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Sunday, February 23, 2014

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POPE FRANCIS “The unity of the Church is in Christ” - Angelus Message

SUNDAY MASS ONLINE : FEB. 23, 2014 --- 7TH ORD. TIME


MARIA VON TRAPP DIES AGE 99 - Last Survivor of Family that inspired The Sound of Music
TODAY'S SAINT : FEB. 22 : FEAST OF THE CHAIR OF ST. PETER

19 NEW CARDINALS CREATED BY POPE FRANCIS

POPE FRANCIS WELCOMES POPE BENEDICT XVI TO CONSISTORY OF CARDINALS


POPE FRANCIS “The unity of the Church is in Christ” - Angelus Message


(Vatican Radio) Following the celebration of Mass on Sunday morning with the 19 new Cardinals, Pope Francis greeted the crowds in St. Peter’s Square gathered for the Angelus prayer.

In his address to them he urged them to work for Christian unity avoiding all divisions, because he said: “a community does not belong to the preacher, but to Christ”.

Commenting on the second Reading of the Day, the Pope said that since the times described by St. Paul, Christians were divided according to whoever was leading their community.

But St Paul – Pope Francis said – explains that this way of thinking is wrong:“everything belongs to you Christ! Not to Paul, Apollos or Cephas; the world, life, death, the present and the future, everything is yours! For you belong to Christ, and Christ to God!”

And the Pope said all Christian communities are born from this belonging: dioceses, parishes, associations, movements. And even although there may be differences – he added – through Baptism we all have the same dignity, we are children of God. Our dignity – the Pope said – is in Jesus Christ. And those who have received the ministry to guide, to preach, to administer the Sacraments, must not feel that they own special powers, that they are masters. “They must put themselves in the service of the community, helping it in its journey of holiness with joy”.


The Church - said Pope Francis –“ entrusts the witness of this pastoral lifestyle to the new Cardinals”:


“Yesterday’s Consistory and today’s Eucharistic Celebration have offered us a precious occasion to experience the Catholicity, the Universality of the Church which is well represented by the variegated origins of the members of the College of Cardinals, who are gathered in tight communion around the Successor of Peter”.

And the Pope prayed that the Lord may grant these men the grace to work towards the unity of the Church, and to build this unity because – he said – unity is more important than conflict. “The unity of the Church is in Christ”.

The Pope concluded his address with an appeal for prayers for the bishops, the cardinals and the Pope so that they may serve the People of God, because – he said – the vocation of a bishop, a cardinal, the Pope is to be a servant in the name of Christ.

“Pray for us so that we may be good servants: good servants not good masters!”


Text from Vatican Radio website 


TODAY'S SAINT : FEB. 23 : ST. POLYCARP

St. Polycarp
MARTYR AND BISHOP OF SMYRNA
Feast: February 23


Information:
Feast Day:February 23
Born:
69
Died:155 at Smyrna
Patron of:against dysentery, against earache
From his acts, written by the church of Smyrna in an excellent circular letter to the churches of Pontus, immediately after his martyrdom, a niece abridged by Eusebius, b. 4, c. 14 highly esteemed by the ancients. Joseph Scaliger, a supercilious critic, says that nothing in the whole course of church history so strongly affected him as the perusal of these acts, and those relating to the martyrs of Lyons; that he never read them but they gave him extraordinary emotions. Animad. in Chron. Eusebii, n. 2183 &c. They are certainly most valuable pieces of Christian antiquity. See Eusebius, St. Jerome, and St. Irenaeus also Tillemont, t. 2, p. 327; Dom Ceillier, t. 1; Dom Marechal, Concordance des Peres; Grecs et Latins, t. 1.

St Polycarp was one of the most illustrious of the apostolic fathers, who, being the immediate disciples of the apostles, received instructions from their mouths, and inherited of them the spirit of Christ in a degree so much the more eminent as they lived nearer the fountain head. He embraced Christianity very young, about the year 80, was a disciple of the apostles, in particular of St. John the Evangelist, and was constituted by him Bishop of Symrna, probably before his banishment to Patmos in 96, so that he governed that important see seventy years. He seems to have been the angel or bishop of Smyrna who was commended above all the bishops of Asia by Christ himself in the Apocalypse, and the only one without a reproach. Our Saviour encouraged him under his poverty, tribulation, and persecutions, especially the calumnies of the Jews, called him rich in grace, and promised him the crown of life by martyrdom. This saint was respected by the faithful to a degree of veneration. He formed many holy disciples, among whom were St. Irenaeus and Papias. When Florinus, who had often visited St. Polycarp, had broached certain heresies, St. Irenaeus wrote to him as follows: "These things were not taught you by the bishops who preceded us. I could tell you the place where the blessed Polycarp sat to preach the word of God. It is yet present to my mind with what gravity he everywhere came in and went out; what was the sanctity of his deportment, the majesty of his countenance and of his whole exterior, and what were his holy exhortations to the people. I seem to hear him now relate how he conversed with John and many others who had seen Jesus Christ; the words he had heard from their mouths. I can protest before God that if this holy bishop had heard of any error like yours, he would have immediately stopped his ears, and cried out, according to his custom, Good God! that I should be reserved to these times to hear such things! That very instant he would have fled out of the place in which he had heard such doctrine." St. Jerome mentions that St. Polycarp met at Rome the heretic Marcion in the streets, who resenting that the holy bishop did not take that notice of him which he expected, said to him, "Do you not know me, Polycarp?" "Yes," answered the saint, "I know you to be the firstborn of Satan." He had learned this abhorrence of the authors of heresy, who knowingly and willingly adulterate the divine truths, from his master, St. John, who fled out of the bath in which he saw Cerinthus. St. Polycarp kissed with respect the chains of St. Ignatius, who passed by Smyrna on the road to his martyrdom, and who recommended to our saint the care and comfort of his distant church of Antioch, which he repeated to him in a letter from Troas, desiring him to write in his name to those churches of Asia to which he had not leisure to write himself. St. Polycarp wrote a letter to the Philippians shortly after, which is highly commended by St. Irenaeus, St. Jerome, Eusebius, Photius, and others, and is still extant. It is justly admired both for the excellent instructions it contains and for the simplicity and perspicuity of the style, and was publicly read in the church in Asia in St. Jerome's time. In it he calls a heretic, as  above, the eldest son of Satan. About the year 158 he undertook a journey of charity to Rome, to confer with Pope Anicetus about certain points of discipline, especially about the time of keeping Easter, for the Asiatic churches kept it on the fourteenth day of the vernal equinoctial moon, as the Jews did, on whatever day of the week it fell; whereas Rome, Egypt, and all the West observed it on the Sunday following. It was agreed that both might follow their custom without breaking the bands of charity. St. Anicetus, to testify his respect, yielded to him the honour of celebrating the Eucharist in his own church. We find no further particulars concerning our saint recorded before the acts of his martyrdom.
In the sixth year of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, Statius Quadratus being proconsul of Asia, a violent persecution broke out in that country, in which the faithful gave heroic proofs of their courage and love of God, to the astonishment of the infidels. When they were torn to pieces with scourges till their very bowels were laid bare, amidst the moans and tears of the spectators, who were moved with pity at the sight of their torments, not one of them gave so much as a single groan, so little regard had they for their own flesh in the cause of God. No kinds of torture, no inventions of cruelty, were forborne to force them to a conformity to the pagan worship of the times. Germanicus, who had been brought to Smyrna with eleven or twelve other Christians, signalised himself above the rest, and animated the most timorous to suffer. The proconsul in the amphitheatre called upon him with tenderness, entreated him to have some regard for his youth, and to value at least his life, but he, with a holy impatience, provoked the beasts to devour him, to leave this wicked world. One Quintus, a Phrygian, who had presented himself to the judge, yielded at the sight of the beast let out upon him, and sacrificed. The authors of these acts justly condemn the presumption of those who offered themselves to suffer, and say that the martyrdom of St. Polycarp was conformable to the gospel, because he exposed not himself to the temptation, but waited till the persecutors laid hands on him, as Christ our Lord taught us by his own example. The spectators, seeing the courage of Germanicus and his companions, and being fond of their impious bloody diversions, cried out, "Away with the impious! let Polycarp be sought for!" The holy man, though fearless, had been prevailed upon by his friends to withdraw and conceal himself in a neighbouring village during the storm, spending most of his time in prayer. Three days before his martyrdom, he in a vision saw his pillow on fire, from which he understood by revelation, and foretold his companions, that he should be burnt alive.
When the persecutors were in quest of him he changed his retreat, but was betrayed by a boy, who was threatened with the rack unless he discovered him. Herod, the Irenarch, or keeper of the peace, whose office it was to prevent misdemeanours and apprehend malefactors, sent horsemen by night to beset his lodgings. The saint was above stairs in bed, but refused to make his escape, saying, "God's will be done." He went down, met them at the door, ordered them a handsome supper, and sired only some time for prayer before he went with them. This granted, he began his prayer standing, which he continued in that posture for two hours, recommending to God his own flock and the whole church with so much earnestness and devotion that several of those that were come to seize him repented they had undertaken the commission. They set him on an ass, and were conducting him towards the city when he was met on the road by Herod and his father Nicetes, who took him into their chariot, and endeavoured to persuade him to a little compliance, saying, "What harm is there in saying Lord Caesar, or even in sacrificing, to escape death?" By the word Lord was meant nothing less than a kind of deity or godhead. The bishop at first was silent, in imitation of our Saviour, but being pressed, he gave them this resolute answer, "I shall never do what you desire of me." At these words, taking off the mask of friendship and compassion, they treated him with scorn and reproaches, and thrust him out of the chariot with such violence that his leg was bruised by the fall. The holy man went forward cheerfully to the place where the people were assembled. Upon his entering it a voice from heaven was heard by many, "Polycarp, be courageous, and act manfully." He was led directly to the tribunal of the proconsul, who exhorted him to respect his own age, to swear by the genius of Caesar, and to say, "Take away the impious," meaning the Christians. The saint, turning towards the people in the pit, said, with a stern countenance, "Exterminate the wicked," meaning by this expression either a wish that they might cease to be wicked by their conversion to the faith of Christ, or this was a prediction of the calamity which befel their city in 177, when Smyrna was overturned by an earthquake, as we read in Dionand Aristides. The proconsul repeated, "Swear by the genius of Caesar, and I discharge you; blaspheme Christ." Polycarp replied, "I have served him these fourscore and six years, and he never did me any harm, but much good, and how can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour? If you require of me to swear by the genius of Caesar, as you call it, hear my free confession- I am a Christian; but if you desire to learn the Christian religion, appoint a time, and hear me." The proconsul said, "Persuade the people." The martyr replied, "I addressed my discourse to you, for we are taught to give due honour to princes as far as is consistent with religion. But the populace is an incompetent judge to justify myself before." Indeed rage rendered them incapable of hearing him.
