Tuesday, February 18, 2014






Kamil Wiktor Stoch (born 25 May 1987 in Zakopane) is a Polish ski jumper. He won Gold twice at the  2014 Olympics in Sochi.  On January 26, 2013 he became the joint Polish ski flying record holder with a jump of 232.5."I always make a Sign of the Cross before my jumps. Since I was little. It is not because I am afraid, but it is a symbol of faith. Every jump I dedicate to the Lord God. I am not ashamed of that." Reporters asked Stoch if he missed Mass since the event was being held on a Sunday. He answered: "I went to Mass on Saturday evening". Kamil Stoch was born in Zakopane, Poland, to Krystyna and Bronisław Stoch. He has two older sisters – Anna (born 1983) and Natalia (born 1985). He was granted a Masters in Physical Education. He married Ewa Bilan on the 7th of August 2010. In one interview Stoch said: "I would like to thank the Lord God for everything that has occurred and everything that will occur in the future."
Stoch said, "When something does not go right, I put myself under the protective wings of the Lord God. Then I know He is next to me, I feel it. I pray that none of the athletes be harmed in our competitions. That I will know how to be joyful in victory and with dignity accept defeat. I thank the Lord God for everything, because I owe everything to Him." He cherishes the message of the late Pope John Paul II: "You must demand of yourselves even when others will not demand it of you."
He also proclaimed: "I believe in the following rule 'If God is in first place, then everything is in its right place.' Everyday I feel the presence and help of God. That I wake up in the morning and have strength and health to do what I do, as well as joy and satisfaction that it brings me, must come from the Lord. God always helps me, he puts on my road people of kindness. I thank the Lord God for all the difficult moments, because after them I become stronger. I believe, that if a person works hards, believes in what he is doing, has a positive outlook on the world and trusts in God, then there are no impossible things! As long as you are fighting, you are victorious."
Source of quotes from Polish articles:


Tuesday of the sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 336

Reading 1        JAS 1:12-18
Blessed is he who perseveres in temptation,
for when he has been proven he will receive the crown of life
that he promised to those who love him.
No one experiencing temptation should say,
“I am being tempted by God”;
for God is not subject to temptation to evil,
and he himself tempts no one.
Rather, each person is tempted when lured and enticed by his desire.
Then desire conceives and brings forth sin,
and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers and sisters:
all good giving and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.
He willed to give us birth by the word of truth
that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Responsorial Psalm               PS 94:12-13A, 14-15, 18-19

R. (12a) Blessed the man you instruct, O Lord.
Blessed the man whom you instruct, O LORD,
whom by your law you teach,
Giving him rest from evil days.
R. Blessed the man you instruct, O Lord.
For the LORD will not cast off his people,
nor abandon his inheritance;
But judgment shall again be with justice,
and all the upright of heart shall follow it.
R. Blessed the man you instruct, O Lord.
When I say, “My foot is slipping,”
your mercy, O LORD, sustains me;
When cares abound within me,
your comfort gladdens my soul.
R. Blessed the man you instruct, O Lord.

Gospel                       MK 8:14-21

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,
and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out,
guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod.”
They concluded among themselves that
it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them,
“Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?”
They answered him, “Twelve.”
“When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand,
how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?”
They answered him, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”


ASIA NEWS REPORT: Today the funeral of Coptic Orthodox Egyptian driver who died along with three Koreans. The suicide bomber was a young man of about 21. The Catholic Church close to the victims, condemns the blind violence. Violence targets tourism industry, but also Vladimir Putin’s support of Al Sisi.

Cairo (AsiaNews ) - The jihadist group Ansar al- Beit Maqdess has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack two days ago in the Sinai against a bus carrying s Koreans pilgrim that left four dead and 14 wounded. The Egyptian Catholic Church has sent a message of condolence for all those killed and expressing closeness to the injured.
In a statement published online, the group praises "one of the Beit al- Maqdess heroes" who carried out the attack. The group, based in the Sinai says it is linked to Al Qaeda and is at the forefront in major attacks against police and army in recent months, which have multiplied since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and the outlawing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

According to the group, the February 16 attack marked a new phase in the war against the new government, targeting "economic interests", tied to tourism.

