Friday, January 31, 2020

Saint February 1 : St. Bridgid of Ireland : Patron of Babies; Children of unwed parents; Fugitives; Ireland; Midwives; Poets

Information: Feast Day: February 1 Born: 451 or 452 at Faughart, County Louth, Ireland Died:
1 February 525 at Kildare, Ireland Patron of:
babies; blacksmiths; boatmen; cattle; chicken farmers; children whose parents are not married; dairymaids; dairy workers; fugitives; infants; Ireland; mariners; midwives; milk maids; newborn babies; nuns; poets; poultry farmers; poultry raisers; printing presses; sailors; scholars; travellers; watermen
Born in 451 or 452 of princely ancestors at Faughart, near Dundalk, County Louth; d. 1 February, 525, at Kildare. Refusing many good offers of marriage, she became a nun and received the veil from St. Macaille. With seven other virgins she settled for a time at the foot of Croghan Hill, but removed thence to Druin Criadh, in the plains of Magh Life, where under a large oak tree she erected her subsequently famous Convent of Cill-Dara, that is, "the church of the oak" (now Kildare), in the present county of that name. It is exceedingly difficult to reconcile the statements of St. Brigid's biographers, but the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Lives of the saint are at one in assigning her a slave mother in the court of her father Dubhthach, and Irish chieftain of Leinster. Probably the most ancient life of St. Brigid is that by St. Broccan Cloen, who is said to have died 17 September, 650. It is metrical, as may be seen from the following specimen:
Ni bu Sanct Brigid suanach Ni bu huarach im sheire Dé, Sech ni chiuir ni cossens Ind nóeb dibad bethath che.
(Saint Brigid was not given to sleep,
Nor was she intermittent about God's love; Not merely that she did not buy, she did not seek for The wealth of this world below, the holy one.)
Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of Kildare in his day: "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis". The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards, lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated curtains. Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century. Although St. Brigid was "veiled" or received by St. Macaille, at Croghan, yet, it is tolerably certain that she was professed by St. Mel of Ardagh, who also conferred on her abbatial powers. From Ardagh St. Macaille and St. Brigid followed St. Mel into the country of Teffia in Meath, including portions of Westmeath and Longford. This occurred about the year 468. St. Brigid's small oratory at Cill- Dara became the centre of religion and learning, and developed into a cathedral city. She founded two monastic institutions, one for men, and the other for women, and appointed St. Conleth as spiritual pastor of them. It has been frequently stated that she gave canonical jurisdiction to St. Conleth, Bishop of Kildare, but, as Archbishop Healy points out, she simply "selected the person to whom the Church gave this jurisdiction", and her biographer tells us distinctly that she chose St. Conleth "to govern the church along with herself". Thus, for centuries, Kildare was ruled by a double line of abbot-bishops and of abbesses, the Abbess of Kildare being regarded as superioress general of the convents in Ireland. Not alone was St. Bridget a patroness of students, but she also founded a school of art, including metal work and illumination, over which St. Conleth presided. From the Kildare scriptorium came the wondrous book of the Gospels, which elicited unbounded praise from Giraldus Cambrensis, but which has disappeared since the Reformation. According to this twelfth- century ecclesiastic, nothing that he had ever seen was at all comparable to the "Book of Kildare", every page of which was gorgeously illuminated, and he concludes a most laudatory notice by saying that the interlaced work and the harmony of the colours left the impression that "all this is the work of angelic, and not human skill". Small wonder that Gerald Barry assumed the book to have been written night after night as St. Bridget prayed, "an angel furnishing the designs, the scribe copying". Even allowing for the exaggerated stories told of St. Brigid by her numerous biographers, it is certain that she ranks as one of the most remarkable Irishwomen of the fifth century and as the Patroness of Ireland. She is lovingly called the "Queen of the South: the Mary of the Gael" by a writer in the "Leabhar Breac". St. Brigid died leaving a cathedral city and school that became famous all over Europe. In her honour St. Ultan wrote a hymn commencing: Christus in nostra insula Que vocatur Hivernia Ostensus est hominibus Maximis mirabilibus Que perfecit per felicem Celestis vite virginem Precellentem pro merito Magno in numdi circulo. (In our island of Hibernia Christ was made known to man by the very great miracles which he performed through the happy virgin of celestial life, famous for her merits through the whole world.) The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan, an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824. St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran. When dying, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to Ireland's Patroness. She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral, and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1 February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick, where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba. The relics of the three saints were discovered in 1185, and on 9 June of the following year were solemnly translated to a suitable resting place in Downpatrick Cathedral, in presence of Cardinal Vivian, fifteen bishops, and numerous abbots and ecclesiastics. Various Continental breviaries of the pre-Reformation period commemorate St. Brigid, and her name is included in a litany in the Stowe Missal. In Ireland today, after 1500 years, the memory of "the Mary of the Gael" is as dear as ever to the Irish heart, and, as is well known, Brigid preponderates as a female Christian name. Moreover, hundreds of place-names in her honour are to be found all over the country, e.g. Kilbride, Brideswell, Tubberbride, Templebride, etc. The hand of St. Brigid is preserved at Lumiar near Lisbon, Portugal, since 1587, and another relic is at St. Martin's Cologne. Viewing the biography of St. Brigid from a critical standpoint we must allow a large margin for the vivid Celtic imagination and the glosses of medieval writers, but still the personality of the founder of Kildare stands out clearly, and we can with tolerable accuracy trace the leading events in her life, by a careful study of the old "Lives" as found in Colgan. It seems certain that Faughart, associated with memories of Queen Meave (Medhbh), was the scene of her birth; and Faughart Church was founded by St. Morienna in honour of St. Brigid. The old well of St. Brigid's adjoining the ruined church is of the most venerable antiquity, and still attracts pilgrims; in the immediate vicinity is the ancient mote of Faughart. As to St. Brigid's stay in Connacht, especially in the County Roscommon, there is ample evidence in the "Trias Thaumaturga", as also in the many churches founded by her in the Diocese of Elphim. Her friendship with St. Patrick is attested by the following paragraph from the "Book of Armagh", a precious manuscript of the eighth century, the authenticity of which is beyond question: "inter sanctum Patricium Brigitanque Hibernesium columpnas amicitia caritatis inerat tanta, ut unum cor consiliumque haberent unum. Christus per illum illamque virtutes multas peregit". (Between St. Patrick and St. Brigid, the columns of the Irish, there was so great a friendship of charity that they had but one heart and one mind. Through him and through her Christ performed many miracles.) At Armagh there was a "Templum Brigidis"; namely the little abbey church known as "Regles Brigid", which contained some relics of the saint, destroyed in 1179, by William Fitz Aldelm. It may be added that the original manuscript of Cogitosus's "Life of Brigid", or the "Second Life", dating from the closing years of the eighth century, is now in the Dominican friary at Eichstätt in Bavaria. (Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

