Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Saint August 22 : Queenship of Mary Blessed Virgin Mother of Jesus - #Queenship Feast

“When she became Mother of the Creator, she truly became Queen of every creature.” (St. John Damascene)
August 22, we celebrate the Coronation and Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the fifth Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary. For centuries, we have called upon the intercession of Our Blessed Mother under a multitude of regal and holy titles: Queen of Angels, Queen of Patriarchs, Queen of Prophets, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Martyrs, Queen of Virgins, Queen of the Rosary, Queen of Heaven and of Earth. Pope Benedict XVI noted that Mary is Queen of Heaven because of her humble and unconditional acceptance in the divine will when he said: ”God exalted her over all other creatures, and Christ crowned her Queen of heaven and earth.”
We have looked to Our holy Mother, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to the Theotokos, to the Mother of Our Saviour, and have never been disappointed. Because of Her eminence, she is indeed entitled to the highest honors that can be bestowed upon any creature. Saint Gregory Nazianzen called Her Mother of the King of the entire universe, and the Virgin Mother who brought forth the King of the entire world.
Pope Pius XII established the feast of Mary’s Queenship in 1954, but recognition of Our Lady as Our Queen has roots in Scripture. At the Annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel announced that Mary’s Son would receive the throne of David and rule forever. At the Visitation, Elizabeth calls Mary “mother of my Lord.” As in all the mysteries of Mary’s life, Mary is closely associated with Jesus: Her Queenship is a share in Jesus’ kingship.
In the fourth century Saint Ephrem called Mary “Lady” and “Queen” and Church fathers and doctors (among them, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint Augustine, Saint Anselm, Saint Peter Chrysologus, and Saint Amadeus of Lausanne) continued to use the title. Now familiar hymns such as “Hail, Holy Queen,” “Hail, Queen of Heaven,” and “Queen of Heaven” became popular as early as the eleventh century. The feast of Mary’s Queenship is a logical follow-up to the Assumption, now celebrated on the octave day of that feast. In his encyclical To the Queen of Heaven, Pius XII points out that Mary deserves the title because she is Mother of God, because she is closely associated as the New Eve with Jesus’ redemptive work, because of her preeminent perfection, and because of her intercessory power. In support of these four reasons that Our Lady deserves the title of Our Queen, Pope Pius XII bestowed upon her four titles. Of these four titles, two closely parallel those of Jesus, and two are unique unto the role of Mary.
First, Mary is Queen by her “divine relationship” with Jesus. That is, as Jesus was, is, and every shall be king, so, too, shall Mary ever be queen. But her relationship with Jesus supercedes that of normal earthly queen mothers, as she did not birth a man who would become king, she birthed an eternal king who predated the world.
Second, Mary is Queen by right of conquest, just as Jesus was King by the same right. Mary shared in her Son’s struggle and victory over Satan—and in doing so, shared in our redemption.
Third, Mary is Queen by grace. She is, as the Archangel Gabriel announced, “full of grace,” surpassed in grace only by Jesus. And fourth, Mary is Queen by the singular choice of the Lord. He chose her, appointed her, and elevated her through the birth of His Son.
In his Encyclical Letter of October 11, 1954, “On the Royal Dignity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Institution of Her Feast,” Pope Pius XII said “Constituted by the Lord as Queen of Heaven and earth, and exalted above all the choirs of Angels and the ranks of the Saints in heaven, standing at the right hand of Her only-begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, She petitions most powerfully with Her maternal prayers, and obtains what She seeks.” (For the text of the complete Encyclical, see here.) He added that "nothing is excluded from her dominion." As Mediatrix of all graces, who shared in earning all graces, she is forever working on our behalf. United with her Son, Our Blessed Mother can obtain by her intercession anything that the all-powerful God can do by His own inherent power.
Today, and every day, let us kneel at Mary's feet and confidently pray, placing our needs and concerns into the hands of our Mother, Mary the Queen of angels and saints, Queen of heaven and earth!
you have given us the mother of your Son to be our queen and mother. With the support of her prayers may we come to share the glory of your children in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Saint Lomman, Abbot, "The Praises of Mary”:
O Mary, when our eyes close in our last sleep, and open to behold thy Son, the Just Judge, and the Angel opens the Book, and the Enemy accuses us; in that terrible hour, come to our aid. Be with us. When death came to Joseph, you and your Son were with him: Thy Son to judge, thou to console. O Happy Joseph! When death comes for us, be near us. O Mary, when we are held captive in the place of atonement; plead for us, and visit us, that we may find consolation in thy presence. Stretch forth thy hand to help us; deliver us from our bondage. We are thy children: Thou art our Mother. As little children we come to thee; we know no fear. O Mary, He changed water into wine for thee, even as He said: My hour has not yet come. Now He will not refuse thee, when you plead for us thy children. O Mary, come quickly to our aid. Do not let us stray from the Fold. The wolf is waiting to destroy us. There shall be neither night nor day to thy praises. Adoration to the Father Who created thee! Adoration to they Son, Who took flesh from thee! Adoration to the Holy Spirit, Thy Divine Spouse! Three in One, One in Three. Equal in all things. To Him be glory for ever. For ever. For ever. Amen.
The Saints on Mary's Queenship:
"No one has access to the Almighty as His mother has; none has merit such as hers. Her Son will deny her nothing that she asks; and herein lies her power. While she defends the Church, neither height nor depth, neither men nor evil spirits, neither great monarchs, nor craft of man, nor popular violence, can avail to harm us; for human life is short, but Mary reigns above, a Queen forever." (Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman) "Just as Mary surpassed in grace all others on earth, so also in heaven is her glory unique. If eye has not seen or ear heard or the human heart conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9), who can express what He has prepared for the woman who gave Him birth and who loved Him, as everyone knows, more than anyone else?" (Saint Bernard of Clairvaux)
"She has surpassed the riches of the virgins, the confessors, the martyrs, the apostles, the prophets, the patriarchs, and the angels, for she herself is the first-fruit of the virgins, the mirror of confessors, the rose of martyrs, the ruler of apostles, the oracle of prophets, the daughter of patriarchs, the queen of angels." (Saint Bonaventure)
"Such is the will of God that we should have everything through Mary." (Saint Alphonsus Liguori)
“Believe me, there is no more powerful means to obtain God’s grace than to employ the intercessions of the Holy Virgin.” (Saint Philip Neri) "Mary has the authority over the angels and the blessed in heaven. As a reward for her great humility, God gave her the power and mission of assigning to saints the thrones made vacant by the apostate angels who fell away through pride. Such is the will of the almighty God who exalts the humble, that the powers of heaven, earth and hell, willingly or unwillingly, must obey the commands of the humble Virgin Mary. For God has made her queen of heaven and earth, leader of his armies, keeper of his treasure, dispenser of his graces, mediatrix on behalf of men, destroyer of his enemies, and faithful associate in his great works and triumphs." (Saint Louis Marie de Montfort)
“To serve the Queen of Heaven is already to reign there, and to live under her commands is more than to govern.” (Saint John Marie Vianney)
"Prayer is powerful beyond limits when we turn to the Immaculata who is queen even of God's heart." (Saint Maximilian Kolbe)
Text shared from 365Rosaries Blog

