Monday, June 7, 2021

Saint June 8 : St. Medard the Patron of the Weather and Toothaches - with Prayer

St. Medard a BISHOP
Feast Day: June 8
Born: 456 at Salency, Picardy, France
Died: 8 June 545 at Noyon, France
Major Shrine: Abbey of Saint-Médard, Soissons, France
Patron of: the weather; invoked against toothache
ST. MEDARD, one of the most illustrious prelates of the Church of France in the sixth century, was born of a pious and noble family, at Salency, about the year 457. From his childhood he evinced the most tender compassion for the poor. On one occasion he gave his coat to a destitute blind man, and when asked why he had done so, he answered that the misery of a fellow-member in Christ so affected him that he could not help giving him part of his own clothes. Being promoted to the priesthood in the thirty-third year of his age, he became a bright ornament of that sacred order. He preached the word of God with an unction which touched the hearts of the most hardened; and the influence of his example, by which he enforced the precepts which he delivered from the pulpit, seemed irresistible. In 530, Alomer, the thirteenth bishop of that country, dying, St. Medard was unanimously chosen to fill the see, and was consecrated by St. Remigius, who had baptized King Clovis in 496, and was then exceeding old. Our Saint's new dignity did not make him abate anything of his austerities, and, though at that time seventy-two years old, he thought himself obliged to redouble his labors. Though his diocese was very wide, it seemed not to suffice for his zeal, which could not be confined; wherever he saw the opportunity of advancing the honor of God, and of abolishing the remains of idolatry, he overcame all obstacles, and by his zealous labors and miracles the rays of the Gospel dispelled the mists of idolatry throughout the whole extent of his diocese. What rendered this task more difficult and perilous was the savage and fierce disposition of the ancient inhabitants of Flanders, who were the most barbarous of all the nations of the Gauls and Franks. Our Saint, having completed this great work in Flanders, returned to Noyon, where he shortly after fell sick, and soon rested from his labors at an advanced age, in 545. The whole kingdom lamented his death as the loss of their common father and protector. His body was buried in his own cathedral, but the many miracles wrought at his tomb so moved King Clotaire that he translated the precious remains to Soissons.

(Taken from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler)

Prayer to Saint Medard: 
Saint Medard, patron saint for protection against bad storms, 
we ask you to intercede for us during the storms of our lives as well as the storms in nature.
Protect our families and our homes.
We pray for assistance for the victims of snowstorms, hurricanes,
tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters,
especially now with the impact from Hurricane Matthew.
Loving God, send in more helpers, 
and multiply resources and supplies for the aid of those in need.
You calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee;
Deliver us from the storms that are raging around us now.
Saint Medard, pray for us.

RIP Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo - Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of the Archeparchy of Hassaké-Nisibi Syria Dies at Age 79

AsiaNews reports that the Syrian Catholic Archbishop Emeritus Jacques Behnan Hindo of the Archeparchy of Hassaké-Nisibi (north-eastern Syria) passed away on June 6th, 2021, in France after a long illness.
Fr Amer Kassar, Syro-Catholic priest of the Church of Our Lady of Fatima in Damascus, remembers the late prelate as “A man of God in the difficult time of war, a bishop who stayed with his people even when Daesh (Islamic State) entered his city. He was a great witness for us Christians, even for priests, reminding us not to flee, to remain with our people”.
“When Archbishop Hindo went abroad and met politicians and government leaders, he always demanded justice for the Syrian people and their country, battered by war. He played a leading role in this as well,” Fr Kassar told AsiaNews.
Archbishop Hindo was born on 8 August 1941 and was ordained a priest on 4 May 1969. He was appointed Archbishop of Hassaké-Nisibi in 1996, and ordained on 18 June 1997.
Although he resigned on 22 June 2019 for health reasons and for reaching age limits, he never stopped speaking out on behalf of Christians and the Syrian people until his death from illness yesterday in Paris, France, where he had travelled for medical treatment.
In the past, he had campaigned against abuses by the Kurdish authorities and the closure of some Christian schools in Kurdish-controlled north-eastern Syria, which Damascus does not recognise as a separate, autonomous entity.
Local authorities closed some educational establishments in the cities of Qamishli, Darbasiyah and Malikiyah for failing to apply the curriculum imposed by Kurdish regional leaders.
At the time, Archbishop Hindo slammed the local administration for preventing the schools from teaching “in the language of the Church, ancient Syriac” and opposed “the teaching of history” slanted towards the views of the authorities.
In 2015, at the darkest moment of the conflict, the prelate attacked what he called the “ambiguous policy” of the United States, which favoured the rise of Islamic State (IS) group in the area straddling the border of Syria and Iraq.
When IS was only three kilometres and threatening him, he accused US planes of targeting Syrian government forces rather than IS fighters.
“It's not about being for or against the government,” he said at the time, “but people never believed in America’s attacks. Only the Kurds have really fought on the ground, but to hold their ground.”
“I knew the bishop very well,” Fr Kassar said. He was “a figure of great value during the war. He played a mediating role between Arabs and Kurds, between Muslims and Christians, always remaining in Hassaké, which he did not abandon even when IS was at its doorstep.
“In addition, he promoted several projects to help local development and dialogue, bridging the gap between different points of view, opinions and groups sometimes very distant from each other. He was a man of God, who knew the area well and the people who inhabited it.”
One of the projects the prelate promoted, and which Fr Kassar liked, involved housing for young people “to counter the depopulation of Christian areas, one of the sore notes of the war years. Likewise, he helped Caritas, schools and education, which he considered essential for the future of the community.”
Meanwhile, reports from the Kurdish-majority area indicate that a Christian journalist and human rights activist was abducted last week, a sign of persistent instability.
Husam al-Qass was seized in Derik (Hassaké Governorate) by a dozen men with their faces covered and whose identity remains unknown at present.
In a statement, the journalist's family describes the kidnapping as “politically motivated” and linked “to his political activity” as well as his “defence of human rights and freedom of expression”.
Amid a climate of tension, the local Arab population is increasingly impatient with “the so-called Kurdish autonomous administration”.
Hisham himself had written and expressed support for the residents of Manbij, whose protests were forcibly suppressed by the Kurdish authorities, with at least eight protesters killed.
Previously, he had given voice to the people of Afrin, attacked by the Turkish army that controls a portion of Syrian territory.
Edited from Asia News IT

Pope Francis explains "The priest is a man who, in the light of the Gospel, spreads the taste of God around him and transmits hope to restless hearts..." FULL TEXT



Monday, June 7, 2021

Dear brothers,

I am very pleased to welcome you as the priestly community of San Luigi dei Francesi. I thank the Rector, Mons. Laurent Bréguet, for his kind words.

In a society marked by individualism, by self-affirmation, by indifference, you have the experience of living together with its daily challenges. Located in the heart of Rome, your home, with its witness of life, can communicate to the people who frequent it the evangelical values ​​of a varied and supportive fraternity, especially when someone is going through a difficult time.  In fact, your fraternal life and your various commitments are capable of making you feel the fidelity of God's love and his closeness. A sign, a signal.

In this year dedicated to Saint Joseph, I invite you to rediscover the face of this man of faith, of this tender father, model of fidelity and trusting abandonment to God's plan. "The will to God, his history, his project. Thus Joseph teaches us that having faith in God also includes believing that He can also work through our fears, our frailties, our weakness "(Apostolic Letter Patris corde, 2). Fragility must not be left aside: they are a theological place. My fragility, that of each of us is the theological place of encounter with the Lord. The "superman" priests end badly, all of them. The frail priest, who knows his weaknesses and talks about them with the Lord, this will be fine. With Joseph, we are called to return to the experience of the simple acts of welcoming, of tenderness, of the gift of self.

In community life, there is always the temptation to create small closed groups, to isolate oneself, to criticize and speak ill of others, to believe oneself superior, more intelligent. Chattering is a habit of closed groups, a habit also of priests who become spinsters: they go, talk, gossip: this doesn't help. And this undermines us all, and that's not good. We must let go of this habit and look and think about God's mercy. May you always welcome one another as a gift. In a fraternity lived in truth, in the sincerity of relationships and in a life of prayer we can form a community in which we can breathe the air of joy and tenderness.

I encourage you to live the precious moments of sharing and community prayer in an active, joyful participation. Even moments of gratuitousness, of free meeting… The priest is a man who, in the light of the Gospel, spreads the taste of God around him and transmits hope to restless hearts: this is how it must be. The studies you do in the various Roman universities prepare you for your future tasks as pastors, and allow you to better appreciate the reality in which you are called to proclaim the Gospel of joy. However, you don't go out into the field to apply the theories without taking into consideration the environment you are in, as well as the people in your care. I wish you to be "shepherds with" the smell of the sheep "" ( Homily, March 28, 2013), people capable of living, laughing and crying with your people, in a word of communicating with them. It worries me when reflections are made, thoughts on the priesthood, as if it were a laboratory thing: this priest, that other priest ... One cannot reflect on the priest outside the holy people of God. The ministerial priesthood is a consequence of the baptismal priesthood of the holy faithful people of God. This must not be forgotten. If you think of a priesthood isolated from the people of God, that is not a Catholic priesthood, no; and not even Christian. Strip yourself, your preconceived ideas, your dreams of greatness, your self-affirmation, to put God and people at the center of your daily concerns. To put the holy faithful people of God at the center one must be shepherds. “No, I would like to be an intellectual only, not a pastor”: but, ask for the reduction to the lay state, it will do you better, and be an intellectual. But if you are a priest, be a shepherd. You will be a shepherd, in many ways, but always in the midst of God's people. What Paul reminded his beloved disciple: "Remember your mother, your grandmother, from the people who taught you". The Lord says to David: "I have chosen you from behind the flock", from there. “Remember your mom, your grandmother, from the people, who taught you”. The Lord says to David: "I have chosen you from behind the flock", from there. “Remember your mom, your grandmother, from the people, who taught you”. The Lord says to David: "I have chosen you from behind the flock", from there.

Dear brother priests, I invite you to always have broad horizons, to dream, to dream of a Church entirely at the service, a world that is more fraternal and supportive. And for this, as protagonists, you have your contribution to offer. Do not be afraid to dare, to risk, to go ahead because all you can with Christ who gives you strength (cf. Phil4.13). With him you can be apostles of joy, cultivating within you the gratitude of being at the service of your brothers and sisters and the Church. And with joy goes along with a sense of humor. A priest who has no sense of humor, does not like it, something is wrong. Imitate those great priests who laugh at others, at themselves and even at their own shadow: a sense of humor is one of the characteristics of holiness, as I pointed out in the Apostolic Exhortation on holiness, Gaudete et exultate . And cultivate in yourselves the gratitude of being at the service of your brothers and of the Church. As priests, you have been "anointed with the oil of joy to anoint with the oil of joy" ( Homily, April 17, 2014). And it is only by staying rooted in Christ that you can experience a joy that moves you to win hearts. Priestly joy is the source of your acting as missionaries of your time.

Finally, I invite you to cultivate gratitude. Gratefulness to the Lord for who you are for each other. With your limitations, frailties, tribulations, there is always a look of love placed on you and which gives you confidence. Gratitude "is always" a powerful weapon "" ( Letter to priests on the 160th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney , 4 August 2019), which allows us to keep the flame of hope burning in moments of discouragement, of loneliness and test.

I entrust each of you, your family members, the staff of your home, as well as the members of the parish of San Luigi dei Francesi to the intercession of the Virgin Mary and to the protection of St. Louis. I bless you from my heart, and I ask you please do not forget to pray for me, because I am in need. This office is not easy. And in the books of spirituality there is a chapter - in some books, but let's think of Sant'Alfonso Maria de 'Liguori and many others - a chapter on a theme and then an example, and some say: " said with an example ”, and they give an example of life. Today, before you entered, Father Landousies told me that at the end of June he will leave this office here, in the Curia: he has been my French translator for a long time. But I would like to make a summary of his person. It is an example. I found in him the testimony of a happy priest, of a consistent priest, a priest who was able to live with already beatified martyrs - whom he knew one by one - and also to live with an illness of which no one knew what. were, with the same peace, with the same testimony. And I take advantage of this publicly, even in front of the Osservatore Romano, to everyone, to thank him for the testimony, which has done me good many times. The way I was was good for me. He will go away, but he goes to carry out the ministry in Marseille, and he will do so much good with this capacity that he has to welcome everyone; but it leaves here the good smell of Christ, the good smell of a priest, of a good priest. So in front of you I say thank you, thank you for everything you have done. of a consistent priest, a priest who was able to live with already beatified martyrs - whom he knew one by one - and also to live with an illness of which no one knew what he was, with the same peace, with the same testimony.