Friday, May 14, 2021

Saint May 15 : St. Isidore the Farmer who Prayed while he Worked and was Helped by Angels - Patron of Farmers and a Miracle Worker - with Prayer

St. Isidore the Farmer

1070 at Madrid, Spain
15 May 1130
12 March 1622 by Pope Gregory XV
Patron of:
farmers; day laborers
Legend: Each morning before going to work he attended Mass in one of the churches in Madrid. There is a story that once his fellow workers complained that Isidore always came to work late. When his master investigated the charge, he found Isidore at prayer while an angel did his plowing. Another time St. Isidore’s master is reported to have seen two angels plowing with the saint, one angel on either side.
 Isidore was born at Madrid, of poor but very devout parents, and was christened Isidore from the name of their patron, St. Isidore of Seville. They had not the means to procure him learning or a polite education; but, both by word and example, they infused into his tender soul the utmost horror and dread of all sin, and the most vehement ardor for every virtue, and especially for prayer. Good books are a great help to holy meditation; but not indispensably requisite. St. Irenaeus mentions whole nations which believed in Christ, and abounded in exemplary livers, without knowing the use of ink or paper. 

PRAYER:  Glorious St Isidore, intercede for us who invoke you and for all farmers, that all farms may work to accomplish the aim of providing good food for people all over the world and for the birds and hearts on whom our Heavenly Father’s Love feeds and does not allow one of them to perish. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Learning, if it puffs up the mind, or inspires any secret self-sufficiency, is an impediment to the communications of  the Holy Ghost: simplicity and sincere humility being the dispositions which invite him into the soul. By these was Isidore prepared to find him an interior instructor and comforter. His earnestness in seeking lessons and instructions of piety made him neglect no opportunity of hearing them; and so much the more tender and the deeper were the impressions which they left in his soul, as his desire was the stronger and the more pure. His patience in bearing all injuries and in overcoming the envy of fellow-servants by cordial kindnesses, his readiness to obey his masters, and in indifferent things to comply with the inclinations of others, and humbly to serve every one, gave him the most complete victory over himself and his passions. Labor he considered as enjoined him by God in punishment of sin, and for a remedy against it. And he performed his work in a spirit of compunction and penance. Many object that their labors and fatigues leave them little time for the exercises of religion. But Isidore, by directing his attention according to the most holy motives of faith, made his work a most perfect act of religion. He considered it as a duty to God. Therefore he applied himself to it with great diligence and care, in imitation of the angels in heaven, who in all things fulfil the will of God with the greatest readiness and alacrity of devotion. The more humbling and the more painful the labor was, the dearer it was to the saint, being a means the more suitable to tame his flesh, and a more noble part of his penance. With the same spirit that the saints subdued their bodies by toils in their deserts, Isidore embraced his task. He moreover sanctioned it by continual prayer. While his hand held the plough, he in his heart conversed with God, with his angel guardian, and the other blessed spirits; sometimes deploring the sins of the world, and his own spiritual miseries, at other times in the melting words of the royal prophet, raising his desires to the glory of the heavenly Jerusalem. It was chiefly by this perfect spirit of prayer, joined with, or rather engrafted upon a most profound humility and spirit of mortification, that St. Isidore arrived at so eminent a degree of sanctity as rendered him the admiration of all Spain. In his youth he was retained servant by a gentleman named John de Vargas of Madrid, to till his land and do his husbandry work. The saint afterwards took a most virtuous woman to wife, named Mary Toribia. Those who call her de la Cabeza were deceived by a chapel to which that name is given, because her head is kept in it. After the birth of one child, which died young, the parents, by mutual consent, served God in perfect continency.

