Sunday, August 18, 2019

Saint August 18 : St. Helena, Mother of Constantine, who Discovered the Cross of Jesus and Patron of Converts, Divorced

Born: 248, Drepanum, Bithynia, Asia Minor 
Died: 328, Constantinople, Roman 
Major Shrine: The shrine to Saint Helena in St. Peter's Basilica Patron of: archeologists, converts, difficult marriages, divorced people, empresses, Helena, the capital of Montana.
The mother of Constantine the Great, born about the middle of the third century, possibly in Drepanum (later known as Helenopolis) on the Nicomedian Gulf; died about 330. She was of humble parentage; St. Ambrose, in his "Oratio de obitu Theodosii", referred to her as a stabularia, or inn-keeper. Nevertheless, she became the lawful wife of Constantius Chlorus. Her first and only son, Constantine, was born in Naissus in Upper Moesia, in the year 274. The statement made by English chroniclers of the Middle Ages, according to which Helena was supposed to have been the daughter of a British prince, is entirely without historical foundation. It may arise from the misinterpretation of a term used in the fourth chapter of the panegyric on Constantine's marriage with Fausta, that Constantine, oriendo (i.e., "by his beginnings," "from the outset") had honoured Britain, which was taken as an allusion to his birth, whereas the reference was really to the beginning of his reign.
In the year 292 Constantius, having become co-Regent of the West, gave himself up to considerations of a political nature and forsook Helena in order to marry Theodora, the step-daughter of Emperor Maximinianus Herculius, his patron, and well-wisher. But her son remained faithful and loyal to her. On the death of Constantius Chlorus, in 308, Constantine, who succeeded him, summoned his mother to the imperial court, conferred on her the title of Augusta, ordered that all honour should be paid her as the mother of the sovereign, and had coins struck bearing her effigy. Her son's influence caused her to embrace Christianity after his victory over Maxentius. This is directly attested by Eusebius (Vita Constantini, III, xlvii): "She (his mother) became under his (Constantine's) influence such a devout servant of God, that one might believe her to have been from her very childhood a disciple of the Redeemer of mankind". It is also clear from the declaration of the contemporary historian of the Church that Helena, from the time of her conversion had an earnestly Christian life and by her influence and liberality favoured the wider spread of Christianity. Tradition links her name with the building of Christian churches in the cities of the West, where the imperial court resided, notably at Rome and Trier, and there is no reason for rejecting this tradition, for we know positively through Eusebius that Helena erected churches on the hallowed spots of Palestine. Despite her advanced age she undertook a journey to Palestine when Constantine, through his victory over Licinius, had become sole master of the Roman Empire, subsequently, therefore, to the year 324. It was in Palestine, as we learn from Eusebius (loc. cit., xlii), that she had resolved to bring to God, the King of kings, the homage and tribute of her devotion. She lavished on that land her bounties and good deeds, she "explored it with remarkable discernment", and "visited it with the care and solicitude of the emperor himself". Then, when she "had shown due veneration to the footsteps of the Saviour", she had two churches erected for the worship of God: one was raised in Bethlehem near the Grotto of the Nativity, the other on the Mount of the Ascension, near Jerusalem. She also embellished the sacred grotto with rich ornaments. This sojourn in Jerusalem proved the starting-point of the legend first recorded by Rufinus as to the discovery of the Cross of Christ.
Her princely munificence was such that, according to Eusebius, she assisted not only individuals but entire communities. The poor and destitute were the special objects of her charity. She visited the churches everywhere with pious zeal and made them rich donations. It was thus that, in fulfilment of the Saviour's precept, she brought forth abundant fruit in word and deed. If Helena conducted herself in this manner while in the Holy Land, which is indeed testified to by Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, we should not doubt that she manifested the same piety and benevolence in those other cities of the empire in which she resided after her conversion. Her memory in Rome is chiefly identified with the church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme. On the present location of this church formerly stood the Palatium Sessorianum, and near by were the Thermae Helenianae, which baths derived their name from the empress. Here two inscriptions were found composed in honour of Helena. The Sessorium, which was near the site of the Lateran, probably served as Helena's residence when she stayed in Rome; so that it is quite possible for a Christian basilica to have been erected on this spot by Constantine, at her suggestion and in honour of the true Cross. Helena was still living in the year 326, when Constantine ordered the execution of his son Crispus. When, according to Socrates' account (Church History I.17), the emperor in 327 improved Drepanum, his mother's native town, and decreed that it should be called Helenopolis, it is probable that the latter returned from Palestine to her son who was then residing in the Orient. Constantine was with her when she died, at the advanced age of eighty years or thereabouts (Eusebius, Life of Constantine III.46). This must have been about the year 330, for the last coins which are known to have been stamped with her name bore this date. Her body was brought to Constantinople and laid to rest in the imperial vault of the church of the Apostles. It is presumed that her remains were transferred in 849 to the Abbey of Hautvillers, in the French Archdiocese of Reims, as recorded by the monk Altmann in his "Translatio". She was revered as a saint, and the veneration spread, early in the ninth century, even to Western countries. Her feast falls on 18 August.
Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Prayer to St. Helen

