Friday, February 19, 2021

Saint February 20 : Saints Jacinta and Francesco who saw Our Lady of Fatima - a short History with Special Prayers

 Francisco Marto (June 11, 1908 – April 4, 1919) and his sister Jacinta Marto (March 11, 1910 – February 20, 1920),  together with their cousin, Lúcia dos Santos (1907–2005) were from Aljustrel near Fátima, Portugal. They saw three apparitions of an angel in 1916 and the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917. They reported visions of Our Lady of Fatima.  The youngest children of Manuel and Olimpia Marto were Francisco and Jacinta. They were illiterate and they worked with cousin Lucia, tending sheep. Francisco preferred to pray alone, as he said "to console Jesus for the sins of the world". They saw terrifying vision of Hell at the third apparition. All three children practiced prayer and penance for sin as the lady asked. Jacinta told her parents ‘Oh, Mother! I saw Our Lady today!’. On 13th August, The Administrator, Santos, ‘kidnapped’ the children to prevent them going to the next Apparition, and threatened them with a cauldron of boiling oil. On Sunday, 19th August, the children witnessed their fourth Apparition. 

At the Apparitions in 1917 Francisco heard nothing and had to rely on Lucia and Jacinta to tell him what was said by the Lady. Jacinta and Francesco became very ill during the Spanish Influenza epidemic in October, 1918.  The priest heard Francisco’s confession on the evening of 2nd April and brought Communion to him the next morning.Opening his eyes, he asked: ‘When will you bring me the Hidden Jesus again?’ This was what he said when talking of the Host in the Tabernacle. 
Jacinta developed pneumonia and then tuberculosis. She died in hospital just before her 11th birthday. Visitors who saw Jacinta in her open coffin exclaimed that she seemed to be alive, with the loveliest colour. When Jacinta’s coffin was opened on 12th September, 1935 and her face was seen to be perfectly incorrupt. 
 Jacinta's relics and those of Francisco lie in the Basilica at Fatima, with the simple inscription: “Here lie the mortal remains of Francisco and Jacinta to whom Our Lady appeared.” Jacinta and her brother Francisco were beatified- declared ‘Blessed’, by Pope John Paul II on 13th May, 2000 at Fatima. 

Our Lady of Fatima:
My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love Thee! I beg pardon for all those that do not believe, do not adore, do not trust and do not love Thee. O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy. Amen.

O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners. The Angel's Prayer is an Act of Reparation to The Holy Trinity.
Edited from “The Message of Fatima” by Fr. Martindale, S.J. and other sources. (All Images Google )


Pope Francis says "We need to proclaim and to remember that we have God’s promise, and God always keeps His promises." FULL TEXT + Video to Ed. Congress


[18-21 February 2021]

Friday, 19 February 2021

Dear brothers and sisters, a warm greeting to all the participants in the Congress on Religious Education sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which is celebrating its 65th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the “Youth Day”. Congratulations for these initiatives, which have already undertaken a long and fruitful journey, and which are currently taking place in virtual form.

There is no doubt that we are in a difficult time for all, and it is a time of crisis. How relevant, in this context, is the appeal made by this congress: “Proclaim the promise! We need to proclaim and to remember that we have God’s promise, and God always keeps His promises (cf. 1 Cor 1:9-11). We must also remember that “every woman and man, and every new generation, brings the promise of new relational, intellectual, cultural and spiritual energies” (Fratelli tutti, 196).

The pandemic has marked the life of the people and history of our community. Faced with this and other situations, it is necessary to build tomorrow, to look to the future and, to do so, it takes effort, strength and dedication on the part of everyone. We need to act in the style of the Samaritan, which involves letting ourselves be affected by what we see, knowing that suffering will change us, and we must engage with the suffering of others. The witness of generous and gratuitous love that we have witnessed throughout these months, so many testimonies, have left an indelible mark on consciences and also on the social fabric of society, teaching us how much closeness, care, accompaniment and sacrifice are necessary to nurture brotherhood. They were the proclamation and fulfilment of God's promise. Let us remember a universal principle: you never come out of a crisis the same, you come out better or worse, but you never come out of it the same. In crises, one's heart is revealed: its solidity, its mercy, its greatness, its meagreness. Crises confront us with the need to choose and to commit ourselves to a path.

