Friday, February 26, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Saturday, February 27, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

 Saturday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 229
Reading I
Dt 26:16-19
Moses spoke to the people, saying:
“This day the LORD, your God,
commands you to observe these statutes and decrees.
Be careful, then,
to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
Today you are making this agreement with the LORD:
he is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways
and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees,
and to hearken to his voice.
And today the LORD is making this agreement with you:
you are to be a people peculiarly his own, as he promised you;
and provided you keep all his commandments,
he will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory
above all other nations he has made,
and you will be a people sacred to the LORD, your God,
as he promised.”
Responsorial Psalm
119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8
R.    (1b)  Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
(Mass starts after the Stations of the Cross at the 14:31 Mark)
 Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
    who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
    who seek him with all their heart.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
You have commanded that your precepts
    be diligently kept.
Oh, that I might be firm in the ways
    of keeping your statutes!
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
I will give you thanks with an upright heart,
    when I have learned your just ordinances.
I will keep your statutes;
    do not utterly forsake me.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Verse before the Gospel
2 Cor 6:2b
Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
Mt 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
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 February 27 : St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows the Patron of: Students, Youth, Seminarians and a Passionist Monk

February 27, marks the feast day of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862), the patron saint of young people, students, and young religious. Saint Gabriel’s short life is marked by piety, faith, and obedience to the Lord, and religious vocation at the behest of Our Blessed Mother. While the last six years of his life, spent as a brother in the Passionist Order, were marked by humility, self-denial, and simplicity, Gabriel’s early life was quite the opposite. His complete consecration of his life to the Lord, despite the temptations of the modern world which he so loved, make his sacrifice a vivid example of the Christian love and obedience we should strive for.
SEE ALSO - Powerful Prayers to Our Lady of Sorrows:
Born Francis Possenti, in Assisi, Italy in 1838, Saint Gabriel was the eleventh of thirteen children produced by the union of his parents. His father, a pious man with great political recognition in the area, and his mother, a well-connected religious woman from a respected family, were delighted in their son. He was baptized at the same font that his saintly namesake had been baptized nearly 600 years earlier.
From an early age, Francis demonstrated the potential for thoughtfulness and piety. He encouraged his teacher and siblings to pay more attention to the poor, oftentimes choosing to give some of his portions to those in need. Before he reached the age of four, his mother passed away from a serious illness, as did four of his siblings. Francis, the most sensitive of the family, was severely moved by these losses, increasing his empathy for others and his sensitivity to those in need.
As Francis matured, he developed insight into the fact that he was smart, charming, and attractive. He pursued hedonistic pleasures like art and theater, which he would later write to friends almost “cost him his soul.” He dressed to perfection, paying careful attention to his appearance. Francis excelled at school, and was generally the award-winner in all of his classes. He was chosen to give his commencement address upon graduation from the Jesuit College. Francis embraced the world, and to his classmates and friends, he appeared to have all the tools required for great success. He was the center of attention wherever he went, all the doors of the finest families and establishments open to him throughout the city. And while he was impulsive, prone to anger, and pridefully vain, he was poised to achieve great worldly things.
But Francis felt called in a different direction. Twice, Francis came down with serious illnesses while in school, illnesses he was not expected to recover from. During these times, he prayed to the Lord, promising to become a religious if his life was spared. While a student at the Jesuit College, he had asked permission to enter the Order, and was granted permission from his spiritual director. But Francis delayed entering the Order, finding reasons to wait. He maintained his faith, praying daily in the chapel and receiving the Eucharist, but could not commit to the religious life and give up his worldly enjoyments. As time went on, Francis began to doubt his choice of the Jesuit Order, instead feeling called to become a Passionist, the Order formed by Saint John of the Cross. His spiritual director encouraged him to wait and pray, and see where the Lord led him.