Holy and blessed Saint Helen,
With the anguish and devotion with which
You sought the Cross of Christ,
I plead that You give me God’s grace
To suffer in patience and labours of this life,
So that through them and
through Your intercession and protection,
I will be able to seek and carry the Cross,
Which God has placed upon me,
So that I can serve Him in this life
and enjoy His Glory ever after.


Pope Francis says "Jesus calls us to spread this fire in the world...The fire of love, lit by Christ in the world through the Holy Spirit..." Full Text + Video

Pope Francis recites the Angelus at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City
Sunday, August 18, 2019

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

In today's Gospel passage (see Lk 12: 49-53), Jesus warns the disciples that the moment of decision has come. His coming into the world, in fact, coincides with the time of decisive choices: the option for the Gospel cannot be postponed. And to better understand his call, he uses the image of fire that he himself came to bring to earth. Thus he says: "I have come to set fire to the earth, and I wish it were already lit" (v. 49). These words have the purpose of helping the disciples to abandon every attitude of laziness, apathy, indifference and closure to welcome the fire of God's love; that love which, as Saint Paul reminds us, "has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit" (Rom 5: 5). Because it is the Holy Spirit that makes us love God and makes us love our neighbor; it is the Holy Spirit that we all have inside.

Jesus reveals to his friends, and also to us, his most ardent desire: to bring to earth the fire of the Father's love, which lights up life and through which man is saved. Jesus calls us to spread this fire in the world, thanks to which we will be recognized as his true disciples. The fire of love, lit by Christ in the world through the Holy Spirit, is a fire without limits, it is a universal fire. This has been seen since the early days of Christianity: the testimony of the Gospel spread as a beneficial fire, overcoming every division between individuals, social categories, peoples and nations. The testimony of the Gospel burns, burns every form of particularism and maintains charity open to all, with a preference for the poorest and the excluded.

Adhering to the fire of the love that Jesus brought to earth envelops our entire existence and requires adoration of God and also a willingness to serve others. Adoration of God and willingness to serve others. The first, worshiping God, also means learning the prayer of adoration, which we usually forget. That is why I invite everyone to discover the beauty of the prayer of adoration and to exercise it often. And then the second, the willingness to serve others: I think with admiration of so many communities and groups of young people who, even during the summer, dedicate themselves to this service in favor of the sick, the poor, people with disabilities. To live according to the spirit of the Gospel it is necessary that, in the face of ever new needs that are looming in the world, there are disciples of Christ who know how to respond with new initiatives of charity. And so, with adoration of God and service to others - both together, worshiping God and serving others - the Gospel is truly manifested as the fire that saves, that changes the world starting from the change of the heart of each one.

In this perspective, we also understand the other affirmation of Jesus reported in today's passage, which at first glance can disconcert: "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but a division "(Lk 12,51). He came to "separate with fire". Separate that? Good from evil, right from wrong. In this sense he came to "divide", to put in "crisis" - but in a healthy way - the life of his disciples, breaking the easy illusions of those who believe they can combine Christian life and worldliness, Christian life and compromises of all kinds , religious practices and attitudes against others. Some combine to combine true religiosity with superstitious practices: how many self-styled Christians go from the fortune teller to the guess to have their hands read! And this is superstition, it is not of God. It is a question of not living in a hypocritical way, but of being willing to pay the price for coherent choices - this is the attitude that each of us should look for in life: consistency - paying the price to be consistent with the Gospel. Consistency with the Gospel. Because it is good to say that we are Christians, but above all we must be Christians in concrete situations, bearing witness to the Gospel which is essentially love for God and for our brothers.

May Mary Most Holy help us to let our hearts be purified by the fire brought by Jesus, to propagate it with our life, through decisive and courageous choices.

After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters,

I address a cordial greeting to all of you, Roman faithful and pilgrims who have come from Italy and from different countries.

In particular, I greet the "Divino Amore" group from Canada; the Scouts of Rio de Loba, Portugal; and the Polish faithful.

I wish you all a good Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!

