Sunday, July 5, 2015

#PopeFrancis arrives in #Ecuador "..I have come as a witness of God’s mercy..." Text/Video

Pope Francis arrived in Quito, Ecuador, for a tour of Latin America - Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. Below, please find the full text of the Holy Father’s prepared remarks at the welcome ceremony, in their official English translation.
************************************** Mr President,
Distinguished Government Authorities,
My Brother Bishops,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,
I thank God for having allowed me to return to Latin America and to be here with you today in this beautiful land of Ecuador. I feel joy and gratitude as I see the warm welcome you have offered me. It is a sign of the hospitality which so well defines the people of this noble nation.
I thank you, Mr President, for your kind words, and I express my cordial good wishes for the exercise of your office. I greet the distinguished government authorities, my brother bishops, the faithful of the Church in this country, and all those who today have opened to me their hearts, their homes, their nation. To all of you, I express my affection and sincere appreciation.
I have visited Ecuador on a number of occasions for pastoral reasons. Today too I have come as a witness of God’s mercy and of faith in Jesus Christ. For centuries that faith has shaped the identity of this people and borne much good fruit, including the outstanding figures of Saint Mariana de Jesus, Saint Miguel Febres, Saint Narcisa de Jesús and Blessed Mercedes de Jesús Molina, beatified in Guayaquil thirty years ago, during the visit of Pope Saint John Paul II. These, and others like them, lived their faith with intensity and enthusiasm, and by their works of mercy they contributed in a variety of ways to improving the Ecuadorian society of their day.
In our own time too, we can find in the Gospel a key to meeting contemporary challenges, respecting differences, fostering dialogue and full participation, so that the growth in progress and development already registered will ensure a better future for everyone, with particular concern for the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters. In these efforts, Mr President, you can always count on the commitment and cooperation of the Church.
Dear friends, I begin my visit filled with excitement and hope for the days ahead. In Ecuador is the point closest to outer space: it is the peak of Chimborazo, which for that reason is called the place “closest to the sun”, the moon and the stars. We Christians identify Christ with the sun, and the moon with the Church, the community of the faithful. No one, save Jesus Christ, possesses his or her own light. May the coming days make all of us ever more clearly aware of how close is the sun which “dawns upon us from on high”. May each of us be a true reflection of his light and his love.
From this place, I wish to embrace all of Ecuador. From the peak of Chimborazo to the Pacific coast; from the Amazon rainforest to the Galapagos Islands, may you never lose the ability to thank God for what he has done and is doing for you. May you never lose the ability to protect what is small and simple, to care for your children and your elderly, to have confidence in the young, and to be constantly struck by the nobility of your people and the singular beauty of your country.
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to which Ecuador has been consecrated, grant you every grace and blessing. Thank you.

Saint July 6 : St. Maria Goretti : Patron of #Teen #Girls and Crime #Victims


St. Maria Goretti
VIRGIN AND MARTYR
Feast: July 6


Information:
Feast Day:July 6
Born:October 16, 1890(1890-10-16), Corinaldo, Province of Ancona, Marche, Kingdom of Italy
Died:July 6, 1902 (aged 11), Nettuno, Province of Rome, Lazio, Kingdom of Italy
Canonized:June 24, 1950, Rome by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:Nettuno, Province of Rome, Lazio, Italy
Patron of:Crime victims, teenage girls, modern youth, Children of Mary
Virgin martyr and miracle worker in death. She was stabbed to death on July 6 while resisting the advances of the son of her father's business partner. Maria was born in Corinaldo, Italy, the daughter of a farmer who moved the family to Ferriere di Conca, near Anzio. There Alexander Serenelli, a youth who lived in the same house, tried to seduce the young Maria. When she refused him, Alexander stabbed her repeatedly. Arrested for the murder, he was imprisoned and experienced a vision of Maria. Her cuase was opened becuase she was credited with some forty miracles after her death. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII (r. 1939-1958) in 1950, as a model of purity. Alexander attended her canonization.


SOURCE: EWTN

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. July 5, 2015 - 14th Ord. Time


Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 101


Reading 1EZ 2:2-5

As the LORD spoke to me, the spirit entered into me
and set me on my feet,
and I heard the one who was speaking say to me:
Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites,
rebels who have rebelled against me;
they and their ancestors have revolted against me to this very day.
Hard of face and obstinate of heart
are they to whom I am sending you.
But you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD!
And whether they heed or resist—for they are a rebellious house—
they shall know that a prophet has been among them.

Responsorial PsalmPS 123:1-2, 2, 3-4

R. (2cd) Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
To you I lift up my eyes
who are enthroned in heaven —
As the eyes of servants
are on the hands of their masters.
R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
As the eyes of a maid
are on the hands of her mistress,
So are our eyes on the LORD, our God,
till he have pity on us.
R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
Have pity on us, O LORD, have pity on us,
for we are more than sated with contempt;
our souls are more than sated
with the mockery of the arrogant,
with the contempt of the proud.
R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

Reading 22 COR 12:7-10

Brothers and sisters:
That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
because of the abundance of the revelations,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.”
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.

AlleluiaCF. LUKE 4:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, “Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?”
And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house.”
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Saint July 5 : St. Antonio Maria Zaccaria : Founder of #Barnabites

St. Antonio Maria Zaccaria
FOUNDER
Feast: July 5


Information:
Feast Day:July 5
Born:1503, Cremona, Duchy of Milan, (now Italy)
Died:July 5, 1539, Cremona, Duchy of Milan
Canonized:May 15, 1897, Rome by Pope Leo XIII
Major Shrine:San Paolo convent, Milan, Italy
Patron of:The Barnabite order
Founder of the Clerks Regular of St. Paul, commonly known as the Barnabites; b. in Cremona, Italy, 1502; d. 5 July, 1539. While he was still an infant his father died, leaving the care of the child's education to his mother, who taught him compassion for the poor and suffering by making him her almoner. After completing the studies given in the schools at Cremona he was sent to Padua for his philosophy, and in 1520, when he had finished this course, began the study of medicine in the university at that place. At the age of twenty-two he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine and returned to Cremona to practise his profession. Three years later he began to study theology and received holy orders in 1528. He now devoted himself with renewed energy to works of charity and mercy, visiting and consoling the sick in hospitals and poor-prisons. The ministry of preaching and the administration of the sacraments produced such great fruit that St. Antonio was encouraged to seek a larger field for his labours and to carry out a great project which he hard formed for the good of souls. He went to the populous city of Milan, of which he was a burgess, and entered the Confraternity of Eternal Wisdom. Among the members of this religious body he allied himself with two priests, Fathers Ferrari and Morigia, and told them of his idea of founding a congregation of secular clergy. Northern Italy at this period was in a deplorable condition. Frequent wars had devastated the country. The advent of the Lutheran soldiery and their contempt for everything Catholic had spread the contagion of bad example, while famine and plague followed in the track of the soldiers. These scourges combined to produce a state of misery that appealed most powerfully to Antonio and his associates. "The Congregation of the Regular Clerks of St. Paul", St. Antonio's work, which began with five members, was canonically sanctioned by Pope Clement VII in 1533. Their rule bound them to "regenerate and revive the love of the Divine worship, and a truly Christian way of life by frequent preaching and the faithful administration of the sacraments."
The first superior of the new congregation was St. Antonio, who soon hecame known in Milan as an apostle. Besides giving conferences in churches to ecclesiastics and lay people, he went into the streets of the city with crucifix in hand, and produced great fruit in souls by preaching on the Passion and Death of Christ and the need of penance for sin. In 1536 he resigned the superiorship to Father Morigia and later went to Vicenza at the request of Cardinal Ridolfi. There he succeeded in reforming morals and in bringing two religious communities of women to a stricter observance of their rule. In the latter labour he was greatly aided by a congregation of nuns "The Angelicals of St. Paul", which he had founded in Milan. He introduced, also, the devotion of the "Forty Hours' Prayers", in Vicenza. The last two years of his life were spent in Milan. He sought there a more suitable church for his Congregation and accepted the offer of the church of S. Barnabas, but died before the affaire was arranged. From this church of St. Barnabas, the Congregation received the name by which its members are commonly known, i.e. Barnabites. Worn out by his voluntary penences, as well as by his untiring labours of charity, he was attacked by fever during one of his mission. Knowing that this illness was his last, he had himself brought to his native city, Cremona. There, in his mother's house, he received the last sacraments and peacefully expired at the early age of thirty-seven. His body was found incorrupt 27 years after his death. He was declared Blessed by Pope Pius IX in 1849. (See BARNABITES.) On 15 May, 1897, he was solemnly canonized in St. Peter's, Rome, by Pope Leo XIII. His writings are: "Detti notabili, raccolti da varii autori" (Venice, 1583); "Constitutiones ordinis clericorum regularium" (not published); "Sermones super praeceptis Decalogi" (not published).


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/A/stantoniozaccaria.asp#ixzz1RG30CtXx

Saturday, July 4, 2015

What is Independence Day - Happy 4th of July - #Prayer for America -SHARE


    Independence Day, known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States celebrating adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain

    Just over 150 years ago – July 1-3, 1863 – the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War was fought at Gettysburg, Pa. It is estimated that in that three day period, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the opposing Union Army of the Potomac suffered over 43,000 combined casualties.
    PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICA TODAY 
    US Bishops prayer for USA 

    Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

    O God our Creator,
    from your provident hand we have received
    our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
    You have called us as your people and given us
    the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
    and your Son, Jesus Christ.
    Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
    you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
    bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
    to every corner of society.
    We ask you to bless us
    in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
    Give us the strength of mind and heart
    to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
    give us courage in making our voices heard
    on behalf of the rights of your Church
    and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
    Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
    a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
    gathered in your Church
    in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
    so that, with every trial withstood
    and every danger overcome—
    for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
    and all who come after us—
    this great land will always be "one nation, under God,
    indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.
    Amen.

#PopeFrancis “The blood of the martyrs of today makes us one!” at #Prayer


(Vatican Radio) On Friday afternoon in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis met with members of the Renewal of the Holy Spirit, who have come to Rome for their 38th annual Convocation.
A light rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of the tens of thousands of people gathered together in St Peter’s Square for an evening of prayer, spirituality, and evangelization. The event had a distinctively ecumenical character, with the theme of “Ways of Unity and Peace – Voices of prayer for the martyrs of today and for a spiritual ecumenism.” Representatives of various Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities were present for the meeting with the Pope Francis, testifying to “the power of ecumenical prayer and the need for a new fraternity among Christians.”
In his prayer at the beginning of the Audience, Pope Francis prayed that God the Father might send the Holy Spirit, Who will guide us to unity. It is the Holy Spirit, he said, who gives the various charisms within the Church, who works through the variety of gifts in the Church, and who grants unity. Pope Francis asked that Jesus, who prayed for unity in His Church, might help us to walk along the path of “unity, or of reconciled diversity.”
In his address, which he delivered “off-the-cuff,” the Holy Father reminded the members of the Renewal of the Holy Spirit of the words of Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens, who called the charismatic renewal a “stream of grace.” The current of grace, he said, must always flow into the ocean of God, the love of God, and must not be turned in on itself.
Pope Francis also spoke about the idea of “unity in diversity.” Unity is not uniformity, he said, but reflects the confluence of all the different parts that go to make it up. He warned of the temptation of leaders – or rather, servants – to imagine that they are indispensable, a temptation that can lead to authoritarianism or personalism, which “does not allow the renewed communities to live in the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit, Pope Francis exclaimed, is the only indispensable actor in the renewal, just as Jesus is the one Lord. At the same time he spoke of good founders who lead the communities they found, caring for them and leading them to spiritual maturity.
The Holy Father gave thanks for the “current of grace” which has borne much fruit. He encouraged those who have had the experience of the renew “to go forward, share it with the Church,” a service he called very important. He encouraged them especially “to form bonds of trust and cooperation with the Bishops, who have the pastoral responsibility of guiding the Body of Christ, including the charismatic renewal." Finally, Pope Francis emphasized the ecumenical dimension of the charismatic movement, rooting it in our common Baptism. Unity among Christians, he said, must begin with prayer. He spoke, too, of modern-day martyrs: “The blood of the martyrs of today makes us one!” He gave the examples of a Catholic priest and a Lutheran minister who were both executed by the Nazis, and of the 23 Coptic Christians who, just a few months ago, were murdered in Libya. He noted, too, that Paul VI, in canonizing the Ugandan martyrs made reference to the Anglican catechists who shed their blood with them. “Excuse me, don’t be scandalized, they are our martyrs,” he said.
Pope Francis concluded his remarks by reminding those in the Square of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the charismatic movement, which will be marked in St Peters on Pentecost in 2017. This jubilee, he said, quoting Bd Paul VI, will be an opportunity for the Church “to give thanks to the Holy Spirit for this current of grace which is for the Church and for the world; and to celebrate the marvelous works the Holy Spirit has done in the course of these 50 years, changing the lives of millions of Christians.”

