’s tender love, hope and peace.  How much peace can be sown with just a sign, a word, a look!
In airports, yours is primarily a presence of availability.  You represent God’s ever-present love in an environment crowded with people at work or travelling for a variety of reasons.  Sadly, airports do not have that kind of culture, a culture of gratuity, not at all.  So you open the doors to spaces and encounters of availability and gratuity.   You are present in their midst to offer, respectfully and discreetly, a chance for them to encounter the “now” of God.  For that one day, that single hour of transit, is unique and unrepeatable.  You are creative in finding constantly new ways to show pastoral charity to all, whether managers, employees or passengers.  Your witness, and the message you communicate in that particular moment, can leave a life-long impression.  Availability is itself a powerful form of witness.
Let me relate a story I was told.  A businessman, concerned about his business affairs, was in the airport.  He went into the chapel looking for an electric outlet to recharge his computer. He found one.  So he sat there for a whole, waiting for the computer to recharge, taking his time…  Then a lay chaplain came up to him and said, “Do you need anything?”  He said no, but the chaplain went on to say, “You did the right thing, because electrical energy is like God’s energy, it available to all”  The chaplain started off that way, and one word led to another, and that man felt deep down that something changed.   He told me himself: “At that moment, I met Jesus”.  And immediately he went off to buy a copy of the Gospel and from that moment on – this was years ago – up to the present time, each day he reads the Gospel, in order to meet anew that Jesus he met in the airport.  A true story, told to me by the person himself.
I am pleased to see that concern for integral human development is at the heart of your deliberations in these days.  I would like to share some thoughts with you on this important subject.
In the context of your pastoral outreach, integral human development embraces a variety of particular concerns: concern for the whole person; concern for work, culture and family life; concern for religion, the economy and politics.  I urge you to carry out your ministry with commitment and enthusiasm, gazing with the heart of Christ upon the thousands of faces passing by, so that everyone can sense God’s presence.  In this way, airports can become “doorways” and “bridges” for an encounter with God, but also with one another, as children of the one Father.  An airport can even become a privileged place where lost sheep can rediscover and follow once more their true Shepherd.  Indeed, in these places of departure and arrival, a kind of “free zone” often opens up, a space of anonymity where people can feel at ease in opening their hearts, entering into a process of healing and making their way back to the house of the Father, which for various reasons they may have long since left behind.
We know too that it is not easy for pilots and cabin crew to balance their work with their personal and family life.  Your presence and attentive ear is also important for them.  Friendship, closeness, and the time you devote to them and their families, whether directly or indirectly, can be of great help to them.
I am also aware of your concern that airports always provide an opportunity for people to encounter God in prayer and in the sacraments.  I share your desire, your pastoral “dream”, that even in an airport a community of believers can take shape and become leaven, salt and light in that unique human setting.
Here I cannot fail to mention the migrants and refugees who arrive at major airports in the hope of seeking asylum or finding shelter, or who are stopped in transit.  I continue to urge the local Churches to show them due welcome and concern, even though this is the direct responsibility of the civil authorities.  It is also part of your pastoral care to ensure that their human dignity is always protected and their rights safeguarded, in respect for the dignity and beliefs of each.  Works of charity carried out on their behalf are a testimony to God’s closeness to all his children.
Some of you, perhaps all of you, are called in addition to serve in your parishes and communities.  This can prove physically and spiritually draining, and perhaps even lead to discouragement, dissatisfaction or despondency.  It would be good, then, in agreement with your bishops, to involve others in your mission, whether members of the airport staff or of local church communities, and to ensure that they receive proper formation.  I am very happy to see here many lay people and religious with whom you are already working.  I encourage all of you to join in seeking new paths of pastoral outreach, sharing one another’s burdens and above all the joy of evangelizing.  I want to emphasize this.  I am pleased at the involvement of so many lay people.  Please, don’t fall into the temptation of “clericalizing” the laity.  Lay people are messengers, missionaries, in their own right.
The quality of your pastoral service – and mine! – is proportionate to the quality of your spiritual life and prayer, but also to your sense of being part of the mission of the universal Church.  Missionary spirit must be the inspiration and guide of all our activity.  May the Risen Lord help you to keep it ever alive and renewed, by the power of his Holy Spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters, we have just celebrated the feast of Pentecost.  May the Holy Spirit give you his light and fill you with his gifts, so that you can take up your ministry with fresh energy and vigour.  I entrust all of you to Mary, Mother of the Church, whose feast we celebrate today.  In a particular way, let us invoke her under the title of Our Lady of Loreto, Patroness of Civil Aviation.  May she help you to hold out the flame of faith to all whom you meet in your daily work, so that salvation can indeed extend to the ends of the earth.  Thank you.

Full Text Shared from Vatican.va - Image source: Vatican News va

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle

Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle
Lectionary: 580/360

Reading 1ACTS 11:21B-26; 13:1-3

In those days a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers:
Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger,
Lucius of Cyrene,
Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
"Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them."
Then, completing their fasting and prayer,
they laid hands on them and sent them off.

Responsorial PsalmPS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4, 5-6

R.(see 2b) The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.

AlleluiaMT 5:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Let your light shine before others
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father."