Archbishop holds Adoration in Notre Dame Cathedral and Catholic Priests pray with Laity outside during Satanic Mass - Video

On August 17, 2019 a Satanic black mass was held in Ottawa's Koven restaurant near Notre Dame Cathedral. On the initiative of Michael Dopp, founder of the New Evangelization Summit, about 200 Catholics gathered at Notre Dame Cathedral on Sussex Ave. in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Archbishop Prendergast was there along with Auxiliary Bishop Guy Desrochers of Cornwall. Arch. Prendergast blessed the faithful and half of the group entered the Cathedral for Adoration with Auxiliary Bishop Christian Riesbeck. Several Sisters of the Queenship of Mary were in attendance at the Cathedral.  Several young adults/teens were in attendance including members of NET Canada - One member Cameron Turner mentioned he was there with his cell phone as his wife was overdue expecting their 2nd child.

 The other half of the group surrounded the nearby Koven Restaurant where the 1st Canadian Black Mass was held. Several priests under the leadership of
 Fr. Matthew Chojna of Pakenham. Fr. Chojna blessed salt which was distributed to the faithful who walked around the block praying the rosary and sprinkling the blessed salt.  Many of the priests in cassocks prayed with large crucifixes in their hands.
 Fr Paul NwaezeFr. Tavis Goski, Fr. Hezuk Shroff, Monignor Hans Feichtinger, Fr. Mark Goring and other priests.
In this Video Archbishop Prendergast blesses the Laity before they go to the Koven restaurant to pray before the Satanic Mass - The priests also bless salt and holy water...
The priests led prayers and hymns which were recited by about 100 faithful. When the hymns began a silence came over the crowd. Many parishes in Canada held Eucharistic Adoration and prayers services in reparation of this Mass. People around the world were praying for those involved.
Earlier in the week in an E-mail interview with the Catholic Register the Archbishop of Ottawa Terrence Prendergast wrote:
“My concern is for the faith of our people and the offence that this brings to their love of and reverence for the Eucharist,” said Archbishop Terrence Prendergast.

Nicholas Marc, organizer of the event told Global News he believes the event will “be the first organized public black mass in Canadian history.”

“To tamper with and mock the Mass — which is what this satanic ritual does — is hateful and will affect more than those who participate in it,” said Prendergast. “It will say loudly that the central belief of Christians should not be shown respect, as we would expect respect to be shown to the Jewish Torah, to the Muslim Koran and to the sacred objects of other faiths.

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast
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“Such a ritual sends the wrong message that we’re tolerant of what is in effect hate speech, which this has become by the widespread publicity being given to it,” the archbishop said.

“The Blessed Sacrament is given to those with faith in Christ’s presence in the Eucharistic host so that they may, by consuming it, achieve communion with Our Lord,” said the archbishop.

A recent Pew Research study that revealed 70 per cent of American Catholics believe the bread and wine used in Mass are only symbols of Jesus.

"...I am asking intercessory prayer groups to pray for those planning to take part in this [black mass] event so that they turn away from the path of darkness and turn instead towards the light of faith."

- Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa

The archbishop warns that any dabbling in occult practices “has the potential of opening a spiritual doorway into the evil realm — giving demonic spirits permission, in other words — to infest our city with negative and evil energies.”

The archbishop said he will be offering a Mass of Reparation for the event on the morning of Aug. 17.

“We need to pray in reparation for the spiritual harm that is being planned, and that God would turn this blasphemous project into an occasion of grace,” he said, and he is encouraging pastors to alert the faithful in their parishes and to offer Mass, holy hours and prayers in reparation.

Edited from the Catholic Register
Below the Full Text Communique to Catholic Parishes in Ottawa

Pope Francis sends Message to 40th Rimini Friendship Meeting with theme from St. Pope John Paul II


[RIMINI, 18-24 AUGUST 2019]

Vatican, 16 August 2019


To His Most Reverend Excellency
Mons. Francesco LAMBIASI
Bishop of Rimini

Most Reverend Excellency,

on the occasion of the XL Meeting for friendship between peoples, I am pleased to send you, the organizers, the volunteers and all those who will take part in it the greetings and best wishes of the Supreme Pontiff.

The theme chosen this year is taken from a poem by St. John Paul II, referring to Veronica, which makes its way through the crowd to dry the face of Jesus on the way of the cross: "Your name was born from what you fixed" ( K. Wojtyła, "III. The Name", in Id., All Literary Works, Milan 2001, 155). The Servant of God Don Luigi Giussani thus commented on this poetic verse: "Let us imagine the crowd, Christ passing with the cross, and her staring at Christ and opening a gap in the crowd looking at him. Everyone looks at her. She who had no face, she was a woman like the others, she acquired name, that is face, personality in history, for which we are still remembering, for what she was staring at. [...] To love is to affirm the other "(The human convenience of faith, Milan 2018, 159-160).

