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Sunday, March 23, 2014

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2014










POPE FRANCIS “each encounter with Jesus changes our life, forever”

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday urged his listeners not to be afraid, judgmental or prejudiced, the Lord’s mercy – he said – is far greater than any prejudice.

Speaking to some 40,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, the Pope reflected on the reading from John that tells of the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.

“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ In this way – the Pope explained – he cut across the barriers of hostility that existed between Jews and Samaritans, crushing the prejudice that existed in relating to women. 

The Pope said that Jesus’ simple request signals the beginning of an open dialogue, through which, with great delicacy, He entered the interior world of a person to whom, according to social convention, He should not even have spoken to.

“But this is exactly what Jesus does! Jesus is not afraid. When Jesus sees a person he goes towards that person because he is filled with love. He loves all of us. He does not stop before anyone because of prejudice” he said.

And Francis explained that Jesus does not judge, but acknowledges each person making him or her feel considered and recognized, and stimulating in that person the wish to go beyond their daily ‘routine’.

He explained that the thirst Jesus speaks of is not so much a thirst for water, but the with to quench the thirst of an arid soul. Jesus – Francis said – needs to meet the Samaritan woman to open up her heart: he asks her for a drink to highlight her own thirst. The woman – he pointed out - was touched by this meeting and asks Jesus some deep questions that each of us harbor, but often ignore.

“We too have many questions that we would like to ask, but we lack the courage to turn to Jesus!” the Pope said.

“Lent is the right time to look inside ourselves, allow our deep spiritual needs to come to the surface, and to ask the Lord for help in prayer” he said.

“The example of the Samaritan woman invites us to say: Jesus, give me that water that will quench me in eternity” he said.

And Pope Francis said the Gospel tells of Jesus’ disciples’ amazement when they discovered that their Master had spoken to that woman. But – he said - the Lord is greater than prejudice, that’s why he was not afraid to speak to the Samaritan: mercy is greater than prejudice, and Jesus – the Pope said – is very merciful.

The result of that meeting at the well – Pope Francis continued – “was that the woman was transformed: leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and told the people of her meeting with a man ‘who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?’ She was so happy. She had gone to the well to draw water and she found the living water, the spring of living water welling up to eternal life. She ran to the village which had always judged condemned and rejected her and announced that she had encountered the Messiah who had changed her life” he said.

And, Pope Francis said: “each encounter with Jesus changes our life, forever”.

In this Gospel reading – the Pope explained – “we too can find the stimulus to ‘leave our water jar’, the symbol of all that appears to be important, but that loses its value before ‘the love of God’. We all have one, or more than one! I ask you, and I ask myself: ‘what is your water jar, the one that weighs you down and takes you far from God?’ Let’s leave it aside and with our hearts listen to the voice of Jesus who is offering us another kind of water, the water that brings us close to the Lord” he said.

Pope Francis concluded inviting the faithful to rediscover the importance and the sense of our Christian life, and just as the Samaritan woman did, bear witness of if to our brothers. Bear witness to the joy stemming from our encounter with Jesus.

After the recitation of the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis pointed out that on Monday we mark “World Tuberculosis Day” and asked for prayers for all those who are affected by the disease and for those who, in different ways, sustain them.

And the Pope also mentioned an event that will be taking place next Friday and Saturday in parishes and dioceses across the world, called “24 hours for the Lord” during which the faithful are called to focus on penitence.


