Thursday, January 29, 2015

Saint January 30 : St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti : Virgin : 3rd Order Franciscan


VIRGIN


Information:
Feast Day:January 30
Born:
1585, Vignanello, Italy
Died:30 January 1640, Viterbo
Canonized:1807 by Pope Pius VII
A religious of the Third Order of St. Francis and foundress of the Sacconi; born 1585 of a noble family at Vignanello, near Viterbo in Italy; died 30 January, 1640, at Viterbo; feast, 30 January; in Rome, 6 February (Diarium Romanum). Her parents were Marc' Antonio Mariscotti (Marius Scotus) and Ottavia Orsini. At Baptism she received the name Clarice and in early youth was remarkable for piety, but, as she grew older, she became frivolous, and showed a worldly disposition, which not even the almost miraculous saving of her life at the age of seventeen could change; neither was her frivolity checked by her education at the Convent of St. Bernardine at Viterbo, where an older sister had taken the veil. At the age of twenty she set her heart upon marriage with the Marquess Cassizucchi, but was passed by in favour of a younger sister. She was sadly disappointed, became morose, and at last joined the community at St. Bernardine, receiving the name Hyacintha. But, as she told her father, she did this only to hide her chagrin and not to give up the luxuries of the world; and she asked him to furnish her apartments with every comfort. She kept her own kitchen, wore a habit of the finest material, received and paid visits at pleasure.
For ten years she continued this kind of life, so contrary to the spirit of her vows and such a source of scandal to the community. By the special protection of God, she retained a lively faith, was regular in her devotions, remained pure, always showed a great respect for the mysteries of religion, and had a tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin. At length she was touched by God's grace, and the earnest exhortations of her confessor at the time of serious illness made her see the folly of the past and brought about a complete change in her life. She made a public confession of her faults in the refectory, discarded her costly garments, wore an old habit, went barefoot, frequently fasted on bread and water, chastised her body by vigils and severe scourging, and practised mortifications to such an extent that the decree of canonization considers the preservation of her life a continued miracle. She increased her devotion to the Mother of God, to the Holy Infant Jesus, to the Blessed Eucharist, and to the sufferings of Christ. She worked numerous miracles, had the gifts of prophecy and of discerning the secret thoughts of others. She was also favoured by heavenly ecstacies and raptures. During an epidemic that raged in Viterbo she showed heroic charity in nursing the sick. She established two confraternities, whose members were called Oblates of Mary or Sacconi. One of these, similar to our Society of St. Vincent de Paul, gathered alms for the convalescent, for the poor who were ashamed to beg, and for the care of prisoners; the other procured homes for the aged. Though now leading a life so pure and holy, Hyacintha always conceived the greatest contempt for herself. At her death great sorrow was felt at Viterbo and crowds flocked to her funeral. She was beatified by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726, and canonized 14 May, 1807, by Pius VII.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

#PopeFrancis 3 criteria for not privatizing salvation...

Pope Francis at Mass - OSS_ROM
29/01/2015 12:
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis says ecclesial elites who form cliques and scorn others are privatizing the faith and not following the way of Jesus.  His words came during his homily at morning Mass on Thursday (29th January) celebrated in the Santa Marta residence. 
The Pope’s homily was a reflection on the need for Christians to follow Jesus in the way that He wants and not to follow incorrect models such as privatizing our faith. 
“It’s true, Jesus has saved us all, but not in a general fashion.  All of us, each one with their name and surname.  And this is our personal salvation.  I am truly saved, the Lord looked at me, gave his life for me, opened this door, this new life for me and each of us can say ‘For me.’  But there’s a danger of forgetting that He saved us individually but at the same time as part of his people or community.  His people.  The Lord always saves his people.  From the moment he calls Abraham and promises to make them his people.   And the Lord saves us as part of this community.  That’s why the writer of this Letter (to the Hebrews) tells us: ‘Let us be concerned for each other.’  There is no salvation solely for me.  If that’s the way I understand salvation, I’m mistaken and going along the wrong path.  The privatization of salvation is the wrong path.”
Pope Francis explained that there are three criteria for not privatizing salvation: ‘faith in Jesus who purifies us,’  hope that ‘stirs us to look at his promises and go forward’ and charity: namely taking care of each other, to encourage us all to practice charity and good works.’
“And when I’m in a parish, in a community --  or whatever it is – I am there, I can privatize salvation and be there only on a small social level.  But in order not to privatize salvation, I need to ask myself if I speak and communicate the faith, speak and communicate hope, speak, practice and communicate charity.  If within a particular community there is no communication between people and no encouragement is given to everybody to practice these three virtues, the members of that community have privatized their faith.  Each of them is looking for his or her personal salvation, not the salvation of everybody, the salvation of their people.  And Jesus saved all of us but as part of his people, within a Church.”
The Pope pointed out that the author of the Letter to the Hebrews gave some very important practical advice: ‘Do not absent yourself from your own assemblies, as some do.’  He said this happens when we’re at such assemblies, in the parish or community and we judge the others, when there’s this kind of scorn towards the others.  This, Pope Francis stressed, is not the new and living way of Jesus.
“They scorn the others, they stay away from the community as a whole, they stay away from the people of God, they have privatized salvation: salvation is for me and my small group, but not for all the people of God.  And this is a very serious mistake.  It’s what we see and call: ‘the ecclesial elites.’  When these small groups are created within the community of God’s people, these people believe they are being good Christians and also are acting in good faith maybe, but they are small groups who have privatized salvation.”
Reiterating that God saves us as part of a people, not as part of an elite group, Pope Francis concluded his homily by urging us to consider whether we have a tendency to privatize our faith in this way instead of being close to the people of God and practicing the three virtues of faith, hope and charity.  

Latest News from #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis


29-01-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 021 

Summary
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
- General audience: fatherly responsibility and the sense of orphanhood in children
- Other Pontifical Acts
- Pope's Message for Lent 2015: “Make your hearts firm”
- Indifference, key theme of the Pope's Message for Lent 2015
- Holy Father's calendar for February to April 2015
Audiences
Vatican City, 29 January 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples;
- Archbishop Jan Romeo Pawlowski, apostolic nuncio in the Republic of Congo and in Gabon;
- Archbishop Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo of Belo Horizonte, Brazil;
- Bishop Guglielmo Borghetti, coadjutor of Albenga-Imperia, Italy;
- German Cardona Gutierrez, ambassador of Colombia, on his farewell visit;
- Senator Claudio Zin, with an Italian-Latin American parliamentary delegation.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 29 January 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Fr. Jean-Bertin Nadonye Ndongo, O.F.M. Cap., as bishop of Lolo (area 10,000, population 220,000, Catholics 195,000, priests 22, religious 25), Democratic Republic of Congo. The bishop-elect was born in Botuzu, Democratic Republic of Congo, in 1965, gave his perpetual vows in 1992, and was ordained a priest in 1993. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Catholic University of Kinshasa and has served in a number of roles, including parish priest of the “Sacre-Coeur de Jesus” parish in Bwamanda and member of the economic council for the diocese of Molegbe; formator and rector of the “Maison d'Etudes” in Kinshasa; vice-minister and subsequently provincial minister of the Capuchin Friars in the Democratic Republic of Congo and president of the Conference of Capuchin Friars of Central and Western Africa (CONCAO); and president of the Assembly of Major Superiors. He is currently definitor general of the Capuchin Friars Minor, Rome. He succeeds Bishop Ferdinand Maemba Liwoke, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
28-01-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 020 

General audience: fatherly responsibility and the sense of orphanhood in children
Vatican City, 28 January 2015 (VIS) – Pope Francis, returning to the theme of the family, dedicated the catechesis of today's Wednesday general audience to the figure of the father: “a word dear to us as Christians, more than any other, as it is the name with which Jesus taught us to call God”, he said to the thousands of faithful gathered in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall.
“Father is a universal word, known to all. It indicates a fundamental relationship that is real and ancient as the history of mankind. Today, however, we have reached the point of affirming that ours would be a 'society without fathers'. In other words, in particular in western culture, the figure of the father would be symbolically absent, to have vanished. … At first, this was perceived as a form of liberation: freedom from the father-master, from the father as the representative of a law imposed from the outside, from the father as the censor of the happiness of his children and an obstacle to the emancipation of the autonomy of the young. Indeed, in the past in some cases authoritarianism, indeed even oppression reigned in some homes: parents who treated their children like servants, who did not respect the personal needs of their growth, fathers who did not help them to embark on their path in freedom, to assume their own responsibilities for building their future and that of society”.
“And, as often happens, we have passed from one extreme to the other. The problem of our times no longer seems to be the invasive presence of fathers, but rather their absence. … Fathers are so focused on themselves, on their work and at times their personal fulfilment, that they even forget their families, leaving children and the young to their own devices. … Now, on this shared path of reflection on the family, I would like to say to all Christian communities that we must be more careful: the absence of the paternal figure in the life of children and the young produces lacunae and wounds that can be very serious. And in effect the deviances of children and adolescents may to a considerable extent be due to this lack of examples and authoritative guidance in their everyday life, to this lack of closeness and love from their fathers”.
“The feeling of orphanhood experienced by many young people is more profound than we might think. They are orphans in their families because their fathers are often absent, also physically, from the home, but above all because when they are present, they do not act like fathers: they do not speak with their children, they do not give their children, by their example accompanied by words, those principles, those values, those rules for life that the young need in the same way as they need bread. … At times it seems as if fathers are not sure what position they should occupy in the family, or how to educate their children. And so, in doubt, they abstain, they withdraw and neglect their responsibilities, possibly seeking refuge in an improbable relationship of parity with their children”.
The civil community with its institutions too has “a certain responsibility towards the young, that might be described as paternal”, the Pope added: “a responsibility that at times it neglects or exercises poorly. This too leaves them as orphans, and does not offer them true prospects. The young are therefore orphaned of sure paths to follow, orphaned of teachers in whom they can trust, orphaned of ideals to warm their hearts, orphaned of values and hopes that support them day by day. They are filled with idols but robbed of their hearts; they are driven to dream of enjoyment and pleasure, but they are not given work; they are deluded by the god of money and denied true richness”.
“Therefore, it is good for all of us, fathers and children, to listen once again to the promise that Jesus made to His disciples: 'I will not leave you orphans'. Indeed, He is the path to follow, the master to listen to, the hope that the world can change, that love will conquer hate, that there can be a future of brotherhood and peace for all”, Francis concluded. He added that next Wednesday he will further pursue this theme, focusing on “the beauty of paternity”. “For this reason I have chosen to begin with the darkness in order to reach the light. May the Lord help us to understand these things well”.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 28 January 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Fr. Cesar Alcides Balbin Tamayo as bishop of Caldas (area 1,395, population 260,000, Catholics 250,000, priests 61, religious 76), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Santa Rosa de Osos, Colombia in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a licentiate in moral theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome, a licentiate in philosophy and science of religious education from the Universidad Catolica de Oriente, Colombia, and a master's degree in business administration from the Escuela de Administracion de Empresas in Barcelona, Spain. He has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including rector of the “Miguel Angel Builes” minor seminary and of the “Santo Tomas de Aquino” major seminary in the diocese of Santa Rosa de Osos, director of the “Cooperativa Fraternidad Sacerdotal”, administrator of the “Mutuo Auxilio Sacerdotal Colombiano” of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, and financial director of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia. He is currently parish priest of the “Santa Barbara” parish in Bellavista. He succeeds Bishop Soleibe Arbelaez, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Graz-Seckau, Austria presented by Bishop Egon Kapellari, upon reaching the age limit.
27-01-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 019 
Pope's Message for Lent 2015: “Make your hearts firm”
Vatican City, 27 January 2015 (VIS) – The following is the full text of the Holy Father Francis' message for Lent 2015, entitled “Make your hearts firm”. The document was signed in the Vatican on 4 October 2014, the festivity of St. Francis of Assisi.
“Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each communities and every believer. Above all it is a 'time of grace'. God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us'. He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure. Our heart grows cold. As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I do not think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalisation of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.
When the people of God are converted to his love, they find answers to the questions that history continually raises. One of the most urgent challenges which I would like to address in this Message is precisely the globalisation of indifference.
Indifference to our neighbour and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.
God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation. In the Incarnation, in the earthly life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, the gate between God and man, between heaven and earth, opens once for all. The Church is like the hand holding open this gate, thanks to her proclamation of God’s word, her celebration of the sacraments and her witness of the faith which works through love. But the world tends to withdraw into itself and shut that door through which God comes into the world and the world comes to him. Hence the hand, which is the Church, must never be surprised if it is rejected, crushed and wounded.
God’s people, then, need this interior renewal, lest we become indifferent and withdraw into ourselves. To further this renewal, I would like to propose for our reflection three biblical texts.
1. 'If one member suffers, all suffer together' – The Church
The love of God breaks through that fatal withdrawal into ourselves which is indifference. The Church offers us this love of God by her teaching and especially by her witness. But we can only bear witness to what we ourselves have experienced. Christians are those who let God clothe them with goodness and mercy, with Christ, so as to become, like Christ, servants of God and others. This is clearly seen in the liturgy of Holy Thursday, with its rite of the washing of feet. Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet, but he came to realise that Jesus does not wish to be just an example of how we should wash one another’s feet. Only those who have first allowed Jesus to wash their own feet can then offer this service to others. Only they have 'a part' with him and thus can serve others.
Lent is a favourable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him. This happens whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. There we become what we receive: the Body of Christ. In this body there is no room for the indifference which so often seems to possess our hearts. For whoever is of Christ, belongs to one body, and in him we cannot be indifferent to one another. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honoured, all the parts share its joy'.
The Church is the communio sanctorum not only because of her saints, but also because she is a communion in holy things: the love of God revealed to us in Christ and all his gifts. Among these gifts there is also the response of those who let themselves be touched by this love. In this communion of saints, in this sharing in holy things, no one possesses anything alone, but shares everything with others. And since we are united in God, we can do something for those who are far distant, those whom we could never reach on our own, because with them and for them, we ask God that all of us may be open to his plan of salvation.
2. 'Where is your brother?' – Parishes and Communities
All that we have been saying about the universal Church must now be applied to the life of our parishes and communities. Do these ecclesial structures enable us to experience being part of one body? A body which receives and shares what God wishes to give? A body which acknowledges and cares for its weakest, poorest and most insignificant members? Or do we take refuge in a universal love that would embrace the whole world, while failing to see the Lazarus sitting before our closed doors?
In order to receive what God gives us and to make it bear abundant fruit, we need to press beyond the boundaries of the visible Church in two ways.
In the first place, by uniting ourselves in prayer with the Church in heaven. The prayers of the Church on earth establish a communion of mutual service and goodness which reaches up into the sight of God. Together with the saints who have found their fulfilment in God, we form part of that communion in which indifference is conquered by love. The Church in heaven is not triumphant because she has turned her back on the sufferings of the world and rejoices in splendid isolation. Rather, the saints already joyfully contemplate the fact that, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, they have triumphed once and for all over indifference, hardness of heart and hatred. Until this victory of love penetrates the whole world, the saints continue to accompany us on our pilgrim way. Saint Therese of Lisieux, a Doctor of the Church, expressed her conviction that the joy in heaven for the victory of crucified love remains incomplete as long as there is still a single man or woman on earth who suffers and cries out in pain: 'I trust fully that I shall not remain idle in heaven; my desire is to continue to work for the Church and for souls'.
We share in the merits and joy of the saints, even as they share in our struggles and our longing for peace and reconciliation. Their joy in the victory of the Risen Christ gives us strength as we strive to overcome our indifference and hardness of heart.
In the second place, every Christian community is called to go out of itself and to be engaged in the life of the greater society of which it is a part, especially with the poor and those who are far away. The Church is missionary by her very nature; she is not self-enclosed but sent out to every nation and people.
Her mission is to bear patient witness to the One who desires to draw all creation and every man and woman to the Father. Her mission is to bring to all a love which cannot remain silent. The Church follows Jesus Christ along the paths that lead to every man and woman, to the very ends of the earth. In each of our neighbours, then, we must see a brother or sister for whom Christ died and rose again. What we ourselves have received, we have received for them as well. Similarly, all that our brothers and sisters possess is a gift for the Church and for all humanity.
Dear brothers and sisters, how greatly I desire that all those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!
3. 'Make your hearts firm!' – Individual Christians
As individuals too, we have are tempted by indifference. Flooded with news reports and troubling images of human suffering, we often feel our complete inability to help. What can we do to avoid being caught up in this spiral of distress and powerlessness?
First, we can pray in communion with the Church on earth and in heaven. Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer! The '24 Hours for the Lord' initiative, which I hope will be observed on 13-14 March throughout the Church, also at the diocesan level, is meant to be a sign of this need for prayer.
Second, we can help by acts of charity, reaching out to both those near and far through the Church’s many charitable organisations. Lent is a favourable time for showing this concern for others by small yet concrete signs of our belonging to the one human family.
Third, the suffering of others is a call to conversion, since their need reminds me of the uncertainty of my own life and my dependence on God and my brothers and sisters. If we humbly implore God’s grace and accept our own limitations, we will trust in the infinite possibilities which God’s love holds out to us. We will also be able to resist the diabolical temptation of thinking that by our own efforts we can save the world and ourselves.
As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficiency, I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart. A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realises its own poverty and gives itself freely for others.
During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: 'Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum': Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalisation of indifference.
It is my prayerful hope that this Lent will prove spiritually fruitful for each believer and every ecclesial community. I ask all of you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you”.
Indifference, key theme of the Pope's Message for Lent 2015
Vatican City, 27 January 2015 (VIS) – A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office his morning, during which Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, secretary of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, presented the Pope's Message for Lent 2015, explaining that its central theme is indifference, an issue that the Holy Father has touched upon on a number of occasions. In addition, in his speech to the UN last September Cardinal Secretary of State Parolin emphasised “widespread indifference”, which he equated with an “apathy” that is at times even “synonymous with irresponsibility”.
Indifference is, therefore, “an important concept to explain the different phenomena of the modern world. In this way, we can understand this same concept, including it in what is surely a partial interpretation of a certain culture. Indifference comes from a lack of difference, from a lack of attention to the difference. This can be applied at least on three levels”.
“At the interpersonal level, the play on words between difference and indifference is perhaps more easily understood. On the one hand, the difference is stressed in order to provoke a separation. On the other hand, a lack of attention to the difference between the other and myself conforms the other to one's own parameters and thus annihilates him”.
“At the cultural level, that is, in the everyday environment that helps shape our thoughts and judgement, I seem to notice an indifference to values. This is not only related to a lack of awareness of values or an incomplete observance of values; it is above all a lack of judgement on values. In this way, every choice becomes interchangeable, every option becomes viable, any assessment on good and evil, truth and falsity becomes useless. If there is no difference, everything is the same and is therefore not permissible for anyone to propose something that is more or less appropriate to a person’s nature. In my opinion, global uniformity, the lowering of the standards of values that comes from the lack of difference is linked to the experience of many of our contemporaries of a lack of meaning. If everything is the same, if nothing is different and everything is therefore more or less valid, in what can one invest one’s life? If everything is the same, it means that nothing really has value and therefore it means nothing fully deserves our gift”.
“We then come to a third level, that more specifically regards metaphysical principles. Here lies the greatest indifference, the largest and most consequential form of the lack of attention to difference, that is: indifference towards God and as a result, a lack of attention to the difference between the Creator and creature, which causes so much harm to modern man as it leads him to believe that he is God, while he must continually push against his own limitations”.
Msgr. Dal Toso went on to consider the globalisation of indifference not merely as a geographical phenomenon, but also a cultural one. As it spreads, a Western concept of the world, or Weltanschauung, prevails, linked not only to relationships but also as an existential attitude. The Church does not denounce certain situations simply in order to censure them but instead to offer paths towards healing. For this reason, the Lenten season is always a time of conversion, change and renewal. It is a time for overcoming this globalisation of indifference and entering into a new phase in which we recognise the difference between the self and the other, between one lifestyle and another, between oneself and God. This year’s Lenten Message presents three areas in which indifference must be overcome: the Church, the community and the individual”.
He continued, “Pope Francis speaks about the necessary conversion and the new heart that can beat within us. The key step in all social reconstruction and cultural renewal is change in the individual. The Gospel provides the keys for achieving this change in the person, which then affects the whole social fabric”. However, he warns, “conversion does not have its purpose in a better society, but in the knowledge of Christ and in becoming like Him. Therefore, as we can see in Pope Francis’ Magisterium, he calls us to go beyond a faith that serves only to care for oneself and one's own well being. Indifference stems from an attitude to life in which otherness does not make a difference and so each person withdraws into himself. Faith also can become instrumental in this search for self”. Our path, he explained, is must therefore take us further, “beyond ourselves”, so that we “live our faith by looking at Christ and in Him we find the Father and brothers and sisters who await us”.
Indifference must also be overcome in Christian communities, which are required to be “islands of mercy in a world dominated by the globalisation of indifference. There is a distinction between the Church and the world, between the heavenly city and the earthly city, a distinction which become increasingly evident. Our Christian places – parishes, communities and groups – must be transformed into places that manifest God’s mercy. Faced with this globalisation of indifference, some might be discouraged as it seems as if nothing can be changed, since we are part of a great social and economic process that is is beyond us. Instead, this is not the case. The Christian community can already overcome this indifference, it can show the world that one can live differently and that it can become the city on the mount mentioned in the Gospel. Beginning with this Lent season, Christian community life, where one lives for the other, can be not merely a chimera but instead a living reality; rather than a distant dream, a living sign of the presence of God’s mercy in Christ”.
Finally, the third level is the Church in her global reality. “Unfortunately”, remarked Msgr. Del Toso, “we tend to see the Church only as an institution and a structure. Instead, she is the living body of those who believe in Christ. It is the Church in her entirety that needs to be renewed. As a body, she shows that she is really alive because she changes, grows and develops. In this body, the members take care of each other”.
Finally, the prelate recalled that “Cor Unum” has always acted as an “instrument of the Pope's proximity to the least of our brothers and sisters”, offering three examples. First, he mentioned the recent joint meeting with the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and the various other entities involved in the reconstruction of Haiti, during which the balance of the financial aid raised by the Catholic Church's for the island during the five years since the earthquake, estimated at 21.5 million dollars, was presented. He also referred to the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq, “where the great victims of these wars are the people, especially the most vulnerable minorities such as Christians who again have become the 'cards' with which those in power play”. Finally, he remarked on the Pope's recent trip to the Philippines, where it could be seen what it means to “'make hearts firm' where there is nothing left to hope for”. In Tacloban, the area visited by the Pope, “Cor Unum” has built large community centre named after Pope Francis, to care for the young and the elderly. He concluded, “Our Dicastery wishes to be a great global expression of what it means for the Church to be a body in which each member can experience the love of the other”.
Holy Father's calendar for February to April 2015
Vatican City, 27 January 2015 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has published the following calendar of liturgical celebrations at which the Holy Father will preside from February to April:
FEBRUARY
Monday 2: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, 19th World Day of Consecrated Life. At 5.30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Mass with the members of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life.
Sunday 8: Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time. At 4 p.m., pastoral visit to the Roman parish of “St. Michael the Archangel in Pietralata”.
Saturday 14: At 11 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of new cardinals and for several causes of canonisation.
Sunday 15: Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time. At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Mass with newly-created cardinals.
Wednesday 18: Ash Wednesday. At 4.30 p.m., Basilica of St. Anselm, “Statio” and penitential procession. At 5 p.m. at the Basilica of St. Sabina, blessing and imposition of the ashes.
Sunday 22, First Sunday of Lent. Ariccia, beginning of spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia.
Friday 27: Conclusion of spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia.
MARCH
Sunday 8: Third Sunday of Lent. At 4 p.m., pastoral visit to the Roman parish of “Holy Mary Mother of the Redeemer”.
Friday 13: At 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, penitential liturgy.
Saturday 21: pastoral visit to Naples-Pompeii.
Sunday 29: Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord. At 9.30 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, blessing of the palms, procession and Mass.
APRIL
Thursday 2: Holy Thursday. At 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Chrism Mass.
Friday 3: Good Friday. At 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, celebration of the Passion of the Lord.
Friday 3: Good Friday. At 9.15 p.m., at the Colosseum, Via Crucis.
Saturday 4: Holy Saturday. At 8.30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Easter Vigil.
Sunday 5: Easter Sunday. At 12 p.m., central balcony of the Vatican Basilica, “Urbi et Orbi” blessing.
Sunday 12: Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday. At 10 a.m. at the Vatican Basilica, Mass for the faithful of Armenian rite.

Today's Mass Readings : Thursday January 29, 2015

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 320


Reading 1HEB 10:19-25

Brothers and sisters:
Since through the Blood of Jesus
we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary
by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil,
that is, his flesh,
and since we have “a great priest over the house of God,”
let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust,
with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed in pure water.
Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope,
for he who made the promise is trustworthy.
We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.
We should not stay away from our assembly,
as is the custom of some, but encourage one another,
and this all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Responsorial PsalmPS 24:1-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

AlleluiaPS 119:105

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 4:21-25

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
or under a bed,
and not to be placed on a lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible;
nothing is secret except to come to light.
Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.”
He also told them, “Take care what you hear.
The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you,
and still more will be given to you.
To the one who has, more will be given;
from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Saint January 29 : St. Gildas the Wise : Abbott



Information:
Feast Day:January 24
Born:
516, traditionally Strathclyde in modern Scotland
Died:570, Street, Somerset or Rhuys
Major Shrine:Glastonbury Abbey, now destroyed, or Rhuys Church, extant.
Patron of:Welsh historians; bell founders
He was son to a British lord, who to procure him a virtuous education, placed him in his infancy in the monastery of St. Iltutus in Glamorganshire. The surname of Badonicus was given him, because, as we learn from his writings, he was born in the year in which the Britons under Aurelius Ambrosius, or, according to others, under king Arthur, gained the famous victory over the Saxons at Mount Badon, now Bannesdown, near Bath, in Somersetshire. This Bede places in the forty-fourth year after the first coming of the Saxons into Britain, which was in 451. Our saint, therefore, seems to have been born in 494; he was consequently younger than St. Paul, St. Samson, and his other illustrious school-fellows in Wales: but by his prudence and seriousness in his youth he seemed to have attained to the maturity of judgment and gravity of an advanced age. The author of the life of St. Paul of Leon, calls him the brightest genius of the school of St. Iltut. His application to sacred studies  was uninterrupted, and if he arrived not at greater perfection in polite literature, this was owing to the want of masters of that branch in the confusion of those times. As to improve himself in the knowledge of God and himself was the end of all his studies, and all his reading was reduced to the study of the science of the saints, the greater progress he made in learning, the more perfect he became in all virtues. Studies which are to many a source of dissipation, made him more and more recollected, because in all books he found and relished only God, whom alone he sought. Hence sprang that love for holy solitude, which, to his death, was the constant ruling inclination of his heart. Some time after his monastic profession, with the consent, and perhaps by the order of his abbot, St. Iltut, he passed over into Ireland, there to receive the lessons of the admirable masters of a religious life, who had been instructed in the most sublime maxims of an interior life, and formed to the practice of perfect virtue, by the great St. Patrick. The author of his Acts compares this excursion, which he made in the spring of his life, to that of the bees in the season of flowers, to gather the juices which they convert into honey. In like manner St. Gildas learned, from the instructions and examples of the most eminent servants of God, to copy in his own life whatever seemed most perfect. So severe were his continual fasts, that the motto of St. John Baptist might in some degree be applied to him, that he scarce seemed to eat or drink at all. A rough hair-cloth, concealed under a coarse cloak, was his garment, and the bare floor his bed, with a stone for his bolster.

By the constant mortification of his natural appetites, and crucifixion of his flesh, his life was a prolongation of his martyrdom, or a perpetual sacrifice which he made of himself to God in union with that which he daily offered to him on his altars. If it be true that he preached in Ireland in the reign of king Ammeric, he must have made a visit to that island from Armorica, that prince only beginning to reign in 560: this cannot be ascribed to St. Gildas the Albanian, who died before that time. It was about the year 527, in the thirty-fourth of his age, that St. Gildas sailed to Armorica, or Brittany, in France: for he wrote his invective ten years after his arrival there, and in the forty-fourth year of his age, as is gathered from his life and writings. Here he chose for the place of his retirement the little isle of Houac, or Houat, between the coast of Rhuis and the island of Bellisle, four leagues from the latter. Houat exceeds not a league in length; the isle of Hoedre is still smaller, not far distant: both are so barren as to yield nothing but a small quantity of corn. Such a solitude, which appeared hideous to others, offered the greatest charms to the saint, who desired to fly, as much as this mortal state would permit, whatever could interrupt his commerce with God. Here he often wanted the common necessaries and conveniences of life; but the greater the privation of earthly comforts was in which he lived, the more abundant were those of the Holy Ghost which he enjoyed, in proportion as the purity of his affections and his love of heavenly things were more perfect. The saint promised himself that he should live here always unknown to men: but it was in vain for him to endeavor to hide the light of divine grace under a bushel, which shone forth to the world, notwithstanding all the precautions which his humility took to conceal it. Certain fishermen who discovered him were harmed with his heavenly deportment and conversation, and made known on the continent the treasure they had found. The inhabitants flocked from the coast to hear the lessons of divine wisdom which the holy anchoret gave with a heavenly unction which penetrated their hearts. To satisfy their importunities, St. Gildas at length consented to live among them on the continent, and built a monastery at Rhuis, in a peninsula of that name, which Guerech, the first lord of the Britons about Vannes, is said to have bestowed upon him. This monastery was soon filled with excellent disciples and holy monks. St. Gildas settled them in good order; then, sighing after closer solitude, he withdrew, and passing beyond the gulf of Vannes, and the promontory of Quiberon, chose for his habitation a grot in a rock, upon the bank of the river Blavet, where he found a cavern formed by nature extended from the east to the west, which on that account he converted into a chapel. However, he often visited this abbey of Rhuis, and by his counsels directed many in the paths of true virtue. Among these was St. Trifina, daughter of Guerech, first British count of Vannes. She was married to count Conomor, lieutenant of king Childebert, a brutish and impious man, who afterwards murdered her, and the young son which he had by her, who at his baptism received the name of Gildas, and was godson to our saint: but he is usually known by the surname of Treuchmour, or Tremeur, in Latin 'Trichmorus. SS. Trifina and Treuchmeur are invoked in the English Litany of the seventh century, in Mabillon. The great collegiate church of Carhaix bears the name of St. Treuchmour: the church of Quim per keeps his feast on the 8th of November, on which day he is commemorated in several churches in Brittany, and at St. Magloire's at Paris. A church situated between Corlai and the abbey of Coetmaloon in Brittany, is dedicated to God under the invocation of St. Trifina.
St. Gildas wrote eight canons of discipline, and a severe invective against the crimes of the Britons, called De Excidio Britanniae, that he might confound those whom he was not able to convert, and whom God in punishment delivered first to the plunders of the Picts and Scots, and afterwards to the perfidious Saxons, the fiercest of all nations. He reproaches their kings, Constantine, (king of the Danmonians, in Devonshire and Cornwall,) Vortipor, (of the Dimetians, in South Wales,) Conon, Cuneglas, and Maglocune, princes in other parts of Britain, with horrible crimes: but Constantine was soon after sincerely converted, as Gale informs us from an ancient Welsh chronicle. According to John Fordun he resigned his crown, became a monk, preached the faith to the Scots and Picts, and died a martyr in Kintyre: but the apostle of the Scots seems to have been a little more ancient than the former. Our saint also wrote an invective against the British clergy, whom he accuses of sloth of seldom sacrificing at the altar &c. In his retirement he ceased not with tears to recommend to God his own cause, or that of his honor and glory, and the souls of blind sinners, and died in his beloved solitude in the island of Horac, (in Latin Horata,) according to Usher, in 570, but according to Ralph of Disse, in 581.[6] St. Gildas is patron of the city of Vannes. The abbey which bears his name in the peninsula of Rhuis, between three and four leagues from Vannes, is of the reformed congregation of St. Maur since the year 1649. The relics of St. Gildas were carried thence for fear of the Normans into Berry, about the year 919, and an abbey was erected there on the banks of the river Indre, which was secularized and united to the collegiate church of Chateauroux in 1623. St. Gildas is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on the 29th of January. A second commemoration of him is made in some places on the 11th of May, on account of the translation of his relics. His life, compiled from the ancient archives of Rhuis by a monk of that house, in the eleventh century, is the best account we have of him, though the author confounds him sometimes with St. Gildas the Albanian. It is published in the library of Fleury, in Bollandus, p. 954, and most correctly in Mabillon, Act. SS. Ord. Saint Bened. t. 1, p. 138. See also Dom Lobineau, Vies des Saints de Bretagne, (for. an. 1725,) p. 72, and Hist. de la Bretagne, (2 vol. fol. an. 1707) and the most accurate Dom Morice, Memoires sur l'Histoire de Bretagne, 3 vol. fol. in 1745, and Hist. de la Bretagne, 2 vol. fol. an. 1750.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/G/stgildasthewise.asp#ixzz1ks5mtM00

#WWII Hero Irena Sendler Saved 2500 Jewish Children - SHARE her Amazing Story!

 WWII hero Irena Sendler was born Irena Krzyżanowska on 15 February 1910 Warsaw, Poland. Irena Sendler led a secret operation to successfully smuggle 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto, saving them from almost certain death, was born in 1910. Sendler was a Polish Catholic nurse and social worker who began aiding Jews as early as 1939 after the Germans invaded Poland. At first, she helped to create false documents for over 3,000 Jewish families and later joined the Zegota, the underground Polish resistance organization created to aid the country's Jewish population.
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 Sendler died on May 12 2008 (aged 98) Warsaw, Poland. She was a Roman Catholic. She married Mieczyslaw Sendler (1931-1947;[1] divorced) and Stefan Zgrzembski (1947-1959; divorced; 3 children) Mieczyslaw Sendler (1960s; divorced). Her parents were Stanisław Krzyżanowski Janina Krzyżanowska.

In 1943, Sendler became head of Zegota's children's division and used her special access to the Warsaw Ghetto, granted to Social Welfare Department employees to conduct inspections for typhus, to set up a smuggling operation. She and her colleagues began secretly transporting babies and children out of the Ghetto by hiding them in an ambulance with a false bottom or in baskets, coffins, and even potato sacks. The children were then given false identities and placed with Polish families or in orphanages. To allow the children to be reunited with any surviving relatives following the war, Sendler buried lists containing the identities and locations of the children in jars.
After rescuing over 2,500 children, Sendler was arrested by the Gestapo, tortured and sentenced to death. Fortunately, Zegota was able to bribe the German guards as she was on her way to execution and she was forced to live in hiding for the remainder of the war. In 1965, Sendler was honored by Yad Vashem as one of the Polish Righteous among the Nations for her wartime efforts. She passed away in 2008 at the age of 98.
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Today's Mass Readings : Wednesday January 28, 2015

Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 319

Reading 1HEB 10:11-18

Every priest stands daily at his ministry,
offering frequently those same sacrifices
that can never take away sins.
But this one offered one sacrifice for sins,
and took his seat forever at the right hand of God;
now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool.
For by one offering he has made perfect forever
those who are being consecrated.
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying:

This is the covenant I will establish with them
after those days, says the Lord:
“I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them upon their minds,”


he also says:

Their sins and their evildoing
I will remember no more.


Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering for sin.

Responsorial PsalmPS 110:1, 2, 3, 4

R. (4b) You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
“Rule in the midst of your enemies.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
“Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 4:1-20

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables,
and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
“Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

And when he was alone,
those present along with the Twelve
questioned him about the parables.
He answered them,
“The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you.
But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that

they may look and see but not perceive,
and hear and listen but not understand,
in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.”


Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable?
Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.
As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once
and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who,
when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no roots; they last only for a time.
Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word,
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches,
and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word,
and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

Pope Francis "...whether they had the courage and the love to spend time with their children."


Pope Francis at General Audience - REUTERS
28/01/2015 11:32



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called on fathers to be present in the lives of their children pointing out that the absence of a ‘father figure’ can have grave consequences.Speaking on Wednesday during the weekly General Audience, the Pope continued in his catechesis on the family, choosing to focus on the dignity and role of fathers.
He said that teaching us to call God our Father, Jesus gave new depth and richness to this relationship, so fundamental to the life of society.  
Sadly – Francis said -  in our modern societies, we are experiencing a crisis of fatherhood. In the past it was common practice to perceive the  image of the father as authoritarian and at times even repressive, today – he said - we now sense uncertainty and confusion about the role of the father.
Recalling his experience with the faithful when he was Bishop of Buenos Aires, Francis said that he was often struck by how caught up in their profession and self-realization so many contemporary fathers are. "Often" - he said - "I used to ask fathers whether they took the time to play with their children, whether they had the courage and the love to spend time with their children. And their answers were not good: I am too busy... I have too much work to do".  
And speaking of  an “absence” of the father figure in society, the Pope said that “without father figures, young people often feel ‘orphaned’, left adrift at a critical moment in their growth and development. 
Calling on fathers to be responsible, he said that fathers are necessary as examples and guides for our children in wisdom and virtue.

Society itself – he continued -  has a similar responsibility not to leave the young as orphans, without ideals, sound values, hopes and possibilities for work and for authentic spiritual fulfilment.  
Just as Jesus promised that he would not leave us orphans – Pope Francis concluded - let us ask him to deepen and renew our appreciation of fatherhood and to raise up good fathers for the benefit of our families, our Church and our world.

(Linda Bordoni)