Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Pope Francis recalls Coptic Christian Martyrs in Libya whose last words were "Jesus, Jesus" and says the Holy Spirit was with them


St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles: 8. "Do not happen to find yourself even fighting against God" (Acts 5:39). The criteria of discernment proposed by the essay Gamaliel.

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

We continue the catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles. Faced with the prohibition of the Jews to teach in the name of Christ, Peter and the Apostles respond with courage that they cannot obey those who want to stop the journey of the Gospel in the world.

The Twelve thus show that they possess that "obedience of faith" which they will then want to arouse in all men (see Rom 1.5). Starting from Pentecost, in fact, they are no longer "alone" men. They experience that special synergy that makes them decentralize themselves and has them say: "we and the Holy Spirit" (Acts 5:32) or "the Holy Spirit and us" (Acts 15:28). They feel that they cannot say "I" alone, they are men decentralized by themselves. Strengthened by this covenant, the Apostles do not let themselves be intimidated by anyone. They had an impressive courage! We think these were cowards: they all ran away, they ran away when Jesus was arrested. But, from cowards they have become so brave. Why? Because it was the Holy Spirit with them. The same happens to us: if we have the Holy Spirit inside, we will have the courage to move forward, the courage to win many struggles, not for ourselves but for the Spirit that is with us. They do not retreat into their march as intrepid witnesses of the Risen Jesus, like the martyrs of all times, including ours. Martyrs give their lives, they do not hide that they are Christians. We think, a few years ago - even today there are many - but we think four years ago, those Coptic Orthodox Christians, real workers, on the beach of Libya: all have been slaughtered. But the last word they said was "Jesus, Jesus". They had not sold off the faith, because there was the Holy Spirit with them. These are the martyrs of today! The Apostles are the "megaphones" of the Holy Spirit, sent by the Risen One to promptly and without hesitation spread the Word that gives salvation.

And indeed, this determination makes the Jewish "religious system" tremble, which feels threatened and responds with violence and death sentences. The persecution of Christians is always the same: people who do not want Christianity feel threatened and thus bring death to Christians. But, in the midst of the Sanhedrin, the different voice of a Pharisee rises who chooses to stem the reaction of his own: his name was Gamaliel, a prudent man, "doctor of the Law, esteemed by all the people". At his school St. Paul learned to observe "the law of the fathers" (see Acts 22: 3). Gamaliele takes the floor and shows his brothers how to exercise the art of discernment in the face of situations that go beyond the usual patterns.

He shows, citing some characters who had passed off as Messiah, that every human project can first receive acclaim and then be shipwrecked, while everything that comes from above and carries the "signature" of God is destined to last. Human projects always fail; they have a time, like us. Think of so many political projects, and how they change from one side to the other, in all countries. Think of the great empires, think of the dictatorships of the last century: they felt very powerful, they thought they dominated the world. And then they all collapsed. Even today, think of today's empires: they will collapse, if God is not with them, because the strength that men have in themselves is not lasting. Only the strength of God endures. Let us think of the history of Christians, including the history of the Church, with so many sins, with so many scandals, with so many bad things in these two millennia. And why didn't it collapse? Because God is there. We are sinners, and even so often we give scandal. But God is with us. And God saves us first, and then them; but always save, the Lord. Strength is "God with us". Gamaliel demonstrates, quoting some characters who had passed off as Messiah, that every human project can first receive acclaim and then be shipwrecked. Therefore, Gamaliele concludes that, if the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth believed an impostor, they are destined to disappear into thin air; if instead they follow one who comes from God, it is better to give up fighting them; and warns: "Do not happen to find yourself even fighting against God" (Acts 5:39). It teaches us to make this discernment.

They are calm and far-sighted words, which allow us to see the Christian event with a new light and offer criteria that "know of the Gospel", because they invite us to recognize the tree from its fruits (see Mt 7:16). They touch hearts and achieve the desired effect: the other members of the Sanhedrin follow his opinion and renounce the intentions of death, that is to kill the Apostles.
We ask the Holy Spirit to act in us so that, both personally and as a community, we can acquire the habit of discernment. Let us ask him to always be able to see the unity of the history of salvation through the signs of the passage of God in our time and on the faces of those around us, because we learn that time and human faces are messengers of the living God.