“In this our time, by acknowledging the dignity of each human person, we can contribute to the rebirth of a universal aspiration to fraternity… We need a community that supports and helps us, in which we can help one another to keep looking ahead. How important it is to dream together”, and to look ahead! (Fratelli tutti, 8).

I greet young people especially. I invite you to hope, which “speaks to us of something deeply rooted in every human heart, independently of our circumstances and historical conditioning” (Fratelli tutti, 55). You young people, be the poets of a new human beauty, a new fraternal and friendly beauty!

And let us remember this other reality: “Dreams… are built together. Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travellers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all” (Fratelli tutti, 8).

I entrust you to the tenderness of Mary, Mother of the Church, and I heartily impart my blessing. Thank you ministers and teachers for what you do and please do not forget to pray for me. Thank you.

Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office, 19 February 2021

Breathtaking Hymn Stabat Mater for Lent Sung by Amazing Youth Choir - Will Touch your Heart!

Stabat Mater is a 13th-century Catholic hymn to Mary. It imagines her suffering as Jesus Christ's mother during his crucifixion. Although not certain it is that Franciscan friar Jacopone da Todi or Pope Innocent III composed the text. This musical rendition is by Pergolesi who lived in 1736.
Stabat mater dolorosa
juxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.

Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.

O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta,
mater Unigeniti!

Quae mœrebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati pœnas inclyti.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?

Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?

Pro peccatis suæ gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.

Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
pœnas mecum divide.

Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.

Juxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.

Virgo virginum præclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.

Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.

Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.

Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii.

Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriæ.

Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animæ donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.
At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her Son to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?

For the sins of His own nation,
She saw Jesus wracked with torment,
All with scourges rent:

She beheld her tender Child,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
be Thy Mother my defense,
be Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.
— Translation by Edward Caswall, Lyra Catholica (1849)
This Lent Donate to Catholic News World which brings the Gospel to over 200 Countries World Wide! Every little bit helps - as a Donor you and your Family will be added to our Mass Prayers - You can add your prayer intention on the Donation site "Donor Wall":

Government in China Orders Beautiful Sacred Heart Catholic Church to be Destroyed

Asia News reports that Yining’s Sacred Heart church is set to be torn down.
The church was built in 2000, with all the permits and praise of the local authorities. There are two reasons for the destruction: the land’s commercial value and erasing the "showy" symbolism of the religious building. The policy of "sinicization" launched by Xi Jinping and implemented in Zhejiang and Xijiang. 16,000 mosques were also destroyed or damaged. The appeal to the Pope and the Vatican.

Yining (AsiaNews) - From today, 19 February, the Catholics of Yining (Xinjiang) must clear out everything of the Sacred Heart church. By order of the local authorities the church must be destroyed. "Perhaps – says one AsiaNews source - from next week this Catholic church on the western border of China will disappear into dust".
The community of Yining, in the Yili district, is located 700 km west of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. The Catholics of the district - about 2 thousand - are made up of former exiles from the time of the Qing Empire and, after 1949 with the People's Republic of China, of immigrants and confined to forced labor camps in the region.
The strange fact is that the church is in possession of all of the nexessary permits from the Administration for Religious Affairs. Built in the year 2000, Yili district officials and Yining government authorities even attended its inauguration, praising the construction.
The authorities did not disclose the reason for the demolition. But most suspect that the church is being destroyed to use the land and build a commercial area in its place. In fact, the church stands along the road that leads to the airport and in the urban plans, this road will become increasingly important.
The point is that the place where the church stands was chosen in 1993 by the city government precisely because it was far from the inhabited centre and they did not want the church to be "too visible". But of course, over time, the city has grown and that land has now sparked the appetite of speculators and the local government.
In 2018 the church was already deeply scared: in the name of "sinicization" the Religious Affairs Office had erased the four bas-reliefs that adorned the facade, removed the two statues of St. Peter and St. Paul on the sides of the building, ripped the cross that adorned the cusp of the tympanum, the two domes and bell towers were destroyed because they were “too showy” .
Being "too showy" has haunted this church from the beginning. The project presented to the authorities in 1993 had to be reformulated and the size of the church reduced by 5 meters because it was "too high". During construction in 2000, the domes, painted in bright colours (photo 1 on the left), were deemed "too flashy" and repainted in grey (photo 2).
Faithful believe that the Regulations are being exploited with the intention to suffocate the life of Christians. 
In the name of commercialization of land, at least four other churches have been destroyed in Xinjiang in recent years: that of Hami, that of Kuitun and two churches of Tacheng. All had permits, but they were demolished and no compensation was paid.
The priest of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Tacheng was forcibly taken away and disappeared for almost two years. Now, although he has been released, he is not allowed to engage in any religious activity.
In recent years, many mosques have also been destroyed in the name of "sinicization". It is estimated that at least 16,000 mosques have been destroyed or damaged.
Edited from a report by Wang Zhicheng on Asia News 

