Thursday, September 13, 2012


Vatican City, 12 September 2012 (VIS) - During his general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall, Benedict XVI focused his catechesis on prayer in the second part of the Book of Revelation in which, he noted, attention moves from the interior life of the Church "to the entire world, because the Church advances through history and is a part thereof".
In this second part of Revelation, the Christian assembly is called "to undertake a profound interpretation of the history in which it lives, learning to discern events with faith so that, through its actions, it may collaborate in the advancement of the kingdom of God. Such interpretation, discernment and action are closely associated with prayer".
The assembly is invited to ascend unto heaven "in order to see reality with the eyes of God". There, according to St. John's narrative, we find three symbols with which to interpret history: the throne, the scroll and the Lamb. On the throne sits Almighty God "Who has not remained isolated in heaven but has approached man and entered into a covenant with him". The scroll "contains God's plan for history and mankind, but it is hermetically sealed with seven seals and no one can read it. ... Yet there is a remedy to man's confusion before the mystery of history. Someone is able to open the scroll and illuminate him".
That someone appears in the third symbol: "Christ, the Lamb, Who was immolated in the sacrifice of the cross but stands in sign of His resurrection. The Lamb, Christ, Who died and rose again, will progressively open the seals so as to reveal the plan of God, the profound meaning of history".
These symbols, the Pope explained, "remind us of the path we must follow to interpret the events of history and of our own lives. Raising our gaze to God's heaven in an unbroken relationship with Christ, ... in individual and community prayer, we learn to see things in a new way and to grasp their most authentic significance". The Lord invites the Christian community "to a realistic examination of the present time in which they are living. The Lamb then opens the first four seals of the scroll and the Church sees the world of which she is part; a world containing ... the evils accomplished by man, such as violence ... and injustice, ... to which must be added the evils man suffers such as death, hunger, and sickness".
"In the face of these often dramatic issues the ecclesial community is invited never to lose hope, but to remain firm in the belief that the apparent omnipotence of the Evil One in fact comes up against true omnipotence, that of God". St. John speaks of the white horse, which symbolises that "the power of God has entered man's history, a power capable not only of counterbalancing evil, but also of overcoming it. ... God became so close as to descend into the darkness of death and illuminate it with the splendour of divine life. He took the evil of the world upon Himself to purify it with the fire of His love".
The Holy Father went on: "How can we progress in this Christian interpretation of reality? The Book of Revelation tells us that prayer nourishes this vision of light and profound hope in each one of us and in our communities. ... The Church lives in history, she is not closed in herself but courageously faces her journey amidst difficulties and sufferings, forcefully affirming that evil does not defeat good, that darkness does not shade God's splendour. This is an important point for us too: as Christians we can never be pessimists. ... Prayer, above all, educates us to see the signs of God, His presence and His action; or rather, it educates us to become lights of goodness, spreading hope and indicating that the victory is God's".
At the end of the vision an angel places grains of incense in a censer then throws it upon the earth. Those grains represent our prayers, the Pope said. "and we can be sure that there is no such thing as a superfluous or useless prayer. No prayer is lost. ... God is not oblivious to our prayers. ... When faced with evil we often have the sensation that we can do nothing, but our prayers are in fact the first and most effective response we can give, they strengthen our daily commitment to goodness. The power of God makes our weakness strong".

Vatican City, 12 September 2012 (VIS) - At the end of his general audience today, the Holy Father spoke of his forthcoming apostolic trip to Lebanon, where he is due to sign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops.
"At this hour in two days' time", he said, "I will be on a plane bound for Lebanon. I rejoice at this apostolic trip which will enable me to meet many members of Lebanese society: the civil and ecclesiastical authorities, Catholic faithful of various rites, other Christians, and the Muslims and Druze of the region. I thank the Lord for this rich variety, which will be able to continue only if people live in permanent peace and reconciliation. For this reason I exhort all Christians of the Middle East, both those born there and the newly arrived, to be builders of peace and architects of reconciliation. Let us pray to God that He may fortify the faith of Christians in Lebanon and the Middle East, and fill them with hope. I thank God for their presence and call upon the entire Church to show solidarity, that they may continue to bear witness to Christ in those blessed lands, seeking communion in unity. I thank God for all the individuals andinstitutions who, in many ways, help them to do so. The history of the Middle East teaches us the important and sometimes primordial role. played by the various Christian communities in inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue Let us ask God to give that region of the world its longed-for peace, and respect for legitimate differences. May God bless Lebanon and the Middle East. May God bless you".

Vatican City, 12 September 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a declaration made by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi following episodes of violence in the Libyan city of Benghazi yesterday.
"Profound respect for the beliefs, texts, outstanding figures and symbols of the various religions is an essential precondition for the peaceful coexistence of peoples. The serious consequences of unjustified offence and provocations against the sensibilities of Muslim believers are once again evident in these days, as we see the reactions they arouse, sometimes with tragic results, which in their turn nourish tension and hatred, unleashing unacceptable violence.
"The message of dialogue and respect for all believers of different religions, which the Holy Father is preparing to carry with him on his forthcoming trip to Lebanon, indicate the path that everyone should follow in order to construct shared and peaceful coexistence among religions and peoples".

Vatican City, 12 September 2012 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. has sent a letter, in the Holy Father's name, to Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, for the opening of the first Integrated Meeting for the Pastoral Care of the Road/Street for the Continent of Africa and Madagascar, which is currently taking place in that city.
"As the Synod Fathers at the two Special Assemblies for Africa of the Synod of Bishops prophetically acknowledged, the Church's concern for the development of every person and the whole person, especially of the poorest and most neglected, is at the heart of her mission of evangelisation in Africa", the English-language text reads.
"His Holiness trusts that the present meeting will lead to greater cooperation and coordinated efforts among the particular Churches for the sake of safeguarding every life at risk on African streets and roads. He asks that special attention be paid to the pastoral needs of those women and children who find themselves on the streets, whether as a result of concrete social, economic and political factors, or as victims of organised national and international exploiters. He is likewise confident that the meeting will address situations affecting the lives of those who travel in their work and, not least, the road insecurity which threatens the lives of millions on African soil.
"With these sentiments, the Holy Father offers fervent prayers that the meeting will confirm the Church in Africa and Madagascar in its witness to the Gospel and its contribution to the building up of civil society and to the forging of a new Africa".

Vatican City, 12 September 2012 (VIS) - Following this morning's general audience, the Holy Father received in audience Karekin II, Catholicos and Supreme Patriarch of All Armenians.


Agenzia Fides REPORT- The house for the young people of Dharmapuri was recently inaugurated and opened : Home of Hope - Marialaya. The project involved the extension of the home of the Salesian Sisters of the district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu to give hospitality to approximately 200 disadvantaged children and young people, from rural villages and belonging to the group of Dalits. The new home is a great opportunity for women and girls in the area. The nuns in fact, thanks to the new structure will be able to ensure the girls to continue their studies and accompany their personal development and the acquisition of additional skills in the construction industry, in business management and in group activities. In addition, the house can accommodate young people fleeing from situations of abuse and violence, where they can find their specific reintegration pathways. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 13/09/2012)


London: unique exhibition on Blessed Mother Teresa | Blessed Mother Teresa exhibition

Blessed Mother Teresa's room
There are just three days left now to see the unique exhibition on the life of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, at St Patrick’s in Soho Square, central London. The show includes a life-size replica of her little room, complete with a cardboard box with the inscription 'Awards' which she tucked away under the bed. Many visitors are stopping to pray in the chapel.
The presentation includes a series of posters, handwritten letters, family photographs, her prayerbook, sari, headband and cardigan. There is a copy of the chapel typical to houses of the Missionaries of Charity, the order Mother Teresa founded in 1950.
A film being screened through the day, shows rare interviews with Mother Teresa, with her sisters and footage from the state funeral given Mother by the Government of India in 1997.
Father Alexander Sherbrooke, parish priest of St Patrick’s, said: “This exhibition has just so much to say for today. Mother Teresa lived the love of God in a most profound and powerful way – that is what the exhibition shows. It gives a real sense of who Mother was, and what she is calling us into. Mother always spoke of how we must marvel at God’s love for us and share it with our brothers and sisters. She radiated that love in her whole being,"
Some of the 20 missionaries of Charity based in London may be present at the exhibition, on some days. But their schedule is busy – in their three houses in London (out of a total of 11 in the UK) the Sisters run soup kitchens, visit old people at home and in hospital, run a hostel for homeless women, and organize days of prayer, pilgrimages and a summer camp for 100 children.
The exhibition is open from 11am-7pm until 15 September in the crypt of St Patrick’s church, Soho, 21a Soho Square, London W1D 4NR. Getting there is difficult as there is major building work taking place on the new Cross Rail station. Follow the signs from the church and you should find it!
If you would like to hold the exhibition in your parish, contact the sisters at:
Missionaries of Charity
177 Bravington Road,
London W9 3AR
England, U.K.
Tel: 0208-960-2644
For more information see:


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
12 Sep 2012

Cardinal Pell - "Is Catholicism Compatible With Women's Health?", RANZCOG Conference, Canberra
Following nearly three days of scientific and medical presentations and discussions, Cardinal George Pell brought a different perspective to an international conference in Canberra today on women's health.
The conference was the 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the scientific program was titled "capital gains in women's health".
Many noted researchers and practitioners presented papers during the conference which was officially opened by Rear Admiral Robyn Walker, Surgeon General of the Australian Defence Forces.
However the last session today was entitled "Wish List". The address was certainly more down to earth.
The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell presented a paper for this session titled "Is Catholicism Compatible With Women's Health?"
Cardinal Pell emphasised the Catholic approach to women's health including the dignity of the human person; support of marriage, the union of a man and woman, permanent and exclusive, open to life; the right of couples to the knowledge and understanding of their own fertility so they may determine the number and spacing of their children and non-violence to mother and child.

He also said these key principles included the call to solidarity with the mother; the call to solidarity with the unborn child; health care as a natural human good and fundamental human right and the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable.
Approximately 600 million of the Catholic Church's 1.2 billion members are women. The Catholic Church is the single largest health care provider in the world operating 117,000 health care facilities, which represents 26% of the world's total care of anyone and everyone in the community.
Cardinal Pell told the conference; "Catholics understand the relationship between doctor and patient according to the Hippocratic idea, rather than the more modern notion of a doctor simply being a service provider to the consumer."
The Cardinal went on to say Catholicism understands respect for patient autonomy in a particular way - that the doctor, on the basis of his or her knowledge, skill and experience, makes recommendations to the patient, who is seeking advice and treatment, who then decides whether or not to accept that recommendation. This approach has significant implications for how obstetricians and gynaecologists think of themselves and their patients.
"We understand the role of the obstetrician as being a doctor to two patients: mother and child. We recognise that although the healthcare needs of these two patients normally run i parallel they can sometimes - although infrequently - come apart, and this can be very difficult and distressing for all concerned. Catholicism has worked out practical principles to support the thinking and choosing of both the doctor and the parents in such circumstances," Cardinal Pell said.
Catholicism critics have often said the Church's pro-life stance damages women's health by contributing to global maternal mortality rates. Cardinal Pell addressed this issue saying numerous studies of maternal mortality rates have demonstrated that the major cause of maternal mortality is not lack of access to abortion, but lack of access to a hospital or skilled midwife. He also said; "The Catholic Church around the world acts to address the critical factors of human, social and economic injustice which cause and contribute to poor maternal health outcomes for women and often generate pressure for abortions. Many women are forced to have abortions by their menfolk. All women who have undergone this procedure should, of course, be treated with compassion and respect."
On the issue of abortion Cardinal Pell mentioned the "missing women of China and India". He highlighted the appalling situation in these countries where female foetuses are sex-selected for abortion and untold baby girls are abandoned or murdered with a smaller number of baby boys.
Cardinal Pell also addressed Catholic health professionals' groundbreaking work in reproductive and maternal health and the role Caritas Internationalis, the international relief, aid and development network of the Catholic Church, is playing in advancing maternal health in some of the world's poorest countries by caring for mothers with HIV and reducing mother-to-child transmission of the virus.
For the full address by Cardinal Pell click here


Asia news report:
Three staffers are also killed. Bodies have been flown to Tripoli before leaving for a US military base in Germany and then stateside. Suffocation was the cause of death. An Islamic group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Benghazi (AsiaNews) - The US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three staffers were killed during an attack against the US Consulate in the east Libyan city, the country's Interior Ministry and security sources reported.

An unidentified armed group attacked the building with hand grenades and gunfire. Rocket-propelled grenades were also fired at the consulate from a nearby farm. A US-produced film deemed insulting by Muslims ostensibly was the spark.

The ambassador, who was paying a short visit to Benghazi, apparently died of suffocation during the attack, but there is no confirmation about how he and the other three were killed.

Sources told AsiaNews that people in Benghazi are holed up in their homes.

A group calling themselves the 'Islamic law supporters' claimed responsibility for the attack in response to the release of the film.

The bodies of the dead were transported to the Benghazi international airport, to be flown to Tripoli and then onwards to a major US airbase in Germany.

Stevens arrived in Tripoli to take up the post of ambassador in May 2012, having previously served twice previously in Libya.

He had also served as the US government's representative to the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) during the 2011 uprising against the government of Muammar Gaddafi.



by Mark Alessio Edited from Mark Alessio: In 1513, a feast of "The Holy Name of Mary" was granted by Papal indult [Pope Julius II] to the diocese of Cuenta in Spain. It was assigned with proper Office on September 15, the octave day of Our Lady's Nativity. With the reform of the Breviary undertaken by Pope St. Pius V, the feast was abolished, only to be reinstituted by his successor, Pope Sixtus V, who changed the date to September 17. From there, the feast spread to the Archdiocese of Toledo [1622] and, eventually, to all of Spain and to the Kingdom of Naples [1671].

Throughout this time, permission to celebrate the feast was given to various religious orders in a prudent manner as has been the custom throughout Church history regarding feast-days, their dates, offices, liturgical expression, etc. However, this Feast of the Holy Name of Mary would one day be joyfully extended to the Universal Church, and this on account of rather dramatic circumstances involving one of Poland's great military heroes, John Sobieski [1629-1696].

While acting as field-marshal under King John Casimir, Sobieski had raised a force of 8,000 men and enough provisions to withstand a siege of Cossacks and Tartars, who were forced to retire unsuccessfully and at a loss. In 1672, under the reign of Michael Wisniowiecki, Sobieski engaged and defeated the Turkish army, who lost 20,000 men at Chocim.

"To the same Heavenly Queen, on Clear Mountain, the illustrious John Sobieski, whose eminent valor freed Christianity from the attacks of its old enemies, confided himself."
[Letter, Cum iam lustri abeat, 1951]

In September, the men joined with the German troops under John George, Elector of Saxony, and Prince Charles of Lorraine. On the eighth day of the month, the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, Sobieski prepared himself for the ensuing conflict by the reception of Holy Communion.

Battle was engaged before the walls of Vienna on September 12, 1683, with Sobieski seemingly put to flight by "the fierce Turkish forces. However, this retreat was a minor setback only. The Hussars renewed their assault and charged the Turks, this time sending the enemy into a retreat. The combat raged on, until Sobieski finally stormed the enemy camp. The Turkish forces were routed, Vienna was saved, and Sobieski sent the "Standard of the Prophet" to Pope Innocent XI along with the good news. In a letter to the Pontiff, Sobieski summed up his victory in these words: Veni, vidi, Deus vicit -----"I came, I saw, God conquered!" To commemorate this glorious victory, and render thanksgiving to God and honor to Our Lady for their solicitude in the struggle, Pope Innocent XI extended "The Feast of the Holy Name of Mary" to the Universal Church. Although the feast was originally celebrated on the Sunday after the Nativity of Mary, Pope St. Pius X [+1914] decreed that it be celebrated on September 12, in honor of the victory of the Catholic forces under John Sobieski. The history of this feast reminds us in some ways of that of "Our Lady of the Rosary," which was instituted to celebrate and commemorate the victory of the Catholic forces over the Turkish navy at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571: "And thus Christ's faithful warriors, prepared to sacrifice their life and blood for the welfare of their Faith and their country, proceeded undauntedly to meet their foe near the Gulf of Corinth; while those who were unable to join them formed a band of pious supplicants, who called on Mary and, as one, saluted Her again and again in the words of the Rosary, imploring Her to grant victory to their companions engaged in battle. Our sovereign Lady did grant Her aid." [Pope Leo XIII, Supremi Apostolatus, 1883]

Pondering the Meaning of "Mary"

In Hebrew, the name Mary is Miryam. In Our Lady's time, Aramaic was the spoken language, and the form of the name then in use was Mariam. Derived from the root, merur, the name signifies "bitterness."

Miryam was the name of the sister of Moses; and the ancient rabbinical scholars perceiving in it a symbol of the slavery of the Israelites at the hands of the Egyptians, held that Miryam was given this name because she was born during the time of the oppression of her people.
Miryam, the sister of Moses is a "type" of the Blessed Virgin. Miryam was a prophetess who sang a canticle of thanksgiving after the safe crossing of the Red Sea and the destruction of Pharaoh's army; Mary prophesied in Her Magnificat that all generations would honor Her, and She sang of how God would topple the proud and raise the lowly. Miryam supported her brother, Moses, the liberator of his people; as the Co-Redemptrix who united Her sufferings to those of the One Mediator on Calvary, Mary labored alongside the Redeemer, the true Liberator of His people. Just as Jesus was the "antitype" [i.e., fulfillment] of Moses, so was Our Lady the "antitype" of Miryam.


Luke 1: 26 - 38

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!"
29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."
34 And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"
35 And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
36 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing will be impossible."
38 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.


St. AilbheSeptember 12

St. Ailbhe was a Bishop and preacher, of Ireland. He was a follower St. Patrick, and is called Albeus in some records. He was a missionary in Ireland, probably sponsored by King Aengus of Munster. He was the first bishop of Emily in Munster, Ireland. There is a legend that he was left in the woods as an infant and suckled by a wolf.

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