Text from Vatican Radio website 

NEW MOVIE GOD'S NOT DEAD - AWESOME REVIEWS - with Duck Dynasty appearance and Newsboys

God's Not Dead Release: How far would you go…to defend your belief in God? Present-day college freshman and devout Christian, Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo). Radisson begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words “God Is Dead” on pieces of paper as instructed, Josh find himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future.
 Josh offers a nervous refusal, provoking an irate reaction from his smug professor. Radisson assigns him a daunting task: if Josh will not admit that “God Is Dead,” he must prove God’s existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence over the course of the semester, and engage Radisson in a head-to-head debate in front of the class. If Josh fails to convince his classmates of God’s existence, he will fail the course and hinder his lofty academic goals. With almost no one in his corner, Josh wonders if he can really fight for what he believes. Can he actually prove the existence of God? Wouldn’t it just be easier just to write “God Is Dead” and put the whole incident behind him? GOD’S NOT DEAD weaves together multiple stories of faith, doubt and disbelief, culminating in a dramatic call to action. The film will educate, entertain, and inspire moviegoers to explore what they really believe about God, igniting important conversations and life-changing decisions. GOD’S NOT DEAD features a talented cast of actors including Kevin Sorbo (SOUL SURFER, HERCULES, ANDROMEDA), Shane Harper (GOOD LUCK CHARLIE, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2), David A.R. White (BROTHER WHITE, REVELATION ROAD and JERUSALEM COUNTDOWN), and Dean Cain (LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN), with special appearances by Christian super-band Newsboys and “Duck Dynasty’s” Willie and Korie Robertson.
"God's Not Dead is cut out of today's headlines. The courage of a university student who takes on his atheist professor makes for a gripping story that reflects how Christians and Christian groups suffer severe discrimination on most college campuses today." 
Tim Wildmon, President, American Family Association

VATICAN LIBRARY TO BE DIGITIZED BY FIRM IN JAPAN - 82,000 MANUSCRIPTS

AGREEMENT TO DIGITIZE 82,000 MANUSCRIPTS IN THE VATICAN APOSTOLIC LIBRARY Vatican City, 20 March 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office a press conference was held to present the agreement signed by NTT Data and the Vatican Apostolic Library for the plan to digitally archive 82,000 manuscripts. The speakers were: Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugues, O.P., archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church, Msgr. Cesare Pasini, prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library, and Toshio Iwamoto and Patrizio Mapelli, presidents and CEOs of the NTT Data Corporation and the NTT Data EMEA respectively. NTT Data is a technological services provider known throughout the world for its expertise in the field of IT and communications structures. “With this project, the Library consolidates one of its many relationships with institutions in various regions of the world, in the light of its overall policy, its aims and its objectives”, explained Archbishop Brugues. “It does so through is manuscripts, which are a sign of the universality of culture: the manuscripts which will be digitally archived range from pre-Columbian America to the Chinese and Japanese Far East, encompassing all the cultures and languages that have inspired European culture. The humanistic mission that characterises the Library opens it to all that is human, including mankind's various 'cultural peripheries'; and with this humanistic spirit it seeks to conserve and make available the immense treasure of humanity that has been entrusted to it. For this reason, the Library will digitise it and make it available on the web”. The project consists of an initial four-year phase during which three thousand manuscripts will be digitised, which may be extended into a second phase to include the 82,000 volumes – more than 40 million pages – of manuscripts preserved in the Library and dating from between the second and twentieth centuries. “All manuscipts digitised through this operation will be released on the Vatican Apostolic Library's website as high-definition data. As a result, numerous researchers in the fields of academia and in various fields of knowledge will be able to interpret the valuable manuscripts, to which access had long been restricted, in their original form”, declared the president of the NTT Data Corporation. (IMAGE SOURCE GOOGLE IMAGES)

RIP PATRIARCH IGNATIUS IWAS OF SYRIAN ORTHODOX IN ANTIOCH - Pope Francis condolences

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a telegramme of condolences to the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East upon the death of Patriarch Ignatius Zakka Iwas who passed away in a German hospital on March 21, at the age of 80.

In his message, the Pope describes the Patriarch as "an outstanding spiritual leader who corageously led his people through very difficult times".