Greetings in Various Languages:
Je salue cordialement les personnes de langue française, en particulier les pèlerins du diocèse de Blois. Frères et sœurs, demandons à Dieu la grâce du discernement sur les évènements, parfois obscurs, de nos vies et du monde. La volonté de Dieu s’exprime dans la durée. Sachons, avant de juger ou de nous décourager, attendre avec patience que l’Esprit Saint fasse porter du fruit à nos projets, dans la mesure où ils viennent de lui. Que Dieu vous bénisse!
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Canada and the United States of America. In particular, I greet the members of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons present in Rome for their annual meeting. Upon you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord. May God bless you!
Ein herzliches Willkommen den Pilgern deutscher Sprache. Ich grüße die verschiedenen Schülergruppen, insbesondere die Cäcilienschule Wilhelmshafen und die Gerhardinger Realschule Cham sowie die Gemeinschaft des interdiözesanen Priesterseminars Leopoldinum Heiligenkreuz. Bitten wir den Heiligen Geist um die Gabe der Unterscheidung, die uns die Zeichen der Gegenwart Gottes in der Welt von heute erkennen lässt.
[A cordial welcome to German-speaking pilgrims. I greet the various groups of students, in particular those from the Cäcilienschule Wilhelmshafen and the Gerhardinger Realschule Cham, as well as the community of the Interdiocesan Seminary Leopoldinum Heiligenkreuz. We ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of discernment that allows us to recognize the signs of God's presence in today's world.]
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española. En particular saludo al Pontificio Colegio Mexicano en Roma, y a los sacerdotes de la Arquidiócesis de Guadalajara, que celebran su 25 aniversario de sacerdocio. Pidamos al Espíritu Santo que nos ayude a saber descubrir a Dios en los acontecimientos y en las personas que nos rodean. Que Dios los bendiga.
Com cordial afeto, saúdo todos os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, em especial os grupos de Fernandópolis, da diocese de Friburgo e da paróquia de São Pedro da Cova. O Senhor vos abençoe, para serdes em toda a parte farol de luz do Evangelho para todos. Possa esta peregrinação fortalecer nos vossos corações o sentir e o viver com a Igreja. Nossa Senhora acompanhe e proteja a vós todos e aos vossos entes queridos.
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربية، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ منالشرق الأوسط. أيها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزاء، إن التمييز الحقيقي يتطلّب منا أن نربّيَ أنفسنا على صبر الله وأوقاته التي ليست أوقاتنا، لنعزّز البحث عن معايير التمييز الشخصيّة والجماعية الضرورية لكي نبلغ معرفة مشيئة الله التي نجد فيها ملء الحياة. ليبارككم الرب!
[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Middle East! Dear brothers and sisters, authentic discernment requires educating oneself to the patience of God and to his times, which are not ours, we try to favor the search for personal and community discernment criteria, necessary to reach the knowledge of God's will, in which every fullness of life resides. The Lord bless you!]
Witam serdecznie obecnych tu Polaków. Dzisiaj w liturgii Kościoła w Polsce przypada święto patrona dzieci i młodzieży, świętego Stanisława Kostki. Ten młody chłopiec pokonał pieszo drogę z Wiednia do Rzymu, by zostać jezuitą. Pokazał, że koniecznie trzeba poświęcić wiele, by pójść za głosem własnego powołania. Jest wzorem także dla tych młodych, którzy z obawy przed reakcją rodziny, przyjaciół lub innych ludzi, boją się wybrać drogę powołania kapłańskiego lub zakonnego. Drodzy młodzi, nie lękajcie się iść za głosem Chrystusa! Niech Bóg błogosławi wam i wszystkim tu obecnym.
[I cordially greet the Poles here present. Today in the liturgy of the Church in Poland falls the feast of the patron saint of children and young people, St. Stanislaus Kostka. That boy from Vienna, walked to Rome to become a Jesuit. He thus demonstrated that it is necessary to sacrifice so much to follow the voice of one's vocation. It is also an example for those young people who, fearing the reaction of their family members, friends or others, are afraid to choose the vocational path to the priesthood or religious life. Dear young people, do not be afraid to follow the voice of Christ! God bless you and everyone present here.]