 St. Isidore continued always in the service of the same master. On account of his fidelity, he could say to him as Jacob did to Laban,1 that, to guard and improve his stock, he had often watched the nights, and had suffered the scorching heats of summer, and the cold of winter; and that the stock, which he found small, had been exceedingly increased in his hands. Don John de Vargas, after long experience of the treasure he possessed in this faithful ploughman, treated him as a brother, according to the advice of Ecclesiasticus,2 Let a wise servant be dear to thee as thy own soul. He allowed him the liberty of assisting daily at the public office of the church. On the other side, Isidore was careful by rising very early, to make his devotions no impediment to his business, nor any encroachment upon what he owed to his master. This being a duty of justice, it would have been a false devotion to have pretended to please God by a neglect of such an obligation; much less did the good servant indulge his compassionate charity to the poor, by relieving them otherwise than out of his own salary. The saint was sensible that in his fidelity, diligence, and assiduous labor consisted, in great part, the sanctification of his soul; and that his duty to his master was his duty to God. He also inspired his wife with the same confidence in God, the same love of the poor, and the same disengagement from the things of this world: he made her the faithful imitatrix of his virtues, and a partner in his good works. She died in 1175, and is honored in Spain among the saints. Her immemorial veneration was approved by pope Innocent XII. in 1697. See Benedict XIV., de Canoniz. 1. 2, c. 24, p. 246.
St. Isidore being seized with the sickness of which he died, foretold his last hour, and prepared himself for it with redoubled fervor, and with the most tender devotion, patience, and cheerfulness. The piety with which he received the last sacraments drew tears from all that were present. Repeating inflamed acts of divine love, he expired on the 15th of May, 1170, being near sixty years of age. His death was glorified by miracles. After forty years, his body was removed out of the churchyard into the church of St. Andrew. It has been since placed in the bishop's chapel, and during these five hundred years remains entire and fresh, being honored by a succession of frequent miracles down to this time. The following, among others, is very well attested. Philip III., in his return from Lisbon, was taken so ill at Casarubios del Monte, that his life was despaired of by his physicians. Whereupon the shrine of St. Isidore was ordered to be carried in a solemn procession of the clergy, court, and people, from Madrid to the chamber of the sick king. The joint prayers of many prevailed. At the same time the shrine was taken out of the church, the fever left the king; and upon its being brought into his chamber, he was perfectly cured. The year following the body of the saint was put into a new rich shrine, which cost one thousand six hundred ducats of gold. St. Isidore had been beatified a little before by Paul V., in 1619, at the solicitation of the same king. His solemn canonization was performed, at the request of king Philip IV., on the 12th of March, 1622; though the bull was only made public by Benedict XIII. See the life of St. Isidore, written by John of Madrid, one hundred and forty years after his death; and Card. Lambertini, de Canoniz. SS. t. 3.

SOURCE: Edited from Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler

Powerful Prayers to St. Matthias, Apostle - Novena to St. Matthias the Patron of Alcoholics - Sailors - Carpenters

Novena Prayer to Sts. Matthias  (Say these prayers for 9 days)
                  O Glorious Saint Matthias, in God's design it fell upon you to take the place of the unfortunate Judas who betrayed Jesus, his Master. You were selected by the twofold sign of the uprightness of your life and the call of the Holy Spirit. Obtain for us the grace to practice the same uprightness of life and to be called by that same Spirit to wholehearted service of the Church and our world.
Please help all who struggle with the addiction of alcoholism to experience this same grace and come to live in the serenity and joy of a life surrendered to God. AMEN
We beg your intercession dear Glorious saints, to ask God today to grant the favors we now place with confidence in your hands, especially:
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: We place our trust in You. 
Our Lady Queen of the Angels: Pray for us.
St. Matthias  Pray for us.
Say One Our Father, One Hail Mary and One Glory Be each day of the Novena.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will
 be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us
 our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into 
temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death Amen.
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.

RIP Peter Ngu Quoc Tran - Young Seminarian Killed in a Hit-and-Run Accident in Manhattan, New York

On Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at night, a Vietnamese seminarian, age 29, was tragically killed in a hit-and-run accident in Manhattan, New York, USA. The driver, Jonathan Sutherland, age 23, is in custody and is suspected of having been intoxicated while driving. Tran was a first-year theology student at the Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, according to the diocese.
The Bishop wrote a personal letter; see below:
Diocese press release:

A letter from Bishop Checchio on the loss of Seminarian Ngu Quoc "Peter"
May 12, 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
So often, I tell you about our wonderful seminarians. I suspect sometimes that you might even get tired of hearing me brag about them, but they offer so much hope for the future. They are a committed group of young men, who inspire me as they grow in deeper friendship with Jesus while preparing to lay down their lives in service of Him and our diocese. 
Now, I have some very tragic news to share with you. Early this morning, I received a phone call from the Rector of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in South Orange, to tell me that one of our seminarians, Ngu Quoc Tran, or “Peter,” as he was affectionately called by those who knew him, lost his life in a hit-and-run accident in Manhattan’s East Side on Tuesday evening.
Any time we hear of the sudden loss of life, especially the loss of someone so young, it is heartbreaking. But the tragic loss of Peter, who was only 29 – the loss to his family, to his brother seminarians and to our local Church – is immense and would be insufferable without our Catholic faith and trust in our Heavenly Father.
The driver of the vehicle that hit Peter, was reported to have been intoxicated and fled the scene. The driver was later arrested when his car was involved in another collision and was identified as the car that hit Peter.
Upon hearing the news, I first turned to the Lord in prayer and then drove to Immaculate Conception Seminary, where I celebrated Mass and visited with the seminarians there. I was joined too by Msgr. John N. Fell, our director of seminarians; Fr. Mauricio Tabera-Vasquez, our vocations recruiter; and Fr. Peter Tran, pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish in South Plainfield, and coordinator of our diocesan Vietnamese Apostolate, all of whom concelebrated the Mass.
Born and raised in the An Giang Province in the south of Vietnam, Peter was the son of Khai Quang Tran and Bich Thi Ngoc and was one of six siblings. Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.
He moved to the United States in August 2017 and lived at the Saint John Vianney House of Discernment in Highland Park, a place where men who are working or attending college can live as they discern their vocational calling and the possibility of priesthood. In spring 2018, he began pre-theology studies at Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, PA, and later went on to continue his priestly formation at Immaculate Conception Seminary in South Orange, in the fall of 2019.
In our diocese, he served in summer assignments at Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish, South Plainfield; Saint James the Less Parish, Jamesburg; Saint Bernard of Clairvaux Parish, Bridgewater; and the Parish of the Visitation, New Brunswick.
Peter was a prayerful and loving person, who was always at the service of others. He was well-known in our parishes and was a welcoming face, always talking with the parishioners after Mass and building friendships with those serving in parish ministries. He will be incredibly missed in our diocese.
From every interaction with Peter, even from his application to become a seminarian for our diocese, it was evident that he had a strong friendship with Jesus Christ, a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and a love for our Blessed Mother. He was a prayerful and faithful man, so even through this challenging time, I know he would encourage prayer. 
So, I ask you to please join me in praying for Peter, his family, his brother seminarians and the many affected by this terrible loss. We pray too for the young man who killed Peter, invoking God's mercy on all of us.
Through our sorrows and pain, our Blessed Mother is with us and is undoubtedly accompanying Peter to the merciful embrace of her son, Jesus. Given Peter's goodness that we knew in this life, I have no doubt that when he is in that loving embrace of our Lord, Peter will be telling Him about all of us here in Metuchen and asking the Lord's blessing on us.  
I thank God for all of you, and am praying for you, even as I ask for your prayers too.
With renewed best wishes, I remain
Yours in Christ,
Most Reverend James F. Checchio, JCD, MBA
Bishop of Metuchen

Pope Francis says "Children are the hope that gives birth to a people!" at Opening for Pro-Life Forum



Auditorium Conciliazione
Friday, 14 May 2021


Dear brothers and sisters

I cordially greet you and I am grateful to the President of the Forum of Family Associations, Gianluigi De Palo, for the invitation and for his words of introduction.

(FULL 58 min. Video at Bottom) I thank Dr Mario Draghi, President of the Government, for his clear and hopeful words. I would like to thank all of you who are reflecting today on the urgent issue of the birth rate, which is fundamental to reverse the current trend and get Italy moving again, starting with life, starting with the human being. And it is good that you are doing this together, involving businesses, banks, culture, the media, sport and entertainment. In reality, there are many other people here with you: above all, there are the young people who dream. The data say that most young people want to have children. But their dreams of life, buds of rebirth for the country, clash with a demographic winter that is still cold and dark: only half of young people believe they will be able to have two children in their lifetime.

For years Italy has thus had the lowest number of births in Europe, in what is becoming the old continent no longer because of its glorious history, but because of its advanced age. This country of ours, where every year it is as if a city of over two hundred thousand inhabitants were disappearing, in 2020 reached the lowest number of births since national unity: not only because of Covid, but because of a continuous, progressive downward trend, an increasingly harsh winter.

Yet all this does not yet seem to have attracted general attention, which is focused on the present and the immediate. The President of the Republic reiterated the importance of the birth rate, which he defined as 'the most critical reference point of this season', saying that 'families are not the connective tissue of Italy, families are Italy' (Audience with the Forum of Family Associations, 11 February 2020). How many families in recent months have had to work overtime, dividing their homes between work and school, with parents acting as teachers, computer technicians, workers, psychologists! And how many sacrifices are required of grandparents, the true lifelines of families! But not only that: they are the memory that opens us up to the future.

For the future to be good, we must therefore take care of families, especially young families, who are beset by worries that risk paralysing their life plans. I am thinking of the uncertainty of work, of the fears caused by the increasingly unaffordable costs of raising children: these are fears that can swallow up the future, quicksand that can sink a society. I also think, with sadness, of women at work who are discouraged from having children or have to hide their pregnancies. How is it possible that a woman should feel ashamed of the most beautiful gift that life can offer? Not the woman, but society should be ashamed, because a society that does not welcome life stops living. Children are the hope that gives birth to a people! Finally, in Italy, a decision has been taken to turn into law an allowance, defined as unique and universal, for every child that is born. I express my appreciation to the authorities and hope that this allowance will meet the concrete needs of families, who have made and are making so many sacrifices, and will mark the start of social reforms that put children and families at the centre. If families are not at the centre of the present, there will be no future; but if families start again, everything will start again.

I would now like to look at this new start and offer you three thoughts that I hope will be useful in view of a hoped-for spring, which will lift us out of the demographic winter. The first thought revolves around the word gift. Every gift is received, and life is the first gift that each one of us received. No one can give it to himself. First of all there was a gift. It is a “before” that we forget in the course of our lives, always intent on looking towards the “after”, to what we can do and have. But first of all we have received a gift and we are called to pass it on. And a child is the greatest gift for everyone and comes first. To a child, to every child, is attached this word: first. Just as a child is awaited and loved before he or she is born, so we must put children first if we are to see the light again after the long winter. Instead, “a decline in the birthrate, which leads to an ageing of the population, together with the relegation of the elderly to a sad and lonely existence, is a subtle way of stating that it is all about us, that our individual concerns are the only thing that matters” (Encyclical Letter Fratelli tutti, 19). We have forgotten the primacy of gift - the primacy of gift! -, the source code of common living. This has happened above all in the more affluent, more consumerist societies. Indeed, we see that where there are more things, there is often more indifference and less solidarity, more closure and less generosity. Let us help each other not to lose ourselves in the things of life, to rediscover life as the meaning of all things.

Let us help each other, dear friends, to rediscover the courage to give, the courage to choose life. There is a phrase from the Gospel that can help anyone, even those who do not believe, to direct their choices. Jesus says: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Mt 6: 21). Where is our treasure, the treasure of our society? In the children or in finances? What attracts us, family or income? There must be the courage to choose what comes first, because that is where the heart is bound. The courage to choose life is creative, because it does not accumulate or multiply what already exists, but opens up to novelty, to surprises: every human life is a true novelty, which knows no before and after in history. We have all received this unrepeatable gift and the talents we have serve to pass on, from generation to generation, the first gift of God, the gift of life.

This “handing down” links to the second thought I would like to offer you. It revolves around the word sustainability, a key word for building a better world. We often talk about economic, technological and environmental sustainability and so on. But we also need to talk about generational sustainability. We will not be able to nurture production and preserve the environment if we do not pay attention to families and children. Sustainable growth comes from here. History teaches us this. During the phases of reconstruction following the wars that devastated Europe and the world over the past centuries, there was no restart without an explosion of births, without the ability to instil confidence and hope in the younger generations. We cannot follow short-sighted models of growth, as if a few hasty adjustments were the only thing needed to prepare for tomorrow. No, the dramatic birth rate and the frightening figures linked to the pandemic demand change and responsibility.

Sustainability rhymes with responsibility: it is the time for responsibility to make society flourish. Here, in addition to the primary role of the family, the school is fundamental. It cannot be a factory of notions to be poured over individuals; it must be the privileged time for encounter and human growth. At school one does not mature only through grades, but through the faces one encounters. And for young people it is essential to come into contact with lofty models that shape hearts as well as minds. In education, example is very important, and here I think also of the worlds of entertainment and sport. It is sad to see role models who only care about looking good, about being young and fit. Young people do not grow up thanks to the fireworks of appearance, they mature if attracted by those who have the courage to pursue big dreams, to sacrifice themselves for others, to do good to the world in which we live. And staying young does not come from taking selfies and retouching them, but from being able to look into the eyes of your children one day. Sometimes, however, the message goes out that fulfilment means making money and success, while children seem almost like a distraction, that should not hinder one's personal aspirations. This mentality is a gangrene in society and makes the future unsustainable.

Sustainability needs a soul, and this soul - the third word I propose - is solidarity. Just as we need generational sustainability, we need structural solidarity. The spontaneous and generous solidarity of many has enabled a lot of families to get by in these difficult times and to cope with growing poverty. However, we cannot remain in the realm of the emergency and the temporary, we need to give stability to family support structures and to encourage birth. We need a policy, an economy, information and culture that courageously promote birth.

First and foremost, there is a need for wide-ranging, far-sighted family policies: not based on the search for immediate consensus, but on the growth of the common good in the long term. This is the difference between running public affairs and being a good politician. There is an urgent need to offer young people guarantees of sufficiently stable employment, security for their homes, and incentives not to leave the country. It is a task that also closely concerns the world of economics: how wonderful it would be to see an increase in the number of businesses and companies that, in addition to producing profits, promote lives, that are careful never to exploit people with unsustainable conditions and hours, that are able to distribute part of the profits to workers, with a view to contributing to an invaluable development, that of families! This is a challenge not only for Italy, but for many countries, often rich in resources, but poor in hope.

Solidarity must also be expressed in the precious service of information, which has such an impact on life and on how it is told. It is in vogue to provide information, but the criterion for training and informing is not the audience, not controversy, but human growth. What is needed is 'family-format information', where people talk about others with respect and delicacy, as if they were their own relatives. At the same time, it must bring to light the interests and plots that damage the common good, the manoeuvres that revolve around money, sacrificing families and individuals. Solidarity then calls on the worlds of culture, sport and entertainment to promote and enhance the birth rate. The culture of the future cannot be based on the individual and the mere satisfaction of his or her rights and needs. What is needed is a culture that cultivates the chemistry of the whole, the beauty of giving, the value of sacrifice.

Dear friends, I would finally like to say the simplest and most sincere word: thank you. Thank you for the General States of Birth, thank you to each one of you and to all those who believe in human life and in the future. Sometimes you will feel as if you are shouting in the desert, tilting against windmills. But go on, do not give up, because it is good to dream, to dream well and to build the future. And without a birth rate there is no future. Thank you.

Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office14 May 2021

Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost - with Special Prayers of Consecration - FULL VIDEO Guide - 2


On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. / I adore the brightness of Your purity the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength / and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart! To be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light: and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You / by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds / and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart / I implore You / Adorable Spirit I Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere / "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.
WATCH Our VIDEO Prayer Guide for this Novena
Day 2 Prayer start at the 6:30 mark below:

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul / the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth / the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You I and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God find know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable / the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples / and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

(Saturday of 6th Week of Easter)
Come. Father of the poor. Come, treasures which endure; Come, Light of all that live!
The Gift of Fear
The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls."
Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever, help me to shun all things that can offend You, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in heaven, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen.
(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)

Novena Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Day 4

Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9

Death Toll from Bombs between Israel and Palestine Rises to over 100 Killed including Many Children - Catholic Convent and Nursery Hit

Over 100 dead and 1,500 rockets in the war between Gaza and Tel Aviv continues. Violence between Palestine and Israel continues. Twitter was flooded with images of dead children from the bombing in Gaza. 
All flights to Tel Aviv are diverted to other airports. Violence has also escalated between Arabs and Jewish Israelis within mixed Israeli cities including Lod, Acre, Haifa and Tel Aviv. 
According to Gaza's Health Ministry, at least 103 Palestinians, have been killed. There are hundreds of injured people (at least 900 Palestinians in East Jerusalem and 400 in Gaza).
The death toll in Israel is now seven - including one soldier.
The United Nation's Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace process, Tor Wennesland, wrote on Twitter:
Four European members of the Security Council yesterday wanted to publish a statement on their own in which they define the huge number of "civilian victims, including children, due to Israeli air raids in Gaza and the Israeli deaths caused by rockets launched from Gaza” "disturbing and unacceptable". They ask "Israel to stop the activities of colonization, demolition and expulsion [of Palestinians], including East Jerusalem".
Agenzia Fides reported that the massive Israeli air force raids on the Gaza Strip have also hit the homes of Christian families located near the Catholic parish of the Holy Family, also causing damage to the convent and the nursery school of the Sisters of the Rosary. Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem for Palestine and the Holy City, confirms this to Agenzia Fides. "The Israeli raids take place after the launching of missiles by Hamas on the territory of Israel, but according to what we see, the considerations of those who, in the United States, described the military reaction of the Jewish state as 'proportionate' are completely unfounded. They bomb from afar. A bomb fell near the convent. Among the more than 100 victims are women and children. Once again, the famous 'smart bombs' harm everyone, without being able to distinguish between military targets and the civilian population". While the propaganda campaigns invade the global media network, Bishop Marcuzzo - born in Italy but became a priest in Palestine, after studying at the patriarchal seminary of Beit Jala - clearly invites us not to lose sight of the chain of events and provocations that has unleashed the new violence in the Holy Land, if we really want to find ways to stop violence and innocent bloodshed. "At the bottom of everything", the Patriarchal Vicar recalls "there is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has lasted for decades, and above all the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. Until the causes that are at the root of the conflict are addressed and resolved, it will only take a spark for everything to explode again. We have already seen this with the first and second Intifada". The current unleashing of violence - Bishop Marcuzzo remarks - is due to the accumulation of a series of "unfortunate circumstances" that have rekindled the tension around Jerusalem, the real knot of the conflict: the expropriation of Palestinian homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, then the impediments imposed by the Israeli on the Muslim faithful who wanted to reach the Al Aqsa Mosque on the last Friday of Ramadan, when Muslims celebrate the "Night of Destiny" (Laylat al Qadr), in which the Angel Gabriel revealed the Koran to the Prophet Mohammad. 

 Faced with the violence that returns to tear the heart of Jerusalem and the Holy Land "We, as local Churches, always try to work for peace", concludes Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo. In the land of Jesus, once again, "a miracle is needed", as he wrote on the patriarchal website Sami el Yousef, Chief Executive Officer of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. (GV) (Edited Excerpt from Agenzia Fides, 14/5/2021)

Pope Francis says "Always and everywhere you share the joy of the Gospel that makes you live!" to Group of Young Scouts - FULL TEXT




Sala Clementina - Friday, May 14, 2021 

Bonjour !

I am pleased to meet you members of the Scouts Unitaires de France , who are celebrating the 50th anniversary of your birth, and I warmly welcome you to Rome.

I thank the Council for the Pastoral Care of Children and Youth of the Conference of Bishops of France, as well as you responsible, for this initiative which recognizes you, young scouts, as protagonists in evangelization and in the construction of society. I also thank you for the kind words of introduction you have addressed to me. Très poétique, très poétique! Cela que vous avez dit sur Saint Joseph: très bon!

In society, we too often find a deterioration in human relations and a lack of trustworthy role models for young people seeking training. This situation is made even more precarious by the current health crisis, which has reduced the chances of meeting to fraternize and build new friends. In the face of all these difficulties, your scout movement is a sign of encouragement for young people, because it invites them to dream and to act, to have the courage to look to the future with hope. In fact, through your pedagogy of the elder brother and sister who protect and accompany the little ones, patiently helping them to discover and make fruitful the talents received from the Lord, you show how "we all need to live real human relationships and not just virtual ones,Urbi et Orbi Message , April 4, 2021). And I am especially grateful to the couples who support you and who testify among you to the beauty of marriage.

The scout, with his willingness to serve others, is also called to work for a more "extroverted" Church and for a more human world. For this purpose you have the noble mission of witnessing wherever you are that, with your faith and your commitment, you can enhance the richness of human relationships and make them a common good that helps social renewal. Therefore, I urge you to be dynamic Christians and faithful Scouts at the same time! And you will be trying to be consistent with the values ​​you carry, having strong convictions, based on the Gospel, in a spirit of openness to others. Then your actions will benefit the society in which you live in various ways (cf. Enc. Brothers all , 203).

Thanks to your relationship with nature, you carry the message that respect for others and the environment go hand in hand and that therefore "we cannot delude ourselves to restore our relationship with nature and the environment without healing all relationships. human fundamental "(Enc. Laudato si ' , 119).

I invite you not to be discouraged by the selfishness of the world, not to close in on yourselves, not to be young inert, without ideals and without dreams. Never lose sight of the fact that the Lord calls you all to carry the missionary announcement without fear, wherever you are, especially among young people, in your neighborhoods, in sports, when you go out with friends, in volunteering and at work. Always and everywhere you share the joy of the Gospel that makes you live! The Lord desires you to be his disciples and to spread light and hope, because he counts on your audacity, your courage and your enthusiasm (cf. Apostolic Exhortation postsin. Christus vivit , 177).

Dear friends, I once again encourage you in your effort to make Catholic Scouting a movement of sowers of hope and the rediscovery of community life. I thank God for your witness during these fifty years in the service of your brothers and sisters, and of the Church, which you support above all with your prayers.

I hope that this jubilee will be an opportunity for each of you to renew your commitments, according to the legacy received from those who preceded you, in order to help young people to become free and responsible people, respectful of others and their environment.

I entrust the Scouts Unitaires de France to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary May she turn her gaze full of mercy on each and every one of you and lead you to be faithful disciples of her Son. I bless all of you, your families and the people who accompany you with their spiritual and material support. And I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me. Thank you.                  

FULL TEXT + Image Screenshot from - unofficial Translation                          

Pope Francis Meets with President of Argentina Alberto Fernández

Vatican News reports that Pope Francis met Thursday with the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, at a private audience in the Vatican. By Vatican News staff writer The Holy See Press Office announced Thursday that Pope Francis met with Argentine President Alberto Fernández during a private audience in the Paul VI Hall. The communique said the talks were cordial and that appreciation was expressed for the “good bilateral relations”. The Pope and the president discussed the situation in Argentina, “with particular reference to certain issues such as the management of the pandemic emergency, the economic and financial crisis, and the fight against poverty.” The two also noted the “significant contribution that the Catholic Church has offered and continues to provide.” Finally, concluded the statement, “some regional and international issues were mentioned.” President Fernández then met separately with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States. (Vatican News va) 
On his Twitter page the President wrote: "In my reunion with Pope Francis, we talked about the problems that the world and Argentina are going through. I appreciate your support for the recovery of Argentina.
His leadership for equality guides us and commits us to a more humane world."

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Friday, May 14, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - Eastertide

Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle
Lectionary: 564

Reading I
Acts 1:15-17, 20-26
Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers and sisters
(there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons
in the one place).
He said, “My brothers and sisters,
the Scripture had to be fulfilled
which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand
through the mouth of David, concerning Judas,
who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.
Judas was numbered among us
and was allotted a share in this ministry.
For it is written in the Book of Psalms:

    Let his encampment become desolate,
        and may no one dwell in it.
    May another take his office.

Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men 
who accompanied us the whole time 
the Lord Jesus came and went among us,
beginning from the baptism of John
until the day on which he was taken up from us,
become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas,
who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.
Then they prayed,
“You, Lord, who know the hearts of all,
show which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this apostolic ministry
from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.”
Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias,
and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.

Responsorial Psalm
113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
R.    (8)  The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
R.    Alleluia.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
    praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
    both now and forever.
R.    The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
R.    Alleluia.
From the rising to the setting of the sun
    is the name of the LORD to be praised.
High above all nations is the LORD;
    above the heavens is his glory.
R.    The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
R.    Alleluia.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high
    and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R.    The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
R.    Alleluia.
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
    from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
To seat them with princes,
    with the princes of his own people.
R.    The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
R.    Alleluia.

See Jn 15:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Jn 15:9-17
Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you:  love one another.”

 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 14 : St. Matthias Apostle the Patron of Alcoholics and Carpenters - with Prayer


Colchis in 80
Patron of:
alcoholism; carpenters; Gary, Indiana; Great Falls-Billings, Montana; smallpox; tailors

Apostle. The Greek Matthias (or, in some manuscripts, Maththias), is a name derived from Mattathias, Hebrew Mattithiah, signifying "gift of Yahweh." Matthias was one of the seventy disciples of Jesus, and had been with Him from His baptism by John to the Ascension (Acts 1:21-22). It is related (Acts 1:15-26) that in the days following the Ascension, Peter proposed to the assembled brethren, who numbered one hundred and twenty, that they choose one to fill the place of the traitor Judas in the Apostolate. Two disciples, Joseph, called Barsabas, and Matthias were selected, and lots were drawn, with the result in favour of Matthias, who thus became associated with the eleven Apostles. Zeller has declared this narrative unhistoric, on the plea that the Apostles were in Galilee after the death of Jesus. As a matter of fact they did return to Galilee, but the Acts of the Apostles clearly state that about the feast of Pentecost they went back to Jerusalem. All further information concerning the life and death of Matthias is vague and contradictory. According to Nicephorus (Church History II.40), he first preached the Gospel in Judea, then in Ethiopia (that is to say, Colchis) and was crucified. The Synopsis of Dorotheus contains this tradition: Matthias in interiore Æthiopia, ubi Hyssus maris portus et Phasis fluvius est, hominibus barbaris et carnivoris praedicavit Evangelium. Mortuus est autem in Sebastopoli, ibique prope templum Solis sepultus (Matthias preached the Gospel to barbarians and cannibals in the interior of Ethiopia, at the harbour of the sea of Hyssus, at the mouth of the river Phasis. He died at Sebastopolis, and was buried there, near the Temple of the Sun). Still another tradition maintains that Matthias was stoned at Jerusalem by the Jews, and then beheaded (cf. Tillemont, "Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire eccl. des six premiers siècles", I, 406-7). It is said that St. Helena brought the relics of St. Matthias to Rome, and that a portion of them was at Trier. Bollandus* (Acta SS., May, III) doubts if the relics that are in Rome are not rather those of the St. Matthias who was Bishop of Jerusalem about the year 120, and whose history would seem to have been confounded with that of the Apostle. The Latin Church celebrates the feast of St. Matthias on 24 February and the Greek Church on 9 August. [Note: After this article was written, the Latin Church moved the feast of St. Matthias to 14 May.]
 Clement of Alexandria (Stromata III.4) records a sentence that the Nicolaitans ascribe to Matthias: "we must combat our flesh, set no value upon it, and concede to it nothing that can flatter it, but rather increase the growth of our soul by faith and knowledge". This teaching was probably found in the Gospel of Matthias which was mentioned by Origen (Hom. i in Lucam); by Eusebius (Church History III.25), who attributes it to heretics; by St. Jerome (Praef. in Matth.), and in the Decree of Gelasius (VI, 8) which declares it apocryphal. It is at the end of the list of the Codex Barrocciamus (206). This Gospel is probably the document whence Clement of Alexandria quoted several passages, saying that they were borrowed from the traditions of Matthias, Paradoseis, the testimony of which he claimed to have been invoked by the heretics Valentinus, Marcion, and Basilides (Stromata VII.17). According to the Philosophoumena, VII, 20, Basilides quoted apocryphal discourses, which he attributed to Matthias. These three writings: the gospel, the Traditions, and the Apocryphal Discourses were identified by Zahn (Gesch. des N. T. Kanon, II, 751), but Harnack (Chron. der altchrist. Litteratur, 597) denies this identification. Tischendorf ("Acta apostolorum apocrypha", Leipzig, 1851) published after Thilo, 1846, "Acta Andreae et Matthiae in urbe anthropophagarum", which, according to Lipsius, belonged to the middle of the second century.
 This apocrypha relates that Matthias went among the cannibals and, being cast into prison, was delivered by Andrew. Needless to say, the entire narrative is without historical value. Moreover, it should be remembered that, in the apocryphal writings, Matthew and Matthias have sometimes been confounded. Text - Catholic Encyclopedia - Image source Google
Prayer : O God, who assigned Saint Matthias a place in the college of Apostles, grant us, through his intercession, that, rejoicing at how your love has been allotted to us, we may merit to be numbered among the elect. 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.
 Dear Jesus, on this Feast of this added Apostle, Matthias, I thank you for numbering me among your Apostles. Help me to remain in your love, each and every day, in the midst of the things you ask of me, in the ways you ask me to witness to your own merciful love for others. I ask this with faith in the power of your Spirit among us. Amen. May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.