Monday, January 13, 2020

Saint January 14 : Saint Felix of Nola a helper of the poor and the Patron of Eyes, Against Lies; Pets

Born at Nola, near Naples, and lived in the third century.
After his father's death he distributed almost all his goods amongst the poor, and was ordained priest by Maximum Bishop of Nola. In the year 250, when the Decian persecution broke out, Maximus was forced to flee. The persecutors seized on Felix and he was cruelly scourged, loaded with chains, and cast into prison. One night an angel appeared to him and bade him go to help Maximus. His chains fell off, the doors opened, and the saint was enabled to bring relief to the bishop, who was then speechless from cold and hunger. On the persecutors making a second attempt to secure Felix, his escape was miraculously effected by a spider weaving her web over the opening of a hole into which he had just crept. Thus deceived, they sought their prey elsewhere.
The persecution ceased the following year, and Felix, who had lain hidden in a dry well for six months, returned to his duties. On the death of Maximus he was earnestly desired as bishop, but he persuaded the people to choose another, his senior in the priesthood.
The remnant of his estate having been confiscated in the persecution, he refused to take it back, and for his subsistence rented three acres of land, which he tilled with his own hands. Whatever remained over he gave to the poor, and if he had two coats at any time he invariably gave them the better. He lived to a ripe old age and died 14 January (on which day he is commemorated), but the year of his death is uncertain. Five churches were built in his honour, outside Nola, where his remains are kept, but some relics are also at Rome and Benevento. St. Paulinus, who acted as porter to one of these churches, testifies to numerous pilgrimages made in honour of Felix. The poems and letters of Paulinus on Felix are the source from which St. Gregory of Tours, Venerable Bede, and the priest Marcellus have drawn their biographies (see PAULINUS OF NOLA). There is another Felix of Nola, bishop and martyr under a Prefect Martianus. He is considered by some to be the same as the above. Text shared from Catholic Encyclopdia - New Advent 
Prayer of St. Paulinus to St. Felix: Father and lord, best of patrons to servants however unworthy, at last our prayer is answered to celebrate your birthday within your threshold. . . .You know what toils on land and sea have . . . kept me far from your abode in a distant world, because I have always and everywhere had you near me, and have called on you in the grim moments of travel, and in the uncertainties of life.. . . I never sailed without you, for I felt your protection in Christ the Lord when I overcame rough seas. On land and water my journeying is always made safe through you. Felix, I beg you, address a prayer on behalf of your own to that Embodiment of the calm of eternal love and peace, to him on whose great name you depend. (Source: Loyola Press)

#BreakingNews Churches Open Doors to those fleeing active Volcano in the Philippines and Join in Prayer

A volcano to the south of the Philippine capital of Manila spewed ash and steam for a second day and pushed out fountains of lava.

According to the Wall Street Journal, over 13,000 people have been evacuated from the area surrounding Taal Volcano, said Mark Timbal, as noted by a spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The volcano, which is about 65 miles from Manila, “entered a period of intense unrest” Sunday, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, or Phivolcs. Strong winds carried ash to the capital city, where flights were disrupted, the stock market was closed and schools were suspended.

The Bishops' Conference of the Philippines noted on their website that Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa asked Catholics to join him in praying for the safety of everyone amidst the Taal volcano eruption on Sunday. 
The archdiocese’s parish churches have opened their doors to evacuees as the volcano continued to increase its volcanic activity. The Society of the Divine Word (SVD) Seminary and other religious institutions are also accepting evacuees in Tagaytay City.  “Aside from prayers, we are appealing for donations in cash or in-kind for the archdiocese’s ongoing relief operations,” Garcera said over Radio Veritas. 