French Court absolves Cardinal Barbarin of Covering-up Abuse but he still Resigns as Archbishop of Lyon

The court of appeal in Lyon absolved French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of the crime of covering up abuses. The cardinal was sentenced to six months in prison in March 2019 for not having removed a pedophile priest from the diocese. The cardinal claimed he was innocent, but he presented his resignation to the Pope as archbishop of Lyon. The  Cardinal stated on March 7, 2019 “I take note of the Court's decision. Regardless of what happens to me, I reiterate my compassion for the victims and their families, to whom I assure my prayers. I have decided to go to the Holy Father to present my resignation. He will receive me in a few days.”
In his latest press release the Cardinal states he is still resigning as Archbishop despite his innocence being proven.
Full Text Press Release from Cardinal Philippe Barbarin - January 30, 2020
With serenity, I take note of the decision of the Lyon Court of Appeal which declared that I am not guilty of what I was accused of.

This decision makes it possible to turn a page. And for the Church of Lyon, this is the opportunity to open a new chapter.

This is why, once again, I will hand over my office as Archbishop of Lyon to Pope Francis. Naturally, if the Holy Father wishes to see me, I will go to Rome.

Last March, he refused my resignation, accepting that I would withdraw during the duration of the legal proceedings. Now I can peacefully renew my request.

My thoughts are with the victims. With many other brothers and sisters, I will continue to pray for them and their families, daily.

Pray for me, for the diocese of Lyon and each of its inhabitants… for “that all may be one” (John 17, 21).

Philippe card. Barbarin
Full Text Source:

Free Catholic Movie : Saint John Bosco : Drama

This is the story of Don (Father) Bosco, also known in the Catholic church as St. John Bosco. This 19th century Italian priest worked in the city of Torino (Turin). He founded the Salesian order dedicated to teaching and youth work. That work continues worldwide today.
Don Bosco  - Drama | History -
Stars: Ben Gazzara

#BreakingNews Church Leaders of the Middle East Statement on Trump's “Deal of the Century”

A Statement by the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem on the “Deal of the Century”
After a thorough consideration of the United States of America’s Middle East peace plan, also known as, the “Deal of the Century”, and after reviewing the reactions of all concerned parties on the matter, we, Patriarchs and Heads of the Holy Land Churches, affirm our strong devotion to achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on the international legitimacy and the relevant UN resolutions and in a manner that guarantees security, peace, freedom and dignity to all of the peoples of the region.
The American peace plan that was announced yesterday in the White House in the presence of the Israelis and the absence of the Palestinians, invites us to request from the U.S. administration as well as the international community to build on the vision of two states and develop it in line with international legitimacy, in addition to opening a political communication channel with the Palestine Liberation Organization, the internationally recognized sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, to ensure that its legitimate national aspirations are also satisfied within the framework of a comprehensive and durable peace plan to be accepted by all relevant parties. And on Jerusalem we refer again to our statement addressed to President Donald Trump on December 6, 2017, and recall our vision for the Holy City to be open and shared by the two peoples, Palestinians and Israelis, and for the three monotheistic religions and our confirmation to uphold the Hashemite custodianship over the Holy Sites. The Resurrection of our Lord from Jerusalem reminds us all of the sacrifices to ensure justice and peace in the Holy Land.
We also call upon all Palestinian political parties, factions, and leaders to meet to discuss all disputes, end the state of internal conflict, terminate division, and adopt a unified stand towards concluding the state building based on plurality and democratic values.
Jerusalem, January 30, 2020
Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem
+Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
+Patriarch Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator, Latin Patriarchate
+Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land
+Archbishop Anba Antonious, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem
+Archbishop Gabriel Daho, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Aba Embakob, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Yaser Ayyash, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate
+Archbishop Mosa El-Hage, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate
+Archbishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
+Bishop Ibrahim Sani Azar, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
+Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
+Most Rev. Krikor-Okosdinos Coussa, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
Full Text Source:
JERUSALEM – Please find below the statement that the Patriarchs and Heads of Local Churches sent to Mr. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, in which they talked about the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem.
President Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America
Dear Mr. President,
Jerusalem on December 6, 2017
We are fully aware and appreciative of how you are dedicating special attention to the status of Jerusalem in these days. We are following with attentiveness and we see that it is our duty to address this letter to Your Excellency. On July 17, 2000, we addressed a similar letter to the leaders who met in Camp David to decide the status of Jerusalem. They kindly took our letter into consideration. Today, Mr. President, we are confident that you too will take our viewpoint into consideration on the very important status of Jerusalem.
Our land is called to be a land of peace. Jerusalem, the city of God, is a city of peace for us and for the world. Unfortunately, though, our holy land with Jerusalem the Holy city, is today a land of conflict.
Those who love Jerusalem have every will to work and make it a land and a city of peace, life and dignity for all its inhabitants. The prayers of all believers in it—the three religions and two peoples who belong to this city—rise to God and ask for peace, as the Psalmist says: “Return to us, God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see!” (80.14). Inspire our leaders, and fill their minds and hearts with justice and peace.
Mr. President, we have been following, with concern, the reports about the possibility of changing how the United States understands and deals with the status of Jerusalem. We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division. We ask from you Mr. President to help us all walk towards more love and a definitive peace, which cannot be reached without Jerusalem being for all.
Our solemn advice and plea is for the United States to continue recognizing the present international status of Jerusalem. Any sudden changes would cause irreparable harm. We are confident that, with strong support from our friends, Israelis and Palestinians can work towards negotiating a sustainable and just peace, benefiting all who long for the Holy City of Jerusalem to fulfil its destiny. The Holy City can be shared and fully enjoyed once a political process helps liberate the hearts of all people, that live within it, from the conditions of conflict and destructiveness that they are experiencing.
Christmas is upon us soon. It is a feast of peace. The Angels have sung in our sky: Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to the people of good will. In this coming Christmas, we plea for Jerusalem not to be deprived from peace, we ask you Mr. President to help us listen to the song of the angels. As the Christian leaders of Jerusalem, we invite you to walk with us in hope as we build a just, inclusive peace for all the peoples of this unique and Holy City.
With our best regards, and best wishes for a Merry Christmas.
+ Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem
+Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
+Patriarch Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator, Latin Patriarchate
+Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land
+Archbishop Anba Antonious, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem
+Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Aba Embakob, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Joseph-Jules Zerey, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate
+Archbishop Mosa El-Hage, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate
+Archbishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
+Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
+Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
+Msgr. Georges Dankaye’, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

