Thursday, September 26, 2019

Saint September 27 : St. Vincent de Paul the Patron of Charities; Horses; Hospitals; Leprosy; Prisoners; Spiritual help; Volunteers

Born at Pouy, Gascony, France, in 1580, though some authorities have said 1576; died at Paris, 27 September, 1660.

16 June 1737, Rome by Pope Clement XII
Major Shrine:
St Vincent de Paul chapel, Rue de Sèvres, Paris, France
Patron of:
charities; horses; hospitals; leprosy; lost articles; prisoners; spiritual help; Saint Vincent de Paul Societies; Vincentian Service Corps; volunteers

Born of a peasant family, he made his humanities studies at Dax with the Cordeliers, and his theological studies, interrupted by a short stay at Saragossa, were made at Toulouse where he graduated in theology. Ordained in 1600 he remained at Toulouse or in its vicinity acting as tutor while continuing his own studies. Brought to Marseilles for an inheritance, he was returning by sea in 1605 when Turkish pirates captured him and took him to Tunis. He was sold as a slave, but escaped in 1607 with his master, a renegade whom he converted. On returning to France he went to Avignon to the papal vice-legate, whom he followed to Rome to continue his studies. He was sent back to France in 1609, on a secret mission to Henry IV; he became almoner to the Queen Marguerite of Valois, and was provided with the little Abbey of Saint-Léonard-de-Chaume. At the request of M. de Berulle, founder of the Oratory, he took charge of the parish of Clichy near Paris, but several months later (1612) he entered the services of the Gondi, an illustrious French family, to educate the children of Philippe-Emmanuel de Gondi. He became the spiritual director of Mme de Gondi. With her assistance he began giving missions on her estates; but to escape the esteem of which he was the object he left the Gondi and with the approval of M. de Berulle had himself appointed curé of Chatillon-les-Dombes (Bresse), where he converted several Protestants and founded the first conference of charity for the assistance of the poor. He was recalled by the Gondi and returned to them (1617) five months later, resuming the peasant missions. Several learned Paris priests, won by his example, joined him. Nearly everywhere after each of these missions, a conference of charity was founded for the relief of the poor, notably at Joigny, Châlons, Mâcon, Trévoux, where they lasted until the Revolution.
After the poor of the country, Vincent's solicitude was directed towards the convicts in the galleys, who were subject to M. de Gondi as general of the galleys of France. Before being convoyed aboard the galleys or when illness compelled them to disembark, the condemned convicts were crowded with chains on their legs onto damp dungeons, their only food being black bread and water, while they were covered with vermin and ulcers. Their moral state was still more frightful than their physical misery. Vincent wished to ameliorate both. Assisted by a priest, he began visiting the galley convicts of Paris, speaking kind words to them, doing them every manner of service however repulsive. He thus won their hearts, converted many of them, and interested in their behalf several persons who came to visit them. A house was purchased where Vincent established a hospital. Soon appointed by Louis XIII royal almoner of the galleys, Vincent profited by this title to visit the galleys of Marseilles where the convicts were as unfortunate as at Paris; he lavished his care on them and also planned to build them a hospital; but this he could only do ten years later. Meanwhile, he gave on the galley of Bordeaux, as on those of Marseilles, a mission which was crowned with success (1625).
Congregation of the Mission
The good wrought everywhere by these missions together with the urging of Mme de Gondi decided Vincent to found his religious institute of priests vowed to the evangelization of country people--the Congregation of Priests of the Mission.
Experience had quickly revealed to St. Vincent that the good done by the missions in country places could not last unless there were priests to maintain it and these were lacking at that time in France. Since the Council of Trent the bishops had been endeavoring to found seminaries to form them, but these seminaries encountered many obstacles, the chief of which were the wars of religion. Of twenty founded not ten had survived till 1625. The general assembly of the French clergy expressed the wish that candidates for Holy Orders should only be admitted after some days of recollection and retreat. At the request of the Bishop of Beauvais, Potierdes Gesvres, Vincent undertook to attempt at Beauvais (September, 1628) the first of these retreats. According to his plan they comprised ascetic conferences and instructions on the knowledge of things most indispensable to priests. Their chief service was that they gave rise to the seminaries as these prevailed later in France. At first they lasted only ten days, but in extending them by degrees to fifteen or twenty days, then to one, two, or three months before each order, the bishops eventually prolonged the stay of their clerics to two or three years between philosophy and the priesthood and there were what were called seminaries d'ordinands and later grands seminaries, when lesser ones were founded. No one did more than Vincent towards this double creation. As early as 1635 he had establish a seminary at the Collége des Bons-Enfants. Assisted by Richelieu, who gave him 1000 crowns, he kept at Bons-Enfants only ecclesiastics studying theology (grand seminarie) and he founded besides Saint-Lazare for young clerics studying the humanities a lesser seminary called the Seminary of St. Charles (1642). He had sent some of his priests to the Bishop of Annecy (1641) to direct his seminary, and assisted the bishops to establish others in their dioceses by furnishing priests to direct them. At his death he had thus accepted the direction of eleven seminaries. Prior to the Revolution his congregation was directing in France fifty-three upper and nine lesser seminaries, that is a third of all in France.
The ecclesiastical conference completed the work of the seminaries. Since 1633 St. Vincent held one every Tuesday at Saint-Lazare at which assembled all the priests desirous of conferring in common concerning the virtues and the functions of their state. Among others Bossuet and Tronson took part. With the conferences, St. Vincent instituted at St-Lazare open retreats for laymen as well as priests. It is estimated that in the last twenty-five years of St. Vincent's life there came regularly more than 800 persons yearly, or more than 20,000 in all. these retreats contributed powerfully to infuse a Christian spirit among the masses, but they imposed heavy sacrifices on the house of St-Lazare. Nothing was demanded of the retreatants; when there was question of the good of souls Vincent thought little of expense. At the complaints of his brethren who desired that the admission of the retreatants should be made more difficult he consented one day to keep the door. Towards evening there had never been so many accepted and when the embarrassed brother came to inform him that there was no more room he merely replied "well, give mine".
Work for the poor
Vincent de Paul had established the Daughters of Charity almost at the same time as the exercises des ordinands. At first they were intended to assist the conferences of charity. When these conferences were established at Paris (1629) the ladies who joined them readily brought their alms and were willing to visit the poor, but it often happened that they did not know how to give them care which their conditions demanded and they sent their servants to do what was needful in their stead. Vincent conceived the idea of enlisting good young women for this service of the poor. They were first distributed singly in the various parishes where the conferences were established and they visited the poor with these ladies of the conferences or when necessary cared for them during their absence. In recruiting, forming, and directing these servants of the poor, Vincent found able assistance in Mlle Legras. When their number increased he grouped then into a community under her direction, coming himself every week to hold a conference suitable to their condition. (For further details see Sisters of Charity.) Besides the Daughters of Charity Vincent de Paul secured for the poor the services of the Ladies of Charity, at the request of the Archbishop of Paris. He grouped (1634) under this name some pious women who were determined to nurse the sick poor entering the Hotel-Dieu to the number of 20,000 or 25,000 annually; they also visited the prisons. Among them were as many as 200 ladies of the highest rank. After having drawn up their rule St. Vincent upheld and stimulated their charitable zeal. It was due to them that he was able to collect the enormous sums which he distributed in aid of all the unfortunates. Among the works, which their co-operation enabled him to undertake, that of the care of foundlings was one of the most important. Some of the foundlings at this period were deliberately deformed by miscreants anxious to exploit public pity. Others were received into a municipal asylum called "la couche", but often they were ill-treated or allowed to die of hunger. The Ladies of Charity began by purchasing twelve children drawn by lot. who were installed in a special house confided to the Daughters of Charity and four nurses. Thus years later the number of children reached 4000; their support cost 30,000 livres; soon with the increase in the number of children this reached 40,000 livres. With the assistance of a generous unknown who placed at his disposal the sum of 10,000 livres, Vincent founded the Hospice of the Name of Jesus, where forty old people of both sexes found a shelter and work suited to their condition. This is the present hospital of the uncurables. The same beneficence was extended to all the poor of Paris but the creation of the general hospital which was first thought of by several Ladies of Charity, such as the Duchesse d'Aiguillon. Vincent adopted the idea and did more than anyone for the realization of what has been called one of the greatest works of charity of the seventeenth century, the sheltering of 40,000 poor in an asylum where they would be given a useful work. In answer St. Vincent's appeal the gifts poured in. The king granted the lands of the Salpétriere for the erection of the hospital, with a capital of 50,000 liveres and an endowment of 3000; Cardinal Mazarin sent 100,000 livres as first gift, Président de Lamoignon 20,000 crowns, a lady of the Bullion family 60,000 livres. St. Vincent attached the Daughters of Charity to the work and supported it with all his strength.
St. Vincent's charity was not restricted to Paris, but reached to all the provinces desolated by misery. In that period of the Thirty Years War known as the French period, Lorraine, Trois-Evechés, Franche-Comté, and Champagne underwent for nearly a quarter of a century all the horrors and scourges which then more than ever war drew in its train. Vincent made urgent appeals to the Ladies of Charity; it has been estimated that at his reiterated requests he secured 12,000 livres equivalent to $60,000 in our time (1913). When the treasury was empty he again sought alms which he dispatched at once to the stricken districts. When contributions began to fail Vincent decided to print and sell the accounts sent him from those desolated districts; this met with great success, even developing a periodical newspaper called "Le magasin charitable". Vincent took advantage of it to fund in the ruined provinces the work of the potages économiques, the tradition of which still subsists in our modern economic kitchens. He himself compiled with minute care instructions concerning the manner of preparing these potages and the quantity of fat, butter, vegetables, and bread which should be used. He encouraged the foundation of societies undertaking to bury the dead and to clean away the dirt which was a permanent cause of plague. They were often headed by the missionaries and the Sisters of Charity. Through them also Vincent distributed to their land. At the same time, in order to remove them from the brutality of the soldiers, he brought to Paris 200 young women whom he endeavored to shelter in various convents. and numerous children whom he received at St-Lazare. He even founded a special organization for the relief of the nobility of Lorraine who had sought refuge in Paris. After the general peace he directed his solicitude and his alms to the Irish and English Catholics who had been driven from their country. All these benefits had rendered the name of Vincent de Paul popular in Paris and even at the Court. Richelieu sometimes received him and listened favorably to his requests; he assisted him in his first seminary foundations and established a house for his missionaries in the village of Richelieu. On his deathbed Louis XIII desired to be assisted by him: "Oh, Monsieur Vincent", said he, "if I am restored to health I shall appoint no bishops unless they have spent three years with you." His widow, Ann of Austria, made Vincent a member of the council of conscience charged with nominations to benefices. These honors did not alter Vincent's modesty and simplicity. He went to the Court only through necessity, in fitting but simple garb. He made no use of his influence save for the welfare of the poor and in the interest of the Church. Under Mazarin, when Paris rose at the time of the Fronde (1649) against the Regent, Anne of Austria, who was compelled to withdraw to St-Fermain-en-Laye, Vincent braved all dangers to go and implore her clemency in behalf of the people of Paris and boldly advised her to sacrifice at least for a time the cardinal minister in