Government volcanologists said Monday they would keep the alert level at four out of a possible five, which indicates a hazardous eruption may occur in a matter of hours or days.
Agenzia Fides noted the government ordered schools and public offices to close on January 13. The authorities also issued a public warning for the central Luzon region, which includes seven provinces: Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales, on the central island of Luzon. The alarm also applies to the Calabarzon region which includes five provinces: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon and Lucena, in addition to the Metro Manila region.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alarm level for the Taal Volcano to level four (out of five), stating that "a dangerous explosive eruption is possible in a few hours or days".
The Institute warned that the eruption could cause a "volcanic tsunami" and advised neighboring communities to take precautions against possible waves from the lake surrounding the volcano. The government advised people to stay indoors for health reasons because, following the eruption, the ashes are very harmful to health, containing particles with carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, fluorine, hydrochloric acid.
The Philippine archipelago is located on the so-called "ring of fire" of the Pacific, where tectonic plates collide, causing earthquakes and regular volcanic activity. In January 2018, tens of thousands of people were evacuated due to an eruption of Mont Mayon, in the central region of Bicol. The last eruption of the Taal dates back to 1977.
Edited from WSJ- Agenzia Fides - CBCP 

Quote to SHARE by St. Anthony : "The devil is afraid of us when we pray and make sacrifices...He runs away when we make the Sign of the Cross. "


"The devil is afraid of us when we pray and make sacrifices. He is also afraid when we are humble and good. He is especially afraid when we love Jesus very much. He runs away when we make the Sign of the Cross."
 + St. Anthony the Great 

BREAKING Tsai Ing-wen Wins 2nd term as President of Taiwan in Landslide Victory and Distances the Country from China

Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen wins second term as president
Over 8 million votes;  about 2.5 million more than her main rival.  Her party maintains a majority in parliament.  The outcome of the elections gives the president a mandate to continue her current policy towards China.  "I hope Beijing understands that Taiwan will not give in to threats and intimidation."

Taipei (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has won her second term at the helm of the country, thanks to an overwhelming victory in an electoral race dominated by themes such as national sovereignty, democracy and future relations between Taipei and Beijing.

In the elections two days ago, Tsai of the Democratic Progressive Party (Dpp), obtained over 8 million preferences;  about 2.5 million more than her main rival, Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomintang of China (Kmt), who proposed closer relations with mainland China.  The third candidate, James Soong Chu-yu of the People First Party (Pfp), received less than 600,000 votes.

In 2016, her first presidential victory, the Taiwanese leader had been voted by 6.9 million citizens.  The day before yesterday, they were also called to determine the composition of the parliament: the DPP achieved a great victory in the legislative elections, winning 61 seats compared to the KMT's 38 .  The result means that the ruling party will retain a majority in the legislative Yuan.  According to analysts, this outcome gives Ms Tsai a mandate to continue her current policy towards China, despite the differences with the KMT and the strong opposition from Beijing.

The president rejects the Chinese government's idea that Taiwan is part of "one China".  Since her first term, Beijing has tightened the screw;  cut off official communications with the Taiwanese government and increased economic and military pressure.  China also snatched seven of the few remaining diplomatic allies from Taiwan, hoping that this would persuade Taiwanese voters to punish Tsai at the polls.

"Peace means that China must abandon threats of force against Taiwan,” Tsai said as she declared victory in Taipei.  “I also hope that the Beijing authorities understand that democratic Taiwan, and our democratically elected government, will not concede to threats and intimidation,” Tsai added. She continued that cross-strait relations should be based on “peace, equality, democracy and dialogue".  Promising that in the next four years she will avoid provoking Beijing, Tsai then said that Taiwan would like to become "partner" and not "a problem" for her neighbors.  Finally, the Taiwanese head of state declined to comment on the Hong Kong protests, but said he believed that "friends from Hong Kong will also be happy [with the election result]".

Among the supporters who flocked outside Tsai Ing-wen's headquarters to celebrate its success, there were dozens of Hong Kongers who waved flags and sang pro-democracy slogans.  Since the protests began in the former British colony, around 200 protesters have fled to Taiwan for fear of arrest.  Taiwan's Continental Affairs Council says that around 30 delegations, for a total of 700 people, have visited the island in an official capacity to follow and express support for Tsai during the elections.  The visitors came from political parties, civil groups and associations.  About 100 of them were district councilors.

The day after her re-election, Tsai met with the de facto ambassadors of the United States and Japan.  In her meeting with William Brent Christensen, director of the American Institute in Taiwan, Tsai asked to deepen cooperation between Taipei and Washington on security and economic issues.  The president then spoke to Mitsuo Ohashi, telling the president of the Japan-Taiwan Trade Association that Taipei managed cross-strait relations "by refusing to bow to pressure."

