Saturday, October 19, 2019

Saint October 20 : St. Paul of the Cross - the Founder of the Passionists, who called the Crucifix his book during his youth

Paul Francis Daneii, born at Ovada, Genoa, Italy, 3 January, 1694; died in Rome, 18 October, 1775. His parents, Luke Danei and Anna Maria Massari, were exemplary Catholics. From his earliest years the crucifix was his book, and the Crucified his model. Paul received his early education from a priest who kept a school for boys, in Cremolino, Lombardy. He made great progress in study and virtue; spent much time in prayer, heard daily Mass, frequently received the Sacraments, faithfully attended to his school duties, and gave his spare time to reading good books and visiting the churches, where he spent much time before the Blessed Sacrament, to which he had an ardent devotion.
At the age of fifteen he left school and returned to his home at Castellazzo, and from this time his life was full of trials. In early manhood he renounced the offer of an honourable marriage; also a good inheritance left him by an uncle who was a priest. He kept for himself only the priest's Breviary.
 Inflamed with a desire for God's glory he formed the idea of instituting a religious order in honour of the Passion. Vested in a black tunic by the Bishop of Alessandria, his director, bearing the emblem of our Lord's Passion, barefooted, and bareheaded, he retired to a narrow cell where he drew up the Rules of the new congregation according to the plan made known to him in a vision, which he relates in the introduction to the original copy of the Rules. For the account of his ordination to the priesthood, of the foundation of the Congregation of the Passion, and the approbation of the Rules.
After the approbation of the Rules and the institute the first general chapter was held at the Retreat of the Presentation on Mount Argentaro on 10 April, 1747. At this chapter, St. Paul, against his wishes, was unanimously elected first superior general, which office he held until the day of his death. In all virtues and in the observance of regular discipline, he became a model to his companions. "Although continually occupied with the cares of governing his religious society, and of founding everywhere new houses for it, yet he never left off preaching the word of God, burning as he did with a wondrous desire for the salvation of souls" (Brief of Pius IX for St. Paul's Beatification, 1 Oct., 1852). Sacred missions were instituted and numerous conversions were made. He was untiring in his Apostolic labours and never, even to his last hour, remitted anything of his austere manner of life, finally succumbing to a severe illness, worn out as much by his austerities as by old age.
 Among the distinguished associates of St. Paul in the formation and extension of the congregation were: John Baptist, his younger brother and constant companion from childhood, who shared all his labours and sufferings and equaled him in the practice of virtue; Father Mark Aurelius (Pastorelli), Father Thomas Struzzieri (subsequently Bishop of Amelia and afterwards of Todi), and Father Fulgentius of Jesus, all remarkable for learning, piety, and missionary zeal; Venerable Strambi, Bishop of Macerata and Tolentino, his biographer. Constant personal union with the Cross and Passion of our Lord was the prominent feature of St. Paul's sanctity. But devotion to the Passion did not stand alone, for he carried to a heroic degree all the other virtues of a Christian life. Numerous miracles, besides those special ones brought forward at his beatification and canonization, attested the favour he enjoyed with God. Miracles of grace abounded, as witnessed in the conversion of sinners seemingly hardened and hopeless. For fifty years he prayed for the conversion of England, and left the devotion as a legacy to his sons.
The body of St. Paul lies in the Basilica of SS. John and Paul, Rome. He was beatified on 1 October, 1852, and canonized on 29 June, 1867. His feast occurs on 28 April. [Editor's note: It was later transferred to 19 October.] The fame of his sanctity, which had spread far and wide in Italy during his life, increased after his death and spread into all countries. Great devotion to him is practiced by the faithful wherever Passionists are established. Catholic Encyclopedia

US Bishops' raise Concerns and Call for Prayer for Violence in Syria and Images reveal possible Chemical Weapons

Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace raises concern and solicits prayer over renewed violence in northeast Syria
October 17, 2019
WASHINGTON— The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement over renewed violence in northeast Syria:
“This past week has witnessed renewed military actions in Syria. It is estimated that over 100,000 people have already fled their homes in the past several days as a result. Unabated, such military actions will create further instability, violence, and hunger, exacerbating an already fragile humanitarian situation in northeast Syria and northern Iraq. The ancient Christians and other religious minorities who have called this region home for millennia are at-risk of being lost forever. I urge all regional and international actors in this complex conflict to renew themselves to peace over violence, and dialog over confrontation. And I invite all people of good will join me in beseeching our Lord, the Prince of Peace, for real solutions and stability and to prepare to meet the concrete needs of the new wave of refugees.”
Source: USCCB  - Image Source: Google Images

Pope Francis opens Ethnological Museum of "Anima Mundi" featuring Amazonian Artwork saying "Beauty Unites" - Watch Video



Friday, 18 October 2019

Dear friends,

I cordially greet all of you and I thank Cardinal Bertello for his words.