#BreakingNews RIP Fr. Stanislaw Szczepanik - Police are investigating Death of Vincentian Polish Missionary Priest -

AMERICA/PUERTO RICO - Police are investigating the death of a Polish missionary

Ponce (Agenzia Fides) - The Congregation of the Mission of Puerto Rico and the Vincentian Family of Puerto Rico are mourning the unexpected death on August 18, 2019, of Polish missionary Fr. Stanislaw Szczepanik, CM, in Ponce. According to preliminary information, Fr. Stanislaw was the victim of an accident, but the police are investigating why he was found with wounds on his body next to his bicycle.
Fr. Stanislaw belonged to the Congregation of the Mission, which is a clerical society of apostolic life of pontifical right. "Stanislaw Szczepanik - the statement sent to Fides states - was a missionary in Haiti, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. He was a zealous priest, great promoter of the devotion to the Divine Mercy in the Dominican Republic. He was a person of profound interior life. In his life he left a trail of love for God and love for the poor. He was a tireless worker, always ready to live his priesthood for the sanctification of the faithful. A great confessor and a good spiritual guide. He was the director of the Daughters of Charity in Puerto Rico. He was a formator at the seminary and promoter of many vocations". (CE) (Full Text Release from Agenzia Fides, 19/08/2019) - Image source: Facebook

Pope Francis explains "...the pagans looked at Christians and said: "Look how they love each other!" Love was the..." Full Text + Video


Paul VI Hall
Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles: 6. "Among them all was common" (Acts 4:32).

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

The Christian community is born from the overabundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit and grows thanks to the leaven of sharing between brothers and sisters in Christ. There is a dynamism of solidarity that builds the Church as God's family, where the experience of koinonia is central. What does this strange word mean? It is a Greek word that means "to put in communion", "to put in common", to be like a community, not isolated. This is the experience of the first Christian community, that is, sharing, "sharing", "communicating, participating", not isolating oneself. In the early Church, this koinonia, this community refers above all to participation in the Body and Blood of Christ. For this reason, when we take communion we declare "we communicate", we enter into communion with Jesus and from this communion with Jesus we arrive at communion with our brothers and sisters. And this communion with the Body and Blood of Christ that is made at Holy Mass translates into fraternal union, and therefore also to what is most difficult for us: to pool goods and collect money for the collection in favor of the Mother Church of Jerusalem (see Rom 12: 13; 2 Cor 8: 9) and of the other Churches. If you want to know if you are good Christians you must pray, try to approach communion, with the sacrament of reconciliation. But that signal that your heart has converted is when the conversion comes to the pockets, how much it affects one's interest: there is where you see if one is generous with others, if one helps the weakest, the poorest. When the conversion arrives there, you are sure that it is a real conversion. If it remains only in words it is not a good conversion.

The Eucharistic life, the prayers, the preaching of the Apostles and the experience of communion (see Acts 2:42) make believers a multitude of people who have - says the Book of the Acts of the Apostles - have "one heart and one soul alone "and that they do not consider their property what they possess, but keep everything in common (see Acts 4:32). It is such a strong model of life that it helps us to be generous and not tiring. For this reason, "nobody [...] among them was needy, because those who possessed - says the Book - owned fields or houses sold them, brought the proceeds of what was sold and placed it at the feet of the apostles; then it was distributed to each according to his need "(Acts 4,34-35). The Church has always had this gesture of the Christians who stripped themselves of the things they had in addition, of things that were not necessary to give them to those who needed them. And not just money: even time. How many Christians - you, for example, here in Italy - how many Christians are volunteers! But this is beautiful! It is communion, sharing my time with others, to help those in need. And so the voluntary service, the works of charity, the visits to the sick; one must always share with others, and not just look for one's own interests.

The community, or koinonia, thus becomes the new mode of relationship between the disciples of the Lord. Christians experience a new way of being among themselves, of behaving. And it is the Christian way, to the point that the pagans looked at Christians and said: "Look how they love each other!" Love was the mode. But not love of words, not fake love: love of works, of helping each other, concrete love, the concreteness of love. The bond with Christ establishes a bond between brothers that flows together and expresses itself also in the communion of material goods. Yes, this way of being together, this way of loving oneself reaches the pockets, it also gets to shed the impediment of money to give it to others, going against one's own interest. Being members of the body of Christ makes believers co-responsible for each other. Being believers in Jesus makes us all co-responsible for each other. "But look at that, the problem he has: I don't care, it's his thing." No, among Christians we cannot say: "Poor person, he has a problem at home, he is going through this family difficulty". But, I must pray, I take it with me, I am not indifferent ”. This is being a Christian. This is why the strong support the weak (see Rom 15: 1) and no one experiences the indigence that humiliates and disfigures human dignity, because they live this community: having the heart in common. They love each other. This is the signal: concrete love.
James, Peter and John, who are the three apostles as the "columns" of the Church of Jerusalem, establish in a communional manner that Paul and Barnabas evangelize the pagans while they evangelize the Jews, and only ask, Paul and Barnabas, which is the condition: not to forget the poor, remember the poor (see Gal 2: 9-10). Not only the poor materials, but also the spiritual poor, the people who have problems and need our closeness. A Christian always starts from himself, from his heart, and approaches others as Jesus approached us. This is the first Christian community.

A concrete example of sharing and communion of goods comes to us from the testimony of Barnabas: he owns a field and sells it to deliver the proceeds to the Apostles (see Acts 4,36-37). But next to his positive example another sadly negative one appears: Ananias and his wife Sapphira, having sold a piece of land, decide to hand over only one part to the Apostles and to hold the other for themselves (see Acts 5: 1-2). This cheating interrupts the chain of free sharing, the serene, disinterested sharing and the consequences are tragic, are fatal (Acts 5: 5.10). The apostle Peter exposes the impropriety of Ananias and his wife and tells him: "Why did Satan fill your heart, so that you lied to the Holy Spirit and held back a portion of the proceeds from the camp? [...] You have not lied to men but to God "(Acts 5: 3-4). We could say that Ananias lied to God because of an isolated conscience, of a hypocritical conscience, that is because of a "negotiated", partial and opportunist ecclesial belonging. Hypocrisy is the worst enemy of this Christian community, of this Christian love: that pretending to love each other but only looking for one's own interest.

To fail in the sincerity of sharing, in fact, or to fail in the sincerity of love, means cultivating hypocrisy, moving away from the truth, becoming selfish, extinguishing the fire of communion and turning to the cold of inner death. Those who behave in this way pass through the Church as a tourist. There are many tourists in the Church who are always passing by, but never enter the Church: it is spiritual tourism that makes them believe they are Christians, while they are only tourists from the catacombs. No, we must not be tourists in the Church, but brothers of each other. A life set only on profiting and taking advantage of situations at the expense of others inevitably causes inner death. And how many people say they are close to the Church, friends of priests, bishops, while they are only looking for their own interest. These are the hypocrisies that destroy the Church!

The Lord - I ask for all of us - pours over us his Spirit of tenderness, which overcomes all hypocrisy and puts into circulation that truth which nourishes Christian solidarity, which, far from being a social assistance activity, is the an inalienable expression of the nature of the Church, the tender mother of all, especially the poorest.
Greetings in Various Languages:
Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, en particulier un groupe de prêtres jubilaires du Séminaire Pontifical Français de Rome, accompagnés de Mgr Pierre Antoine Bozo et de Mgr Matthieu Rougé. La solidarité chrétienne, bien différente d’une simple assistance sociale, fait partie de la nature de l’Eglise. Que l’Esprit Saint nous aide à vivre en vérité la solidarité que demande l’Evangile. Que Dieu vous bénisse.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Malta, Japan and the United States of America. Upon you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord. May God bless you!
Einen herzlichen Gruß richte ich an die Pilger und Besucher deutscher Sprache. Der Herr ist bereit, seinen Geist des Lebens über uns auszugießen, wenn wir ehrlich darum bemüht sind, dem Nächsten zu dienen. Ich wünsche euch einen frohen und angenehmen Aufenthalt in der Ewigen Stadt. Der Herr segne euch und eure Familien!

Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y Latinoamérica. Pido al Señor que nos conceda su Espíritu para vencer toda hipocresía y colocar al centro de nuestra vida la verdad, que alimenta la solidaridad cristiana, y está llamada a ofrecer a todos el amor de Dios con obras concretas. Que Dios los bendiga.Dirijo uma cordial saudação de boas-vindas aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, concretamente àqueles vindos de Portugal e do Brasil! Queridos irmãos e irmãs, o Senhor Jesus nos ensina que estender a mão a quem é necessitado significa acolher a Ele mesmo. Abri os vossos corações, para que se deixem permear pelo Espírito e sejam conduzidos pelas estradas do amor que levam aos irmãos. O Senhor vos abençoe!
[I cordially welcome the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, in particular those from Portugal and Brazil! Dear brothers and sisters, the Lord Jesus teaches us that to reach out to those in need is to welcome Himself. Open your hearts so that they may allow themselves to be imbued with the Spirit and bring love to the roads that lead to the brothers. The Lord bless you!]
أرحب بالحاضرين الناطقين باللغة العربية، وخاصة بالقادمين من لبنان، ومن الأردن، ومن الشرق الأوسط. إن الشَرِكة مع الله تترجم إلى شَرِكة وإلى مُشارِكة مع الإخوة، لأنَّه "إِذا قالَ أَحَد: «إِنِّي أُحِبُّ الله»، وهو يُبغِضُ أَخاه كانَ كاذِبًا لأَنَّ الَّذي لا يُحِبُّ أَخاه، وهو يَراه، لا يَستَطيعُ أَن يُحِبَّ اللهَ وهو لا يَراه" (1 يو 4، 20). ليبارككم الرب جميعا ويحرسكم دائما من الشرير!
[I cordially welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, in particular those from Lebanon, Jordan and the Middle East. Communion with God is translated into communion and sharing with the brothers, because "if one said:" I love God ", and hated his brother, he is a liar. Whoever does not love his brother who sees, cannot love God who does not see "(1 Jn 4:20). May the Lord bless you and always protect you from the evil one!]
Serdecznie witam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, wasze pielgrzymowanie do Rzymu, do grobów Apostołów i świętych, jest okazją, by ponownie przyjąć ich świadectwo i uczyć się jak żyć z oddaniem Chrystusowi i braciom w duchu komunii miłości. Wy również dajcie przykład braterskiej wrażliwości i hojności, przez konkretne gesty dzielenia się z potrzebującymi. Niech Pan wam błogosławi! Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus!
[I cordially welcome the Polish pilgrims. Dear brothers and sisters, your pilgrimage to Rome, to the tombs of the Apostles and Saints, is an opportunity to grasp their witness again and learn how to live with dedication to Christ and to the brothers in the spirit of the communion of love. You too give an example of sensitivity and fraternal generosity, through the concrete gestures of sharing with those in need. The Lord bless you! Praised be Jesus Christ!]
I warmly welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims.

[The Holy Father refers to a girl who, while he was speaking catechesis, approached him]

I would like to start by making a reflection. We have all seen this beautiful girl - she is beautiful, because she is beautiful - and poor, victim of an illness and does not know what she is doing. I ask one thing, but everyone answers in his heart: I prayed for her, seeing her, did I pray so that the Lord will cure her, keep her? Did I pray for his parents and his family? Whenever we see some suffering person we must pray. May this situation always help us to ask this question: have I prayed for this person whom I saw, who can be seen suffering?

I am pleased to welcome the parish realities, in particular that of Villafranca Padovana.

I greet the "Leonati" family home of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Sales of Padua.

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

Following the example of the Holy Pontiff Pius X, whose feast is today, I invite you to go to meet Jesus Christ with listening to his Gospel and with good works. May the Holy Spirit sustain you on your path.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: - Unofficial translation

Saint August 21 : Our Lady of Knock of Ireland who appeared in 1879 - with Novena Prayers to Our Lady

The apparition in County Mayo in Ireland of Our Lady of Knock is reported to have occurred on the evening of August 21, 1879, the vigil of the octave of the feast of the Assumption. Those who witnessed the miracle ranged in age from five years old to seventy-five.
The apparition was described as follows: “Our Lady was wearing a large, brilliant crown and clothed in white garments. On her right was Saint Joseph, his head inclined toward her and on her left Saint John the Evangelist. To the left of Saint John was an altar on which stood a cross and a lamb.” Standing only a few feet off the ground, the Blessed Virgin wore a white cloak and was described by witnesses as being incredibly beautiful. She wore a bright golden crown, and appeared to be praying with her eyes looking toward heaven with her arms bend in front of her with her palms facing inward.
Fifteen parishioners stood to witness the apparition for two hours as they recited the rosary. Although it was daylight when the apparition began, the weather turned for the worse and it began to rain heavily. The area around the apparition appeared unaffected, however, as the ground remained dry as long as the vision lasted. She did not speak, but the gable of the church where the manifestation was made was covered with a cloud of light.
Saint Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus, also wore white robes and stood on the Virgin’s right. He inclined his head respectfully toward the Blessed Virgin. Saint John the Evangelist wore a mitre, and appeared to be preaching as he held a book in his left hand.
Since then thousands of people have gone to Knock to pray to Our Lady. Their prayerful, penitential and reverential spirit has been commended again and again by visitors from other lands. No sign of commercialism detracts from the purely religious atmosphere of that hallowed spot. People from all walks of life kneel in humble supplication before the shrine of Our Lady, fully confident that she has sanctified that spot by her apparition.
Organized pilgrimages from various dioceses are conducted frequently to the shrine of Our Lady of Knock. The rosary comprises the main portion of the devotion; the shrine is therefore appropriately called the Rosary Shrine. The “Knock Shrine Annual” relates many interesting stories of cures and conversions effected at the shrine.
*from The Woman in Orbit - Text from Roman - Catholic Saints
Prayers from the Knock Shrine Website
Prayer to Our Lady of Knock 
Our Lady of Knock , Queen of Ireland, you gave hope to your people in a time of distress and comforted them in sorrow. You have inspired countless pilgrims to pray with confidence to your divine Son, remembering His promise, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find”. Help me to remember that we are all pilgrims on the road to Heaven. Fill me with love and concern for my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those who live with me. Comfort me when I am sick, lonely or depressed. Teach me how to take part ever more reverently in the Holy Mass. Give me a greater love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Pray for me now and at the end of my death. Amen.
 Novena to Our Lady of Knock (to be said for 9 days)
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Give praise to the Father Almighty, To His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord, To the Spirit who lives in our hearts, both now and forever. Amen. Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland, you gave hope to your people in a time of distress, and comforted them in sorrow. You have inspired countless pilgrims to pray with confidence to your divine Son, remembering His promise, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find.” Help me to remember that we are all pilgrims on the road to heaven. Fill me with love and concern for my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those who live with me. Comfort me when I am sick, lonely or depressed. Teach me how to take part ever more reverently in the Holy Mass. Give me a greater love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Pray for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Grant us peace. ST. JOSEPH, Chosen by God to be The Husband of Mary, The Protector of the Holy Family, The Guardian of the Church. Protect all families In their work and recreation And Guard us on our journey through life. (Repeat – Lamb of God, etc.) ST. JOHN, Beloved Disciple of the Lord, Faithful priest. Teacher of the Word of God. Help us to hunger for the Word. To be loyal to the Mass And to love one another. (Repeat – Lamb of God, etc.) Our Lady of Knock Pray for Us Refuge of Sinners Pray for Us Queen Assumed into Heaven Pray for Us Queen of the Rosary Pray for Us Mother of Nazareth Pray for Us Queen of Virgins Pray for Us Help of Christians Pray for Us Health of the Sick Pray for Us Queen of Peace Pray for Us Our Lady, Queen and Mother Pray for Us Our Lady, Mother of the Church Pray for Us (Here mention your own special intentions) With the Angels and Saints let us pray: Give praise to the Father Almighty, To His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord, To the Spirit who lives in our hearts, Both now and forever. Amen. Instruction: The Rosary or Mass and Holy Communion is recommended each day.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Saint Pius X, Pope
Lectionary: 421

Reading 1JGS 9:6-15

All the citizens of Shechem and all Beth-millo came together
and proceeded to make Abimelech king
by the terebinth at the memorial pillar in Shechem.

When this was reported to him,
Jotham went to the top of Mount Gerizim and, standing there,
cried out to them in a loud voice:
"Hear me, citizens of Shechem, that God may then hear you!
Once the trees went to anoint a king over themselves.
So they said to the olive tree, 'Reign over us.'
But the olive tree answered them, 'Must I give up my rich oil,
whereby men and gods are honored,
and go to wave over the trees?'
Then the trees said to the fig tree, 'Come; you reign over us!'
But the fig tree answered them,
'Must I give up my sweetness and my good fruit,
and go to wave over the trees?'
Then the trees said to the vine, 'Come you, and reign over us.'
But the vine answered them,
'Must I give up my wine that cheers gods and men,
and go to wave over the trees?'
Then all the trees said to the buckthorn, 'Come; you reign over us!'
But the buckthorn replied to the trees,
'If you wish to anoint me king over you in good faith,
come and take refuge in my shadow.
Otherwise, let fire come from the buckthorn
and devour the cedars of Lebanon.'"

Responsorial PsalmPS 21:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R.(2a) Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
O LORD, in your strength the king is glad;
in your victory how greatly he rejoices!
You have granted him his heart's desire;
you refused not the wish of his lips.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
For you welcomed him with goodly blessings,
you placed on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked life of you: you gave him
length of days forever and ever.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
Great is his glory in your victory;
majesty and splendor you conferred upon him.
You made him a blessing forever,
you gladdened him with the joy of your face.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.