Beijing's reactions to the election results were not long in coming.  Already on Saturday evening, the Chinese Office for Taiwan Affairs reiterated that the government will continue to promote the "one country, two systems" model for the island.  The following day, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that "regardless of changes in Taiwan's internal situation, the fundamental fact that there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of it will not change."  The note states that Beijing will not change its position by sticking to the "one China" principle and opposing Taiwan's independence.  China, concludes the ministry, hopes that the world will understand and support the "just cause" of the Chinese people in opposing secessionist activities and "bring about national reunification".
Full Text Source: Asia News IT

New book by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Robert Sarah on Priestly Celibacy

The Emeritus pope Benedict XVI, who will be 93 in April, and Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, have coauthored a book defending celibacy for priests of the Latin Rite church.

The authors present themselves “as bishops” in “filial obedience to Pope Francis” who “seek the truth” in “a spirit of love of the unity of the church,” far from “the ideologies that divide” and far from “political maneuvers or power games or ideological manipulations.”

“We cannot remain silent,” they said, quoting St. Augustine.

They call on the church “not to be impressed” by “the bad advocacies, the diabolical lies, the erroneous ways by which they wished to devalue priestly celibacy” in the media reporting of that synod. The authors claim that “in past months” they came to see that “the strange mediatic synod had prevailed over the real synod,” and this gave rise to their decision to write this text together. “We exchanged ideas and concerns. We prayed and we meditated in silence. Each of our meetings consoled us and calmed us mutually,” they said.

They call on the church “not to be impressed” by “the bad advocacies, the diabolical lies, the erroneous ways by which they wished to devalue priestly celibacy.”
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The 175-page book, written in French, is entitled Des profoundeurs de nos couers (From the depths of our hearts) and will be published in France on Jan. 15. Le Figaro, France's oldest and second most-read daily, broke the news on Jan. 13 and presented some brief excerpts from the book together with background articles by its Vatican expert, Jean Marie Guenois, who sent an announcement of the work to more than 40 journalists from different countries.

Benedict XVI, who as pope often underlined “the great significance of priestly celibacy” while at the same time opening the door to the entry of hundreds of married Anglican priests into the Roman Catholic Church, writes in the book that “celibacy is indispensable so that our journey to God continues being the basis of our life.”

The book comes on the eve of the publication of Pope Francis’ exhortation following the Amazonian synod, which is expected to be released by mid-February.

Pope Francis stated in January 2019, in an airborne press conference, that he believes celibacy is “a gift for the church” and that he will not introduce optional celibacy. He said that he only saw the possibility of ordination of married men as an extreme measure to provide the Eucharist to people in remote areas who would otherwise remain without it for long periods.

In Le Figaro, Mr. Guenois wrote that Cardinal Sarah and Benedict XVI share “a great spiritual friendship.” He said that the cardinal frequently visits the emeritus pope and that they began exchanging views in a fuller way at the beginning of 2019.

Benedict addresses the issue head-on in his chapter in the brief book, which is composed of a joint introduction and conclusion penned by Benedict and Sarah, and then a chapter apiece in between. Benedict’s chapter is dense with biblical references and he explains in scholarly terms what he says is the “necessary” foundation for the celibate priesthood that dates from the times of the apostles.

“The priesthood of Jesus Christ causes us to enter into a life that consists of becoming one with him and renouncing all that belongs only to us,” he writes. “For priests, this is the foundation of the necessity of celibacy but also of liturgical prayer, meditation on the Word of God and the renunciation of material goods.”
Edited from AmericaMagazine and AP

#BreakingNews Pro-Life Journalist's Car Set on Fire by Feminist Pro-Choice Group

Pro-abortion activists set a German pro-life journalist’s car on fire, after he encouraged people to attend the German March for Life.

The German journalist, Gunnar Schupelius, had his car burned to the ground and the location of his home circulated by the extremist group called "Feministische Autonome Zelle", who regularly boast of their violent acts.
Mr. Schupelius is a blogger and columnist for Berlin-based newspaper BZ, is well-known for his pro-life views and regularly attends the peaceful March for Life Germany with his family, according to Right to Life.