Pope Francis says " I would just like to tell you...that sport, and also football, is a path of life, of maturity, and of holiness." to Visiting Sports Team

Pope Francis meets with the president, coach and players of Italy's Sampdoria football team of Genoa.

Words the Holy Father - Pope Francis - 

Thanks for your visit!

I have not prepared any speeches. I would just like to tell you that I am happy, and to tell you that sport, and also football, is a path of life, of maturity, and of holiness. We can go on. But you can never go on alone, always as a team, always as a team, this is important.

I stress two things, this is the first: in a team, everything is done as a team. The best wins are those of the team. From us, to the soccer player who plays for himself, we say that "you eat the ball": he takes the ball for himself and does not look at others. No. Always team.

The second thing: do not lose the amateur, that is amateur sport, the sport that comes from the vocation to do so. The other interests are secondary, the important thing is that he always remains amateur.

I wish you all of this. I will pray for you, and I ask you to pray for me. And now I give all of you the blessing.

FULL TEXT Source: - Image Screenshot

Listen to St. Benedict of Nursia's Good Advice for Lent "...during these days of Lent to keep its manner of life most pure..."

Benedict of Nursia is a Saint venerated in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Anglican Communion and Old Catholic Churches. He is a patron saint of Europe. He was born in Norcia, Italy, in 480 AD, and died: March 21, 547 AD, Monte Cassino, Italy. He is the founder of Western monasticism. This is an excerpt from his book the Rule of St. Benedict (which was a guide for the monks).
."...we urge the entire community during these days of Lent to keep its manner of life most pure 3 and to wash away in this holy season the negligences of other times.
4 This we can do in a fitting manner by refusing to indulge evil habits and by devoting ourselves to prayer with tears, to reading, to compunction of heart and self-denial.
5 During these days, therefore, we will add to the usual measure of our service something by way of private prayer and abstinence from food or drink, 6 so that each of us will have something above the assigned measure to offer God of his own will with the joy of the Holy Spirit (1 Thess 1:6).
7 In other words, let each one deny himself some food, drink, sleep, needless talking and idle jesting, and look forward to holy Easter with joy and spiritual longing."
The Rule of St. Benedict - Chapter 49

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Friday, February 19, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

Friday after Ash Wednesday
Lectionary: 221
Reading I
Is 58:1-9a
Thus says the Lord GOD:
Cry out full-throated and unsparingly,
    lift up your voice like a trumpet blast; 
Tell my people their wickedness,
    and the house of Jacob their sins. 
They seek me day after day,
    and desire to know my ways,
Like a nation that has done what is just
    and not abandoned the law of their God;
They ask me to declare what is due them,
    pleased to gain access to God.
“Why do we fast, and you do not see it?
    afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?”
Lo, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits,
    and drive all your laborers.
Yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting,
    striking with wicked claw.
Would that today you might fast
    so as to make your voice heard on high!
Is this the manner of fasting I wish,
    of keeping a day of penance:
That a man bow his head like a reed
    and lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Do you call this a fast,
    a day acceptable to the LORD?
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
    releasing those bound unjustly,
    untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
    breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
    sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
    and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
    and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
    and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
    you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
Responsorial Psalm
51:3-4, 5-6ab, 18-19
R.    (19b) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
    in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
    and of my sin cleanse me.
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For I acknowledge my offense,
    and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
    and done what is evil in your sight.”
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
    should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
    a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Verse before the Gospel
See Am 5:14
Seek good and not evil so that you may live,
and the Lord will be with you.
Mt 9:14-15
The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
“Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.”
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