I like to think that what we are inaugurating today is not simply a museum, in its traditional conception. In fact, I found the name chosen for this collection to be appropriate, so evocative: Anima mundi. The soul of the world. I think the Vatican Museums are increasingly called to become a living "home", inhabited and open to everyone, with the doors wide open to the peoples of the whole world. Vatican Museums open to all, without closure. A place where everyone can feel represented; where to perceive concretely that the Church's gaze knows no foreclosures.

Whoever enters here should feel that in this house there is also room for him, for his people, his tradition, his culture: the European as the Indian, the Chinese as the native of the Amazon or Congolese forest, of the 'Alaska or the Australian deserts or the Pacific islands. All peoples are here, in the shadow of the dome of St. Peter, close to the heart of the Church and of the Pope. And this is because art is not an uprooted thing: art is born from the heart of peoples. It is a message: from the hearts of peoples to the hearts of peoples.

Here he will also have to feel that "his" art has the same value and is cared for and preserved with the same passion that is reserved for Renaissance masterpieces or the immortal Greek and Roman sculptures, which attract millions of people every year. Here you will find a special space: the space of dialogue, of opening to the other, of the meeting.

I appreciate that the set up, and for which I thank all those who have worked there - curators, architects, engineers and workers, all! -, both in the sign of transparency. Transparency is an important value, especially in an ecclesial institution. We always need it! Over the years, thousands of works from all over the world will be displayed in these shop windows, and this type of installation intends to put them almost in dialogue with each other. And since works of art are the expression of the spirit of peoples, the message we receive is that we must always look at each culture, at the other, with an open mind and with benevolence.

Beauty unites us. It invites us to live human brotherhood, countering the culture of resentment, racism, nationalism, which is always lurking. These are selective cultures, cultures of closed numbers.

A few months ago, some Chinese art works started from this museum in Beijing. And before others had reached some Islamic countries ... How many good initiatives can be done thanks to art, managing to overcome even the barriers and the distances.

Today I would like to thank those who take care of these precious works every day: the Curator of the Anima Mundi Museum, Father Nicola Mapelli, who is a PIME missionary - and this is very consistent! -; the restorers of the Polymateric Laboratory, and all those who collaborate in this work. Thank you all!

And thank you also for wanting to inaugurate this new staging with a special exhibition dedicated to the Amazon, in the days when we are experiencing the Synod dedicated to this region. And for this I also thank the Missionaries of the Consolata, the Salesians, the Capuchins, the Saverians: different charisms that met in the name of the Amazon.

May this Ethnological Museum preserve its specific identity over time and remind everyone of the value of harmony and peace between peoples and nations. And may the art gathered here make the voice of God resound in those who visit this collection. Thank you very much.
Full Text + Image Source: - Unofficial Translation

Protests in Lebanon against Corruption - Maronite Patriarch supports Protest saying ""Let us raise our voice together with the protesters..."

Maronite patriarch backs protesters against high taxes and corruption
Card Al-Rahi stands with people already burdened by high tariffs and taxes. Action is needed to tackle 40 per cent unemployment. The government must deal with deficits and the causes of the economic crisis. Today’s cabinet meeting was cancelled. Scores of people are injured whilst two foreign workers die.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – The Lebanese people, already burdened by tariffs and unfair taxes, cannot afford more taxes. For the Maronite Patriarch Beshara Al-Rahi, it is the government's duty to tackle the causes of the economic crisis and the fiscal deficit that affects the country.

The head of the Maronite Church spoke this morning during a meeting with the Lebanese community in Benin, commenting the ongoing street protests that broke out last night.

"Let us raise our voice together with the protesters to oppose the introduction of additional taxes," he said.

Addressing the authorities directly, he added that it is time to stop the "looting" and the "waste" of public money, as well as "smuggling" via legal or illegal venues such as ports, airports, or customs offices.

In his attack, he noted that the country’s ruling class wants to "impose taxes on the poor" who constitute "over a third of the Lebanese people. Everyone knows that the unemployment rate is close to 40 per cent and that hunger and extreme poverty threaten many citizens."

Meanwhile, media have reported the first casualties in the protests that began yesterday triggered by the government’s proposal to impose a fee on using WhatsApp and Facebook to communicate, thus bypassing the national operator that reported losses of over 30 per cent.

Overnight, two foreign workers chocked to death from a fire that spread to a building near the protest in the capital Beirut. First responders are still trying to recover the bodies.

Dozens of people have been injured in clashes with police. Protesters have blocked several roads and set tyres on fire, shouting slogans against the government and the ruling class, whom they blame for the crisis.

In the face of growing discontent, the government scrapped today’s cabinet meeting, which was scheduled to approve the state budget.

The protests are the most impressive of recent years, confirming the gravity of the situation. Riot police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd, in vain.

The head of the Lebanese Red Cross announced that scores of people have been injured in clashes between police and demonstrators.

The growing protests are the result of years of crisis and chaos in the region, exacerbated by the war in Syria and the resulting wave of refugees, most of whom sought shelter in neighbouring countries (Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey).

Lebanon has the third-highest debt in the world, standing at about US billion or 150 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Full Text Source: Asia News IT - Image Source: Google Images

Saint October 19 : North American Martyrs : St. John Brebeuf and Companions who preached the Gospel to Natives - (USA)

JOURNEY OF A BISHOP REPORT: French Jesuits were among the first missionaries to go to Canada and North America after J. Cartier discovered Canada in 1534. Their mission region extended from Nova Scotia to Maryland.
John de Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, Noel Chabanel, Charles Garnier, Anthony Daniel, Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil and John de Lalande (the first six Jesuits, the last two laymen) preached the gospel to the Iroquois and Huron Indians, and after being tortured, they were martyred.

The martyrdoms took place between 1642 and 1649: Goupil in 1642, Jogues and Lalande on October 18 and 19, 1646 in the area of what is now Auriesville, New York; Daniel on July 4, 1648, Brebeuf and Lalemant in March 1649, Garnier and Chabanel in December 1649--all of these five in Huronia, near present-day Midland, Ontario. Ten years after the martyrdom of St. Isaac Jogues, Kateri Tekakwitha was born in the same village in which he died. These martyrs are co-patrons of Canada.
The missionaries arrived in Canada less than a century after its discovery by Cartier in 1534, in the hope of converting the Indians and setting up "New France." Their opponents were often the English and Dutch colonists. When Isaac Jogues returned to Paris after his first capture and torture, he said to his superior: "Yes, Father, I want whatever our Lord wants, even if it costs a thousand lives." He had written in his mission report: "These tortures are very great, but God is still greater, and immense."

Isaac Jogues' declaration on leaving France to return to the mission in Canada is heroic:

"My heart tells me that if I have the blessing of being used for this mission, I shall go and I shall not  return; but I would be glad if our Lord should fulfil the sacrifice where he began it, and that the small amount of blood I shed in that land should turn out to be an advance payment for that which I would give from all the veins of my body and heart."

In the Office of Readings we have an excerpt from the mission journal of St. John de Brébeuf, who had been a student of the great Jesuit spiritual writer, Louis Lallemant. He wrote:
For two days now I have experienced a great desire to be a martyr and to endure all the torments the martyrs suffered.... I vow to you, Jesus my Savior, that as far as I have the strength I will never fail to accept the grace of martyrdom, if some day you in your infinite mercy should offer it to me, your most unworthy servant.... On receiving the blow of death, I shall accept it from your hands with the fullest delight and joy of spirit.... My God, it grieves me greatly that you are not known, that in this savage wilderness all have not been converted to you, that sin has not been driven from it.

[Excerpted and adapted from Enzo Lodi, Saints of the Roman Calendar
In 1999, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops published a pastoral letter on the Canadian Martyrs to mark the 350th anniversary of the final deaths of these heroic priests in 1649. It may be accessed at:

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday, October 19, 2019 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 472
Reading 1ROM 4:13, 16-18
Brothers and sisters:
It was not through the law
that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants
that he would inherit the world,
but through the righteousness that comes from faith.
For this reason, it depends on faith,
so that it may be a gift,
and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants,
not to those who only adhere to the law
but to those who follow the faith of Abraham,
who is the father of all of us, as it is written,
I have made you father of many nations.
He is our father in the sight of God,
in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead
and calls into being what does not exist.
He believed, hoping against hope,
that he would become the father of many nations,
according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be.

Responsorial PsalmPS 105:6-7, 8-9, 42-43

R.(8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations –
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
For he remembered his holy word
to his servant Abraham.
And he led forth his people with joy;
with shouts of joy, his chosen ones.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

AlleluiaJN 15:26B, 27A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord,
and you also will testify.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:8-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I tell you,
everyone who acknowledges me before others
the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.
But whoever denies me before others
will be denied before the angels of God.

"Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven,
but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will not be forgiven.
When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities,
do not worry about how or what your defense will be
or about what you are to say.
For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say."