Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Saint January 23 : St. Ildephonsus : Archbishop of Toledo, Doctor of the Spanish Church





































Born:
607 at Toledo, Spain
Died:
January 23, 667
Archbishop of Toledo; died 23 January, 667. He was born of a distinguished family and was a nephew of St. Eugenius, his predecessor in the See of Toledo. At an early age, despite the determined opposition of his father, he embraced the monastic life in the monastery of Agli, near Toledo. While he was still a simple monk, he founded and endowed a monastery of nuns in Deibiensi villula. We learn from his writings that he was ordained a deacon (about 630) by Helladius, who had been his abbot and was afterwards elected Archbishop of Toledo. Ildephonsus himself became Abbot of Agli, and in this capacity was one of the signatories, in 653 and 655, at the Eighth and Ninth Councils of Toledo. Called by King Reccesvinth, towards the end of 657, to fill the archiepiscopal throne, he governed the Church of Toledo for a little more than nine years and was buried in the Basilica of Saint Leocadia. To these scanty but authentic details of his life (they are attested by Ildephonsus himself, or by his immediate successor, Archbishop Julianus, in a short biographical notice which he added to the "De viris illustribus" of Ildephonsus) some doubtful or even legendary anecdotes were added later. At the end of the eighth century Cixila, Archbishop of Toledo, embellished the biography of his predecessor. He relates that Ildephonsus was the disciple of Isidore of Seville, and recalls in particular two marvellous stories, of which the second, a favourite theme of hagiographers, poets, and artists, has been for ages entwined with the memory of the saint. Ildephonsus, it is said, was one day praying before the relics of Saint Leocadia, when the martyr arose from her tomb and thanked the saint for the devotion he showed towards the Mother of God. It was related, further, that on another occasion the Blessed Virgin appeared to him in person and presented him with a priestly vestment, to reward him for his zeal in honouring her.

The literary work of Ildephonsus is better known than the details of his life, and merits for him a distinguished place in the roll of Spanish writers. His successor, Julianus of Toledo, in the notice already referred to, informs us that the saint himself divided his works into four parts. The first and principal division contained six treatises, of which two only have been preserved: "De virginitate perpetuâ sanctae Mariae adversus tres infideles" (these three unbelievers are Jovinianus, Helvidius, and "a Jew"), a bombastic work which displays however a spirit of ardent piety, and assures Ildephonsus a place of honour among the devoted servants of the Blessed Virgin; also a treatise in two books: (1) "Annotationes de cognitione baptismi", and (2) "Liber de itinere deserti, quo itur post baptismum". Recent researches have proved that the first book is only a new edition of a very important treatise compiled, at the latest, in the sixth century, Ildephonsus having contributed to it only a few additions (Helfferich, "Der westgothische Arianismus", 1860, 41-49). The second part of his works contained the saint's correspondence; of this portion, there are still preserved two letters of Quiricus, Bishop of Barcelona, with the replies of Ildephonsus. The third part comprised masses, hymns, and sermons; and the fourth, opuscula in prose and verse, especially epitaphs. The editions of the complete works of Ildephonsus contain a certain number of writings, several of which may be placed in either of the last two divisions; but some of them are of doubtful authenticity, while the remainder are certainly the work of another author. Moreover, Julianus states that Ildephonsus began a good number of other works, but his many cares would not permit of his finishing them. On the other hand, he makes no mention of a little work which is certainly authentic, the "De viris illustribus". It may be considered as a supplement to the "De viris illustribus" of Isidore of Seville, and is not so much a literary historical work as a writing intended to glorify the Church of Toledo and defend the rights of the metropolitan see.
Text: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Saint January 23 : St. John the Almsgiver the Patriarch of Alexandria and Patron of Knights Hospitaller



Born:
550 at Arnathus, Cyprus
Died:
616 at Arnathus, Cyprus
Patron of:
Knights Hospitaller
Patriarch of Alexandria (606-16), b. at Amathus in Cyprus about 550; d. there, 616. He was the son of one Epiphanius, governor of Cyprus, and was of noble descent; in early life he was married and had children, but they and his wife soon died, whereupon he entered the religious life.