Quote to SHARE St John Bosco "There are 2 things the Devil is deadly Afraid of: fervent Communions and frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament. "


"There are two things the devil is deadly afraid of: fervent Communions and frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament. " -
Saint John Bosco

Pope Francis explains Importance of Elderly in the Church saying " Go to meet them with a smile on your face.." Full Text


Regia room
Friday, January 31, 2020

Dear brothers and sisters,

I cordially welcome you, participants in the first International Congress for the pastoral care of the elderly - "The wealth of the years" -, organized by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life; and I thank Cardinal Farrell for his kind words.

The "wealth of the years" is the wealth of people, of every single person who has many years of life, experience and history behind them. It is the precious treasure that takes shape in the journey of life for every man and woman, whatever their origins, their origins, their economic or social conditions. Since life is a gift, and when it is long it is a privilege, for oneself and for others. Always, always is like this.

In the 21st century, old age has become one of humanity's hallmarks. Within a few decades, the demographic pyramid - which once rested on a large number of children and young people and had few elders at its top - has reversed. If the elders could once populate a small state, today they could populate an entire continent. In this sense, the huge presence of the elderly constitutes a novelty for every social and geographical environment in the world. Furthermore, old age today corresponds to different seasons of life: for many it is the age in which the productive commitment ceases, the strength declines and signs of illness appear, the need for help and social isolation; but for many it is the beginning of a long period of psycho-physical well-being and freedom from working obligations.

In both situations, how can you live these years? What sense to give to this phase of life, which for many can be long? The social disorientation and, in many ways, the indifference and rejection that our societies manifest towards the elderly, call not only the Church, but all of them, to a serious reflection to learn to grasp and appreciate the value of old age. In fact, while, on the one hand, states must face the new demographic situation on the economic level, on the other, civil society needs values ​​and meanings for the third and fourth age. And above all here is the contribution of the ecclesial community.

Therefore I welcomed with interest the initiative of this conference, which focused attention on pastoral care for the elderly and started a reflection on the implications deriving from a conspicuous presence of grandparents in our parishes and in societies. I ask you that this does not remain an isolated initiative, but marks the beginning of a path of pastoral deepening and discernment. We need to change our pastoral habits in order to be able to respond to the presence of many elderly people in families and communities.

Longevity is a blessing in the Bible. It confronts us with our fragility, with mutual dependence, with our family and community ties, and above all with our divine sonship. By granting old age, God the Father gives time to deepen his knowledge of him, intimacy with him, to enter more and more into his heart and abandon himself to him. It is the time to prepare to hand our spirit definitively into his hands. trust of children. But it is also a time of renewed fruitfulness. "In old age they will still bear fruit," says the psalmist (Ps 91: 15). Indeed, God's plan of salvation is also carried out in the poverty of weak, sterile and impotent bodies. From the barren womb of Sarah and from the centenary body of Abraham the chosen people were born (cf. Rom 4: 18-20). John the Baptist was born of Elizabeth and old Zacharias. The elderly, even when weak, can become an instrument of salvation history.

Aware of this irreplaceable role of the elderly, the Church becomes a place where generations are called to share God's plan of love, in a relationship of mutual exchange of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This intergenerational sharing forces us to change our gaze towards the elderly, to learn to look to the future together with them.

When we think of the elderly and talk about them, especially in the pastoral dimension, we must learn to change the tenses of the verbs a little. There is not only the past, as if, for the elderly, there was only one life behind them and a moldy archive. No. The Lord can and wants to write with them also new pages, pages of holiness, of service, of prayer ... Today I would like to tell you that the elderly are also the present and the future of the Church. Yes, I am also the future of a Church which, together with young people, prophesies and dreams! This is why it is so important that the elderly and young people talk to each other, it is so important.
The prophecy of the elders is fulfilled when the light of the Gospel fully enters their life; when, like Simeon and Anna, they take Jesus in their arms and announce the revolution of tenderness, the Good News of Him who came into the world to bring the light of the Father. This is why I ask you not to spare yourself in announcing the Gospel to grandparents and elders. Go to meet them with a smile on your face and the Gospel in your hands. Go out into the streets of your parishes and go looking for the elderly who live alone. Old age is not a disease, it is a privilege! Loneliness can be a disease, but with charity, closeness and spiritual comfort we can heal it.

God has a large number of grandparents everywhere in the world. Nowadays, in the secularized societies of many countries, the current generations of parents do not have, for the most part, that Christian formation and that living faith, which grandparents can instead transmit to their grandchildren. They are the indispensable link for educating children and young people to the faith. We must get used to including them in our pastoral horizons and to consider them, in a non-episodic way, as one of the vital components of our communities. They are not only people we are called to assist and protect to protect their lives, but they can be actors of an evangelizing pastoral ministry, privileged witnesses of God's faithful love.

For this I thank all of you who dedicate your pastoral energies to grandparents and the elderly. I know well that your commitment and your reflection arise from concrete friendship with many elderly people. I hope that what is now the sensitivity of a few becomes the patrimony of every ecclesial community. Do not be afraid, take initiatives, help your Bishops and your Dioceses to promote pastoral service to the elderly and with the elderly. Don't get discouraged, go ahead! The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life will continue to accompany you in this work.

I too accompany you with my prayer and my blessing. And you, please, don't forget to pray to me. Thank you!
Full Text + Image Source: - UnOfficial Translation - 

Novena to Our Lady Help of Christians of St. John Bosco - a Prayer of Miracles!

Everyday of the Novena: 
Our Father...
Hail Mary, full of grace…
Glory Be...
V. Pray for us, O Immaculate, Help of Christians
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray
Heavenly Father, place deep in our hearts the love of Mary, our help and the help of all Christians. May we
fight vigorously for the faith here on earth, and may
we one day praise your victories in heaven. Grant this
in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
First Day
O Mary, you readily agreed to the Angel’s request when you were asked to be the mother of God’s Son, and throughout your life your one desire was to do the will of your Father in heaven. Help me always to be obedient and humble. May I, like you, always have the generosity to follow Jesus, wherever he calls.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)

Second Day
O Mary, by your visit to your cousin, Saint Elizabeth, you joyfully spread the good news of the coming of Jesus into the world. May many young people generously follow your example, and give their lives totally to the service of your Son as priests, brothers and sisters.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Third Day
O Mary, ever since the wedding feast of Cana you have always been the powerful help of all those who have asked your aid and protection. By your prayers, keep me free from all dangers and help me always to rise above my faults and failings.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Fourth Day
O Mary, by your presence at the foot of the cross, you comforted and strengthened your son as he offered his life to the Father. Be with me at the hour of my death, and lead me quickly to the joys of your Son’s kingdom in heaven.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Fifth Day
O Mary, by your presence in the upper room you strengthened and encouraged the apostles and disciples as they waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. May I always be open to the gifts of the Spirit, and may my faith always be deep and living.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Sixth Day
O Mary, throughout her long history you have always defended your Son’s Church from the attacks of her enemies. Be with her again in our days. Help each one of us to be her loyal subjects and to work without ceasing for that unity of peace and love for which your Son so fervently prayed.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Seventh Day
O Mary, you have always been the special guide and protector of Saint Peter’s successor, the Bishop of Rome. Keep our present Holy Father in your loving care. Defend him from all harm and give him all those gifts he needs to be the faithful shepherd of your Son’s flock.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Eight Day
O Mary, the wonderful way you helped Saint John Bosco’s work to grow and spread shows that you have a great love for the young. As you watched over the child Jesus at Nazareth, so now watch over all young people, especially those most in need, and help them to grow daily in love of your Son.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Ninth Day
O Mary, you so often showed great courage during your life here on earth. Help all those who are suffering pain and persecution as they try to worship your Son. Obtain for me a deep love of Jesus, so that my life may always be pure, my service of others generous and loving, and my death a truly happy one.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Source: Salesians of St. Don Bosco
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At Mass, Pope Francis explains One of the Evils of our Time is to Slip into a State where one loses the sense of Sin

Pope at Mass: worldliness, a slow slide into sin
One of the evils of our time is to slip into a state where one loses the sense of sin. Pope Francis made the point in his homily at Mass Friday morning at the Casa Santa Marta, noting that even a holy king like David had fallen into this temptation. Worldliness, he said, is at the root of this.
By Robin Gomes

Reflecting on King David in the First Reading, Pope Francis, in his homily, noted that the King of Israel had slipped into a comfortable life, forgetting he was elected by God.  He spoke about a normal, quiet life where a heart that remains unperturbed even in the face of the most serious sins, saying, it is a worldliness that robs us of the sense of sin and evil.

Pope Francis mentioned the sins of David such as the census of the people and the story of Uriah whom he got killed after making his wife, Bathsheba, pregnant.  He chose murder because his plan to put things right, after adultery, failed miserably. David continued his normal life quietly and his heart did not move.

Pope Francis wondered how the great David, who was holy, who had done so many good things and who was so united with God, could have done that. This did not happen overnight, the Pope said, adding, David slipped slowly.  He noted that there are sins of the moment, such as anger or insult that one cannot control, but there are also sins into which one slips slowly, with the spirit of worldliness.  It's the spirit of the world, the Pope said, that leads you to do these things as if they were normal. “An assassination...!”

