Thursday, February 11, 2016

Wow #PopeFrancis Donates 500 #Rosaries to #Prisoners in Italy - SHARE


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has donated 500 rosaries to the detainees in a prison in the Italian city of Padua. The priest entrusted with delivering the gift is Don Marco Sanavio, who had the idea “more directly” to involve prisoners in the “Moment of Peace” (Un’ attimo di pace) initiative launched four years ago on the web in Italy. The Vatican's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, reports that the request for the rosaries came from Zhang Augustine Jianqing, a young Chinese man currently incarcerated in the Padua prison, who also participated in Rome at the presentation of the book-length interview of Pope Francis by veteran Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, The Name of God is Mercy. (Text from Radio Vaticana)

#Miracle of Hope at #Lourdes "I had lost Millions..." #Testimony to SHARE

Steffen PfeifferLOURDES, Diary of Grace #3 "I had lost millions" - Steffen Pfeiffer

Steffen Pfeiffer : "I wa exhausted. I’d lost millions of euros of savings. During this pilgrimage, with this "interlude" to Lourdes, yes, I realised that it is not important to have millions, it is important to choose to wake up every morning thinking good thoughts – in a "good mood" as the Americans say – and to choose to rejoice, that is the gift that Lourdes gave to me. A final word for Lourdes : "Lourdes I love you. I will continue to love you. I simply love you." Right here, it’s marvelous! It’s where I belong!

Free Catholic Movie : Bernadette - Drama of Girl who saw Our Lady of Lourdes with Actress Sydney Penny

TOP Catholic movies of all time.
119 min - Drama - January 1989 (USA)The true story of St. Bernadette Soubarous who saw Our Lady of Lourdes. An unemployed miller moves his family into grim lodgings; his wife takes in laundry. In February of 1858, at the Massabielle grotto, their 14-year old asthmatic, illiterate daughter, Bernadette, sees a light she later distinguishes as a beautiful young woman. Crowds follow her and people are cured by the waters from a spring Bernadette has cleared.
Director: Jean Delannoy
Writers: Robert Arnaut, Jean Delannoy
Stars: Sydney Penny, Jean-Marc Bory, Jean-Marie Bernicat
FOR FREE MOVIES AND MORE LIKE US ON FACEBOOK NOW


PART I http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of.html

PART II http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_10.html
PART III http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_11.html
PART IV  http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_12.html 
PART V http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_15.html  
PART VI http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_2525.html
PART VII http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_16.html
PART VIII http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_8154.html
PART IX http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_17.html
PART X http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_18.html
PART XI AND XII http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_19.html 

Novena to Our Lady of #Lourdes and #Litany #Prayers - SHARE

NOVENA
Preliminary Prayer to be said each day
   Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us. 
DAY ONE
Sunday, February 3, 2013
   O Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, virgin and mother, queen of heaven, chosen from all eternity to be the Mother of the Eternal Word and in virtue of this title preserved from original sin, we kneel before you as did little Bernadette at Lourdes and pray with childlike trust in you that as we contemplate your glorious appearance at Lourdes, you will look with mercy on our present petition and secure for us a favorable answer to the request for which we are making this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY TWO
Monday, February 4, 2013
   Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest yourself shining with light, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child Saint Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception!" O Mary Immaculate, inflame our hearts with one ray of the burning love of your pure heart. Let them be consumed with love for Jesus and for you, in order that we may merit one day to enjoy your glorious eternity. O dispenser of His graces here below, take into your keeping and present to your Divine Son the petition for which we are making this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY THREE
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
   "You are all fair, O Mary, and there is in you no stain of original sin." O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. O brilliant star of sanctity, as on that lovely day, upon a rough rock in Lourdes you spoke to the child Bernadette and a fountain broke from thee plain earth and miracles happened and the great shrine of Lourdes began, so now I beseech you to hear our fervent prayer and do, we beseech you, grant us the petition we now so earnestly seek. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY FOUR
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
   O Immaculate Queen of Heaven, we your wayward, erring children, join our unworthy prayers of praise and thanksgiving to those of the angels and saints and your own the One, Holy, and Undivided Trinity may be glorified in heaven and on earth. Our Lady of Lourdes, as you looked down with love and mercy upon Bernadette as she prayed her rosary in the grotto, look down now, we beseech you, with love and mercy upon us. From the abundance of graces granted you by your Divine Son, sweet Mother of God, give to each of us all that your motherly heart sees we need and at this moment look with special favor on the grace we seek in this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY FIVE
Thursday, February 7, 2013
   O Mary Immaculate, Mother of God and our mother, from the heights of your dignity look down mercifully upon us while we, full of confidence in your unbounded goodness and confident that your Divine Son will look favorably upon any request you make of Him in our behalf, we beseech you to come to our aid and secure for us the favor we seek in this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY SIX
Friday, February 8, 2013
   O glorious Mother of God, so powerful under your special title of Our Lady of Lourdes, to you we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare and for the special favor we so earnestly seek in this novena. (mention your request)
   O Lady of Bernadette, with the stars of heaven in your hair and the roses of earth at your feet, look with compassion upon us today as you did so long ago on Bernadette in the Grotto of Lourdes.
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us. 

DAY SEVEN
Saturday, February 9, 2013
   O Almighty God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary did prepare a worthy dwelling place for your Son, we humbly beseech you that as we contemplate the apparition of Our Lady in the Grotto of Lourdes, we may be blessed with health of mind and body. And, O most gracious Mother Mary, beloved Mother of Our Lord and Redeemer, look with favor upon us as you did that day on Bernadette and intercede with Him for us that the favor we now so earnestly seek may be granted to us. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY EIGHT
Sunday, February 10, 2013
   O Immaculate Mother of God, from heaven itself you came to appear to the little Bernadette in the rough Grotto of Lourdes! And as Bernadette knelt at your feet and the magic spring burst forth and as multitudes have knelt ever since before your shrine, O Mother of God, we kneel before you today to ask that in your mercy you plead with your Divine Son to grant the special favor we seek in this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY NINE
Monday, February 11, 2013
Feast Day: Our Lady of Lourdes
(First apparition to St. Bernadette)
   O glorious Mother of god, to you we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly for the grace of a happy death. O Mother of our Divine Lord, as we conclude this novena for the special favor we seek at this time. (mention your request) We feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard. O Mother of My Lord, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ and for the glory of His Name, hear our prayers and obtain our petitions.
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.
LITANY OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.


Exalted model of all mothers,
Pray for us.*
Mother who didst suffer so much,*
Mother poor and without shelter,*
Mother who didst bear along forgotten roads the fruit of thy womb,*
Who didst find no other shelter for thy Son and thy God than a wild cave, and no other cradle than a manger,*
Who didst declare: "I am the Immaculate Conception,*
Who didst appear to an humble peasant girl in order to teach us humility,*
Who wast clad in a white robe to remind us of purity,*
Who didst wear a girdle of blue to remind us of Heaven,*
Who didst tread on a rose bush to remind us of the sufferings we must endure in order to merit Heaven,*
Who didst carry the Rosary to induce us to pray,*
Who hadst thy hands joined and thy eyes raised to Heaven to draw us to penance,*
Who art the Star of Hope,*
Who dost pray to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for us,*
Who dost give strength to the clergy,*
Who dost heal the sick,*
Who art the health of the weak,*
Refuge of sinners,*
Comforter of the afflicted,*


Our Lady of Lourdes, conceived without sin:
Pray for us who have recourse to thee.


Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Spare its, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us.


Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us,


V. Pray for us, Our Lady of Lourdes, Holy Mother of God:
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin didst prepare a worthy habitation for Thy Son: we humbly beseech Thee, that we who celebrate the feast of the Apparition of the same holy Virgin, may obtain health both of soul and body. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. February 11, 2016


Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Lectionary: 220


Reading 1DT 30:15-20

Moses said to the people:
“Today I have set before you
life and prosperity, death and doom.
If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God,
which I enjoin on you today,
loving him, and walking in his ways,
and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees,
you will live and grow numerous,
and the LORD, your God,
will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.
If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen,
but are led astray and adore and serve other gods,
I tell you now that you will certainly perish;
you will not have a long life
on the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and occupy.
I call heaven and earth today to witness against you:
I have set before you life and death,
the blessing and the curse.
Choose life, then,
that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God,
heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.
For that will mean life for you,
a long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore
he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R. (40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Verse Before The GospelMT 4:17

Repent, says the Lord;
the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.

GospelLK 9:22-25

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”

Latest #News of #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis at #HolySee


  • Pope Francis receives in audience the prime minister of Iraq: importance of presence of Christians and ethnic minorities and defence of their rights
  • General audience: mercy must also reach our pockets
  • Mary, example of tenderness in the care of the sick
  • Holy Father's Message for the "KeepLent" initiative
  • The Pope to the Missionaries of Mercy: show the maternity of the Church

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Pope Francis receives in audience the prime minister of Iraq: importance of presence of Christians and ethnic minorities and defence of their rights


Vatican City, 10 February 2016 (VIS) - Today, in the study of the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father Francis received in audience Haydar al-Abadi, prime minister of Iraq, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.


During the cordial discussions, reference was made to the good state of bilateral relations, to the life of the Church in the country and to the situation of Christians and ethnic and religious minorities living in Iraq, with particular reference to the importance of their presence and the need to protect their rights. Emphasis was placed on the role of interreligious dialogue and the responsibility of religious communities in promoting tolerance and peace.

In this context, mention was made of the importance of the reconciliation process between the various social sectors within the country, and the national humanitarian and regional situation.



General audience: mercy must also reach our pockets


Vatican City, 10 February 2016 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father dedicated the catechesis of his Wednesday general audience, held in St. Peter's Square, to a reflection on the biblical meaning of the Jubilee. Francis explained that every fifty years, on the Day of Atonement, a great event of liberation was announced. It consisted of a type of "general amnesty", in which all debts were cancelled and the land was restored to its owners. The central idea is that the earth belongs to God and has been entrusted to men as administrators. The Pope added that the biblical jubilee was a true jubilee of mercy which had the function of helping the people to experience genuine fraternity by sincerely pursuing, by means of mutual assistance, the good of their brother in need. Likewise he mentioned other rules and customs, such as the payment of the tithe, or one-tenth of their harvest, or the sharing of the first part of the harvest, and the prohibition of loads with disproportionate rates of interest, all intended to help the poor, the orphans and widows. Francis emphasised that the message of the biblical jubilee invites us to construct a land and a society based on solidarity, sharing and the just distribution of resources.


He stressed that if the Jubilee does not "reach our pockets" then it is not a true jubilee, and that this, "is in the Bible, it wasn't invented by the Pope". "We are all guests of the Lord, awaiting the celestial homeland, called upon to make the world that welcomes us inhabitable and human. And how much of the harvest the more fortunate could give to those who are in need! Not only the fruits of the fields, but also any other produce of work: salaries, savings, the many things we possess and which are often wasted. It also happens today".

"Thinking of this, the Holy Scripture insistently exhorts us to respond generously to requests for loans, without mean calculations and without demanding unreasonable rates of interest. … This teaching remains current. How many situations of usury do we see, and how much suffering and anguish among families? Very often, in desperation, men even arrive at the point of suicide because they can no longer cope; they are without hope and no-one extends a hand to help them, only a hand to demand they pay interest. Usury is a grave sin. … But the Lord promised His blessing to those who extend their hand to give generously. He will redouble the repayment, perhaps not in money but with other things; it will always be redoubled". Francis concluded by reiterating that "if we wish to receive God's mercy, we must start by being merciful ourselves, starting with our co-citizens, among families, peoples, continents. Contributing to creating an earth without poverty means building societies without discrimination, based on the solidarity that leads us to share what we possess, in a division of resources based on brotherhood and justice".



Mary, example of tenderness in the care of the sick


Vatican City, 10 February 2016 (VIS) – At the end of today's general audience, the Holy Father mentioned that tomorrow, the memory of Our Lady of Lourdes, will be the 24th World Day of the Sick. "In this year's message we reflect on the indispensable role of Mary in the wedding at Cana: 'Do whatever He tells you'. Mary's promptness reflects God's tenderness and the immense goodness of Merciful Jesus".


Francis invited those present to pray for the sick and to let them be aware of our love. "May the same tenderness of Mary's be present in the life of the many people who are by the side of the sick, so they may be able to perceive their needs, even those that are imperceptible, as they are seen through eyes filled with love".



Holy Father's Message for the "KeepLent" initiative


Vatican City, 10 February 2016 (VIS) – Pope Francis inaugurated the "KeepLent" initiative organised by the Youth Pastoral of the Prelature of Pompeii, Italy, with a voice message broadcast via the "Telegram" instant messaging application at 7.30 this morning.

"Dear boys and girls,

Jesus said to His disciples, 'Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them … So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets … Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you"

The Word of God guides us in living well the Lenten period.

When we do something good, at times we are tempted to be appreciated and to seek recompense: human glory. But it is a false recompense as it projects us towards what others think of us.

Jesus asks us to do good because it is good. He asks us to be aware that we are always under the watch of the heavenly Father and to live in relation to Him, not in relation to the judgement of others.

Living in the presence of the Father is a far more profound joy than worldly glory.

Our attitude during Lent must therefore be that of living in secret where the Father sees us, loves us and awaits us. Certainly, even external things are important, but we must always choose and live in the presence of God.

Let us do so in prayer, in mortification, and in the fraternal charity that we are able to give, humbly, before God. We will thus be worthy of the recompense of God the Father.

I wish you a good Lent. May Our Lady of Pompeii accompany you, and please, pray for me".



The Pope to the Missionaries of Mercy: show the maternity of the Church


Vatican City, 10 February 2016 (VIS) – Showing the maternal face of the Church, being aware of the need for forgiveness and the sense of shame of those who confess, and not applying a harsh form of justice were the main features of the advice Pope Francis gave yesterday afternoon to the Missionaries of Mercy from all continents, whom he received in audience in the Sala Regia of the Vatican Apostolic Palace. Today, during the Ash Wednesday Mass, he will confer to them their mandate as "missionaries" of mercy in the context of the Jubilee.

"I meet with you with great pleasure, before giving you the mandate of being Missionaries of Mercy. This is a sign of special relevance because it characterises the Jubilee, and enables the unfathomable mystery of the mercy of the Father to be lived in all the local Churches", said the Holy Father. "Being a missionary of mercy is a responsibility I have entrusted to you because it requires that you be witnesses in the first person of God's closeness and his way of loving. It is not our way, always limited and at times contradictory, but His way of loving, His way of forgiving, that is indeed mercy".

Francis went on to remind the new missionaries that in their ministry they are called upon to express the maternity of the Church. "The Church is a mother because she always generates new sons and daughters in faith; the Church is a mother also because she nurtures faith; and the Church is a mother also because she offers God's forgiveness, regenerating new life, the fruit of conversion. We cannot run the risk that a penitent does not perceive the maternal presence of the Church who welcomes and loves him. If this perception were to be made less evident as a result of our rigidity, it would constitute a grave damage first and foremost to faith itself, as it would prevent the penitent from seeing himself as integrated within the Body of Christ. Furthermore, it would greatly limit his sense of being part of a community. We are instead called upon to be a living expression of the Church who, as a mother, welcomes anyone who approaches her, knowing that through her they are integrated with Christ. Entering into the confessional let us always remember that it is Christ Who welcomes, Christ Who listens, Christ Who forgives, and Christ Who gives peace. We are His ministers, and we are the first who are in need of His forgiveness. Therefore, whatever may be the sin to be confessed – or that the person does not dare to say, but alludes to, which is enough – each missionary is called upon to remember their own existence as a sinner and to humbly place himself as a 'channel' of God's mercy".

Another important aspect is to know how to "look at the desire for forgiveness in the penitent's heart. It is the fruit of grace and its action in the life of people, which enables us to feel nostalgia for God, for His love and His home. Let us not forget that it is precisely this desire that is at the beginning of conversion. The heart turns to God, recognising the in committed, but with the hope of obtaining forgiveness. And this desire is strengthened when one decides in one's heart to change life and to sin no more. It is the moment at which one entrusts oneself to God's mercy, trusting fully in being understood, forgiven and supported by Him. Let us allow ample space to this desire for God and for His forgiveness; may we let it emerge as a true expression of the grace of the Spirit that inspires the conversion of the heart".

Finally, the Holy Father spoke about a crucial, often neglected aspect: shame. "It is not easy to place oneself in front of another man, knowing that he represents God, and confess to sin. One is ashamed not only of the sin committed, but also of having to confess it to another", said the Pope, emphasising that the Bible from its very first pages tells us about how Adam and Eve, after they had sinned, felt shame and hid themselves from God. Noah too, considered a righteous man, was not free from sin. His intemperance is a sign of his weakness, to the extent that he loses his dignity, expressed in the Scripture by his nakedness. Two of his sons, Shem and Japheth take his cloak and cover him to restore his dignity.

"This passage suggests to me the importance of our role as confessor", said Francis. "Before us there is a 'naked' person, and also a person who does not know how to speak and does not know what to say … with the shame of being a sinner, and very often unable to say so. Let us not forget: before us there is not the sin, but the repentant sinner. … A person who wishes to be accepted and forgiven. Therefore, we are not called upon to judge, with an attitude of superiority, as if we were immune to sin. On the contrary, we are called upon to act like Shem and Japheth, who took a cover to spare their father from shame. Being a confessor in accordance with Christ's heart means covering the sinner with a cloak of mercy, so that he is no longer ashamed and is able to recover the joy of his filial dignity, and may also know where to find it".

"However, it is not the club of judgement that we succeed in returning the lost sheep to the flock, but rather with the holiness of life that is the starting point of renewal and reform in the Church. Holiness is nurtured with love and knows how to bear the burden of the weak. A missionary of mercy carries the sinner on his shoulders, and consoles him with the power of compassion. … It is possible to do great damage, great damage to a soul if one does not listen with the heart of a father, with the heart of the Mother Church". "Some months ago I spoke with a wise cardinal of the Roman Curia about the questions that some priests ask in confession, and he said to me, 'When a person starts and I see that they want to say something, and I realise and understand, I say, I understand, don't worry. … This is a father".

"I accompany you on this missionary adventure", concluded the bishop of Rome, "offering you as examples two saints, ministers of God's forgiveness: St. Leopold and St. Pio … along with many other priests who during their life have borne witness to God's mercy. They will help you. When you feel the burden of the sins confessed to you, and the limits of your person and your words, trust in the power of mercy that reaches out to everyone as love and knows no bounds. And say, like many saintly confessors, 'Lord, I forgive you', and go ahead".



Other Pontifical Acts


Vatican City, 10 February 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father appointed:

- Msgr. Lauro Tisi as metropolitan archbishop of Trento (area 6,212, population 530,308, Catholics 486,000, priests 587, permanent deacons 28, religious 726), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Giustino, Italy in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1987. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Trento, including deputy priest, vice rector of the seminary, and spiritual father and delegate for young priests. He is currently vicar general and moderator of the Curia. He succeeds Archbishop Luigi Bressan, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- Msgr. Renato Marangoni as bishop of Belluno-Feltre (area 3,263, population 188,500, Catholics 188,300, priests 206, permanent deacons 6, religious 181), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Crespano del Grappa, Italy in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1983. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar, deputy director of the Gregorianum College in Padua, secretary of the Commission for the continuing formation of the clergy, episcopal delegate for family pastoral ministry, president of the Commission for the family, deputy director of the Istituto San Luca for the continuing formation of the clergy, member of the diocesan presbyteral council, delegate president of the presbyteral pastoral council, and episcopal vicar for lay apostolate. He is currently episcopal vicar for pastoral ministry in the diocese of Padua. He succeeds Bishop Giuseppe Andrich, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- appointed Fr. Roberto Carboni, O.F.M. Conv., as bishop of Ales-Terralba (area 1,494, population 97,830, Catholics 97,580, priests 66, permanent deacons 5, religious 89), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Scano Montiferro, Italy in 1958, gave his religious vows in 1982 and was ordained a priest in 1984. He holds a licentiate in psychology from the Pontifical Gregorian University and has served in a number of roles including spiritual director of the national centre for spiritual guidance, lecturer of psychology in the Theological Institute of Assisi and in the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Sardinia, deputy priest in Cagliari, rector of the Franciscan postulate, secretary and provincial vicar, missionary in Cuba, spiritual director of the seminary, and rector of the Church of St. Francis in Havana, Cuba. He is currently general secretary for the formation of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual. He succeeds Bishop Giovanni Dettori, whose resignation from the pastoral governance of the diocese was accepted upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.



Notice


Vatican City, 10 February 2016 (VIS) – No Vatican Information Service bulletin will be transmitted tomorrow, the eighty-seventh anniversary of the institution of Vatican City State by the signing of the Lateran Pacts. Service will resume on Friday, 12 February.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Saint February 11 : Our Lady of Lourdes - #Lourdes


Information:
Feast Day:February 11
The pilgrimage of Lourdes is founded on the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to a poor, fourteen-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubiroux. The first apparition occurred 11 February, 1858. There were eighteen in all; the last took place 16 July, of the same year. Bernadette often fell into an ecstasy. The mysterious vision she saw in the hollow of the rock Massabielle was that of a young and beautiful lady. "Lovelier than I have ever seen" said the child. But the girl was the only one who saw the vision, although sometimes many stood there with her. Now and then the apparition spoke to the seer who also was the only one who heard the voice. Thus, she one day told her to drink of a mysterious fountain, in the grotto itself, the existence of which was unknown, and of which there was no sign, but which immediately gushed forth. On another occasion the apparition bade Bernadette go and tell the priests she wished a chapel to be built on the spot and processions to be made to the grotto. At first the clergy were incredulous. It was only four years later, in 1862, that the bishop of the diocese declared the faithful "justified in believing the reality of the apparition". A basilica was built upon the rock of Massabielle by M. Peyramale, the parish priest. In 1873 the great "national" French pilgrimages were inaugurated. Three years later the basilica was consecrated and the statue solemnly crowned. In 1883 the foundation stone of another church was laid, as the first was no longer large enough. It was built at the foot of the basilica and was consecrated in 1901 and called the Church of the Rosary. Pope Leo XIII authorized a special office and a Mass, in commemoration of the apparition, and in 1907 Pius X extended the observance of this feast to the entire Church; it is now observed on 11 February.
Never has a sanctuary attracted such throngs. At the end of the year 1908, when the fiftieth anniversary of the apparition was celebrated, although the record really only began from 1867, 5297 pilgrimages had been registered and these had brought 4,919,000 pilgrims. Individual pilgrims are more numerous by far than those who come in groups. To their number must be added the visitors who do not come as pilgrims, but who are attracted by a religious feeling or sometimes merely by the desire to see this far-famed spot. The Company of the Chemins de Fer du Midi estimates that the Lourdes station receives over one million travellers per annum. Every nation in the world furnishes its contingent. Out of the total of pilgrimages given above, four hundred and sixty-four came from countries other than France. They are sent by the United States, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Italy, England, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, etc. The bishops lead the way. At the end of the year of the fiftieth anniversary, 2013 prelates, including 546 archbishops, 10 primates, 19 patriarchs, 69 cardinals, had made the pilgrimage to Lourdes. But more remarkable still than the crowd of pilgrims is the series of wonderful occurrences which take place under the protection of the celebrated sanctuary. Passing over spiritual cures, which more often than not escape human observance, we shall confine ourselves to bodily diseases. The writer of this article has recorded every recovery, whether partial or complete, and in the first half-century of the shrine's existence he has counted 3962. Notwithstanding very careful statistics which give the names and surnames of the patients who have recovered, the date of the cure, the name of the disease, and generally that of the physician who had charge of the case, there are inevitably doubtful or mistaken cases, attributable, as a rule, to the excited fancy of the afflicted one and which time soon dispels. But it is only right to note: first, that these unavoidable errors regard only secondary cases which have not like the others been the object of special study; it must also be noted that the number of cases is equalled and exceeded by actual cures which are not put on record. The afflicted who have recovered are not obliged to present themselves and half of them do not present themselves, at the Bureau des Constatations Médicales at Lourdes, and it is from this bureau's official reports that the list of cures is drawn up.
The estimate that about 4000 cures have been obtained at Lourdes within the first fifty years of the pilgrimage is undoubtedly considerably less than the actual number. The Bureau des Constatations stands near the shrine, and there are recorded and checked the certificates of maladies and also the certificates of cure; it is free to all physicians, whatever their nationality or religious belief. Consequently, on an average, from two to three hundred physicians annual visit this marvellous clinic. As to the nature of the diseases which are cured, nervous disorders so frequently mentioned, do not furnish even the fourteenth part of the whole; 278 have been counted, out of a total of 3962. The present writer has published the number of cases of each disease or infirmity, among them tuberculosis, tumours, sores, cancers, deafness, blindness, etc. The "Annales des Sciences Physiques", a sceptical review whose chief editor is Doctor Ch. Richet, Professor at the Medical Faculty of Paris, said in the course of a long article, apropos of this faithful study: "On reading it, unprejudiced minds cannot but be convinced that the facts stated are authentic."

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


#PopeFrancis "Jesus calls us to live out prayer, charity, and penance.." #AshWednesday Mass Video - FULL TEXT Homily

Pope Francis crosses himself as he leads the Ash Wednesday mass, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016 - AP
Pope Francis crosses himself as he leads the Ash Wednesday mass, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016 - AP
10/02/2016 17:


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis commissioned hundreds of “Missionaries of Mercy” during Mass on Ash Wednesday at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
In his Bull announcing the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Holy Father said the Missionaries of Mercy “would be a sign of the Church’s maternal solicitude for the People of God, enabling them to enter the profound richness of this mystery so fundamental to the faith.” Priests chosen to be Missionaries of Mercy have also been given the authority to pardon “even those sins reserved to the Holy See.” Above all, the Pope said, they will be “living signs of the Father’s readiness to welcome those in search of his pardon.”
During Ash Wednesday Mass, the Pope focused on the theme of mercy as we begin the season of Lent.
In his homily during the Mass, Pope Francis said the day’s readings present two invitations: First, to be reconciled to God. In order to do so, he said, we must first recognize that we are in need of mercy: “This is the first step in the Christian journey; it comes in through the open door that is Christ, where He Himself awaits us, the Saviour, and He offers us a new and joyful life.”
The Pope noted a number of obstacles that “close the doors of our hearts” and make reconciliation with God difficult. The Missionaries of Mercy, he said, have a mandate “to be signs and instruments of the forgiveness of God,” called to help their brothers and sisters to “open the doors of their heart, overcome shame, and not flee from the light.”
The second invitation, the Pope said, is heard in the reading from the prophet Joel. God says to His people, “Return to me with your whole heart.” Sin keeps us far from God, but Jesus has offered a “story of salvation” that enables us return to Him. The Gospel for the beginning of Lent, he says, offers us three remedies for sin: prayer, charity, and fasting.
But these three remedies are not merely external acts, the Pope said. Rather, they must come “from the depths of our very being.” During Lent, Christ calls us to live out our acts of prayer, charity, and penance “with coherence and authenticity, overcoming hypocrisy.”
Pope Francis concluded, “Let us set out on this journey together, as a Church, receiving the ashes and keeping our gaze fixed on the Crucified One. Loving us, He invites us to be reconciled with God, and to return to Him, in order to rediscover ourselves.”
Below, please find Vatican Radio’s unofficial translation of Pope Francis’ prepared homily for Mass for Ash Wednesday 2016:
The Word of God, at the beginning of our Lenten journey, offers two invitations to the Church and to each one of us.
The first is that of Saint Paul: “Be reconciled to God.” It is not simply good paternal advice, much less merely a suggestion; it is a true and proper plea in the name of Christ: “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” Why so solemn and heartfelt an appeal? Because Christ know how fragile we are, that we are sinners, He knows the weakness of our heart; He sees the wounds of the wrongs we have committed and suffered; He knows how much we need forgiveness; He knows how much we need to feel loved in order to do good. By ourselves we are not up to it: that’s why the Apostle doesn’t tell us, “do something,” but rather, “to be reconciled to God,” to allow Him to forgive us, with confidence, because “God is greater than our hearts.” He overcomes sin and lifts us from our misery, if we trust in Him. It is for us to recognize that we are in need of mercy: It is the first step of the Christian journey; it comes in through the open door that is Christ, where He Himself awaits us, the Saviour, and He offers us a new and joyful life.
There can be some obstacles that close the doors of the heart. There is the temptation to bolt the doors, that is, to live with our own proper sins, minimizing them, always justifying ourselves, thinking we are no worse than others; so, then, the looks of the soul are closed, and we remain closed within, prisoners of evil. Another obstacle is the shame in opening the secret door of the heart. Shame, in reality, is a good symptom, because it indicates we want to break away from evil; above all we must never transform it into fear or dread. And there is a third trap, that of moving away from the door: this happens when we dwell on our miseries, when we brood over them continually, to the point where we plunge ourselves into the darkest cellars of the soul. Then we become even more familiar with the sadness we don’t want, we grow discouraged, and are weaker in the face of temptations. This happens because we remain alone with ourselves, closing in on ourselves and fleeing from the light; while it is only the grace of the Lord that frees us. Let us allow ourselves, then, to “be reconciled,” let us listen to Jesus who says to the tired and oppressed “Come to me!” (Mt 11:28). Do not remain in ourselves, but go to Him! There we will find refreshment and peace.
At this celebration the Missionaries of Mercy are present, to receive the mandate to be signs and instruments of the forgiveness of God. Dear brothers, you will be able to help open the doors of the heart, to overcome shame, to not flee from the light. May your hands bless and lift up your brothers and sisters with paternity; that through you the gaze and the hands of the Father might rest on His sons and cure their wounds!
There is a second invitation from God, who says, by way of the prophet Joel, “Return to me with your whole heart” (2:12). If we need to return it is because we are far away. It is the mystery of sin: we are far from God, from others, even from ourselves. It is not difficult to understand: we all see how we struggle to truly have confidence in God, to trust in Him as a Father, without fear; how difficult it is to love others, instead of thinking ill of them; how much it costs us to work for our own true good, while we are attracted to and seduced by so many material realities that fade away, and in the end, leave us impoverished. Beside this story of sin, Christ has inaugurated a story of salvation. The Gospel that opens Lent invites us to be the protagonists of this story, embracing three remedies, three medicines that heal us from sin (cf. Mt 6:1-6; 16-18).
In the first place is prayer, an expression of openness to and confidence in the Lord: it is the personal encounter with Him, which shortens the distance created by sin. To pray is to say “I am not self-sufficient, I need you, You are my life and my salvation.” In the second place is charity, to overcome estrangement in our relations with others. True love, in fact, is not an exterior act, it is not giving something in a paternalistic way to quiet our conscience, but accepting the one who needs our time, our friendship, our help. It is living out an attitude of service, overcoming the temptation to satisfy ourselves. In the third place is fasting, penance, to free ourselves from dependence in our relationship to what is passing, and to train ourselves to be more sensitive and merciful. It is an invitation to simplicity and to sharing: taking something away from our table and from our goods, to rediscover the true good of freedom.
“Return to me,” the Lord says, “with your whole heart”: not only with some external act, but from the depths of your very being. In fact, Jesus calls us to live out prayer, charity, and penance with coherence and authenticity, conquering hypocrisy. Lent should be a time of beneficial “pruning away” of falsehood, worldliness, indifference: in order not to think that everything is ok as long as I’m ok; to understand that what counts is not the approval of others, or search for success or consensus, but cleanness in one’s heart and in one’s life; in order to rediscover the Christian identity – that is, the love that serves, not the selfishness that is served. Let us set out on this journey together, as the Church, receiving the Ashes and keeping our gaze fixed on the Crucified One. Loving us, He invites us to be reconciled with God and to return to Him, in order to rediscover ourselves.