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Monday, May 13, 2013

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : MON. MAY 13, 2013 - SHARE BREAKING NEWS


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POPE FRANCIS "SEE JESUS' FACE REFLECTED IN OTHERS" AND LATEST FROM VATICAN

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : MON. MAY 13, 2013

POPE FRANCIS CANONIZES 800 NEW SAINTS

NEW PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN NAWA SHARIF WINS ELECTIONS

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF FATIMA - MIRACULOUS PRAYER - SHARE

TODAY'S SAINT : MAY 13 : ST. JOHN THE SILENT


TODAY'S SAINT : MAY 13 : OUR LADY OF FATIMA
(Vatican Radio/VIS IMAGE SHARE)

POPE RECEIVES PRESIDENT OF COLOMBIA: CONTINUE PEACE PROCESS NEGOTIATIONS
Vatican City, 13 May 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received in audience His excellency Mr. Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, president of the Republic of Colombia. President Santos then met with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
 In the course of cordial conversations, the actuality of Mother Laura Montoya Upegui, first Colombian saint and fruitful interpreter of the country's Christian roots, who had been canonized the preceding day in St. Peter's Square, was discussed. Also covered was the Church's contribution in promoting a “culture of encounter” and her works in service of the country's human and spiritual progress, particularly for the most in need and the youth.
The challenges that the country must face were taken into consideration, especially in regard to social inequalities. Reference to the undergoing process of peace and the victims of conflict was not overlooked, with the wishes that the parties involved carry on negotiations, inspired by a sincere search for the common good and for reconciliation. Finally, the Church's commitment in favour of life and of families was emphasized.
PRESENTATION OF PONTIFICAL YEARBOOK 2013
Vatican City, 13 May 2013 (VIS) – This morning, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and Archbishop Angelo Becciu, substitute for General Affairs, presented the Holy Father with the 2013 edition of the "Annuario Pontificio" (Pontifical Yearbook, the Holy See's annual directory), in the presence of the officials responsible for compiling and printing the volumes. The "Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae" (the Church's Statistical Yearbook), which the same discastery is also responsible for, was also presented.
 A reading of the information given shows some changes relative to the life of the Catholic Church in the world from 2012 to the election of Pope Francis.
In that period, it is noteworthy that there were erected: 11 new episcopal Sees; two personal ordinariates; one apostolic vicariate; and one apostolic prefecture. Also, one territorial prelature was elevated to the rank of diocese and two apostolic exarchates were elevated to the rank of eparchies.
The statistical information, which refers to the year 2011, reveals details about the Catholic Church in the 2,979 ecclesiastical circumscriptions around the planet. The number of Catholics in the world increased from 1.196 million in 2010 to 1.214 million in 2011, an increase of eighteen million faithful, corresponding to a growth of 1.5%. Over the last three years the presence of baptised Catholics in the world has remained stable at around 17.5%.
The number of Catholics with respect to the total population varies considerably between the continents. Their numbers have increased in Africa (by 4.3%), which has reported a 2.3% increase of its population between 2010 and 2011. In Asia, an increase in Catholics greater to an increase in the population was also recorded (of 2% compared to 1.2%). In the Americas and in Europe the increase in numbers of Catholics is equal to the population increase (.3%). In 2011, the total of baptised Catholics had a distribution of, by continent: the Americas (48.8%); Europe (23.5%); Africa (16%); Asia (10.9%); and Oceania (.8%).
From 2010 to 2011, the number of bishops increased from 5,104 to 5,132, a relative increase of .55%. The increase mainly involved Oceania (+4.6%) and Africa (+1%) while Asia and Europe are slightly below the world average and no variation is seen in the Americas.
The steady increase in the number of priests which began in the year 2000 has continued. On 31 December 2011, their numbers stood at 413,418 compared to last year's 412,236. Nevertheless, this was not homogeneous growth. In Africa and Asia the increase was, respectively, +39.5% and +32% (with an increase of more than 3,000 in 2011 alone). In the Americas the situation is stationary (122,000 priests) while, over the last decade, Europe has seen a decrease of more than 9%.
The number of permanent deacons registered a strong increase: from 29,000 in 2001 to 41,000 in 2011. Those present in North America and Europe count for 97.4% of the total.
The number of non-ordained male religious increased, slightly surpassing 55,000. Their numbers are increasing in Africa and Asia (+18.5% and +44.9% respectively) and decreasing in the Americas (-3.6%), in Europe (-18%), and in Oceania (-21.9%).
The is a strong decrease in the number of female religious, which currently registers 713,000 members in contrast to 792,000 in 2001. There are fewer female religious in Europe (-22%), Oceania (-21%), and the Americas (-17%). Nevertheless there is significant growth in their numbers in Africa (+28%) and in Asia (18%).
Candidates for the priesthood, diocesan and religious, have increased since 2001 (112,244) by 7.5%. In 2011 there were 120,616 registered. The strongest increase in seminarians was in Africa (+30.9%), and Asia (+29.4%), while Europe and the Americas registered a decrease in their numbers of 21.7% and 1.9% respectively.
POPE CANONIZES MARTYRS OF OTRANTO, COLOMBIAN LAURA MONTOYA, AND MEXICAN GUADALUPE GARCIA ZAVALA
Vatican City, 12 May 2013 (VIS) – “Let us look to the new saints in light of the Word of God that has been proclaimed,” the Pope said during his homily at the Mass in which three new saints were canonized. “It is a Word that has invited us to faithfulness to Christ, even unto martyrdom. It has recalled for us the urgency and beauty of bearing Christ and his Gospel to all. It has spoken to us of the witness of charity, without which even martyrdom and mission lose their Christian savour.”
The Martyrs of Otranto were more than 800 men from the southern Italian city who had survived the siege and invasion of Otranto only to be decapitated on the outskirts of the city when they refused to renounce their faith and died witnessing to the Risen Christ. “Where did they find the strength to remain faithful,” the Pope asked. “Precisely from the faith, which makes us see beyond the limits of our human sight, beyond this earthly life … God will never leave us without strength and serenity. While we venerate the Martyrs of Otranto, let us ask God to sustain the many Christians who, precisely at this time, now, and in many parts of the world, are still suffering violence, that He give them the valour to be faithful and to respond to evil with good.”
The second saint canonized, Mother Laura Montoya, “was an instrument of evangelisation, first as a teacher and then as the spiritual mother of the indigenous peoples in whom she instilled hope, embracing them with the love she had learned from God, bringing them to him with a pedagogical efficiency that respected their culture and didn't put itself in opposition to it. … This first saint born in the beautiful Colombian land teaches us to be generous with God, to not live the faith in isolation—as if it were possible to live the faith in an isolated way—but to communicate it, to bear the joy of the Gospel with words and witness of life in every sphere in which we find ourselves. … She teaches us to see Jesus' face reflected in others, to overcome indifference and selfishness, which corrode Christian communities and corrode our hearts, and she teaches us to embrace everyone without prejudice, without discrimination, and without reticence, but with sincere love, giving them the best of ourselves and above all sharing with them what we have that is most precious—not our deeds or our institutions. No! What we have that is most precious is Christ and his Gospel.”
 Saint Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, “renouncing a life of ease—and how damaging the easy life, well-being, can be; the “embourgeoisement” of our hearts that paralyses us—...to follow Jesus' call, who taught her to love poverty so that she could love the poor and the sick more. … The poor, the abandoned, the ill, the marginalized are the flesh of Christ. Mother Lupita touched Christ's flesh and taught us this way of acting: of not being embarrassed, not being afraid, not being disgusted to 'touch the flesh of Christ'! … This new Mexican saint invites us to love as Jesus has loved us and this entails not being locked up in oneself, in our own problems, our own ideas, our own interests, in this little world that causes us so much harm, but to go out and go in search of who needs attention, understanding, and help, in order to bring them the warm nearness of God's love through tactful gestures of sincere affection and love.”
At the end of his homily, the Pope emphasized that the new saints teach us “faithfulness to Jesus and his Gospel, to proclaim him in word and with our lives, witnessing to God's love with our love and with our charity towards all.”
REGINA COELI: BANISH VIOLENCE AND DEFEND LIFE'S SACREDNESS
Vatican City, 12 May 2013 (VIS) – At the end of the Mass for the canonization of the new saints, the Pope greeted the official delegations from Italy, Colombia, and Mexico, led respectively by Italian Minister of Justice Anna Maria Cancellieri; the President of the Republic of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Calderon; and the Adjunct General Director for Religious Affairs of the Presidency of the Republic of Mexico, Roberto Herrera Mena.
“May the Martyrs of Otranto,” he exclaimed, “help the dear Italian people to look hopefully to the future, entrusting in the nearness of God who never abandons us, even in difficult times.”
The he asked for the intercession of Mother Laura Montoya that the Lord may “grant new missionary and evangelizing impetus to the Church and that, inspired by this new saint's example of harmony and reconciliation, the beloved children of Colombia might continue working for the progress of peace and justice in their country.”
“In the hands of St. Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, we place all the poor, the sick, and those who assist them, and we entrust to her intercession the noble Mexican nation so that, all violence and insecurity banished, it may advance ever more along the path of solidarity and fraternal coexistence.”
The Holy Father also noted that yesterday, Saturday 11 May, Fr. Luigi Novarese, founder of the volunteer Centre of the Suffering and the Silent Works of the Cross, was beatified in Rome. Fr. Novarese was “an exemplary priest who renewed the pastoral outreach to the sick, making them active subjects in the Church.”
Finally, the Bishop of Rome greeted those participating in the “March for Life” that took place today in Rome, inviting them all to “keep everyone's attention alive to the very important topic of respect for human life from the moment of its conception. In this regards I would also like to note the signatures being gathered today in many Italian parishes for the purpose of sustaining the European citizens' initiative 'One of Us', to guarantee legal protection to embryos, protecting every human being from the first instant of their existence. A special moment for those who have the defence of the sacredness of human life at heart will be the 'Evangelium Vitae Day', which will take place here in the Vatican within the context of the Year of Faith, this 15-16 June.”
AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 13 May 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received twelve prelates from the Puglia region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:
   - Archbishop Francesco Cacucci of Bari-Bitonto,
   - Archbishop Giovanni Battista Pichierri of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie,
   - Archbishop Donato Negro of Otranto,
   - Archbishop Francesco Pio Tamburrino, O.S.B., of Foggia-Bovino,
   - Archbishop Michele Castoro of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo,
   - Bishop Raffaele Calabro of Andria,
   - Bishop Mario Paciello of Altamura-Gravina-Acquaviva delle Fonti,
   - Bishop Lucio Angelo Renna, O. Carm., of San Severo,
   - Bishop Felice di Molfetta of Cerignola-Ascoli Satriano,
   - Bishop Luigi Martella of Molfetta-Ruvo-Giovinazzo-Terlizzi,
   - Bishop Pietro Maria Fragnelli of Castellaneta, and
   - Bishop Domenico Cornacchia of Lucera-Troia.
On Saturday, 11 May, the Holy Father received:
   - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and
   - Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 13 May 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father elevated Fr. Victor Manuel Fernandez to the dignity of archbishop, assigning him the Titular Archiepiscopal See of Tiburnia. The archbishop-elect was born in Alcira Gigena, Cordoba, Argentina in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1986. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral, academic, and administrative roles including, since 2011, as rector of The Catholic University of Argentina.
On Saturday, 11 May, the Holy Father accepted the resignation from the the office of auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Szczecin-Kamien, Poland, presented by Bishop Marian Blazej Kruszylowicz, O.F.M. Conv., upon having reached the age limit.

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : MON. MAY 13, 2013

John 16: 29 - 33

29His disciples said, "Ah, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure!
30Now we know that you know all things, and need none to question you; by this we believe that you came from God."
31Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?
32The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to his home, and will leave me alone; yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.
33I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."


POPE FRANCIS CANONIZES 800 NEW SAINTS

IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT
Pope Francis proclaims 800 new saints | Martyrs from the Italian city of Otranto,Mother Laura Montoya e Upegui, Mother Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, first Colombian saint

St Laura - First Colombian Saint

At Mass for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, Pope Francis canonized 800 Martyrs from the Italian city of Otranto, killed by Turkish invaders in 1480, along with two Latin American religious Foundresses, Mother Laura Montoya e Upegui – the first Colombian saint – and Mother Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, from Mexico.
In his homily, the Holy Father asked us to “look on the new saints in the light of the Word of God proclaimed: a Word that invited us to be faithful to Christ, even unto martyrdom; a word that recalled to us the urgency and the beauty of bringing Christ and his Gospel to everyone; a word that spoke to us about the witness of charity, without which even martyrdom and mission lose their Christian savour.”
Today, he said, “the Church proposes for our veneration a host of martyrs, who were called together to the supreme witness to the Gospel.” The more than 800 Martyrs of Otranto, when faced with the choice of renouncing Christ or death, remained faithful to the Gospel. It is precisely their faith, the Pope said, that gave them the strength to remain faithful. He prayed, “As we venerate the martyrs of Otranto, let us ask God to sustain those many Christians who, in these times and in many parts of the world, right now, still suffer violence, and give them the courage and fidelity to respond to evil with good.”
Pope Francis then turned to Saint Laura Montoya, “an instrument of evangelization, first as teacher and then as the spiritual mother of the indigenous peoples.” He said, “This first saint born on the beautiful Colombian soil, teaches us to be generous together with God, not to live the faith alone - as if we could live our faith in isolation - but to communicate, to radiate the joy of the Gospel by word and witness of life in every place we find ourselves.”
He continued, “The martyrs’ faithfulness even unto death, the proclamation of the Gospel are rooted in the love of God that has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit and in the witness we must bear to this love in our daily lives.” Saint Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, he said, knew this well. She gave up “a comfortable life to follow the call of Jesus, taught people to love poverty, in order the more to love the poor and the sick.” This, the Pope said, “This is what it means to touch the flesh of Christ. The poor, the abandoned, the sick, the marginalized are the flesh of Christ. And Mother Lupita touched the flesh of Christ and taught us this conduct: to be unabashed, unafraid, not loathe to touch the flesh of Christ. Mother Lupita understood what it means ‘to touch the flesh of Christ’.”
Pope Francis said the saints canonized on Sunday offer us “a shining example” of “fidelity to Christ and his Gospel, in order to proclaim it in word and deed, bearing witness to God’s love with our love, with our charity toward all.” Their example, he said, challenges us: “Let us take this question with us to consider during the day: how am I faithful to Christ? Am I able to 'show' my faith with respect, but also with courage? Am I attentive to others, do I recognize when someone is in need, do I see in everyone a brother and a sister to love?”
The Holy Father concluded his homily with a prayer to Mary and to the new saints: “Let us ask that, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the new saints, the Lord might fill our lives with the joy of His love. Amen.”
Source: VIS
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NEW PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN NAWA SHARIF WINS ELECTIONS

ASIA NEWS REPORT
For the Catholic politician, the loss of popular support was "brutal". The "economic situation, energy and security" weighed heavily on the vote. He said that he would continue the battle for minority rights. Fraud allegations are not likely to put the results in doubt. Islamabad bishop is hoping that the next government will bring "peace and harmony".


Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), won Sunday's general elections for the National Assembly. Voting also took place in the country's four provincial assemblies (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan). As the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) looks into allegations of fraud and irregularities, some political leaders and their supporters are in the streets to challenge the results after images of alleged vote rigging were posted on the net. Meanwhile, many leading lawmakers have gone down to defeat. However, despite accusations and allegations, by  throwing their support behind Sharif's party, voters have spoken loud and clear, said Paul Bhatti, a leading Catholic candidate for the Pakistan People's Party (PPP).
Pending an official announcement, Sharif has already received the congratulations of some world leaders, including US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who looks forward to a close cooperation with the new government in Pakistan.
For the PML-N leader, this would be a third stint at the post of prime minister of Pakistan, following his overthrow in a military coup in the late 1990s.
His party is expected to win about 130 seats in the National Assembly and should reach 137 seats to form a majority government with the support of smaller parties. However, the PML-N's success raises concerns and fears among religious minorities, given its close relationship with the most radical and Islamist groups in the country.
Former cricket champion Imran Khan and his Pakistan Movement for Justice (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or PTI) have taken second place. He has promised to provide genuine opposition. The outgoing ruling party, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) is third. Both the PTI and the PPP should have at least 30 seats in the National Assembly.
Later today, the Election Commission is expected to issue final results. Meantime, it announced that voter turnout had reached 60 per cent, up from 44 per cent in the last elections held in 2008.
Speaking to AsiaNews, Paul Bhatti admitted his party's defeat. He is the now former Minister for National Harmony in the outgoing PPP-dominated administration and brother of the late Shahbaz Bhatti, who was assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists in March 2011 when he was Minority Affairs Minister,.
"The loss of popular support was brutal," he said. "Sharif's party clearly won despite allegations of fraud, which might have occurred in some places. At every election, there are always claims of vote rigging. However, on this occasion, the outcome is clear."
For Bhatti, public resentment against the outgoing government over outstanding and unresolved problems, like security, energy and unemployment, explains the defeat. Terrorism and domestic violence are additional factors.
"Ours was a weak government," he said, "with many allies but little coherence. During the election campaign, we received threats. In the past, we also lost important leaders, like my brother Shahbaz, who was killed by extremists."
Despite everything, Paul Bhatti does not plan to leave the political scene. Instead, he intends to pursue new battles. He wants to promote his association, the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), and fight for a different electoral system for minorities and their full integration into the community. Equally, he plans to fight abuses related to the blasphemy laws, and wants the new government to deal will three priorities, namely law and order, the economy and the energy crisis.
For Mgr Rufin Anbthony, bishop of Islamabad/Rawalpindi, "the elections are an example of a smooth transition of power from one government to another, according to the principles of democracy."
"We prayed for Pakistan," he said, "and it is nice to see Christian candidates take part in the vote, although they have not been very successful. What counts here though is being part of the system."
The prelate is hoping and praying that "the next government will be able to bring peace and harmony to the country."
Faisal Khattak, a Muslim political analyst, is not at all surprised at the results given the fact that those in power failed to address the problems of Pakistan's economy and society.
He is especially impressed by "the people of Karachi who have shown courage by standing up against the atrocities. This is a wave of change; the people have stood up for Pakistan," he said. (DS)
Jibran Khan contributed to the article.

LIFE IN THE EYES OF A MOTHER - JOHANNA PATTI IN AUSTRALIA

ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE RELEASE

Face to face with Johanna Patti

Kairos Volume 24, Issue 8

Words and picture Fiona Basile

JOHANNA Patti is the proud mother of one-year-old Raffael Richard Antonio Patti. She and husband John named Raffael after the archangel who is known for ‘happy meetings’ and because they liked the name. Richard is the name of Johanna’s father and her eldest brother, who died of cancer at 25, and Antonio is John’s father’s name. Having enjoyed almost a year with Raff at home, Johanna has recently gone back to work part-time at Anglicare Victoria, where she is a social worker in refugee services. Johanna shares some of her thoughts on life as a mum.

What is it like being a mother?
It’s a privilege. I try not to take it for granted because I feel so blessed to have a husband and a beautiful, happy, healthy boy. It certainly has its challenges, but it’s wonderful. I always hoped that I’d get to be a mum and I’m really enjoying it—it’s like being a student; I’m learning something every day.

Can anything prepare you for motherhood?
I don’t think so. When I was pregnant one of my friends said to me, ‘it’s not a Huggies ad where the baby is always beautiful and clean and you’re holding them up, smiling at each other all day’. I think that was good advice. But I only have one child; you should interview my mum because she had 10 children! When things seem challenging, I always think of those mums who have several children and yet they still manage to get everything done. We’ve been blessed—we have wonderful extended family and friends and lots of support.

What has been the most surprising thing about motherhood for you?
The joy that a baby brings, not just to me, but to the world, whether it is to our extended family, friends or even strangers in the street—he’ll just smile at people and they stop and talk.

What have been some of the more challenging aspects of motherhood?
Waking up in the middle of the night when Raff is crying, stopping him from eating the power cords and getting into all types of mischief around the house. Just keeping good energy and focus all the time, and trying to keep focused on our marriage as well—it’s quite easy to let a beautiful little baby take all your love and attention.

How has your faith influenced your life as a mother?
I really want to impart faith to Raff. Every night we light a candle and say a little prayer. And, while at this stage Raff is more interested in eating the candle or chewing the crucifix, it’s important that he has the opportunity to know God. Obviously what he does with that later in life is up to him.

Tell me about some of the things Raff does that just melt your heart.
When he gives me little kisses and blows raspberries on my face. When he smiles at strangers—which he does a lot—and when he wakes up in the morning and realises he has a voice, we hear this little cooing sound. It’s like waking up to a little bird every morning.
One of the favourite parts of my day is when John gets home from work, picks up Raff and rubs his stubble on Raff’s face or plays with him on the floor and Raff just laughs and laughs—more than he’s laughed all day! While I think that's a bit unfair, deep down I love it; it's really special.

What are your hopes for Raffael?
I hope he maintains his happy personality, that he has peace in his heart and that he uses his gifts for good.

What are you most grateful for?
I think I am most grateful for the upbringing and example my parents gave me—they really lived the adage, ‘actions speak louder than words’. In addition to having 10 children and raising us Catholic in a conventional sense—they always volunteered for various causes and encouraged us to notice and help others in need. I remember one Christmas day mum and dad taking us all to Ozanam house, so we could see that not everyone had family around for Christmas. They really lived, and still live, the faith they raised me with.
SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF FATIMA - MIRACULOUS PRAYER - SHARE


Our Lady of Fatima Novena Prayer
No prayer is known to be said, but this is one of the most beautiful novenas that can be said. The same verse is said once each day for the nine days.
The Nine Day Novena To Our Lady Of Fatima
DAY ONE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY TWO
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY THREE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY FOUR
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY FIVE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY SIX
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY SEVEN
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY EIGHT
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen. 
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY NINE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)

SURPRISE POPE FRANCIS JOINS 40000 PRO-LIFE MARCH IN ROME - VIDEO

Francis Pope blesses the march for life










MARCIA PER LA VIDA RELEASE (Internet translation): The March for Life has brought 40 thousand people today in Rome, the Pope greeted at the Regina Coeli and then met at the parade on approaching Popemobile in way of conciliation. The welcome of Pope Francis represents, according to the promoters of the event, the highest recognition for the initiative and the confirmation of the sensitivity of the Pope to the non-negotiable principles, beginning with the right to life.
The March for Life began at the Coliseum with the greetings of the many representatives of movements pro-life came from all over the world, including Jeanne Monahan, president of the March for Life in Washington, Lila Rose, considered the organization pro-abortion Planned Parenthood as the number one enemy, Geoffrey Strickland, a Priest for Life , Dr. Xavier Dor, doctor convicted 15 times in France for fighting against abortion, Blondine Serieyx, representative of Manuf pour tous French, Burkhard Antony, representative of Droit de naĆ®tre , another French association committed to the defense of life and Federica Iannace Swift, Irish Youth Defence .
Our march is that of a people of life, defending life, wants to breathe new life into a company that decomposes and dies , "said Virginia Nunziante Coda, a spokesman for the event, in his opening speech. He also talked about the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, who denounced the " massacre of the innocents "that is consumed by abortion.The mayor has followed the procession up to Piazza Venezia. He traveled all the way instead of the March, the Colosseum in Castel Sant'Angelo, His Emin. the card. Raymond Leo Burke, who, in Eucharistic adoration held on the eve, called the event " an expression of the Catholic faith and act of service to the society in which we live and its common good . "

The march was held in a peaceful and festive, in a riot of flags, slogans and signs large and small extolling the life and anti-abortion laws in force in Italy and other countries of the world. Lots of young people and families with children, to testify that there is a rearguard action, but to fight for a future and a society that is more just.
Great was the number of religious present, including the Institute of the Incarnate Word, the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the Sons of Divine Providence, the latter led by their superior general, Fr Flavio Peloso. ,
Took part in the march, strictly nonpartisan and without slogans and political symbols, several MPs, including Maurizio Gasparri, Giorgia Meloni, Maurizio Sacconi, Eugenia Roccella, Carlo Giovanardi, Stefano De Lillo, Carlo Casini and Paola Binetti.
The demonstration ended in St Peter's Square where the Pope, who had already hailed the March for Life in hisRegina Coeli , fell into the crowd met the participants.
Rome, May 12, 2012

2013


TODAY'S SAINT : MAY 13 : ST. JOHN THE SILENT


St. John the Silent
BISHOP
Feast: May 13


     Information:
Feast Day:May 13
Born:8 January 454 at Nicopolis, Armenia
Died:558
John had his surname given him from his love of silence and recollection. He was born at Nicopolis in Armenia, in the year 454. His descent by both parents was from the most illustrious generals and governors of that part of the empire; but he derived from their virtue a much more illustrious nobility than that of their pedigree. They were solicitous above all things to give their son the most holy education. After their death, he, with part of his estate, built at Nicopolis a church in honor of the Blessed Virgin, as also a monastery, in which, with ten fervent companions, he shut himself up when only eighteen years of age, with a view of making the salvation and most perfect sanctification of his soul his only and earnest pursuit, directing to this end all his thoughts and endeavors. As humility is the foundation and guardian of all virtue, this he labored in the first place to obtain.

Accordingly he made it his earnest petition to God; and, by assiduous meditation on his own nothingness, his absolute insufficiency, numberless miseries, and baseness, and on the infinite majesty and adorable perfections of God, he studied to know God and himself. He learned sincerely to look upon all manner of humiliations as his due, and to receive them with joy from whatever quarter they were sent; and cheerfully to exercise himself in those which appeared most repugnant to flesh and blood, and most proper to beat down all secret sentiments of pride. To kill the seeds of all other vices, he practiced the most constant and severe denial of his own will, and he added corporal austerities to subdue his flesh, and to fit his soul for the spiritual functions of contemplation and prayer. Not only to shun the danger of sin by the tongue, but also out of a sense of sincere humility and contempt of himself, and the love of interior recollection and prayer, he very seldom spoke; and if necessity obliged him to open his mouth, it was always in very few words, and with great discretion. He banished sloth out of his little community as a fruitful source of vice, and the poison of all virtue. Some humbling, painful, and useful labor, filled up in his house all the intervals of time which public prayer and other necessary duties left vacant. His mildness, prudence, and piety, won him the esteem and affection of all. his brethren, who strove in every virtue to be the copies of their holy abbot. But, to his extreme affliction, when he was only twenty-eight years old, the archbishop of Sebaste obliged him to quit his retreat, and ordained him bishop of Colonian in Armenia in 482.

In this dignity John preserved always the same spirit, and, as much as was compatible with the duties of his charge, continued his monastic austerities and exercises. His brother and nephew, who enjoyed honorable places in the emperor's palace, were moved by his example to contemn the world in the very midst of its honors, and the same grace which sanctifies anchorets in their deserts, made them saints in the court. But he found not the same comfort in a brother-in-law, who was governor of Armenia, against whose oppressions of his church the saint was obliged to have recourse to the emperor Zeno, and readily obtained his protection.

St. John had fulfilled all the duties of a holy bishop nine years, practicing all the austerities of his former life, and refusing to allow himself even the necessary conveniences of life, that he might bestow all he possessed on the poor. He instructed his flock by preaching, and, by his example, invited them to practice what he taught. He was the comforter of all that were in affliction, and bore their burdens with them; and he never ceased to instil sentiments of humility, moderation, and compunction, into the hearts of those who lived in the more dangerous flattering state of worldly prosperity. He was the father of all, and carried them all in his heart, that he might plant in them the spirit, and transfer them into the heart of Christ. Certain evils which he found it impossible for him to remedy, joined with his strong inclination to a retired life, gave him an earnest desire to resign his charge. By the rule of the church and his sacred engagement, he was bound not to abandon the spouse to which he was tied, or to leave exposed to wolves a flock which the supreme Pastor had intrusted to his care. But the divine grace sometimes makes exceptions in order to raise a soul to an extraordinary sanctity. John had reason at first to look upon the thought of such a project as suspected, to examine it impartially, and to consult God for a considerable time by earnest prayer. The author of his life assures us, that while he was watching one night in prayer, he saw before him a bright cross formed in the air, and heard a voice, which said to him, "If thou desires" to be saved, follow this light." He then seemed to see it move before him, and at length point out to the Laura of St. Sabas.
Being satisfied what the sacrifice was which God required at his hands, he found means to abdicate the episcopal charge, and embarked in a vessel bound for Palestine. He went first to Jerusalem, and having there performed his devotions, retired to the neighboring Laura of St. Sabas, which at that time contained one hundred and fifty fervent monks, all animated with the spirit of their holy founder and superior. St. John was then thirty-eight years old. St. Sabas first placed him under the steward of the Laura, to fetch water, carry stones, and serve the workmen in building a new hospital. John went and came like a beast of burden, continuing always recollected in God, always cheerful and silent. After this trial, the experienced superior appointed him to receive and entertain strangers. The blessed man served every one as if he had served Christ himself, whom he considered in his members; and all persons were exceedingly edified with his humility and devotion. Saint Sabas observed every step, and admired to see the behavior of this young monk in an employment which is often dangerous to the monastic spirit, even in those that are most advanced. For the dissipation of such an attendance seemed no way to interrupt his attention to God, or abate his spirit of recollection. St. Sabas by this time clearly perceived that his novice was already a masterly proficient in the monastic profession, and eminently endowed with the spirit of his vocation. Therefore, to afford him opportunities of the greatest spiritual progress by uninterrupted contemplation, he allowed him a separate hermitage, which was his method only with regard to the more perfect. During five days in the week, which he passed without taking any nourishment, John never left his cell; but on Saturdays and Sundays he attended the public worship of God in the church.

After passing three years in this eremitical life, he was made steward of the Laura. His virtue drew a blessing on the community; neither was this employment any distraction to his mind. Such, indeed, was his love to God, that his soul stood in need of no effort to think continually of him. Such a habit is not to be attempted at once. Too strained an attention might hurt the head, as experience has sometimes shown. This practice, and a constant attention to the divine presence, is to be acquired at first by frequent ejaculations to God during exterior actions, repeated at intervals; either such as naturally occur to the devout mind, or select ones of divine praise, compunction, love, &c., such as are contained in the petitions of the Lord's Prayer, the Psalms, or other parts of the inspired writings. By this method, such a practice in John grew habitual, and by daily use became more perfect and familiar.

Our saint had discharged this last office four years, when St. Sabas, judging him worthy to be promoted to the priesthood, presented him to the Patriarch Elias. When they came to the church of Mount Calvary, where the ordination was to be performed, St. John said to the patriarch, "Holy father, I have something to impart to you in private; after which, if you judge me worthy, I will receive holy orders." The patriarch tool. him aside, and John, having obtained from him a promise of secrecy, said, "Father, I have been ordained bishop; but on account of the multitude of my sins have fled, and am come into this desert to wait the visit of the Lord."

The patriarch was startled, and calling in St. Sabas, said to him, "I desire to be excused from ordaining this man, on account of some particulars he has discovered to me." St. Sabas went back much afflicted, fearing lest John had been formerly guilty of some grievous crime. Under this uncertainty, God revealed to him, at his request, the state of the affair. Whereupon calling for John, he complained to him of his unkindness in concealing the matter from him. Finding himself discovered, John was for quitting the Laura, nor could St. Sabas prevail on him to stay, but on a promise never to divulge the secret. John lived after this four years in his cell, without speaking to any one except to the person who brought him necessaries. In the year 503, the factious spirit of certain turbulent disciples obliged St. Sabas to quit his Laura. St. John, that he might have no part in such an unhappy disturbance, withdrew into a neighboring wilderness, where he spent six years in silence, conversing only with God, and subsisting on the wild roots and herbs which the desert afforded. When St. Sabas was called home again, he went to seek St. John in his desert, and brought him back, in 510.

But a long and happy experience had taught him, that a soul which has been accustomed to converse only with God, finds nothing but emptiness and bitterness in any thing besides. His love of obscurity and humility made him desire more and more to live unknown to men; but such was the lustre of his sanctity as rendered it impossible for him to succeed herein to the full extent of his desire. He went back with his old master, and confined himself for forty years to his cell, after his return to the Laura; but did not refuse instructions to those who resorted to him. Among whom was the judicious and learned monk Cyril,  who wrote his life when the saint had lived forty years in his hermitage, after his return, and was one hundred and four years old. He at that age retained the vigor of his mind, and that sweetness which rendered him always amiable and venerable. This Cyril of Scythopolis, who is one of the ablest writers of antiquity, relates, that in his youth, when he was about sixteen years of age, he addressed himself to St. John, who was then ninety years old, and begged his advice concerning the choice of a state of life. The holy old man advised him to dedicate himself to God in the monastery of St. Euthymius. Cyril, however, preferred one of the little monasteries on the banks of the Jordan. But he was no sooner arrived at the place than he fell sick of a fever.

His distemper every day augmented, and he began grievously to afflict and condemn himself for having neglected the advice of the servant of God. But in the night St. John appearing to him in his sleep, after a gentle reprimand for not having followed his counsel, told him, that if he repaired to the monastery of St. Euthymius, he should be restored to his health, and should find his salvation. The next morning he arose, and, notwithstanding the entreaties of the brethren, broke from them, and having taken no other refreshment but that of the blessed eucharist, which he had received that morning, he set out, walked to the aforesaid monastery of St. Euthymius, and found himself perfectly recovered. The same author tells us, that while he was conversing one day with St. John on matters of piety, he saw a man named George bring his son, who was a child possessed by the devil, and lay him on the ground before the saint without speaking a word. St. John understood the miserable condition of the child, and made the sign of the cross on his forehead with blessed oil, and the same instant the child was delivered from the evil spirit. A nobleman of Constantinople, who was infected with Eutychianism, was introduced by one Theodorus to the saint. The holy man gave his blessing to Theodorus, but refused it to the nobleman, with a mild reproach for his schism and heresy; who, seeing that he could only have been apprized or these circumstances by revelation, became upon the spot a most devout Catholic. St. John, by his example and counsels, conducted many fervent souls to God, and continued in his hermitage to emulate, as much as this mortal state will allow, the glorious employment of the heavenly spirits in an uninterrupted exercise of love and praise, till he passed to their blessed company, soon after the year 558; having lived seventy-six years in the desert, which had only been interrupted by the nine years of his episcopal dignity.

His astonishing austerity, love of silence, and sublime contemplation condemn the unmortified spirit and dissipation of the world. Interior recollection is, as it were, the soul of Christian virtue. Without it, the most active zeal and devotion will only be superficial. A dissipated heart can never be truly devout. One that is united with God, and relishes the sweetness of his divine converse, finds the tumult of creatures and the noise of the world an insupportable burden, and he truly understands from experience what pure joy holy solitude is able to afford. A love of Christian silence, or a silence of virtue and choice, not of stupidity or sullenness, is a proof that a soul makes it her chiefest delight to be occupied on God, and finds no comfort like that of conversing with him. This is the paradise of all devout souls.



source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/J/stjohnthesilent.asp#ixzz1ukK7dBgt

HOLY SPIRIT NOVENA DAY 3 FOR PENTECOST



HOLY SPIRIT NOVENA DAY 3 FOR PENTECOST
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY GHOST

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. / I adore the brightness of Your purity the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength / and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart! To be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light: and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You / by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds / and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart / I implore You / Adorable Spirit I Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere / "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.


PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul / the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth / the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You I and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God find know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable / the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples / and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

Thou, of all consolers best, Visiting the troubled breast, Dost refreshing peace bestow.
The Gift of Piety
The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.
Prayer
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen
(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)





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WATCH THE LIFE OF ST. DAMIEN MOLOKAI PART 4 - FREE MOVIE



Part 4 of the life story of St. Molokai shared from Youtube 


Our Lady of Fatima
Feast: May 13


Information:
Feast Day:May 13
Throughout the Old Testament God, in His great mercy, chose prophets to call His people back to Him. In recent times God is sending His Mother. One of the apparitions of the Mother of God in this century took place in 1917 at Fatima, a little village in Portugal. Our Lady came there to warn us of the harm we would inflict upon ourselves as a result of our sins: wars, famines, plagues, persecution of the Church and the loss of many souls in Hell. God, in His great mercy, wished to save us from these miseries through the Immaculate Heart of His Mother. Our Heavenly Mother revealed at Fatima a plan of hope for this world which continues to plunge headlong toward its own destruction.
In 1915 an Angel appeared to four little girls, among them Lucia de Jesus dos Santos. While saying the Rosary they saw what looked like a cloud that was whiter than snow, slightly transparent, with a human outline. This same apparition took place on two more occasions, leaving the girls in a state of amazement.

One year later Lucia was tending sheep with her two cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. This time the Angel came with very distinguishable features. He said to them: "Don't be afraid. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me." He then knelt and, bowing with his forehead to the ground, prayed three times: "My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee! I beg pardon of Thee for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee!" Then He said to the children: "Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications." With these words the Angel left them. The children felt so enveloped by God's Presence that they remained bowed to the ground for a long time repeating this prayer. This special atmosphere which they felt then gradually left them. Soon the three children were back to spending their days playing games together.

Lucia, the oldest of the children, was born on March 22, 1907 and was the youngest of seven. Francisco was born on June 11, 1908 and Jacinta on March 11, 1910. One day, while the three were playing, the Angel visited them again and said, "What are you doing? Pray! Pray a great deal! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs for you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High." Lucia asked how they were to sacrifice. The Angel responded, "With all your power offer a sacrifice as an act of reparation for the sinners by whom He [the Lord] is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners. Thus draw peace upon your country. I am its Guardian Angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all accept and endure with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you."

Only Lucia and Jacinta heard the Angel. Francisco had to learn what he said from them. By the light of grace the children understood the value of sacrifice. They spent many hours repeating the prayer he had taught them. In Autumn of that year the Angel appeared to them again. He was holding a chalice in his hand with a Host suspended over it from which drops of Blood were falling into the chalice. Leaving the Host and chalice suspended in mid-air the Angel prostrated himself on the ground praying three times, "Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly and offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference by which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners." Then the Angel arose and gave the Sacred Host to Lucia. The contents  of the chalice were given to Francisco and Jacinta while he said, "Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly insulted by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God." Then the Angel again prostrated himself, praying three times, "Most Holy Trinity. . .."

On May 13th, 1917 the children were again playing their games, this time building castles out of rock in the field. Suddenly they saw a flash of light. Believing it to be lightning, even though the sky was clear, the children gathered the sheep and started for home. They took refuge under a tree about a hundred yards away. They saw a flash of light again. They began running, going about a hundred yards further when suddenly they saw, standing over a small holmoak tree, a Lady dressed in white more brilliant than the sun. She said, "Don't be afraid. I won't hurt you! I am from Heaven. I come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the thirteenth day at this same hour. Then I will tell you who I am, and what I want. And afterwards I will return here a seventh time." (Our Lady appeared at the holmoak a total of six times. To this day there are only conjectures about when the seventh apparition took or will take place.) Lucia asked if the three of them would go to Heaven. The Lady said they would except that Francisco would have to say many Rosaries first. Lucia asked about two of her friends who had died. The Lady responded that one was in Heaven but the other would be in Purgatory until the end of the world. The Lady went on to say, "Do you wish to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings that He may please to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and to ask for the conversion of sinners?" Lucia responded, "Yes" for all three of them. Then the Lady said, "Then you will have much to suffer. But the grace of God will be your comfort." With this the Lady opened Her Hands and enveloped the children in light. Moved by an inward impulse, they fell to their knees praying, "O most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament." Again the Lady spoke saying, "Say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war" [World War I].

Up to this point the visions of the children remained secret. This time Jacinta told her mother about her experience. News spread quickly around the village exposing the children to ridicule and disbelief. On June 13th Our Lady appeared again at the same spot, known as the Cova da Iria, and said to the children, "I want you to come here on the thirteenth day of the coming month and to recite five decades of the Rosary every day." Lucia asked if the Lady would take them to Heaven. The Lady responded that Jacinta and Francisco would be taken soon. But Lucia would have to remain to help establish in the world devotion to Her Immaculate Heart. Lucia began to cry thinking she would be left all alone. Our Lady comforted her by saying She would not forsake her. Then the children saw a Heart in Our Lady's right hand with thorns encircling It. They understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, for which reparation had to be made.

On July 13th crowds began to gather for the apparition. This time Our Lady said, "I want you to come here on the thirteenth day of the coming month, and to continue to say five decades of the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain the peace of the world and the end of the war. For She alone will be able to help." Lucia asked for a miracle to prove Her appearances to people who doubted. The Lady responded, "Continue to come here every month. In October I will tell you who I am and what I wish, and will perform a miracle that everyone will have to believe. . . Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say many times, especially when you make some sacrifice: `O Jesus, it is for Thy love, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'"

With these words light streamed from the Lady penetrating the earth. The children saw demons and people immersed in a sea of fire. From them came shrieks and groans of despair. Our Lady then said, "You see Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If they do what I will tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace. The war is going to end. But if they do not stop offending God, another and worse one will begin in the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that is the great sign God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, of hunger, and of persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this I come to ask the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays. If they listen to my requests, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not she will scatter her errors through the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer [Jacinta later had more visions concerning a future Pope's suffering], various nations will be annihilated. In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and it will be converted and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world. In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be kept. Do not tell this to anyone. Francisco, yes, you may tell. [This became known as the secret, only part of which is disclosed here] When you say the Rosary, say after each Mystery, `O my Jesus, pardon us and deliver us from the fire of Hell. Draw all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need.'"

The governor of the area was a former Catholic turned Mason who was very set against the Church. On August 13th he offered to take the children to the apparition site in his carriage. Once they got inside he kidnapped them. He locked them in a room of his house. The next day he took them to the Town Hall. The children were questioned. He was especially interested in the "secret" which the Lady told them. The children would not tell him. Finding that he was getting nowhere he threw them in jail. After they spent a short time in the jail he questioned them again. At one point the governor threatened to throw them in boiling oil. Even this failed. He kept them locked up overnight at his house. The next day he questioned them again. Finally, seeing that his efforts were useless, he released them.

On August 19th the Lady appeared to the children in a different place. She said, "I want you to continue to go to Cova da Iria on the thirteenth day and to continue to recite the Rosary every day. In the last month [October] I will perform the miracle so that all shall believe. . . Pray, pray a great deal, and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to Hell because they have no one to sacrifice and pray for them." Lucia asked the Lady what to do with the money that the crowd had left at the Cova da Iria. She said some should be used for a procession on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and the rest should go for the support of the chapel which the people would build.

On September 13th the crowd had grown so much that the children could barely make their way to the apparition site. That day Our Lady said, "Continue to say the Rosary to bring about the end of the War. In October Our Lord will come also, and Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and Saint Joseph with the Child Jesus, to bless the world. . ."

October 13th was a very rainy day. Yet this did not keep believers and non-believers from coming to witness the miracle the Lady had promised. Some estimated the crowd at around 70,000. The Lady came at noon and Lucia asked Her, "What do You want of me?" She responded, "I want to tell you to have them build a Chapel here in My honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Let them continue to say the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes." Lucia asked Our Lady if She would grant some requests given to her by the people. Our Lady said, "Some yes, others no. It is necessary that they amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. Let them offend Our Lord God no more, for He is already much offended." As Our Lady ascended from their sight She opened Her Hands and pointed toward the sun. The children then saw in the sky three tableau of the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. Then the Holy Family appeared. St. Joseph and the Infant Jesus blessed the crowd three times. Next only Lucia saw Our Lady of Sorrows beside Her Suffering Son Who also blessed the crowd. Finally the children saw Our Lady of Mount Carmel with the Infant Jesus upon Her knee.

The crowd, on the other hand, saw something very different. The people stared at the sun which started dancing in the sky. Then it whirled rapidly, emitting flames of fire which reflected many different colors upon the earth. Finally it appeared to be plummeting from the sky toward the crowd which frightened the people very much. Some thought it was the end of the world. Then the sun reversed its direction and returned to its normal position in the sky. As the people regained their senses they noticed still another miracle. Although it had been a very rainy day now the ground and even their clothes were dry.

The public apparitions ceased but the children, from time to time, would still see Our Lady. Toward the end of October, 1918, Francisco and Jacinta became ill with influenza. On April 4th, 1919 Francisco died of this disease. He had spent the remainder of his short life in prayer and penance. He was often seen praying before the Most Blessed Sacrament. Francisco, with great insight for his young age, talked about "the hidden Jesus" in the tabernacle. Jacinta's agony would last longer. She offered up heroic sacrifices during her illness. She developed pneumonia and then pleurisy. She was taken to a hospital at Ourem. After two months she returned home with an incision in her chest. A doctor on pilgrimage visited Jacinta and said she should go to the children's hospital in Lisbon. So mother and child set out on the journey. In Lisbon they stayed for a few days at an orphanage run by a Franciscan nun, Mother Godinho.

Mother Godinho had an opportunity to converse with Jacinta. Jacinta told her that war is the punishment for the sins of mankind. If people would repent Jesus would save the world but if they did not He would punish it. She talked about the importance of Confession, that it was a Sacrament of mercy and that it was necessary for salvation. Jacinta mentioned the great charity we must have, even for the wicked, and that we should never speak ill words about anyone. She emphasized the value of patience and that it would bring us to Heaven. Jacinta said that many people were in Hell due to the sins of the flesh. She prophesied that certain women's fashions would be introduced which would be very offensive to Our Lady.

When Jacinta was at the hospital in Lisbon the doctors talked about performing an operation. She said that it would all be in vain because she was going to die. She even had someone write to Lucia informing her of the day and hour of her death. Mother Godinho continued to converse with her. Jacinta prophesied other incidents about certain people and these later came true. Because of her weakened state only a local anaesthesia could be given for the operation. They removed two ribs and left an open wound in her chest the size of a fist. She suffered very much but never complained. Four days before her death Our Lady came and took all her pains away. On February 20th, 1920, she died. Fifteen years later her body was moved to a cemetery at Fatima and was found still whole and incorrupt.

A small chapel was built by the people to Our Lady. In 1922 a bomb destroyed this chapel. Another bomb placed at the holmoak above which Our Lady stood during the apparitions did not explode. Many years later a great shrine to Our Lady of Fatima was built which included a hospital, convent and retreat house.
In 1921 the Bishop, due to the numerous pilgrims who came to see Lucia and her family, told Lucia to attend the school of the Sisters of St. Dorothy near Oporto where she would be unknown. At the school the Mother Superior changed her name to Maria of the Sorrows. Lucia was told not to speak about the apparitions. In 1925 Lucia joined the Sisters of St. Dorothy.

On December 10, 1925, Our Lady, with the Child Jesus beside Her, appeared to Sister Lucia in her room. She was holding out Her Heart surrounded by sharp thorns. Both asked for reparation to be made to the Immaculate Heart. Our Lady promised to assist with all the necessary graces for salvation at death those who would make the Five First Saturdays. That is, those who, for five consecutive first Saturdays of the month, would go to Confession, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and spend fifteen minutes meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary, all with the intention of making reparation to Her. (Later Our Lord said that Confession could be on another day as long as one receives Holy Communion in the state of grace.)

On May 29, 1930 Our Lord explained to Sr. Lucy that the five Saturdays were in reparation for: 1. Those who deny the Immaculate Conception. 2. Those who deny Our Lady's virginity. 3. Those who deny Our Lady's Divine maternity and that She is the Mother of all mankind. 4. Those who cause children to have indifference, contempt or hatred toward Our Lady. 5. Those who commit outrages against Holy Images of Our Lady.

In 1927, at the Convent in Spain to which she was transferred, Lucia, in a vision, received permission to reveal two parts of a three-part secret which she received from Our Lady at the Cova da Iria during the July 13th apparitions: the vision of Hell and the urgent need for devotion to the Immaculate Heart. The third part of this secret was given to the Bishop and later was given to the Pope. Sr. Lucia asked that it not be made public before 1960. This part of the secret has never been made public.

In 1929, during Lucia's weekly Thursday Holy Hour between 11 P.M. and midnight, she saw a cross of light appear above the altar. On the cross was Jesus Crucified. From Our Lord's wounded side and His face drops of Blood fell onto a Host, then into a chalice below, which were suspended in the air. From the left arm of the cross large letters reading "Grace and Mercy" made of what appeared to be water ran down upon the altar. On the top of the cross was the image of the Eternal Father. Before Him was a dove of light representing the Holy Spirit. Beneath the right arm of the cross was Our Lady of Fatima with Her Immaculate Heart in Her left hand. In the midst of this vision Our Lady made a request for the Pope to consecrate the world to Her Immaculate Heart in union with all the Bishops of the world, making a special mention of Russia.

This request was brought to the attention of the Pope. Our Lord told Sr. Lucy He wanted this consecration so that, by Our Lady's triumph, devotion to the Immaculate Heart would spread throughout the whole Church placing it beside the devotion to the Sacred Heart. Our Lord said that the Holy Father would make the consecration but it would be late. He added that the Immaculate Heart would save Russia.
World War II began just as predicted by Our Lady of Fatima. In 1938 unusual lights appeared in the sky which, according to Lucia, was the sign promised by Our Lady before God's punishment of the world. Shortly thereafter the war began with the annexation of Austria by Hitler during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI. In 1942, Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart. He did not, however, do this in union with all the Bishops. Our Lord told Lucia that He was pleased with this act although incomplete according to His desire. Because of it He promised to end World War II. But the conversion of Russia would not take place.

Some people thought, based on the example of the Fatima children, that the sacrifices requested by Our Lady were too great for them to perform. In 1943 Our Lord told Sr. Lucy that the penance He now desired was the fulfillment of one's duties in life and the sacrifices required in the observance of His Law. This type of penance was possible for everyone.

In 1944 the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was put on the Church Calendar to be celebrated on August 22nd. After Vatican II the Church Calendar was revised changing the celebration of August 22nd to the Saturday following the Feast of the Sacred Heart, which is always the Friday after the Feast of Corpus Christi.

In 1946 John M. Haffert, a great promoter of the Brown Scapular, asked Sr. Lucy to help him formulate a Fatima message pledge which people could make. In 1947 Msgr. Colgan, inspired by the Fatima messages, began the Blue Army. A little later he met John Haffert who told him about the Fatima Pledge. Fr. Colgan appointed him to spread the Blue Army in the U.S. The Blue Army became the greatest apostolate for promoting the messages of Fatima.

In 1948 Sr. Lucia entered the Carmelite convent in Coimbra, Portugal. Later she took for her religious name Sr. Maria of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In an interview with John Haffert that same year Sister said the most important request of Fatima is the fulfillment of one's daily duty. Praying the Rosary aids one in doing this. The First Saturdays help one to free oneself from sin and renews the commitment to fulfill one's daily duties. Two years later in another interview with John Haffert Sister explained that wearing the Brown Scapular is also part of the Fatima message. It is a sign of one's consecration to the Immaculate Heart.
Russia continued to spread her errors all around the world, fulfilling Our Lady's prophecies. An attempt was even made on the life of Pope John Paul II on May 13th, 1981. The Holy Father believed that Our Lady of Fatima saved his life. This led him to see that the only way to save the world from atheism was the consecration requested by Our Lady of Fatima. On March 25, 1984, the Holy Father consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. According to Sr. Lucia this consecration was accepted by Our Lady. The result was the peaceful fall of Communism a few years later.

Certainly we see the mercy of God in the Fatima apparitions. God really wishes to have mercy on the whole world. He forewarns us of evils which will befall us, by our own fault, if we do not return to Him. He gives us His Mother to help us and guide us. Had we responded to His grace World War II would never have happened, Russia would have been converted sooner and the world would have peace. It is evident that we have not lived the Fatima messages as we should. How patient God has been with humanity! God wishes all people to save their souls. Because we are all part of God's family His mercy allows us to make reparation for the sins of others. This not only consoles God for their offenses but can bring about the conversion of the offenders. If wars and punishments come upon the earth it is still God's mercy. By allowing these events He wishes sinners to turn to Him with a purpose of amendment and say, "My Jesus, mercy." And those in the state of God's grace, some lukewarm in their love of God and neighbor, are brought to greater fervor and more detachment from the passing things of this world. God is our Father. He doesn't want us to suffer. But sometimes it is necessary for the salvation of many souls.

Let us respond to Our Lady's messages by living God-centered lives and by fulfilling the requests of Our Lady of Fatima, the fulfillment of our daily duty and the keeping of God's Commandments, making the Five First Saturdays, wearing the Brown Scapular as a sign of our consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and praying the Holy Rosary every day!


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/O/ourladyoffatima.asp#ixzz1ukKNti6M

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