Please find below the full text of the Pope's message:

To the Locum Tenens
Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East

With deep sorrow I have learned of the passing of His Holiness Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, father and chief pastor of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch and all the East, and I hasten to express to you, to the Bishops, clergy and lay faithful, my personal condolences and the prayerful closeness of all Catholics at this time of deeply-felt loss. The whole Christian world has lost one of its outstanding spiritual leaders, courageous and wise in leading people through very difficult times. Following his election ad Patriarch in 1980 His Holiness was an engaged witness of the successive violent conflicts that have brought untold death and suffering to the Middle East, especially to Iraq and most recently Syria. His Holiness was a man of dialogue and peace with regard to the followers of all religious traditions. In particular I give heartfelt thanks to God for his constant work to improve relations among Christians and, from the time he attended the Second Vatican Council as an observer, for his extraordinary contribution to strengthening communion between Syrian Orthodox Christians and the Catholic faithful. May the Almighty receive him into his kingdom and grant him eternal rest, and may the memory of his long and devoted service to the Church live on as a challenge and a stimulus to all.

FRANCISCUS


Text from page Vatican Radio website 

NEW POPE BENEDICT XVI RETREAT CENTRE OPENS IN AUSTRALIA BY CARDINAL

Cardinal Pell Opens New Benedict XVI Retreat Centre

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese RELEASE
21 Mar 2014
Students, teachers, architects and builders joined together with representatives of the Catholic Education Office and the Archdiocese of Sydney as Cardinal Pell celebrated a Mass for the opening of the new Benedict XVI Retreat Centre at Grose Vale this week.
It is hoped the Centre in its peaceful bushland setting will become a place of pilgrimage for people of all ages.
The Catholic Education Office Sydney joined the Archdiocese in the redevelopment of the Centre with a view to primarily accommodating the retreat and activity needs of all the systemic schools within the Archdiocese of Sydney and beyond.
The Centre provides wonderful new facilities to support the pastoral goals of both the Archdiocese and the CEO, Sydney, in particular encouraging the practice of retreat as a way of augmenting existing programs of faith formation.
The new buildings and facilities are purpose-built so students, teachers and parishioners as well as clergy and other groups can take time out to unwind, reflect and reconnect.
Cardinal Pell opened the Centre and dedicated the Chapel in honour of St Benedict. Also present was the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Sydney, Bishop Peter Comensoli; the Bishop of Parramatta, Bishop Anthony Fisher OP ; priests of the Archdiocese; Executive Director of the Catholic Education  Office, Dr Dan White; students, teachers and the architects and builders.
Nigel Boonham who sculptured the beautiful statue of St Benedict which sits between the Chapel and main hall, flew out from England to install the life-size sculptor.
Nigel has sculpted a number of statues for St Mary's Cathedral including the marble altar.
As part of the dedication of a new Chapel relics were placed in the altar. These were the relics of Vietnamese Martyrs TP Khoan, TG Dat, TA Thanh along with Saint John Bosco and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. 
Cardinal Pell said he hoped the Retreat Centre will become a haven for many young people for many years to come. SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY 

POPE FRANCIS meets President Jonathan Goodluck of Nigeria Africa

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday received in audience in the Apostolic Palace Mr. Ebele Jonathan Goodluck, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Nigerian President subsequently met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.

A statement from the Vatican Press Office said in the course of the talks, “emphasis was laid on the cordial relations existing between the Holy See and Nigeria, and appreciation was expressed for the positive contribution offered by the Church to the welfare of the entire country, especially in the areas of education and health care, as well as in promoting dialogue between the various components of society. Particular attention was given in the meeting to the protection of the dignity of the human person and his or her fundamental rights, beginning with religious freedom.”

The statement adds that “joint condemnation of every form of violence was renewed and hope was expressed for a rapid return to peaceful coexistence in the whole Country.”

Finally, an exchange of views took place regarding several issues of regional interest, with particular reference to the situations of crisis and conflict in central and sub-Saharan Africa.


