Saturday, May 1, 2021

Sunday Mass Online - Readings and Video : Sunday, May 2, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - 5th of the Easter Season


























Fifth Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 53
Reading I
Acts 9:26-31
When Saul arrived in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples,
but they were all afraid of him,
not believing that he was a disciple.
Then Barnabas took charge of him and brought him to the apostles,
and he reported to them how he had seen the Lord,
and that he had spoken to him,
and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.
He moved about freely with them in Jerusalem,
and spoke out boldly in the name of the Lord.
He also spoke and debated with the Hellenists,
but they tried to kill him.
And when the brothers learned of this,
they took him down to Caesarea
and sent him on his way to Tarsus.
The church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace.
It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord,
and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit it grew in numbers.
Responsorial Psalm
22:26-27, 28, 30, 31-32
R. (26a) I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will fulfill my vows before those who fear the LORD.
    The lowly shall eat their fill;
they who seek the LORD shall praise him:
    “May your hearts live forever!”
R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
All the ends of the earth
    shall remember and turn to the LORD;
all the families of the nations
    shall bow down before him.
R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
To him alone shall bow down
    all who sleep in the earth;
before him shall bend
    all who go down into the dust. 
R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
And to him my soul shall live;
    my descendants shall serve him.
Let the coming generation be told of the LORD
    that they may proclaim to a people yet to be born
    the justice he has shown.
R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Reading II
1 Jn 3:18-24
Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.
Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
and reassure our hearts before him
in whatever our hearts condemn,
for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God
and receive from him whatever we ask,
because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And his commandment is this:
we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and love one another just as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them,
and the way we know that he remains in us
is from the Spirit he gave us.
Alleluia
Jn 15:4a, 5b
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me as I remain in you, says the Lord.
Whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
Jn 15:1-8
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
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 May 2 : St. Athanasius a Doctor of the Church and Patron of Handicapped and Orthodoxy


St. Athanasius
BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

Born:
295 at Alexandria, Egypt
Died:
2 May 373 at Alexandria, Egypt
Major Shrine:
Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt
San Zaccaria, Venice, Italy
St. Athanasius, known as the "champion of orthodoxy," was  born about the year 297, in Alexandria. There is a tradition, related by Rufinus, that he first attracted the notice of Patriarch Alexander as he was playing at baptism on the seashore with other small boys. After watching young Athanasius perform the rite, the prelate called the boys to him and by questioning satisfied himself that the baptisms were valid. He then undertook to have these boys trained for the priesthood. Athanasius received an excellent education, not only in Christian doctrine, but also in Greek literature and philosophy, rhetoric, and jurisprudence. He knew the Scriptures thoroughly, and learned theology from teachers who had been confessors during the terrible persecutions under Maximian. In youth he appears to have formed friendships with several hermits of the desert, especially with the great Antony, whose biography he was to write. He was reader to the patriarch, and in 318 became his secretary. During this period he wrote a discourse, <Against the Gentiles>, in which he attempted an explanation of the Incarnation and the doctrine of the Trinity.
In Egypt two strong and often divergent forces had early appeared in the Christian Church: the conservative hierarchy in Alexandria, represented by the patriarch or bishop, and the theologians of the schools, who cared little for tradition and stood for free reasoning on theological subjects. The leaders of the latter party had sometimes been obliged, like the famous Origen, to go into exile. There were also schisms over the distribution of authority in the Church and over doctrinal questions. It was probably about the year 323 that one Arius, a priest of the church of Baucalis, began to teach that Jesus, though more than man, was not eternal God, that he was created in time by the Eternal Father, and could therefore be described only figuratively as the Son of God. The patriarch demanded a written statement of these doctrines. With only two dissenting voices the bishops condemned them as heresy, and deposed Arius, together with eleven priests and deacons of Alexandria. Arius retired to Caesarea, where he continued to propagate his ideas, enlisting the support of Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia and other Syrian prelates. In Egypt he had already won over many of the metaphysicians, as well as Meletius, bishop of Lycopolis, and leader of a dissident group. Theology being the topic which most deeply engaged men's minds, the Arian controversy interested all classes of the population. The heretical propositions were publicized in the form of songs set to popular tunes, and these were chanted in the forums and carried by sailors from port to port.
Athanasius, as the patriarch's secretary, took a prominent part in this great Church struggle. It is probable that he even composed the encyclical letter announcing the condemnation of Arius. We know that he was present, as an attendant on Alexander, at the famous Council of Nicaea, summoned by the Emperor Constantine to determine matters of dogma. There the sentence against Arius was confirmed, and the confession of faith known as the Nicene Creed promulgated and subscribed. This gathering of churchmen influenced Athanasius deeply, and, as a modern writer has said, the rest of his life was a testimony to the divinity of the Saviour.
Shortly after this Alexander died, and Athanasius succeeded him, although he was not yet thirty. One of his first acts was a tour of his enormous diocese, which included the great monastic settlements, especially the Thebaid. He ordained a bishop for Abyssinia, where the Christian faith had recently been established. Yet in spite of his best efforts, there was strong opposition. The Meletians made common cause with the Arians, and the movement, temporarily discredited by the Council of Nicaea, was soon again rampant in Asia Minor and Egypt.
In 330 the Arian bishop of Nicomedia, Eusebius, returned from his exile and before long had persuaded the aging Constantine to write to Athanasius, bidding him readmit Arius into communion, in the interests of unity. Eusebius sent an ingratiating letter in defense of Arius, but Athanasius held to his conviction that the Church could have no communion with heretics who attacked the divinity of Christ. Then Eusebius wrote the Egyptian Meletians urging them to impeach Athanasius for personal misconduct. They brought charges that he had levied a general tribute of linen for use in his own church, and made other petty accusations. At his trial before the emperor, Athanasius cleared himself and returned in triumph to Alexandria, bearing with him a letter of approval from Constantinople.
His enemies now accused him of having murdered a Meletian  bishop named Arsenius, and summoned him to attend a council at Caesarea. Knowing that his supposed victim was in hiding, Athanasius ignored the summons. In 335 an order came from Constantinople to appear before another assembly at Tyre, packed by his opponents and presided over by an Arian who had seized the see of Antioch. Realizing that his condemnation had been decided on, Athanasius abruptly left the council and took ship for Constantinople. There he accosted the emperor as a suppliant in the street and obtained an interview. So completely did he vindicate himself that Constantine summoned the bishops to Constantinople for a retrial of the case. Then, for some unexplained reason, he suddenly changed his mind. Before the first letter arrived, a second was sent, confirming the sentence and banishing Athanasius to Treves. During this first exile, Athanasius kept in touch with his flock by letter.
In 337 Constantine died, shortly after his baptism by Eusebius of Nicomedia, and his empire was divided among his three sons, Constantine II, Constantius, and Constans. Many of the exiled prelates were now recalled. One of the first acts of Constantine II, who had sovereignty over Britain, Spain, and Gaul, was to allow Athanasius to return to his see. Two years later Constantine II was to be killed in battle in Aquileia. The patriarch reentered Alexandria in seeming triumph, but his enemies were as relentless as ever, and Eusebius of Nicomedia had completely won over the Emperor Constantius, within whose portion of the empire Alexandria was situated. New scandals were invented and Athanasius was now accused of raising sedition, promoting bloodshed, and keeping for himself corn intended for the poor. A Church council which met at Antioch again deposed him, and ratified an Arian bishop for Alexandria.
In the midst of all this confusion a Cappadocian priest named Gregory was forcibly installed as patriarch of Alexandria by the city prefect, pagans and Arians having now joined forces against the Catholics. Confronted unceasingly by acts of violence and sacrilege, Athanasius betook himself to Rome to await the hearing of his case by the Pope. A synod was summoned, but the Eusebians who had proposed it failed to appear. The result was a complete vindication of Athanasius, a verdict afterwards endorsed by the Council of Sardica. Nevertheless he found it impossible to return to Alexandria until after the death of Gregory, and then only because Emperor Constantius, on the eve of a war with Persia, thought it politic to propitiate his brother Constans by restoring Athanasius to his see.
After an absence then of eight years, Athanasius was welcomed back to Alexandria in 346, and for three or four years there was comparative peace. But the murder of Constans in 350 removed the most powerful support of orthodoxy, and Constantius, once he found himself ruler of both West and East, set himself to crush the man he now regarded as a personal enemy. At Arles in 353 he obtained the condemnation of Athanasius from a council of Gallic bishops, who seem to have been kept in ignorance of the importance of the issues. Two years later at Milan he met with more opposition from the Italian bishops, but when with his hand on his sword he gave them their choice between condemnation of Athanasius and exile, by far the greater number yielded. The few stubborn bishops were exiled, including the new Pope Liberius. He was sent into isolation in Thrace until, broken in body and spirit, he too gave his consent to the Arian decrees. Athanasius held on for another year with the support of his own clergy and people. Then one night, as he was celebrating a vigil in the church of St. Thomas, soldiers broke in. Athanasius was instantly surrounded by his people, who swept him out into the safety of darkness; but for six years thereafter he had to live in hiding. His abounding energy now expressed itself in literary composition, and to this period are ascribed his chief writings, including a <History of the Arians>, three letters to Serapion, a defense of his position to Constantius, and a treatise on the synods of Rimini and Seleucia.
The death of Constantius in 361 was followed by another shift in the situation. The new emperor, Julian, a pagan, revoked the sentences of banishment enacted by his predecessors, and Athanasius returned once again to his own city. But it was only for a few months. Julian's plans for a reconquest of the Christian world could make little headway as long as the champion of the Catholic faith ruled in Egypt; he also considered it necessary to banish Athanasius from Alexandria as "a disturber of the peace and an enemy of the gods." During this fourth exile, he seems to have explored the entire Thebaid. He was in Antinopolis when two hermits informed him of the death of Julian, who, it was later ascertained, at that moment was expiring in distant Persia, slain by an enemy's arrow.
The new emperor, Jovian, a soldier of Catholic sympathies, revoked the sentence of banishment and invited Athanasius to Antioch, to expound the doctrine of the Trinity. Jovian's reign lasted only a year, and his successor in the East, Valens, succumbed to Arian pressure in Constantinople and in May, 365, issued an order banishing again all orthodox bishops who had been exiled by Constantius and restored by his successors. Once more the worn and aged prelate was forced to flee. The ecclesiastical historian, Socrates, tells us that Athanasius hid himself this time in his father's tomb, but a better- informed writer says that he spent the months in a villa in a suburb of Alexandria. Four months later Valens revoked his edict, fearing possibly a rising of the Egyptians, who were determined to accept no other man as bishop. Joyfully they escorted him back. Athanasius had spent seventeen years in exile, but his last years were peaceful. He died in Alexandria on May 2, 373. His body was twice removed, first to Constantinople, and then to Venice.
While the theological controversies which marked this period  may seem both complex and remote, they were an important milestone in the history of the Church, Athanasius rendering an outstanding service. The statement of Christian doctrine known as the Athanasian Creed was probably composed during his life, but not actually by him. In his works there is deep spiritual feeling and understanding, and as Cardinal Newman said, he stands as "a principal instrument after the Apostles by which the sacred truths of Christianity have been conveyed and secured to the world."
PRAYER: Father, you raised up Saint Athanasius to be an outstanding defender of the truth of Christ’s divinity. By his teaching and protection may we grow in your knowledge and love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Text Source: Lives of the Saints - Publisher John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.