Online, the group rejoiced in the attack saying: “Every year he heavily promotes the March for Life…We torched his SUV today.” The group continued to reveal the journalist’s home location stating that he “lives there with his children.”

Please pray for the family of Mr. Schupelius and his safety....

Holy Mass Etiquette: Guide of 10 Things To Do And Not Do In Mass to SHARE with Video!

Holy Mass Etiquette: Guide of 10 Things To Do And Not Do In Mass
  1. Hour Fast before Mass. The law of the Church says that one should fast for 1 hour before receiving Holy Communion. Water and medicine can be consumed any time. This is to prepare to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. 
  2. No Food and Drink in Church.  Water is used by the priest or choir and water for those who are ill. Exceptions are made for small children.
  3. Chewing gum in church is not appropriate. Chewing gum breaks your fast, and  is considered impolite in a formal setting.
  4. Make the Sign of the Cross with Holy Water on entering and leaving the church. This sign is a reminder of our Baptism, and thus members of Christ’s Church.  (Touch your forehead, heart, left shoulder and right shoulder while saying In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.)
  5. Dress modestly and suitably. Wear your Sunday Best to Chuch.  Sleeveless shirts, mini-skirts, extremely tight clothing, shorts, see-through clothes and low-cut blouses are not appropriate. 
  6. Cell phones should never be used in Mass. The exceptions are emergencies. If you need to, please walk out of church to do so. It is appropriate to use the phone for readings or prayers, but try to be discreet.
  7. When entering and leaving Church, genuflect toward the Tabernacle. Christ is present in the Tabernacle. With the touch of our right knee to the floor, we adore our Lord and God in the Eucharist. If someone is physically unable to genuflect, then bow. During Mass, if you pass in front of the altar or tabernacle, bow reverently.
  8. Please be quiet in church. Once you enter the sanctuary –try to be silent. If you must talk do so as quietly and briefly as possible. Remember that your conversation might be disturbing someone in prayer.
  9. Bow before receiving Holy Communion. Show your respect with a bow of the head or genuflexion. This is an traditional practice that has continued until this day.
  10. Do not leave early. We should stay to the end of the procession and the hymn that accompanies it. 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday January 13, 2020 - #Eucharist

Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 305

Reading 1HEB 1:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways
to our ancestors through the prophets;
in these last days, he spoke to us through the Son,  
whom he made heir of all things
and through whom he created the universe,

who is the refulgence of his glory,
the very imprint of his being,
and who sustains all things by his mighty word.
When he had accomplished purification from sins,
he took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
as far superior to the angels
as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

For to which of the angels did God ever say:
You are my Son; this day I have begotten you?
Or again:
I will be a father to him, and he shall be a Son to me?
And again, when he leads the first born into the world, he says:
Let all the angels of God worship him

Responsorial PsalmPS 97:1 AND 2B, 6 AND 7C, 9

R. (see 7c) Let all his angels worship him.
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many isles be glad.
Justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. Let all his angels worship him.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
Let all his angels worship him.
R. Let all his angels worship him.
Because you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth,
exalted far above all gods.
R. Let all his angels worship him.

AlleluiaMK 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand;
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 1:14-20

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God:
"This is the time of fulfillment.
The Kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the Gospel."

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
Then they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.

Saint January 13 : St. Hilary of Poitiers a Bishop of Poitiers who Converted from Paganism after studying Scripture