Text from Vatican Radio website 

SUNDAY MASS ONLINE : MARCH 23, 2014 - 3RD OF LENT - A

Third Sunday of Lent
Lectionary: 28


 Reading 1              EX 17:3-7

In those days, in their thirst for water,
the people grumbled against Moses,
saying, “Why did you ever make us leave Egypt?
Was it just to have us die here of thirst
with our children and our livestock?”
So Moses cried out to the LORD,
“What shall I do with this people?
a little more and they will stone me!”
The LORD answered Moses,
“Go over there in front of the people,
along with some of the elders of Israel,
holding in your hand, as you go,
the staff with which you struck the river.
I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb.
Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it
for the people to drink.”
This Moses did, in the presence of the elders of Israel.
The place was called Massah and Meribah,
because the Israelites quarreled there
and tested the LORD, saying,
“Is the LORD in our midst or not?”

Responsorial Psalm                PS 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9

R/ (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R/ If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R/ If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
“Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works.”
R/ If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Reading 2                    ROM 5:1-2, 5-8 

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
to this grace in which we stand,
and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

And hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Gospel                   JN 4:5-42

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,
near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob’s well was there.
Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
“Give me a drink.”
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
“How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob,
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
with his children and his flocks?”
Jesus answered and said to her,
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Jesus said to her,
“Go call your husband and come back.”
The woman answered and said to him,
“I do not have a husband.”
Jesus answered her,
“You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’
For you have had five husbands,
and the one you have now is not your husband.
What you have said is true.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus said to her,
“Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand;
we worship what we understand,
because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here,
when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in Spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him,
“I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
Jesus said to her,
“I am he, the one speaking with you.”

At that moment his disciples returned,
and were amazed that he was talking with a woman,
but still no one said, “What are you looking for?”
or “Why are you talking with her?”
The woman left her water jar
and went into the town and said to the people,
“Come see a man who told me everything I have done.
Could he possibly be the Christ?”
They went out of the town and came to him.
Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat.”
But he said to them,
“I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
So the disciples said to one another,
“Could someone have brought him something to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“My food is to do the will of the one who sent me
and to finish his work.
Do you not say, ‘In four months the harvest will be here’?
I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.
The reaper is already receiving payment
and gathering crops for eternal life,
so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together.
For here the saying is verified that ‘One sows and another reaps.’
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for;
others have done the work,
and you are sharing the fruits of their work.”

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him
because of the word of the woman who testified,
“He told me everything I have done.”
When the Samaritans came to him,
they invited him to stay with them;
and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
and they said to the woman,
“We no longer believe because of your word;
for we have heard for ourselves,
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

Or                        JN 4:5-15, 19B-26, 39A, 40-42

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,
near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob’s well was there.
Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
“Give me a drink.”
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
“How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob,
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
with his children and his flocks?”
Jesus answered and said to her,
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
or have to keep coming here to draw water.

“I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus said to her,
“Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand;
we worship what we understand,
because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here,
when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in Spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him,
“I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
Jesus said to her,
“I am he, the one who is speaking with you.”

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him.
When the Samaritans came to him,
they invited him to stay with them;
and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
and they said to the woman,
“We no longer believe because of your word;
for we have heard for ourselves,
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

Breaking News - POPE FRANCIS establishes commission to prevent abuse

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors whose task will be to advise the Holy Father on ways to prevent abuse and provide pastoral care for victims and their families. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, a member of the Pope’s advisory Council of Cardinals, had announced on Dec. 5, 2013 that such a new commission would be formed in the coming months. At the time, he said the new commission would continue Pope Benedict XVI’s efforts to combat sex abuse by clerics, study current child protection programs, and make suggestions for new Vatican initiatives together with bishops’ conferences and religious orders.

Members of the new Commission announced Saturday by the Holy See’s Press Office, include four men and four women who will be tasked firstly, with drawing up the Statutes of the Commission, defining "its tasks and competencies:”

The members of the Commission include: French psychologist Catherine Bonnet; Marie Collins, an Irish victim of abuse; British Professor Sheila Hollins, a specialist in mental health; American Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley; Italian jurist Claudio Papale; Poland’s former Prime Minister and Ambassador to the Holy See, Hanna Suchocka; and the Jesuits Humberto Miguel Yanez, a moral theologian and former pupil and collaborator of Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Argentina and Hans Zollner, vice-rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University and Chair of the Centre for Child Protection at the University's Institute of Psychology.

Other members will be added to the Commission in the future, chosen from various geographical areas of the world.


Text from  Vatican Radio website 

POPE FRANCIS MEETS FOUNDER OF L'ARCHE - JEAN VANIER ON WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY

Pope Francis welcomes Jean Vanier, founder of L\'Arche Foundation Founded in1964, it supports people with developmental disabilities. It has 137 communities in 36 countries. 

TODAY'S SAINT : MARCH 22 : BL. CLEMENS VON GALEN


Blessed Clemens August von Galen
BISHOP OF MUNSTER, CARDINAL
Feast: March 22


Information:
Feast Day:March 22
Born:16 March 1878 at Dinklage Castle, Lower Saxony, Germany
Died:22 March 1946 at Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Beatification:9 October 2005, Saint Peter's Plaza, Vatican, by Pope Benedict XVI
Clemens August von Galen was born on 16 March 1878 in Dinklage Castle, Oldenburg, Germany, the 11th of 13 children born to Count Ferdinand Heribert and Elisabeth von Spee.
His father belonged to the noble family of Westphalia, who since 1660 governed the village of Dinklage. For over two centuries his ancestors carried out the inherited office of camerlengo of the Diocese of Münster.
Clemens August grew up in Dinklage Castle and in other family seats. Due to the struggle between Church and State, he and his brothers were sent to a school run by the Jesuits in Feldkirch, Austria.
He remained there until 1894, when he transferred to the Antonianum in Vechta. After graduation, he studied philosophy and theology in Frebur, Innsbruck and Münster, and was ordained a priest on 28 May 1904 for the Diocese of Munster by Bishop Hermann Dingelstadt.


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/C/blclemensaugustvongalen.asp#ixzz1po7aFPYz

2014

POPE FRANCIS "Please change your lives..." Special Prayer vigil for Mafia victims - Video - Text

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis gathered to pray with the families whose loved ones were killed by mafia violence and entreated mafia members to convert and change their lives. The Pope made this appeal on Friday evening at St Gregory VII Church in Rome at a prayer vigil, organized by the Libera Foundation.

Pope Francis listened quietly, his head hung low, his hands clasped in prayer, as the 842 names of victims of mafia violence, including 80 children, were read one by one.

During the moving and prayerful vigil, the Pope expressed his empathy, sympathy and solidarity with 700 people present, whose loved ones were killed by the mafia.

He lauded them for their witness, their courage to share their suffering with others and their hope that corruption will be overcome.  

And then stern words to the men and women currently involved in the mafia: “And I feel that I cannot conclude without saying a word to... the protagonists who are absent today -- the men and women Mafiosi.

"Please change your lives, convert yourselves, stop perpetrating evil,” he said to applause.

“And we pray for you. I ask this on my knees. It is for your good,” he entreated.“This life that you live now will not give us pleasure; it will not give us joy. It will not give you happiness. The power and money that you have now from many dirty dealings, from many mafia crimes – blood money, power gained with blood – you cannot bring them with you to the next life,” the Pope continued.

“Convert yourselves. You still have time so as not to end up in hell. And that is what is waiting for you if you continue on this path,” he said. “You have a father and a mother. Think of them. Cry a little and convert yourselves.”

He concluded his remarks, leading the assembly in a Hail Mary, followed by the Lord’s Prayer.

The prayer vigil came one day ahead of the 19th Day of Memory and Commitment in remembrance of the innocent victims of organized crime. On Saturday, hundreds are expected to march in Latina, a city south of Rome, and then participate in workshop on how civil society can better organize to bring an end to corruption.

Report by Laura Ieraci


Text from  Vatican Radio website 

TODAY'S SAINT : MARCH 23 : ST. TURIBIUS DE MOGROVEJO


St. Turibius de Mogrovejo
CONFESSOR, ARCHBISHOP OF LIMA
Feast: March 23


Information:
Feast Day:March 23
Born:16 November, 1538, Mayorga, Spain
Died:23 March, 1606, Saña, Peru
Canonized:1726
Patron of:Native rights; Latin American bishops; Peru
St Toribio, or Turibius Alphonsus Mogrobejo, was second son to the lord of Mogrobejo, and born in the kingdom of Leon, on the 16th of November, in 1538. From his infancy he discovered a strong inclination to piety; and in his childhood it was his delight, at times of recreation, to erect and adorn altars, and to serve the poor. He trembled at the very shadow of sin. One day, seeing a poor peddler woman angry because she had lost something out of her pack, he most movingly entreated and exhorted her that she would not offend God by passion; and, in order to appease her, gave her the value of her loss, which he had begged of his mother for that purpose. He was very devout to the Blessed Virgin, said every day her office and rosary, and fasted every Saturday in her honour. Whilst at school, he usually gave part of his slender dinner to the poor, and was so much addicted to fasting that his superiors were obliged, by strict commands, to compel him to moderate his austerities. He began his higher studies at Valladolid, but completed them at Salamanca. He was introduced early to the notice of King Philip II, honoured by him with several dignities, and made president or chief judge at Granada. This office he discharged during five years with so much integrity, prudence, and virtue that the eyes of the whole kingdom were fixed on him, and his life in the world was a holy noviceship to the pastoral charge. The pressing necessities of the infant church of Peru required a prelate who inherited, in a distinguished manner, the spirit of the apostles; and the archbishopric of Lima falling vacant, Turibius was unanimously judged the person of all others the best qualified to be an apostle of so large a country, and to remedy the scandals which obstructed the conversion of the infidels. The king readily nominated him to that dignity, and all parties concerned applauded the choice. Turibius was thunderstruck at this unexpected news, and had no sooner received the message but he cast himself on the ground at the foot of his crucifix, praying, with many tears, that God would deliver him from so heavy a burden, which he thought absolutely above his strength. He wrote the most urgent letters to the king's council, in which he pleaded his incapacity, and other impediments, and laid great stress on the canons, which forbid laymen to be promoted to such dignities in the church. This humility it was that obtained the succor of heaven by which he performed wonders in the service of souls. Being compelled by obedience to acquiesce, he at length testified his submission by falling on his knees and kissing the ground.
After a suitable preparation, he received the four minor orders on four successive Sundays, the better to dispose himself for the  functions of each; and after passing through the other orders, he was consecrated bishop. Immediately after which he set out for Peru, and landed at Lima, in the year 1581, of his age the forty-third. That diocese is extended one hundred and thirty leagues along the coast, comprising three cities and many towns and villages, with innumerable cottages scattered over two ridges of the mountains of the Andes, esteemed the highest and the most rugged in the whole world. Some of the European generals, who first invaded that country were men who seemed to measure every thing by their insatiable avarice and ambition, and had so far lost all sentiments of humanity towards the poor savages, that they deserved the name rather of tyrants and plunderers than of conquerors. Civil wars and dissension completed the misfortune of that country; and covetousness, cruelty, treachery, fraud, and debauchery seemed triumphant. Nor were the repeated orders of the Spanish court able to redress these evils. The sight of these disorders moved the good pastor often to tears, but his prudence and zeal overcame all difficulties, extirpated public scandals, and made the kingdom a flourishing portion of the Christian church. Upon his arrival, he immediately began a visitation of his vast diocese- an undertaking of incredible fatigue, and attended with many dangers. He often crept over the steepest and most rugged mountains, covered with ice or snow, to visit some poor hut of Indians, and give them suitable comfort and instruction. He travelled often on foot, and sometimes barefoot, and by fasting and prayer never ceased to implore the divine mercy for the salvation of the souls committed to his charge. He placed everywhere able and zealous pastors, and took care that no one in the most remote corners of the rocks should be left destitute of the means of instruction and of the benefit of the sacraments. To settle and maintain discipline, he appointed diocesan synods to be held every two years, and provincial synods every seven; and was vigilant and severe in chastising the least scandal, especially of avarice, in the clergy. Without respect of persons, he reproved injustice and vice, and made use of all the means which his authority nut into his hands, to check the insolence of public sinners, and to protect the poor from oppression. Many of the first conquerors and governors of Peru, before the arrival of the most virtuous viceroy Francis of Toledo, were men who often sacrificed every thing to their passions, and for their private ends. From some of these the saint suffered many persecutions, and was often thwarted by them in the discharge of his duty. But by the arms of meekness and patience he overcame all affronts and injuries, and with an invincible constancy he maintained the rights of justice and truth. He showed that many sinners misconstrued the law of God to make it favour their passions; but that, as Tertullian observes, "Christ calls himself the truth, not custom," and will weigh our actions not in the false balance of the world, but in the true scales of the sanctuary. Thus he extirpated the most inveterate abuses, and established with so great fervour the pure maxims of the gospel, as to revive in many the primitive spirit of Christianity. To extend and perpetuate the advantages of religion, which by his zeal he had procured, he filled this country with seminaries, churches, and many hospitals; but would never suffer his own name to be recorded in any of his munificent charities or foundations. When he was at Lima, he every day visited several hospitals, comforted and exhorted the sick. and administered the sacraments. When a pestilence, though that calamity is seldom known in Peru, raged in some parts of his diocese, Turibius distributed his own necessaries in relieving the afflicted: he preached penance, because sins are the cause of chastisements, and infinitely the worst of evils. He walked in the processions, bathed in tears, with his eyes always fixed on a crucifix, and offering himself to God for his flock; fasted, watched, and prayed for them without intermission, till God was pleased to remove the scourge.
Nothing gave the saint so much pleasure as the greatest labours and dangers, to procure the least spiritual advantage to one soul.  Burning with the most vehement desire of laying down his life for his flock, and of suffering all things for him who died for us, he feared no dangers. When he heard that poor Indians wandered in the mountains and deserts, he sought them out; and to comfort, instruct, or gain one of them he often suffered incredible fatigues and dangers in the wildernesses, and boldly travelled through the haunts of lions and tigers.1 He spent seven years in performing his first visitation; his second employed him four years, but the third was shorter. He converted innumerable infidels, and left everywhere monuments of his charity. In travelling, he either prayed or discoursed on heavenly things.. On his arrival at a place, it was his custom to repair first to the church to pray before the altar. To catechise the poor, he would sometimes stay two or three days in places where he had neither bed nor any kind of food. He visited every part of his vast diocese, and when others suggested to him the dangers that threatened him from rocks, precipices, marshes, rivers, robbers, and savages, his answer was that Christ came from heaven to save man, we ought not therefore to fear dangers for the sake of immortal glory. He preached and catechised without intermission, having for this purpose learned, in his old age, all the various languages of the barbarous nations of that country. Even on his journeys he said mass every day with wonderful fervour and devotion. He always made a long meditation before and after it, and usually went to confession every morning; though they who best knew his interior testified that they were persuaded he had never in his whole life forfeited his baptismal innocence by any mortal sin. He seemed to have God and the divine honor alone before his eyes in all his words and actions so as to give little or no attention to any thing else; by which means his prayer was perpetual. He retired in private to that exercise often in the day, and for a long time together. In it his countenance seemed often to shine with a divine light. The care with which he studied to disguise and conceal his great mortifications and works of piety, was the proof of his sincere humility. His munificence in relieving the poor of every class, especially those who were too bashful to make their necessities publicly known, always exhausted his revenues. The decrees of his provincial councils are monuments of his zeal, piety, learning, and discretion: they have been ever since esteemed, not only in the new world, but also in Europe, and at Rome itself, as oracles. The flourishing state of the church of Peru, the great numbers of saints and eminent pastors with which it abounded, and the establishment of innumerable seminaries of piety and learning, and hospitals for the poor, were the fruit of his zeal. If he did not originally plant the faith, he was at least the great propagator of it, and the chief instrument of God in removing scandals and advancing true piety in that vast country, which till then had been a land of abominations: whilst Francis of Toledo, the great viceroy, first settled the civil government in peace and tranquillity by salutary laws, which have procured him the title of the Legislator of Peru. St. Turibius, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, in 1606 during the visitation of his diocese, fell sick at Santa, a town one hundred and ten leagues distant from Lima. He foretold his death, and ordered him to be rewarded who should bring him the first account from his physician that his recovery was despaired of. The ardour of his faith, his hope, his love of his Creator and Redeemer, his resignation, and perfect sacrifice of himself, gathered strength in the fervent exercises and aspirations which he repeated almost without ceasing in his illness. By his last will he ordered what he had about him to be distributed among his servants, and whatever else he otherwise possessed to be given to the poor. He would be carried to the church, there to receive the holy Viaticum, but received extreme  unction in his sick bed. He often repeated those words of St. Paul, ; and in his last moments he ordered to be sung by his bedside those of the Psalmist, He died on the 23rd of March, repeating those other words of the same prophet, His body being translated the year after to Lima, was found incorrupt, the joints flexible, and the skin soft. His historian, and the acts of the canonization, mention many sick restored to their health, and a girl raised to life by him whilst he was living; also many miracles wrought through his intercession after his death. He was beatified by Innocent XI in 1679,1 and solemnly canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726. On the miracles wrought by his inter. cession, see Benedict XIV,2 and especially the acts of his canonization.
A pastor of souls must be careful to animate all his exterior actions and labours in the service of his neighbour with the interior spirit of compunction, humility, zeal, charity, and tender devotion. Without this he loses the fruit of all the pains he takes, and by them will often deserve only chastisements in the world to come; so much will his intention and the affections of his heart be infected with self-love, and depraved by various imperfections, and secret sinister desires, even in the most holy functions. Therefore, a fervent noviciate, employed in the exercises of an interior life, ought to be a part of the preparation for this state; and in the discharge of his duties, a person ought always to unite contemplation with action, and reserve to himself sufficient-time for conversing with God and his own soul, and taking a frequent review of his own interior. From his labors he must return frequently to prayer, and constantly nourish in his soul a spirit of fervent devotion, which will thus accompany all his exterior actions and keep his thoughts and affections always united to God. Those who are not faithful in thus maintaining and improving in themselves an interior spirit of piety, and in watching with fear and compunction over the motions of their own hearts, will generally advance very little the kingdom of Christ in the souls of others, and are in great danger of losing their own. This is what St. Bernard feared in his disciple Pope Eugenius III, whom he conjured with tears never to give himself up entirely to the care of others, so as not to live also for himself; so to communicate a spirit of piety to others, as not to suffer it to be drained in his own heart; to be a basin to hold it, not a pipe for it to run through. This lesson is applicable, with due proportion, to other states, especially that of teaching the sciences, in which the exercises of an interior life are so much the more necessary, as the employment is more distracting, more tumultuous, and more exposed to the waves of vanity, jealousy, and other secret petty passions.


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/T/stturibiusdemogrovejo.asp#ixzz1pudK1KRx
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