On the death of the Patriarch Theodorus, the Alexandrians besought Emperor Phocas to appoint John his successor, which was accordingly done. In his youth John had had a vision of a beautiful maiden with a garland of olives on her head, who said that she was Compassion, the eldest daughter of the Great King. This had evidently made a deep impression on John's mind, and, now that he had the opportunity of exercising benevolence on a large scale, he soon became widely known all over the East for his munificent liberality towards the poor. One of the first steps he took was to make a list of several thousand needy persons, whom he took under his especial care. He always referred to the poor as his "lords and masters", because of their mighty influence at the Court of the Most High. He assisted people of every class who were in need. A shipwrecked merchant was thus helped three times, on the first two occasions apparently without doing him much good; the third time however, John fitted him out with a ship and a cargo of wheat, and by favourable winds he was taken as far as Britain, where, as there was a shortage of wheat, he obtained his own price. Another person, who was not really in need, applied for alms and was detected by the officers of the palace; but John merely said "Give unto him; he may be Our Lord in disguise." He visited the hospitals three times every week, and he freed a great many slaves. He was a reformer who attacked simony, and fought heresy by means of improvements in religious education. He also reorganized the system of weights and measures for the sake of the poor, and put a stop to corruption among the officials. He increased the number of churches in Alexandria from seven to seventy.

John is said to have devoted the entire revenues of his see to the  alleviation of those in need. A rich man presented him with a magnificent bed covering; he accepted it for one night, but then sold it, and disposed of the money in alms. The rich man "bought in" the article, and again presented it to John, with the same result. This was repeated several times; but John drily remarked: "We will see who tires first." It was not John. Another instance of his piety was that he caused his own grave to be dug, but only partly so, and appointed a servant to come before him on all state occasions and say "My Lord, your tomb is unfinished; pray give orders for its completion, for you know not the hour when death may seize you." When the Persians sacked Jerusalem in 614, John sent large supplies of food, wine, and money to the fleeing Christians. But eventually the Persians occupied Alexandria, and John himself in his old age was forced to flee to his native country, where he died.

His body was brought to Constantinople, thence to Ofen by King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary; thence in 1530 to Toll near Presburg, and finally in 1632 to Presburg cathedral. He was the original patron saint of the Hospitallers, and was commemorated by the Greeks on 12 Nov. His life, written by Leontius of Neapolis, in Cyprus, was translated into Latin by Anastasius the Librarian in the ninth century and was referred to at the Seventh General Council.
SOURCE:The Catholic Encyclopedia

Saint January 23 : St. Marianne Cope of Molokai, Hawaii but Born in Germany who spoke “the language of truth and love”

(1838-1918)
Though leprosy scared off most people in 19th-century Hawaii, that disease sparked great generosity in the woman who came to be known as Mother Marianne of Molokai. Her courage helped tremendously to improve the lives of its victims in Hawaii, a territory annexed to the United States during her lifetime (1898).
Mother Marianne’s generosity and courage were celebrated at her May 14, 2005, beatification in Rome. She was a woman who spoke “the language of truth and love” to the world, said Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. Cardinal Martins, who presided at the beatification Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, called her life “a wonderful work of divine grace.” Speaking of her special love for persons suffering from leprosy, he said, “She saw in them the suffering face of Jesus. Like the Good Samaritan, she became their mother.”
On January 23, 1838, a daughter was born to Peter and Barbara Cope of Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany. The girl was named after her mother. Two years later the Cope family emigrated to the United States and settled in Utica, New York. Young Barbara worked in a factory until August 1862, when she went to the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York. After profession in November of the next year, she began teaching at Assumption parish school.
Marianne held the post of superior in several places and was twice the novice mistress of her congregation. A natural leader, three different times she was superior of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, where she learned much that would be useful during her years in Hawaii.
Elected provincial in 1877, Mother Marianne was unanimously re-elected in 1881. Two years later the Hawaiian government was searching for someone to run the Kakaako Receiving Station for people suspected of having leprosy. More than 50 religious communities in the United States and Canada were asked. When the request was put to the Syracuse sisters, 35 of them volunteered immediately. On October 22, 1883, Mother Marianne and six other sisters left for Hawaii where they took charge of the Kakaako Receiving Station outside Honolulu; on the island of Maui they also opened a hospital and a school for girls.
In 1888, Mother Marianne and two sisters went to Molokai to open a home for “unprotected women and girls” there. The Hawaiian government was quite hesitant to send women for this difficult assignment; they need not have worried about Mother Marianne! On Molokai she took charge of the home that St. Damien de Veuster [May 10, d. 1889] had established for men and boys. Mother Marianne changed life on Molokai by introducing cleanliness, pride and fun to the colony. Bright scarves and pretty dresses for the women were part of her approach.
Awarded the Royal Order of Kapiolani by the Hawaiian government and celebrated in a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, Mother Marianne continued her work faithfully. Her sisters have attracted vocations among the Hawaiian people and still work on Molokai.
Mother Marianne died on August 9, 1918 and was beatified in 2005 and canonized seven years later.
Shared from AmericanCatholic