"He was looked at and then he saw; [...] if he had not been looked at, he would not have seen "(St. Augustine, Discorsi, 174, 4.4), says St. Augustine about Zacchaeus. This is the truth that the Church has been telling the man for two thousand years. Christ loved us, he gave his life for us, for each of us, to affirm our unique and unrepeatable face. But why is it so important that today this announcement resound again? Because so many of our contemporaries fall under the blows of life's trials, and find themselves alone and abandoned. And they are often treated as statistics numbers. Think of the thousands of individuals who flee wars and poverty every day: first of all, they are faces, people, names and stories. We must never forget it, especially when the culture of waste marginalizes, discriminates and exploits, threatening the dignity of the person.

How many forgotten ones urgently need to see the face of the Lord in order to find themselves again! Today's man often lives in insecurity, groping his way, alien to himself; it seems to have no more consistency, so much so that it easily lets itself be gripped by fear. But then, what hope can there be in this world? How can man find himself and hope? He cannot do it only through reasoning or strategy. Here then is the secret of life, the one that brings us out of anonymity: fixing our eyes on Jesus' face and becoming familiar with Him. Looking at Jesus purifies our sight and prepares us to look at everything with new eyes. When they met Jesus, looking at the Son of man, the poor and the simple found themselves, they felt loved deeply by a love without measure. Let's think about when the unnamed "The betrothed" stands before Cardinal Federigo who embraces him: "The unnamed one, melting from that embrace, covered his eyes again with one hand, and, raising his face together, exclaimed: "God really great! God really good! I know myself now "(A. Manzoni, I promessi sposi, Milan 2012, 481). We too have been looked at, chosen, embraced, as the prophet Ezekiel reminds us in the wonderful allegory of the love story with his people: "You were the daughter of strangers, you had been set aside; but I have passed and I have cleaned you and taken you with me "(see Ezek 16). We too were "foreigners", and the Lord came, gave us an identity and a name.

In an age where people are often faceless, anonymous figures because they have no one on whom to lay their eyes, the poetry of Saint John Paul II reminds us that we exist because we are in relationship. Pope Francis loves to emphasize this by referring to the Gospel of Matthew's vocation: "One day like any other, while he was sitting at the tax collection desk, Jesus went by and saw him, came up and said to him:" Follow me ". And he got up, followed him. Jesus looked at him. What a force of love the gaze of Jesus had to move Matthew as he did! What strength those eyes must have had to make him stand up! [...] Jesus stopped, he did not pass by hastily, looked at him without haste, looked at him in peace. He looked at him with eyes of mercy; looked at him like no one had looked at him before. And that look opened his heart, made him free, healed him, gave him hope, a new life "(Homily, Plaza de la Revolución, Holguín [Cuba], 21 September 2015).
This is what makes the Christian a presence in the world that is different from all the others, because it brings the announcement of which - without knowing it - the men and women of our time are more thirsty: it is among us the One who is the hope of life. We will be "original" if our face is the mirror of the face of the risen Christ. And this will be possible if we grow in the awareness to which Jesus invited his disciples, like that time after having sent them on mission: "The seventy-two returned full of joy" for the miracles performed; but Jesus says to them: "Rejoice rather because your names are written in heaven" (see Lk 10: 20-21). This is the miracle of miracles. This is the origin of the profound joy that nothing and no one can take away from us: our name is written in the heavens, and not for our merits, but for a gift that each of us has received with Baptism. A gift that we are called to share with everyone, without exception. This means being missionary disciples.

The Holy Father Francis hopes that the Meeting will always be a hospitable place, where people can "fix faces", experiencing their own unmistakable identity. It is the most beautiful way to celebrate this anniversary, looking forward without nostalgia or fears, always supported by the presence of Jesus, immersed in his body which is the Church. The grateful memory of these four decades of hard work and creative apostolic work can arouse new energies, for the witness of faith open to the vast horizons of contemporary urgencies.

His Holiness invokes the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary and from his heart sends the Apostolic Blessing to your Excellency and to the entire community of the Meeting.

I add my personal good wishes and profit of the circumstance to confirm myself with a sense of distinct homage

from your Most Reverend Excellence
Pietro Card. Parolin
Secretary of State

Sunday Mass Online : Sunday, August 18, 2019 - #Eucharist - Readings + Video - 20th Sunday Ord. Time - C

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 120

Reading 1JER 38:4-6, 8-10

In those days, the princes said to the king:
"Jeremiah ought to be put to death;
he is demoralizing the soldiers who are left in this city,
and all the people, by speaking such things to them;
he is not interested in the welfare of our people,
but in their ruin."
King Zedekiah answered: "He is in your power";
for the king could do nothing with them.
And so they took Jeremiah
and threw him into the cistern of Prince Malchiah,
which was in the quarters of the guard,
letting him down with ropes.
There was no water in the cistern, only mud,
and Jeremiah sank into the mud.

