Monday, April 12, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - Eastertide

 Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter
Lectionary: 268
Reading I
Acts 4:32-37
The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the Apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the Apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.
Thus Joseph, also named by the Apostles Barnabas
(which is translated son of encouragement”),
a Levite, a Cypriot by birth,
sold a piece of property that he owned,
then brought the money and put it at the feet of the Apostles.
 Responsorial Psalm
93:1ab, 1cd-2, 5
R.    (1a)  The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
    robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R.    The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
R.    Alleluia.
And he has made the world firm,
    not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
    from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R.    The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
R.    Alleluia.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed:
    holiness befits your house,
    O LORD, for length of days.
R.    The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
R.    Alleluia.
Jn 3:14-15
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Son of Man must be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him
may have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jn 3:7b-15
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“‘You must be born from above.’
The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes;
so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus answered and said to him,
‘How can this happen?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen,
but you people do not accept our testimony.
If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe,
how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
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 April 13 : Pope St. Martin I : Martyr who Died in 655 AD

Todi, Tuscany, Italy
655 at Cherson, Crimea
Martyr, born at Todi on the Tiber, son of Fabricius; elected Pope at Rome, 21 July, 649, to succeed Theodore I; died at Cherson in the present peninsulas of Krym, 16 Sept., 655, after a reign of 6 years, one month and twenty six days, having ordained eleven priests, five deacons and thirty-three bishops. 5 July is the date commonly given for his election, but 21 July (given by Lobkowitz, "Statistik der Papste" Freiburg, 1905) seems to correspond better with the date of his death and reign (Duchesne "Lib. Pont.", I, 336); his feast is on 12 November.The Greeks honor him on 13 April and 15 September, the Muscovites on 14 April. In the hymns of the Office the Greeks style him infallibilis fidei magister because he was the successor of St. Peter in the See of Rome (Nilles, "Calendarium Manuale", Innsbruck, 1896, I, 336).
Martin, one of the noblest figures in a long line of Roman pontiffs (Hodgkin, "Italy", VI, 268) was, according to his biographer Theodore (Mai, "Spicil. Rom.", IV 293) of noble birth, a great student, of commanding intelligence, of profound learning, and of great charity to the poor. Piazza, II  45 7 states that he belonged to the order of St. Basil. He governed the Church at a time when the leaders of the Monothelite heresy, supported by the emperor, were making most strenuous efforts to spread their tenets in the East and West. Pope Theodore had sent Martin as apocrysiary to Constantinople to make arrangements for canonical deposition of the heretical patriarch, Pyrrhus. After his election, Martin had himself consecrated without waiting for the imperial confirmation, and soon called a council in the Lateran at which one hundred and five bishops met. Five sessions were held on 5, 8, 17, 119 and 31 Oct., 649 (Hefele, "Conciliengeschichte", III, 190). The "Ecthesis" of Heraclius and the "Typus" of Constans II were rejected; nominal excommunication was passed against Sergius, Pyrrus, and Paul of Constantinople, Cyrus of Alexandria and Theodore of Phran in Arabia; twenty canons were enacted defining the Catholic doctrine on the two wills of Christ. The decrees signed by the pope and the assembled bishops were sent to the other bishops and the faithful of the world together with an encyclical of Martin. The Acts with a Greek translation were also sent to the Emperor Constans II.
The pope appointed John, Bishop of Philadelphia, as his vicar in the East with necessary instructions and full authority . Bishop Paul of Thessalonica refused to recall his heretical letters previously sent to Rome and added others,—he was, therefore, formally excommunicated and deposed. The Patriarch of Constantinople, Paul, had urged the emperor to use drastic means to force the pope and the Western Bishops at least to subscribe to the "Typus". The emperor sent Olympius as exarch to Italy, where he arrived while the council was still in session. Olympius tried to create a faction among the fathers to favor the views of the emperor, but without success. Then upon pretense of reconciliation he wished to receive Holy Communion from the hands of the pontiff with the intention of slaying him. But Divine Providence protected the pope, and Olympius left Rome to fight against the Saracens in Sicily and died there. Constans II thwarted in his plans, sent as exarch Theodore Calliopas with orders to bring Martin to Constantinople. Calliopas arrived in Rome, 15 June, 653, and, entering the Lateran Basilica two days later, informed the clergy that Martin had been deposed as an unworthy intruder, that he must be brought to Constantinople and that another was to be chosen in his place. The pope, wishing to avoid the shedding of human blood, forbade resistance and declared himself willing to be brought before the emperor. The saintly prisoner, accompanied by only a few attendants, and suffering much from bodily ailments and privations, arrived at Constantinople on 17 Sept., 653 or 654, having landed nowhere except the island of Naxos. The letters of the pope seem to indicate he was kept at Naxos for a year. Jaffe, n. 1608, and Ewald, n 2079, consider the annum fecimus an interpolation and would allow only a very short stop at Naxos, which granted the pope an opportunity to enjoy a bath. Duchesne, "Lib. Pont.", I, 336 can see no reason for abandoning the original account; Hefele,"Conciliengeschichte" III, 212, held the same view (see "Zeitschr. für Kath. Theol.", 1892, XVI, 375).
From Abydos messengers were sent to the imperial city to announce the arrival of the prisoner who was branded as a heretic and rebel, an enemy of God and of the State. Upon his arrival in Constantinople Martin was left for several hours on deck exposed to the jests and insults of a curious crowd of spectators. Towards evening he was brought to a prison called Prandearia and kept in close and cruel confinement for ninety-three days, suffering from hunger, cold and thirst. All this did not break his energy and on 19 December he was brought before the assembled senate where the imperial treasurer acted as judge. Various political charges were made, but the true and only charge was the pope's refusal to sign the "Typus". He was then carried to an open space in full view of the emperor and of a large crowd of people. These were asked to pass anathema upon the pope to which but few responded. Numberless indignities were heaped upon him, he was stripped of nearly all his clothing, loaded with chains, dragged through the streets of the city and then again thrown into the prison of Diomede, where he remained for eighty five days. Perhaps influenced by the death of Paul, Patriarch of Constantinople, Constans did not sentence the pope to death, but to exile. He was put on board a ship, 26 March, 654 (655) and arrived at his destination on 15 May. Cherson was at the time suffering from a great famine. The venerable pontiff here passed the remaining days of his life. He was buried in the church of Our Lady, called Blachernæ, near Cherson, and many miracles are related as wrought by St Martin in life and after death. The greater part of his relics are said to have been transferred to Rome, where they repose in the church of San Martino ai Monti. Of his letters seventeen are extant in P.L., LXXXVII, 119.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