Following the cholera outbreak in 1856, the town rejoiced in thanks to the Blessed Mother, who interceded to save Spoleto. In veneration, a statue of Our Lady was carried throughout the streets. Francis observed the procession, more curious than devoted. As the statue was carried past him, he gazed into the face of the Blessed Virgin, and through the eyes of the statue, Mary pierced his heart with a gaze so strong it felt as a ‘dart of fire.” At the same time, he heard the words deep within in, “Why! thou art not made for the world! What art thou doing in the world? Hasten, become a religious!”
From that moment, Francis’ life changed. He entered the noviatiate of the Passionists, where he would live until his death. The Passionist Order is a strict order, and his family and friends urged him not to commit to such a life. Rather, they suggested he become a priest, or better yet, not become a religious and use his “talents” in the world. Francis was not to be disuaded. After his initial retreat, he was clothed in the robes of the Passionists, and gave up his name for a new name: Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
His days were spent in prayer, chanting, study, and manual labor. The Passionist Order maintains a rule of silence, and speaking was forbidden without permission. Gabriel spent the majority of his time meditating on the Passion of Christ, and praying the Rosary to Our Lady of Sorrows. Despite the rules and strict lifestyle, Gabriel was filled with joy. “My life is a continuous delight; what I experience inside these sacred walls is almost inexpressible; the 24 hours of the day seem to me like 24 short instants; really my life is full of delight.” He looked at each sacrifice as a way in which to polish away his sinful life, his pride, his vanity, and devote his life to Jesus. He wrote, “I will attempt day by day to break my will into pieces. I want to do God’s Holy Will, not my own”
Saint Gabriel looked to the Blessed Mother as his comfort and refuge in times of suffering, of which he had plenty due to illness. He wrote of her to his brother, “Love Mary!… She is loveable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love, but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her. She comes quickly and opens her merciful heart to you, embraces you and consoles and serves you. She will even be at hand to accompany you on the trip to eternity.” Within a few years of joining the Order, Gabriel was stricken with Consumption. He died a slow and painful death, over the course of two years, during which he maintained a cheerful and joyous disposition, so much so that his brothers in the Order wished to spend their days with him. In his dying moments, he asked for his picture of the Crucifixion, with the Blessed Virgin standing at the foot of the cross. It was well-worn from use. He devoutly kissed it, placed it upon him, folded his hands across it, and began to pray. With indescribable love he began to say aloud: “Oh, my Mother make haste, make haste!”
Many from the Order watched and prayed in his cell with him, as they knew his moment of death was close at hand. They were moved to tears by his devotion, and by the love with which he implored the comfort of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. By their records, Gabriel suddenly turned his eyes to the left and above him, gazing in rapture upon some heavenly vision. With a peaceful smile, he died, never letting go of his beloved picture. Not yest a priest when he died at age 24, Gabriel was buried at the Passionist retreat in Isola di Gran Sasso, Italy.
Since his death, numerous miracles have been reported via his intercession. For exmaple, Saint Gemma (1878-1903), a young woman with numerous ailments including deafness from meningitis, paralysis, abcesses, and curvature of the spine was miraculously cured after praying a novena to Saint Gabriel. In her own words, "I grew in admiration of his virtues and his ways. My devotion to him increased. At night I did not sleep without having his picture under my pillow, and after that I began to see him near me. I don’t know how to explain this, but I felt his presence. At all times and in every action Brother Gabriel came to mind.”
When she was approximately 20, and on her deathbed, Gemma began her novena to Saint Gabriel. While trying to sleep, she heard the rattling of a Rosary and he appeared to her, saying, “Do you wish to recover? Pray with faith every evening to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I will come to you until the Novena is ended, and will pray together to this Most Sacred Heart.” On the last night of the Novena, Gemma was miraculously cured of all her ailments, a scientific impossibility at the time. Saint Gemma went on to be visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary, and bore the stigmata throughout her prayerful life, committed to Jesus.
One of his brothers wrote of him: “In the garden within the monastery walls at Isola stands a large crucifix. A seed fell to the ground before it. A plant sprang up, and twined itself around the cross until it reached the feet of the figure nailed upon it. It then bent outward, as if to behold what was above. A bud formed, swelled, burst into bloom, and gazed in loving awe upon the figure of Christ Crucified. Lo! it was a true flower of the Passion! Its heart was pierced and stamped with the signs of Him Who hung upon the cross. The seed that fell at the foot of the crucifix was Francis Possenti. The plant that grew there from and flowered was Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Passionist.”
Text shared from 365 Rosaries