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Pope Francis explains " hospitality is important...it means recognizing that other Christians are truly our brothers and sisters in Christ." Full Text"


GENERAL AUDIENCE

Paul VI Hall
Wednesday, January 22, 2020 

Catechesis: Week of prayer for Christian unity. "They treated us kindly" (cf Acts 28.2)

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today's catechesis is in tune with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year's theme, which is that of hospitality, has been developed by the communities of Malta and Gozo, starting from the passage of the Acts of the Apostles which narrates the hospitality reserved by the inhabitants of Malta in São Paulo and his companions travel, shipwrecked together with him. It was precisely this episode that I referred to in the catechesis of two weeks ago.

So let's start from the dramatic experience of that shipwreck. The ship on which Paolo travels is at the mercy of the elements. For fourteen days they have been at sea, drifting, and since neither the sun nor the stars are visible, travelers feel disoriented, lost. Below them, the sea breaks violently against the ship and they fear that it will break under the force of the waves. From above they are lashed by the wind and rain. The force of the sea and the storm is terribly powerful and indifferent to the fate of the sailors: there were more than 260 people!

But Paul who knows it is not like that, speaks. Faith tells him that his life is in the hands of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, and that he called him, Paul, to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth. His faith also tells him that God, according to what Jesus revealed, is a loving Father. Therefore Paul addresses his traveling companions and, inspired by faith, announces to them that God will not allow a hair of their head to be lost.

This prophecy comes true when the ship runs aground on the coast of Malta and all passengers safely reach dry land. And there they experience something new. In contrast to the brutal violence of the stormy sea, they receive the testimony of the "rare humanity" of the inhabitants of the island. These people, foreign to them, are attentive to their needs. They light a fire to warm up, offer them shelter from rain and food. Even if they have not yet received the Good News of Christ, they manifest the love of God in concrete acts of kindness. In fact, spontaneous hospitality and caring gestures communicate something of God's love. And the hospitality of the Maltese islanders is rewarded by the healing miracles that God works through Paul on the island. Therefore, if the people of Malta were a sign of God's Providence for the Apostle, he too was a witness of God's merciful love for them.

Dear ones, hospitality is important; and it is also an important ecumenical virtue. First of all, it means recognizing that other Christians are truly our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are brothers. Someone will say to you: "But that is Protestant, the Orthodox one ..." Yes, but we are brothers in Christ. It is not an act of one-way generosity, because when we host other Christians we welcome them as a gift that is given to us. Like the Maltese - good these Maltese - we are repaid, because we receive what the Holy Spirit has sown in our brothers and sisters, and this becomes a gift for us too, because the Holy Spirit also sows his graces everywhere. Welcoming Christians from another tradition means first of all showing God's love for them, because they are children of God - our brothers -, and also means welcoming what God has accomplished in their lives. Ecumenical hospitality requires willingness to listen to others, paying attention to their personal stories of faith and the history of their community, a community of faith with another tradition different from ours. Ecumenical hospitality involves the desire to know the experience that other Christians have of God and the expectation of receiving the spiritual gifts that derive from it. And this is a grace, discovering this is a grace. I think of past times, of my land for example. When some evangelical missionaries came, a small group of Catholics went to burn the tents. This is not: he is not a Christian. We are brothers, we are all brothers and we must make each other hospitality.

Today, the sea on which Paul and his companions were shipwrecked is once again a dangerous place for the lives of other sailors. All over the world migrant men and women face risky journeys to escape violence, to escape war, to escape poverty. How Paul and his companions experience indifference, the hostility of the desert, rivers, seas ... Many times they don't let them land in ports. But, unfortunately, sometimes they also encounter far worse hostility than men. They are exploited by criminal traffickers: today! They are treated as numbers and as a threat by some rulers: today! Sometimes hospitality rejects them as a wave towards poverty or the dangers from which they fled.

We, as Christians, must work together to show migrants the love of God revealed by Jesus Christ. We can and must testify that there is not only hostility and indifference, but that every person is precious to God and loved by him. The divisions that still exist between us prevent us from being fully the sign of God's love. Working together to experience ecumenical hospitality, especially to those whose lives are most vulnerable, will make us all Christians - Protestants, Orthodox, Catholics, all Christians - better human beings, better disciples and a more united Christian people. It will bring us closer to unity, which is God's will for us.


Greetings in Various Languages:
Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française. Frères et sœurs, efforçons-nous de travailler ensemble pour vivre l’hospitalité, en particulier envers les personnes les plus vulnérables. Cela nous rendra meilleurs en tant que disciples de Jésus-Christ et fera de nous un peuple chrétien plus uni, qui est la volonté de Dieu pour nous. Que Dieu vous bénisse.
[I cordially greet the French-speaking pilgrims. Brothers and sisters, let us work together to experience hospitality, especially towards the most vulnerable. It will make us better as disciples of Jesus Christ and make us a more united Christian people, which is what God desires for us. God bless you.]
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from Belgium, Korea, Australia and the United States of America. In this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, I offer a special greeting to the students from the Bossey Ecumenical Institute. I also greet the priests of the Institute for Continuing Theological Education of the Pontifical North American College. Upon all of you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you!
Einen herzlichen Gruß richte ich an die Pilger und Besucher deutscher Sprache. Die Gastfreundschaft, die wir vor allem den Migranten gewähren, ist ein Zeugnis für Christus. Wir machen unseren Mitbürgern deutlich, dass Gott alle Menschen liebt und jeder Einzelne für ihn kostbar ist. Der Heilige Geist geleite euch auf allen euren Wegen!
[Rivolgo un cordiale saluto ai pellegrini di lingua tedesca. L’ospitalità, che noi pratichiamo specialmente nei confronti dei migranti, è una testimonianza di Cristo. Manifestiamo ai nostri concittadini che Dio ama tutti gli uomini e che ogni persona umana è preziosa per Lui. Lo Spirito Santo vi accompagni sul vostro cammino.]
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, venidos de España y de Latinoamérica. Pidamos al Señor por todos cuantos sufren en el mar tempestuoso del desarraigo y el abandono, y comprometámonos a trabajar juntos, pidiendo al Señor el don de la unidad, de modo que como cristianos testimoniemos el amor premuroso de Dios por cada persona. Que el Señor los bendiga.
Queridos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, sede bem-vindos! O Senhor convida-nos a perseverar no caminho ecuménico. Intensifiquemos, pois, a oferta das nossas preces e penitências, dando voz à súplica de Jesus Cristo ao Pai: «Eu neles e Tu em Mim, para que eles cheguem à perfeição da unidade». Desça a bênção de Deus sobre os vossos passos e preces, individuais e em comum, pela plena união dos cristãos!
[Dear Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, welcome! The Lord invites us to persevere on the ecumenical journey. We therefore intensify the offering of our prayers and penances, following the supplication of Jesus Christ to the Father: "I in them and You in Me, so that they may be perfect in unity". May the blessing of God descend on your steps and prayers, individual and in common, for the full unity of Christians.]
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربية، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ منالشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، لا يمكننا كمسيحيين أن نقف غير مبالين إزاء مأساة الفقر بأشكاله القديمة والجديدة، وأشكال العزلة المظلمة والاحتقار والتمييز. ولا يمكننا أن نقف غير مكترثين وقلبنا مخدّر أمام بؤس العديد من الأبرياء. لنعمل معًا لكي نُظهر للجميع محبّة الله التي أظهرها لنا يسوع المسيح، وهذا الأمر سيجعلنا كائنات بشريّة أفضل وتلاميذًا أفضل وشعبًا مسيحيًّا أكثر وحدة. ليبارككُم الرب!
[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Middle East! Dear brothers and sisters, as Christians we cannot be indifferent to the tragedy of the old and new poverty, of the darkest loneliness, of contempt and discrimination. We cannot remain numb, with an anesthetized heart, in the face of the misery of so many innocent people. Let's work together to show everyone the love of God revealed by Jesus Christ, and this will make us better human beings, better disciples and a more united Christian people. The Lord bless you!]
Witam serdecznie pielgrzymów polskich. Bracia i siostry, Tydzień Modlitw o Jedność Chrześcijan zaprasza nas do ufnej modlitwy o dar jedności. Zachęcam was do rozważania i gorliwego podjęcia hasła tego Tygodnia: „Życzliwymi bądźmy” (por. Dz 28, 2). Niech wasze spotkania ekumeniczne poruszają serca, pomogą w otwieraniu się na innych, we wzajemnym zrozumieniu, dialogu, pojednaniu i okazaniu gościnności. Was tu obecnych, waszych bliskich i tych, którzy oddają się posłudze na rzecz jedności chrześcijan, z serca błogosławię.
[I cordially greet the Polish pilgrims. Brothers and sisters, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity invites us to confident prayer for unity. I urge you to meditate and to carry out with commitment the motto of this week: "They treated us kindly" (cf Acts 28: 2). Your ecumenical meetings pervade hearts, encourage openness to others, hospitality, mutual understanding, dialogue, and reconciliation. I cordially bless you here, your loved ones and all those who dedicate themselves to Christian unity.]