Next September 21st is World Alzheimer's Day, a disease that affects many men and women who, because of this disease, are often victims of violence, abuse and abuse that trample their dignity. We pray for the conversion of hearts and for those affected by Alzheimer's disease, for their families and for those who lovingly care for them. I also associate with prayer, the memory of those suffering from cancer, so that they are also increasingly supported, both in the prevention and treatment of this disease.

* * *

I warmly welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims.

I am pleased to welcome the Religious, Religious and participants in the refresher course on Canon Law of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

I greet the National Sacerdoti Italia Calcio team; the parishes, in particular those of the Saints Prosdocimo and Donato in Cittadella and of Santa Lucia in Palermo; the Comboni Association of migrant and refugee services; the Italian Federation of Dog Crafts; and the members of the Road Safety Education Campaign.

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

Next Saturday is the Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. Imitate his willingness to readily follow Jesus. He was attached to money and sold his homeland for money! The Lord called him and he left all the money to follow Jesus. His conversion is an example for everyone, so that like him we can live as true disciples of the Lord, able to abandon the calculations of the world.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Shared from - Unofficial Translation from Italian

RIP Cokie Roberts - the famous Catholic Journalist dies at age 75 who was taught by the Sacred Heart Sisters

Catholic News Service reports that Catholic reporter Cokie Roberts has died as a result of complications from breast cancer.

Cokie Roberts, a Catholic, who was the daughter of politicians  in Washington for ABC News and NPR over several decades, died at age 75 Sept. 17, 2019, in Washington of complications from breast cancer.  Cokie Roberts, a broadcast journalist and political commentator who spoke publicly about her Catholic faith and her admiration for the Sacred Heart sisters who taught her.
She was born in New Orleans in 1943 with the full name Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs and was nicknamed “Cokie” by her brother.

Roberts, who died at her home in Bethesda, Maryland, was an Emmy award-winning reporter, author and frequent keynote speaker at Catholic college graduations. She was described as “a true pioneer for women in journalism,” by James Goldston, president of ABC News, her longtime employer. He said her “kindness, generosity, sharp intellect and thoughtful take on the big issues of the day made ABC a better place and all of us better journalists.”

She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was listed one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting by the American Women in Radio and Television. She also was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress in 2008.

Roberts started her radio career at CBS and in 1978 began working for NPR covering Capitol Hill, where she continued to work as a political commentator until her death. Roberts joined ABC News in 1988 and during her three decades there, she was a political commentator, chief congressional analyst and co-anchor with Sam Donaldson of the news program “This Week” from 1996 to 2002.

Roberts attended Catholic schools in New Orleans and Bethesda, run by the sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart. During her career, she also wrote eight books, including a book with her husband, Steve Roberts, also a journalist, called From This Day Forward, about their interfaith marriage. Steve is Jewish.

Cokie Roberts’ roots are both political and Catholic. She is the daughter of Hale Boggs, the former Democratic House majority leader and representative from New Orleans, who died in a plane crash in 1972. Her mother, Lindy, was elected to fill his seat and served nine terms. Lindy Boggs, who died in 2013, was appointed U.S. ambassador to the Vatican in 1997, a post she held until 2001.

In a 2014 interview with America magazine by Mercy Sister Mary Ann Walsh, who died the following year, Roberts said: “There is no way to talk about my faith absent the Society of the Sacred Heart. The women who were my teachers and remain my dear friends mean the world to me. They took girls seriously in the 1950s — a radical notion, so there was never any ‘grown-up’ need to reject them, only to thank them — and they keep the faith.”

She said she also had made clear her “continuing commitment to Catholicism — as opposed to many who say, ‘I was raised Catholic.'” She said she didn’t think she had been “discriminated against officially” as a Catholic woman, but she also answered the question about this with her own question: “Are there people in this society still who think that to be a believer is to be a little bit simpleminded? Sure. And to be a Catholic, still a little simpler still? Yes,” she said.

During a 2009 LCWR meeting in New Orleans, she told the sisters that their vitality extends beyond their numbers and can best be seen in the lasting effects they have had on students and others they are serving.

“You wonderful, holy, awe-inspiring women — you women of spirit — have taught us well. Your teaching will go on, constantly creating a better world for the people of God, corralling the chaos to create a better quality of life for others that you can be proud of.”