order to avoid the evils which the war threatened to bring on the people. He also remonstrated with Mazarin himself. His advice was not listened to. St. Vincent only redoubled his efforts to lessen the evils of the war in Paris. Through his care soup was distributed daily to 15,000 or 16,000 refugees or worthy and poor; 800 to 900 young women were sheltered; in the single parish of St. Paul the Sisters of Charity made and distributed soup every day to 500 poor, besides which they had to care for 60 to 80 sick. During this time Vincent, indifferent to dangers which he ran, multiplied letters and visits to the Court at St-Denis to win minds to peace and clemency; he even wrote a letter to the pope asking him to intervene and to interpose his mediation to hasten peace between the two parties. Jansenism also made evident his attachment to the Faith and the use to which he put his influences in its defense. When Duvergier de Hauranne, later celebrated as the Abbé de St-Cyran, came to Paris (about 1621), Vincent de Paul showed some interest in him as in a fellow countryman and a priest in whom he discerned learning and piety. But when he became better acquainted with the basis of his ideas concerning grace, far from being misled by them, he endeavored to arrest him in the path of error. When the "Augustinus" of Jansenius and "Frequent Communion" of Arnauld revealed the true ideas and opinions of the sect, Vincent set about combating; he persuaded the Bishop of Lavaur, Abra de Raconis, to write against them. In the Council of Conscience he opposed the admission to benefices of anyone who shared them, and joined the chancellor and the nuncio in seeking means to stay their progress. Stimulated by him some bishops at St-Lazare took the initiative in relating these errors to the pope. St. Vincent induced 85 bishops to request the condemnation of the five famous propositions, and persuaded Anne of Austria to write to the pope to hasten his decision. When the five propositions had been condemned by Innocent X (1655) and Alexander VII (1656), Vincent sought to have this sentence accepted by all. His zeal for the Faith, however, did not suffer him to forget his charity; he gave evidence in behalf of St-Cyran, whom Richelieu had imprisoned (1638), and is said to have assisted at his funeral. When Innocent X had announced his decision he went to the solitaries of Port-Royal to congratulate them on the intention they had previously manifested of submitting fully; he even begged preachers renowned for their anti-Jansenist zeal to avoid in their sermons all that might embitter their adversaries. The religious orders also benefited by the great influence of Vincent. Not only did he long act as director to the Sisters of the Visitation, founded by Francis de Sales, but he received at Paris the Religious of the Blessed Sacrament, supported the existence of the Daughters of the Cross (whose object was to teach girls in the country), and encouraged the reform of the Benedictines, Cistercians, Antonines, Augustinians, Premonstratensians, and the Congregation of Grandmont; and Cardinal de Rochefoucault, who was entrusted with the reform of the religious orders in France, called Vincent his right hand and obliged him to remain in the Council of Conscience.
Vincent's zeal and charity went beyond the boundaries of France. As early as 1638 he commissioned his priests to preach to the shepherds of the Roman Campagna; he had them give at Rome and Genoa the exercices des ordinands and preach missions on Savoy and Piedmont. He sent others to Ireland, Scotland, the Hebrides, Poland, and Madagascar (1648-60). Of all the works carried on abroad none perhaps interested him so much as the poor slaves of Barbary, whose lot he had once shared. These were from 25,000 to 30,000 of these unfortunates divided chiefly between Tunis, Algiers, and Bizaerta. Christians for the most part, they had been carried off from their families by the Turkish corsairs. They were treated as veritable beasts of burden, condemned to frightful labour, without any corporal or spiritual care. Vincent left nothing undone to send them aid as early as 1645 he sent among them a priest and a brother, who were followed by others. Vincent even had one of these invested with the dignity of consul in order that he might work more efficaciously for the slaves. They gave frequent missions to them, and assured them the services of religion. At the same time they acted as agents with their families, and were able to free some of them. Up to the time of St. Vincent's death these missionaries had ransomed 1200 slaves, and they had expended 1,200,000 liveres in behalf of the slaves of Barbary, not to mention the affronts and persecutions of all kinds which they themselves had endured from the Turks. This exterior life so fruitful in works had its source in a profound spirit of religion and in an interior life of wonderful intensity. He was singularly faithful to the duties of his state, careful to obey the suggestions of faith and piety, devoted to prayer, meditation, and all religious and ascetic exercises. Of practical and prudent mind, he left nothing to chance; his distrust of himself was equalled only by his trust in Providence; when he founded the Congregation of the Mission and the Sisters of Charity he refrained from giving them fixed constitutions beforehand; it was only after tentatives, trials, and long experience that he resolved in the last years of his life to give them definitive rules. His zeal for souls knew no limit; all occasions were to him opportunities to exercise it. When he died the poor of Paris lost their best friend and humanity a benefactor unsurpassed in modern times.
Forty years later (1705) the Superior-General of the Lazarists requested that the process of his canonization might be instituted. Many bishops, among them Bossuet, Fénelon, Fléchier, and Cardinal de Noailles, supported the request. On 13 August, 1729, Vincent was declared Blessed by Benedict XIII, and canonized by Clement XII on 16 June, 1737. In 1885 Leo XIII gave him as patron to the sisters of Charity. In the course of his long and busy life Vincent de Paul wrote a large number of letters, estimated at not less than 30,000. After his death the task of collecting them was begun; in the eighteenth century nearly 7000 had been gathered; many have since been lost. Those which remained were published rather incorrectly as "Lettres et conferérences de s. Vincent de Paul" (supplement, Paris, 1888); "Lettres inédites de saint Vincent de Paul" (Coste in"Revuede Gascogne", 1909, 1911); Lettres choisies de saint Vincent de Paul" (Paris, 1911); the total of letters thus published amounts to about 3200. There have also been collected and published the saint's "Conférences aux missionaires" (Paris, 1882) and "Conférences aux Filles de la Charite" (Paris, 1882). Text Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia - Image Source: Google Images

Exclusive Interview with Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College's New President, Dr. Ryan Williams - #OLSWC

Catholic News World's exclusive interview of Dr. Ryan Williams the new president of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College in Barry's Bay, Ontario, Canada. He explains why you should attend this faithfully Catholic, liberal arts college. This college is featured in the Newman Guide of Catholic Colleges and Universities. Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College aims to make a truly Catholic post-secondary education accessible to all. Our tuition for the 2018-2019 academic year is only $7,463.20 (CAN $), and full room and board for the school year is $6,277.00 (CAN).
Below are some excerpts from the full Video (below) 

Hello, welcome to Catholic News World,  we are here today in Barry's Bay Ontario,Canada welcoming the new president of  Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College. Dr. Williams, who will tell us a little bit  about our Lady Seat of Wisdom College  and why you should send your children  here.
Dr. Ryan Williams
Welcome, thank you very much and thank you for coming to visit us here, and to see what the college is all about  and so we can reach out to your audience  and your listeners. Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College is one of those hidden gems in North America. It's a  Catholic College faithful to the Magisterium. It's regarded as a quite a good school by the Newman Guide and some of the history is quite interesting. What happened about 20 years ago is, a  group of parents and professors who were  themselves parents got together and they realized that in this area and in  general education need needed a boost. It needed to focus on on things that are more appropriate to human flourishing and they realized that college prices were getting very high parents couldn't  afford to send their students to colleges that they wanted and the result of that was Our Lady Seat of Wisdom. At the time it was an academy but they got together they decided to form a school whose principals would be quite simple:  one it needed to be faithful to the  Catholic faith to the Magisterium, two it  needed to actually educate students, not  just train them for something and three  it needed to be affordable. So that  anybody who wanted to get this kind of  education could do so. Now they took the name Our Lady Seat of Wisdom because  they felt a special  devotion to Our Lady Our Lady of  Combermere there's the Madonna house  which is such a very strong influence on the community they felt very called to ask our Lady for guidance in this and 20 years later they're still thriving and flourishing they've grown beyond the  state of an Academy  College and their focus is the the  liberal arts in their truest form.

Dr. Williams tells us about his family and education...
Well I was born in st. Louis but I immediately moved to Texas ... there I grew up a cradle Catholic. My  mother was always especially devoted to  Our Lady thanks to her mother I went to Catholic school Saints Peter and Paul and then the Catholic High School Saint  Anthony's and at the end of my 18 years there in Texas I moved on to Boston College. 

At Boston College I received bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in philosophy after that time I was approached by a  rector of a Seminary in Nairobi Kenya. They needed teachers and he asked me to spend some time down in Kenya helping them train young men for the priesthood. At the time Archbishop Jose Gomez was was the Archbishop of the diocese ... and I had  perhaps been discerning a vocation to  the priesthood so he sent me to Rome -  he accepted me into the seminary...
He sent me to Rome to study at  the North American College...
 I was actually  in the Holy Land which is a very prominent part of this story and I was  in the garden of Gethsemane and I was praying profoundly about what God might have me do and it was there that I  realized he was not calling me to the to the priesthood. He had called me to the seminary to sort of orient myself ... so I actually left the seminary and stayed in Rome to finish my my theology degree and while I was studying there in Rome I met who was going to be my future  wife. She was an American out of New York : Mariana my darling. She was working and studying and you know in Rome she was  getting her theology degree.  She was  working in the Vatican under Cardinal Shoka and we met we fell in love and  I proposed to her after a year of dating  and at that time she was still working  on a on a master's degree in theology  from the Angelicum. I had been  accepted to begin my doctoral studies in  philosophy at Catholic University of America so she stayed in Rome during the bulk of our engagement while I worked on  my doctoral program. ...We actually got married in St. Peter's Basilica at the altar of the Immaculate Conception it was a very special event ... (the Williams currently have four daughters)
About Sacraments at OLSW
Every week we have a community adoration half-hour it's on Friday; this year every day we meet at 3 p.m. Most of the students show up to do the the Divine Mercy chaplet every morning at 9:15, the staff gets together to pray for the  college. We have, as I mentioned, chaplains  ready to hear confession all you know every day we have again daily Mass, we do  pilgrimages and if you look at it almost every year we have not only  students that are getting engaged or  choosing to have children but we have at  least one student either going and you  know considering a vocation to the  priesthood or  to religious life...
(Images for this post provided by Mrs. Marianna Williams)
Support OLSW here:

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College
18 Karol Wojtyla Square,
P.O. Box 249
Barry’s Bay, Ontario K0J 1B0
View on Google Maps
Phone: +1-613-756-3082
Fax: +1-613-756-4077
Toll-free: +1-877-369-6520

Watch the Entire Interview below and please SUBSCRIBE to CNW's Channel!

RIP Cardinal William Levada - Death of the 1st American Cardinal Prefect of the CDF at age 83

Cardinal William Levada,  has died at the age of 83. He was the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He was the first American to lead the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), one of the most senior positions in the Curia. 

UPDATE: Vatican News reports excerpt: In a telegram to Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, the Pope offered his “heartfelt condolences” to the archbishop, the faithful, religious and clergy of the archdiocese.
The Holy Father recalled with “immense gratitude the late Cardinal’s years of priestly and episcopal ministry among Christ’s flock in Los Angeles, Portland and San Francisco, his singular contributions to catechesis, education and administration, and his distinguished service to the Apostolic See”.  
Cardinal William Joseph Levada, Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, President emeritus of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and International Theological Commission, President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", was born on 15 June 1936 in Long Beach, California. He was ordained a priest on 20 December 1961 and holds a degree in sacred theology.
After five years of pastoral ministry in Los Angeles, he was appointed as an official of the 
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1976.
On 25 March 1983 he was appointed titular Bishop of Capri and Auxiliary of Los Angeles.
 He received episcopal ordination on 12 May of the same year.
On 1 July 1986 he was appointed Archbishop of Portland, and from 1986-93 he belonged 
to the editorial committee of the Commission for the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
On 17 August 1995 he was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of San Francisco and was 
named as the Archbishop of San Francisco on 27 December of that year.
In 2000, he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
On 13 May 2005, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Levada as his successor as Prefect
 for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He is also president of the Pontifical 
Biblical Commission and International Theological Commission.
On 24 June 2008 he was appointed President Delegate of the XII Ordinary General 
Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church”
 (5-26 October 2008).
On 8 July 2009, he was nominated President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.
Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, President emeritus of the 
Pontifical Biblical Commission and International Theological Commission, President emeritus 
of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, 2 July 2012.
He participated in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis.
Created and proclaimed cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 24 
March 2006, of the Title of Santa Maria in Domnica (St. Mary in Domnica), 
Deaconry elevated pro hac vice to Presbyteral title.
Biography Source:

Pope Francis says "the Lord knocks on the door with the face of fragile people, brothers and sisters who live in poverty..." to Emmanuel Community


Sala Clementina
Thursday, 26 September 2019

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

I greet you all, and I thank Father Mario Marafioti. Is it true that they call you "the dumb" because you can't talk? [answers: It is true!] I would like my greeting to reach all the people linked to your community, to those who have attended it in these decades, with a prayer for those who have left for Heaven.

I thank you for all that you have done in these almost 40 years, for the welcome, the accompaniment, the work ... And I thank you for how you did it, that is always feeding the "doing" with the "being" that it comes from the sap of the Word of God, moments of retreat and fraternity. This is important, otherwise you become a welfare agency or a company.

Your community was born on Christmas day, and expresses a faith embodied in service. You started with a welcoming gesture. This is always the case in the Church's works of charity: the Lord knocks on the door with the face of fragile people, brothers and sisters who live in poverty, abandonment, slavery ... And you have opened, you have answered and you have continued to answer - yes, because the most difficult thing is to persevere, to move forward ... From this sprout the various sectors of the community have developed, all of which are places and moments of welcome.

I thank God with you for this journey. It is He, with his Spirit, who inspires the choices and gives the strength to carry them out; it is He who gives love to serve the brothers with compassion, with closeness, with gratuity ... You can testify - by lived experience - that everything comes from Him, is his gift. And this makes you remain in gratitude, praise and joyful awareness that the work is not yours but God's.

Dear brothers and sisters, to prepare yourselves for the fortieth year of your community's life, you wanted this meeting with the Pope. Father Mario was the interpreter of the questions that are in your hearts, especially those who are older in the community, and see better the road made, the fruits ripened and also the dangers and temptations.

I would like to confirm you in the high road, which is that of a twofold purpose: to be with Christ and to be with the brothers in difficulty. This is the key: the double being.

It is a road that is indicated by the very name of the community: Emmanuel. God shows us this way: He, who is Love, is God-with-us. And not as an idea, or worse an ideology, but as a life, the life of Jesus. He is Emmanuel, God-with-us, who witnessed the love of the Father by sharing our human condition to the end.

From this source the living water is drawn to go on,

- not to let the joy, the hope, the courage to give oneself be stolen;

- to stay together without getting hurt;

- to throw back the networks after the disappointments and the failures;

- to continue to work with joy even if you struggle and feel tired;

- to remain faithful to the original spirit of vocation and mission.

I heard that during the next year you want to read in depth the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium. Thank you, it's a good choice, it will surely do you good. I give you an advice: in this reading, do not be self-referential, that is, do not read the Exhortation thinking only of your community, but always read it feeling yourself part of the Church, which in turn is a pilgrim and sent to the world.

Thank you for this visit. For me it is always a gift and a consolation to meet the communities that seek to live the joy of the Gospel. Thanks and have a nice walk! May the Lord, God-with-us, bless you and Our Lady protect you. And don't forget to pray for me. Thanks.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: - Unofficial Translation 

Pope Francis encourages International Network against Trafficking of People - "Talitha Kum" - "It is an example for the whole Church..."


Hall of the Consistory
Thursday, 26 September 2019

Dear Sisters,

I am truly pleased to be able to receive you today on the occasion of your first General Assembly. I thank Sister Kafka and Sister Bottani for their introduction. Talitha Kum was born in 2001 from a missionary intuition of the International Union of Superiors General, and is presented today as a worldwide network that coordinates the efforts of institutes of consecrated life committed against trafficking in persons. In just ten years it has come to coordinate 52 religious networks present in more than 90 countries on all continents. The numbers of your service speak for themselves: two thousand operators, more than fifteen thousand victims of trafficking assisted and more than two hundred thousand people reached with prevention and awareness-raising activities.

I congratulate you on the important work you are doing in this very complex and dramatic area. A work that combines the mission and collaboration between institutions. You have chosen to be on the front line. Therefore the numerous congregations that have worked and work as "avant-gardes" of the Church's missionary action against the scourge of human trafficking deserve gratitude (see Speech to the participants in the Conference on trafficking in persons, 11 April 2019). And also work together: it is an example. It is an example for the whole Church, also for us: men, priests, bishops ... It is an example. Go on like this!

This your first assembly has set itself as the main objective the evaluation of the progress made and the identification of missionary priorities for the next five years. You have decided to discuss two main issues related to the phenomenon of trafficking in the various work sessions. On the one hand, the great differences that still mark the condition of women in the world, derived mainly from socio-cultural factors. On the other hand, the limits of the neoliberal development model, which with its individualistic vision risks undermining the State. It is undoubtedly complex and urgent challenges that require adequate and effective answers. I know that in your assembly you have committed yourself to identifying solutions, highlighting the resources necessary to carry them out. I appreciate this work of pastoral planning with a view to more qualified and fruitful assistance to the local Churches.

While important, these are not the only challenges we face. The Migrants and Refugees Section of the Department for the Integral Human Development Service recently published the "Pastoral Guidelines on the Trafficking of Persons", a document that explains the complexity of today's challenges and offers clear indications for all pastoral workers who want to engage in this area.

I want to renew my encouragement to all the female institutes of consecrated life that have arranged and supported the commitment of their sisters in the fight against trafficking and in helping victims. As I invite you to give continuity to this commitment, I also appeal to other religious congregations, both female and male, to adhere to this missionary work, putting personal service and resources so that they can reach every place. I also hope that the foundations and benefactors will multiply and ensure their generous and disinterested support for your activities. Regarding this invitation to other religious congregations, I think of the problems that many congregations have, and perhaps some, both female and male, will be able to tell you: "We have so many problems to solve inside, we cannot ...". Tell them that the Pope said that "inside" problems are resolved by going out on the road, so that fresh air enters.

Considering the extent of the challenges posed by trafficking, it is necessary to promote a synergistic commitment on the part of the different ecclesial realities. While on the one hand pastoral responsibility is essentially entrusted to the local Churches and Ordinaries, on the other it is desirable that the latter know how to involve female and male religious congregations and the Catholic organizations present in their territory in the planning and pastoral action. to make the work of the Church more timely and effective.
In the fight against trafficking, religious congregations are fulfilling their task of charismatic animation of the local Churches in an exemplary way. Your intuitions and pastoral initiatives have paved the way for an urgent and effective ecclesial response. However, I want to reiterate that "the journey of consecrated life, both female and male, is the path of ecclesial insertion" (Speech written at the XXI Plenary Assembly of the UISG, 10 May 2019). It is the path that the Holy Spirit has made: he is the Author of the "disorder" in the Church, with many charisms, and at the same time he is the Author of harmony in the Church. A journey of wealth. And this is being in the Church, with the gifts of the Holy Spirit: it is the freedom of the Spirit. And if any of you have doubts, take the Acts of the Apostles and see what creativity the Spirit has, when believers have the courage to leave the Synagogue, to go outside. "Outside the Church - of this Church - and in parallel with the local Church, things do not work" (ibid.). But this Church, rich in so many charisms, is the one that will give us strength.

Dear Sisters, I bless you and entrust your good intentions for the future to the Virgin Mary; and I assure you of a remembrance in prayer. And you too, do not forget to pray for me, because I need it. And I allow myself a final advice. Never end the day without thinking about the gaze of one of the victims you have known: this will be a beautiful prayer. Thanks.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: - Unofficial Translation 

US Bishops' Pro-Life Chairman Archbishop Naumann celebrates Respect for Life Month Launch with Free Resources Available

Chairman of US Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee Celebrates Launch of Respect Life Month, Commends Catholics to “Christ our Hope”

September 26, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, of Kansas City in Kansas and Chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, celebrated the launch of Respect Life Month with a statement. Archbishop Naumann encouraged Catholics discouraged by attacks on human life to “hold fast to Christ, our Hope.”
Archbishop Naumann’s full statement follows:
“Although we must cherish, protect, and defend human life year-round, the Catholic Church in the United States sets aside each October as Respect Life Month.

This year’s theme, “Christ Our Hope: In Every Season of Life,” is particularly suited for our times. While attacks against human life seem to grow ever more numerous and callous, we know that Christ has conquered sin and death. Through our Christian hope in the Resurrection, we are given the grace to persevere in faith.

Jesus asks us to be as leaven in the world, to bring His light to the darkness. Our daily activities take each of us to places only we can go, to people only we will meet. May we allow Christ to renew and strengthen us, that He may work through us in each moment of every day.

Be assured of my prayers for you and for our common efforts to bring about a world in which every life is cherished. And so, together, may we hold fast to Christ, our hope.”
New parish resources have been developed around the theme of “Christ our Hope” and are available at . . Respect Life Sunday falls on October 6.

At Mass Pope Francis says "...we cannot keep the temple of our life standing, well, without Jesus, without trust in Jesus." in Homily




Tuesday, 24 September 2019

In the first reading, from the book of Ezra, there is the narration of the reconstruction of the temple, totally destroyed for years, for decades ...; it looked a bit like a forest, ruins ... But the Lord inspired Nehemiah to do what we heard, to rebuild the temple, and this adventure begins, so many years to rebuild Jerusalem, rebuild the temple. This is a story of reconstruction. And here, King Darius who was fond of this work, wrote to the governor: "Let them build this, let them do this, I will protect these people." And it goes on in construction.

But it is not an easy thing to reconstruct. Those Jews managed to do it because the Lord was with them. Only when the Lord is with us are we able to make a reconstruction, because it is more difficult to reconstruct than to build, it is more difficult. Even in Italy, it is more difficult to rearrange a life than to raise a child. It's more difficult. We need to change mentality. Because the people who lived there got used to it: "But yes, they are ruins ...". She was used to living with those ruins and she didn't have that nostalgia for the temple of God; and if he had it, he said: "Too bad, they won, they destroyed ... and we go on". But this holy man had the zeal for the house of God and wanted to rebuild the temple, and helped by many he goes on in this work, he begins to go ...

But there is one thing that does not appear here - because this is a small piece -: that some of the place did not like this, they were the merchants of the ruins, the merchants of death, the merchants of the status quo. They said: "This is not convenient for us. We leave the ruins, we leave the defeat ... ". And these, with a band of friends, at night destroyed the wall that was built by day. And in the end what did these people do, those who wanted to build? The Bible says: "In one hand they had the bricks and in the other the sword", to defend the construction. The construction of the temple is defended with work and with the sword, that is with the struggle. Even the reconstruction of a life is a grace, not deserved, everything is grace, but we must defend it, with work and also with the struggle, in order not to let the merchants of destruction return to make this life a pile of stones, of ruins of bricks.