#BreakingNews 5 Priests, 2 Nuns and 3 Lay people Kidnapped on Divine Mercy Sunday in Haiti

Agenzia Fides reports that on Divine Mercy Sunday 5 priests, 2 nuns and 3 lay people were kidnapped in Haiti.

Monday, 12 April 2021

On the second Sunday of Easter, while the universal Church celebrated Divine Mercy, the Catholic Church of Haiti, in particular the Society of Priests of Saint Jacques and the Archdiocese of Cap Haitien, lamented the kidnapping of 5 of their priests, two nuns and 3 relatives of Father Jean Arnel Joseph. The kidnapping took place yesterday, Sunday, April 11, in the town of Croix-des-Bouquets, near the capital Port-au-Prince. Father Stevenson Montinard, priest of Saint Jacques, confirmed the news to Fides source and asked for prayers for the release of Fathers: Michel Briand (of French nationality), Jean Nicaisse Milien, Joël Thomas, Evens Joseph, and Jean-Hugues Baptiste ( priest of the Archdiocese of Cape Haitian, medical student) and Sister Agnès Bordeau, of the Congregation of Providence of Pommeraye, of French nationality, and of Sister Anne Marie Dorcelus, of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Child Jesus.

The victims were kidnapped on their way to the parish of Galette Chambon. According to Father Stevenson Montinard, the kidnappers demand a large sum of money for the release of the kidnapped.

Unfortunately, kidnapping cases occur daily in the country, which for years has faced a growing wave of insecurity. "This new case is a reflection of the collapse of the security apparatus of the State and the country. No one seems to be safe anymore", Fr. Renold Antoine, C.Ss.R, who works on the spot, told Fides. "Outlawed groups continue to sow fear and sadness in the hearts of the population", concluded Father Renold.

Police suspect that an armed gang active in the area, nicknamed "400 Mawozo", is behind the kidnapping, according to a local source. The Conference of Haitian Religious (CHR) reported in a statement that three other people were also kidnapped, relatives of another priest who initially were not considered in the number of those kidnapped. "The CHR expresses its deep regret but also its anger at the inhumane situation we have been going through for more than a decade", reads the statement.

