Thursday, October 8, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Friday, October 9, 2020 - Your Virtual Church

Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time 
Lectionary: 465
Reading 1 GAL 3:7-14
Brothers and sisters: Realize that it is those who have faith who are children of Abraham. Scripture, which saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, foretold the good news to Abraham, saying, Through you shall all the nations be blessed. Consequently, those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham who had faith. For all who depend on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, Cursed be everyone who does not persevere in doing all the things written in the book of the law. And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for the one who is righteous by faith will live. But the law does not depend on faith; rather, the one who does these things will live by them. Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree, that the blessing of Abraham might be extended to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Responsorial Psalm PS 111:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6 R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart in the company and assembly of the just. Great are the works of the LORD, exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever. Majesty and glory are his work, and his justice endures forever. He has won renown for his wondrous deeds; gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever. He has given food to those who fear him; he will forever be mindful of his covenant. He has made known to his people the power of his works, giving them the inheritance of the nations. R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
Alleluia JN 12:31B-32 R. Alleluia, alleluia. The prince of this world will now be cast out, and when I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all to myself, says the Lord. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
LK 11:15-26 When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said: “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven. But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. “When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint October 9 : St. Denis the Patron of Headaches, Rabies, and Possessed People with Novena Prayer

St. Denis
Third century, Italy
258 at Montmarte
Major Shrine:
Abbey of Saint-Denis, Saint Denis Basilica
Patron of:
France; Paris; against frenzy; against strife; headaches; hydrophobia; possessed people; rabies

Bishop of Paris, and martyr. Born in Italy, nothing is definitely known of the time or place, or of his early life. His feast is kept on 9 October. He is usually represented with his head in his hands because, according to the legend, after his execution the corpse rose again and carried the head for some distance. That, however, while still very young he was distinguished for hisvirtuous life, knowledge of sacred things, and firm faith, is proved by the fact that Pope Fabian (236-250) sent him with some other missionary bishops to Gaul on a difficult mission. The Church of Gaul had suffered terribly under the persecution of the Emperor Decius and the new messengers of Faith were to endeavour to restore it to its former flourishing condition. Denis with his inseparable companions, the priest Rusticus and the deacon Eleutherius, arrived in the neighbourhood of the present city of Paris and settled on the island in the Seine. The earliest document giving an account of his labours and of his martyrdom (Passio SS. Dionsyii, Rustici et Eleutherii), dating from the end of the sixth or the beginning of the seventh century and wrongly attributed to the poet Venantius Fortunatus, is interwoven with much legend, from which, however, the following facts can be gleaned.
On the island in the Seine Denis built a church and provided for a regular solemnization of the Divine service. His fearless and indefatigable preaching of the Gospel led to countless conversions. This aroused the envy, anger and hatred of the heathen priests. They incited the populace against the strangers and importuned the governor Fescenninus Sisinnius to put a stop by force to the new teaching. Denis with his two companions were seized and as they persevered in their faith were beheaded (about 275) after many tortures. Later accounts give a detailed description of the confessors' sufferings. They were scourged, imprisoned, racked, thrown to wild beasts, burnt at the stake, and finally beheaded. Gregory of Tours simply states: "Beatus Dionysius Parisiorum episcopus diversis pro Christi nomine adfectus poenis praesentem vitam gladio immente finivit" (Hist. Franc. I, 30). The bodies of the three holy martyrs received an honourable burial through the efforts of a pious matron named Catulla and a small shrine was erected over their graves. This was later on replaced by a beautiful basilica (egregium templum) which Venantius celebrated in verse (Carm. I, ii).
From the reign of King Dagobert (622-638) the church and the Benedictine monastery attached to it were more and more beautifully adorned; the veneration of St. Denis became by degrees a national devotion, rulers and princes vying with one another to promote it. This development is due in no small degree to an error prevailing throughout the Middle Ages, which identified St. Denis of Paris with St. Dionysius the Areopagite, and with the Pseudo-Dionysius, the composer of the Areopagitic writings. The combining of these three persons in one was doubtless effected as early as the eighth or perhaps the seventh century, but it was only through the "Areopagitica" written in 836 byHilduin, Abbot of Saint-Denis, at the request of Louis the Pious, that this serious error took deep root. The investigations of Launoy first threw doubt on the story and the Bollandist de Bye entirely rejected it. Hilduin was probably deceived by the same apocryphal Latin and Greek fictions. The possession of the Areopagitic writings (since 827 in Saint-Denis) strengthened his conviction of this truth. Historiographers of the present day do not dispute this point. All attempts of Darras, Vidieu, C. Schneider, and others to throw some light on the subject have proved fruitless.

Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia
Novena in Honor of St. Denis
Preparatory Prayer 
For Each  Novena to a Holy Helper
ALMIGHTY and eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy Divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy Heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy Divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the Saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy Divine Son.
Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saying, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul. Amen.
Prayer in Honor of St. Denis
O GOD, Who didst confer Thy saving faith on the people of France through Thy holy Bishop and Martyr Denis, and didst glorify him before and after his Martyrdom by many miracles; grant us through his intercession that the Faith practiced and preached by him be our light on the way of life, so that we may be preserved from all anxieties of conscience, and if by human frailty we have sinned, we may return to Thee speedily by true penance. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Invocation of St. Denis
GLORIOUS servant of God, St. Denis, with intense love thou didst devote thyself to
Christ after learning to know Him through the apostle St. Paul, and didst preach His saving  name to the nations, to bring whom to His knowledge and love thou didst not shrink from Martyrdom; implore for me a continual growth in the knowledge and love of Jesus, so that my restless heart may experience that peace which He alone can give. Help me by thy powerful intercession with God to serve Him with a willing heart, to devote myself with abiding love to His service, and thereby to attain the eternal bliss of Heaven. Amen.
My Lord and God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the Saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena.
Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen.
THE FOURTEEN HOLY HELPERS, Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, O.F.M. 

Pope Francis' Explains "...women have the gift of offering a wisdom that can heal, forgive, reinvent and renew" and Sets St. Hildegard of Bingen as Example - FULL TEXT



[7 October 2020]


Dear Friends,

I offer a warm greeting to you, the Women’s Consultation Group of the Pontifical Council for Culture, on the occasion of the seminar “Women Read Pope Francis: Reading, Reflection and Music”, a series of meetings that now begins with the theme Evangelii Gaudium.

Your gathering today highlights the novelty that you represent within the Roman Curia. For the first time, a Dicastery has involved a group of women by making them protagonists in developing cultural projects and approaches, and not simply to deal with women’s issues. Your Consultation Group is made up of women engaged in different sectors of the life of society and reflecting cultural and religious visions of the world that, however different, converge on the goal of working together in mutual respect.

For your reading programme, you have chosen three of my writings: the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ and the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together. These works are devoted, respectively, to the themes of evangelization, creation and fraternity. Your choice is significant, reflecting, in the spirit of the Consultation Group, a rich diversity striving to seek areas of agreement and fellowship in dialogue.

It is significant too, that your Conference is being held under the aegis of a great woman who in 2012 was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church: Saint Hildegard of Bingen. Like Saint Francis of Assisi, she composed a harmonious hymn in which she celebrated and praised the Lord of and in creation. Hildegard united scientific knowledge and spirituality. For a thousand years, she has masterfully taught men and women through her writings, her commentaries and her art. She broke with the customs of her time, which prevented women from study and access to libraries, and, as abbess, she also demanded this for her sisters. She learned to sing and compose music, which for her was a means of drawing nearer to God. For Hildegard, music was not only an art or science; it was also a liturgy.

Your aim in this gathering is to create a dialogue between intellect and spirituality, between unity and diversity, between music and liturgy, with one fundamental goal, that of universal friendship and trust. You do this with a feminine voice that desires to help heal an ailing world. Your reading programme can provide particular insights into the theme of social and cultural encounter and contribute to peace, for women have the gift of offering a wisdom that can heal, forgive, reinvent and renew.