It is the first time in 10 years that a group of tourists have been targeted in an attack in Egypt , although bombings and massacres have occurred under all the presidents and governments.

In this case, the bus that was hit was carrying a group of 31 Korean Christian pilgrims, all from Jincheon county, who were on a tour that included Turkey, Egypt and Israel. The police established that the terrorist - 21 years of age or more - got on the bus and detonated an explosive belt that must have weighed about 5-10 kg.  Human remains found on the site are being identified.

The bus was returning from the monastery of St. Catherine and was about to pass from Taba to Israel when the attack occurred. The four dead were the two Korean guides, a pilgrim and the driver an Egyptian Coptic Christian Orthodox named Sami, whose funeral will be held today.

The Egyptian Catholic Church has issued a message of condolence for the victims of the attack. "We pray for those who died - said Fr . Rafic Greiche , the spokesman - and for the wounded. But we also want to vigorously condemn this mindless violence".

The attack took place on the very day that a new case against Mohamed Morsi began, this time accused of having collaborated in similar attacks with Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese militants.

The new round of violence seems to want to threaten to the candidacy for president of Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi who last week was in Moscow, where he obtained the support of Vladimir Putin. But it is especially a threat to all foreigners not to support the new Egyptian government, by undermining one of the richest assets of the national economy; tourism.



 Agenzia Fides REPORT - The Catholic community of Valencia held two celebrations yesterday for the funeral of the two Salesians killed on Saturday, February 15 during a robbery (see Fides 17/02/2014 ). The first Mass celebrated in the church of Mary Help of Christians, was presided by the former director of the Don Bosco Salesian School with the participation of ex-students, parents and many young people of the school. Father Johnny Reyes said in his homily that, as a Catholic, he has to think of Christian forgiveness towards the killers, but as a member of the Catholic community of Valencia he cannot allow the life and work of the men killed to be put in doubt, because the whole community is witness of the example of their lives, totally committed to children. Father Reyes said that the religious killed had been at the service of the Salesian community in the country for more than 50 years.
The note sent to Fides also reports that the second Mass was celebrated by His Exc. Mgr. Reinaldo Del Prette, Archbishop of Valencia, concelebrated by many priests . Even the mayor of the city of Valencia, Miguel Cocchiola, and other authorities, as well as many of the faithful were present.
Brother Luis Sánchez was buried in the Santuary of Mary Help of Christians, while Father Jesús Plaza was taken to the state of Merida, where he was from. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 18/02/2014)



Nigeria: Over 200 killed in week of terrorist violence | Borno, Adamawa States, Nigeria, Boko Haram, Izghe Village, Gwoza Local government Area (LGA) IND.CATHOLIC NEWS REPORT: Nigeria: Over 200 killed in week of terrorist violence in Nigeria. Last week at least 200 people were killed in Borno and Adamawa States in the north east of Nigeria in a series of terrorist attacks on rural areas. At least 121 people are now known to have died and several others were injured when Boko Haram gunmen attacked Izghe Village in the Gwoza Local government Area (LGA) of Borno State on 15 February. According to survivors, gunmen dressed in military fatigues and chanting Allahu Akbar (God is great) arrived at the largely Christian community at night in seven pick-up trucks and on motorcycles. They ordered villagers to gather together and then opened fire, chasing and killing any who attempted to escape and slitting the throats of several victims. The gunmen subsequently set fire to houses, looted food stores and stole approximately ten vehicles. According to local reports, Boko Haram gunmen carried out attacks on other villages in both Borno and Adamawa States on the same day, including Kirchang, Kwambula, Shuwa, Dagu, Yinagu, Bitiku, and Yazza. While casualty figures from other villages are unknown, a survivor from Yazza informed local media that he counted 25 corpses before he escaped. The assault on Izghe is the latest in a series of terrorist attacks on villages since January, and came three days after the Nigerian Air Force began daily aerial bombardments to flush the sect out of its hideouts in the nearby Sambisa Forest on the Cameroonian border. At least nine soldiers and an unknown number of militants died in a fierce and prolonged gun battle that followed the bombardment on 12 February. On the evening of Tuesday 11 February, Boko Haram gunmen launched a four-hour attack on Konduga in Borno State, destroying around 70% of the town, including homes, schools, clinics and the central mosque, and reportedly taking hostage 20 young women from a local college. The death toll in the Konduga attack rose to 62 after four people died in hospital and five bodies were found in the bush. On 13 February, the gunmen reportedly attacked Konduga again, hours after a condolence visit by the Shehu of Borno, but were repelled by a combined force of soldiers and members of the youth vigilante group, the Civilian Joint Task Force (Civilian-JTF). Prior to this, the sect had attacked Mailari Village, situated around 10km from Konduga, where they burnt homes and shops. Boko Haram gunmen also launched an attack on Wajirko Village, also in Borno State, killing four people, injuring an estimated six people, and destroying up to 50 homes. Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), said: “We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed in these senseless attacks. While the efforts of the Nigerian military to tackle Boko Haram’s presence in the border areas with Cameroon are to be welcomed, we echo local calls for a surge in numbers in order to stem the sect’s violent campaign in rural areas, which remain soft targets. Nigeria is a strategic nation, thus it is vital that members of international community render every possible assistance to enable the country to counter this growing threat to peace and security in the region. It is also important for neighbouring states to assist by reinforcing security on their borders and denying Boko Haram a hiding place as a matter of urgency.” Source: CSW


  EARLY Feb. 18, 2014 began one of the bloodiest days of the Kiev Protests which began on Nov. 21. Violence began on the streets between police and protesters - 22 have died and over 1,000 were injured.  It was a day of non-stop bloodletting, smoke, fire and shooting. 10,000 protesters were on Independence Square. Tents housing protesters were burning on the main square, a fire fueled by protesters with tires as a defense against police attacks. The Interior Ministry, physicians and opposition politicians said that by early Feb. 19 the death toll from the Feb. 18 clashes had reached 20 persons, including at least 13 civilians and seven police officers. Also, the Interior Ministry issued a statement saying that seven police officers had been killed. Dr. Oleh Musiy, who coordinates medical care for the anti-government EuroMaidan protesters, said the death toll reached 20 people early on Feb. 19. Dr. Olga Bogomolets, a physician, also said that the number of injured is more than 1,000 people and more likely "into the thousands." The 20 deaths today came in renewed violent clashes that pit thousands of police and protesters against each other at several locations near Ukraine's parliament building in Kyiv. Police said today that at least 100 police officers were injured alone, including dozens from gunshot wounds. 25 journalists covering the violence were attacked by police. Protesters attack the regional Party of Regions headquarters in Kyiv and set it on fire.  A priest gives last rites to three demonstrators shot to death today by police. Parliament failed to meet today to consider opposition demands for a new constitution and new government. Protesters struck back, armed with sticks, stones, metal bars, fireworks and Molotov cocktails and other explosives. (Image source: Google/Kyivpost)

POPE FRANCIS "When we are tempted, only the Word of God, the Word of Jesus saves us..."

(Vatican Radio) Resisting the seduction of temptation is possible only “when listening to the Word of Jesus.” Those were the words of Pope Francis in his homily at the Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta. Despite our weaknesses, the Pope repeated, Christ always gives us “confidence” and opens to us a horizon wider than our limitations.

Temptation manifests itself as a harmless attraction and ends up turning into a cage. Rather than trying to escape, more often we try to minimize the slavery, being deaf to the Word of God. In his homily, Pope Francis reaffirms a truth and a sequence described by St. James in the day’s reading. The truth is that man is tempted not by God, but by his passions. The sequence is produced by the same passions, which, the Apostle says, “conceive and produce sin. And sin, once committed, brings forth death”:

“Where does temptation come from? How does it work in us? The Apostle tells us that it is not from God, but from our passions, our inner weaknesses, from the wounds left in us by original sin: that’s where temptations come from, from these passions. It’s curious... temptation has three characteristics: it grows, is contagious and is justified. It grows: it begins with a tranquil air, and grows ... Jesus himself said this when He spoke about the parable of the wheat and the tares. The wheat grew, but so did the weeds sown by the enemy. And the temptation grows: it grows, it grows... And if one does not stop it, it fills everything.

Further, Pope Francis continued, the temptation “looks for another to keep it company, it is contagious” and “in growing, in being contagious, the temptation closes us in in an environment where you can’t get out easily.” This is the experience of the Apostles related in the Gospel of the day, where the Twelve blame each other under the eyes of the Master for not having brought bread on board the boat. Jesus, the Pope said, perhaps smiling at the quarrel, invites them to watch out for “the leaven of the Pharisees, of Herod.” But the Apostles, who, not listening to Him, continued to argue, were “so closed in on the issue of who was to blame for not having brought the bread, that they did not have space, the time, the light for the Word of God”:

"And so, when we are tempted, we do not hear the Word of God, we don’t hear. We don’t understand. And Jesus had to remind them of the multiplication of the loaves to get them out of that environment, because temptation closes us in, it takes away any ability to see ahead, it closes every horizon, and so leads us to sin. When we are tempted, only the Word of God, the Word of Jesus saves us, hearing that Word that opens the horizon... He is always willing to teach us how to escape from temptation. And Jesus is great because He not only brings us out of temptation, but gives us more confidence.”

This confidence, the Pope says, is “a great strength when we are tempted: the Lord waits for us... trusts us who are so tempted, who are sinners... He always opens horizons.” On the other hand, Pope Francis said, the devil, “ with temptation, closes, closes, closes” and makes an environment similar to the boat of the Apostles. And not to be “imprisoned” by this type of environment, he concluded, is possible only “when listening to the Word of Jesus”:

“Let us ask the Lord, who always — as He did with the disciples, with his patience — when we are tempted, tells us: ‘Stop, don’t worry. Remember what I did with you at that moment, at that time: remember. Lift up your eyes, look at the horizon, do not be closed, do not close in on yourself, go forward.’ And this Word will save us from falling into sin in the moment of temptation."

Text from  Vatican Radio website 


St. Simon of Jerusalem
Feast: February 18

Feast Day:February 18
Died:106 or 107 AD, Jerusalem
ST. SIMEON was the son of Cleophas, otherwise called Alpheus, brother to St. Joseph, and of Mary, sister to the Blessed Virgin. He was therefore nephew both to St. Joseph and to the Blessed Virgin, and cousin to Our Saviour. We cannot doubt but that he was ail early follower of Christ, and that he received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, with the Blessed Virgin and the apostles. When the Jews massacred St. James the Lesser,his brother Simeon reproached them for their atrocious cruelty. St. James, Bishop of Jerusalem, being put to death in the year 62, twenty-nine years after Our Saviour's Resurrection, the apostles and disciples met at Jerusalem to appoint him a successor. They unanimously chose St. Simeon, who had probably before assisted his brother in the government of that Church.
In the year 66, in which Sts. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom at Rome, the civil war began in Judea, by the seditions of the Jews against the Romans. The Christians in Jerusalem were warned by God of the impending destruction of that city. They therefore departed out of it the same year,—before Vespasian, Nero's general, and afterwards emperor, entered Judea,—and retired beyond Jordan to a small city called Pella, having St. Simeon at their head. After the taking and burning of Jerusalem they returned thither again, and settled themselves amidst its ruins, till Adrian afterwards entirely razed it. The Church here flourished, and multitudes of Jews were converted by the great number of prodigies and miracles wrought in it.
Vespasian and Domitian had commanded all to be put to death who were of the race of David. St. Simeon had escaped their searches; but, Trajan having given the same order, certain heretics and Jews accused the Saint, as being both of the race of David and a Christian, to Atticus, the Roman governor in Palestine. The holy bishop was condemned to be crucified. After having undergone the usual tortures during several days, which, though one hundred and twenty years old, he suffered with so much patience that he drew on him a universal admiration, and that of Atticus in particular, he died in 107. He must have governed the Church of Jerusalem about forty-three years.
(Taken from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler)


No comments: