Sunday, March 8, 2020

#BreakingNews Bishops in Italy Cancel Public Holy Mass until April 3, 2020 due to Coronavirus

Full Text Press Release of the Catholic Bishops of Italy: 
The Church that lives in Italy and, through the Dioceses and parishes, draws close to every man, shares the common concern, facing the health emergency that is affecting the country.

With respect to this situation, the CEI - within a confrontation and collaboration relationship - in recent weeks has made its own, relaunching them, the measures through which the Government is committed to contrasting the spread of the "coronavirus".

The Decree of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, which entered into force today, suspends "civil and religious ceremonies, including funeral ceremonies" throughout the country until Friday 3 April.

The interpretation provided by the government strictly includes Holy Masses and funeral rites among "religious ceremonies". It is a highly restrictive passage, the reception of which encounters sufferings and difficulties for Pastors, priests and faithful. The acceptance of the Decree is mediated solely by the desire to do its part, also in this situation, to contribute to the protection of public health.

Rome, March 8, 2020

March 08 2020
Official Website of the Catholic Bishops of Italy - FULL TEXT Source:

Saint March 9 : St. Frances of Rome a Mystic and Patron of Benedictine Oblates; Automobile Drivers

1384, Rome
March 9, 1440, Rome
1608, Rome by Pope Paul V
Major Shrine:
Santa Francesca Romana Church, Romea
Patron of:
Benedictine oblates; automobile drivers

One of the greatest mystics of the fifteenth century; born at Rome, of a noble family, in 1384; died there, 9 March, 1440. Her youthful desire was to enter religion, but at her father's wish she married, at the age of twelve, Lorenzo de' Ponziani. Among her children we know of Battista, who carried on the family name, Evangelista, a child of great gifts (d. 1411), and Agnes (d. 1413). Frances was remarkable for her charity to the poor, and her zeal for souls. She won away many Roman ladies from a life of frivolity, and united them in an association of oblates attached to the White Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria Nuova; later they became the Benedictine Oblate Congregation of Tor di Specchi (25 March, 1433) which was  approved by Eugene IV (4 July, 1433). Its members led the life of religious, but without the strict cloister or formal vows, and gave themselves up to prayer and good works. With her husband's consent Frances practiced continency, and advanced in a life of contemplation. Her visions often assumed the form of drama enacted for her by heavenly personages. She had the gift of miracles and ecstasy, we well as the bodily vision of her guardian angel, had revelations concerning purgatory and hell, and foretold the ending of the Western Schism. She could read the secrets of consciences and detect plots of diabolical origin. She was remarkable for her humility and detachment, her obedience and patience, exemplified on the occasion ofher husband's banishment, the captivity of Battista, her sons' death, and the loss of all herproperty.
On the death of her husband (1436) she retired among her oblates at Tor di Specchi, seeking admission for charity's sake, and was made superior. On the occasion of a visit to her son, she fell ill and died on the day she had foretold. Her canonization was preceded by three processes (1440, 1443, 1451) and Paul V declared her a saint on 9 May, 1608, assigning 9 March as her feast day. Long before that, however, the faithful were wont to venerate her body in the church of Santa Maria Nuova in the Roman Forum, now known as the church of Santa Francesca Romana.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

Saint March 9 : St. Dominic Savio who Died at age 15 and the Patron of Choirboys, Falsely Accused, Juvenile delinquents

April 2, 1842(1842-04-02), San Giovanni, a frazione of Riva presso Chieri, Piedmont, Italy
March 9, 1857, Mondonio, a frazione of Castelnuovo d’Asti (today Castelnuovo Don Bosco), Piedmont, Italy
12 June 1954 by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:
The Basilica of Mary, Help of Christians in Turin (his tomb)
Patron of:
choirboys, falsely accused people, juvenile delinquents,  Pueri Cantores

Here is a boy-saint who died at the age of fifteen, was one of the great hopes of St. John Bosco for the future of his congregation, and was canonized in 1954. He was one of ten children of Carlo and Birgitta Savio. Carlo was a blacksmith and Birgitta was a seamstress. When Don Bosco was looking for young men to train as priests for his Salesian Order, his parish priest suggested Dominic Savio. Dominic became more than a credit to Don Bosco's school—he single-handedly organized those who were to be the nucleus of Don Bosco's order.
St. Dominic Savio was twelve when he met Don Bosco and organized a group of boys into the Company of the Immaculate Conception. Besides its religious purpose, the boys swept and took care of the school and looked after the boys that no one seemed to pay any attention to. When, in 1859, Don Bosco chose the young men to be the first members of his congregation, all of them had been members of Dominic's Company.
For all that, Dominic was a normal, high-spirited boy who sometimes got into trouble with his teachers because he would often break out laughing. However, he was generally well disciplined and gradually gained the respect of the tougher boys in Don Bosco's school.
In other circumstances, Dominic might have become a little self-righteous snob, but Don Bosco showed him the heroism of the ordinary and the sanctity of common sense. "Religion must be about us as the air we breathe," Don Bosco would say, and Dominic Savio wore holiness like the clothes on his back.
He called his long hours of prayer "his distractions." In 1857, at the age of fifteen, he caught tuberculosis and was sent home to recover. On the evening of March 9, he asked his father to say the prayers for the dying. His face lit up with an intense joy and he said to his father: "I am seeing most wonderful things!" These were his last words.
Thought for the Day: "I can't do big things," St. Dominic Savio once said, "but I want everything to be for the glory of God." His was the way of the ordinary: cheerfulness, fidelity in little things, helping others, playing games, obeying his superiors. This heroism in little things is the stuff of holiness.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis says "I am close with prayers to people who suffer from the current Coronavirus epidemic and to all those who are caring for them”

Full Text - ANGELUS
St. Peter's Square (Apostolic Palace Library)
Sunday, March 8, 2020

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

This prayer of today's Angelus is a little strange, with the Pope "caged" in the library, but I see you, I am close to you. And I would also like to begin by thanking that group [present in the Piazza] who manifests and fights "For the forgotten of Idlib". Thank you! Thanks for what you do. But we do this way of praying the Angelus today to carry out preventive provisions, so as to avoid small crowds of people, which can favor the transmission of the virus.
The Gospel of this second Sunday of Lent (cf Mt 17: 9-9) presents the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus. He takes Peter, James and John with him and climbs a high mountain, a symbol of closeness to God, to open them to a fuller understanding of the mystery of his person, who will have to suffer, die and then rise again. In fact, Jesus had started talking to them about the suffering, death and resurrection that awaited him, but they could not accept that prospect. For this reason, on reaching the top of the mountain, Jesus plunges into prayer and transfigures before the three disciples: "his face - says the Gospel - shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light" (v. 2) .

Through the wonderful event of the Transfiguration, the three disciples are called to recognize in Jesus the Son of God shining with glory. Thus they advance in the knowledge of their Master, realizing that the human aspect does not express its whole reality; in their eyes the afterlife and divine dimension of Jesus is revealed. And from above a voice resounds that says: "This is my Son, my beloved [...]. Listen to him "(v. 5). It is the heavenly Father who confirms the "investiture" - let's call it that - of Jesus already made on the day of his baptism in the Jordan and invites the disciples to listen and follow him.

It should be emphasized that, in the midst of the group of the Twelve, Jesus chooses to take Peter, James and John with him to Mount. Reserve them the privilege of witnessing the transfiguration. But why does he make this election out of these three? Why are they the holiest? No. Yet Peter, in the hour of trial, will deny him; and the two brothers James and John will ask to have the first places in his kingdom (cf Mt 20,20-23). However, Jesus does not choose according to our criteria, but according to his plan of love. Jesus' love has no measure: it is love, and he chooses with that plan of love. It is a free, unconditional choice, a free initiative, a divine friendship that asks for nothing in return. And as he called those three disciples, so also today he calls some to be close to him, in order to testify. Being witnesses of Jesus is a gift that we have not deserved: we feel inadequate, but we cannot hold back with the excuse of our inability.

We have not been to Mount Tabor, we have not seen with our eyes the face of Jesus shining like the sun. However, the Word of salvation has also been given to us, faith has been given and we have experienced, in different forms, the joy of meeting with Jesus. Jesus too says to us: "Stand up and do not be afraid" (Mt 17, 7). In this world, marked by selfishness and greed, the light of God is clouded by everyday concerns. We often say: I don't have time to pray, I am not able to carry out a service in the parish, to respond to the requests of others ... But we must not forget that the Baptism we received made us witnesses, not for our ability, but for the gift of the Spirit.

In the propitious time of Lent, may the Virgin Mary obtain that docility to the Spirit, which is indispensable for resolutely walking on the path of conversion.

After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters,

I greet all of you who are following this moment of prayer. I greet in particular the participants in the training course "Animators of a new way of communicating"; the faithful of Torrent, in Spain; the group of the decorated Corato; the young people of Coverciano and the children of the First Communion of Monteodorisio.

I greet the associations and groups that engage in solidarity with the Syrian people and especially with the inhabitants of the city of Idlib and north-west Syria - I am seeing you here - forced to flee from the recent developments of the war. Dear brothers and sisters, I renew my great apprehension, my pain at this inhuman situation of these defenseless people, including many children, who are risking their lives. We must not look away from this humanitarian crisis, but give it priority over any other interest. Let us pray for these people, these brothers and sisters of ours, who suffer so much in the north-west of Syria, in the city of Idlib.
I am close with prayers to people who suffer from the current coronavirus epidemic and to all those who are caring for them.” I join my brother Bishops in encouraging the faithful to live this difficult moment with the strength of faith, the certainty of hope and the fervor of charity. The time of Lent helps us all to give an evangelical sense also to this moment of trial and pain.

I wish you a happy Sunday! And please, don't forget to pray for me. Now I will look out, to see you a bit in real time. Have a good lunch and goodbye!

Top 10 Catholic Women - #WomensDay - SHARE Amazing Stories!

Today, March 8, is International Women's Day. The 1st national "Women's Day" was held on February 28, 1909 in the USA. The International Women's Day was celebrated on March 18, 1911. To celebrate this many hold parades or conferences in honour of women's roles in society. It also serves to call attention to the plight of many women suffering unjustly in many countries world wide.

In honor of women's day; here is a list of
1. MARY, MOTHER OF GOD Mary of Nazareth was born before the 1st century AD. Mary was born to Anne and Joachim. She was the mother of Jesus Christ. She conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit and remained a virgin. The angel Gabriel came to her and announced that she would conceive and bear a son who would be Emmanuel. She proclaimed the famous inspired prayer found in the Gospels: "My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. Shall call me blessed: These words are a prediction of that honour which the church in all ages should pay to the Blessed Virgin. Let Protestants examine whether they are any way concerned in this prophecy. He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.  He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever." (Luke 1: 46)
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born in Skopje, Macedonia, on August 26, 1910. The Bojaxhiu family was of Albanian descent. When she turned 18 she entered the Sisters of Loreto of Ireland. She took the name Teresa after St. Therese of Lisieux. She taught in a missionary school in India until 1948. While traveling through India she felt God calling her to serve the poorest of the poor. She received permission to leave her order and began to help the poor with volunteers. In 1950, she was given permission from the Vatican to start the order "The Missionaries of Charity".In 1979, she received the Nobel peace prize for her tireless work for the poor. (picture above)
Her order rapidly spread around the world to care for the poor, sick and marginalized in over 120 countries. She spoke of this ministry in her own words, "I once picked up a woman from a garbage dump and she was burning with fever; she was in her last days."
was born in Victoria, Australia, on January 15, 1842 and died on August 8, 1909. She is also known as St. Mary of the Cross. She founded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart with Father Julian Tenison Woods. They focus on education for the poor. She was canonized on October 17, 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. (Image: She is the first Australian Canonized Saint. Mary Helen MacKillop was born in Fitzroy, Victoria.
was born near the Rhine River, in Germany, in 1098 and died  on September 17, 1179. She was a visionary, musician, doctor, abbess and theologian.  She founded 2 monastaries. Hildegard composed Ordo Virtutem, the 1st passion play. She was taught in a monastery from the age of 8. Later she became an Abbess. She was the youngest of 10 children. Her books include: Scivias and Vita.
Mother Angelica was born in Canton, Ohio, on April 20, 1923, with the name Rita Rizzo. She founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) in 1980. She became a novice and then nun with the Poor Clares of Adoration in 1944. In 1962 she founded a house for the Poor Clares in Alabama. Her network has reached over 1 billion viewers world-wide. They run Catholic programming. It also offers a Website and Radio. She Died on March 27, 2016                                 
were African martyrs from Carthage in 202. Both of them were young mothers when they were killed by the Roman Emperor. Perpetua is quoted as saying: "We were in the hands of our persecutors, when my father, out of the affection he bore me, made new efforts to shake my resolution. I said to him: 'Can that vessel, which you see, change its name?' He said: 'No.' I replied: 'Nor can I call myself any other than I am, that is to say, a Christian." Felicity is quoted replying to a guard: "It is I that suffer what I now suffer; but then there will be another in me that will suffer for me, because I shall suffer for him." They and other martyrs were severly tortured; St. Pertua said before death:  "Continue firm in the faith, love one another, and be not scandalized at our sufferings." Their names are mentioned in the Canon of the Roman Catholic Mass. Their feast is on March 7.
7. ST. TERESA BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS, born as Edith Stein, was a Jewish woman born in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland), on 12 October 1891, the youngest of 11. She was an academic and worked for a university. In 1917, Edith was converted when visiting a friend; she wrote "This was my first encounter with the Cross and the divine power it imparts to those who bear it ... it was the moment when my unbelief collapsed and Christ began to shine his light on me—Christ in the mystery of the Cross". On 1 January 1922 Edith Stein was baptized. She entered the Carmelite convent of Cologne on 14 October and was clothed in the habit on 15 April 1934.
During the time of Nazi power Edith Stein was arrested by the Gestapo on 2 August 1942, while she was in the chapel with the other sisters. She together with her sister Rosa, who had also converted and was serving at the convent. Her last words to her sister: "Come, we are going for our people". She and her sister were killed in Auschwitz. Her feast day is August 9.
8. ST. ALPHONSA MUTTATHUPADATHU was born on August 19 1910 and died on July 28, 1946. She was a Franciscan Sister. She is the 1st Indian canonized Saint. Alphonsa was from the Syro-Malabar Eastern Rite founded by St. Thomas the Apostle. She was born in Kudamlloor, Kerala, India and spoke Malayalam.  She became a nun in 1936 and though sickly, taught in school for  years. Many miracles are attributed to her. She was canonized on October 12, 2008 and her feast is July 28.
9. ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX was born on January 2, 1873 and died on September 30, 1897. She was born in Alencon, France. Her original name was Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin. She became a Carmelite nun at the age of 15. Her other names were St. Therese of the Child Jesus, of the Holy Face and the Little Flower. She was a sacristan who became ill with Tuberculosis and died at age 24. She and her 5 sisters all became nuns.  Her memoirs entitled Story fo a Soul have become famous. She never left the convent but had an intense prayer life and love of God. She was declared a Doctor of the Church and the patroness of missions. Her feast day is October 1st or 3rd.
10. ST. JOSEPHINE BAKHITA was born in Sudan, Africa, in 1869 and died on February 8, 1947. She was a slave and became a Canossian nun in Italy. She worked for 45 years in Europe. She was born in Darfur to the Daju people; and belonged to a wealthy family. As a young child she was kidnapped by Arab slave traders, severally tortured and enslaved. She was forcibly converted to Islam. After much tortue under her masters she was sold to an Italian Consul who was kind. She moved to Italy with the family and worked in peace for them. She was declared free by an Italian court in 1889. Bakhita was baptised and confirmed in 1890. In 1893 she entered the Canossian Sisters and was welcomed by Pope Pius X. She was cook, sacristan and portress. Her reputation for holiness spread throughout Italy. Her feast is February 8.

(Images sources Shared from Google Images)

Vatican Announces New Precautionary measures due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Pope Francis’ Angelus, General Audience to be streamed
The Press Office of the Holy See announces changes with regard to the Pope’s activities in coming days. The new provisions have been undertaken as precautionary measures in view of ongoing concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19).
By Vatican News

The Holy See Press Office issued a statement on Saturday afternoon, announcing that “With regard to the events of the coming days, the prayer of the Angelus of the Holy Father on Sunday 8 March will take place from the Library of the Apostolic Palace and not in the Square, from the window. The prayer will be streamed live by Vatican News and on screens in St. Peter's Square, and distributed by Vatican Media to the media who request it, so as to allow the participation of the faithful. The General Audience on Wednesday, March 11 will be held in the same manner”.

The statement explains that these decisions were made at the request of Italian authorities, and “are necessary in order to avoid the risk of the spread of COVID-19 due to large groups of people gathering at security checks for access to the Square.” Further, the Press Office says, “in compliance with the provisions of the Directorate of Health and Hygiene of Vatican City State, the participation of the faithful in the Masses in Santa Marta will be suspended until Sunday 15 March. The Holy Father will celebrate the Eucharist privately”.