Wow #PopeBenedictXVI Emeritus receives 2 honorary Doctorates


(Vatican Radio) Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI received Doctorates honoris causaon Saturday from the Pontifical John Paul II University of Krakow and the Krakow Academy of Music. The motivation for the honors issued by the University’s Academic Senate specifies five contributions Pope Benedict has made to knowledge and culture: his great respect for the musical tradition of the Church and remarkable sensitivity to the music of faith; the life-long and constant demonstration of a special concern for the noble beauty of sacred music and its proper place in the celebration of the sacred liturgical rites of the Church; his constant insistence on the didactic importance of the via pulchritudinis – the way of beauty – which can become a way of knowing and worshiping God for the modern man; his lifelong commitment to Truth, which strengthens the Christian faith in times of spiritual confusion caused by liberalism, postmodernism and relativism, and his tireless efforts to restore the spiritual dimension of Europe; his kind support for the work of transforming the schools of the Pontifical Academy of Theology into the Pontifical John Paul II University.
In remarks prepared for the occasion, and delivered on July 4th at Castel Gandolfo, Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI said, “In the Constitution on the Liturgy of the II Vatican Council, [Sacrosanctum Concilium], it is very clearly written: ‘The treasure of sacred music is to be preserved and fostered with great care. (114)’ On the other hand, the text highlights the actuosa participatio of the faithful in the sacred action as a fundamental liturgical category. Those two things, which in the text of the Constitution remain together and at peace with each other, were in the implementation of the Council, often in a relationship of dramatic tension. Significant areas of the Liturgical Movement believed that, in the future, there would be room for the great choral works and even for orchestral Masses only in concert halls, not in the liturgy. [In the liturgy], there could be space only for the singing and common prayer of the faithful. On the other hand, there was shock at the cultural impoverishment of the Church that would necessarily result from this. How to reconcile the two? How to implement the Council in its entirety? These were the questions that were particularly striking to me and to many other believers, to simple people, no less than to persons in possession of a theological education.”
The Pope-emeritus went on to say, “At this point, it is perhaps fitting that we ask the deeper question: what is music really? Whence does it come and toward what does it tend?” He posited three loci from which music arises: the experience of love; the experience of sorrow, of being touched by death, by pain, and by the abysses of existence; the encounter with the divine, who from the beginning is part of that which defines man.
“We do not know what will be the future of sacred music,” concluded Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, “but one thing is clear: wherever the encounter with the Living God, who in Christ comes close to us really occurs, there is born anew and there again grows the answer, the beauty of which arises out of truth itself.”

Latest #News from #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis HolySee


03-07-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 124 

Summary
- Cardinal Parolin explains the importance of the Encyclical “Laudato si'” for the Church and the world in the light of major events in 2015
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
- One billion tourists, one billion opportunities
Cardinal Parolin explains the importance of the Encyclical “Laudato si'” for the Church and the world in the light of major events in 2015
Vatican City, 3 July 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin spoke at the high-level conference “People and planet first: the imperative to change course” (Rome, Augustinianum, 2-3 July), organised by the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace” and CIDSE, an international network of Catholic non-governmental development organisations.
The theme of the Cardinal's address was “The Importance of the Encyclical Laudato Si' for the Church and the World, in the Light of Major Political Events in 2015 and Beyond”. Three key United Nations conferences are scheduled to take place in the second half of 2015: the “Third International Conference on Financing for Development”, (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13 to 16 July); the “United Nations Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda”, (New York, U.S.A., 25 to 27 September); and the “Twenty-First Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations framework Convention on Climate Change” or “COP21” (Paris, France, 30 November to 11 December), for the purpose of adopting a new agreement on climate change. Cardinal Parolin affirmed that “the Encyclical will have a certain impact on these events, but its breadth and depth go well beyond its context in time”.
The Secretary of State's discourse focused on three sectors to help understand of “Laudato si'” – the international sphere, the national and local sphere, and the sphere of the Church – emphasising the two pressing requirements relevant to all three, namely “redirecting our steps” and promoting a “culture of care”.
In the international framework, he said, there is a need for “an ever greater recognition that 'everything is connected' and that the environment, the earth and the climate are 'a shared inheritance, whose fruits are meant to benefit everyone'. They are a common and collective good, belonging to all and meant for all, the patrimony of all humanity and the responsibility of everyone'. Recognising these truths is not, however, a foregone conclusion. It calls for a firm commitment to develop an authentic ethics of international relations, one that is genuinely capable of facing up to a variety of issues, such as commercial imbalances, and foreign and ecological debt, which are denounced in the Encyclical”.
“Unfortunately, what has prevented the international community from assuming this perspective can be summed up in the following observations of the Pope: its 'failure of conscience and responsibility' and the consequent 'meagre awareness of its own limitations'. We live, however, in a context where it is possible to 'leave behind the modern myth of unlimited material progress... [and] to devise intelligent ways of directing, developing and limiting our power'; 'we have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology; we can put it at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral'”. The Cardinal remarked, “more than once I have had occasion to emphasise how the technological and operative base for promoting such progress is already available or within our reach. We must seize this great opportunity, given the real human capacity to initiate and forge ahead on a genuinely and properly virtuous course, one that irrigates the soil of economic and technological innovation, cultivating three interrelated objectives: to help human dignity flourish; to help eradicate poverty; and to help counter environmental decay”.
“The forces at work in the international sphere are not sufficient on their own, however, but must also be focused by a clear national stimulus, according to the principle of subsidiarity. And here we enter into the second area of our reflection, that of national and local action. Laudato Si' shows us that we can do much in this regard, and it offers some examples, such as: 'modifying consumption, developing an economy of waste disposal and recycling... [the improvement of] agriculture in poorer regions... through investment in rural infrastructures, a better organisation of local [and] national markets, systems of irrigation, and the development of techniques of sustainable agriculture', the promotion of a 'circular model of production', a clear response to the wasting of food, and the acceleration of an 'energy transition'”. He added, “unfortunately, 'there are too many special interests, and economic interests too easily end up trumping the common good and manipulating information so that their own plans will not be affected'”.
The final area considered by the Secretary of State was the Catholic Church, who “finds nourishment in the example of St. Francis who, as indicated from the very opening pages of the Encyclical, 'lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace”.
He concluded, “Pope Francis states once again that 'the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics', but seems to be the bearer of the need to question the meaning and purpose of all human activity. What is well-known by now is the Encyclical's call for us to reflect on 'what kind of world we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up'. The answer which the Pope offers to this question is quite revealing: 'When we ask ourselves what kind of world we want to leave behind, we think in the first place of its general direction, its meaning and its values. … It is no longer enough, then, simply to state that we should be concerned for future generations. We need to see that what is at stake is our own dignity”.
Audiences
Vatican City, 3 July 2015 (VIS) – In the afternoon of Thursday 2 July, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 3 July 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Msgr. Dennis Villarojo and Fr. Oscar L. Florencio as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Cebu (area 5,088, population 4,692,562, Catholics 4,153,173, priests 612, permanent deacons 1, religious 1,827), Philippines.
Bishop-elect Villarojo was born in Cebu City, Philippines in 1967, and was ordained a priest in 1994. He received a licentiate in philosophy from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines and a doctorate in philosophy from the Pontifical University of the Sacred Heart, Rome. He has served as the personal secretary of the archbishop of Cebu, Cardinal Vidal, and coordinator of the archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Board. He is currently moderator of the personal pastoral group of the parish of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Capitol, Cebu City, and secretary general of the 51st Eucharistic Congress to take place in Cebu in January 2016.
Bishop-elect Florencio was born in Capoocan, Philippines in 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He received a licentiate in theology from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines and a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of the Sacred Heart, Rome. He has served as parish vicar and spiritual director of the Sacred Heart Seminary in Palo, and parish priest. He is currently rector of the Saint John School of Theology, Palo, and vice-chancellor of the same archdiocese.
- Philippe Morard as vice commander of the Swiss Pontifical Guard, with the rank of lieutenant commander.
02-07-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 123 

Summary

One billion tourists, one billion opportunities
Vatican City, 2 July 2015 (VIS) - “One billion tourists, one billion opportunities” is the title of the Message for World Tourism Day 2015 (27 September), published today by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples. The Message, dated 24 June, was signed by Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio and Bishop Joseph Kalathiparambil, respectively president and secretary of the dicastery.
The document, as its title indicates, focuses on the opportunities and challenges that the great increase in tourism represents for contemporary society and notes that the concept of the “tourist” is increasingly being substituted by that of the “traveller”, who does not merely visit a place but rather, in a sense, becomes an integral part of it. In the light of Pope Francis' Encyclical “Laudato si'”, the Message highlights that the tourism sector, by promoting appreciation of natural and cultural wealth, can promote their conservation or, paradoxically, their destruction. The Message finally invites the transformation of travel into “an existential experience”.
“It was 2012 when the symbolic barrier of one billion international tourist arrivals was surpassed. Now the numbers continue to grow so much that the forecasts estimate a new threshold of two billion will be reached in 2030. To this data even higher figures related to local tourism must be added.
For World Tourism Day we want to concentrate on the opportunities and challenges raised by these statistics, and for this we make the theme proposed by the World Tourism Organisation our own: 'One billion tourists, one billion opportunities'.
This growth launches a challenge to all the sectors involved in this global phenomenon: tourists, businesses, governments and local communities and, of course, the Church too. The billion tourists should necessarily be considered above all in their billion opportunities.
This message is being made public a few days after the presentation of Pope Francis' Encyclical Laudato si’ dedicated to care for our common home. We need to take this text into great consideration because it offers important guidelines to follow in our attention to the world of tourism.
We are in a phase of change in which the way of moving is changing and consequently the experience of travelling as well. Those who go to countries different from their own do so with the more or less conscious desire to reawaken the most hidden part of themselves through encounter, sharing and confrontation. More and more, a tourist is in search of direct contact with what is different in its extra-ordinariness.
By now the classic concept of a 'tourist' is fading while that of a 'traveller' has become stronger: that is, someone who does not limit himself to visiting a place but in some way becomes an integral part of it. The 'citizen of the world' is born: no longer to see but to belong, not to look around but to experience, no longer to analyse but to take part in, and not without respect for what and whom he encounters.
In his latest Encyclical, Pope Francis invites us to approach nature with 'openness to awe and wonder' and to speak 'the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world'. This is the right approach to adopt with regard to the places and peoples we visit. This is the road to seizing a billion opportunities and making them bear even more fruits.
The businesses in this sector are the first ones who should be committed to achieving the common good. The responsibilities of companies is great, also in the tourist area, and to take advantage of the billion opportunities they need to be aware of this. The final objective should not be profit as much as offering travellers accessible roads to achieving the experience they are looking for. And businesses have to do this with respect for people and the environment. It is important not to lose awareness of people's faces. Tourists cannot be reduced only to a statistic or a source of revenue. Forms of tourist business need to be implemented that are studied with and for individuals and invest in individuals and sustainability so as to offer work opportunities in respect for our common home.
At the same time, governments have to guarantee respect for the laws and create new ones that can protect the dignity of individuals, communities and the territory. A resolute attitude is essential. Also in the tourist area, the civil authorities of the different countries need to have shared strategies to create globalised socio-economic networks in favour of local communities and travellers in order to take positive advantage of the billion opportunities offered by the interaction.
From this viewpoint, also the local communities are called to open up their borders to welcome those who come from other countries moved by a thirst for knowledge, a unique occasion for reciprocal enrichment and common growth. Giving hospitality enables the environmental, social and cultural potentialities to bear fruit, to create new jobs, to develop one's identity, and to bring out the value of the territory. A billion opportunities for progress, especially for countries that are still developing. To increase tourism, especially in its most responsible forms, makes it possible to head towards the future strong with one's specificity, history and culture. Generating income and promoting the specific heritage can reawaken that sense of pride and self-esteem useful for strengthening the host communities' dignity, but care is always needed to not betray the territory, traditions and identity in favour of the tourists. It is in the local communities where there can grow 'a greater sense of responsibility, a strong sense of community, a readiness to protect others, a spirit of creativity and a deep love for the land. They are also concerned about what they will eventually leave to their children and grandchildren'.