APPEAL

On January 25, in the Far East and in various other parts of the world, many millions of men and women will celebrate the lunar new year.

I send them my cordial greeting, in particular wishing families to be places of education for the virtues of hospitality, wisdom, respect for each person and harmony with creation.

I invite everyone to pray also for peace, for dialogue and for solidarity between nations: gifts that are ever more necessary for today's world.

* * *

I cordially welcome the Italian-speaking faithful. In particular, I greet the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chambéry and the young people of the Focolare Movement.

I also greet the pilgrims from the Diocese of Termoli-Larino, accompanied by the Bishop, Mons. Gianfranco De Luca; the parishes, in particular those of Gesualdo and Aprilia; the Italian Financial Group of Milan; the Musadoc Cultural Association of Rome; and that of Villafranca Sicula.

Lastly, I greet the young, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds. Next Saturday we will celebrate the Feast of the Conversion of San Paolo. May the example of the Apostle of the Gentiles support us in the mission of announcing the salvation of Christ to all, committing our best energies.

US President Trump Official Proclamation on National Sanctity of Human Life Day 2020 - Full Text


Proclamation on National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2020
January 21, 2020
 Every person — the born and unborn, the poor, the downcast, the disabled, the infirm, and the elderly — has inherent value.  Although each journey is different, no life is without worth or is inconsequential; the rights of all people must be defended.  On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, our Nation proudly and strongly reaffirms our commitment to protect the precious gift of life at every stage, from conception to natural death.
Recently, we have seen decreases in the total number and rate of abortions in our country.  From 2007-2016, the most recent period of analysis, the number and rate of abortions decreased by 24 percent and 26 percent, respectively.  The rate of teen pregnancies — the vast majority of which are unplanned — has almost continuously decreased over the last quarter century, contributing to the lowest rate of abortions among adolescents since the legalization of abortion in 1973.  All Americans should celebrate this decline in the number and rate of abortions, which represents lives saved.  Still, there is more to be done, and, as President, I will continue to fight to protect the lives of the unborn.  I signed into law legislation under the Congressional Review Act that allows States and other grantees to exclude organizations that perform abortions from their Title X projects.  My Administration has also issued regulations to ensure Title X family planning projects are clearly separated from those that perform, promote, or refer for abortion as a method of family planning; to protect the conscience rights of healthcare workers and organizations, including with respect to abortion; and to ensure the Federal Government does not force employers that object, based on religious belief or moral conviction, to provide insurance for contraceptives, including those they believe cause early abortions.  Additionally, I have called on the Congress to act to prohibit abortions of later-term babies who can feel pain.
My Administration is also building an international coalition to dispel the concept of abortion as a fundamental human right.  So far, 24 nations representing more than a billion people have joined this important cause.  We oppose any projects that attempt to assert a global right to taxpayer‑funded abortion on demand, up to the moment of delivery.  And we will never tire of defending innocent life — at home or abroad.
As a Nation, we must remain steadfastly dedicated to the profound truth that all life is a gift from God, who endows every person with immeasurable worth and potential.  Countless Americans are tireless defenders of life and champions for the vulnerable among us.  We are grateful for those who support women experiencing unexpected pregnancies, those who provide healing to women who have had abortions, and those who welcome children into their homes through foster care and adoption.  On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we celebrate the wonderful gift of life and renew our resolve to build a culture where life is always revered.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 22, 2020, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day.  Today, I call on the Congress to join me in protecting and defending the dignity of every human life, including those not yet born.  I call on the American people to continue to care for women in unexpected pregnancies and to support adoption and foster care in a more meaningful way, so every child can have a loving home.  And finally, I ask every citizen of this great Nation to listen to the sound of silence caused by a generation lost to us, and then to raise their voices for all affected by abortion, both seen and unseen.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

#BreakingNews Eucharist scattered and Tabernacle Destroyed at Church - Archbishop calls for Day of Prayers for Reparation


The St Francis Assisi Catholic Church in Kengeri, Bengaluru (Bangalore), India was vandalised. The Archbishop, Peter Machado of Bangalore said: “I am not only terribly shocked but also greatly grieved that desecration was done to the Eucharistic Lord in that church.” The prelate said that the parish priest, Fr Satish, of the Order of Capuchin Friars, informed him of the attack. Consecrated Hosts were scattered on the ground, dishonouring “Our Blessed Lord and Saviour”. Archbishop Machado proclaimed a day of reparation and prayer for Friday.  Little is known about the reasons behind the desecration. A complaint has been filed with the local police and an investigation is underway. According to early witness accounts, nothing was stolen, suggesting that vandalism was the goal; however, police have not ruled out anything. “We all know,” said Mgr Machado, “that this sacrilege and serious dishonour done to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour is a matter of great concern, not only to the parishioners of St Francis Assisi Parish but also to the religious feelings of everyone in the Archdiocese.
Therefore, “I request you to observe Friday, 24 January, a Day of Reparation in the Archdiocese to praise, worship and glorify the Eucharistic Lord in a very special way. Let us also pray for those who have aggrieved Him by doing such a sacrilegious act.” 
Lastly, “I call on parish priests and chaplains to expose the Blessed Sacrament for adoration on this day, and keep it for at least 12 hours from morning till evening for public veneration in all the churches and the religious houses of the Archdiocese.”
Edited from AsiaNewsIT
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Top 10 Pro-Life Quotes by Pope Francis to SHARE - #ProLife Inspiration!