She also praised the church’s efforts to help the poor at a 2006 Catholic Charities USA convention in Minneapolis where she said: “It seems to me that your issues are actually the ones that Jesus talked about.” She also challenged the conference participants to educate parishioners about the “option for the poor,” a Catholic social teaching that puts the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.

Roberts is survived by her husband, her children, Lee and Rebecca, and her six grandchildren.

A statement released by her family said she will be missed “beyond measure, both for her contributions and for her love and kindness.”

Edited from a report by Carol Zimmermann in Catholic News Service - Image Source: Google Images
The video below shows Cokie commentating on the Election of Pope Francis:

Novena to St. Joseph Cupertino and Miracle Prayer for Exams - Patron of Students, Pilots and Disabled

This powerful prayer is very effective in examinations. It has to be said before appearing in the examination. There are two variants to this prayer. Both the prayers are equally effective. 
You can choose any one of these:- First Prayer O Great St. Joseph of Cupertino who while on earth did obtain from God the grace to be asked at your examination only the questions you knew, obtain for me a like favour in the examinations for which I am now preparing. In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked. Through Christ our Lord. St. Joseph of Cupertino, Pray for us. Amen. 
 Second Prayer O St. Joseph of Cupertino who by your prayer obtained from God to be asked at your examination, the only preposition you knew. Grant that I may like you succeed in the (here mention the name of Examination eg. History paper I ) examination. 
 In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked. O St. Joseph of Cupertino pray for me O Holy Ghost enlighten me Our Lady of Good Studies pray for me Sacred Head of Jesus, Seat of divine wisdom, enlighten me. Remember, when you succeed in the exams then you should thank St. Joseph of Cupertino. Image Source: Ordo Fratrum Minorum Conventualium.
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He is patron of students doing exams, travellers (especially those undertaking journeys by air), pilots, and is invoked by children, adults and the elderly who are unloved, abandoned or neglected.
Dear St Joseph, you were an unwanted child and were thought worthless even by your own mother. Intercede for all unwanted children that they may come to know they were born out of God’s love for them. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
Dear St Joseph, you were an angry, frustrated child. We pray for all who struggle to express themselves, and that you help us overcome sins of anger. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
Dear St Joseph, you experienced no love in your family and were considered of little account by all who knew you. We pray for all who have experienced the same. May we learn to treat everyone as having the worth they have in God’s eyes. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
Dear St Joseph, you suffered because you found it difficult to learn. We pray for all those who struggle at school. May they take comfort from the fact that although learning wasn’t easy for you, this didn’t stop you from becoming a saint. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
Dear St Joseph, you did the best with the intelligence you did have and put the rest in God’s hands. That way you passed all your exams and became a priest. We pray for all those struggling with exams. May we also do our best in everything and trust in God to guide our lives. We pray especially for (mention your request. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
Dear St Joseph, even the thought or mention of anything holy made you levitate in ecstasy. Grant us something of the understanding and reverence for God and his saints that you had. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
Dear St Joseph, only when your superior ordered you to, were you able to come back down to earth. May we too have a love for and obedience to the teachings of the Church. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
Dear St Joseph, you were unjustly suspected, confined to your room and neglected by those charged with looking after you. You accepted all this with humility. We pray for all those unjustly imprisoned, and that we too may have the humility to accept injustice for the love of Christ. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
Dear St Joseph, because you could levitate you are the patron of travellers, especially air travellers. We pray for all those travelling that they may safely reach their destinations. We pray especially for (mention your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 445

Reading 11 TM 3:14-16

I am writing you,
although I hope to visit you soon.
But if I should be delayed,
you should know how to behave in the household of God,
which is the Church of the living God,
the pillar and foundation of truth.
Undeniably great is the mystery of devotion,

Who was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated in the spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed to the Gentiles,
believed in throughout the world,
taken up in glory.

Responsorial PsalmPS 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R.(2) How great are the works of the Lord!
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
Majesty and glory are his work,
and his justice endures forever.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
He has made known to his people the power of his works,
giving them the inheritance of the nations.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!

AlleluiaSEE JN 6:63C, 68C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life,
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 7:31-35

Jesus said to the crowds:
"To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,

'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.'

For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
and you said, 'He is possessed by a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'
But wisdom is vindicated by all her children."