Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Saint May 13 : Our Lady of Fatima who Appeared to the 3 Shepherd Children in 1917 and Revealed 3 Secrets - VIDEO

Our Lady of Fatima
Feast Day: May 13
The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, appeared six times to three shepherd children a("The Three Seers") near the town of Fatima, Portugal between May 13 and October 13, 1917. Appearing to the children, the Blessed Virgin told them that She had been sent by God with a message for every man, woman and child living in our century. Coming at a time when civilization was torn asunder by war and bloody violence, She promised that Heaven would grant peace to all the world if Her requests for prayer, reparation and consecration were heard and obeyed.
 
"If My requests are granted ... there will be peace" Our Lady of Fatima explained to the children that war is a punishment for sin and warned that God would further castigate the world for its disobedience to His Will by means of war, hunger and the persecution of the Church, the Holy Father and the Catholic Faithful. God's Mother prophesied that Russia would be God's chosen "instrument of chastisement," spreading the "errors" of atheism and materialism across the earth, fomenting wars, annihilating nations and persecuting the Faithful everywhere.
"If My requests are not granted, Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martryed, the Holy Father will suffer much and various nations will be annihilated." In all Her appearances at Fatima, the Blessed Mother repeatedly emphasized the necessity of praying the Rosary daily, of wearing the Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel and of performing acts of reparation and sacrifice. To prevent the terrible chastisement at the hands of Russia and to convert "that poor nation", Our Lady requested the solemn public Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart by the Pope and all the Catholic bishops of the world. She also asked that the Faithful practice a new devotion of reparation on the first Saturday of five consecutive months ("The Five First Saturdays")
The heart of Our Lady's Message to the world is contained in what has come to be called the "Secret" which She confided to the three child seers in July 1917. The Secret actually consists of three parts, the first two of which have been publicly revealed. The first part of the Secret was a horrifying Vision of hell "where the souls of poor sinners go" and contained an urgent plea from Our Lady for acts of prayer and sacrifice to save souls. The second part of the Secret specifically prophesied the outbreak of World War II and contained the Mother of God's solemn request for the Consecration of Russia as a condition for world peace. It also predicted the inevitable triumph of Her Immaculate Heart following Russia's consecration and the conversion "of that poor nation" to the Catholic Faith. The last part of the Secret (often called the "Third Secret") has not yet been made public, but was written down by Lucy Dos Santos, the last living Fatima seer, in 1944 and has been in the possession of the Holy See since 1957. Most informed sources speculate that this portion of the Secret concerns chaos in the Catholic Church, predicting widespread apostasy and a loss of faith beginning in the seventh decade of the 20th Century. Text Source: Fatima.org
SEE ALSO -

Novena to Our Lady of Fatima - Litany and #Fatima Prayers - 5 Saturday #Devotion - SHARE

Saint May 13 : Blessed Imelda Lambertini who Died at Age 11 and Yearned for the Eucharist - Patron of 1st Communion


May 13 marks the feast day of Blessed Imelda Lambertini (1322-1333), the patron saint of First Communicants. Blessed Imelda is one of the youngest saints of the Church, joining her Maker in Heaven at age eleven. Her yearning for the Holy Eucharist, and simple faith in the Lord remind us of the words of Jesus: "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all" (Mark 10:15).
Imelda was born into one of the oldest and wealthiest families of Bologna, Italy. Her father, a count, and her mother lavished her with every gift a child could want, but Imelda seemed to be looking for more than earthly treasures. Her parents were both devout Catholics, and Imelda was taken to Mass on a daily basis. From her mother, she learned to give her life in service to others, taking care of the poor of her town. Her mother also instructed her in the history and concept of the Holy Eucharist, which lit a fire in Imelda’s heart for a closer relationship with the Lord. Even at the young age of five, she would spend the majority of her time alone in prayer, arranging a sacred space in the corner of her room, adorned with flowers and pictures. She displayed great devotion to Saint Agnes of Rome and Our Heavenly Mother, Mary, Queen of Angels. At her fifth birthday, following receiving many gifts, Imelda inquired of her parents if she might have just one more. Her father, angered by what he perceived to be greed, rebuked her. However, she whispered to them, “I’d like to receive Our Lord in Holy Eucharist.”
Of course, at that time in history, Holy Communion was not granted until the age of 14, so Imelda had many years to wait. When Imelda reached the age of nine, she went to live at the Dominican convent at Val di Pietra, her wish to be trained by the nuns and enter the religious life. While such young girls were seldom accepted into the convent, Imelda’s holiness and zeal for the Lord was soon realized and inspired the community. She received the Dominican habit soon after her entry in the convent. She was especially devoted to the Eucharist, falling into ecstasy at Mass, before the Tabernacle, and at exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The one true desire of her heart was to receive the Eucharist, frequently stating, “Tell me, can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?"
On the feast of the Ascension, when Imelda was eleven, her yearning for the Holy Eucharist was fulfilled. Following Mass, after her sisters had received Communion, Imelda remained behind in the chapel in prayer. One nun, having returned for her, was amazed to see a Eucharistic Host, surrounded by a warm light, hovering in the air above Imelda. She summoned a priest, who when confronted with this miraculous occurrence, had little choice but to grant Imelda her first Eucharist on the spot. Imelda received the Lord, and sunk into rapturous ecstasy. Her sisters left her to pray alone in joy, and upon returning, found that she had died, her heart broken from the love she felt for God and the joy she experienced in their union.
Blessed Imelda Lambertini’s life was driven by a single purpose—to have a closer relationship with the Lord who created her. Her drive, the very reason her heart beat, led her to the Eucharist—the source of life and hope for each of us. We pray that we remain conscious of the great gift that we receive in the Eucharist, and that we never take for granted or doubt the important role this awesome privilege plays in our humble lives!
Bible  John 6: 25-40; 53-58:
Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."
Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, you received into heaven Blessed Imelda who loved you in the Eucharistic banquet. By her prayers may we learn to approach your holy table with that same fervent love and so fulfill our longing to be with you, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Text shared from 365Rosaries

Pope Francis says "... prayer works miracles, because prayer goes directly to the heart of the tenderness of God, who cares for us..." FULL TEXT Catechesis


 

POPE FRANCIS at the GENERAL AUDIENCE

San Damaso courtyard - Wednesday, 12 May 2021 

Catechesis on prayer: 33. The Struggle of Prayer

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

I am happy to resume this face-to-face meeting, because I will tell you something: it is not nice to speak in front of nothing, to a camera.

 

 It is not nice. And now, after many months, thanks to the courage of Msgr. Sapienza, who said, “No, we’ll do it there”, we are gathered here again. Msgr. Sapienza is good! And finding people, finding you here, each one of you with your own story, people who come from all over, from Italy, from the United States, from Colombia… That little football team of four Swiss brothers, I think… who are over there… four. The little sister is missing, I hope she arrives… And seeing each one of you pleases me as we are all brothers and sisters in the Lord, and looking at each other helps us to pray for each other. Also people who are far away but always make themselves close to us. The ever-present Sister Geneviève who comes from Lunapark, people who work... So many. They are all here. Thank you for your presence and your visit. Take the Pope's message to everyone. The Pope's message is that I pray for everyone, and I ask you to pray for me, united in prayer.

And speaking of prayer, Christian prayer, like all Christian life, is not a “walk in the park”. None of the great people of prayer we meet in the Bible and in the history of the Church found prayer “comfortable”. Yes, one can pray like a parrot – blah, blah, blah, blah, blah – but that is not prayer. Prayer certainly gives great peace, but through inner struggle, at times hard, which can accompany even long periods of life. Praying is not something easy, and this is why we flee from it. Every time we want to pray, we are immediately reminded of many other activities, which at that moment seem more important and more urgent. This happens to me too! It happens to me. I go to pray a little… and no, I must do this and that… We flee from prayer, I don’t know why, but that is how it is. Almost always, after putting off prayer, we realise that those things were not essential at all, and that we may have wasted time. This is how the Enemy deceives us.

All Godly men and women report not only the joy of prayer, but also the tediousness and fatigue it can bring: at times it is a difficult struggle to keep to the time and ways of praying. Some saints continued it for years finding any satisfaction in it, without perceiving its usefulness. Silence, prayer and concentration are difficult exercises, and sometimes human nature rebels. We would rather be anywhere else in the world, but not there, in that church pew, praying. Those who want to pray must remember that faith is not easy, and sometimes it moves forward in almost total darkness, without points of reference. There are moments in the life of faith that are dark, and therefore some saints call this “the dark night”, because we hear nothing. But I continue to pray.

The Catechism lists a long series of enemies of prayer, those that make it difficult to pray, that put us in difficulty (cf. nos. 2726-2728). Some doubt that prayer can truly reach the Almighty: why does God remain silent? If God is Almighty, He could say a couple of words and end the matter. Faced with the elusiveness of the divine, others suspect that prayer is a merely psychological operation; something that may be useful, but is neither true nor necessary: and one could even be a practitioner without being a believer. And so it goes on, many explanations.

However, the worst enemies of prayer are found within us. The Catechism describes them thus: “Discouragement during periods of dryness; sadness that, because we have ‘great possessions’, we have not given all to the Lord; disappointment over not being heard according to our own will; wounded pride, stiffened by the indignity that is ours as sinners; our resistance to the idea that prayer is a free and unmerited gift” (2728). This is clearly a summary that could be extended.

What should be done in time of temptation, when everything seems to waver? If we look at the history of spirituality, it is immediately seen that the masters of the soul were very clear about the situation we have described. To overcome it, each of them offered some type of contribution: a word of wisdom, or a suggestion for dealing moments fraught with difficulty. It is not a question of elaborate theories, of preconceived theories, no, but of advice born of experience, which shows the importance of resisting and persevering in prayer.

It would be interesting to review at least some of these pieces of advice, because each one deserves to be explored further. For example, the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola is a short book of great wisdom that teaches how to put one’s life in order. It makes us understand that the Christian vocation is militancy, it is the decision to stand beneath the standard of Jesus Christ and not under that of the devil, trying to do good even when it becomes difficult.

In times of trial, it is good to remember that we are not alone, that someone is watching over us and protecting us. Saint Anthony the Abbot, the founder of Christian monasticism, also faced terrible times in Egypt, when prayer became a difficult struggle. His biographer, Saint Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, recounts one of the worst episodes in the life of the hermit saint when he was about the age of thirty-five, a time of middle age that for many people involves a crisis. Anthony was disturbed by the ordeal, but resisted. When he finally became serene again, he turned to his Lord with an almost reproachful tone: “But Lord, where were you? Why did you not come immediately to put an end to my suffering?” And Jesus answered: “Anthony, I was there. But I was waiting to see you fight” (Life of Anthony, 10). Fighting in prayer. And very often, prayer is combat. I am reminded of something I experienced close up, when I was in the other diocese. There was a married couple with a daughter aged nine, with an illness that the doctors were unable to diagnose. And in the end, in hospital, the doctor said to the mother, “Madam, call your husband”. And the husband was at work; they were labourers, they worked every day. And he said to the father, “The child will not survive the night. There is nothing we can do to stop this infection”. Perhaps that man did not attend Mass every Sunday, but he had great faith. He left, weeping; he left his wife there with the child in the hospital, he took the train and he travelled seventy kilometres towards the Basilica of Our Lady of Luján, Patroness of Argentina. And there – the Basilica was already closed, it was almost ten o’clock at night, in the evening – he clung to the grates of the Basilica and spent all night praying to Our Lady, fighting for his daughter’s health. This is not a figment of the imagination: I saw him! I saw him myself. That man there, fighting. At the end, at six o’clock in the morning, the Church opened, he entered to salute Our Lady, and returned home. And he thought: “She has left us. No, Our Lady cannot do this to me”. Then he went to see [his wife], and she was smiling, saying: “I don’t know what happened. The doctors said that something changed, and now she is cured”. That man, fighting with prayer, received the grace of Our Lady. Our Lady listened to him. And I saw this: prayer works miracles, because prayer goes directly to the heart of the tenderness of God, who cares for us like a father. And when He does not grant us a grace, He will grant us another which in time we will see. But always, combat in prayer to ask for grace. Yes, at times we ask for grace we are not in need of, but we ask for it without truly wanting it, without fighting… We do not ask for serious things in this way. Prayer is combat, and the Lord is always with us.

If in a moment of blindness we cannot see His presence, we will in the future. We will also end up repeating the same sentence that the patriarch Jacob said one day: “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I did not know it” (Gen 28:16). At the end of our lives, looking back, we too will be able to say: “I thought I was alone, but no, I was not: Jesus was with me”. We will all be able to say this. Thank you.


Special Greetings

I cordially greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors. As we prepare to celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, I invoke upon you and your families the peace and joy that come from the risen Christ. May God bless you!

FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Image Screenshot

Resignation of Polish Bishop Jan Tyrawa is Accepted by the Pope after Vos Estis Lux Mundi Investigation - FULL TEXT



Press Release:

On May 12, 2021, the Apostolic Nunciature in Poland announced a message stating that the Holy Father Francis accepted the resignation of the Bishop of Bydgoszcz, Jan Tyrawa. From that moment, Bishop Wiesław Śmigiel manages the Bydgoszcz diocese as an apostolic administrator of  sede vacante .

Below we publish the full text of the announcement of the Apostolic Nunciature with an accompanying explanation.

APOSTOLIC NUNCIATURE IN POLAND

N. 5865/21

MESSAGE

Holy Father Francis:

  1. He accepted the resignation of Bishop Jan Tyrawa from the office of the Bishop of Bydgoszcz.
  2. He appointed the apostolic administrator of the Bydgoszcz diocese sede vacante in the person of Wiesław Śmigiel, the bishop of Toruń.

Warsaw, May 12, 2021.

+ Salvatore Pennacchio
Apostolic Nuncio

Explains

related to the resignation of the bishop of Bydgoszcz

Following formal reports, the Holy See - acting in accordance with the motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi - conducted proceedings concerning the reported negligence of the Bishop of Bydgoszcz Jan Tyrawa in cases of sexual abuse against minors by some priests working in the Bydgoszcz diocese.

After completing this procedure, taking into account also other difficulties in managing the diocese, the bishop of Bydgoszcz resigned from his ministry, accepted today by the Holy Father.

Warsaw, May 12, 2021

Source: https://episkopat.pl/komunikat-nuncjatury-apostolskiej-w-polsce-4/

Wanted: A Real Higher Education



by Tere Johnson, MA PS, CMF (Submitted to CNW by Tere)

Stella Maris Center

 

       I don't want to presume to speak for all Catholics on the parenting journey who have or will soon face the challenges of sending their children to college (the Johnson household has gone through it 3 times so far), but I don't think I would be far off the mark saying that as parents, we desire two simple things when it comes to this. We want GOOD higher education, and we want our older children's faith and love of Jesus to grow as their knowledge base and intellects do. 

In other words, we want REAL higher education, an education that challenges and sharpens their minds, encourages critical thinking, prepares them for the future and respects their immortal souls.

    When approaching this topic it's essential to first enter into a real and honest process of prayer, discernment, and dialogue with our older children to discover if college is the right path for them in the first place. While a college or university education has value all its own,  the costs have become so astronomical that parents together with their students should decide if college is the way to go.  Contrary to popular opinion, attending college does not guarantee happiness, success, or even a job! Certain occupational vocations certainly do require a higher education, but others don’t.  Trade schools are also an option. They offer knowledge, skills, and apprenticeships in a wide range of fields, at a fraction of the cost.

If prayer leads a student with their family to discern God’s calling to an occupation or profession that requires a college education, then the work must begin to identify those colleges and universities that will prepare them to serve God and others through the field they have discerned.

One thing to look at is the overall culture of a university. While the college experience is supposed to give our young adult children the opportunity to spread their wings, it doesn’t make it okay to engage in licentiousness. Does the college or university have an overall “spirit” or “air” of virtues and values, or is there an “anything goes” kind of vibe to it? Does campus life promotes service, faith, and care for others? Are there churches and church groups on campus? Is there a Catholic Newman center?  

Going beyond the culture to the nitty gritty, parents truly need to take a look at the academics. According to an article on the Cardinal Newman Society website, Navigating the College Search, “today, most colleges hold biases in nearly every subject area. They’ve abandoned a traditional core curriculum in the liberal arts. They push ideologies that are often anti-Christian.” Both the Catholic League, and The Center for Law and Justice, two legal organizations based in New York and Washington D.C. often represent college and university students in religious discrimination lawsuits against their schools based on anti-Christian bias. It has become a real problem.

     Clearly, the culture war rages on at secular public colleges and universities.  With a hefty price tag of $500+ per credit hour, plus room & board, and fees (University of Texas- Austin), the decision is a tough one. If a family and their student choose a public university, they have to be willing to stand up and fight for their beliefs, hide their Christian identities for 4 years (become a closet Catholic/Christian), or succumb to anti-religious bigotry and lose their faith.  

Stella Maris Center is hosting The Cardinal Newman Society President and Founder Patrick Reilly for a presentation and dialogue about the state of public universities and what to look for in faithful Catholic colleges or universities. Some Catholic colleges have managed to keep the culture war at bay, while others are also struggling with it.  

Join us for The College Bound Webinar on Wednesday, May 19 at 7:30 pm (Central). If you have a high school student who is college bound or even a younger student and you are interested in this topic, don’t miss it!  The registration fee is only $25 per family.

To register go to https://ilovestellamaris.org/parenting-collegebound

(This article is copyrighted © Stella Maris Center 2021. Reprinted with permission.)

Doctor in Switzerland Wins Legal Challenge against Ban on Religious Worship; as it Violated Right to Religious Freedom



ADF Press Release: GENEVA (7 May 2021) – A court in Switzerland has become the latest to rule a COVID-19-related blanket ban on worship to be unlawful. The quasi prohibition on religious services and events was suspended in an interim decision made by the Swiss Constitutional Chamber in Geneva in December, and has now been confirmed as a violation of the fundamental right to religions freedom. In its judgment, the Court reasoned that the ban was disproportionate, even with its limited exemptions for marriages and funerals. Less restrictive measures would have been possible while still protecting public health.

Samuel Sommaruga, the medical doctor who was working on a COVID-19 ward on whose behalf the lawsuit was filed, said, “I’m delighted to celebrate this win for religious freedom alongside ADF International today. Restrictions on fundamental rights must always be proportionate and proven to be truly necessary. Given that other public gatherings were still permitted, but not religious ones, it was clear that this restriction was disproportionate – it targeted religious groups in a discriminatory way.”

“While it was crucial to care for the physical and mental health of the people of Switzerland during the pandemic, care for spiritual health is essential too. The courts have now recognized that the disproportionate ban on public worship was a violation of fundamental rights. I’m overjoyed that this decision will ensure that church doors are kept open in future at times of crisis, when the church is needed most,” he continued.

Grassroots support for religious freedom results in court victory

Both Jewish and Christian communities gave their support for the lawsuit challenging Geneva’s total ban on religious services and events. The regulation was part of Geneva’s COVID-19 measures. It banned all religious gatherings except funerals and weddings at a restricted capacity. While religious services were banned, other public gatherings were allowed to take place such as demonstrations and professional choir practices.

“Switzerland has a good track record in protecting the religious freedom of its citizens. It is a poster child of democracy and human rights. This had made it all the more worrying to see a total ban on all religious gatherings and events in such a drastic form. It was one of the broadest bans of its kind in Switzerland and most of Europe where similar bans have been successfully challenged. Enforcing it was a violation of the right to freedom of religion as protected in the Swiss Constitution and by international human rights standards. It disproportionately targeted religious groups’ activities over commercial activities. That’s why I’m delighted to see Geneva’s Constitutional Chamber take this strong stand on protecting the human right to religious freedom, which will steer local authorities to respect the rights of faith communities in future,” said Steve Alder, the Geneva-based lawyer who filed the case with the Court.

Jennifer Lea, Legal Counsel for ADF International, a global human rights group with offices in Geneva that supported the case, said, “We celebrate this decision because the court has recognized that which the authorities did not – that freedom of religion and belief is a human right to be afforded the highest protection. In declaring the ban to be unlawful, the court helps ensure that people of faith will never again have their rights erased in this way. We congratulate Dr. Samuel Sommaruga and all others involved for having the courage to take this necessary challenge forward, and securing protection for churches across Switzerland for the future.”

ADF International’s “Let Us Worship” campaign turns to Ireland

Despite worship bans being overturned in Switzerland, Chile and Scotland, the Irish government will not allow public worship to resume until Sunday 10th May. ADF International, which supported the legal action in Switzerland, are also supporting businessman Declan Ganley in a legal challenge to the proportionality of the Irish ban. It is hoped that the courts will follow this growing trend of courts re-affirming the fundamental right to religious freedom, and ensuring that church doors remain open in future.

“There is no clear reason as to why the Irish government prevented places of worship from opening for so long. Other European countries allowed religious worship to continue with safety precautions which protect both the public at religious services and the wider community. In Scotland and in Switzerland, we saw the same disproportionate measures struck down by the court as unlawful. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right, protected by the Irish Constitution, and it is vital that the Irish government recognise this,” said Lorcán Price, Irish barrister and Legal Counsel for ADF International.

“Irish people of faith were deprived of worship, of the sacraments, and of the hope that the church can offer at a time when they were most needed – at a time of crisis. The Irish government must show that it understands that communal worship is essential for many Irish people, and commit to never again imposing such a draconian ban,” continued Price.

ADF International’s “Let Us Worship” campaign has launched a public letter to Ireland’s Prime Minster, Micheál Martin TD, asking that he affirm respect for religious freedom, recognise that churches are essential to society, and promise never again to disproportionately ban public worship from taking place.

The open letter can be read and signed by members of the public at www.letusworship.global/ireland.

FULL TEXT + Image Source: https://adfinternational.org/