1. “The right to life is the first human right. Abortion is killing someone that cannot defend him or herself.” – Cardinal Bergoglio with Rabbi Abraham Skorka in book
 2. “All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.” – Message to Catholics taking part in annual Day for Life in Britain and Ireland July 28, 2013
3. “Let’s say ‘Yes’ to life and ‘No’ to death.” – Message to Catholics taking part in March for Life in France Jan. 19, 2014.
 4. “Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection. And every elderly person…even if he is ill or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the ‘culture of waste’ suggests!” – Speech to Catholic healthcare professionals and gynecologists Sept. 20, 2013
5.... it is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day; children being used as soldiers, abused and killed in armed conflicts; and children being bought and sold in that terrible form of modern slavery which is human trafficking, which is a crime against humanity.” – Speech to diplomats Jan. 13, 2014
 6. “The victims of this [throwaway] culture are precisely the weakest and most fragile human beings — the unborn, the poorest, the sick and elderly, the seriously handicapped, etc. — who are in danger of being ‘thrown away,’ expelled from a system that must be efficient at all costs. …It is necessary to raise awareness and form the lay faithful, in whatever state, especially those engaged in the field of politics, so that they may think in accord with the Gospel and the social doctrine of the church and act consistently by dialoguing and collaborating with those who, in sincerity and intellectual honesty, share — if not the faith — at least a similar vision of mankind and society and its ethical consequences. – Speech to a delegation from the Dignitatis Humanae Institute Dec. 7, 2013
7. “Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? ” – Laudato Si
8. "Every life counts: from the beginning to the end, from conception to natural death" Tweet Jan.19,2018
9. The fight against abortion is “part of the battle in favor of life from the moment of conception until a dignified, natural end. This includes the care of the mother during pregnancy, the existence of laws to protect the mother postpartum, and the need to ensure that children receive enough food, as well as providing healthcare throughout the whole length of life…” …On science being aware it is human life: “A pregnant woman isn’t carrying a toothbrush in her belly, or a tumor…We are in the presence of a human being.” – Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in book of interviews “Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words”
10. "Defend the Unborn Against Abortion even if they persecute you calumniate you set traps for you take you to court or kill you."'

Wow Rwanda's 'Holy Land' of Africa to Get 10,000-Seater Basilica Honoring Our Lady of Kibeho


Rwanda's Kibeho Holy Land to Get 10,000-Seater Basilica
Feasibility studies and design have been completed and if everything goes according to plan, Rwanda's pilgrimage site of Kibeho in Nyaruguru district will have a new basilica that will have a seating capacity of 10,000 people. Speaking to The New Times on Sunday, Francois Habitegeko, the Mayor of Nyaruguru, he said that they expect the new basilica to have been completed by November 2021, when the holy land marks 40 years. Habitegeko said that engineers presented the design to the Catholic Church and the district authorities and he highlighted the different features and components of the facility. "They presented the design and implementation plan to us. There is even a foundation called "Our Lady of Kibeho basilica" that is charge of fundraising financial resources to the fund the implementation," he said.
 The construction works for the facility are expected to cost up to $70 million (Rwf64bn), according to the mayor.
 The foundation, he said, was established by Christians led by the Lady called Immaculée Ilibagiza. A survivor of the Genocide against the Tutsi, Iribagiza, who is an author and motivational speaker based in America, regularly brings many Christians from around the world to pray from the Kibeho holy land. Her first book, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust (2006), is an autobiographical work detailing how she survived during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. "This foundation in charge of fundraising is composed of different people including Americans," the Mayor said. The very big basilica could host between 8,000 and 10,000 people and it will have a VIP section too. "If the plan goes well, it will be completed by November 2021 with capacity of 10,000 seats as well as a very big ground outside," he said adding that the outside area will be enough to accommodate up to 100,000 pilgrims. 
 He said that the 40 year-anniversary of apparitions of the Virgin Mary in November 2021 could be celebrated in the set up basilica. "Once completed, it will attract more pilgrims and tourists which is a very big opportunity for businesses and hospitality sector in the district," he said. The district says that Kibeho receives between 500,000 and 600,000 pilgrims every year. The official said that with pilgrims continuing to increase, more hotels and other accommodation facilities need to be constructed. "There are no enough and good hotels which prevent tourists coming to Holy land to stay for long," he said revealing that a four-star hotel is also in the offing. "We have given the plot and construction permit to an investor to build the hotel and we are awaiting the investor to start the construction works," he said. What is clear is that we need hotels so much to accommodate the increasing number of religious tourists, he said. Other infrastructure projects underway in this region include road being to the site and the works to upgrade Munini hospital which will be completed soon. The 66 km Huye-Nyaruguru road is expected to be completed in 30 months at the cost of Rwf70 billion. "The road, the hospital, the basilica and others are good infrastructure facilities to serve the pilgrims," he said.
 About Kibeho Kibeho of Nyaruguru in Southern Province is an important place for Catholics as it is believed that the Virgin Mary appeared to some teenagers in the remote area in 1981. Three female teenagers witnessed apparitions in the following years and Mary left a message of repentance and encouraged Rwandans to love each other. Since then, the place every year receives Catholic believers from across the world including global celebrities and other important personalities.
There are 1,331 basilicas in Europe, 390 basilicas on the American continent, 63 in Asia, seven in Oceania and 23 basilicas in Africa. Currently, Rwanda has only one minor basilica in Kabgayi, 'Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady' with a capacity to accommodate 3,000 people. In Africa, the countries with many basilicas are Ghana with four, Uganda with three, Algeria with two, and Egypt with also two basilicas. The largest basilica in Africa is Yamoussoukro Basilica in Cote d'Ivoire, which has the capacity to hold 18,000 worshippers, while the esplanade can accommodate a crowd of 300,000. In Europe, countries with most basilicas include Italy with 576, France with 173, Poland with 154, and Spain with 124 Basilicas.
Edited from AllAfrica.com from a report of The New Times (Kigali)
 By Michel Nkurunziza 

Jan. 22 Official Pro-Life Day of "Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children" - with Special Prayers - #ProLife


USCCB RELEASE: January 22 Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer.

Pope Saint John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 100* 
The over 56 million abortions since the 1973 decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Boltonreflect with heartbreaking magnitude what Pope Francis means by a “throwaway culture.” However, we have great trust in God’s providence. We are reminded time and again in Scripture to seek the Lord’s help, and as people of faith, we believe that our prayers are heard. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 373, designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the "Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”: “In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.”

As individuals, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting and/or giving alms. Another way to take part is through participating in special events to observe the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Call your local diocese or parish to find out what events might be taking place in your area.

Blessing of a Child in the Womb

The "Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb" was crafted to support parents awaiting the birth of their child, to encourage parish prayers for -- and recognition of -- the precious gift of the child in the womb, and to foster respect for human life within society. It may be offered within the context of the Mass as well as outside of Mass.
God, author of all life,
bless, we pray, this unborn child;
give constant protection

and grant a healthy birth
that is the sign of our rebirth one day
into the eternal rejoicing of heaven...
~ excerpt from the Prayer of Blessing

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday January 22, 2020 - #Eucharist


Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
Lectionary: 313 
 Reading 11 SM 17:32-33, 37, 40-51
David spoke to Saul:
“Let your majesty not lose courage.
I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine.”
But Saul answered David,
“You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him,
for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth.”
David continued:
“The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear,
will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine.”
Saul answered David, “Go! the LORD will be with you.”
Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from the wadi
and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag.
With his sling also ready to hand, he approached the Philistine.
With his shield bearer marching before him,
the Philistine also advanced closer and closer to David.
When he had sized David up,
and seen that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance,
the Philistine held David in contempt.
The Philistine said to David,
“Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?”
Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods
and said to him, “Come here to me,
and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air
and the beasts of the field.”
David answered him:
“You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar,
but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted.
Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand;
I will strike you down and cut off your head.
This very day I will leave your corpse
and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air
and the beasts of the field;
thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God.
All this multitude, too,
shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves.
For the battle is the LORD’s and he shall deliver you into our hands.”
The Philistine then moved to meet David at close quarters,
while David ran quickly toward the battle line
in the direction of the Philistine.
David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone,
hurled it with the sling,
and struck the Philistine on the forehead.
The stone embedded itself in his brow,
and he fell prostrate on the ground.
Thus David overcame the Philistine with sling and stone;
he struck the Philistine mortally, and did it without a sword.
Then David ran and stood over him;
with the Philistine’s own sword which he drew from its sheath
he dispatched him and cut off his head.

Responsorial Psalm144:1B, 2, 9-10

R.    (1)  Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.
R.    Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
My refuge and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust,
who subdues my people under me.
R.    Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
O God, I will sing a new song to you;
with a ten-stringed lyre I will chant your praise,
You who give victory to kings,
and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.
R.    Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

AlleluiaMT 4:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 3:1-6

Jesus entered the synagogue.
There was a man there who had a withered hand.
They watched Jesus closely
to see if he would cure him on the sabbath
so that they might accuse him.
He said to the man with the withered hand,
“Come up here before us.”
Then he said to the Pharisees,
“Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?”
But they remained silent.
Looking around at them with anger
and grieved at their hardness of heart,
Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel
with the Herodians against him to put him to death.