Ebed-melech, a court official,
went there from the palace and said to him:
"My lord king,
these men have been at fault
in all they have done to the prophet Jeremiah,
casting him into the cistern.
He will die of famine on the spot,
for there is no more food in the city."
Then the king ordered Ebed-melech the Cushite
to take three men along with him,
and draw the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before
he should die.

Responsorial PsalmPS 40:2, 3, 4, 18

R. (14b)  Lord, come to my aid!
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
The LORD heard my cry.
He drew me out of the pit of destruction,
 out of the mud of the swamp;
he set my feet upon a crag;
 he made firm my steps.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
And he put a new song into my mouth,
 a hymn to our God.
Many shall look on in awe
 and trust in the LORD.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
Though I am afflicted and poor,
 yet the LORD thinks of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
 O my God, hold not back!
R. Lord, come to my aid!

Reading 2HEB 12:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us
and persevere in running the race that lies before us
while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,
the leader and perfecter of faith.
For the sake of the joy that lay before him
he endured the cross, despising its shame,
and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.
Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners,
in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.

AlleluiaJN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."

Saint August 19 : St. John Eudes a Promoter of the Sacred Heart of Jesus who Died in 1680

November 14, 1601, Ri, France
August 19, 1680, Caen, France
1925 by Pope Pius XI
French missionary and founder of the Eudists and of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity; author of the liturgical worship of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary; b. at Ri, France, 14 Nov., 1601; d. at Caen, 19 Aug., 1680. He was a brother of the French historian, François Eudes de Nézeray. At the age of fourteen he took a vow of chastity. After brilliant studies with the Jesuits at Caen, he entered the Oratory, 25 March, 1623. His masters and models in the spiritual life were Fathers de Bérulle and de Condren. He was ordained priest 20 Dec., 1625, and began his sacerdotal life with heroic labours for the victims of the plague, then ravaging the country. As a missionary, Father Eudes became famous. Since the time of St. Vincent Ferrer, France had probably not seen a greater. He was called by Olier "the prodigy of his age". In 1641 he founded the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, to provide a refuge for women of ill-fame who wished to do penance. The society was approved by Alexander VII, 2 Jan., 1666. With the approbation of Cardinal de Richelieu and a great number of others, Father Eudes severed his connection with the Oratory to establish the Society of Jesus and Mary for the education of priests and for missionary work. This congregation was founded at Caen, 25 March, 1643, and was considered a most important and urgent work (see EUDISTS). Father Eudes, during his long life, preached not less than one hundred and ten missions, three at Paris, one at Versailles, one at St-Germaine-en-Laye, and the others in different parts of France. Normandy was the principal theatre of his apostolic labours. In 1674 he obtained from Clement X six Bulls of indulgences for the Confraternities of the Sacred Heart already erected or to be erected in the seminaries. He also established the Society of the Heart of the Mother Most Admirable — which resembles the Third Orders of St. Francis and St. Dominic. This society now numbers from 20,000 to 25,000 members. Father Eudes dedicated the seminary chapels of Caen and Coutances to the Sacred Hearts. The feast of the Holy Heart of Mary was celebrated for the first time in 1648, and that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1672, each as a double of the first class with an octave. The Mass and Office proper to these were composed by Father Eudes, who thus had the honour of preceding the Blessed Margaret Mary in establishing the devotion to the Sacred Hearts. For this reason, Pope Leo XIII, in proclaiming his virtues heroic in 1903, gave him the title of "Author of the Liturgical Worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Holy Heart of Mary". Father Eudes wrote a number of books remarkable for elevation of doctrine and simplicity of style. His principal works are:--"Le Royaume de Jésus"; "Le contrat de l'homme avec Dieu par le Saint Baptême"; "Le Mémorial de la vie Ecclésiastique"; "Le Bon Confesseur"; "Le Prédicateur Apostolique"; "Le Cœur Admirable de la Très Sainte Mère de Dieu". This last is the first book ever written on the devotion to the Sacred Hearts. His virtues were declared heroic by Leo XIII, 6 Jan., 1903. The miracles proposed for his beatification were approved by Pius X, 3 May, 1908, and he was beatified 25 April, 1909. [St. John Eudes was beatified April 25, 1909 and canonized in 1925. His feast day is August 19. --Ed.] Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia