Monday, February 17, 2014



POPE FRANCIS “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds”

(Vatican Radio) The people of God endure the challenges of daily life with faith and patience. That – Pope Francis said – is what keeps the Church going.

Speaking at morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Monday, the Pope commented on the letter of St. James in which he says: “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds”. Patience he explained – has nothing to do with resignation – “when we endure trials with faith they ripen our lives”.

He who wants everything immediately – the Pope said – he who does not know the wisdom of patience and perseverance is like a spoilt child. That kind of person – he added – is a person who does not grow, who is incapable of facing life as it presents itself. And another temptation for those who have no patience – the Pope said – is in the omnipotence of getting what you want immediately, as in the case of the Pharisees who asked Jesus for a sign form heaven: “they wanted God to perform a miracle to show that God approved of him”.

“They confuse God’s way of acting with that of a sorcerer. But God does not behave like a sorcerer, God has his own way of proceeding. And God is patient. Each time we receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we sing a hymn to God’s patience. And the Lord carries us on his shoulders with much patience! Christians must live their lives in time with the music of patience, because it is the music of our fathers, of the people of God, of those who believed in his Word, who followed the commandment that the Lord gave to our father Abraham: “walk before me and be blameless”.
And quoting from the Letter to the Hebrews, Pope Francis said “God’s people has suffered and has been persecuted but it has had the joy of looking forward to God’s promises”. This is the kind of patience – he said - that we must have when we are faced with trials and challenges: the patience of a mature person, the patience of God that carries us on His shoulders. This – Pope Francis said – is “the patience of our people”.

And Pope Francis turned his thoughts to the many people he meets when he visits parishes who face problems and suffer. People with a disabled child or challenged by disease, but he said – “who go forward in their lives with patience”.

“They do not ask for signs – he said – they know how to read the signs of the times: they know that when the fig tree blossoms spring is on its way. Those who wanted a sign from heaven did not know how to read the signs of the times, that is why they did not recognize Jesus”.
Pope Francis concluded his homily praising those who “suffer but do not lose the smile of faith. Those who have the joy of faith”:

These are the people of God, in our parishes, in our institutions – so many of them – that keep the Church going with their everyday holiness. Brothers – he said: “consider it pure joy when you face trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”.

Text from Vatican Radio website 


Vatican City, 17 February 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Domus Sanctae Marthae the Pope's third meeting with the Council of Cardinals began. The Council was created on 13 April 2013 and confirmed by Pope's chirograph of 28 September, to assist in the governance of the Universal Church and to draw up a plan for the revision of the Apostolic Constitution “Pastor bonus” on the Roman Curia. The meeting will conclude on 19 February. Following the morning session, a press conference was held in which Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, presented information on the meeting which begins ten days of intense activity on the part of the cardinals.
“As usual the Cardinals initiated their work with a Holy Mass concelebrated this morning at 7 a.m. in the Sanctae Marthae chapel, after which they began their meetings in a nearby room. Archbishop Pietro Parolin, secretary of State and future cardinal, was and will continue to be present”.
He continued, “The morning was dedicated to hearing the representatives of the Commission for Reference on the the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See (COSEA). Three members of the Commission were present, rather than the entire Commission: the president Josef F.X. Zahra, the secretary Msgr. Lucio Vallejo Balda and Joachim Messemer, who is also the international revisor for the Prefecture of Economic Affairs of the Holy See. The work carried out during the eight months since the creation of this body was presented, but no decision was made. Following the meeting, the cardinals dined together with Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, and this afternoon they will continue their meeting, but without the attendance of the COSEA representatives”.
TomorrowTuesday 18 February, the Commission for Reference on the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) will be heard. On Wednesday, Pope Francis will hold the usual general audience in St. Peter's Square, while the cardinals will continue their work in his absence and, in the afternoon, the cardinals of the so-called “Council of Fifteen” instituted by John Paul II and responsible for the general consolidated financial statement of the Holy See and the Governorate of Vatican City State will meet with the “Council of Eight”, the cardinals who are participating in the meetings held from 17 to 19 February”.
The extraordinary consistory of cardinals, dedicated to the family, is scheduled to begin at 9.30 a.m. on Thursday 20 February in the New Synod Hall. The work of the consistory will begin with a greeting from the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and there will be an address from Cardinal Walter Kasper. The participants will meet in the morning session from9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., and in the afternoon from 16.30 to 19.30. The meeting will conclude on Friday.
On Saturday, 22 February in St. Peter's Square there will be a consistory during which the Pope will create sixteen new cardinals, and on Sunday 23 February the Holy Father will concelebrate Mass with the new cardinals. On Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 February, a meeting of the Secretariat of the Synod and the Council of Fifteen will take place.
Vatican City, 17 February 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
On Saturday, 15 February, the Holy Father received in audience:
- His Beatitude Gregorius III Laham, patriarch of the Greek Melkites, Syria.
- Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
- Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest emeritus of the papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls.
- Cardinal Alberto Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, archbishop of Colombo.
Vatican City, 17 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Gervas John Mwasikwabhila Nyaisonga of Dodoma, Tanzania, as bishop of Mpanda (area 46,346, population 551,000, Catholics 314,725, priests 17, religious 38), Tanzania.
On Saturday, 15 February, the Holy Father appointed Fr. Waldo Ruben Barrinuevo Ramirez, C.Ss.R:, as auxiliary of the apostolic vicariate of Reyes (area 60,000, population 152,000, Catholics 114,000, priests 5, permanent deacons 1, religious 32), Bolivia. The bishop-elect was born in Oruro, Bolivia in 1967, gave his perpetual vows in 1996, and was ordained a priest in 1997. He carried out his studies in philosophy and theology at the seminary of Cochabamba, and has served in the following pastoral roles: member and later superior of missionary team in Santa Cruz de la Sierra and extraordinary counsellor of the province; collaborator with the master of novices in Oruro; provincial vicar and master of novices; and priest in the parish of “Nuestra Senora de la Paz” in Cochabamba. Since 2010 he has studied in the Pontifical Gregorian University.


This Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 dozens of villagers in Northeastern Nigeria, Africa were murdered by terrorists. According to news reports they chanted "Allah is great" as they murdered an estimated 63 people. "As I am talking to you now, all the dead bodies of the victims are still lying in the streets," Nigerian resident Abubakar Usman said to Reuters. "We fled without burying them, fearing the terrorists were still lurking in the bushes." Christians live in the area the where the attack took place. The radical Boko Haram terrorist group has murdered thousands of Christians in recent years. Image share from:


Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 335

Reading 1     JAS 1:1-11

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, greetings.

Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters,
when you encounter various trials,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
And let perseverance be perfect,
so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
But if any of you lacks wisdom,
he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly,
and he will be given it.
But he should ask in faith, not doubting,
for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea
that is driven and tossed about by the wind.
For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord,
since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways.

The brother in lowly circumstances
should take pride in high standing,
and the rich one in his lowliness,
for he will pass away “like the flower of the field.”
For the sun comes up with its scorching heat and dries up the grass,
its flower droops, and the beauty of its appearance vanishes.
So will the rich person fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

Responsorial Psalm                    PS 119:67, 68, 71, 72, 75, 76

R. (77a) Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I hold to your promise.
R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
You are good and bountiful;
teach me your statutes.
R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
that I may learn your statutes.
R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
I know, O LORD, that your ordinances are just,
and in your faithfulness you have afflicted me.
R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
Let your kindness comfort me
according to your promise to your servants.
R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.

Gospel               MK 8:11-13

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,
“Why does this generation seek a sign?
Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
Then he left them, got into the boat again,
and went off to the other shore.


A viral PRO-LIFE video has reached over 1.5 million views. The secret is revealed at the end of the short commercial portraying a true story. It was made in Thailand for a company that sells women's clothing products. This video is heart-breaking and sadly shows what the beginning of life is like for thousands of babies in Thailand and other parts of Asia. Please share this mother's story of true love....


ASIA NEWS REPORT: (Image source: Google) by Wang Zhicheng Every year in China at least 10 thousand infants are abandoned. Because of the one-child policy, many of them are girls, but there are also many babies with disabilities or serious illnesses. 60 million births that are not legally registered. Guangzhou ( AsiaNews) - Chinese authorities have opened 25 new "baby hatches" , where parents can leave their babies and thus save their lives. Over the next few months, the government has ordered that every city have at least two "hatches". According to Xinhua, since the first "hatches" were opened in 2011 there are now about 25. Within the first 15 days of opening in Guangzhou, 79 babies were abandoned. The parents leave their child in the "hatches", consisting of an incubator and a bell. After placing the newborn, they can ring the bell, which rings with a certain delay, to allow parents time to disappear into anonymity . The majority of children placed in "nests" have disabilities or serious illnesses. In all likelihood, the parents abandon them because they have no money to deal with the medical care. It is estimated that at least 10 thousand children are abandoned each year in China. The new policy of "hatches" is a corrective to the one-child law that sought to prevent unwanted births or higher quotas than those set by the population control offices through severe fines and violence. This has often led to the abandonment of girls. The important fact is that both girls and boys are being placed in the "hatches". And this is exactly why the government decided to widen strictures of the one-child law, allowing couples in which one partner is an only child, to have a second child. Several women interviewed about this so-called relaxation of the law have commented that it is useless. They add that many families are no longer able to support the costs of raising and educating one child in the cities let alone two. The situation is different in the countryside where, in addition to the abandonment of girls, there is another problem: the presence of second and third children, not registered in order to escape the fines imposed by the Office of Population Control. It is estimated that this "anonymous" population could count as many as 60 million unregistered children. SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT


Lebanon: drastic reduction of land belonging to Christians | Lebanon,  Lebanese Christians. Talal al-Doueihy, 'Lebanese Land-Our Land Movement' , The Daily Star newspaper, shrinking Christian presence

The drastic decrease in landed properties belonging to Christians in the country of the Cedars has various causes. Many Christians are emigrating and when they leave they have no choice but to sell their land to Muslims buyers.Ind. Catholic News: After the proclamation of independence in the Lebanon, 8130 square km of land belonged to the Lebanese Christians. Today, however, Lebanese Christians have about 4,000 km of land. These figures were provided by Talal al-Doueihy, head of the Movement 'Lebanese Land-Our Land Movement' and reported by the The Daily Star newspaper. The drastic decrease in landed properties belonging to Christians in the country of the Cedars has various causes. Many Christians are emigrating and when they leave they have no choice but to sell their land to Muslims buyers. In addition, during the years of the government of Rafiq Hariri - Prime Minister from 1992 to 1998 and then from 2000 to 2004, who was killed in a suicide bombing on 14 February 2005 - the law regarding the sale of land which guaranteed the right of first refusal to owners of adjacent lands was canceled. The Hariri government wanted in this way to encourage investments in Lebanon from the Arab Gulf countries. The result is that almost all of the lands sold during those years increased from Christian owners to Muslim owners. Several legislative proposals have been presented in parliament to try to block the erosion of the land ownership of Christians in Lebanon. One presented by MPs Sami Gemayel and Ibrahim Kanaan aims to regulate the ownership of land property in Lebanese territory by foreign buyers. Another prepared by the Parliamentary Joseph Maalouf aims to curb the change of ownership of plots of land above 3,000 square meters, and to limit the room for maneuver of intermediaries in the sale of land. Source: Fides



Founders of the Orders of Servites
Feast: February 17

Feast Day:February 17
Between the years 1225 and 1227 seven young Florentines joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin—popularly known as the 'Laudesi' or Praisers. It was a period when the prosperous city of Florence was being rent by political factions and distracted by the heresy of the Cathari: it was also a time of general relaxation of morals even where devotional practices were retained. These young men were members of the most prominent families of the city. Whether they were all friends before they joined the Laudesi is not clear, but in that confraternity they became closely allied.

The eldest was Buonfiglio Monaldo, who became their leader. The others were Alexis Falconieri, Benedict dell' Antella, Bartholomew Amidei, Ricovero Uguccione, Gerardino Sostegni, and John Buonagiunta. They had as their spiritual director James of Poggibonsi, who was chaplain of the Laudesi, a man of great holiness and spiritual insight. All of them came to realize the call to a life of renunciation, and they determined to have recourse to our Lady in their perplexity. On the feast of the Assumption, as they were absorbed in prayer, they saw her in a vision, and were inspired by her to withdraw from the world into a solitary place and to live for God alone. There were difficulties, because, though three of them were celibates, four had been married and had ties, although two had become widowers. Suitable provision for their dependents was arranged, and with the approval of the bishop they withdrew from the world and betook themselves to a house called La Carmarzia, outside the gates of Florence, twenty-three days after they had received their call. Before long they found themselves so much disturbed by constant visitors from Florence that they decided to withdraw to the wild and deserted slopes of Monte Senario, where they built a simple church and hermitage and lived a life of almost incredible austerity.
In spite of difficulties, visitors sometimes found their way to the hermits and many wished to join them, but they refused to accept recruits. So they continued to live for several years,—until they were visited by their bishop, Ardingo, and Cardinal Castiglione, who had heard about their sanctity. He was greatly edified, but made one adverse criticism: 'You treat yourselves in a manner bordering on barbarity: and you seem more desirous of dying to time than of living for eternity. Take heed: the enemy of souls often hides himself under the appearance of an angel of light . . . Hearken to the counsels of your superiors.'
Again the solitaries gave themselves up to prayer for light, and again they had a vision of our Lady, who bore in her hand a black habit while an angel held a scroll inscribed with the title of Servants of Mary. She told them she—had chosen them to be her servants, that she wished them to wear the black habit, and to follow the Rule of St. Augustine. From that date, April 13, 1240, they were known as the Servants of Mary, or Servites.
They were clothed by the bishop himself, Buonfiglio being elected their superior. According to custom they selected names by which they should thenceforth be known, and became Brothers Bonfilius, Alexis, Amadeus, Hugh, Sostenes, Manettus and Buonagiunta. By the wish of the bishop, all except St. Alexis, who in his humility begged to be excused, prepared to receive holy orders, and in due time they were fully professed and ordained priests. The new order, which took a form more like that of the mendicant friars than that of the monastic orders, increased amazingly, and it soon became necessary to form fresh houses. Siena, Pistoia and Arezzo were the first places chosen, and afterwards the houses at Carfaggio, the convent and church of the Santissima Annunziata in Florence, and the convent at Lucca were established. Meanwhile, although the Servites had the approval of their immediate superiors, they had not been recognized by the Holy See. It was only in 1259 that the order was practically recognized by Alexander IV, and not until 1304 over sixty years after its foundation-that it received the explicit and formal approbation of Bd. Benedict XI. St. Bonfilius had remained as prior general until 1256, when he begged to be relieved owing to old age. He died on new year's night, 1261.
St. Buonagiunta, the youngest of the seven, was the second prior general, but not long after his election he breathed his last in chapel while the gospel of the Passion was being read. St. Amadeus ruled over the important convent of Carfaggio, but returned to Monte Senario to end his days. St. Manettus became fourth prior general and sent missionaries to Asia, but he retired to make way for St. Philip Benizi, upon whose breast he died. St. Hugh and St. Sostenes went abroad—Sostenes to Paris and Hugh to found convents in Germany. They were recalled in 1276, and, being attacked by illness, they passed away side by side the same night. St. Alexis, the humble lay-brother outlived them all, and he was the only one who survived to see the order fully and finally recognized. He is reported to have died at the age one hundred and ten.


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