Wednesday, May 4, 2011







VATICAN CITY, 3 MAY 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., announced the following notice late yesterday afternoon. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

"This afternoon, after St. Peter's Basilica was closed to the public, the personnel of the Fabric of St. Peter's began work to transfer the remains of Blessed John Paul II, placing his wood coffin under the altar of the Chapel of St. Sebastian.

The procession from the sacristy began around 7:15pm and was made up of the officiants, the College of Penitentiaries of St. Peter's, the Chapter of the Basilica, various archbishops and bishops, and nine cardinals. The archpriest of the basilica, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, presided. After an initial pause for prayer before the confessional of the basilica, the litanies of the holy pontiffs were sung and the procession continued to the altar of St. Sebastian where the wood coffin containing the remains of John Paul II were placed under the altar, where it remains visible. At the end of the litanies, after the invocation "Beate Ioanna Paule" was sung three times, the prayer proper of the new Blessed was recited and the altar was incensed. Following this, the workers of the Fabric placed the white marble tombstone, inscribed with the words "Beatus Ioannes Paulus PP. II", on the opening under the altar.Many of those present repeated the gesture of devotion of kissing the tombstone while the assembly, moved and joyful, dispersed".

Also present were the cardinals Angelo Sodano, dean of the Sacred College, Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state, Angelo Amato, Giovanni Coppa, Giovanni Lajolo, Giovanni Battista Re, Leonardo Sandri, Franciszek Macharski, and Stanislaw Dziwisz who, like Cardinal Wojtyla, archbishop of Krakow. Also attending were the archbishops Fernando Filoni, Dominique Mamberti, and Mieczyslas Mokrzycki, a personal secretary to Pope John Paul II. The postulator of John Paul II's cause for canonization, Msgr. Slawomir Oder, was also in attendance while among the religious present there was, of course, Sr. Tobiana Sobodka with a few other sisters of the papal apartments.

The brief ceremony concluded at 7:45pm.

As of 7:00 this morning, the faithful entering the basilica will be able to venerate the new Blessed in his final resting place in the Chapel of St. Sebastian".

OP/ VIS 20110503 (360)


VATICAN CITY, 3 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household communicated the following:

"Accepting the invitation of Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, the Holy Father will travel to the basilica of Saint Mary Major, Thursday, 26 May 2011, at 5:30pm to preside over the recitation of the Holy Rosary together with the Italian bishops who will be gathered for their General Assembly.

With this prayer the Italian bishops seek to emphasize their particular connection to Italy, renewing their commitment to the Virgin Mother on the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy".

PD/ VIS 20110503 (90)


VATICAN CITY, 3 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced that on Sunday, 8 May, at 11:00am, Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, USA will take possession of the title of San Pietro in Vincoli, at Piazza San Pietro in Vincoli, 4/A.

OCL/ VIS 20110503 (40)


VATICAN CITY, 3 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father appointed Bishop Fausto Gaibor Garcia, auxiliary of Riobamba, as bishop of Tulcan (area 3,699, population 184,000, Catholics 176,000, priests 39, religious 104), Ecuador.


The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra from Katowice, southern Poland, will perform during a thanksgiving mass for the beatification of Pope John Paul II in St Peter’s Square on Monday, 2 May.

The programme includes Krzysztof Penderecki’s Chaconne, written after the Pope’s death - Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki’s Beatus Vir, which was premiered in the Pope’s presence during his first pilgrimage to Poland in 1979, and Victoria composed by Wojciech Kilar.

The orchestra and three Polish choirs will be conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk.

Later in the day, the National Polish Radio SO will perform Missa Magna Beatificationis by the Polish composer Michal Lorenc in St Ignatius Loyola’s Church in Rome.

The concert will be the final event of the World Meeting of Polish Communities which is to be attended by over 3,000 people from close on 30 countries. Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and many Polish bishops are expected to attend. (mk)


HUFFINGTON POST REPORT: The man who played Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson's much criticized "Passion of the Christ," says the role has been his "cross to bear," and that Hollywood has shunned him ever since making the film.

Jim Caviezel, who, before taking the role of Jesus, was a rising Hollywood star with strong reviews for his work in "Frequency," and "The Thin Red Line,"told an audience at First Baptist Church of Orlando on Saturday that Gibson begged him to reconsider taking the gig.

"He said, 'You'll never work in this town again,'" Caviezel remembered. "I told him, 'We all have to embrace our crosses.'"

Caviezel recounted a similar story in 2004, when he spoke of the encounter in an interview with the 700 Club.

"The next day, he said, 'I want you to be aware of what you are going to go through. You may never work again.' He said that several times publicly. I told him, 'Mel, this is what I believe. We all have a cross to carry. I have to carry my own cross. If we don't carry our crosses, we are going to be crushed under the weight of it. So let's go and do it.' And we began with the film.

The filmmaker proved prophetic; the film was slammed for perceived anti-semitism, and roles have been hard to come by, as Caviezel says he was "rejected by [his] own industry."

Following "Passion," he starred in the small thriller "Unknown," had a supporting role in the Denzel Washington film "Deja Vu," and headlined absolute bombs "Outlander," and "The Stoning of Soraya M."Still, he seems to have no regrets. "We have to give up our names, our reputations, our lives to speak the truth," Caviezel reasoned to the audience.

In the 700 Club interview, Caviezel gave more insight into his reasons for doing the film.

"I felt like a great presence came within me at times when we were filming," he said. "This prayer that came from me was, 'I don't want people to see me. I just want them to see Jesus. And through that conversions will happen.' That's what I wanted more than anything, that people would have a visceral effect to finally make a decision whether to follow Him or not."


CATH NEWS REPORT: The Catholic education sector has welcomed a $240 million funding boost in Victoria for Catholic and independent schools, with the government funding those students at 25 percent of the cost of education in a government school, reports the Herald Sun.

Treasurer Kim Wells said the eligibility change was part of a broader $2.2 billion in planned savings in a budget delivered in tough times, in part because of a $2.5 billion reduction in Victoria's GST revenue.Meanwhile, the report said 100,000 Victorian families will miss out on a $300 school start bonus - because the government has decided to means-test the school start bonus, ensuring families most in need receive the cash, but saving about $25 million in the process.

The government is also delivering its promised $100 million school maintenance fund and $208 million for school capital works, as well as providing money to help tackle bullying in schools.


Agenzia Fides report- Several Coptic movements announced that on Friday, May 6 there will be a protest march of a million people to protect the Cathedral of San Marco in Abbasseya. Last Friday thousands of Salafis had staged a sit-in protest in front of the Cathedral to ask for the "release" of Kamilia Shehata, the wife of a Coptic priest, who escaped from her husband, she became a Muslim , and then returned to the family of origin. According to the Salafists the woman is in prison and has been forced to return to the Coptic religion.
"We must be careful not to give hasty judgements. We must wait until the situation evolves, without excluding any possibility of development " says Fr. Luciano Verdoscia to Fides , a Comboni missionary who has been working in Egypt for many years. The missionary said that "according to some analysts, the Salafis do not actually represent a very large group, but tends to expose and make themselves heard".
Fr. Verdoscia also asks not rush to the conclusion that Egypt is heading towards an inter-religious conflict”. It is important to observe that in Egypt religious sensibility has always been very high. This affects both Muslims and Christians. We religious coming from outside feel it, too: one tends to withdraw into a kind of ghetto, where life is pretty good and you can do your business. What is outside of one`s community is seen as a threat from which one must be protected. Of course, history tells us that in situations like this anything can happen. Think about the West: There were persecutions of religious minorities, there was Nazism, etc. ... Therefore work must be done to overcome that logic”.
Regarding the fact that the boys from Tahrir Square, the protagonists of the Egyptian Revolution, traced out a new path, Fr. Verdoscia replies: "The boys of Tahrir Square, are in fact, a different logic. The big problem is that their way of behaving is primarily via the Internet, a media that is hard to reach 40% of the population living in poverty and ignorance. In this segment of the population remains only the religious identity which is easily influenced. Of course, not everyone is influenced by extremist preachers, but also a 20-30% of the population who are attracted by extremist speeches is always a significant number of people”.
"As I have said on other occasions - said Father Verdoscia - all your sins will find you out , and this is positive, because the problems must be tackled in a global way: you cannot deal with an issue and leave out others. We hope that through education and greater economic prosperity, people can start thinking differently. The young people of Tahrir Square, who come from areas with some economic opportunities and are more educated, have in fact a different mentality”.


Many religious leaders are concerned with the jubilation that has followed the murder of Osama Bin Laden. The Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombari stated, "Osama bin Laden - as we all know – was gravely responsible for promoting division and hatred between peoples, causing the death of countless innocent lives, and of exploiting religions to this end. Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of each and every one of us before God and before man, and hopes and commits himself so that no event be an opportunity for further growth of hatred, but for peace." It was also noted by Asianews that the Moscow Patriarchate warned against this rejoicing, "The Russian Orthodox Church does not share the joy that we have seen in some countries - Archpriest Georgy Roschin, deputy head of the Patriarchate's department for relations between the Church and society told Interfax - whoever dies, be he the greatest evil or the greatest terrorist, he will be judged by God alone. "
According to UCAN news many now live in fear for possible reprisal. There are demands for increased protection among Christians in Pakistan.
Now it is imperative to pray for peaceful relations among Muslims and Christians in the wake of a death that has caused international repercussions.


St. Philip


Feast: May 3


Feast Day:May 3
Born:Bethsaida, Palestine
Died:80 at Hierapolis, Phrygia
Patron of:hatters; pastry chefs

St. Philip was of Bethsaida, in Galilee, and called by our Saviour to follow him the day after St. Peter and St. Andrew. He was at that time a married man, and had several daughters; but his being engaged in the married state hindered him not, as St. Chrysostom observes, from meditating continually on the law and the prophets, which disposed him for the important discovery of the Messias in the person of Jesus Christ, in obedience to whose command he forsook all to follow him, and became thenceforth the inseparable companion of his ministry and labors. Philip had no sooner discovered the Messias, than he was desirous to make his friend Nathanael a sharer in his happiness, saying to him: , that is, the Messias; Nathanael was not so ready to give his assent to this assertion of his friend, by reason that the supposed Messias was reported to be of Nazareth. Philip therefore desired him himself to Jesus; not doubting but, upon his personal acquaintance with the Son of God, he would be as much convinced of the truth as he was himself. Nathanael complied, and Jesus, seeing him approach, said, within his hearing: Nathanael asked him, how he came to know him: Jesus repined:Nathanael, as two holy fathers explain the matter, calling to mind that the closeness of his retirement on that occasion was such, that no human creature could see him, owned him hereupon for the , and the , or, in other words, the Messiah, foretold by Moses and the prophets. The marriage at Cana of Galilee happening three days after, to which Jesus and his disciples were invited, St. Philip was present at it with the rest. The year following, when our Lord formed the college of apostles, Philip was appointed one of that number, and. from the several passages of the gospel, he appears to have been particularly dear to his divine Master. Thus, when Jesus was about to feed five thousand persons, who had followed him into the wilderness, for the greater evidence of the miracle, and for the trial of this apostle's faith, Jesus proposed to him the difficulty of feeding the multitudes in that desolate place. And a little before our Saviour's passion, certain Gentiles, desirous to see Christ, made their first address to Philip, and by him and St. Andrew obtained that favor. Our Saviour, in the discourse he made to his disciples immediately after his last supper, having promised them a more clear and perfect knowledge of his heavenly Father than they had had hitherto, St. Philip cried out, with a holy eagerness and impatience: From which words our Saviour took occasion to inculcate afresh a steady belief of his divinity, and perfect equality with the Father, saying: , (teaching you who I am both by my words and actions,) (If you beheld me with the eyes of faith such as I really am, in seeing me you would see the Father also, because)

After our Lord's ascension the gospel was to be preached to the whole world by a few persons, who had been eye-witnesses of his miracles, and were enabled, by the power of the Holy Ghost, to confirm their testimony concerning him by doing the like wonderful works themselves. That this might be accomplished, it was necessary that the disciples should quickly disperse themselves into all parts of the world. St. Philip accordingly preached the gospel in the two Phrygias, as Theodoret and Eusebius assure us from undoubted monuments. St. Polycarp, who was only converted in the year 80, enjoyed his conversation for some time, consequently St. Philip must have lived to a very advanced age. It appears, from a passage of Polyerates, quoted by Eusebius, that he was buried at Hierapolis, in Phrygia, which city was indebted to his relies for its preservation by continual miracles, as is averred by the author of the sermon on the twelve apostles, attributed to St. Chrysostom. An arm of St. Philip was brought from Constantinople to Florence, in 1204, whereof we have an authentic history in the Bollandists. The Orientals keep his festival on the 14th of November; the Latins on the 1st of May, with St. James. His body is said to be in the church of SS. Philip and James, in Rome, which was dedicated to God under their name, in 560. The emperor Theodosius, in a vision, received from St. John the Evangelist, and St. Philip, the assurance of victory over the tyrant Eugenius, the morning before the battle, in 394, as Theodoret relates.



St. James the Lesser


Feast: May 3


Feast Day:May 3
Patron of:apothecaries; druggists; dying people; fullers; hatmakers; hatters; milliners; pharmacists

St. James, to distinguish him from the other apostle of the same name, the son of Zebedee, was called the Less; which appellation is supposed to have taken its rise, either from his having been called later to the apostleship than the former, or from the lowness of his stature, or from his youth. He is also known by the title of James the Just, a denomination all agree, with Hegesippus and St. Clement of Alexandria, to have been given on account of his eminent sanctity. He was the son of Alpheus and Mary, the sister of the Blessed Virgin and seems to have been born some years before our Lord. Jesus came with his brethren, and probably St. James among the rest, to settle in Capharnaum, at the beginning of his ministry. James and his brother Jude were called to the apostleship in the second year of Christ's preaching, soon after the Pasch, in the year 31. He was favored with an extraordinary apparition of his Master after his resurrection. Clement of Alexandria says, that Christ being risen from the dead, communicated the gift of science to SS. James the Just, John, and Peter, and that they imparted it to the other apostles. We are told by SS. Jerome and Epiphanius, that our Lord, at his ascension, recommended his church of Jerusalem to St. James; in consequence whereof the apostles, before their dispersion, constituted him bishop of that city. It was probably for a mark of his episcopal authority, and as an ensign of his dignity, that he wore on his head a lamina, or plate of gold, as is recounted by St. Epiphanius. Polycrates, quoted by Eusebius, testifies, that St. John did the same: others relate the like of St. Mark. It was probably done in imitation of the Jewish high-priest.

St. James governed that church in perpetual dangers, from the fury of the people and their violent persecutions; but his singular virtue procured him the veneration of the Jews themselves. As to his sanctity, Eusebius and St. Jerome give from Hegesippus the following account concerning him: "He was always a virgin, and was a Nazarite, or one consecrated to God. In consequence of which he was never shaved, never cut his hair, never drank any wine or other strong liquor; moreover, he never used any bath, or oil to anoint his limbs, and never ate of any living creature except when of precept, as the paschal lamb: he never wore sandals, never used any other clothes than one single linen garment. He prostrated so much in prayer, that the skin of his knees and forehead was hardened like to camels' hoofs." St. Epiphanius says, that, in a great drought, on stretching out his arms to heaven, he, by his prayers, instantly obtained rain. His eminent sanctity made even the Jews style him the just man: and Origen observes, that Josephus himself gives him that epithet, though it is not to be found now in Josephus' works. The same reverence for his person procured him the privilege of entering at pleasure into the Sanctum or Holy place, namely, that part of the temple where none but the priests were allowed by the law to enter. St. Jerome adds, that the Jews strove, out of respect, who should touch the hem of his garment. In the year 51, he assisted at the council of the apostles, held at Jerusalem, about the observance of circumcision, and the other legal ceremonies of the law of Moses. Here, after having confirmed what St. Peter said, he devised the sentence which the apostles drew up on that occasion. This apostle being bishop of a church, which then chiefly consisted of Jewish converts, tolerated the use of the legal ceremonies, and, together with others, advised St. Paul to purify himself and offer sacrifice. He is the author of a canonical epistle which he wrote in Greek. It is at the head of those called , or universal, because addressed not to any one particular church, but to the whole body of the converted Jews dispersed throughout the then known world. It was penned some time after those of St. Paul to the Galatians, in 55, and to the Romans in 58. It could not, therefore, be written before the year 59, fourteen years after the death of St. James the greater. The author's view in this epistle is to refute the false teachers, who, abusing certain expressions in St. Paul's writings, pretended that faith alone was sufficient to justification without good works: whereas, without these, he declares our faith is dead. He adds excellent precepts of a holy life, and exhorts the faithful not to neglect the sacrament of extreme unction in sickness.

The oriental liturgy or mass, which bears the name of this apostle, is mentioned by Proclus, patriarch of Constantinople, and by the council in Trullo, and is of venerable antiquity. St. Basil, indeed, testifies, that the words of the sacred invocation in the consecration of the bread and of the cup, were not committed to writing, but learned and preserved by tradition down to the fourth century, which was done on a motive of respect and veneration: but other parts of the liturgy were written. Perhaps St. James gave only general directions about this liturgy, upon whose plan it was afterwards drawn up or enlarged. His singular learning in sacred matters is extolled by St. Clement of Alexandria, and St. Jerome.

The Jews, being exasperated at the disappointment of their malicious designs against St. Paul, by his appeal to Caesar, to whom he was sent by Festus, in the year 60, were resolved to revenge it on St. James. That governor, dying before the arrival of his successor, Albinus, this vacancy gave them an opportunity of acting more arbitrarily than otherwise they durst have done. Wherefore, during this interval, Ananus, the high-priest, son of the famous Annas mentioned in the gospels, having assembled the Sanhedrim, or great council of the Jews, summoned St. James and others before it. Josephus, the Jewish historian, says, that St. James was accused of violating the laws, and delivered to the people to be stoned to death. And Hegesippus adds, that they carried him up to the battlements of the temple, and would have compelled him from thence to make a public renunciation of his faith in Christ, with this further view, thereby to undeceive, as they termed it, those among the people who had embraced Christianity. But St. James took that opportunity to declare his belief in Jesus Christ, after the most solemn and public manner. For he cried out aloud from the battlements, in the hearing of a great multitude, which was then at Jerusalem on account of the Passover, that Jesus, the Son of man, was seated at the right hand of the Sovereign Majesty, and would come in the clouds of heaven to judge the world. The Scribes and Pharisees, enraged at this testimony in behalf of Jesus, cried out: "The just man also hath erred." And going up to the battlements, they threw him headlong down to the ground, saying, "He must be stoned." St. James, though very much bruised by his fall, had strength enough to get upon his knees, and in this posture, lifting up his eyes to heaven, he begged of God to pardon his murderers, seeing that they knew not what they did. The rabble below received him with showers of stones, and at last a fuller gave him a blow on the head with his club, such as is used in dressing of cloths, after which he presently expired. This happened on the festival of the Pasch, the 10th of April, in the year of Christ 62, the seventh of Nero. He was buried near the temple, in the place in which he was martyred, where a small column was erected. Such was the reputation of his sanctity, that the Jews attributed to his death the destruction of Jerusalem, as we read in St. Jerome, Origen, and Eusebius, who assure us that Josephus himself declared it in the genuine editions of his history. Ananus put others to death for the same cause, but was threatened for this very fact by Albinus, and deposed from the high-priesthood by Agrippa. The episcopal throne of St. James was shown with respect at Jerusalem, in the fourth century. His relics are said to have been brought to Constantinople about the year 572.


No comments: