Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Saint January 30 : St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti a Virgin - 3rd Order Franciscan and Foundress of the Sacconi

1585, Vignanello, Italy

30 January 1640, Viterbo
1807 by Pope Pius VII

A religious of the Third Order of St. Francis and foundress of the Sacconi; born 1585 of a noble family at Vignanello, near Viterbo in Italy; died 30 January, 1640, at Viterbo; feast, 30 January; in Rome, 6 February (Diarium Romanum). Her parents were Marc' Antonio Mariscotti (Marius Scotus) and Ottavia Orsini. At Baptism she received the name Clarice and in early youth was remarkable for piety, but, as she grew older, she became frivolous, and showed a worldly disposition, which not even the almost miraculous saving of her life at the age of seventeen could change; neither was her frivolity checked by her education at the Convent of St. Bernardine at Viterbo, where an older sister had taken the veil. At the age of twenty she set her heart upon marriage with the Marquess Cassizucchi, but was passed by in favour of a younger sister. She was sadly disappointed, became morose, and at last joined the community at St. Bernardine, receiving the name Hyacintha. But, as she told her father, she did this only to hide her chagrin and not to give up the luxuries of the world; and she asked him to furnish her apartments with every comfort. She kept her own kitchen, wore a habit of the finest material, received and paid visits at pleasure.
For ten years she continued this kind of life, so contrary to the spirit of her vows and such a source of scandal to the community. By the special protection of God, she retained a lively faith, was regular in her devotions, remained pure, always showed a great respect for the mysteries of religion, and had a tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin. At length she was touched by God's grace, and the earnest exhortations of her confessor at the time of serious illness made her see the folly of the past and brought about a complete change in her life. She made a public confession of her faults in the refectory, discarded her costly garments, wore an old habit, went barefoot, frequently fasted on bread and water, chastised her body by vigils and severe scourging, and practised mortifications to such an extent that the decree of canonization considers the preservation of her life a continued miracle. She increased her devotion to the Mother of God, to the Holy Infant Jesus, to the Blessed Eucharist, and to the sufferings of Christ. She worked numerous miracles, had the gifts of prophecy and of discerning the secret thoughts of others. She was also favoured by heavenly ecstacies and raptures. During an epidemic that raged in Viterbo she showed heroic charity in nursing the sick. She established two confraternities, whose members were called Oblates of Mary or Sacconi. One of these, similar to our Society of St. Vincent de Paul, gathered alms for the convalescent, for the poor who were ashamed to beg, and for the care of prisoners; the other procured homes for the aged. Though now leading a life so pure and holy, Hyacintha always conceived the greatest contempt for herself. At her death great sorrow was felt at Viterbo and crowds flocked to her funeral. She was beatified by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726, and canonized 14 May, 1807, by Pius VII.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis explains "To give himself to us, God often chooses unthinkable paths...of our tears, of our defeats." Full text/Video

GENERAL AUDIENCE with Pope Francis- Full Video at Bottom of Post

Paul VI Hall
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Catechesis on the Beatitudes: 1. Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today we begin a series of catecheses on the Beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew (5.1-11). This text which opens the "Sermon on the Mount" and which has illuminated the lives of believers also for many non-believers. It is difficult not to be touched by these words of Jesus, and the desire to understand them and accept them more fully is right. The Beatitudes contain the Christian's "identity card" - this is our identity card -, because they outline the face of Jesus himself, his lifestyle.
Now let's frame these words of Jesus globally; in the next catecheses we will comment on the individual Beatitudes, one by one.

First of all, it is important how the proclamation of this message came about: Jesus, seeing the crowds who follow him, climbs the gentle slope surrounding the lake of Galilee, sits down and, addressing the disciples, announces the Beatitudes. So the message is addressed to the disciples, but on the horizon there are the crowds, that is, all humanity. It is a message for all humanity.

Furthermore, the "mountain" refers to Sinai, where God gave Moses the Commandments. Jesus begins to teach a new law: to be poor, to be meek, to be merciful ... These "new commandments" are much more than norms. In fact, Jesus does not impose anything, but reveals the way of happiness - his way - by repeating the word "blessed" eight times.

Each bliss is made up of three parts. At first there is always the word "blessed"; then comes the situation in which the blessed find themselves: poverty of spirit, affliction, hunger and thirst for justice, and so on; finally there is the reason for bliss, introduced by the conjunction "why": "Blessed are these because, blessed are they because ..." So are the eight Beatitudes and it would be nice to learn them by heart to repeat them, to have this law in your mind and heart that Jesus gave us.

Let us pay attention to this fact: the reason for bliss is not the current situation but the new condition that the blessed receive as a gift from God: "because of them is the kingdom of heaven", "because they will be comforted", "because they will inherit the earth ", and so on.

In the third element, which is precisely the reason for happiness, Jesus often uses a passive future: "they will be comforted", "they will inherit the earth", "they will be satisfied", "they will be forgiven", "they will be called children of God".

But what does the word "blessed" mean? Why does each of the eight Beatitudes begin with the word "blessed"? The original term does not indicate someone who has a full belly or is doing well, but is a person who is in a condition of grace, who progresses in the grace of God and who progresses on the path of God: patience, poverty, the service to others, consolation ... Those who progress in these things are happy and will be blessed.

To give himself to us, God often chooses unthinkable paths, perhaps those of our limits, of our tears, of our defeats. It is the Easter joy of which the Eastern brothers speak, that which has the stigmata but is alive, has gone through death and has experienced the power of God. The Beatitudes always bring you joy; they are the way to joy. It will do us good to take the Gospel of Matthew today, chapter five, verse one to eleven and read the Beatitudes - perhaps a few more times during the week - to understand this road so beautiful, so sure of the happiness that the Lord offers us.

Greetings in Various Languages:

Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, les groupes venus de Belgique et de France, particulièrement les jeunes venus de Paris et de Saint Cloud. Les Béatitudes nous enseignent que Dieu, pour se donner à nous, choisit souvent des chemins impensables, ceux de nos limites, de nos larmes, de nos défaites. Demandons au Seigneur l’esprit des Béatitudes afin que nous puissions faire l’expérience de la puissance de Dieu qui se manifeste dans nos souffrances quotidiennes. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini di lingua francese, i gruppi di Belgio e Francia, in particolare i giovani di Parigi e di Saint Cloud. Le Beatitudini ci insegnano che Dio, per donarsi a noi, spesso sceglie percorsi impensabili, quelli dei nostri limiti, delle nostre lacrime, delle nostre sconfitte. Chiediamo al Signore lo Spirito delle Beatitudini in modo da poter sperimentare il potere di Dio, manifestato nelle nostre sofferenze quotidiane. Dio vi benedica!]
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from the United States of America. Upon all of you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you!
Von Herzen grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache. Der Herr schärfe unseren Blick für das, was im Leben wirklich zählt, seine Liebe, die uns allein glücklich zu machen vermag. Schreiten wir mit seiner Gnade unaufhörlich auf dem Weg der Seligpreisungen voran. Möge der Heilige Geist uns jederzeit führen.
[Saluto di cuore i pellegrini di lingua tedesca. Il Signore affini la nostra sensibilità per ciò che conta realmente nella vita, il suo amore che solo ci può rendere felici. Con la sua grazia, progrediamo incessamente nel cammino della beatitudini. Lo Spirito Santo sia la nostra guida in ogni momento.]
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, venidos de España y de Latinoamérica. De modo particular saludo a los alumnos y profesores del Colegio San Ildefonso de Almería. Los animo a leer detenidamente el texto de la Bienaventuranzas e pedir a Dios la gracia para vivirlas en medio del mundo en el que nos encontramos, su vivencia nos otorgará una profunda alegría y paz. Que Dios los bendiga.
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, venidos de España y de Latinoamérica. De modo especial saludo a los alumnos y a los profesores del Colegio San Ildefonso de Almería. Los animo, los animo a leer detenidamente el texto de la Bienaventuranzas. Hoy por ejemplo, tómense un ratito, capítulo quinto de San Mateo, versículo 1 al 11, y lo lean, léanlo y si les gusta también mañana, léanlo, les va hacer bien; y pidan a Dios la gracia para poder vivirlas en medio del mundo en que nos encontramos. Y esto nos va a dar una gran alegría. Que Dios los bendiga.
[Dear Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, welcome! In greeting you all, I invite you to ask the Lord for a great faith to look at reality with the gaze of God, and a great charity to bring people together with his merciful heart. Trust God, like the Virgin Mary! May the blessing of the Lord come upon you and your families.]
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربية، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ منالشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، إن عيش التطويبات لا يتطلّب أعمالًا باهرة. لننظر إلى يسوع: لم يترك شيئًا مكتوبًا ولم يبنِ شيئًا مهيبًا. وعندما قال لنا كيف ينبغي أن نعيش، لم يطلب منا أن نقوم بأعمال كبيرة أو بأفعال فائقة الطبيعة، بل طلب منا أن نحقِّق تحفةً فنيّة واحدة، وهي حياتنا. فالتطويبات إذًا هي خريطة حياة: لا تتطلّب أعمالاً خارقة وإنما أن نتشبّه بيسوع في الحياة اليوميّة. ليبارككُم الرب!
[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Middle East! Dear brothers and sisters, living the Beatitudes does not require striking gestures. Let's look at Jesus: he didn't leave anything in writing, he didn't build anything impressive. And when he told us how to live he did not ask to raise great works or to report us by making extraordinary deeds. He asked us to make only one work of art: that of our life. The Beatitudes are then a map of life: they do not ask for superhuman actions, but to imitate Jesus in everyday life. The Lord bless you!]
Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, w niedzielę, w uroczystość Ofiarowania Pańskiego obchodzimy Dzień Życia Konsekrowanego. Módlmy się za zakonnice i zakonników, którzy oddają siebie Bogu i braciom w codziennej posłudze według swoich charyzmatów, aby zawsze byli wiernymi świadkami zbawczej miłości Chrystusa. Módlmy się również o nowe powołania do życia konsekrowanego. Z serca błogosławię wam, waszym rodzinom i wspólnotom. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus!
[I cordially greet the Polish pilgrims. Dear brothers and sisters, Sunday, on the solemnity of the Presentation of the Lord, the Day of Consecrated Life is celebrated. Let us pray for the men and women religious who dedicate themselves to God and to their brothers and sisters in daily service, according to their own charism, so that they will always be faithful witnesses of Christ's saving love. We also pray for new vocations to consecrated life. I cordially bless you, your families and your communities. Praised be Jesus Christ!]
* * *
I cordially welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims. In particular, I greet the Consolata Missionaries; and the parishes, in particular those of Castel del Monte and Andria.

I also greet the schools, especially that of Pescara and the Baratz Choir, of Villassunta Baratz of Sassari.

Lastly, I greet the young, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds. The example of Saint John Bosco's holiness, which we remember next Friday as Father and Master of youth, leads above all you, dear young people, to carry out your future projects, not excluding the plan that God has for each one. Let us pray to Saint John Bosco for everyone to find his way in life, what God wants for us.

Full Text + Image Source: - UnOfficial Translation - 

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee Commend Administration for Action to Enforce Federal Conscience Law

Bishop Chairmen Strongly Commend Administration for Action to Enforce Federal Conscience Law

January 24, 2020
WASHINGTON—On January 24th, on the occasion of the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., the Trump Administration announced that it is taking steps to enforce the Weldon Amendment, a federal law that prohibits discrimination by states against health insurance plans that do not cover abortion. In 2014, the California Department of Managed Health Care began forcing all employers—even churches—to fund and facilitate elective abortions in their health plans in direct violation of the Weldon amendment. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop George V. Murry, S.J. of Youngstown, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, issued the following statement in response to this enforcement action:

“Today’s announcement is extraordinarily good news for the right to life, conscientious objection, religious freedom and the rule of law. For nearly six years, employers in California—including churches—have been forced to fund and facilitate abortions in their health insurance plans in direct violation of a federal conscience protection law known as the Weldon amendment. This coercive California policy is abhorrent, unjust and illegal. We strongly commend the Trump Administration for taking this critical action to enforce federal law and correct this supreme injustice to the people and employers of California. Sadly, violations of federal conscience laws are on the rise. We hope that this enforcement action, and subsequent actions by the Administration, will stop further unlawful discrimination against people who reject abortion as a violation of the most basic human and civil rights.”
Full Text Release by USCCB

French Government releases Statistics : 1,052 anti-Christian acts committed last year - an Increase of 35%

French Interior Ministry announces 1,052 anti-Christian acts in 2019

Paris, France - The Paris Ministry of the Interior published figures on racist and anti-religious incidents last year. According to statistics, 1,052 antichristian acts were recorded in France, the number remained stable compared to 2018. Anti-Semitic incidents rose 27 percent to 687. The number of anti-Muslim incidents is quite low: 154 cases became known to the authorities. However, a drastic increase can also be observed here, as this is 35 percent more than in the previous year. This was reported by "Vatican Radio / Vatican News". The Ministry of the Interior explained that the anti-Christian and anti-Muslim files deal with attacks on property, while the anti-Semitic incidents even involved attacks on people.

Leaders of Churches in Lebanon Meet and Support New Government and Call for an End to Violence

LEBANON 2020-01-29
Heads of Churches: no to street violence. Support for the new Lebanese government

Bkerké (Agenzia Fides) - Openness and encouragement towards the new government, denunciation of the scourge of corruption, together with the warning that the legitimate right to demonstrate cannot be invoked to justify the violent and "uncivilized" actions perpetrated by groups of troublemakers in squares and on the Lebanese streets during the protests in recent months. These are the judgments and appeals shared by the Heads of Churches and ecclesial communities present in Lebanon, gathered on Tuesday 28 January at the invitation of Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai at the Maronite patriarchal see of Bkerkè. Reason for the meeting: to evaluate together the delicate historical passage crossed by the Lebanese nation. Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Youssef Absi, Syrian Catholic Patriarch Ignace Youssif III Younan, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Mar Ignatius Aphrem II, Catholicos of Cilicia of the Apostolic Armenians Aram I and Reverend Joseph Kassab, President of the Supreme Council of the Evangelical Communities in Lebanon and Syria also took part in the "spiritual summit" of the Heads of the Churches in Lebanon.
In the joint document, released at the end of the summit, the heads of the Churches present in Lebanon, among other things, express satisfaction for the formation of the new government entrusted to Hassan Diab (see Fides, 24/1/2020), and for the experts co-opted by the Premier in charge of the government team. The ecclesiastics call on the entire political class to take the path of structural reforms decisively, necessary to bring the country out of the economic crisis that is suffocating it. Church leaders also ask to stop the bleeding of resources stolen from the Lebanese people from corruption. Patriarchs, Bishops and heads of Christian communities reaffirm their full right to publicly express their dissent towards the political class, but at the same time firmly condemn the "uncivilized" character that various street demonstrations have taken, especially in Beirut, expressing appreciation for the work of the army and the security forces, and urging violent groups to express their dissent and reiterating that the salvation of the nation can never come through bloodshed. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 29/1/2020)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 319

Reading 12 SM 7:4-17

That night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
“Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD:
Should you build me a house to dwell in?
I have not dwelt in a house
from the day on which I led the children of Israel
out of Egypt to the present,
but I have been going about in a tent under cloth.
In all my wanderings everywhere among the children of Israel,
did I ever utter a word to any one of the judges
whom I charged to tend my people Israel, to ask:
Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’
“Now then, speak thus to my servant David,
‘The LORD of hosts has this to say:
It was I who took you from the pasture
and from the care of the flock
to be commander of my people Israel.
I have been with you wherever you went,
and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.
And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth.
I will fix a place for my people Israel;
I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place
without further disturbance.
Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old,
since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.
I will give you rest from all your enemies.
The LORD also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you.
And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his Kingdom firm.
It is he who shall build a house for my name.
And I will make his royal throne firm forever.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
And if he does wrong,
I will correct him with the rod of men
and with human chastisements;
but I will not withdraw my favor from him
as I withdrew it from your predecessor Saul,
whom I removed from my presence.
Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.’”

Responsorial Psalm89:4-5, 27-28, 29-30

R.    (29a)  For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn to David my servant:
I will make your dynasty stand forever
and establish your throne through all ages.”
R.    For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
“He shall cry to me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock that brings me victory!’
I myself make him firstborn,
Most High over the kings of the earth.”
R.    For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
“Forever I will maintain my love for him;
my covenant with him stands firm.
I will establish his dynasty forever,
his throne as the days of the heavens.”
R.    For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 4:1-20

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables,
and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
“Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”
And when he was alone,
those present along with the Twelve
questioned him about the parables.
He answered them,
“The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you.
But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that
they may look and see but not perceive,
and hear and listen but not understand,
in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.”
Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable?
Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.
As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once
and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who,
when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no roots; they last only for a time.
Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word,
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches,
and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word,
and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”