The proconsul then assuming a tone of severity, said: "I have wild beasts." "Call for them," replied the saint: "for we are unalterably resolved not to change from good to evil. It is only good to pass from evil to good." The proconsul said: "If you contemn the beasts, I will cause you to be burnt to ashes." Polycarp answered: "You threaten me with a fire which burns for a short time and then goes out, but are yourself ignorant of the judgment to come, and of the fire of everlasting torments which is prepared for the wicked. Why do you delay? Bring against me what you please." Whilst he said this and many other things, he appeared in a transport of joy and confidence, and his  countenance shone with a certain heavenly grace and pleasant cheerfulness, insomuch that the proconsul himself was struck with admiration. However, he ordered a crier to make public proclamation three times in the middle of the Stadium (as was the Roman custom in capital cases): "Polycarp hath confessed himself a Christian." At this proclamation the whole multitude of Jews and Gentiles gave a great shout, the latter crying out, "This is the great teacher of Asia; the father of the Christians; the destroyer of our gods, who preaches to men not to sacrifice to or adore them." They applied to Philip the Asiarch to let loose a lion upon Polycarp. He told them that it was not in his power, because those shows had been closed. Then they unanimously demanded that he should be burnt alive. Their request was no sooner granted but every one ran with all speed to fetch wood from the baths and shops. The pile being prepared, Polycarp put off his garments, untied his girdle, and began to take off his shoes, an office he had not been accustomed to, the Christians having always striven who should do these things for him, regarding it as a happiness to be admitted to touch him. The wood and other combustibles were heaped all round him. The executioners would have nailed him to the stake; but he said to them: "Suffer me to be as I am. He who gives me grace to undergo this fire will enable me to stand still without that precaution." They therefore contented themselves with tying his hands behind his back, and in this posture looking up towards heaven, he prayed as follows: "O Almighty Lord God, Father of thy beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of thee, God of angels, powers, and every creature, and of all the race of the just that live in thy presence! I bless thee for having been pleased in thy goodness to bring me to this hour, that I may receive a portion in the number of thy martyrs, and partake of the chalice of thy Christ, for the resurrection to eternal life, in the incorruptibleness of the holy Spirit. Amongst whom grant me to be received this day as a pleasing sacrifice, such an one as thou thyself hast prepared, that so thou mayest accomplish what thou, O true and faithful God! hast foreshown. Wherefore, for all things I praise, bless, and glorify thee, through the eternal high priest Jesus Christ, thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee and the Holy Ghost be glory now and for ever. Amen." He had scarce said Amen when fire was set to the pile, which increased to a mighty flame. But behold a wonder, say the authors of these acts, seen by us reserved to attest it to others; the flames forming themselves into an arch, like the sails of a ship swelled with the wind, gently encircled the body of the martyr, which stood in the middle, resembling not roasted flesh, but purified gold or silver, appearing bright through the flames; and his body sending forth such a fragrancy that we seemed to smell precious spices. The blind infidels were only exasperated to see his body could not be consumed, and ordered a spearman to pierce him through, which he did, and such a quantity of blood issued out of his left side as to quench the fire. The malice of the devil ended not here: he endeavoured to obstruct the relics of the martyr being carried off by the Christians; for many desired to do it, to show their respect to his body. Therefore, by the suggestion of Satan, Nicetes advised the proconsul not to bestow it on the Christians, lest, said he, abandoning the crucified man, they should adore Polycarp: the Jews suggested this, "Not knowing," say the authors of the acts, "that we can never forsake Christ, nor adore any other, though we love the martyrs, as his disciples and imitators, for the great love they bore their king and master." The centurion, seeing a contest raised by the Jews, placed the body in the middle, and burnt it to ashes. "We afterwards took up the bones," say they, "more precious than the richest jewels or gold, and deposited them decently in a place at which may God grant us to assemble with joy, to celebrate the birthday of the martyr." Thus these disciples and eye-witnesses. It was at two o'clock in the afternoon, which the authors of the acts call the eighth hour, in the year 166, that St. Polycarp received his crown, according to Tillemont; but in 169, according to Basnage.1 His tomb is still shown with great veneration at Smyrna, in a small chapel. St. Irenaeus speaks of St. Polycarp as being of an uncommon age.
The epistle of St. Polycarp to the Philippians, which is the only one among those which he wrote that has been preserved, is, even in the dead letter, a standing proof of the apostolic spirit with which he was animated, and of that profound humility, perfect meekness, burning charity, and holy zeal, of which his life was so admirable an example. The beginning is an effusion of spiritual joy and charity with which he was transported at the happiness of their conversion to God, and their fervor in divine love. His extreme abhorrence of heresy makes him immediately fall upon that of the Docaetae against which he arms the faithful, by clearly demonstrating that Christ was truly made man, died, and rose again: in which his terms admirably express his most humble and affectionate devotion to our divine Redeemer, under  these great mysteries of love. Besides walking in truth, he takes notice, that to be raised with Christ in glory, we must also do his will, keep all his commandments, and love whatever he loved; refraining from all fraud, avarice, detraction, and rash judgment; repaying evil with good forgiving and showing mercy to others that we ourselves may find mercy. "These things," says he, "I write to you on justice, because you incited me; for neither I, nor any other like me, can attain to the wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul, into whose epistles if you look, you may raise your spiritual fabric by strengthening faith, which is our mother, hope following, and charity towards God, Christ, and our neighbor preceding us. He who has charity is far from all sin." The saint gives short instructions to every particular state, then adds, "Every one who hath not confessed that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is antichrist; and who hath not confessed the suffering of the cross, is of the devil; and who hath drawn the oracles of the Lord to his passions, and hath said that there is no  resurrection nor judgment, he is the oldest son of Satan." He exhorts to watching always in prayer, lest we be led into temptation; to be constant in fasting, persevering, joyful in hope, and in the pledge of our justice, which is Christ Jesus, imitating his patience; for, by suffering for his name, we glorify him. To encourage them to suffer, he reminds them of those who had suffered before their eyes: Ignatius, Zozimus, and Rufus, and some of their own congregation, "who are now," says our saint, "in the place which is due to them with the Lord, with whom they also suffered."


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpolycarp.asp#ixzz1nD7cNIML

UKRAINE protests end - situation is stable - former President is missing

Ukrained, EuroMaidan protests started on Nov. 21, and lasted until Feb. 21, 2014. After 93 days almost 100 people were killed and thousands were injured. They started when President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a trade agreement with the European Union.  However, now Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been released from prison. Oleksandr Turchynov, the opposition leader, is now appointed as parliament speaker and acting prime minister. Viktor Yanukovych had agreed to resign as president but then recanted his resignation statement. The President abandoned his duties and his location is unknown. Therefore, parliament impeached him for leaving his post and set early presidential elections at May 25.  Parliament voted 328-0 to impeach Yanukovych on Feb. 22, 2014. They accused him of human rights violations and abandonment of his duties.



POPE FRANCIS at Mass with 19 new Cardinals "A Cardinal enters the Church of Rome, not a royal court. " Video/Text

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis presided over Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica on Sunday, one day after 19 bishops were added to the college of cardinals.

Please find the English translation of the Pope’s homily below:

“Merciful Father, by your help, may we be ever attentive to the voice of the Spirit”.

This prayer, the opening prayer of today’s Mass, reminds us of something fundamental: we are called to listen to the Holy Spirit who enlivens and guides the Church. By his creative and renewing power, the Spirit always sustains the hope of God’s People as we make our pilgrim way through history, and, as the Paraclete, he always supports the witness of Christians. In this moment, together with the new Cardinals, we want to listen to the voice of the Spirit as he speaks to us through the Scriptures we have just heard.
In the first reading, the Lord’s call to his people resounds: “You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev 19:2). In the Gospel Jesus echoes this call: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). These words challenge all of us, as the Lord’s disciples. Today, they are especially addressed to me and to you, dear brother Cardinals, and in a particular way to those of you who yesterday entered the College. Imitating the holiness and perfection of God might seem an unattainable goal. Yet, the first reading and the Gospel offer us concrete examples which enable God’s way of acting to become the norm for our own. Yet we must never forget that without the Holy Spirit our efforts are in vain! Christian holiness is not first and foremost our own work, but the fruit of docility – willed and cultivated – to the Spirit of God thrice holy.

The Book of Leviticus says: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart … You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge… but you shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Lev 19:17-18). These attitudes are born of the holiness of God. We, however, are so different, so selfish and proud … and yet, God’s goodness and beauty attract us, and the Holy Spirit is able to purify, transform and shape us day by day.
In the Gospel Jesus also speaks to us of holiness, and explains to us the new law, his law. He does this by contrasting the imperfect justice of the scribes and Pharisees with the higher justice of the Kingdom of God. The first contrast of today’s passage refers to revenge. “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you … if anyone should strike you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Mt 5:38-39). We are required not only to avoid repaying others the evil they have done to us, but also to seek generously to do good to them.

The second contrast refers to our enemies: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy’. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5:43-44). Jesus asks those who would follow him to love those who do not deserve it, without expecting anything in return, and in this way to fill the emptiness present in human hearts, relationships, families, communities, and entire world. Jesus did not come to teach us good manners, how to behave well at the table! To do that, he would not have had to come down from heaven and die on the Cross. Christ came to save us, to show us the way, the only way out of the quicksand of sin, and this way is mercy. To be a saint is not a luxury. It is necessary for the salvation of the world.

Dear brother Cardinals, the Lord Jesus and mother Church ask us to witness with greater zeal and ardour to these ways of being holy. It is exactly in this greater self-gift, freely offered, that the holiness of a Cardinal consists. We love, therefore, those who are hostile to us; we bless those who speak ill of us; we greet with a smile those who may not deserve it. We do not aim to assert ourselves; we oppose arrogance with meekness; we forget the humiliations that we have endured. May we always allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit of Christ, who sacrificed himself on the Cross so that we could be “channels” through which his charity might flow. This is the attitude of a Cardinal, this is how he acts. A Cardinal enters the Church of Rome, not a royal court. May all of us avoid, and help others to avoid, habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favouritism and preferences. May our language be that of the Gospel: “yes when we mean yes; no when we mean no”; may our attitudes be those of the Beatitudes, and our way be that of holiness.

The Holy Spirit also speaks to us today through the words of Saint Paul: “You are God’s temple … God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are” (1 Cor 3:16-17). In this temple, which we are, an existential liturgy is being celebrated: that of goodness, forgiveness, service; in a word, the liturgy of love. This temple of ours is defiled if we neglect our duties towards our neighbour. Whenever the least of our brothers and sisters finds a place in our hearts, it is God himself who finds a place there. When that brother or sister is shut out, it is God himself who is not being welcomed. A heart without love is like a deconsecrated church, a building withdrawn from God’s service and given over to another use.

Dear brother Cardinals, may we remain united in Christ and among ourselves! I ask you to remain close to me, with your prayers, your advice and your help. And I ask all of you, bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated men and women, and laity, together to implore the Holy Spirit, that the College of Cardinals may always be ever more fervent in pastoral charity and filled with holiness, in order to serve the Gospel and to help the Church radiate Christ’s love in our world.



Text from  Vatican Radio website 


SUNDAY MASS ONLINE : FEB. 23, 2014 --- 7TH ORD. TIME

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 79


Reading 1             LV 19:1-2, 17-18

The LORD said to Moses,
“Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

“You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart.
Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen,
do not incur sin because of him.
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against any of your people.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD.”

Responsorial Psalm                    PS 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13

R/ (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R/ The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R/ The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
R/ The Lord is kind and merciful.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
R/ The Lord is kind and merciful.

Reading 2              1 COR 3:16-23

Brothers and sisters:
Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

Let no one deceive himself.
If any one among you considers himself wise in this age,
let him become a fool, so as to become wise.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God,
for it is written:
God catches the wise in their own ruses,
and again:
The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise,
that they are vain.


So let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you,
Paul or Apollos or Cephas,
or the world or life or death,
or the present or the future:
all belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.

Gospel                  MT 5:38-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand over your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

 2014


MARIA VON TRAPP DIES AGE 99 - Last Survivor of Family that inspired The Sound of Music

Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the Trapp family of seven died at home in Vermont at the age of 99 on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Her family's story was told in The Sound of Music. Maria, who was the second-eldest daughter of the Baron's 1st wife Agathe Whitehead von Trapp. Her family fled their home in Austria to escape from the Nazis. They moved to Vermont in the U.S. This story inspired a musical and the popular 1965 movie The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews. Baron Von Trapp married Maria Augusta Kutschera. They went on to have three children, Rosmarie, Eleanore and Johannes.
 

19 NEW CARDINALS CREATED BY POPE FRANCIS


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis created nineteen new Cardinals on Saturday, the Feast of the Chair of St Peter the Apostle. The newly created Cardinals received the insignia of their office – the red biretta and the cardinal’s ring – in a streamlined ceremony conducted entirely in Latin.

Eighteen of the new princes of the Church were present, while Cardinal Loris Capovilla, the 98 year-old former secretary to Bl. John XXIII and Archbishop-emeritus of Chieti-Vasto in Italy, was created in absentia.

A very special guest was on hand, as well: Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, whom Pope Francis had invited to share in the occasion. The Pope and the Pope-emeritus embraced warmly and exchanged greetings before the ceremony began.

In his allocution, Pope Francis encouraged the whole College of Cardinals to recognize their office as one of service and readiness for sacrifice. “The Church needs your courage, to proclaim the Gospel at all times,” said Pope Francis, “both in season and out of season, and to bear witness to the truth.”

The Holy Father went on to say, “The Church needs your prayer for the progress of Christ’s flock,” reminding the Cardinals that prayer, along with the proclamation of the Word, is the primary task of the Bishop.

Calling on the Cardinals to pray especially for suffering peoples, and to express with him their spiritual closeness to the ecclesial communities and to all Christians suffering from discrimination and persecution, he said, “The Church needs us also to be peacemakers, building peace by our words, our hopes and our prayers.”

On Sunday, February 23rd, Pope Francis shall celebrate Mass with the new Cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica at 10 AM Rome Time.

Below, please find a list of the names of the new Cardinals, with brief biographical sketches.

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PIETRO PAROLIN
Part of the Holy See’s diplomatic corps since 1986, he was Apostolic Nuncio in Venezuela between 2009 and 2013, when Pope Francis nominated him Vatican Secretary of State.

LORENZO BALDISSERI
Previously Apostolic Nuncio in Brazil, where he welcomed Pope Benedict XVI on his visit in 2007, he was Secretary of the Congregation of Bishops from January 2012 until nominated Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops by Pope Francis in September 2013.

GERHARD LUDWIG MÜLLER
Having graduated in philosophy and theology, he was professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Catholic Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich (Germany) between 1986 and 2002, travelling as visiting professor to universities worldwide. In 2012 Pope Benedict XVI nominated him Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and President of the International Theological Commission.

BENIAMINO STELLA
Part of the Holy See’s diplomatic corps since 1970, he was previously Apostolic Nuncio in Cuba and Colombia, and was nominated Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy by Pope Francis in September 2013.

VINCENT GERARD NICHOLS
Master of Arts in Theology and previously Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, he was Metropolitan Archbishop of Birmingham (UK) between 2000 and 2009, when Pope Benedict XVI nominated him Metropolitan Archbishop of Westminster (UK).

LEOPOLDO JOSÉ BRENES SOLÓRZANO
He obtained his Licentiate of Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome (Italy) and was nominated Metropolitan Archbishop of Managua (Nicaragua) by Pope John Paul II in March 2005.

GÉRALD CYPRIEN LACROIX, I.S.P.X.
Part of the “Institut Séculier Pie X” since 1975, he has been both Secretary General and Director General of the institute, as well as Director General of its centre for spiritual formation “Maison du Renouveau”. He was nominated Metropolitan Archbishop of Québec (Canada) by Pope Benedict XVI in February 2011.

JEAN-PIERRE KUTWA
Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Theology and previously Metropolitan Archbishop of Gagnoa (Ivory Coast), he was nominated Metropolitan Archbishop of Abidjan (Ivory Coast) in May 2006.

ORANI JOÃO TEMPESTA, O. CIST.
A member of the Cistercian Order since 1969, he was Prior of the São Bernardo monastery in São José do Rio Pardo (Brazil) from 1984 until the monastery became an abbey in 1996, when he was elected its first Abbott. Previously President of Brazil’s National Commission for Culture, Education and Social Communications, he was nominated Metropolitan Archbishop of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in February 2009, in which capacity he welcomed Pope Francis on his visit in July 2013.

GUALTIERO BASSETTI
He was previously a member of the Episcopal Commission of the Italian Episcopal Conference for the Clergy and Consecrated Life, and a member of the Managing Board of the Catholic Committee for Cultural Collaboration with Orthodox Churches of the Byzantine tradition and Eastern Orthodox Churches. He is currently Vice-President of the Italian Episcopal Conference for Central Italy, and Archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve (Italy).

MARIO AURELIO PIOLI
Having graduated as Doctor of Philosophy in Theology from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, he was appointed there as professor of Ecclesiastical History in 1980. He is currently President of the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education and of the Episcopal Commission for Ministries with the Argentinian Episcopal Conference, and was nominated Metropolitan Archbishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina) by Pope Francis in March 2013.

ANDREW YEOM SOO-JUNG
Archbishop of Seoul (South Korea) since May 2012, he previously occupied a series of senior administrative posts within parishes and seminaries across South Korea.

RICCARDO EZZATI ANDRELLO, S.D.B.
A member of the Salesians of Don Bosco since 1966, he worked with the Salesian Society in parishes and educational institutions all over Chile. Previously Metropolitan Archbishop of Concepción (Chile), he was nominated Metropolitan Archbishop of Santiago (Chile) in December 2010.

PHILIPPE NAKELLENTUBA OUEDRAOGO
Previously a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, he was nominated Metropolitan Archbishop of Ouadraogo (Burkina Faso) by Pope Benedict XVI in May 2009.

ORLANDO QUEVEDO, O.M.I.
Already a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, he graduated in Pedagogy from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila (Philippines). He was appointed first Bishop of Kidapawan (Philippines) when the diocese was created in November 1982, and nominated Metropolitan Archbishop of Cotabato (Philippines) by Pope John Paul II in 1998.

CHIBLY LANGLOIS
Nominated Bishop of Les Cayes (Haiti) by Pope Benedict XVI in August 2011, he was previously professor of Pastoral Theology at the Grand Séminaire Notre-Dame in Port-au-Prince (Haiti) and professor at the Diocesan Institute for Human Education and Promotion in Jacmel (Haiti).


LORIS FRANCESCO CAPOVILLA
A qualified journalist and former editor of a diocesan weekly magazine in Venice (Italy), he was secretary to Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, later Pope John XXIII, first in Venice and then in the Vatican. He was Pontifical Delegate for the Shrine of the Holy House of Loreto (Italy) from 1971 until his retirement in 1988. At 98 years old, he is the third oldest archbishop in the world and the oldest member of the College of Cardinals.

SEBASTIÁN AGUILAR, C.M.F.
A member of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and previously Bishop of León (Spain), he is Archbishop Emeritus of Pamplona (Spain), where he served from 1993 until his retirement in 2007.

KELVIN EDWARD FELIX
Having graduated as Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology from the University of Bradford (UK) in 1970, he was professor of Sociology at the University of the West Indies at Saint Augustine (Trinidad and Tobago) for many years. Previously President of the Caribbean Conference of Churches, President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference, member of the Pontifical Council for the Family and member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, he is Archbishop Emeritus of Castries (Saint Lucia), where he led the diocese from his appointment in 1981 until his retirement in 2008.



Text from Vatican Radio website 


2014

TODAY'S SAINT : FEB. 22 : FEAST OF THE CHAIR OF ST. PETER



Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle
Feast: February 22


Information:
Feast Day:February 22
St Peter having triumphed over the devil in the East, pursued him to Rome in the person of Simon Magus. He who had formerly trembled at the voice of a poor maid now feared not the very throne of idolatry and superstition. The capital of the empire of the world, and the centre of impiety, called for the zeal of the prince of the apostles. God had established the Roman empire, and extended its dominion beyond that of any former monarchy, for the more easy propagation of his gospel. Its metropolis was of the greatest importance for this enterprise. St. Peter took that province upon himself; and repairing to Rome, there preached the faith and established his episcopal chair, whose the bishops of Rome have been accounted in all ages. That St. Peter founded that church by his < preaching> is expressly asserted by Caius, a priest of Rome under Pope Zephyrinus; who relates also that his body was then on the Vatican Hill, and that of his fellow-labourer St. Paul on the Ostian Road. That he and St. Paul planted the faith at Rome, and were both crowned with martyrdom at the same time, is affirmed by Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, in the second age. St. Irenaeus, who lived in the same age, calls the church at Rome "the greatest and most ancient church, founded by the two glorious apostles, Peter and Paul." Eusebius, in several places, mentions St. Peter's being at Rome, and the several important translations of this apostle in that city. Not to mention Origen, Hegesippus, Arnobius, St. Ambrose, St. Austin, St. Jerome, St.  Optatus, Orosius, and others on the same subject. St. Cyprian calls Rome the < chair> of St. Peter (as Theodoret calls it his ), which the general councils and ecclesiastical writers, through every age and on every occasion, repeat. That St. Peter at least preached in Rome, founded that church, and died there by martyrdom under Nero are facts the most incontestable by the testimony of all writers of different countries who lived near that time; persons of unquestionable veracity, and who could not but be informed of the truth in a point so interesting, and of its own nature so public and notorious, as to leave them no possibility of a mistake. This is also attested by monuments of every kind; also by the prerogatives, rights, and privileges which that church enjoyed from those early ages in consequence of this title.
It was an ancient custom, as Cardinal Baronius and Thomassin show by many examples, observed by churches to keep an annual festival of the consecration of their bishops. The feast of the chair of St. Peter is found in ancient Martyrologies, as in one under the name of St. Jerome, at Esternach, copied in the time of St. Willibrord, in 720. Christians justly celebrate the founding of this mother-church, the centre of catholic communion, in thanksgiving to God for his mercies on his church, and to implore his future blessings.
Christ has taught us, in the divine model of prayer which he has delivered to us, that we are bound to recommend to him, before all other things, the exaltation of his own honour and glory, and to beg that the kingdom of his holy grace and love be planted in all hearts. If we love God above all things, and with our whole hearts, or have any true charity for our neighbour, this will be the centre of all our desires, that God be loved and served by all his   creatures, and that he be glorified, in the most perfect manner, in our own souls. By placing this at the head of our requests, we shall most strongly engage God to crown all our just and holy desires. As one of his greatest mercies to his church, we most earnestly beseech him to raise up in it zealous pastors, eminently replenished with his Spirit, with which he animated his apostles.


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/F/feastofthechairofstpetertheapostle.asp#ixzz1n7QwMYb1

POPE FRANCIS WELCOMES POPE BENEDICT XVI TO CONSISTORY OF CARDINALS

(Vatican Radio) In his first ordinary public Consistory, Pope Francis on Saturday is elevating 19 of the Church’s prelates to the rank of Cardinal. At the start of today’s celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis warmly embraced his predecessor Benedict XVI, seated not far from the soon-to-be Cardinals.

In his allocution, Pope Francis urged the members of the College of Cardinals to allow themselves to be led by Jesus. He reminded them too, of the need to think “as God does” and not to be “tempted to think as men do.”

“We are all too human, sinners,” he said, calling them to find hope in the Cross and warning them that “whenever a worldly mentality predominates, the result is rivalry, jealousy, factions…”
 He also said the “Church needs you, your cooperation, and even more your communion, communion with me and among yourselves.” The Pope called them too, to be peacemakers, and examples of courage and compassion “especially at this time of pain and suffering for so many countries throughout the world.”

The Holy Father also used the occasion to express “our spiritual closeness to the ecclesial communities and to all Christians suffering from discrimination and persecution” and “to every man and woman suffering injustice on account of their religious convictions” and to ask for prayers for a peaceful end to world conflicts.

Below, please find the official English translation of the Holy Father's remarks:

“Jesus was walking ahead of them…” (Mk 10:32).
At this moment too, Jesus is walking ahead of us. He is always before us. He goes ahead of us and leads the way… This is the source of our confidence and our joy: to be his disciples, to remain with him, to walk behind him, to follow him…
When with the Cardinals we concelebrated the first Mass in the Sistine Chapel, the first word which the Lord proposed to us was “to walk”, to journey with him: to journey, and then to build and to profess.
Today this same word is repeated, but now as an action, an action of Jesus which is ongoing: “Jesus was walking…”. This is something striking about the Gospels: Jesus is often walking and he teaches his disciples along the way. This is important. Jesus did not come to teach a philosophy, an ideology… but rather “a way”, a journey to be undertaken with him, and we learn the way as we go, by walking. Yes, dear brothers, this is our joy: to walk with Jesus.
And this is not easy, or comfortable, because the way that Jesus chooses is the way of the Cross. As they journey together, he speaks to his disciples about what will happen in Jerusalem: he foretells his passion, death and resurrection. And they are “shocked” and “full of fear”. They were shocked, certainly, because for them going up to Jerusalem meant sharing in the triumph of the Messiah, in his victory – we see this in the request made by James and John. But they were also full of fear for what was about to happen to Jesus, and for what they themselves might have to endure.
Unlike the disciples in those days, we know that Jesus has won, and that we need not fear the Cross; indeed, the Cross is our hope. And yet, we are all too human, sinners, tempted to think as men do, not as God does.
And once we follow the thinking of the world, what happens? The Gospel tells us: “When the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John” (Mk 10:41). They were indignant. Whenever a worldly mentality predominates, the result is rivalry, jealousy, factions…
And so the word which Jesus speaks to us today is most salutary. It purifies us inwardly, it enlightens our consciences and helps us to unite ourselves fully with Jesus, and to do so together, at this time when the College of Cardinals is enlarged by the entrance of new members.
“And Jesus called them to himself…” (Mk 10:42). Here is the other action of Jesus. Along the way, he is aware that he needs to speak to the Twelve; he stops and calls them to himself. Brothers, let us allow Jesus to call us to himself! Let us be “con-voked” by him. And let us listen to him, with the joy that comes from receiving his word together, from letting ourselves be taught by that word and by the Holy Spirit, and to become ever more of one heart and soul, gathered around him. 
And as we are thus “con-voked”, “called to himself” by our one Teacher, I will tell you what the Church needs: she needs you, your cooperation, and even more your communion, with me and among yourselves. The Church needs your courage, to proclaim the Gospel at all times, both in season and out of season, and to bear witness to the truth. The Church needs your prayer for the progress of Christ’s flock, that prayer – let us not forget this! – which, along with the proclamation of the Word, is the primary task of the Bishop. The Church needs your compassion, especially at this time of pain and suffering for so many countries throughout the world. Let us together express our spiritual closeness to the ecclesial communities and to all Christians suffering from discrimination and persecution. We must fight every form of discrimination! The Church needs our prayer for them, that they may be firm in faith and capable of responding to evil with good. And this prayer of ours extends to every man and women suffering injustice on account of their religious convictions.
The Church needs us also to be peacemakers, building peace by our words, our hopes and our prayers. Building peace! Being peacemakers! Let us therefore invoke peace and reconciliation for those peoples presently experiencing violence, exclusion and war.
Thank you, dear Brothers! Thank you! Let us walk together behind the Lord, and let us always be called together by him, in the midst of his faithful people, the holy People of God, holy Mother the Church. Thank you!


Text from Vatican Radio website 

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