So many times the people, the people of God had to go on, and then defeated go back; and forward, backward, forward, backward ..., until Jesus arrived. He too, reduced him to ruins on the cross, but his power, the power of God, rebuilt him forever for us. That is, the work of our lives, the testimonies that we have heard today, testimonies of reconstruction, must be defended: that work must be defended and alone we cannot, we must let ourselves be helped by the only Winner, by the only one who is able to win in us , and this is the root of our hope. We are men and women of hope, because this man was able to rebuild the people of God, to save us. The liturgy says that God shows his power in creation but even more in redemption, that is, in the victory of Jesus, in Jesus' victory over us, because there Jesus builds the temple, builds the Church, builds our lives. We cannot build our lives, we cannot keep the temple of our life standing, well, without Jesus, without trust in Jesus. It is He who will help us in this, with this power proper to one who is able to re-arrange things, which is more difficult to fix.

I don't know, I would like to say this. When I read both Readings this morning, I said: this is good for today, the first, rebuilding the temple, rebuilding life; not only ours, but also the desire to always rebuild. "Look, the roof has fallen, there ...". To move on. And so many times our life is like this. But it is He who is with us, who defends us from those who love ruins, who want to destroy us. We too always have a bit of that desire for self-destruction and sometimes it comes, it is normal, we are human. And to this we must be careful: the bricks in one hand and the sword in the other, that is, work and prayer, trust in our hands - like yours, you do these beautiful things with waste - and trust in prayer in God, which is the sword that will keep us going.

May the Lord give us this grace, the desire to always rebuild, always! Never be discouraged! There will be defeats, there will be! But He is greater than defeats. Always with trust. He is the sword that wins. May the Lord help us understand these things with the heart.
Full Text + Image Source: - Unofficial Translation from Italian

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday, September 26, 2019 - #Eucharist

Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 452

Reading 1HG 1:1-8

On the first day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius,
The word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai
to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel,
and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak:

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
This people says:
"The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD."
(Then this word of the LORD came through Haggai, the prophet:)
Is it time for you to dwell in your own paneled houses,
while this house lies in ruins?

Now thus says the LORD of hosts:
Consider your ways!
You have sown much, but have brought in little;
you have eaten, but have not been satisfied;
You have drunk, but have not been exhilarated;
have clothed yourselves, but not been warmed;
And whoever earned wages
earned them for a bag with holes in it.

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
Consider your ways!
Go up into the hill country;
bring timber, and build the house
That I may take pleasure in it
and receive my glory, says the LORD.

Responsorial PsalmPS 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B

R.(see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R.The Lord takes delight in his people.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R.The Lord takes delight in his people.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R.The Lord takes delight in his people.

AlleluiaJN 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 9:7-9

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening,
and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying,
“John has been raised from the dead”;
others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”;
still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.”
But Herod said, “John I beheaded.
Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”
And he kept trying to see him.

Saint September 26 : Sts. Cosmas and Damian the Patrons of Physicians, Dentists, Barbers, Veterinarians and Orphanages

Feast: September 26
Feast Day:
September 26
3rd century AD, Arabia
287 AD, Aegea, Roman province of Syria
Major Shrine:
Convent of the Poor Clares in Madrid, Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Bitonto, Bari, Italy
Patron of:
surgeons, physicians, dentists, protectors of children, barbers, pharmacists, veterinarians, orphanages, day-care centers, confectioners, children in house, against hernia, against the plague.
Early Christian physicians and martyrs whose feast is celebrated on 27 September. They were twins, born in Arabia, and practised the art of healing in the seaport Ægea, now Ayash (Ajass), on the Gulf of Iskanderun in Cilicia, Asia Minor, and attained a great reputation. They accepted no pay for their services and were, therefore, called anargyroi, "the silverless". In this way they brought many to the Catholic Faith. When the Diocletian persecution began, the Prefect Lysias had Cosmas and Damian arrested, and ordered them to recant. They remained constant under torture, in a miraculous manner suffered no injury from water, fire, air, nor on the cross, and were finally beheaded with the sword. Their three brothers, Anthimus, Leontius, and Euprepius died as martyrs with them. The execution took place 27 September, probably in the year 287. At a later date a number of fables grew up about them, connected in part with their relics. The remains of the martyrs were buried in the city of Cyrus in Syria; the Emperor Justinian I (527-565) sumptuously restored the city in their honour. Having been cured of a dangerous illness by the intercession of Cosmas and Damian, Justinian, in gratitude for their aid, rebuilt and adorned their church at Constantinople, and it became a celebrated place of pilgrimage. At Rome Pope Felix IV (526-530) erected a church in their honour, the mosaics of which are still among the most valuable art remains of the city. The Greek Church celebrates the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian on 1 July, 17 October, and 1 November, and venerates three pairs of saints of the same name and profession. Cosmas and Damian are regarded as the patrons of physicians and surgeons and are sometimes represented with medical emblems. They are invoked in the Canon of the Mass and in the Litany of the Saints. Text shared from The Catholic Encyclopedia