In the history of salvation, it was a woman who welcomed God’s Word. Women too kept alive the flame of faith in the dark night, awaiting and then proclaiming the Resurrection. Women find deep and joyful fulfilment in precisely these two acts: welcoming and proclaiming. They are the protagonists of a Church that goes forth, listening and caring for the needs of others, capable of fostering true processes of justice and bringing the warmth of a home to the various social environments where they find themselves. Listening, reflection and loving activity: these are the elements of a joy ever renewed and shared with others through feminine insight, the care of creation, the gestation of a more just world, and the creation of a dialogue that respects and values differences.

I encourage you, then to be bearers of a message of peace and renewal. To be a presence that, with humility and courage, is able to understand and welcome newness and inspire the hope of a more fraternal world. I accompany you in my thoughts and prayers before God, and I ask you, please, to do the same for me. Thank you!

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 1 October 2020, liturgical memorial of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus



FULL TEXT Source: 

Christian Jailed for 7 Years over False Blasphemy Charge Now Acquitted in Pakistan

 ASIA/PAKISTAN - Pakistani Christian acquitted after seven years: Justice is now being sought for the violence committed at Joseph Colony

Wednesday, 7 October 2020blasphemy    

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - Pakistani Christian Sawan Masih, who was falsely accused of blasphemy in 2013, was acquitted yesterday, 6 October 2020, by the Lahore Court of Appeal. After seven years in prison and a first-degree sentence, the court recognized that Sawan had been falsely implicated with illegal intentions by mafia groups linked to "land grabbing" and acquitted him of all charges and also ordered Masih to be released from custody.

The defense attorney underlined the fact that there was a thirty-four hour delay between the alleged crime of blasphemy and complaint presented to the police: this element confirms the thesis of a planned allegation to accuse the man on the basis of the blasphemy law. In addition, witnesses who confirmed allegations of blasphemy had made contradicting statements. Due to these elements, the judge now overturned the first instance sentence.

Sawan Masih was charged with blasphemy in March 2013. Thereafter, more than 178 houses in the Christian neighborhood of Joseph Colony in Lahore were burned down by an angry Muslim crowd. In 2014 a death sentence was finally imposed for blasphemy (see Fides, 4/4/2014), while none of the Muslims have yet been punished for the devastation in the Christian neighborhood. The man had been on death row in Faisalabad prison since April 2014, but, according to Christian Joseph Francis, chairman of the NGO CLAAS (Center for Legal Aid Assistance & Settlement), "remained confident and believed in his release". "We are extremely proud and happy that today, after eight years of tireless commitment, justice has been done to an innocent man. We continue to work for all Christians who are wrongly accused and victims of a law that should be changed to avoid abuse". Masih said he prayed "for the judges" every day in prison, so that God would give them courage and that they could apply true justice in their decisions.

Dominican Father James Channan, Director of the "Peace Center" in Lahore emphasizes: "Christians, Hindus and other minority groups in Pakistan face discrimination and injustice, often caused by the abuse of blasphemy laws to attack innocent Christian communities. Thanks to good relations with Muslim leaders such as Abdul Khabir Azad, the Imam of the Royal Mosque in Lahore, worked together to peacefully overcome tense situations such as the attack on the Christian neighborhood “Joseph Colony” in the heart of Lahore in March 2013. We are grateful to the court for acquitting Masih and acknowledging his innocence. Now it is necessary to do justice to the families who have lost their homes and property in the assault caused by false charges of blasphemy against Sawan Masih".

There are currently at least 80 people in prison in Pakistan accused of "blasphemy", and at least half of them face life imprisonment or death penalty. The people accused under the law are mainly Muslims, in a country where 98% of the population follows Islam but, as Christian activists of the "Justice and Peace" Commission of the Pakistani Catholic Bishops note, "the law targets members of religious minorities such as Christians and Hindus".

The case of extrajudicial executions should not be underestimated, given that radical leaders urge militants to "take justice for themselves", killing people found guilty of blasphemy, even if they are not convicted in court or are falsely accused. According to the NGO "Center for Social Justice", founded and led by the Pakistani Catholic Peter Jacob, since 1990, at least 77 people have been killed in extrajudicial executions, in relation to accusations of blasphemy: among those killed are people accused of blasphemy, their family members, lawyers and judges who acquitted the accused of the crime. (PA) (FULL TEXT Release: Agenzia Fides, 7/10/2020)

Pope Francis Explains "Thus, situations can occur where, in touching money, we get blood on our hands, the blood of our brothers and sisters." FULL TEXT to Moneyval




Thursday, 8 October 2020


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I offer you a cordial welcome on the occasion of your visit as experts of the Council of Europe for the evaluation of measures taken to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism. I thank the President of the Financial Information Authority for his kind words.

Your work on this double front is particularly dear to my heart. Indeed, it is closely linked to the protection of life, the peaceful coexistence of the human race on earth, and a financial system that does not oppress those who are weakest and in greatest need. It is all linked together.

As I wrote in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, I consider it necessary for us to reflect anew on our relationship with money (cf. No. 55). It seems that in many places the supremacy of money over human beings is taken for granted. Sometimes, in the effort to amass wealth, there is little concern for where it comes from, the more or less legitimate activities that may have produced it, and the mechanisms of exploitation that may be behind it. Thus, situations can occur where, in touching money, we get blood on our hands, the blood of our brothers and sisters.

It can also happen that financial resources are used to spread terror, to shore up the strongest, the most powerful and those prepared to sacrifice the lives of their brothers and sisters without a scruple, all in a bid to hold onto their power.

Saint Paul VI proposed setting aside the monies spent on military expenditures to create a global Fund to relieve the needs of impoverished peoples (cf. Populorum Progressio, 51). I returned to this proposal in my recent Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti. There I asked that, instead of investing in fear or nuclear, chemical and biological threats, we use those resources “finally to put an end to hunger and favour development in the most impoverished countries, so that their citizens will not resort to violent or illusory solutions, or have to leave their countries in order to seek a more dignified life” (n. 262).

The Church’s social teaching has underscored the error of the neoliberal dogma (cf. ibid., 168) which holds that the economic and moral orders are so completely distinct from one another that the former is in no way dependent on the latter (cf. Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno, ed. Carlen, 42). In light of the present circumstances, it would seem that “the worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose” (Evangelii Gaudium, 55). Indeed, “financial speculation fundamentally aimed at quick profit continues to wreak havoc” (Fratelli Tutti, 168).

Policies aimed at countering money laundering and terrorism are a means of monitoring movements of money and of intervening in cases where irregular or even criminal activities are detected.

Jesus drove merchants from the temple precincts (cf. Mt 21:12-13; Jn 2:13-17) and stated: “You cannot serve both God and money” (Mt 6:24). Once the economy loses its human face, then we are no longer served by money, but ourselves become servants of money. This is a form of idolatry against which we are called to react by reestablishing the rational order of things, which appeals to the common good,[1] whereby “money must serve, not rule” (Evangelii Gaudium, 58; Gaudium et Spes, 64; Laudato Si’, 195).

To implement these principles, the Vatican recently introduced into its legal system measures aimed at ensuring transparency in the management of money and preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism. On 1 June last, a Motu Proprio was issued for a more effective management of resources and for the promotion of transparency, oversight and competition in the procedures for awarding public contracts. On 19 August last, an Ordinance of the President of the Governorate required volunteer organizations and juridical persons of Vatican City State to report suspicious activities to the Financial Information Authority (AIF).

Dear friends, I thank you once more for the service you provide; I consider it thus, a service, and I thank you. The measures that you are evaluating are meant to promote a “clean finance”, in which the “merchants” are prevented from speculating in that sacred “temple” which, in accordance with the Creator’s plan of love, is humanity. Thank you once again. I offer all of you my best wishes for your work and I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me.

[1] Cf. SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 90, a. 2.
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Pope Francis says "Healthcare systems, for example, need to become much more inclusive and accessible to the disadvantaged...." FULL TEXT




[7-9 October 2020]


To the Distinguished Members
of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences
Meeting in Plenary Session

I offer you cordial greetings and I express my gratitude to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences for devoting this year’s Plenary Session to placing basic scientific research at the service of the health of our planet and its inhabitants, especially the poorest and most disadvantaged. I likewise greet the invited experts and leaders, all of whom have weighty international responsibilities, and I look forward to their contribution.

Before all else, I express my support for the work of the Academy, actively promoted by its President, Professor Joachim von Braun, and the Council. In these days, my interest in your work is even keener, because you have devoted this Plenary Session to what is rightly a topic of profound concern for all humanity. You are focusing on the notion of science at the service of people for the survival of humanity in light of the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic and other global issues.

In effect, the pandemic brought to light not only our false securities, but also the inability of the world’s countries to work together. For all our hyper-connectivity, we witnessed a fragmentation that made it more difficult to resolve problems that affect us all (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 7). It is significant, then, that this virtual Plenary Session of the Academy brings together a number of different scientific disciplines; in this sense, it offers an example of how the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis should be addressed through coordinated efforts in the service of the entire human family.

Your efforts are largely concentrated on the study of new immunological and immunochemical pathways to activate the body’s own defence mechanisms or stop the proliferation of infected cells. You are also studying other specific treatments, including vaccines now being tested in clinical trials. As we know, the virus, in affecting people’s health, has also affected the entire social, economic and spiritual fabric of society, paralyzing human relationships, work, manufacturing, trade and even many spiritual activities. It has an enormous impact on education. In many parts of the world, great numbers of children are unable to return to school, and this situation runs the risk of an increase in child labour, exploitation, abuse and malnutrition. In short, being unable to see a person’s face and considering other people as potential carriers of the virus is a terrible metaphor of a global social crisis that must be of concern to all who have the future of humanity at heart.

In this regard, none of us can fail to be concerned for the impact of the crisis on the world’s poor. For many of them, the question is indeed one of survival itself. Together with the contribution of the sciences, the needs of the poorer members of our human family cry out for equitable solutions on the part of governments and all decision makers. Healthcare systems, for example, need to become much more inclusive and accessible to the disadvantaged and those living in low-income countries. If anyone should be given preference, let it be the neediest and most vulnerable among us. Similarly, when vaccines become available, equitable access to them must be ensured regardless of income, always starting with the least. The global problems we face demand cooperative and multilateral responses. International organizations such as the UN, WHO, FAO and others, which were established to foster global cooperation and coordination, should be respected and supported so that they can achieve their goals for the sake of the universal common good.

The eruption of the pandemic, within the broader context of global warming, the ecological crisis and the dramatic loss of biodiversity, represents a summons to our human family to rethink its course, to repent and to undertake an ecological conversion (cf. Laudato Si’, 216-221). A conversion that draws on all our God-given gifts and talents in order to promote a “human ecology” worthy of our innate dignity and common destiny. This is the hope I expressed in my recent Encyclical Fratelli Tutti on fraternity and social friendship. “How wonderful it would be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation could come along with more equality and social inclusion. How wonderful would it be, even as we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters who orbit around us!” (No. 31).

The reflections of your Plenary Session on the sciences and the survival of humanity also raise the issue of similar scenarios that could originate in the most advanced laboratories of the physical and biological sciences. May we remain quiet in the face of such prospects? As great as the responsibility of politicians may be, it does not exempt scientists from acknowledging their own ethical responsibilities in the effort to halt not only the manufacture, possession and use of nuclear weapons, but also the development of biological weapons, with their potential to devastate innocent civilians and indeed, entire peoples.

Dear friends, once again, I thank you for your research and your efforts to confront these grave issues in a spirit of cooperation and shared responsibility for the future of our societies. In these months, the entire world has depended on you and your colleagues to provide information, to instil hope and, in the case of countless medical professionals, to care for the sick and the suffering, often at the risk of their own lives. In renewing my own gratitude and offering my prayerful good wishes for the deliberations of your Plenary Session, I invoke upon you, your families and your associates God’s blessings of wisdom, strength and peace. And I ask you, please, to remember me in your prayers.

Rome, from Saint John Lateran, 7 October 2020