One billion tourists, if well received, can become an important source of well-being and sustainable development for the entire planet. Moreover, the globalisation of tourism leads to the rise of an individual and collective civic sense. Each traveller, by adopting a more correct criterion for moving around the world, becomes an active part in safeguarding the earth. One individual's effort multiplied by a billion becomes a great revolution.
On a voyage, a desire for authenticity is also hidden which is realised in the spontaneity of relations and getting involved in the communities visited. The need is growing to get away from the virtual, which is so capable of creating distances and impersonal acquaintances, and to rediscover the genuineness of an encounter with others. The economy of sharing can also build a network through which humanity and fraternity increase and can generate a fair exchange of goods and services.
Tourism also represents a billion opportunities for the Church's evangelising mission. 'Nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts'. First of all, it is important for the Church to accompany Catholics with liturgical and formative proposals. She should also illuminate those who during the experience of travelling open their hearts and ask themselves questions and in this way make a real first proclamation of the Gospel. It is essential for the Church to go forth and be close to travellers in order to offer an appropriate and individual answer to their inner search. By opening her heart to others, the Church makes a more authentic encounter with God possible. With this goal, hospitality by the parish communities and the religious formation of tourist personnel should be enhanced.
The Church's task is also to educate to living free time. The Holy Father reminds us that 'Christian spirituality incorporates the value of relaxation and festivity. We tend to demean contemplative rest as something unproductive and unnecessary, but this is to do away with the very thing which is most important about work: its meaning. We are called to include in our work a dimension of receptivity and gratuity, which is quite different from mere inactivity'.
Moreover, we should not forget Pope Francis' convocation to celebrate the Holy Year of Mercy. We have to ask ourselves how the pastoral care of tourism and pilgrimages can be an area to 'experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils hope'. A particular sign of this jubilee time will undoubtedly be the pilgrimage.
Faithful to her mission and starting from the conviction that 'we also evangelize when we attempt to confront the various challenges which can arise', the Church cooperates in making tourism a means for the development of peoples, especially the most disadvantaged ones, and setting in motion simple but effective projects. However, the Church and institutions should always be vigilant to prevent a billion opportunities from becoming a billion dangers by cooperating in the safeguard of personal dignity, workers' rights, cultural identity, respect for the environment, and so on.
One billion opportunities also for the environment: 'The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God'. Between tourism and the environment there is a close interdependency. The tourist sector, by taking advantage of the natural and cultural riches, can promote their conservation or, paradoxically, their destruction. In this relationship, the Encyclical Laudato si’ appears to be a good travelling companion.
Many times we pretend we do not see the problem. 'Such evasiveness serves as a license to carrying on with our present lifestyles and models of production and consumption'. By acting not as masters but with 'responsible stewardship', each one has his or her obligations that must be made concrete in precise actions that range from specific, coordinated legislation down to simple everyday actions, passing through appropriate educational programs and sustainable and respectful tourist projects. Everything has its importance, but a change in lifestyles and attitudes is necessary and surely more important. 'Christian spirituality proposes a growth marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy with little'.
The tourism sector can be an opportunity, indeed, one billion opportunities for building roads to peace too. Encounter, exchange and sharing favour harmony and understanding.
There are one billion occasions to transform a voyage into an existential experience. One billion possibilities to become the makers of a better world, aware of the riches contained in every traveller's suitcase. One billion tourists, one billion opportunities to become 'instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness'”.

Novena to Blessed Pier Giorgio #Frassati and Litany #Prayers

Jesus says: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Pier Giorgio responds: “The faith given to me in Baptism surely suggests to me that of yourself you will do nothing; but if you have God as the center of all your actions, then you will reach your goal.”
We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, teach me true poverty of spirit. Help me understand that God cares for me; and that He asks me, in return, to care for others, especially those in need. Guide me to make choices in my life which will show a preference for service of God and neighbor, rather than accumulating financial wealth and social advantage for myself. Give me a special love for the poor and the sick.
Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is the Lover of the poor, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need: (mention your request.)
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2
Jesus says: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Pier Giorgio responds: “Our life, in order to be Christian, has to be a continual renunciation, a continual sacrifice. But this is not difficult, if one thinks what these few years passed in suffering are, compared with eternal happiness where joy will have no measure or end, and where we shall have unimaginable peace.”
We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, teach me that I must be able to mourn if I will be able to rejoice. Show me how to face my sorrow, and not avoid it or pretend that it does not exist. Help me to enter into any present sorrow, so that my soul can empty itself and be filled with God’s peace.
Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is our Consoler, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need: (mention your request.)
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3
Jesus says: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Pier Giorgio responds: “With violence you sow hatred, and you harvest its bad fruits. With charity, you sow peace among men – not the peace that the world gives, but the true peace that only faith in Jesus Christ can give us in common brotherhood.”
We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, guide me in claiming my rightful inheritance as a child of God and heir of His kingdom. Show me, by your own example, how to be slow to anger, and gentle in my dealings with others. Help me to show forth the peace of Christ by speaking words of peace, and by living a life of peace.
Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is meek and humble of heart, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need: (mention your request.)
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4
Jesus says: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
Pier Giorgio responds: “What wealth it is to be in good health, as we are! But we have the duty of putting our health at the service of those who do not have it. To act otherwise would be to betray that gift of God.”
We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, help me to seek God’s righteousness, His plan for my life and for the salvation of the world. Show me the way to self-surrender, so that I may desire nothing more than to be of service to the Lord and His Kingdom. Lead me to the table of love, where I will be satisfied.
Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is righteous and just, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need: (mention your request.)
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5
Jesus says: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
Pier Giorgio responds: “St. Paul says that “the charity of Christ urges us.” Without this flame, which should burn out our personality little by little and blaze only for other people’s griefs, we would not be Christian, let alone Catholic.”
We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, teach me by your example of mercy to open my heart more widely to those in need, especially the poor and the sick. Guide me in extending that mercy both to friends and strangers, to those who love me and those who do not. Help me to reflect God’s own mercy, especially in words and deeds of forgiveness.
Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is gracious and merciful and just, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need: (mention your request.)
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6
Jesus says: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Pier Giorgio responds: “I beg you to pray for me a little, so that God may give me an iron will that does not bend and does not fail in His projects.”
We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, lead me in the path of purity, for only those who are clean of heart can behold God’s face. Help me to be faithful to the covenant I have made with God in Baptism, that I may always be loyal to His commands and thus offer Him sincere worship. Show me by your life how to be single hearted and completely, unswervingly, dedicated to proclaiming thekingdom of God here on earth.
Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is pure love and holiness, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need: (mention your request.)
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7
Jesus says: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”
Pier Giorgio responds: “I offer you my best wishes – or, rather, only one wish, but the only wish that a true friend can express for a dear friend: may the peace of the Lord be with you always! For, if you possess peace every day, you will be truly rich.”
We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, despite your daily struggles, you found peace by fostering your own well being in work, study, and play; in prayer alone and with others; in silence and in song, in laughter and in serious conversation with friends. Guide me to that inner peace which will enable me to share peace with others.
Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is our peace, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need: (mention your request.)
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8
Jesus says: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Pier Giorgio responds: “To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, without a steady struggle for truth – that is not living, but existing.”
We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, teach me silence in the face of personal humiliation and unjust criticism. But guide me to be courageous like you in standing on the side of God’s truth. Help me to be faithful to Him in all things, so that His Will may be done in and through my life. Show me how to persevere in the struggle for those things which are holy and honorable.
Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is the source of grace and truth, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need: (mention your request.)
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9
Jesus says: “Blessed are you when they revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account.Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.”
Pier Giorgio responds: “We who by the grace of God are Catholics must steel ourselves for the battle we shall certainly have to fight to fulfill our program and to give our country, in the not too distant future, happier days and a morally healthy society. But to achieve this we need constant prayer to obtain from God that grace without which all our powers are useless.”
We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, show me how to bear all wrongs patiently. Help me to accept the sufferings which others inflict on me because of my desire to be faithful to Jesus.
Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who protects the innocent, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need: (mention your request.)
Daily Closing Prayers

Litany of Blessed Pier Giorgio

(for private devotion)

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. 
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. 
Lord, have mercy.
God our Father in heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, 
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, 
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, 
have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
All the angels and saints, pray for us. 
Blessed Pier Giorgio, pray for us. (Repeat after each invocation.)
Loving son and brother, 
Support of family life, 
Friend of the friendless,
Most Christian of companions,
Leader of youth,
Helper of those in need,
Teacher of charity,
Patron of the poor,
Comfort of the sick,
Athlete for God’s kingdom,
Conqueror of life’s mountains,
Defender of truth and virtue,
Opponent of every injustice,
Patriotic citizen of the nation,
Loyal son of the Church,
Devoted child of the Madonna,
Ardent adorer of the Eucharist,
Fervent student of the Scriptures,
Dedicated follower of St. Dominic,
Apostle of prayer and fasting,
Guide to a deep love for Jesus,
Diligent in work and study,
Joyful in all of life’s circumstances,
Strong in safeguarding chastity,
Silent in pain and suffering,
Faithful to the promises of Baptism, 
Model of humility,
Example of detachment,
Mirror of obedience,
Man of the Beatitudes,
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Pray for us, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Father, You gave to the young Pier Giorgio Frassati the joy of meeting Christ and of living his faith in service of the poor and the sick. Through his intercession, may we, too, walk the path of the Beatitudes and follow the example of his generosity, spreading the spirit of the Gospel in society. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
IMPRIMATUR, November 2, 1994:
Novena by Rev. Timothy Deeter
Via Anicia 12, 00153 Rome
info@piergiorgiofrassati.org
IMPRIMATUR, November 2, 1994:
+Joseph A. Galante, D.D., J.C.D., Bishop of Beaumont, TX3