300, Poitiers
368, Poitiers

Bishop, born in that city at the beginning of the fourth century; died there 1 November, according to the most accredited opinion, or according to the Roman Breviary, on 13 January, 368. Belonging to a noble and very probably pagan family, he was instructed in all the branches of profane learning, but, having also taken up the study of Holy Scripture and finding there the truth which he sought so ardently, he renounced idolatry and was baptized. Thenceforth his wide learning and his zeal for the Faith attracted such attention that he was chosen about 350 to govern the body of the faithful which the city had possessed since the third century. We know nothing of the bishops who governed this society in the beginning. Hilary is the first concerning whom we have authentic information, and this is due to the important part he played in opposing heresy. The Church was then greatly disturbed by internal discords, the authority of the popes not being so powerful in practice as either to prevent or to stop them. Arianism had made frightful ravages in various regions and threatened to invade Gaul, where it already had numerous partisans more or less secretly affiliated with it. Saturninus, Bishop of Arles, the most active of the latter, being exposed by Hilary, convened and presided over a council at B├ęziers in 356 with the intention of justifying himself, or rather of establishing his false doctrine. Here the Bishop of Poitiers courageously presented himself to defend orthodoxy, but the council, composed for the most part of Arians, refused to hear him, and being shortly afterwards denounced to the Emperor Constantius, the protector of Arianism, he was at his command transported to the distant coasts of Phrygia.
But persecution could not subdue the valiant champion. Instead of remaining inactive during his exile he gave himself up to study,  completed certain of his works which he had begun, and wrote his treatise on the synods. In this work he analysed the professions of faith uttered by the Oriental bishops in the Councils of Ancyra, Antioch, and Sirmium, and while condemning them, since they were in substance Arian, he sought to show that sometimes the difference between the doctrines of certain heretics and orthodox beliefs was rather in the words than in the ideas, which led to his counselling the bishops of the West to be reserved in their condemnation. He was sharply reproached for his indulgence by certain ardent Catholics, the leader of whom was Lucifer, Bishop of Cagliari. However, in 359, the city of Seleucia witnessed the assembly in synod of a large number of Oriental bishops, nearly all of whom were either Anomoeans or Semi-Arians. Hilary, whom everyone wished to see and hear, so great was his reputation for learning and virtue, was invited to be present at this assembly. The governor of the province even furnished him with post horses for the journey. In presence of the Greek fathers he set forth the doctrines of the Gallic bishops, and easily proved that, contrary to the opinion current in the East, these latter were not Sabellians. Then he took part in the violent discussions which took place between the Semi-Arians, who inclined toward reconciliation with the Catholics, and the Anomoeans, who formed as it were the extreme left of Arianism.
After the council, which had no result beyond the wider separation of these brothers in enmity, he left for Constantinople, the stronghold of heresy, to continue his battle against error. But while the Semi-Arians, who were less numerous and less powerful, besought him to become the intermediary in a reconciliation between themselves and the bishops of the West, the Anomoeans, who had the immense advantage of being upheld by the emperor, besought the latter to send back to his own country this Gallic bishop, who, they said, sowed discord and troubled the Orient. Constantius acceded to their desire, and the exile was thus enabled to set out on his journey home. In 361 Hilary re-entered Poitiers in triumph and resumed possession of his see. He was welcomed with the liveliest joy by his flock and his brothers in the episcopate, and was visited by Martin, his former disciple and subsequently Bishop of Tours. The success he had achieved in his combat against error was rendered more brilliant shortly afterwards by the deposition of Saturninus, the Arian Bishop of Arles by whom he had been persecuted. However, as in Italy the memory still rankled of the efforts he had made to bring about a reconciliation between the nearly converted Semi-Arians and the Catholics, he went in 364 to the Bishop of Vercelli to endeavour to overcome the intolerance of the partisans of the Bishop Lucifer mentioned above. Almost immediately afterwards, that it might be seen that, if he was full of indulgence for those whom gentleness might finally win from error, he was intractable towards those who were obstinate in their adherence to it, he went to Milan, there to assail openly Auxentius, the bishop of that city, who was a firm defender of the Arian doctrines. But the Emperor Valentinian, who protected the heretic, ordered Hilary to depart immediately from Milan.
He then returned to his city of Poitiers, from which he was not again to absent himself and where he was to die. This learned and energetic bishop had fought against error with the pen as well as in words. The best edition of his numerous and remarkable writings is that published by Dom Constant under the title: "Sancti Hilarii, Pictavorum episcopi opera, ad manuscriptos codices gallicanos, romanos, belgicos, necnon ad veteres editiones castigata" (Paris, 1693). The Latin Church celebrates his feast on 14 January, and Pius IX raised him to the rank of Doctor of the Universal Church. The Church of Puy glories in the supposed possession of his relics, but according to one tradition his body was borne to the church of St-Denys near Paris, while according to another it was taken from the church of St-Hilaire at Poitiers and burned by the Protestants in 1572.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)