Powerful Prayer for the Sick to the Patron of Cancer Patients - Novena to Saint Peregrine



Novena To St. Peregrine 
 Glorious wonder-worker, St. Peregrine, you answered the divine call with a ready spirit, and forsook all the comforts of a life of ease and all the empty honors of the world to dedicate yourself to God in the Order of His holy Mother.  You labored manfully for the salvation of souls. In union with Jesus crucified, you endured painful sufferings with such patience as to deserve to be healed miraculously of an incurable cancer in your leg by a touch of His divine hand.  Obtain for me the grace to answer every call of God and to fulfill His will in all the events of life. Enkindle in my heart a consuming zeal for the salvation of all men. Deliver me from the infirmities that afflict my body (especially.....). Obtain for me also a perfect resignation to the sufferings it may please God to send me, so that, imitating our crucified Savior and His sorrowful Mother, I may merit eternal glory in heaven. St. Peregrine, pray for me and for all who invoke your aid. Prayer to Saint Peregrine O great St. Peregrine, you have been called "The Mighty," "The Wonder-Worker," because of the numerous miracles which you have obtained from God for those who have had recourse to you. For so many years you bore in your own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fibre of our being, and who had recourse to the source of all grace when the power of man could do no more. You were favoured with the vision of Jesus coming down from His Cross to heal your affliction. Ask of God and Our Lady, the cure of the sick whom we entrust to you. (Pause here and silently recall the names of the sick for whom you are praying) Aided in this way by your powerful intercession, we shall sing to God, now and for all eternity, a song of gratitude for His great goodness and mercy. Amen.
(Say for 9 days - Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory be each day)


A Prayer to St. Peregrine for Sick Relatives and Friends
St. Peregrine, as a humble Servant of Mary, you experienced human weakness and the pain and suffering of sickness. Knowing that medicine and human knowledge have limits, we pray for all those involved with the medical profession that they will be a true source of healing and comfort to all people. Like you, we also turn to God in our suffering. Just as Jesus reached out and touched you with His healing hand, we pray that the following sick person(s) will be strengthened in body and spirit and cured of his or her illness by Jesus Christ through your intercession.
(Here mention the name(s) of your sick relative or friend.)
In gratitude we pray for all people of the world that they will come to know you, St. Peregrine, and the love that God has for each of them. Amen.

Saint May 1 : St. Peregrine of the Order of Servites and Patron Saint of Cancer Patients


BIOGRAPHY
In 1283 Saint Philip, Prior General of the Friar Servants of Saint Mary, attempted to lead back to obedience to the Apostolic See the citizens of Forlì then under interdict. He was driven out of the city with insults and violence. While this true follower of Christ was praying for his persecutors, one of the crowd, an eighteen year old by the name of Peregrine of the famous Laziosi family, repented and humbly asked Philip for forgiveness. The holy Father received him with love. From that moment the young man began to scorn the vanities of the world and to pray most fervently to the Blessed Virgin, asking that she show him the way of salvation. A few years later, guided by the Virgin, he received the habit of Our Lady in the priory of Siena where he dedicated himself to her service. There, together with Blessed Francis of Siena, he committed himself totally to the Servite life.
St. PeregrineAfter some years he was sent back to Forlì where, because of his love for God and Our Lady, he gave himself to the recitation of psalms, hymns and prayers, and to meditation on the law of God. On fire with love for others, he lavished a wealth of charity on the poor. It is said that he miraculously multiplied grain and wine during a severe shortage in his area.
Above all else, he was outstanding in his love for penance; in tears, he would reflect on the errors which he thought he had made and would frequently confess to the priest. He afflicted his body with various forms of mortification: when tired he would support himself on a choir stall or a rock; when overcome by sleep, he preferred the bare earth to a bed. As a result of this type of life, at the age of sixty he suffered from varicose veins which degenerated into cancer of the right leg. St. PeregrineHis condition deteriorated to the point that a physician, Paolo Salazio, who visited him in the priory, decided, with the consent of all the friars, to amputate the leg as soon as possible. The night before the operation Peregrine dragged himself before the crucifix in the chapter room. There he became drowsy and seemed to see Jesus descend from the cross to heal his leg. The following day, the doctor arrived to perform the amputation but could find no sign of the cancer, or even of a wound. He was so shocked that he spread the news of the miracle throughout the town. This only increased the people’s veneration of Peregrine. The saint died of a fever about 1345 when he was almost eighty years old. An extraordinary number of people from the town and countryside honored him in death. Some of the sick who came were healed through his intercession.
His body rests in the Servite church of Forlì where it is greatly honored by the people. Pope Paul V declared him blessed in 1609 and Pope Benedict XIII canonized him in 1726.
Text shared from StPeregrine Org
Click LINK below for Novena to St. Peregrine against Cancer:
#Novena to Saint Peregrine - #Miracle Prayer - Patron of #Cancer Patients to SHARE

5 Ways to Gain a Plenary Indulgence for the Year of Saint Joseph as Proclaimed by Pope Francis - VIDEO


Pope Francis proclaimed the year of St. Joseph; this special year will last from 8 December 2020 to 8 December 2021.The Apostolic Penitentiary issues a Decree granting plenary indulgences under certain conditions. 

This was on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church. 

 

SEE ALSO: 
Powerful Prayers to SAINT JOSEPH - Novena + Litany and More! To the Patron of Fathers, Family, Work, the Church to SHARE
https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2021/05/powerful-prayers-to-saint-joseph-novena.html

 During this year, the faithful can obtain a plenary indulgence

The plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions) to Christians who, with a spirit detached from any sin, participate in the Year of St. Joseph:


1)        The plenary indulgence is granted to those who will meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer, or take part in a Spiritual Retreat of at least one day that includes a meditation on St. Joseph. “St. Joseph, an authentic man of faith, invites us”, the decree reads, “to rediscover our filial relationship with the Father, to renew fidelity to prayer, to listen and correspond with profound discernment to God’s will.”


2)      The indulgence can also be obtained by those who, following St. Joseph’s example, will perform a spiritual (To instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to admonish the sinner, to bear wrongs patiently, to forgive offenses willingly, to comfort the afflicted, to pray for the living and the dead)  or corporal work of mercy (to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to give shelter to travellers, to visit the sick, to visit the imprisoned, and to bury the dead). St. Joseph “encourages us to rediscover the value of silence, prudence and loyalty in carrying out our duties,” the decree notes.


3)       The recitation of the Holy Rosary in families and among engaged couples is another way of obtaining indulgences, in order that “all Christian families may be stimulated to recreate the same atmosphere of intimate communion, love and prayer that was in the Holy Family.”


4)      Everyone who entrusts their daily activity to the protection of St. Joseph, and every faithful who invokes the intercession of St. Joseph so that those seeking work can find dignifying work can also obtain the plenary indulgence. On 1 May 1955, Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph “with the intent that the dignity of work be recognized by all, and that it inspires social life and laws, based on the fair distribution of rights and duties.”


5)     The plenary indulgence is also granted to the faithful who will recite the Litany to St. Joseph (for the Latin tradition), or the Akathistos to St. Joseph (for the Byzantine tradition), or any other prayer to St. Joseph proper to the other liturgical traditions, for the persecuted Church ad intra and ad extra, and for the relief of all Christians suffering all forms of persecution. Because, the decree notes, “the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt shows us that God is there where man is in danger, where man suffers, where he runs away, where he experiences rejection and abandonment.”


Special Feast Days - 

In addition to these, the Apostolic Penitentiary grants a plenary indulgence to the faithful who will recite any legitimately approved prayer or act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, for example, “To you, O blessed Joseph” especially on “19 March, on 1 May, the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, on St. Joseph’s Sunday (according to the Byzantine tradition) on the 19th of each month and every Wednesday, a day dedicated to the memory of the saint according to the Latin tradition.”

Special Circumstances -  

Amid the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis, the gift of the plenary indulgence is also extended to the sick, the elderly, the dying and all those who for legitimate reasons are unable to leave their homes.


They too can obtain the plenary indulgences if they are detached from any sin and have the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three usual conditions and recite an act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, offering to God the pains and hardships of their lives.

With Information and Quotations from Vatican News.va

Why is May the Month of Mary - Free Resources - FAQ about Blessed Mary to Share!

USCCB: Mary As the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary has a unique position among the saints, indeed, among all creatures. She is exalted, yet still one of us
"Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth. At the same time, however, because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to be saved."
 
Mary embraces God's will and freely chooses to cooperate with God's grace, thereby fulfilling a crucial role in God's plan of salvation. Throughout the centuries, the Church has turned to the Blessed Virgin in order to come closer to Christ. Many forms of piety toward the Mother of God developed that help bring us closer to her Son. In these devotions to Mary, "while the Mother is honored, the Son, through whom all things have their being and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, is rightly known, loved and glorified and . . . all His commands are observed." The Church honors her as the Mother of God, looks to her as a model of perfect discipleship, and asks for her prayers to God on our behalf.
May as a month of our Lady was strengthened especially by the Rosary Encyclicals of Leo XIII – beginning in 1883 and concluding in 1889, the Pontiff wrote twelve encyclicals and five apostolic letters on the Rosary. The Catholic Encyclopedia discusses the rather recent origin of Mary Month:
“The May devotion [to our Lady] in its present form originated at Rome where Father Latomia of the Roman College of the Society of Jesus, to counteract infidelity and immorality among the students, made a vow at the end of the eighteenth century to devote the month of May to Mary. From Rome the practice spread to the other Jesuit colleges and thence to nearly every Catholic church of the Latin rite (Albers, "Bluethenkranze", IV, 531 sq.). This practice is the oldest instance of a devotion extending over an entire month.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, “Special Devotions for Months”)
Mary Month – Why May?
There was an ancient tradition of connecting May with new life and fecundity, led to a realization that May is very much the month of motherhood – this may be the reason why Mother’s Day is celebrated during May .
Q.Do Catholics Adore Mary? 
Though English words like 'worship' and 'adoration' are occasionally used to signify only veneration, honor or affection, they are generally understood to refer to that highest type of worship reserved for God alone. In this sense, Catholics do NOT adore or worship Mary, or any other created person or thing. 
The Ecumenical Council held at Nicaea in 787 considered the issue of veneration which is not directed to the Divine persons in relation to sacred images. At this Council, the Church taught that the special type of worship called adoration may only be offered to God: Latria from the Greek term for enslavement. However, the Church also acknowledged that certain persons, though only creatures of God, are entitled to honor or veneration of a qualitatively lesser degree than the absolute allegiance owed to God. The Conciliar Fathers termed this lesser devotion:Dulia. Such veneration was proper for Mary and the Saints. In view of Mary's important role in salvation history as Mother of Jesus, the Church recognized that Mary warranted a special degree of honor among the Saints. For this class of devotion, St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) suggested the term hyperdulia
No, Catholics do not worship Mary, if by worshiping is meant adoring. She is not God for us, has never been and will never be. Addressing prayer to Mary is like asking a dear and close friend for help. Do we make a God of our friend when asking him to keep us in his prayers? Do we divinize him/her when asking for his prayerful support in sickness and the trials of life? Believers on earth and in heaven constitute a living community which the major Christian denominations recognize as the communion of saints. The saints in heaven are not dead. Their Christian example of virtuous living and their closeness to God make of them powerful allies for us struggling mortals. They do not take God's place; they are an expression of his grace.
Likewise, there is nothing in Mary that would not have been in God and come from him. She is a pure product of God; this is the essential meaning of Mary's sinlessness. Never forget: if God wanted the exclusively direct relation between him and you and me he would never send Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, never allow scripture to be the foundation of our faith, never encourage his Son to found the Church or institute the sacraments. Christianity is the religion of mediation, essential and foundational in Christ; participative and subordinate in his Church and in varying degrees in the believers. Source: udayton
Q.  Why do Catholics pray to Mary?

A. 1. A saying that is well known among Catholics is, "To Jesus, through Mary." This does not mean, "To Mary, through Jesus." Nor does it mean, "To Jesus and to Mary." This saying affirms that Catholics do not pray "to" Mary as an equal to God. They pray "through" Mary as an intercessor who prays to God on behalf of mankind.

If Catholics were to pray to Mary, this would imply that they are worshipping her as a god. But Catholics do not perceive Mary as a god. (i) They honour the Blessed Virgin Mary. (ii) The view Mary as the holiest of all the Saints. (iii) The accept the fact that Mary is the most successful Saint at obtaining Divine favours through her intercession.

Q.  Is there any Biblical support for the belief of Catholics to call upon Mary to intercede to God on their behalf?

A.  First of all, because Mary was the birth mother of the humanity of Jesus in who "the fullness of the deity (God) was pleased to dwell bodily," [Col. 1:19, 2:9] Catholics recognize the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God.

Secondly, because Mary was "favoured by God" [Lk. 1:30] when she was personally chosen by the Lord to become the mother of Jesus, God incarnated, Catholics believe that they have a greater chance of obtaining God's grace for their daily physical and spiritual needs by asking Mary to intercede on their behalf.

Thirdly, the above mentioned belief is partially based on the fact that Jesus is the King of kings and Mary, as the mother of the King, is the "queen mother." Then, when studying Jewish history, it is discovered that the institution of the "queen mother" was established during the reign of King Solomon.

In the Old Testament, we learn of the favoured position of the queen mother through the following words, "... then the king sat on his throne, and had a throne brought for the king's mother, and she sat on his right. Then she said, 'I have one small request to make of you, do not refuse me.' And the king said to her, 'Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.'" [1 Kgs. 2:19-20]

Following the reign of King Solomon, many of the kings kept this practice. The mother of the king, through who the king received his throne, was trusted as a confident and advisor. So important was the function of the queen mothers in the days of the Old Testament that their names were listed in the succession records of the kings of Judah. [See 1 Kgs 14:21, 15:13; 2 Kgs. 12:1, 14:2, 15:2, etc...]

Similar to the intercession of the Queen Mother, when a child desires a favour and cannot obtain it from his/her parents, frequently the child will make the request to the grandparent to intercede on his/her behalf, therefore obtaining the favour that was being sought. This does not mean that the child is seeking the parental favour from the grandparent. Rather, the child is seeking the intercession of the grandparents before the parents.

Furthermore, Catholics do not differentiate between the living (in this world) and the dead (those who departed) members of the Body of Christ (the fullness of the Church.) The fullness of the mystical Body of Christ is found in the union of all the saints, past and present, here below and those above in Heaven.

In view of the aforementioned, it cannot be denied that those who were called to Heaven, including Mary, are still alive in spirit in the Kingdom of God that coexists with our world. As some non-Catholics pray through their deceased parents, grandparents or other biological relatives, asking these beloved departed persons to intercede before God on their behalf, Catholics pray through Mary to Jesus, taking advantage of her blessed position as the Mother of God.

This Catholic action affirms the prophetic and Divinely inspired passage that is found in the Holy Bible where it states, "Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed." [Lk. 1:47] All generations could not call Mary blessed if she was not actively involved in the progressive Divine Plan that continues to develop before our eyes.

Indeed, all generations have called the Blessed Virgin Mary blessed, including this one, because she has never stopped interceding on behalf of the world, her intercession obtaining endless miraculous cures and other favours. The role of Mary in the area of obtaining physical miraculous cures is well known and documented in Lourdes, France, this being only one of the many holy places where the grace of God has been manifested through the Virgin Mary at apparition sites. Source: Catholic Doors Ministry
Many popular devotional practices involve veneration of the saints. The saints have a special place in the Body of Christ, which includes both the living and the dead. Through Christ we on earth remain in communion both with the saints in heaven and with the dead who are still in Purgatory. We can pray for those in Purgatory and ask the saints to pray for us. Through their prayers of intercession, the saints in heaven play an integral role in the life of the Church on earth. "For after they have been received into their heavenly home and are present to the Lord, through Him and with Him and in Him they do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, showing forth the merits which they won on earth through the one Mediator between God and man." The saints, the members of the Church who have arrived at perfect union with Christ, join their wills to the will of God in praying for those in the Church who are still on their pilgrimage of faith.
Besides what the saints can do for us by their prayers, the very practice of venerating the saints does great good for those who are devoted to the saints. By practicing love of the saints we strengthen the unity of the entire Body of Christ in the Spirit. This in turn brings us all closer to Christ. "For just as Christian communion among wayfarers brings us closer to Christ, so our companionship with the saints joins us to Christ, from Whom as from its Fountain and Head issues every grace and the very life of the people of God." Love of the saints necessarily includes and leads to love of Christ and to love of the Holy Trinity. "For every genuine testimony of love shown by us to those in heaven, by its very nature tends toward and terminates in Christ who is the 'crown of all saints,' and through Him, in God Who is wonderful in his saints and is magnified in them."
—From Popular Devotional Practices

Pope Francis Prays the Rosary for an End to the Pandemic from the Vatican to Open Marathon Month of Prayer - FULL VIDEO


 “At the beginning of this month dedicated to Our Lady,” Pope Francis explained, “We join together in prayer with all the sanctuaries spread throughout the whole world, with the faithful, and with all persons of good will, to entrust into the hands of our Holy Mother the whole human race, sorely tried by this period of pandemic.” Each day of the coming month, he said, “the many people who have been affected by the virus, and who continue to suffer the consequences of the pandemic,” will be entrusted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, “Mother of Mercy.”
Together with a group of young people, the Pope prayed in St. Peter's Gregorian Chapel, which contains the ancient image of the Madonna del Soccorso (Our Lady of Help). The image, a 16th century copy of an earlier fresco from the original St Peter’s Basilica, which was restored in 2013. This is the official opening of the month of prayer to end the pandemic.

PRAYER OF THE ROSARY PRESIDED BY THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS to Invoke the end of the Pandemic

in St. Peter's Basilica - Gregorian Chapel

Saturday, 1 May 2021 

Prayer before the recitation of the Rosary

At the beginning of the month dedicated to Our Lady, we join in prayer with all the shrines around the world, with the faithful and with all people of good will, to entrust the whole of humanity, severely tested by this pandemic period. Every day of this month of May we will entrust to You, Mother of Mercy, the many people who have been touched by the virus and continue to suffer the consequences: from our deceased brothers and sisters to families who experience the pain and uncertainty of tomorrow; from the sick to doctors, scientists, nurses, engaged in the front line in this battle; from volunteers to all professionals who have given their precious service in favor of others; from people in mourning and grief to those who, with a simple smile and a good word, brought comfort to those in need; from those - especially women - who have suffered violence at home due to forced closure to those who wish to resume the pace of daily life with enthusiasm.

Mother of Help, welcome us under your mantle and protect us, support us in the hour of trial and kindle the light of hope for the future in our hearts.


Prayer after the recitation of the Rosary

Under your protection we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. In the present dramatic situation, full of sufferings and anguish that grip the whole world, we have recourse to You, Mother of God and our Mother, and we seek refuge under your protection.

O Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes to us in this coronavirus pandemic, and comfort those who are lost and weeping for their dead loved ones, buried sometimes in a way that hurts the soul. Support those who are anxious about sick people who, to prevent contagion, cannot be near. Build confidence in those who are anxious about the uncertain future and the consequences on the economy and work.

Mother of God and our Mother, beg for us from God, Father of mercy, that this hard trial end and that a horizon of hope and peace return. As in Cana, intervene with your divine Son, asking him to comfort the families of the sick and victims and to open their hearts to trust.

Protect the doctors, nurses, health personnel, volunteers who are on the front line in this period of emergency and put their lives at risk to save other lives. It accompanies their heroic toil and gives them strength, goodness and health.

Be close to those who care for the sick night and day and to the priests who, with pastoral concern and evangelical commitment, try to help and support everyone.

Holy Virgin, enlighten the minds of men and women of science, so that they find the right solutions to overcome this virus. Assist the leaders of nations to work with wisdom, concern and generosity, helping those who lack the necessary to live, planning social and economic solutions with far-sightedness and a spirit of solidarity.

Holy Mary, touches the conscience so that the huge sums used to increase and perfect armaments are instead destined to promote adequate studies to prevent similar catastrophes in the future.

Beloved mother, make the sense of belonging to one big family grow in the world, in the awareness of the bond that unites everyone because with a fraternal and supportive spirit we come to the aid of the many poverty and situations of misery. It encourages firmness of faith, perseverance in serving, constancy in praying.

O Mary, consoler of the afflicted, embrace all your troubled children and obtain that God intervenes with his almighty hand to free us from this terrible epidemic, so that life can resume its normal course in serenity. We entrust ourselves to you, who shine on our path as a sign of salvation and hope.

O merciful, o pious, o sweet Virgin Mary, lead the steps of your pilgrims who wish to pray and love you in the shrines dedicated to you all over the world, under the most varied titles that recall your intercession. Be a sure guide for each one. Amen.

 Source: Vatican.va

#BreakingNews Pope Francis Adds 7 New Invocations to the Litany of Saint Joseph Including Reference from St. John Paul II



Vatican News reports that Pope Francis adds Seven new invocations for Joseph's litany

On the 150th anniversary of the elevation of St. Joseph to the patron saint of the whole Church, Francis has added seven new invocations to the litany in honor of St. Joseph. The Congregation for the Order of the Sacraments announced this in a letter to all presidents of the Bishops' Conferences this Saturday.

The new additional invocations of St. Joseph in the litany are thus in German as follows: "Protector of the Redeemer", "Servant of Christ", "Servant of salvation", "Support in difficulties", "Patron of the refugees", "Patron of the suffering "and" Patron of the Poor “.

The background is the apostolic letter Patris corde from Pope Francis, which he published on the occasion of the Joseph year. It was about “promoting love for this great saint and giving him an impetus to appeal to him for his intercession and to imitate his virtues and his energies”, as it says in the letter of the Vatican Congregation. This Saturday's letter is signed by Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation and Fr. Corrado Maggioni, Undersecretary.

The Joseph litany, which has existed since 1909, is intended to highlight those writings of Popes "who have thought about aspects of the figure of the Patron of the Universal Church" through the new invocations. It is about “Custos Redemptoris”, which is inspired by the Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris custos of Pope Saint John Paul II; "Serve Christi" through a sermon by Pope Saint Paul VI. from March 19, 1966; "Minister salutis", as it is called by St. John Chrysostom; “Fulcimen in difficultatibus”, inspired by the Apostolic Letter Patris corde of Pope Francis and “Patrone exsulum, afflictorum, pauperum”, also from Patris corde.

The new invocations were submitted to Pope Francis, who approved their inclusion in the litany of St. Joseph, as the letter goes on to say.

Task for Bishops' Conferences

It is now up to the Bishops' Conferences to “arrange for the litany to be translated into the languages ​​of their jurisdiction and to publish it”; these translations do not need to be confirmed by the Apostolic See. According to their prudent judgment, the Bishops' Conferences could insert other invocations at a suitable place "while preserving the literary genre, with which St. Joseph is particularly honored in their countries", it concludes.


The litany of St. Joseph is a liturgical alternating prayer with invocations based on various patronages and virtues of St. Joseph. It was approved for liturgical use in 1909 by Pope St. Pius X.

Source: Vatican News (German ed.)

Pope Francis Invites You to JOIN in a World Wide Marathon May Month of Prayer to End the Pandemic Starting Today



Vatican News reports that Pope Francis invites Catholics and Marian Shrines around the world to dedicate the month of May to a marathon of prayer for an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
This initiative will begin today, May 1st, 2021, with the Pope reciting the rosary. Faithful across the globe are asked to dedicate the Marian month of May to pray for an end to the pandemic.
This initiative, involves 30 Marian Shrines around the world.
The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization announced the news with a press release on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.
It takes place under the theme “The whole Church was fervently praying to God,” which recalls a verse in the Book of Acts (12:5).
“The initiative will involve all the Shrines of the world in a special way, so that they might encourage the faithful, families, and communities to recite the Rosary to pray for an end to the pandemic,” read the statement.
On May 1st Pope Francis will open the Marian month of prayer with a Rosary broadcast around the globe.
Each day in May the Vatican News will broadcast the Rosary at 6 PM Rome time from the various Shines taking part in the initiative.
The Pope will also close the event on 31 May with another broadcast Rosary.
This year’s dedication of May to pandemic-related prayer also occurred during the first wave in March 2020.
Source: Vatican News va

RIP 45 Dead and 150 Wounded at Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Gathering in Galilee - One of Israel's Worst Disasters



Many thousands of people had gathered on Mount Meron for the Jewish holiday of Lag B'Omer. This was the first large religious gathering in Israel since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. For over a year, the pandemic cancelled most gatherings and pilgrimages to the Holy Land for Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Mount Meron tomb is considered to be one of the holiest sites in the Jewish world and is an annual pilgrimage site.
The death toll from the accident that took place just after midnight on Friday, April 30, 2021, on Mount Meron, in Galilee, is  45 victims and 150 injured. The ultra-Orthodox Jews had gathered at the tomb of 2nd-century sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai for the annual Lag B'Omer commemorations that involve all-night prayer, mystical songs and dance.
Some people reportedly fell from the bleachers, dragging other participants in the Jewish festival of Lag BaOmer with them, to the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.
The accident, perhaps caused by a structural failure  triggered a mass stampede in which dozens of people were crushed.
Normally, every year on the holiday which commemorates the Jewish rebellion of 132 AD. against the Roman legions, nearly 100 thousand Orthodox Jews would gather. 
Interim Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of a "serious disaster" and assured he is “praying for the wounded" and support for family members. Opposition leader Yair Lapid called it a "terrible disaster" and a "sad" night for the nation.
The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land sent a letter of condolence to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin; see full text below.
Condolences and prayer

The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land sent condolences this morning, April 30, 2021, to the President of Israel, Mr. Reuven Rivlin, on the death of 44 citizens who lost their lives in the catastrophic stampede, which took place last night on Mount Meron in the Galilee during a celebration attended by tens of thousands of Jews on the occasion of Lag BaOmer, at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai.

The members of the Assembly also expressed their condolences to the families of the victims and their prayers for the recovery of the tens of people who were wounded in the incident.

Source: https://www.lpj.org/posts/catholic-ordinaries-express-condolences-on-death-of-44-people-in-stampede-in-galilee.html

Powerful Prayers to SAINT JOSEPH - Novena + Litany and More! To the Patron of Fathers, Family, Work, the Church to SHARE

A NOVENA is a powerful prayer said over 9 days. This is a special year dedicated to Saint Joseph. St. Joseph's 2 Feast days are May 1 and March 19 but this Novena prayer may be said any time of the year. 

Official Novena Prayer:

Saint Joseph, you are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I come to you as an example for holiness, for you are especially close with God. Therefore, I humbly commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.
(Watch and Share our Video to Pray the Novena everyday!)
 
 Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, pray for me to have a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.
Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:
(Mention your request)
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.
St. Joseph Most Just, Pray for us!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be each day of the Novena.


This novena can be practiced at any time of year. Say this novena nine days in a row.
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ST JOSEPH Prayer - over 1900 Years Old from 50 AD
O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers. O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen. Say for nine consecutive mornings for anything you may desire. It has seldom been known to fail.
OTHER PRAYERS TO ST. JOSEPH

Prayer to St. Joseph, The Worker

O Glorious, St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, after your example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen. --Pope St. Pius X
  St. Joseph, today we honor you as Patron of Workers. We pray for the unemployed, underemployed, those who are working under stress and all those who labor daily. May you be our example of honorable work for God. St. Joseph and Brother Andre, hear our petitions (name them).


The next prayer (To You, O Blessed Joseph) and the Litany of St. Joseph carries a partial indulgence...


 
 To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of your most holy spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also. Through that charity which bound you to the immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.
O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness; and, as once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die holily, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen. 



Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of Patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster Father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph, most just,
Joseph, most chaste,
Joseph, most prudent,
Joseph, most valiant,
Joseph, most obedient,
Joseph, most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen,
Glory of home life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

He made him the lord of His household, and prince over all His possessions.

Let us pray.

O God, who in thy ineffable Providence did vouchsafe to choose St. Joseph to be the spouse of Your most holy Mother, grant we beseech You, that he whom we venerate as our protector on earth may be our intercessor in Heaven. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

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