Slipping into sin
“Slowly” is an adverb that the Pope often uses to explain the way sin slowly takes hold of a person taking advantage of his or her comfort.  He admitted that all are all sinners, but sometimes we sin on the spur of the moment, such as getting angry or insulting, but then we repent.   Sometimes, instead, "we let ourselves slip into a state where life seems normal", such as not paying the maid as you should or paying half what one should pay workers in the field.

The Holy Father said they seem to be good people who go to Mass every Sunday and who call themselves Christians. He explained they do all this and other sins because they have slipped into a state where they have lost the awareness of sin, which,  according to Pope Pius XII, is one of the evils of our time.  One can do anything…and, in the end, one spends a lifetime solving a problem.

The slap of life
The Pope pointed out that these are not ancient things.  He recalled a recent incident in Argentina in which some young rugby players killed a comrade in a nightlife fight.   The boys, he said, became "a pack of wolves", which raises questions about the education of young people and about society.  The Pope said, we often need a “slap of life" to stop this slow slide into sin. It takes someone like the prophet Nathan, sent by God to David, to show him his mistake.

Pope Francis urged Christians to think a little about the spiritual atmosphere of one’s life? “I am careful and  always need someone to tell me the truth, the reproach of some friend, the confessor, the husband, the wife or children, who help me a little?”  The story of the fall of a Holy King like David, the Pope said, should make us realize that it can also happen to us and we should be careful.  We should also be aware of the atmosphere we live in.  Pope Francis concluded urging that the Lord send us a prophet, such a neighbour, a son, a mother or a father, who slaps us a little when we are slipping into this atmosphere where everything seems to be lawful.
Full Text Source:

#BreakingNews Death toll rises to 213 as World Health Organization (WHO) says Coronavirus is an 'international health emergency'

WHO: Coronavirus is an 'international health emergency'. In China the death toll rises to 213
by Wang Zhicheng
The WHO director general says the decision "is not a vote of no confidence in China".  Concern that "the virus will spread to countries with weaker health systems".  Many countries block communications with Beijing.  Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France and the United States evacuate their compatriots.  Tang Zhihong, chief of health from Huanggang City, is fired.  The Wuhan government was too slow to respond to the first signs of an epidemic, "perhaps because of a lack of scientific knowledge" about the new type of virus, but also because of "hesitation in the decision-making process".

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that the coronavirus epidemic that broke out in Wuhan (Hubei) is "aglobal health emergency".  Meanwhile, the viral pneumonia epidemic in China, known as 2019-nCov, has resulted in 213 deaths, 39 more in just 24 hours.

The data released this morning at 10 am by the Chinese Ministry of Health speak of 9720 cases of infection (1982 new cases added in 24 hours) and another 15,238 suspected cases.  By now the virus has spread to all regions of China, after a case was discovered in Tibet yesterday.  The ministry of health also reports that there are over 100,000 cases under observation in the country and that 171 patients have recovered.

In Geneva, the WHO director general, the Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explained that the international emergency "is not a vote of no confidence in China", which is indeed responding to the crisis in an "exceptional" way, but it is due  the concern and the possibility that "the virus will spread to countries whose health systems are weaker".

In recent weeks, the WHO has been reluctant to declare the global emergency.  Some commentators accused Tedros of being subject to "blackmail" from China, which had supported his candidacy for the post of director general of the UN health organization.

Tedros also said that "WHO does not recommend reducing travel, trade and population movements with China".

Many countries are blocking communications with Beijing.  Several nations have closed borders to all Chinese. These include: Russia, Kazakhstan, Israel, Papua New Guinea, Salvador.  Italy, Great Britain, Germany, the United States have stopped all or most flights to and from China.

Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France and the United States are repatriating their compatriots by lifting them from Wuhan, the epicenter of the crisis.

To date, there are 109 cases of infection spread in 19 countries worldwide.  The first case was confirmed in India yesterday.  In the United States, there is the first case of human-to-human transmission, without a history of contacts with the origin of the virus in Wuhan.  Germany, Vietnam and Japan also report cases of second generation infection, that is, between people who have not had direct contact with Wuhan.

Meanwhile, the first heads have rolled over the too "hesitant"manner with which local leaders dealt with the crisis.  Tang Zhihong, head of health in the city of Huanggang was fired for not being able to accurately answer questions from the public in a television interview, causing criticism from the population.

Zeng Guang, the leading Chinese epidemiologist, head of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, admitted that the Wuhan government was too slow to respond to the first signs of an epidemic, "perhaps due to a lack of scientific knowledge" on the new type of viruses, but because of "hesitations in the decision-making process".

In an interview with the Global Times dated January 29, he explained that the government must take into account not only health aspects, but also economic and political factors.  He cited the need to ensure political stability and the fact that the epidemic broke out in the lunar New Year period.  All this could slow down the decision-making for the health of the population.
Full Text Source: AsiaNewsIT

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday, January 31, 2020 - #Eucharist

Friday of the Third Week of Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 321
Reading 12 SM 11:1-4A, 5-10A, 13-17

At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign,
David sent out Joab along with his officers
and the army of Israel,
and they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah.
David, however, remained in Jerusalem.
One evening David rose from his siesta
and strolled about on the roof of the palace.
From the roof he saw a woman bathing, who was very beautiful.
David had inquiries made about the woman and was told,
“She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam,
and wife of Joab’s armor bearer Uriah the Hittite.”
Then David sent messengers and took her.
When she came to him, he had relations with her.
She then returned to her house.
But the woman had conceived,
and sent the information to David, “I am with child.”
David therefore sent a message to Joab,
“Send me Uriah the Hittite.”
So Joab sent Uriah to David.
When he came, David questioned him about Joab, the soldiers,
and how the war was going, and Uriah answered that all was well.
David then said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and bathe your feet.”
Uriah left the palace,
and a portion was sent out after him from the king’s table.
But Uriah slept at the entrance of the royal palace
with the other officers of his lord, and did not go down
to his own house.
David was told that Uriah had not gone home.
On the day following, David summoned him,
and he ate and drank with David, who made him drunk.
But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his bed
among his lord’s servants, and did not go down to his home.
The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab
which he sent by Uriah.
In it he directed:
“Place Uriah up front, where the fighting is fierce.
Then pull back and leave him to be struck down dead.”
So while Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah
to a place where he knew the defenders were strong.
When the men of the city made a sortie against Joab,
some officers of David’s army fell,
and among them Uriah the Hittite died.