AlleluiaHEB 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern the reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 20:1-16

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o'clock,
he saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.'
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o'clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o'clock,
he found others standing around, and said to them,
'Why do you stand here idle all day?'
They answered, 'Because no one has hired us.'
He said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard.'
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
'Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.'
When those who had started about five o'clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
'These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day's burden and the heat.'
He said to one of them in reply,
'My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?'
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last."

BREAKING Australian Court dismisses Appeal of Cardinal Pell - a Final Appeal permitted in 28 days

Vatican News va  report:
Australian court dismisses Cardinal Pell's appeal
The Supreme Court in Victoria, Australia, has dismissed Cardinal George Pell's appeal, thus upholding the conviction announced in February in the trial of first instance for historical charges of child sexual abuse. The cardinal's lawyers have 28 days to file what would be a final appeal.
The judges' decision was announced in Melbourne on Wednesday, just after 9:30 a.m. local time, following an appeal hearing held in early June. The decision comes after Pell’s initial trial for "historical crimes" of sexual abuse ended without a verdict, resulting in a new trial in which the jury unanimously approved a guilty verdict. A second charge was dismissed by the court for lack of admissible evidence.

Pre-trial Facts
Cardinal Pell became an Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Melbourne in 1987 and was installed as its Metropolitan Archbishop in 1996. Pope Francis appointed him as a member of the Council of Cardinals in April 2013 and as Prefect for the newly created Secretariat for the Economy in February 2014.

After being under investigation for two years in Australia, Cardinal Pell was formally charged at the end of June 2017 with multiple counts of “historical sexual assault offenses” in two separate cases.

In a statement issued at the time, Cardinal Pell declared he was “innocent of these charges”, calling them “false”, adding that “the whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me”. He then announced that he would return to Australia to “clear his name”.

The Holy See issued a statement the same day announcing that Pope Francis had granted the Cardinal a “leave of absence” so he could return to Australia and “defend himself”.  According to a statement released in February 2019 by the Holy See Press Office, the local Ordinary imposed “precautionary measures” on Cardinal Pell as soon as he returned to Australia. The Holy Father confirmed those measures which included the prohibition “from exercising public ministry and from having any voluntary contact whatsoever with minors”.

Trial Facts
On 1 May 2018, he entered a “not guilty” plea in Melbourne’s Magistrates’ Court, and was ordered to stand trial. The charges brought against Cardinal Pell resulted in two trials dubbed the “cathedral trial” and “the swimmers trial”.

In the first case, Cardinal Pell was accused of indecent acts and sexual assault of two choir boys in the sacristy of Melbourne’s Cathedral after noon Mass sometime at the end of 1996 and again at the beginning of 1997.

The charges in the second case were indecent assault of two boys who accused Cardinal Pell of touching them while in a swimming pool in the late 1970s.

Deliberations by the jury regarding the “cathedral trial” which had begun in August 2018 resulted in a hung jury because jurors were unable to reach either a unanimous or a majority verdict. A retrial began in November with a new jury which came to the conclusion in December that Cardinal Pell was guilty based on evidence presented in court.

Due to a suppression order meant to protect the Cardinal’s right to a fair trial regarding the “swimmers trial”, which had not yet been tried in court, the verdict was not announced until February 2019. At the same time, it was made public that the second trial that had been set for April would not go forward due to the lack of admissible evidence.

Post-Trial Facts
In a 12 December 2018 briefing, Holy See Press Office director, Greg Burke, explained that at the end of October Pope Francis had brought closure to Cardinal Pell’s participation in the Council of Cardinals due to “advanced age”.

Subsequently, at the end of February, 2019, Holy See Press Office “ad interim” director, Alessandro Gisotti, confirmed that Cardinal Pell’s five-year appointment that had begun in February 2014 as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy had ended, thus bringing his service in the Vatican to an end.

Cardinal Pell’s sentencing took place in March 2019. Immediately after receiving a six-year prison sentence – of which he must serve at least three years and eight months – Cardinal Pell appealed the verdict. He was then taken to prison where he began to carry out the sentence. The Cardinal’s appeal took place over two days at the beginning of June.