Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saint August 20 : St. Bernard of Clairvaux : Patron of #Climbers , #Beekeepers and #Candlemakers : Founder of Cistercians


Born:
1090, Fontaines, France
Died:
August 20, 1153, Clairvaux, France
Canonized:
January 18, 1174, Rome by Pope Alexander III
Major Shrine:
Ville-sous-la-Ferté
Patron of:
Cistercians, Burgundy, beekeepers, candlemakers, climbers
Born in 1090, at Fontaines, near Dijon, France; died at Clairvaux, 21 August, 1153. His parents were Tescelin, lord of Fontaines, and Aleth of Montbard, both belonging to the highest nobility of Burgundy. Bernard, the third of a family of seven children, six of whom were sons, was educated with particular care, because, while yet unborn, a devout man had foretold his great destiny. At the age of nine years, Bernard was sent to a much renowned school at Chatillon-sur-Seine, kept by the secular canons of Saint-Vorles. He had a great taste for literature and devoted himself for some time to poetry. His success in his studies won the admiration of his masters, and his growth in virtue was no less marked. Bernard's great desire was to excel in literature in order to take up the study of Sacred Scripture, which later on became, as it were, his own tongue. "Piety was his all," says Bossuet. He had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and there is no one who speaks more sublimely of the Queen of Heaven. Bernard was scarcely nineteen years of age when his mother died. During his youth, he did not escape trying temptations, but his virtue triumphed over them, in many instances in a heroic manner, and from this time he thought of retiring from the world and living a life of solitude and prayer.
St. Robert, Abbot of Molesmes, had founded, in 1098, the monastery of Cîteaux, about four leagues from Dijon, with the purpose of restoring the Rule of St. Benedict in all its rigour. Returning to Molesmes, he left the government of the new abbey to St. Alberic, who died in the year 1109. St. Stephen had just succeeded him (1113) as third Abbot of Cîteaux, when Bernard with thirty young noblemen of Burgundy, sought admission into the order. Three years later, St. Stephen sent the young Bernard, at the head of a band of monks, the third to leave Cîteaux, to found a new house at Vallée d'Absinthe, or Valley of Bitterness, in the Diocese of Langres. This Bernard named Claire Vallée, of Clairvaux, on the 25th of June, 1115, and the names of Bernard and Clairvaux thence became inseparable. During the absence of the Bishop of Langres, Bernard was blessed as abbot by William of Champeaux, Bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne, who saw in him the predestined man, servum Dei. From that moment a strong friendship sprang up between the abbot and the bishop, who was professor of theology at Notre Dame of Paris, and the founder of the cloister of St. Victor.
The beginnings of Clairvaux were trying and painful. The regime was so austere that Bernard's health was impaired by it, and only the influence of his friend William of Champeaux, and the authority of the General Chapter could make him mitigate his austerities. The monastery, however, made rapid progress. Disciples flocked to it in great numbers, desirous of putting themselves under the direction of Bernard. His father, the aged Tescelin, and all his brothers entered Clairvaux as religious, leaving only Humbeline, his sister, in the world and she, with the consent of her husband, soon took the veil in the Benedictine Convent of Jully. Clairvaux becoming too small for the religious who crowded there, it was necessary to send out bands to found new houses. n 1118, the Monastery of the Three Fountains was founded in the Diocese of Châlons; in 1119, that of Fontenay in the Diocese of Auton (now Dijon) and in 1121, that of Foigny, near Vervins, in the Diocese of Laon (now Soissons), Notwithstanding this prosperity, the Abbot of Clairvaux had his trials. During an absence from Clairvaux, the Grand Prior of Cluny, Bernard of Uxells, sent by the Prince of Priors, to use the expression of Bernard, went to Clairvaux and enticed away the abbot's cousin, Robert of Châtillon. This was the occasion of the longest, and most touching of Bernard's letters.
In the year 1119, Bernard was present at the first general chapter of the order convoked by Stephen of Cîteaux. Though not yet thirty years old, Bernard was listened to with the greatest attention and respect, especially when he developed his thoughts upon the revival of the primitive spirit of regularity and fervour in all the monastic orders. It was this general chapter that gave definitive form to the constitutions of the order and the regulations of the "Charter of Charity" which Pope Callixtus II confirmed 23 December, 1119. In 1120 Bernard composed his first work "De Gradibus Superbiae et Humilitatis" and his homilies which he entitles "De Laudibus Mariae". The monks of Cluny had not seen, with satisfaction, those of Cîteaux take the first place among the religious orders for regularity and fervour. For this reason there was a temptation on the part of the "Black Monks" to make it appear that the rules of the new order were impracticable. At the solicitation of William of St. Thierry, Bernard defended himself by publishing his "Apology" which is divided into two parts. In the first part he proves himself innocent of the invectives against Cluny, which had been attributed to him, and in the second he gives his reasons for his attack upon averred abuses. He protests his profound esteem for the Benedictines of Cluny whom he declares he loves equally as well as the other religious orders. Peter the Venerable, Abbot of Cluny, answered the Abbot of Clairvaux without wounding charity in the least, and assured him of his great admiration and sincere friendship. In the meantime Cluny established a reform, and Suger himself, the minister of Louis le Gros, and Abbot of St. Denis, was converted by the apology of Bernard. He hastened to terminate his worldly life and restore discipline in his monastery. The zeal of Bernard did not stop here; it extended to the bishops, the clergy, and the faithful, and remarkable conversions of persons engaged in worldly pursuits were among the fruits of his labours. Bernard's letter to the Archbishop of Sens is a real treatise "De Officiis Episcoporum". About the same time he wrote his work on "Grace and Free Will".
In the year 1128, Bernard assisted at the Council of Troyes, which had been convoked by Pope Honorius II, and was presided over by Cardinal Matthew, Bishop of Albano. The purpose of this council was to settle certain disputes of the bishops of Paris, and regulate other matters of the Church of France. The bishops made Bernard secretary of the council, and charged him with drawing up the synodal statutes. After the council, the Bishop of Verdun was deposed. There then arose against Bernard unjust reproaches and he was denounced even in Rome, as a monk who meddled with matters that did not concern him. Cardinal Harmeric, on behalf of the pope, wrote Bernard a sharp letter of remonstrance. "It is not fitting" he said "that noisy and troublesome frogs should come out of their marshes to trouble the Holy See and the cardinals". Bernard answered the letter by saying that, if he had assisted at the council, it was because he had been dragged to it, as it were, by force. "Now illustrious Harmeric", he added, "if you so wished, who would have been more capable of freeing me from the necessity of assisting at the council than yourself? Forbid those noisy troublesome frogs to come out of their holes, to leave their marshes . . . Then your friend will no longer be exposed to the accusations of pride and presumption". This letter made a great impression upon the cardinal, and justified its author both in his eyes and before the Holy See. It was at this council that Bernard traced the outlines of the Rule of the Knights Templars who soon became the ideal of the French nobility. Bernard praises it in his "De Laudibus Novae Militiae".
 The influence of the Abbot of Clairvaux was soon felt in provincial affairs. He defended the rights of the Church against the encroachments of kings and princes, and recalled to their duty Henry Archbishop of Sens, and Stephen de Senlis, Bishop of Paris. On the death of Honorius II, which occurred on the 14th of February, 1130, a schism broke out in the Church by the election of two popes, Innocent II and Anacletus II. Innocent II having been banished from Rome by Anacletus took refuge in France. King Louis le Gros convened a national council of the French bishops at Etampes, and Bernard, summoned thither by consent of the bishops, was chosen to judge between the rival popes. He decided in favour of Innocent II, caused him to be recognized by all the great Catholic powers, went with him into Italy, calmed the troubles that agitated the country, reconciled Pisa with Genoa, and Milan with the pope and Lothaire. According to the desire of the latter, the pope went to Liège to consult with the emperor upon the best means to be taken for his return to Rome, for it was there that Lothaire was to receive the imperial crown from the hands of the pope. From Liège, the pope returned to France, paid a visit to the Abbey of St. Denis, and then to Clairvaux where his reception was of a simple and purely religious character. The whole pontifical court was touched by the saintly demeanor of this band of monks. In the refectory only a few common fishes were found for the pope, and instead of wine, the juice of herbs was served for drink, says an annalist of Cîteaux. It was not a table feast that was served to the pope and his followers, but a feast of virtues. The same year Bernard was again at the Council of Reims at the side of Innocent II, whose oracle he was; and then in Aquitaine where he succeeded for the time in detaching William, Count of Poitiers, from the cause of Anacletus.
In 1132, Bernard accompanied Innocent II into Italy, and at Cluny the pope abolished the dues which Clairvaux used to pay to this celebrated abbey--an action which gave rise to a quarrel between the "White Monks" and the "Black Monks" which lasted twenty years. In the month of May, the pope supported by the army of Lothaire, entered Rome, but Lothaire, feeling himself too weak to resist the partisans of Anacletus, retired beyond the Alps, and Innocent sought refuge in Pisa in September, 1133. In the meantime the abbot had returned to France in June, and was continuing the work of peacemaking which he had commenced in 1130. Towards the end of 1134, he made a second journey into Aquitaine, where William X had relapsed into schism. This would have died out of itself if William could have been detached from the cause of Gerard, who had usurped the See of Bordeaux and retained that of Angoulême. Bernard invited William to the Mass which he celebrated in the Church of La Couldre. At the moment of the Communion, placing the Sacred Host upon the paten, he went to the door of the church where William was, and pointing to the Host, he adjured the Duke not to despise God as he did His servants. William yielded and the schism ended. Bernard went again to Italy, where Roger of Sicily was endeavouring to withdraw the Pisans from their allegiance to Innocent. He recalled the city of Milan, which had been deceived and misled by the ambitious prelate Anselm, Archbishop of Milan, to obedience to the pose, refused the Archbishopric of Milan, and returned finally to Clairvaux. Believing himself at last secure in his cloister Bernard devoted himself with renewed vigour to the composition of those pious and learned works which have won for him the title of "Doctor of the Church". He wrote at this time his sermons on the "Canticle of Canticles". In 1137 he was again forced to leave his solitude by order of the pope to put an end to the quarrel between Lothaire and Roger of Sicily. At the conference held at Palermo, Bernard succeeded in convincing Roger of the rights of Innocent II and in silencing Peter of Pisa who sustained Anacletus. The latter died of grief and disappointment in 1138, and with him the schism. Returning to Clairvaux, Bernard occupied himself in sending bands of monks from his too-crowded monastery into Germany, Sweden, England, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, and Italy. Some of these, at the command of Innocent II, took possession of Three Fountains Abbey, near the Salvian Waters in Rome, from which Pope Eugenius III was chosen. Bernard resumed his commentary on the "Canticle of Canticles", assisted in 1139, at the Second General Lateran Council and the Tenth Oecumenical, in which the surviving adherents of the schism were definitively condemned. About the same time, Bernard was visited at Clairvaux by St. Malachi, metropolitan of the Church in Ireland, and a very close friendship was formed between them. St. Malachi would gladly have taken the Cistercian habit, but the sovereign pontiff would not give his permission. He died, however, at Clairvaux in 1148.
In the year 1140, we find Bernard engaged in other matters which disturbed the peace of the Church. Towards the close of the eleventh century, the schools of philosophy and theology, dominated by the passion for discussion and a spirit of independence which had introduced itself into political and religious questions, became a veritable public arena, with no other motive than that of ambition. This exaltation of human reason and rationalism found an ardent and powerful adherent in Abelard, the most eloquent and learned man of the age after Bernard. "The history of the calamities and the refutation of his doctrine by St. Bernard", says Ratisbonne, "form the greatest episode of the twelfth century". Abelard's treatise on the Trinity had been condemned in 1121, and he himself had thrown his book into the fire. But in 1139 he advocated new errors. Bernard, informed of this by William of St. Thierry, wrote to Abelard who answered in an insulting manner. Bernard then denounced him to the pope who caused a general council to be held at Sens. Abelard asked for a public discussion with Bernard; the latter showed his opponent's errors with such clearness and force of logic that he was unable to make any reply, and was obliged, after being condemned, to retire. he pope confirmed the judgment of the council, Abelard submitted without resistance, and retired to Cluny to live under Peter the Venerable, where he died two years later.
Innocent II died in 1143. His two successors, Celestin II and Lucius, reigned only a short time, and then Bernard saw one of his disciples, Bernard of Pisa, Abbott of Three Fountains, and known thereafter as Eugenius III, raised to the Chair of St. Peter. Bernard sent him, at his own request, various instructions which compose the "Book of Consideration", the predominating idea of which is that the reformation of the Church ought to commence with the sanctity of the head. Temporal matters are merely accessories; the principal are piety, meditation, or consideration, which ought to precede action. The book contains a most beautiful page on the papacy, and has always been greatly esteemed by the sovereign pontiffs, many of whom used it for their ordinary reading.
Alarming news came at this time from the East. Edessa had fallen into the hands of the Turks, and Jerusalem and Antioch were threatened with similar disaster. Deputations of the bishops of Armenia solicited aid from the pope, and the King of France also sent ambassadors. The pope commissioned Bernard to preach a new Crusade and granted the same indulgences for it which Urban II had accorded to the first. A parliament was convoked at Vézelay in Burgundy in 1146, and Bernard preached before the assembly. The King, Louis le Jeune, Queen Eleanor, and the princes and lords present prostrated themselves at the feet of the Abbot of Clairvaux to receive the cross. The saint was obliged to use portions of his habit to make crosses to satisfy the zeal and ardour of the multitude who wished to take part in the Crusade. Bernard passed into Germany, and the miracles which multiplied almost at his every step undoubtedly contributed to the success of his mission. The Emperor Conrad and his nephew Frederick Barbarossa, received the pilgrims' cross from the hand of Bernard, and Pope Eugenius, to encourage the enterprise, came in person to France. It was on the occasion of this visit, 1147, that a council was held at Paris, at which the errors of Gilbert de la Porée, Bishop of Poitiers, were examined. He advanced among other absurdities that the essence and the attributes of God are not God, that the properties of the Persons of the Trinity are not the persons themselves in fine that the Divine Nature did not become incarnate. The discussion was warm on both sides. The decision was left for the council which was held at Reims the following year (1148), and in which Eon de l'Etoile was one of the judges. Bernard was chosen by the council to draw up a profession of faith directly opposed to that of Gilbert, who concluding by stating to the Fathers: "If you believe and assert differently than I have done I am willing to believe and speak as you do". The consequence of this declaration was that the pope condemned the assertions of Gilbert without denouncing him personally. After the council the pope paid a visit to Clairvaux, where he held a general chapter of the order and was able to realize the prosperity of which Bernard was the soul.
The last years of Bernard's life were saddened by the failure of the Crusade he had preached, the entire responsibility for which was thrown upon him. He had accredited the enterprise by miracles, but he had not guaranteed its success against the misconduct and perfidy of those who participated in it. Lack of discipline and the over-confidence of the German troops, the intrigues of the Prince of Antioch and Queen Eleanor, and finally the avarice and evident treason of the Christian nobles of Syria, who prevented the capture of Damascus, appear to have been the cause of disaster. Bernard considered it his duty to send an apology to the pope and it is inserted in the second part of his "Book of Consideration". There he explains how, with the crusaders as with the Hebrew people, in whose favour the Lord had multiplied his prodigies, their sins were the cause of their misfortune and miseries. The death of his contemporaries served as a warning to Bernard of his own approaching end. The first to die was Suger (1152), of whom the Abbot wrote to Eugenius III: "If there is any precious vase adorning the palace of the King of Kings it is the soul of the venerable Suger". Thibaud, Count of Champagne, Conrad, Emperor of Germany, and his son Henry died the same year. From the beginning of the year 1153 Bernard felt his death approaching. The passing of Pope Eugenius had struck the fatal blow by taking from him one whom he considered his greatest friend and consoler. Bernard died in the sixty-third year of his age, after forty years spent in the cloister. He founded one hundred and sixty-three monasteries in different parts of Europe; at his death they numbered three hundred and forty-three. He was the first Cistercian monk placed on the calendar of saints and was canonized by Alexander III, 18 January 1174. Pope Pius VIII bestowed on him the title of Doctor of the Church. The Cistercians honour him as only the founders of orders are honoured, because of the wonderful and widespread activity which he gave to the Order of Cîteaux.
The works of St. Bernard are as follows:
"De Gradibus Superbiae", his first treatise;
"Homilies on the Gospel 'Missus est'" (1120);
"Apology to William of St. Thierry" against the claims of the monks of Cluny;
"On the Conversion of Clerics", a book addressed to the young ecclesiastics of Paris (1122);
"De Laudibus Novae Militiae", addressed to Hughes de Payns, first Grand Master and Prior of Jerusalem (1129). This is a eulogy of the military order instituted in 1118, and an exhortation to the knights to conduct themselves with courage in their several stations.
"De amore Dei" wherein St. Bernard shows that the manner of loving God is to love Him without measure and gives the different degree of this love;
"Book of Precepts and Dispensations" (1131), which contains answers to questions upon certain points of the Rule of St. Benedict from which the abbot can, or cannot, dispense;
"De Gratiâ et Libero Arbitrio" in which the Catholic dogma of grace and free will is proved according to the principles of St. Augustine; "Book of Considerations", addressed to Pope Eugenius III;
"De Officiis Episcoporum", addressed to Henry, Archbishop of Sens.
His sermons are also numerous:
"On Psalm 90, 'Qui habitat'" (about 1125);
"On the Canticle of Canticles". St. Bernard explained in eighty-six sermons only the first two chapters of the Canticle of Canticles and the first verse of the third chapter.
There are also eighty-six "Sermons for the Whole Year"; his "Letters" number 530.
Many other letters, treatises, etc., falsely attributed to him are found among his works, such as the "l'Echelle du Cloître", which is the work of Guigues, Prior of La Grande Chartreuse, les Méditations, l'Edification de la Maison intérieure, etc. Shared from The Catholic Encyclopedia

Wow Powerful, MUST See Testimony of Muslim Converted to Christianity by Reading the Koran to SHARE

“Koran Converted Me to Christianity”~Former Muslim Now Calling Himself Mario Joseph.       Powerful testimony of a former Muslim from India who was videotaped while visiting Spain. Eighteen years ago, somebody in a crowd asked, “Who is Jesus?” This prompted the young Muslim to read again the entire Koran, 114 chapters 6666 words. He discovered the prophet Mohammed is named four times, Jesus 25 times in the Koran: why more preference for Jesus? No woman is mentioned except the mother of Jesus; Chapters 3 and 19 mention (Mariam) Mary by name. Confused, the young Muslim scholar prayed to God and received as his answer Chapter 10: 94 of the Koran, a verse that referred him to the Bible. Therefore he attended a Christian retreat, where he read John 1:12, “But as many as received Him {Jesus}, to them He gave the power to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” He didn’t want to be merely God’s slave, but rather he rejoiced that Jesus enabled him to become God’s child! How wonderful to call the Father, “Daddy.” He took a new name, Mario Joseph. As a result of his conversion, his Islamic family persecuted and imprisoned him and tortured him, but the account of his miraculous empowerment and escape is truly awesome to watch! Intercessors, pray that many more Muslims will arrive at the knowledge of the truth of the Gospel as did this brave soul from Kerala, India. “But as many as received Him {Jesus}, to them He gave the power to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1: 12)
Text edited from Jerusalem Channel TV
SHARE this Amazing TRUE story - you might bring someone to Jesus!

What is the Sacred Heart of Jesus - 3 Things to SHARE - Miracle Promises + #SacredHeart Litany + Novena + Consecration Prayers


1. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has been evident for many centuries under different forms. 
2. However, Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a Visitation Nun of the monastery of Paray-le-Monial, France received visions of the Sacred Heart and spread its devotion with this feast. 
3. Jesus appeared asking for a devotion of expiatory  love and frequent Communion, Communion on the First Friday of every month, and the observance of the Holy Hour.


For Breaking News, Novena Prayers,  Inspirational Stories,

and Free Catholic Movies LIKE http://fb.com/catholicnewsworld
12 Promises of Jesus given in the Vision
1. I will give them graces necessary for their state in life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
12. I promise thee in the excess of the mercy of My Heart, that its all-powerful Love will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of Nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART
FOR INDIVIDUAL FAMILIES



Lord Jesus Christ, we consecrate ourselves to You today, each one of us, and all of us together as a family. Your Sacred Heart, the heart of your crucified and risen Body, is the ever living source of mercy and grace, hope and love for all of us. We desire to pledge ourselves and our lives to You in return.

Teach us to be always united with You, through Your Holy Spirit in mind and heart, in all our thoughts, words, deeds, joy and sufferings. Grant that we may ever know You more clearly, love You more dearly, and follow You more nearly.

We wish to share in Your redeeming work in our world: that your Father's will may truly be done on earth as it is in heaven, that the civilization of justice and love may thus be built up in our land.

Heart of Jesus, help us to keep sin away from our lives. Help us to keep loving, serving and forgiving each other. Live in our hearts and in our homes always, Make us wholly Yours.

With Your Mother's Immaculate Heart, we renew our consecration to Your Sacred Heart, for the ever greater glory of the Father in Heaven, Amen.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, be with us and bless us now and at the hour of our death, Amen.


In 1899 Pope Leo XIII approved this Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for public use. 
Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God, the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother,
Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of Infinite Majesty,
Heart of Jesus, Sacred Temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, Tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, House of God and Gate of Heaven,
Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells the fullness of divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased,
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful,
Heart of Jesus, enriching all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, loaded down with opprobrium,
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our offenses,
Heart of Jesus, obedient to death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection,
Heart of Jesus, our peace and our reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who trust in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the Saints,

Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world,
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world,
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world,

V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.

have mercy on us.

have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.

have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.

have mercy on us.

have mercy on us.

have mercy on us.

have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.

spare us, O Lord.

graciously hear us, O Lord.

have mercy on us, O Lord.


R. Make our hearts like to Thine.
Let us pray;

Almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of Thy most beloved Son and upon the praises and satisfaction which He offers Thee in the name of sinners; and to those who implore Thy mercy, in Thy great goodness, grant forgiveness in the name of the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who livest and reignest with Thee forever and ever. Amen.
Padre Pio's Sacred Heart Novena


This powerful prayer was recited every day by Padre Pio for all those who recommended themselves to his prayers:

I. O my Jesus, You said "verily I say to You, ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you", behold I knock, I seek and I ask for the grace of...

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father. Sacred Heart of Jesus I put all my trust in Thee.

II. O my Jesus, You said, "verily I say to You, whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you", behold in your name I ask the Father for the grace of...

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father. Sacred Heart of Jesus I put all my trust in Thee.

III. O my Jesus, You said, "verily I say to You, heaven and earth shall pass away but My words shall not pass away", behold I encouraged by your infallible words, now ask for the grace of...

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father. Sacred Heart of Jesus I put all my trust in Thee.

O sacred Heart of Jesus, to whom one thing alone is impossible, namely, not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of Thee through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your and our tender Mother.


Say the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen) and add, St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday August 19, 2017 - #Eucharist


Saturday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 418


Reading 1JOS 24:14-29

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem,
and addressed them, saying:
"Fear the LORD and serve him completely and sincerely.
Cast out the gods your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt,
and serve the LORD.
If it does not please you to serve the LORD,
decide today whom you will serve,
the gods your fathers served beyond the River
or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are dwelling.
As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

But the people answered, "Far be it from us to forsake the LORD
for the service of other gods.
For it was the LORD, our God,
who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt,
out of a state of slavery.
He performed those great miracles before our very eyes
and protected us along our entire journey and among all the peoples
through whom we passed.
At our approach the LORD drove out all the peoples,
including the Amorites who dwelt in the land.
Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God."

Joshua in turn said to the people,
"You may not be able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God;
he is a jealous God who will not forgive
your transgressions or your sins.
If, after the good he has done for you,
you forsake the LORD and serve strange gods,
he will do evil to you and destroy you."

But the people answered Joshua, "We will still serve the LORD."
Joshua therefore said to the people,
"You are your own witnesses that you have chosen to serve the LORD."
They replied, "We are, indeed!"
Joshua continued:
"Now, therefore, put away the strange gods that are among you
and turn your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel."
Then the people promised Joshua,
"We will serve the LORD, our God, and obey his voice."

So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day
and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem,
which he recorded in the book of the law of God.
Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak
that was in the sanctuary of the LORD.
And Joshua said to all the people, "This stone shall be our witness,
for it has heard all the words which the LORD spoke to us.
It shall be a witness against you, should you wish to deny your God."
Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to his own heritage.

After these events, Joshua, son of Nun, servant of the LORD,
died at the age of a hundred and ten.

Responsorial PsalmPS 16:1-2A AND 5, 7-8, 11

R. (see 5a) You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you."
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

AlleluiaSEE MT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 19:13-15

Children were brought to Jesus
that he might lay his hands on them and pray.
The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said,
"Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them;
for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
After he placed his hands on them, he went away.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Saint August 19 : St. John Eudes : Promoter of the #SacredHeart of #Jesus

Born:
November 14, 1601, Ri, France
Died:
August 19, 1680, Caen, France
Canonized:
1925 by Pope Pius XI
French missionary and founder of the Eudists and of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity; author of the liturgical worship of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary; b. at Ri, France, 14 Nov., 1601; d. at Caen, 19 Aug., 1680. He was a brother of the French historian, François Eudes de Nézeray. At the age of fourteen he took a vow of chastity. After brilliant studies with the Jesuits at Caen, he entered the Oratory, 25 March, 1623. His masters and models in the spiritual life were Fathers de Bérulle and de Condren. He was ordained priest 20 Dec., 1625, and began his sacerdotal life with heroic labours for the victims of the plague, then ravaging the country. As a missionary, Father Eudes became famous. Since the time of St. Vincent Ferrer, France had probably not seen a greater. He was called by Olier "the prodigy of his age". In 1641 he founded the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, to provide a refuge for women of ill-fame who wished to do penance. The society was approved by Alexander VII, 2 Jan., 1666. With the approbation of Cardinal de Richelieu and a great number of others, Father Eudes severed his connection with the Oratory to establish the Society of Jesus and Mary for the education of priests and for missionary work. This congregation was founded at Caen, 25 March, 1643, and was considered a most important and urgent work (see EUDISTS). Father Eudes, during his long life, preached not less than one hundred and ten missions, three at Paris, one at Versailles, one at St-Germaine-en-Laye, and the others in different parts of France. Normandy was the principal theatre of his apostolic labours. In 1674 he obtained from Clement X six Bulls of indulgences for the Confraternities of the Sacred Heart already erected or to be erected in the seminaries. He also established the Society of the Heart of the Mother Most Admirable — which resembles the Third Orders of St. Francis and St. Dominic. This society now numbers from 20,000 to 25,000 members. Father Eudes dedicated the seminary chapels of Caen and Coutances to the Sacred Hearts. The feast of the Holy Heart of Mary was celebrated for the first time in 1648, and that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1672, each as a double of the first class with an octave. The Mass and Office proper to these were composed by Father Eudes, who thus had the honour of preceding the Blessed Margaret Mary in establishing the devotion to the Sacred Hearts. For this reason, Pope Leo XIII, in proclaiming his virtues heroic in 1903, gave him the title of "Author of the Liturgical Worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Holy Heart of Mary". Father Eudes wrote a number of books remarkable for elevation of doctrine and simplicity of style. His principal works are:--"Le Royaume de Jésus"; "Le contrat de l'homme avec Dieu par le Saint Baptême"; "Le Mémorial de la vie Ecclésiastique"; "Le Bon Confesseur"; "Le Prédicateur Apostolique"; "Le Cœur Admirable de la Très Sainte Mère de Dieu". This last is the first book ever written on the devotion to the Sacred Hearts. His virtues were declared heroic by Leo XIII, 6 Jan., 1903. The miracles proposed for his beatification were approved by Pius X, 3 May, 1908, and he was beatified 25 April, 1909. [St. John Eudes was beatified April 25, 1909 and canonized in 1925. His feast day is August 19. --Ed.] Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia

#BreakingNews Nun Killed on her Bicycle by hit-and-run - RIP Sr. Joseph Age 64

Police are searching for driver after local nun killed in hit-and-run Sister Joseph was killed in hit-and-run. Authorities are investigating after they say a local nun was killed in a hit-and-run crash while riding her bike. It happened in the early morning hours of Thursday, Aug. 17 near Michigan and Williams in Alma. Sister Joseph Marie Ruessmann, 64, with the Religious Sisters of Mercy, was riding her bike back to the convent when she was hit by a vehicle. Police said the vehicle did not stop and the Sister was found by two people passing by. One of them was Delores Gardner. “All I said is don’t move, whatever you do, don’t move. Help is on the way just don’t move. She was all twisted up. And I just kept saying to her don’t move.” Sister Joseph Marie died Thursday evening at the hospital surrounded by her Sisters. Mother Mary McGreevy with the Sisters of Mercy said Sister Joseph Marie had been with the convent for so long she couldn’t remember a time without her.
 “She was tender, she was considerate of people. She was very kind and very patient.” 
 Mother Mary said told TV5 that while they are stunned by the loss, the Sisters were happy they could be with Sister Joseph Marie when she died. They also aren’t mad at the person who hit her, but they do have a message. “This must be a terrible burden to bear. We’re praying with them and just hope they have the strength to do what they need to do.” Alma Police are asking anyone with information to call Det. Biehl at 989-463-8317 or jbiehl@ci.alma.mi.us “I mean it’s bad enough to happen to any human, but somebody that gives their life to God to be left on the side of the road like trash,” Gardner told TV5. The viewing for Sister Joseph Marie will be held at Our Lady of Grace Education Center, 1965 Michigan Avenue, Alma, on Saturday, August 19 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. and on Sunday, August 20 from 12- 4 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of Grace Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, August 21.
Edited from : WNEM TV 5

Free Movie : Constantine and the Cross : 1962 - Story of #Constantine the #Emperor


Biopic of Constantine the Great, set between 293-312 AD, from his days as Tribune to his accession as Roman Emperor of Gaul under the tetrarchy system and ending with his battle against the usurper Roman Emperor Maxentius in Rome. Director: Lionello De Felice Writers: Michael Audley (dialogue), Ennio De Concini | Stars: Cornel Wilde, Belinda Lee, Massimo Serato |

RIP Bishop Francis Xavier DiLorenzo at Age 75 of Richmond, Viginia - who served for 49 years

By Katherine Hafner
The Virginian-Pilot Report:
The Most Reverend Francis Xavier DiLorenzo is installed as the twelfth Bishop of Richmond on Monday, May 24, 2004 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, Va. Bishop DiLorenzo sits with Pastoral staff in hand, the staff associated with leading the flock as a shepherd might.
 The Most Reverend Francis X. DiLorenzo, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond, was the keynote speaker at the groundbreaking ceremony of Saint Patrick Catholic School in Norfolk on Friday afternoon.

 RICHMOND Bishop Francis Xavier DiLorenzo of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, a leader who drew both devotion and controversy, died Thursday night at age 75, officials said in a statement. DiLorenzo, who served as bishop for more than a decade and announced his resignation earlier this year, died at St. Mary's Hospital. "He was an exceedingly gracious and thoughtful bishop for the diocese," said Father Dan Beeman, pastor at Norfolk's Holy Trinity Catholic Church and chaplain at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School in Virginia Beach.
 The diocese announced DiLorenzo's death in a statement Friday morning. "He was a faithful servant of the Church for 49 years and a Shepherd of the Diocese of Richmond for 13 years," Mark Lane, the diocese's vicar general, wrote in the statement. DiLorenzo was named bishop by Pope John Paul II in March 2004, according to the church's website. He announced his resignation earlier this year, because of a canon law that when a diocesan bishop reaches his 75th birthday, he must start the retirement process, The Pilot reported. The church is still searching for his replacement. DiLorenzo made a return to conservative values his top priority throughout his tenure and vowed to bring back practices in line with the Scriptures, according to the Associated Press.
 Within a few months of being named bishop, he appointed a diocesan theologian and began rolling back some of the more liberal policies put in effect by his progressive predecessor, the former Bishop Walter E. Sullivan, the AP reported. "If you are welcomed into a family, there is a culture or set of values you need to be comfortable with," DiLorenzo said in a 2004 interview. He also suspended the diocese's first official group that reached out to LGBT Catholics, the Sexual Minorities Commission and dismissed an advocate for ordaining female priests, according to the AP. But Beeman said he didn't see DiLorenzo as controversial. "The diversity of bishops is one of the gifts of the church, so I don't see (his differences from his predecessor) as a negative," Beeman said. "He loved the people." DiLorenzo had a strong relationship with his priests, "and he was always open. You could be honest with him," said Beeman, who was ordained by DiLorenzo. "He wanted our Catholic parishes to be warm and welcoming but he wanted them to be faithfully Catholic." The bishop was also passionate about Catholic schools and youth ministry, Beeman said, including starting an educational endowment fund and creating the Segura Initiative, an outreach effort to expand Catholic education for Hispanic students. The Catholic Diocese of Richmond encompasses 33,000 square miles, including the Eastern Shore, stretching from the Chesapeake Bay west to West Virginia and Kentucky. It includes 153 parishes and about 220,000 Catholics. DiLorenzo made local headlines over the years. He fired the Rev. Leo Manalo, a founder and leader of the San Lorenzo Spiritual Center who was beloved by many local Filipino Catholics, according to Pilot archives, spurring protests from the community. He also removed the Rev. James Parke from Virginia Beach's Church of the Holy Apostles – the nation's first combined Episcopal and Catholic parish – worrying parishioners who thought it could be the end of the ecumenical experiment. Father Joseph Metzger, pastor at Norfolk's Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, remembers that DiLorenzo "liked to laugh and liked to know what was going on." He said in addition to making Catholic education more affordable, the bishop was successful in building relationships with his counterparts across the globe, making the Richmond diocese home to many international priests, such as some in Hampton Roads from Africa and the Philippines. "He will be missed," Metzger said.
 DiLorenzo was born in Philadelphia in 1942 and was the oldest of three children, the diocese website said. He served in a variety of roles for the Catholic Church, including as a chaplain and biology and religion professor at a high school. He studied moral theology in Rome and earned a doctorate in sacred theology, according to the website. He served as bishop in Honolulu for a decade before coming to Richmond. In 2015, DiLorenzo came to Norfolk for a symposium on climate change. He stressed that he and other "religionists" deal with matters of faith and spiritual belief but are not in conflict with scientists who deal with facts and physical evidence. "We are not fighting with each other," he told the audience. "Right now, it's important for us to zero in on what the science is saying and pay attention." The bishop was speaking out as recently as last week, when he released a statement on the violence in Charlottesville. 
"Hatred, and its manifestations of racism, neo-Nazism and white supremacy, are sins against God and profoundly wound the children of God," DiLorenzo wrote. "We ask (God's) mercy, pardon and wisdom as we root out these long-standing evils, strands of which, tragically, remain woven within the fabric of our society." 
 Michael Cistola, a member of St. Benedict's Church in Chesapeake, said he didn't know DiLorenzo personally but remembers him as a "middle of the road type of guy." When the bishop visited Hampton Roads years ago, Cistola recalled him saying the church was kind of "like a box of chocolates. There's some fruit and some nuts, but it was his job to keep everyone inside the box."
Text from the Virginia Pilot Online

#PopeFrancis sends Prayers and Condolences for Victims of Terrorist attack in #Barcelona - FULL TEXT + Video


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday sent a telegram expressing his condolences for the victims of the terrorist attack on Barcelona, in which at least 13 people died and more than a hundred were injured. Pope Francis expressed his “deepest sympathy” for the victims of Thursday’s terrorist attack on Barcelona “Las Ramblas Boulevard” with a telegram to the city’s Archbishop, Cardinal Juan José Omella. The telegram was signed by Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin. Pope Francis condemned the “blind violence” manifested in the attack, saying it is “a grave offense to the Creator”. He prayed for those who “lost their lives to such an inhuman act”. “In these moments of sorrow and pain,” the Pope “wishes also to offer his support and closeness to the many injured, to their families, and to all Catalan and Spanish society,” it read. Turning to the future, Pope Francis said he raises his “prayers to the Most High that He help us continue to work with determination for peace and harmony in the world.” Finally, the Holy Father imparted his Apostolic Blessing “upon all the victims, their families, and the beloved Spanish people”. Please find below the official English translation of the telegram: CARDINAL JUAN JOSÉ OMELLA Y OMELLA ARCHBISHOP OF BARCELONA FOLLOWING THE NEWS OF THE CRUEL TERRORIST ATTACK THAT HAS SOWN DEATH AND PAIN IN LAS RAMBLAS IN BARCELONA, POPE FRANCIS WISHES TO EXPRESS HIS DEEPEST SYMPATHY FOR THE VICTIMS WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES TO SUCH AN INHUMAN ACT, AND OFFERS PRAYERS FOR THEIR ETERNAL REPOSE. IN THESE MOMENTS OF SORROW AND PAIN, HE WISHES ALSO TO OFFER HIS SUPPORT AND CLOSENESS TO THE MANY INJURED, TO THEIR FAMILIES, AND TO ALL CATALAN AND SPANISH SOCIETY. THE HOLY FATHER ONCE AGAIN CONDEMNS BLIND VIOLENCE, WHICH IS A GRAVE OFFENCE TO THE CREATOR, AND RAISES PRAYERS TO THE MOST HIGH THAT HE HELP US CONTINUE TO WORK WITH DETERMINATION FOR PEACE AND HARMONY IN THE WORLD. WITH THESE WISHES, HIS HOLINESS INVOKES UPON ALL THE VICTIMS, THEIR FAMILIES AND THE BELOVED SPANISH PEOPLE HIS APOSTOLIC BLESSING. CARDINAL PIETRO PAROLIN SECRETARY OF STATE OF HIS HOLINESS (Devin Sean Watkins)

Wow Famous Actress becomes a Sister - enters the #Carmelite Convent - SHARE this Amazing Story!

Maria Carminia Lourdes Cynthia Arnaldo Gutierrez (born August 22, 1969 in Manila, Philippines), better known as Chin-Chin Gutierrez, was a Filipino actress and environmentalist. Chin Chin Gutierrez entered a Carmelite Convent to become a Sister. The award-winning actress is now Sister Lourdes.  Chin Chin was often vocal about her faith; when her house burnt down in 2010 she said: 
“God’s primacy and will for me is of utmost importance. We are unified in prayer. Right now, my focus is on taking care of the immediate concerns and obligations that this unfortunate incident has brought. I really cannot make any long-term plans at this point, yet certainly there is Divine Plan. I know everything has a purpose,” 
the actress said. 
At the age of 42 years she decided to embrace the vocation that not many women are consider.  Gutierrez is now living within the quarters of the Carmelite Sisters. Her mother was an inspiration to enter the convent. Her mother was one vow away from final vows as a Nun before marrying and giving birth to her. Gutierrez is a niece of a former actress Lita Gutierrez, from the 1960s. Gutierrez entered showbiz after she obtained her college degree from Maryknoll College, now Miriam College. It was 1991 when she did her first movie ‘Onyong Majikero.’ Her first TV role was as Maria Clara in the CCP-produced mini-series ‘Noli me Tangere,’ aired over then ABC-5, now TV5. In 1995, she won the Best Supporting Actress award from Gawad Urian for her role in the 1994 Manila Filmfest entry ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya: The Movie.’ In 1996, she won the Best Actress award from the first ever Asian Television Award. In 1998, she won another Asian Television Award as Best Supporting Actress. . Gutierrez is not the first actress who has turned her back on showbiz to enter the convent. Gutierrez is in environmentalism and is a vegetarian. She made the cover of TIME magazine as an Asia hero. (Edited from Pinoy)
SHARE this Amazing Story and maybe you will Inspire Someone!

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday August 18, 2017 - #Eucharist


Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 417


Reading 1JOS 24:1-13

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem,
summoning their elders, their leaders,
their judges and their officers.
When they stood in ranks before God, Joshua addressed all the people:
"Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel:
In times past your fathers, down to Terah,
father of Abraham and Nahor,
dwelt beyond the River and served other gods.
But I brought your father Abraham from the region beyond the River
and led him through the entire land of Canaan.
I made his descendants numerous, and gave him Isaac.
To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau.
To Esau I assigned the mountain region of Seir in which to settle,
while Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.

"Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and smote Egypt with the prodigies
which I wrought in her midst.
Afterward I led you out of Egypt, and when you reached the sea,
the Egyptians pursued your fathers to the Red Sea
with chariots and horsemen.
Because they cried out to the LORD,
he put darkness between your people and the Egyptians,
upon whom he brought the sea so that it engulfed them.
After you witnessed what I did to Egypt,
and dwelt a long time in the desert,
I brought you into the land of the Amorites
who lived east of the Jordan.
They fought against you, but I delivered them into your power.
You took possession of their land, and I destroyed them,
the two kings of the Amorites, before you.
Then Balak, son of Zippor, king of Moab,
prepared to war against Israel.
He summoned Balaam, son of Beor, to curse you;
but I would not listen to Balaam.
On the contrary, he had to bless you, and I saved you from him.
Once you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho,
the men of Jericho fought against you,
but I delivered them also into your power.
And I sent the hornets ahead of you that drove them
(the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites,
Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites)
out of your way; it was not your sword or your bow.

"I gave you a land that you had not tilled
and cities that you had not built, to dwell in;
you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves
which you did not plant."

Responsorial PsalmPS 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22 AND 24

R. His mercy endures forever.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the LORD of lords,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
Who led his people through the wilderness,
for his mercy endures forever;
Who smote great kings,
for his mercy endures forever;
And slew powerful kings,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
And made their land a heritage,
for his mercy endures forever;
The heritage of Israel his servant,
for his mercy endures forever;
And freed us from our foes,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.

AlleluiaSEE 1 THES 2:13

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Receive the word of God, not as the word of men,
but, as it truly is, the word of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 19:3-12

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
"Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?"
He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning
the Creator made them male and female and said,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh
?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate."
They said to him, "Then why did Moses command
that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?"
He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts
Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
(unless the marriage is unlawful)
and marries another commits adultery."
His disciples said to him,
"If that is the case of a man with his wife,
it is better not to marry."
He answered, "Not all can accept this word,
but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others;
some, because they have renounced marriage
for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it."

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Saint August 18 : St. Helena : Patron of #Converts, #Divorced : Mother of #Constantine




Born: 248, Drepanum, Bithynia, Asia Minor 
Died: 328, Constantinople, Roman 
Major Shrine: The shrine to Saint Helena in St. Peter's Basilica Patron of: archeologists, converts, difficult marriages, divorced people, empresses, Helena, the capital of Montana.
The mother of Constantine the Great, born about the middle of the third century, possibly in Drepanum (later known as Helenopolis) on the Nicomedian Gulf; died about 330. She was of humble parentage; St. Ambrose, in his "Oratio de obitu Theodosii", referred to her as a stabularia, or inn-keeper. Nevertheless, she became the lawful wife of Constantius Chlorus. Her first and only son, Constantine, was born in Naissus in Upper Moesia, in the year 274. The statement made by English chroniclers of the Middle Ages, according to which Helena was supposed to have been the daughter of a British prince, is entirely without historical foundation. It may arise from the misinterpretation of a term used in the fourth chapter of the panegyric on Constantine's marriage with Fausta, that Constantine, oriendo (i.e., "by his beginnings," "from the outset") had honoured Britain, which was taken as an allusion to his birth, whereas the reference was really to the beginning of his reign.
In the year 292 Constantius, having become co-Regent of the West, gave himself up to considerations of a political nature and forsook Helena in order to marry Theodora, the step-daughter of Emperor Maximinianus Herculius, his patron, and well-wisher. But her son remained faithful and loyal to her. On the death of Constantius Chlorus, in 308, Constantine, who succeeded him, summoned his mother to the imperial court, conferred on her the title of Augusta, ordered that all honour should be paid her as the mother of the sovereign, and had coins struck bearing her effigy. Her son's influence caused her to embrace Christianity after his victory over Maxentius. This is directly attested by Eusebius (Vita Constantini, III, xlvii): "She (his mother) became under his (Constantine's) influence such a devout servant of God, that one might believe her to have been from her very childhood a disciple of the Redeemer of mankind". It is also clear from the declaration of the contemporary historian of the Church that Helena, from the time of her conversion had an earnestly Christian life and by her influence and liberality favoured the wider spread of Christianity. Tradition links her name with the building of Christian churches in the cities of the West, where the imperial court resided, notably at Rome and Trier, and there is no reason for rejecting this tradition, for we know positively through Eusebius that Helena erected churches on the hallowed spots of Palestine. Despite her advanced age she undertook a journey to Palestine when Constantine, through his victory over Licinius, had become sole master of the Roman Empire, subsequently, therefore, to the year 324. It was in Palestine, as we learn from Eusebius (loc. cit., xlii), that she had resolved to bring to God, the King of kings, the homage and tribute of her devotion. She lavished on that land her bounties and good deeds, she "explored it with remarkable discernment", and "visited it with the care and solicitude of the emperor himself". Then, when she "had shown due veneration to the footsteps of the Saviour", she had two churches erected for the worship of God: one was raised in Bethlehem near the Grotto of the Nativity, the other on the Mount of the Ascension, near Jerusalem. She also embellished the sacred grotto with rich ornaments. This sojourn in Jerusalem proved the starting-point of the legend first recorded by Rufinus as to the discovery of the Cross of Christ.
Her princely munificence was such that, according to Eusebius, she assisted not only individuals but entire communities. The poor and destitute were the special objects of her charity. She visited the churches everywhere with pious zeal and made them rich donations. It was thus that, in fulfilment of the Saviour's precept, she brought forth abundant fruit in word and deed. If Helena conducted herself in this manner while in the Holy Land, which is indeed testified to by Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, we should not doubt that she manifested the same piety and benevolence in those other cities of the empire in which she resided after her conversion. Her memory in Rome is chiefly identified with the church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme. On the present location of this church formerly stood the Palatium Sessorianum, and near by were the Thermae Helenianae, which baths derived their name from the empress. Here two inscriptions were found composed in honour of Helena. The Sessorium, which was near the site of the Lateran, probably served as Helena's residence when she stayed in Rome; so that it is quite possible for a Christian basilica to have been erected on this spot by Constantine, at her suggestion and in honour of the true Cross. Helena was still living in the year 326, when Constantine ordered the execution of his son Crispus. When, according to Socrates' account (Church History I.17), the emperor in 327 improved Drepanum, his mother's native town, and decreed that it should be called Helenopolis, it is probable that the latter returned from Palestine to her son who was then residing in the Orient. Constantine was with her when she died, at the advanced age of eighty years or thereabouts (Eusebius, Life of Constantine III.46). This must have been about the year 330, for the last coins which are known to have been stamped with her name bore this date. Her body was brought to Constantinople and laid to rest in the imperial vault of the church of the Apostles. It is presumed that her remains were transferred in 849 to the Abbey of Hautvillers, in the French Archdiocese of Reims, as recorded by the monk Altmann in his "Translatio". She was revered as a saint, and the veneration spread, early in the ninth century, even to Western countries. Her feast falls on 18 August.
Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia

#BreakingNews 13 Killed and many Injured as Terrorists run Van into Crowds in Barcelona - Please PRAY

A van has run over dozens of pedestrians on the Rambla in Barcelona, Spain, near the city's famous Plaça Catalunya this Thursday afternoon. The area is one of the most popular with tourists in the Catalan capital. Police sources say at least thirteen are dead and dozens of injured. The Mossos d'Esquadra, the Catalan police, have confirmed that it was a terrorist attack. There were at least two attackers. Spain's National Audience court has taken on the investigation.
Informació i privacitat dels Anuncis del Twitter
The vehicle started the attack from plaça Catalunya at the top of the Rambla and slalomed down the street to the mosaic by Joan Miró outside the famous Boqueria market, around 600 metres. A chase along the pedestrianised area of la Rambla followed. When they abandoned the van, there was a burst of gunfire near the history Boqueria market, also very popular with tourists. Police were looking for a second white van, hired by the same company, also involved in the attack. One of the alleged attackers was Driss Oukabir, from north Africa. According to police sources, he collected the rental van in Santa Perpètua de Mogoda, a small town 18km from Barcelona. Numerous ambulances have arrived at the scene and businesses have closed their shutters. The area has been cordoned off and the metro and trains stations in plaça Catalunya have been shut for security reasons.
Since July 2016, vehicle attacks have been the weapon of choice of Islamic militants in Europe, which has led to the deaths of around a hundred people in Nice, Berlin, London and Stockholm. According to Spanish newspaper El Periódico, the CIA warned the Mossos two months ago that Barcelona, and the Rambla specifically, could be the scene of a terrorist attack like the one that has taken place this Thursday afternoon.
Edited from El National.cat

#BreakingNews Death Toll at over 400 in Sierra Leone over 600 missing - Please PRAY as President calls for Help for over 600 still missing

A torrential rain caused a landslide in the mountainous region of the western part of the Capital city, Freetown, which recorded initial death toll of over 450.
President Ernest Bai Koroma fought back tears as he described the devastation. Rescue workers have been searching for survivors amid the hundreds of homes that were engulfed by mud when a mountainside collapsed early on Monday. The disaster came after three days of heavy rains, and struck when many people were still sleeping.
According to reports over 600 are still missing and entire villages are destroyed. 
(Edited from All Africa.com)
Please Pray for the victims.  

Quote to SHARE by #MotherTeresa "Do not let the past disturb you, just leave everything in the Sacred Heart and begin again with joy"


"Do not let the past disturb you, just leave everything in the Sacred Heart and begin again with joy." 
Mother Teresa