Gang violence and political instability in the country have recently led to demonstrations on the streets of the capital (see Fides, 10/3/2021). Haiti, the poorest country on the American continent, has long been plunged into a profound political crisis. President Jovenel Moïse believes that his term will expire on February 7, 2022, while for the opposition and part of civil society it ended on February 7, 2021. This disagreement is due to the fact that Moise was elected in a vote canceled for fraud, then re-elected a year later. (CE) (Source: Agenzia Fides, 12/4/2021)

Vatican Announces Theological Symposium on Vocations for February 17-19 2022 “Toward a Fundamental Theology of the Priesthood”


According to Vatican News, the Holy See hosted a press conference to announce a Symposium on the theology of priesthood, which will seek to explore the relationship between the ordained priesthood and the priesthood of all the baptized.

The Vatican will host a Theological Symposium on Vocations on 17-19 February 2022, entitled “Toward a Fundamental Theology of the Priesthood”.

The event was presented on April 12 at the Holy See Press Office by Cardinal Marc Ouellett, Professor Michelina Tenace, and Father Vincent Siret. They presented reports with the background and goals of next year’s Symposium, which will address the issue of clerical celibacy in the Latin rite and the priesthood of the baptized.

FULL TEXT from Cardinal Marc Ouellet: Press Conference for the presentation of the International Theological Symposium "For a Fundamental Theology of the Priesthood", organized by the Congregation for Bishops

The event was presented on Monday at the Holy See Press Office by Cardinal Marc Ouellett, Professor Michelina Tenace, and Father Vincent Siret.As Vocations Sunday approaches, and within the framework of the Church's research on synodality, I have the honor and the joy of presenting to the public the project of a Theological Symposium on Vocations.  

 Pope Francis has often repeated what he said in 2015 about synodality: “The path of synodality is the path that God expects from the Church of the third millennium.” This expectation of God and of the Holy Father may seem abstract at first glance, but when we consider it from the point of view of vocations, it takes on a very concrete content. Synodality basically means the active participation of all the faithful in the mission of the Church, it describes the united march of the baptized towards the Kingdom which is being built on a daily basis in the realities of family, in the workplace, as well as in social and ecclesial life in all its forms. This requires a life of faith and close collaboration between lay people, priests and men and women religious, for the proclamation of the Gospel to the world through the attractive witness of Christian communities. This expected growth of a Synodal Church certainly corresponds to the orientations of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, which are still being implemented with a more profound theological and pastoral comprehension.

The Symposium that we are bringing to the attention of the public today is entitled: "Toward a Fundamental Theology of the Priesthood". It consists of an intense three-day session, open to all, but intended especially for bishops, and for all those, men and women, who are interested in theology, in order to deepen our understanding of vocations and the importance of communion between the different vocations in the Church. Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus, patron saint of the missions and doctor of the Church, reminded us that love is the driving force behind the mission of the Church. She bore witness to this love above all through prayer and penance as part of her life in the Carmel. But this love is poured out by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all the baptized, to be given to the world through what Saint Paul calls the “ligaments and bonds” of the Body of Christ (Col 2, 19), that is to say, by the Church present and operating in the world at the service of suffering humanity today. This priesthood of Love, which is exercised by the entire ecclesial community, is animated and supported by a variety of vocations to love, whose distinct forms and colours complement each other. Between priests and lay people, between men and women religious of different charisms, the Holy Spirit communicates the grace which brings about communion among all, enabling obstacles to be overcome, and through this communion, mysteriously and at least virtually, reaching the whole of humanity. It is clear that such theological and pastoral research does not concern only Europe or America but the whole Church on all continents.

A theological symposium does not claim to offer practical solutions to all the pastoral and missionary problems of the Church, but it can help us deepen the foundation of the Church's mission. Insight from Divine Revelation on the priesthood of Christ and the participation of the Church in this priesthood is a crucial question for our time. This is not a new theme, but a central one, the originality of which will be to establish a fundamental relationship between the priesthood of the baptized, which the Second Vatican Council has enhanced, and the priesthood of ministers, bishops and priests, which the Catholic Church has always affirmed and specified. This rapport is not to be taken for granted in our time, because it entails pastoral readjustments, and it involves ecumenical questions not to be ignored, as well as the cultural movements that question the place of women in the Church. We are also all aware of the scarcity of vocations in many regions, as well as tensions on the ground due to divergent pastoral visions, challenges posed by multiculturalism and migrations, not to mention the ideologies that condition the witness of the baptized and the exercise of the priestly ministry in secularized societies. In this context, how can we live a missionary conversion of all the baptized without a new awareness of the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church and to the world through the Risen Christ?

In this search for synodal conversion, there is room for a vast theological endeavour which should offer a renewed vision, a sense of the essential, a way of valuing all vocations while respecting what is specific to each. Such a vision of the communion of vocations is rooted in the communion of divine Persons and seeks to deploy a Trinitarian ecclesiology capable of energizing the synodal and missionary Church that Pope Francis dreams of. It is clear that this research interests the whole Church, especially bishops, but also theologians, consecrated life, married people, and those involved in formation at all levels. My colleagues will offer more on this in a moment.

I might add on my part that this initiative is a big undertaking which has been carefully prepared, but which carries a margin of risk in the current circumstances of the pandemic. It is, therefore, an act of faith that we would not have entered upon without some confirmation from above, plus the urgency of creating a vocational movement following the various synodal experiences of recent years. Indeed, during the synods on the family, on young people, and on the Church in Amazonia, questions regarding the priesthood and synodality were raised in all their magnitude, with an insistence on the reality of baptism, the basis of all vocations. The time has come to prolong the reflection and to promote a vocational movement facilitating the sharing of the various Church experiences all over the planet.

We therefore want to bring together national and diocesan delegations from all continents to the Paul VI audience hall for three days, from February 17 to 19, 2022, with an intense program of conferences, crowned by a message from Pope Francis. The conference program is available to journalists and to the public from today. A website, opened a few days ago, will provide further information to interested parties, facilitating registration for participants as well as to solicit financial contributions in support of the organization of this great event.

Given the scope of this symposium, we hope it will mark a stage in the research of the Church and encourage new initiatives and publications. I cannot extend this invitation as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops without appealing for prayers from the people of God, and in particular, from contemplative communities. Since this is the question of the priesthood, whose baptismal and ministerial awareness we must reenergize, as well as the consciousness of the fruitfulness of consecrated life, this can only be obtained by a grace from above to be implored with insistence and perseverance. I therefore invite especially bishops to welcome this call and to re-launch this concern for vocations within the framework of their particular Church, in communion with Pope Francis and his collaborators of the Roman Curia. I thank the Communications Department of the Holy See for being available to collaborate today and in the months to come for this event. Thank you very much. [Original text: English]</p>


Death Toll Reaches 706 People Killed in Myanmar with over 3,000 Arrested as United Nations Calls for End to Violence

Asia News reports that on Friday, April 9, 2021, at least 82 people were killed in Bago, which came under siege in the early hours of the morning. The bodies of the dead and wounded were stacked in a pagoda and then disappeared. Raids on homes were followed by arrests and destruction. Soldiers prevented the retrieval of the bodies of those killed, as well as the treatment of the wounded. As of yesterday, 706 people have been killed following the coup d'état with 3,059 people arrested.

The Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP) has reported after receiving full documentation of the massacre that took place in Bago on Friday. On that day alone, 82 people were killed.
The city of Bago (90 km northeast of Yangon) came under siege in the early hours of Friday morning. The military deployed at least 250 soldiers and used heavy artillery against protesters and barricades on Ma Ga Dit Road (picture 2).
On Saturday, following the Bago massacre, the United Nations office in Myanmar issued a statement calling for an immediate end to the violence and demanded that security forces allow medical teams to retrieve the bodies and treat the wounded.
An eyewitness told Myanmar Now that on Friday he saw dozens of bodies of people killed or injured stacked in the Zeyar Muni pagoda.
Around 11 pm, soldiers took away the bodies of the dead and wounded. 
It is not known where the bodies were taken. According to locals, the military is trying to hide the bodies of the victims to avoid international criticism. According to a junta-run newspaper, only one person was killed in the Bago clashes.
The AAPP reported that, as of late on Sunday, 3,059 people had been detained. Of these, 64 were tried and convicted. Another 657 have been issued arrest warrants, but are on the run.
Edited from Source: Asia News IT by Francis Khoo Thwe