Responsorial Psalm51:3-4, 5-6A, 6BCD-7, 10-11

R.    (see 3a)  Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R.    Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight.”
R.    Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
I have done such evil in your sight
that you are just in your sentence,
blameless when you condemn.
True, I was born guilty,
a sinner, even as my mother conceived me.
R.    Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness;
the bones you have crushed shall rejoice.
Turn away your face from my sins,
and blot out all my guilt.
R.    Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

AlleluiaMT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”
He said,
“To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Saint January 31 : St. John Bosco the Patron of: Editors, Publishers, School children, Young people

 Today, January 31, we celebrate the feast day of Saint John Bosco (1815-1888), Salesians Father, Founder, Confessor, and teacher and patron saint of youth. Saint John worked tirelessly throughout his life to provide education and spiritual instruction to the poor and orphaned children of the world. The orders he founded continue to pursue that mission today. Saint John is remembered for accepting anyone, loving everyone, saying: “A piece of Heaven fixes everything.”

John was born in Turin, in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, to a peasant family. His father died when John was only two years old, leaving he and his two brothers in the solitary care of his mother. The family, quite poor, struggled to make ends meet, and John began to work as soon as he was old enough to correctly manipulate tools. He also demonstrated piety and devotion to the Lord from an early age, and professed his wish to become a priest at the age of nine, following a dream. His goal, even from that early age, was to assist youth who suffered in the same manner in which he did. John wished to spread the word of the Gospel, even as a child. He demonstrated great initiative and creativity and learned magic tricks and acrobatics in an attempt to gather an audience so that he could later evangelize and catechize the children and adults of his town. He would begin with a prayer, and while he still had a crows, would often repeat the homily he had heard in church earlier in the week.
His mother approved his wish to become a priest, but to make that happen, John would have to leave home to receive an education in the city. Being larger than his peers, and noticeably more impoverished, John was the constant focus of his classmates’ ridicule and teasing. To pay for his education, John spent his evenings working in whatever capacity he could—as a tailor, cobbler, and a waiter—returning back to his small room to study through the night be candlelight. Upon graduation, he began his studies for the priesthood.
SEE ALSO: Novena to Our Lady Help of Christians of St. John Bosco - SHARE Miracle Prayer

Quote to SHARE by St John Bosco "There are two things the devil is deadly afraid..."

Like most things he set his mind to, John Bosco was ordained a priest at only twenty-six. During his time as a seminarian, he devoted his spare hours to looking after the urchins who roamed the slums of the city. Every Sunday he taught them catechism, supervised their games and entertained them with stories and tricks. He spent weekdays recruiting the roughest and dirtiest he could find, inviting them to the Sunday gatherings. Before long, his kindness had won their confidence, and his “Sunday School” became a ritual with them.
Upon ordination, Saint John immediately sought to formalize his ministry to the poor boys of the city, opening a hospice. When he was unable to secure a building in a “good” section of town, he took one in the slums. This first “oratory” was soon joined by three others, as educators and religious sought to join him in his ministry. His mother joined him as well, serving as housekeeper. Saint John fed and clothed the boys, but also spent long hours providing them with a basic education, and teaching them skills to obtain employment. Within the hospice was a tailoring and shoemaking room, as well as a printing press. Above all, he instructed the boys in the Gospel, modeling by example the life of Jesus Christ, and creating the atmosphere of a Christian family built on trust and love.
Noting the transformation of the youth he ministered to, Don (Father) Bosco began to gather followers to him, who accepted him as their spiritual advisor, leader, and guide. As their number grew, the Salesian Society of priests and lay brothers was formed. Named after Saint Francis de Sales, noted for his gentleness and kindness, Saint John Bosco dedicated this new society to the saint. Saint John traveled to Rome in 1858, and met with Pope Pius IX who encouraged his new religious community. Four years later, he founded an order for women, The Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians, to care for abandoned girls in the same manner.
By 1868, over 800 boys were being cared for in the Salesian oratories. Along with this, Saint John oversaw the writing, printing and distribution countless pamphlets that popularized Catholic teaching and answered the objections of anti-Catholics. Moreover, he was reported to receive supernatural guidance from the Lord, it the form of vivid dreams and visions, many of which he recounted. At times, he was able to predict the deaths of those he was close to, revealed by God, so that he might provide Last Rites. He also received a vivid vision of Hell, which he shared with all he encountered. Saint John is also remembered for working miracles, especially the multiplication of food when funds were short.
Saint John Bosco reformed the manner in which children were educated. Rather than the punitive system which was common at the time, John enacted a preventative system which rejected corporal punishment. By tending to basic needs, educational needs, and spiritual needs, the Salesians sought to put children in an environment which reduced the likelihood to commit sin. He advocated frequent reception of the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. He combined catechetical training and fatherly guidance, seeking to unite the spiritual life with his boys’ work, study and play. He is remembered for saying to those he ministered to: "It is enough to know that you are young and abandoned for me to love you very much." Saint John Bosco died on January 31, 1888. His incorrupt relics are frequently taken on pilgrimage around the world, to visit the faithful. The work begun by Saint John continues today, with thousands dedicated to education youth at risk. The international society of the Salesians of Don Bosco administers over 3,000 schools, colleges, technical schools, and youth centers throughout the world (in 125 countries). All at risk children are served, regardless of religion or social inequalities. The mission of this tireless ministers is to be “signs and bearers of God’s love to the young.”
Saint John Bosco, you reached out to children whom no one cared for despite ridicule and insults. Help us to care less about the laughter of the world and care more about the joy of the Lord. Amen
Admirable apostle of youth, founder of religious Congregations, catechist, educator, writer, and a light that shone brightly in our time, you know that one of the greatest powers today is the power of the Press. Prompt editors to be always truthful and to work for the good of human beings, thus serving the greater glory of God. Amen. Text shared from 365 Rosaries - Image Google  

At Mass, Pope Francis explains ‘God will judge us with the same measure we have for others’

Pope at Mass: ‘God will judge us with the same measure we have for others’

Pope Francis urges the faithful to relate to others in a truly “Christian” way which is generous and full of love, and he explains that we will be judged with the same measure with which we measure others.

By Linda Bordoni

Pope Francis reflected on the liturgical reading from the Gospel of Mark on Thursday morning during Mass at the Casa Santa Marta noting that it is full of advice for the faithful.

The Christian ‘measure’

Highlighting the passage that says "The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you,” the Pope said that at some point of our lives, and especially at the end of our existence, we are all called to account for how we have lived our life.

These words, he explained, "tell us exactly what that moment will be like”, that is how we will be judged.

He noted that while in chapter 25 of Matthew’s Gospel, the evangelist tells us "what we have to do”, today’s passage indicates the "style with which we have to live.

“By what measure do I measure others? By what measure do I measure myself? Is it a generous measure, full of God's love? Or is it a low level measure?” he said, underscoring the need to take stock not only of the bad or the good things we do, but of our daily lifestyle.

Jesus is our model

Each one of us - the Pope continued - has a style, "a way of measuring himself, things and others" and it will be the same measure the Lord will use with us.

Those who judge others with selfishness, will be judged in the same way; those who have no pity and in order to climb in life "are capable of trampling on everyone's head", will be judged "without pity", he said.

But Christians have a different model, Pope Francis insisted, and must ask themselves whether our parameters are those that Jesus asks of us.

A Christian who lacks the capacity to be humble, is not a true Christian, he explained recalling that Jesus “humbled himself unto death – even the death of the cross.”

“He was God, but he didn’t cling to that: he humbled Himself. This is the model,” he said.

Never fear the cross

Pope Francis went on to consider the example of a lifestyle he defined as "worldly" and thus incapable of following Jesus' model.

He mentioned how sometimes bishops complain to him when they find it difficult to transfer priests to parishes that “are considered of a lower category” because they think they are being punished, and said that they use a worldly measure to evaluate and judge rather than a Christian one.

Concluding, the Pope invited those present to live their lives with compassion and mercy and to ask the Lord for the grace to live in Christian way, never fearing the cross of humbleness “because this is the path that He has chosen to save us.”
Full Text Source:

Cardinal Tagle says "Welcoming the other as a gift. Being ourselves a gift..." at Philippine Conference for the New Evangelization with over 10,000 Faithful

ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Cardinal Tagle: "To be a gift for the other, following the example of Christ"
Thursday, 30 January 2020
Archidiocese Manila, Office Comunication

Manila (Agenzia Fides) - "Welcoming the other as a gift. Being ourselves a gift for the other, following the example of Jesus Christ who is a gift for humanity. He is the greatest gift we have received, and that gift bears fruit: we ourselves are the fruit of his Spirit and his presence, we are those who testify and bring this gift of inestimable value to the world": said Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, at the conclusion of the "Philippine Conference for the new evangelization", held in Manila on 28 and 29 January 2020. The event brought together over ten thousand faithful among priests, religious, young people, adults from the parishes of the archdiocese, gathered at the Araneta Coliseum, sports hall of Quezon city, one of the cities that make up the "MetroManila", to give a tangible sign of "community communion" and also to greet Cardinal Tagle, about to begin his work in the Vatican, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples.
As Fides learns, the Cardinal - focusing on the central theme of gathering, proximity - spoke of the interpersonal relationship, using an image, that of the "weaver": "The Christian - he remarked - is he who weaves with patience, wisdom and grace a human relationship. It is a delicate work, easy to destroy (simply pull a thread) and tiring to carry out. In this sense, dialogue is part of this relationship that means having an open, trustworthy, respectful and brotherly lifestyle towards others, seeing the good that is in him, the seed of God in him". This style, he continued, "is also nourished thanks to human factors such as the simple sharing of a meal; or by listening and playing music, which teaches harmony, as happens in the three notes of a chord. Kindness and friendship towards each person are threads of this fabric and so is a smile, a typical element of Filipino culture, which knows how to see the good, the positive, the action of God even in painful events". "In this work - underlined Cardinal Tagle - the main weaver is the Holy Spirit, who unites people of different languages, cultures, traditions, in his love. We are agents and collaborators of the Holy Spirit, when we participate in this work of weaving among men". In this perspective, he explained, the Church in the Philippines is experiencing the special Year of ecumenism, interreligious dialogue and indigenous peoples that the Filipino Bishops proclaimed in 2020, in preparation for the 500th anniversary of the arrival of faith in the archipelago (1521-2021).
To answer the question "Who is my neighbor?" - continued the Cardinal addressing the vast assembly that listened to him in religious silence - "we must then start by recognizing ourselves as neighbors for others. We can build a world in which the other is my neighbor, to be welcomed and preserved; and I am close to the other. It is an experience that leads us to recognize the uniqueness and preciousness of each person, to recognize oneself as a gift and to see one's neighbor as a gift from God".
"Why does it not often happen?" he asked. "Because there is fear - he said - that feeds violent attitudes, prejudices, hostilities, which can last for generations or have collective recipients, entire peoples. The fear of the other, of the non-Christian is often deduced. It is only by starting from the truth about ourselves, by gestures of humility and repentance, that we can open up to the other and recognize him as a gift. From here comes gratitude to God, for giving us the gift of the other person. This gratitude produces communion, solidarity and responsibility, in taking care of each other. We all carry a need and we are all a gift. You are the gift that responds to the other's need", he noted, quoting the attitude of the Good Samaritan, compassion. And he concluded: "Christ understands and knows our needs and made himself a gift for all of us, offering his body, his blood, all of himself for our humanity. Christ is the greatest gift that inspires our being gift for others". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 30/1/2020) (Google Images Photo of Pope Francis' Visit to the Philippines)

Pope Francis gives St. Mother Teresa's "recognition and respect for human dignity" as an Example to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - Full Text


Clementine room
Thursday, January 30, 2020

Dear brothers in the episcopate and in the priesthood,
dear brothers and sisters,

I welcome you on the occasion of your Plenary Assembly. I thank the prefect for his kind words; and I greet all of you, Superiors, Officers and Members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I am grateful to you for all the work you do in the service of the universal Church, in aid of the Bishop of Rome and the Bishops of the world in promoting and protecting the integrity of Catholic doctrine on faith and morals.

Christian doctrine is not a rigid and closed system in itself, but neither is it an ideology that changes with the passing of the seasons; it is a dynamic reality which, remaining faithful to its foundation, is renewed from generation to generation and summarized in a face, in a body and in a name: the Risen Jesus Christ.

Thanks to the Risen Lord, faith opens us up to others and their needs, from the smallest to the largest. Therefore, the transmission of faith requires that its recipient be taken into account, that he is known and actively loved. In this perspective, your commitment to reflect, during this Plenary, on the care of people in the critical and terminal stages of life is significant.

The current socio-cultural context is progressively eroding awareness of what makes human life precious. In fact, it is increasingly evaluated on the basis of its efficiency and usefulness, to the point of considering "rejected lives" or "unworthy lives" those that do not meet this criterion. In this situation of loss of authentic values, the mandatory duties of solidarity and human and Christian brotherhood also fail.

In reality, a company deserves the status of "civil" if it develops antibodies against the culture of waste; if it recognizes the intangible value of human life; if solidarity is actively practiced and safeguarded as the foundation of coexistence.

When illness knocks on the door of our life, the need to have someone looking at us in the eye, holding our hand, showing his tenderness and taking care of us, like the Good Samaritan of evangelical parable (cf. Message for the XXVIII World Day of the Sick, 11 February 2020).

The theme of the care of the sick, in the critical and terminal stages of life, calls into question the task of the Church to rewrite the "grammar" of taking charge and taking care of the suffering person. The example of the Good Samaritan teaches that it is necessary to convert the gaze of the heart, because many times the viewer does not see. Why? Because there is no compassion. It occurs to me that, many times, the Gospel, speaking of Jesus before a person who suffers, says: "he had compassion", "he had compassion" ... A refrain of the person of Jesus. Without compassion, the beholder does not get involved in what he observes and goes beyond; instead those who have a compassionate heart are touched and involved, stop and take care of them.

Around the patient, it is necessary to create a real human platform of relationships that, while promoting medical treatment, open to hope, especially in those borderline situations in which physical evil is accompanied by emotional discomfort and spiritual anguish.

The relational - and not merely clinical - approach to the patient, considered in the uniqueness and integrity of his person, imposes the duty to never abandon anyone in the presence of incurable evils. Human life, because of its eternal destination, retains all its value and dignity in all conditions, including precariousness and fragility, and as such is always worthy of the utmost consideration.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta, who lived the style of proximity and sharing, preserving, up to the end, the recognition and respect for human dignity, and making dying more human, said thus: "Who on the path of life has also turned on only a torch in someone's dark hour has not lived in vain. "

In this regard, I think about how well hospices do for palliative care, where terminally ill people are accompanied with qualified medical, psychological and spiritual support, so that they can live with dignity, comforted by the closeness of loved ones, the final phase of their earthly life. I hope that these centers continue to be places where "therapy of dignity" is practiced with commitment, thus nurturing love and respect for life.
I also appreciate the study you have undertaken regarding the revision of the rules on delicta graviora reserved for your Dicastery, contained in the Motu proprio "Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutelage" of Saint John Paul II. Your commitment is in the right direction to update the legislation with a view to greater effectiveness of the procedures, to make it more orderly and organic, in light of the new situations and problems of the current socio-cultural context. At the same time, I urge you to continue firmly in this task, to offer a valid contribution in an area in which the Church is directly involved in proceeding with rigor and transparency in protecting the sanctity of the sacraments and the human dignity violated, especially of the little ones.

Finally, I congratulate you on the recent publication of the document drawn up by the Pontifical Biblical Commission on the fundamental themes of biblical anthropology. It deepens a global vision of the divine plan, which began with creation and which finds its fulfillment in Christ, the new man, who constitutes "the key, the center and the end of all human history" (Conc. Ecum. Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, 10).

I thank all of you, Members and Collaborators of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for your precious service. I invoke upon you an abundance of the blessings of the Lord; and I ask you, please, to pray for me. Thank you!
Full Text + Image Source: - UnOfficial Translation -