Wow Princess Diana's Great Uncle on the Road to becoming Saint - Pope Francis Approves Heroic Virtues of Fr. Ignatius Spencer of the Passionists

Pope Francis has  approved the heroic virtues of Ignatius of Saint Paul who will now have the title Venerable. Servant of God Ignatius of Saint Paul, an English Passionist priest, was born George Spencer on 21 December 1799 in London, a son of the 2nd Earl Spencer.He is a relative of Diana, Princess of Wales, as well as the great uncle of Second World War Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The Spencer family, mostly members of the Church of England, were the fifth wealthiest family in England at the time.
The great-great-great uncle of Princess Diana, was an Anglican vicar until he converted to Catholicism at the age of 31. As a Catholic, he was ordained a priest and became a Passionist. The then Father Ignatius (the former George Spencer) was drawn to Christianity: 
“He had not shown strong feelings toward Christianity until he saw Mozart’s Don Giovanni during a visit to Paris and was struck by a scene in which the anti-hero Giovanni, a seducer and blasphemer, is carried off to Hell by a troop of devils.” 
Fr. Ignatius is portrayed in a stained glass in British chapel. He was named pastor of an Anglican parish in Brighton; and there he worked for the poor, the sick and dying. George began to question his Anglican faith. He investigated other Christian traditions. He questioned the truth of the Thirty-Nine Articles, the defining statements of doctrine upon which the English Reformation was based. Also his earlier studies of Scripture did not support the doctrines which were central to Anglicanism. When Spencer began to read the writings of the Early Church Fathers he found that St. John Chrysostom and Gregory the Great explained differences between Catholic and Protestant thought. He was encouraged by other Catholic priests. When Spencer met Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle, a recent English convert to Catholicism, he soon resigned his pastorate on January 30, 1830. He was received into the Catholic Church. There he then studied Catholic tradition and joined the Passionists Order (which lived in poverty). George wrote the story of his conversion from Protestantism to the Catholicism, that was published in Catholic journals of the time. George Spencer’s friend Ambrose de Lisle spoke of the priest’s conversion: 
“To renounce the errors and prejudices imbibed in childhood is, perhaps, the most difficult act of duty that a human being can ever be called upon to perform; there it was that he embraced the Catholic faith, thereby accomplishing an act that it will ever be memorable in the history of the Church; an act, the fame of which has penetrated wherever the faith of the Church is preached, from one end of the world to the other, and deservedly so; for it was accompanied with the utter renunciation of all his worldly goods and prospects, all of which he cheerfully sacrificed to follow the dictates of his upright conscience, that he might possess that greatest of all blessings —the communion and privileges of Christ’s true Church.” 
Spencer, wished that he could die in poverty like Jesus–”in a ditch, unseen and unknown.” He had a seizure on a country lane near Edinburgh, Scotland, and died there alone. The Vatican's investigations have declared that Father Ignatius Spencer, who is buried in Merseyside, lived a life of "heroic virtue". The priest, is buried in the church of St Anne and Blessed Dominic, in St Helens. He was a great, great, great uncle of Diana, Princess of Wales and thus, a relative of Prince William and Prince Harry. He was born as George Spencer in 1799, he was the youngest child of the second Earl Spencer, who was First Lord of the Admiralty at the time. He grew up at Althorp, where Diana Princess of Wales is now buried. The Spencers, were ancestors of Winston Churchill, were very wealthy. The Vatican, which has been studying his writings since 2007, said it had concluded that he lived a holy life and there was nothing in his written work which was contrary to Roman Catholic teachings on faith and morals. 

Patriarchate of Iraq Releases Official Prayer for Pope Francis' Trip to Iraq from March 5-8 - Inviting Everyone to Pray Daily for the Visit - FULL TEXT

The Chaldean Patriarchate, which oversees Iraq, has just released through its official website a prayer to place Pope Francis' next trip to Iraq (5-8 March) in the hands of the Lord, It asks the the Holy Spirit of Christ come to support and enlighten his gestures and words during the trip, also touching the hearts of all those who will meet and listen to him during the apostolic visit. It is asked that everyone to recite it every day of the week before the start of the trip. "
 Prayer for the week before the Pope's visit (5-8 March 2021) 
 Lord, we entrust to you, Pope Francis' trip to Iraq from 5 March. May your Holy Spirit be in his gestures and words, and in the hearts of those who meet and listen to him, so that encouragement, consolation, the meeting between different ethnic groups, cultures and religions and the commitment to fulfill courageous steps of reconciliation and collaboration for the common good. May the church in Iraq be given comfort, light and strength not to tire of weaving new bonds of brotherhood and peace. Lord, free Iraq and the countries of the Middle East from hatred and violence. Amen.

Vatican Releases Announcement about the 1st Liturgical Commemoration of Saint Gregory of Narek from the Congregation for the Eastern Churches


Press Release of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches

and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

First Liturgical Commemoration of Saint Gregory of Narek

According to the General Roman Calendar

Following the Decree of His Holiness Pope Francis to inscribe February 27 as the liturgical commemoration of Saint Gregory of Narek, Abbot and Doctor of the Church, in the General Roman Calendar, the Congregation for the Eastern Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity have organized a celebration in Vatican City this Saturday 27 February, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to the Holy See.

His Eminence Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, will celebrate Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at 10.30 am, which will be followed by an Ecumenical Prayer at the statue of St. Gregory of Narek blessed by Pope Francis in the Vatican Gardens in 2018.

Concelebrating with Cardinal Sandri will be His Excellency Lévon Bogos Zékyian, Archbishop of Istanbul for the Armenian Catholic faithful and Pontifical Delegate for the Mekhitarist Congregation, and His Excellency Brian Farrell, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

The Ecumenical Prayer will be presided by His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Rome, in the presence of His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.


Beautiful Lent Hymn "O Sacred Head wounded by Crown of piercing thorn" Sung by King's College Choir

"O Sacred Head surrounded By crown of piercing thorn" is one of the most famous hymns from passiontide within the Lenten season. It is generally attributed to St Bernard of Clairvaux as author. The translator: H. W. Baker. This famous tune is known as PASSION CHORALE by (Hassler) - JS Bach.  
1 O sacred head, so wounded
defiled and put to scorn.
O bleeding head, surrounded
so shamed and put to scorn!
What sorrow  comes o'er thee,
the glow of life decays;
yet angel-hosts adore thee,
and tremble as they gaze.
2 Thy comeliness and vigour
is withered up and gone,
and in thy wasted figure
I see death drawing on.
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesu, all grace supplying,
turn thou thy face on me.
3 In this thy bitter passion,
good Shepherd, think of me
with thy most sweet compassion,
unworthy though I be:
beneath thy cross abiding
for ever would I rest,
in thy dear love confiding,
and with thy presence blest.
Image: Stom,_Matthias_-_Christ_Crowned_with_Thorns_-_c._1633-1639 - Google Images

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Friday, February 26, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

 Friday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 228
Reading I
Ez 18:21-28
Thus says the Lord GOD:
If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, 
    if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,
    he shall surely live, he shall not die. 
None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him;
    he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced. 
Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?
    says the Lord GOD. 
Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way
    that he may live?
And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil,
    the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does,
    can he do this and still live?
None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered,
    because he has broken faith and committed sin;
    because of this, he shall die. 
You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!” 
Hear now, house of Israel:
    Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
    it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed,
    does what is right and just,
    he shall preserve his life;
    since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, 
    he shall surely live, he shall not die.
(Mass starts after the Stations of the Cross at the 15:37 Mark)
Responsorial Psalm
130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8
R.    (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
    LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to my voice in supplication.
R.    If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
    LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
    that you may be revered. 
R.    If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
I trust in the LORD;
    my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
    more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
    Let Israel wait for the LORD.
R.    If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
For with the LORD is kindness
    and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
    from all their iniquities.
R.    If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Verse before the Gospel
Ez 18:31
Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD,
and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.
Mt 5:20-26
Jesus said to his disciples: 
“I tell you, 
unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa, 
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
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