Saint April 12 : Saint Julius I : Pope who Convened the Synod at Rome

Rome, Italy
12 April 352
The immediate successor of Pope Silvester, Arcus, ruled the Roman Church for only a very short period — from 18 January to 7 October, 336 — and after his death the papal chair remained vacant for four months. What occasioned this comparatively long vacancy is unknown. On 6 Feb., 337, Julius, son of Rustics and a native of Rome, was elected pope. His pontificate is chiefly celebrated for his judicious and firm intervention in the Arian controversies, about which we have abundant sources of information. After the death of Constantine the Great (22 May, 337), his son Constantine II, Governor of Gaul, permitted the exiled Athanasius to return to his See of Alexandria (see ATHANASIUS). The Arians in Egypt, however, set up a rival bishop in the person of Pistus, and sent an embassy to Julius asking him to admit Pistus into communion with Rome, and delivering to the pope the decisions of the Council of Tyre (335) to prove that Athanasius had been validly deposed. On his side Athanasius likewise sent envoys to Rome to deliver to Julius a synodal letter of the Egyptian bishops, containing a complete justification of their patriarch. On the arrival of the Athanasian envoys in Rome, Macarius, the head of the Arian representatives, left the city; the two remaining Arian envoys, with the Athanasian deputies, were summoned by Pope Julius. The Arian envoys now begged the pope to assemble a great synod before which both parties should present their case for decision.
Julius convened the synod at Rome, having dispatched two envoys to bear a letter of invitation to the Eastern bishops. Under the leadership of Eusebius, who had been raised from Nicomedia to the See of Constantinople, the Arian bishops had meanwhile held a council at Antioch, and elected George of Cappadocia Bishop of Alexandria in the place of Pistus. George was intruded forcibly into his see, and Athanasius, being again exiled, made his way to Rome. Many other Eastern bishops removed by the Arian party, among them Marcellus of Ancyra, also came to Rome. In a letter couched in haughty terms, however, the Arian bishops of the party of Eusebius refused to attend the synod summoned by Julius. The synod was held in the autumn of 340 or 341, under the presidency of the pope, in the titular church of the presbyter Vitus. After a detailed examination of the documents, Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra, who had made a satisfactory profession of faith, were exonerated and re-established in their episcopal rights. Pope Julius communicated this decision in a very notable and able letter to the bishops of the Eusebian party. In this letter he justifies his proceedings in the case, defends in detail his action in reinstating Athanasius, and animadverts strongly on the non-appearance of the Eastern bishops at the council, the convening of which they themselves had suggested. Even if Athanasius and his companions were somewhat to blame, the letter runs, the Alexandrian Church should first have written to the pope. "Can you be ignorant," writes the pope, "that this is the custom, that we should be written to first, so that from here what is just may be defined" (Julii ep. ad Antiochenos, c. xxii). After his victory over his brother Constantine II, Emperor Constans was ruler over the greater part of the Empire. He was entirely orthodox in his views, and, at the request of the pope and other Western bishops, interceded with his brother Constantius, Emperor of the East, in favour of the bishops who had been deposed and persecuted by the Arian party. Both rulers agreed that there should be convened a general council of the Western and Eastern bishops at Sardica, the principal city of the Province of Dacia Mediterranea (the modern Sofia). It took place in the autumn of 342 or 343, Julius sending as his representatives the priests Archidamus and Philoxenus and the deacon Leo. Although the Eastern bishops of the Arian party did not join in the council, but held their assembly separate and then departed, the synod nevertheless accomplished its task. Through the important canons iii, iv, and v (vii in the Latin text) of this council, the procedure against accused bishops was more exactly regulated, and the manner of the papal intervention in the condemnation of bishops was definitely established.
At the close of its transactions the synod communicated its decisions to the pope in a dutiful letter. Notwithstanding the reaffirmation of his innocence by the Synod of Sardica, St. Athanasius was not restored to his see by Emperor Constantius until after the death of George, the rival Bishop of Alexandria, in 346. Pope Julius took this occasion to write a letter, which is still extant, to the priests, deacons, and the faithful of Alexandria, to congratulate them on the return of their great pastor. The two bishops Ursacius of Singidunum and Valens of Mursia, who, on account of their Arianism, had been deposed by the Council of Sardica, now made a formal recantation of their error to Julius, who, having summoned them to an audience and received a signed confession of faith, restored to them their episcopal sees. Concerning the inner life of the Roman Church during the pontificate of Julius we have no exact information; all agree, however, that there was a rapid increase in the number of the faithful in Rome, where Julius had two new basilicas erected: the titular church of Julius (now S. Maria in Trastevere) and the Basilica Julia (now the Church of the Twelve Apostles). Beside these he built three churches over cemeteries outside the walls of Rome: one on the road to Porto, a second on the Via Aurelia, and a third on the Via Flaminia at the tomb of the martyr St. Valentine. The ruins of the last-mentioned have been discovered. The veneration of the faithful for the tombs of the martyrs continued to spread rapidly. Under the pontificate of Julius, if not earlier, catalogues of feast-days of saints came into use — the Roman feast-calendar of Philocalus dates from the year 336.
Through St. Athanasius, who remained in Rome several years subsequent to 339, the Egyptian monastic life became well-known in the capital, and the example of the hermits of the Egyptian deserts found many imitators in the Roman Church. Julius died on 12 April, 352, and was buried in the catacombs of Calepodius on the Aurelian Way, and, very soon after his death, was honoured as a saint. His body was later transported to S. Maria in Trastevere, the church which he had built. His feast is celebrated on 12 April.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)