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Friday, April 11, 2014

Catholic News World : Friday April 11, 2014 - Share!

2014


SAINT APRIL 11 : ST. GEMMA GALGANI

St. Gemma Galgani
STIGMATIST
Feast: April 11


Information:
Feast Day:April 11
Born:12 March 1878 at Borgo Nuovo di Camigliano, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy
Died:Holy Saturday, 11 April 1903 at Borgo Nuovo di Camigliano, Lucca, Italy
Canonized:2 May 1940 by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:Passionist Monastery in Lucca, Italy
Patron of:Students, pharmacists, tuberculosis patients, love and hope
There is little to be said about her life. Born at Camigliano in Tuscany, she suffered from 'tuberculosis of the spine with aggravated curvature', and, though she considered herself cured by a vision of the young Saint Gabriel Possenti, she could not obtain a certificate of health enabling her to enter a convent, as she wished. She had many 'abnormal' experiences from June 1899 onwards, including the 'stigmata' in hands and feet, carefully examined by her confessor and biographer, the Passionist Fr Germano. These began to appear about 8 p.m. on a Thursday and lasted till 3 p.m. on the Friday. No pain preceded their apparition, but only a deep recollection. There was seen first a discoloration on the back and palm of each hand; then a 'rent in the flesh' under the skin which then split, and a deep laceration was observed, at least usually: the holes above and below corresponded and the perforations seemed complete, but it was hard to judge of this because they kept firing up with blood, partly flowing, partly congealing. Fr Germano measured the diameters and shapes of the wounds carefully, and noted that 'a few times' a sort of fleshy swelling, like a nail-head, about an inch across, covered the wounds in the hands (though not those in the feet): 'The deep wounds were the more usual state of Gemma's stigmata—I say, the more usual state'. He also says that directly the Friday ecstasy was over, 'the flow of blood from all < five> wounds ceased immediately; the raw flesh healed; the lacerated tissues healed too': at least by Sunday not a vestige remained of the deep 'cavities'; the new skin was smooth, though 'whitish marks' remained on it. Much more could be said about this saint, but this account suffices as occasion for explaining the principles governing the Church's approach to these and allied phenomena.
First, the Congregation of Rites, declaring that Gemma practiced the Christian virtues to a heroic degree, explicitly refrained from passing judgment on the preternatural character of the recorded phenomena; a matter (it adds) 'upon which no decision is ever made' (see vol. xxiv [1932], p. 57, and Thurston: , ed. J. H. Crehan, chapter 11, especially pp. 52-54).
We must first register the alleged presented to us for observation, and then consider the evidence. Only then may we tentatively embark on . So we notice that before the time of St. Francis of Assisi there can be quoted only two or three instances of stigmatization of doubtful character: but since St. Francis, instances become almost innumerable up to the present day. We start by excluding those where self-inflicted wounds can even be suspected; for there have been instances of downright imposture, of misguided asceticism-conscious or possibly unconscious. This cannot apply to Gemma Galgani, since the gradual appearance and disappearance of her wounds was scrupulously . Again, all instances of complete stigmatization (save probably two) are found in women, and usually (though by no means always) in women who lead an enclosed and constantly meditative life; this suggests that the mind can influence the body-as it obviously can: a can make one blush, or turn pale. Further, an ecstatica's stigmata (or visions) not seldom correspond with some picture or effigy that she habitually sees: the marks of the scourging on Gemma are said to reproduce those on a crucifix she contemplated; Catherine Emmerich and others 'see' our Lord on a Y-shaped cross like one they were accustomed to; some will see Him crucified with three, others with four, nails; the wound of the lance may be on the right, or again on the left. We may therefore grant that a supernatural grace be granted to the soul, the mind, helped by the imagination, may proceed to interpret it to itself by means of such ideas or images as it possesses or prefers. But how far can the 'mind' influence the body? 'Dermatography'—marks on the skin, usually disappearing soon—can undoubtedly be induced by suggestion, whether it be self-suggestion or administered by another; but can suggestion cause lesions of the tissues, persisting and not becoming gangrenous? The word 'hysteria' should now be left aside—the ugly word 'pithiatism' may be replacing it—it merely means 'suggestibility'. Now there is no fault in being 'suggestible'; one person may lie abnormally open to the stimulus of anger, fear, sex or pity. If then we seek the nature of the stimulus lying behind the bodily manifestations observed in one who, on other grounds, is judged to be of exceptional holiness, we can prudently suppose that it is love for God, for Christ incarnate, or crucified, which so moves the entire 'subject'—body-mind—as to produce the exterior phenomena. The miracle would then lie in the intensity of the love for God granted to a human soul; the physical consequences of so super-human a love might be quite incalculable, by no means necessarily the stigmata, though possibly including them: indeed, disconcerting symptoms might well co-exist with those that might be expected, and should by no means be at once ascribed to diabolic influences. The description of all abnormal symptoms of the sort under discussion should be purely clinical, not rhetorical or pietistic.

St. Gemma Galgani was beatified in 1933, and canonized in 1940.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/G/stgemmagalgani.asp#ixzz1rhVM7CxS

Pope Francis "Let us remember the words of the SVC: From the moment of its conception, life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion...."

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday reiterated human life is sacred and inviolable during a meeting with Italy’s Pro-Life Movement (Movimento per la Vita), adding every civil right is based on the “first and most fundamental right,” the right to life: which is not subordinate to any condition, neither qualitative, nor economic, much less ideological.

The Holy Father said one of the most serious risks of the present age is the divorce between economics and morality, so that as the market gives us every technical innovation, it neglects more and more elementary ethical standards.

“It is must be therefore reiterated the strongest opposition to any direct attack on life, especially innocent and defenseless life, and the unborn child in the womb is the most concrete example of innocence,” said Pope Francis. “Let us remember the words of the Second Vatican Council: From the moment of its conception, life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes.” ( Gaudium et Spes, 51).

Pope Francis said for a Christian, it is a part of the witness of the Gospel to protect life with courage and love in all its stages.

“I encourage you to always act with a style of nearness, of closeness: that every woman feels regarded as a person who is heard, accepted, and accompanied,” he said.

Pope Francis also showed gratitude for two specific activities of the Pro-Life Movement: The “Gemma Project”, which works with woman facing crisis pregnancies; and the “One of Us” Campaign, which is a European Union Citizens’ Initiative requesting the prohibition of EU financing of activities which involve the destruction of human embryos, especially in the areas of research, development cooperation and public health.


Text from Vatican Radio website 


Pope Francis “I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests..." Full Text to Child Abuse Meeting

(Vatican Radio) “I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests, quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests, to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children.

The Church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the Church, and we will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children”.This was Pope Francis' clear message to members of BICE [International Catholic Child Bureau] whom he received Friday in audience at the Vatican.

BICE is a Catholic NGO that works to protect the rights and dignity of the child worldwide. Speaking to them, Pope Francis also spoke about the need to reaffirm the rights of parents to decide “the moral and religious education of their children” and reject all forms of “educational experimentation with children and young people”.

He said that it is every child’s right to grow up in a family “with a father and a mother” capable of creating “a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity”. The Pope also called for an end to what he termed as “educational experiments” with children and young people, pushing a “dictatorship of one form of thinking” on them in the name of a pretended “modernity”.

The Pope noted that the “horrors of the manipulation of education that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the twentieth century have not disappeared; they have retained a current relevance under various guises and proposals”.

To counter this he urged the BICE members to foster a true anthropological formation of the child respectful of the reality of the person, to enable children and young people to respond to the problems and challenges posed by contemporary culture and widespread mentality propagated by the mass media.




Below please find a Vatican Radio translation of the Holy Father’s address to participants: 

Dear friends,
I thank you for this meeting. I appreciate your efforts on behalf of children: it is a concrete and current expression of the predilection that the Lord Jesus has for them .

We can say that the BICE was born of the motherhood of the Church . In fact, it originates from Pope Pius XII intervention in defense of children in the aftermath of World War II. Since then, this organization has always been committed to promoting the protection of children's rights, and to contributing to the 1989 UN Convention. And in this his work it constantly collaborates with the Holy See offices of the in New York, in Strasbourg and especially Geneva .
[moving away from script speech]…. I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests, quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests, to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children. The Church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the Church, and we will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children...

In our days, it is important to carry out the projects against slave - labor, against the recruitment of child soldiers and all forms of violence against children. On a positive note, we must reaffirm the right of children to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity .

At the same time, this implies supporting the right of parents to decide the moral and religious education of their children. And in this regard I would like to express my rejection of any kind of educational experimentation with children. We cannot experiment with children and young people. The horrors of the manipulation of education that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the twentieth century have not disappeared; they have retained a current relevance under various guises and proposals and, with the pretense of modernity, push children and young people to walk on the dictatorial path of "only one form of thought".
[moving away from script speech] “A week ago a great teacher said to me… ‘with these education projects I don’t know if we’re sending the kids to school or a re-education camp’…”
Working for human rights presupposes the aim of fostering anthropological formation, of being well prepared on the reality of the human person, and knowing how to respond to the problems and challenges posed by contemporary culture and widespread mentality propagated by the mass media.
[moving away from script speech] Obviously this does not mean we should cover them with forms of protection that are superseded today because they belong to a past culture…Not this, this is no good…we should propose the positive values of the human person the new culture…

For you, this means offering your managers and operators continuing formation on the anthropology of the child, because that is where the rights and obligations have their foundation . It is upon this that the formation of educational projects rest.
[moving away from script speech] These projects obviously must progress, mature and accommodate itself to the signs of the times always remember human identity and freedom of conscience…
Thank you again. I wish you a ‘Buon lavoro’!


Text from Vatican Radio website 


2014

Viral Video of Little Girl told not to Pray at School - She Stands Up for God Share!

Officials at an elementary school in Florida have started an investigation after a kindergartner who stated that she was ‘not allowed to pray’ over her lunch. They have identified the monitor responsible for interrupting her prayer. Marcos and Kathy Perez told reporters last week that their daughter Gabriella was stopped from praying at Carillon Elementary School in Oviedo.  They emailed the school about the matter and recorded a video of Gabriella outlining the incident in her own words. “I was about to pray and say something to Jesus,” Gabriella explained, showing how she had put her hands together and bowed her head. “My lunch teacher told me when I was about to say something, she said, ‘You’re not allowed to pray.’” “[I said] ‘It’s good to pray,’” the kindergartner continued. “And she just said, ‘It’s not good.’” The Perez’ contacted Principal Analynn Jones, who then spoke to staff members about the issue and to outline that students have the right to pray in school. Liberty Institute, which has been assisting the Perez family at no charge.

Pope Francis "We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan ”


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said Satan exists in our present century and we must learn from the Gospel how to fight against his temptations. This was the core message of his homily at the Mass celebrated on Friday in the Santa Marta residence.

Pope Francis said the life of every Christian is a constant battle against evil just as Jesus during his life had to struggle against the devil and his many temptations. And he warned that whoever wants to follow Jesus must be aware of this reality.

“We too are tempted, we too are the target of attacks by the devil because the spirit of Evil does not want our holiness, he does not want our Christian witness, he does not want us to be disciples of Christ. And what does the Spirit of Evil do, through his temptations, to distance us from the path of Jesus? The temptation of the devil has three characteristics and we need to learn about them in order not to fall into the trap. What does Satan do to distance us from the path of Jesus? Firstly, his temptation begins gradually but grows and is always growing. Secondly, it grows and infects another person, it spreads to another and seeks to be part of the community. And in the end, in order to calm the soul, it justifies itself. It grows, it spreads and it justifies itself.” 
Turning to the bible, the Pope recalled how Jesus’s first temptation by Satan was almost ‘like a seduction.’ Satan told Jesus to throw himself down from the Temple so that all the people will see that he is the Messiah! And warned the Pope, when the devil is rejected, he grows and comes back stronger than before. Jesus himself noted this in the gospel when the devil went around looking for companions and with them returned to Jesus. Satan got involved with Jesus’s enemies and what seemed at first like a calm trickle of water turned into a flood of water. In this way, the temptation grows, infects others and justifies itself. As an illustration, the Pope recalled how when Jesus preached in the synagogue, his enemies belittled him by saying “but isn’t this the son of Joseph, the carpenter, the son of Mary. He never studied so with what authority can he speak?

“We have a temptation that grows: it grows and infects others. For example, let’s look at gossip: I’m a bit envious of this or that person and at first I’m just envious inside and I need to share it and go to another person and say: “But have you seen that person?’.. and this gossip tries to grow and infects another and another… This is the way gossip works and all of us have been tempted to gossip! Maybe not one of you, if you’re a saint , but I too have been tempted to gossip! It’s a daily temptation. And it begins in this way, discreetly, like a trickle of water. It grows by infecting others and in the end it justifies itself.”
Pope Francis concluded by urging people to be vigilant and not to give in to that initial temptation and thus allow it to spread to others and justify itself.

“We are all tempted because the law of our spiritual life, our Christian life is a struggle: a struggle. That’s because the Prince of this world, Satan, doesn’t want our holiness, he doesn’t want us to follow Christ. Maybe some of you might say: ‘But Father, how old fashioned you are to speak about the devil in the 21st century!’ But look out because the devil is present! The devil is here… even in the 21st century! And we mustn’t be naïve, right? We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan.” 



Text from  Vatican Radio website 

SAINT APRIL 11 : ST. STANISLAUS BISHOP


St. Stanislaus
PATRON SAINT OF POLAND, BISHOP OF CRACOW, MARTYR
Feast: April 11


Information:
Feast Day:April 11
Born:26 July 1030 as Szczepanowski, Poland
Died:murdered on 8 May 1079 in the chapel of Saint Michael in a suburb of Cracow, Poland
Canonized:1253 by Pope Innocent IV at Assisi, Italy
Patron of:Cracow, Plock, Poland, soldiers in battle
Bishop and martyr, born at Szczepanów (hence called Szczepanowski), in the Diocese of Cracow, 26 July, 1030; died at Cracow, 8 May, 1079; feast on May 7 in Roman Martyrology, but on 8 May in Cracow, which has a special feast of the translation of his relics on 27 September; patron of Poland and the city and Diocese of Cracow; invoked in battle. In pictures he is given the episcopal insignia and the sword. Larger paintings represent him in a court or kneeling before the altar and receiving the fatal blow. No contemporary biography of the saint is in existence. At the time of his canonization a life appeared written by a Dominican Vincent(?) (Acta SS.,May, II, 196) which contains much legendary matter. His parents, Belislaus and Bogna, pious and noble Catholics, gave him a religious education. He made his studies at Gnesen and Paris(?). After the death of his parents he distributed his ample inheritance among the poor. Lambert Zula, Bishop of Cracow, ordained him priest and made him pastor of Czembocz near Cracow, canon and preacher at the cathedral, and later, vicar-general. After the death of Lambert he was elected bishop, but accepted only on explicit command of Pope Alexander II. He worked with his wonted energy for his diocese, and inveighed against vices among high and low, regardless of consequences. Boleslaw II had become King of Poland. the renown he had gained by his successful wars he now sullied by atrocious cruelty and unbridled lust. Moreover the bishop had several serious disputes with the king about a piece of land belonging to the Church which was unjustly claimed by Boleslaw, and about some nobles, who had left their homes to ward off various evils threatening their families and who were in consequence cruelly treated by the king. Stanislaus spared neither tears nor prayers and admonitions to bring the king to lead a more Christian life. All being in vain, Boleslaw was excommunicated and the canons of the cathedral were instructed to discontinue the Divine Offices in case the king should attempt to enter. Stanislaus retired to the Chapel of St. Michael in a suburb of Cracow. The king was furious and followed the bishop with his guards, some of whom he sent to kill the saint. These dared not obey, so Boleslaw slew him during the Holy Sacrifice. The body was at first buried in the chapel, but in 1088 it was transferred to the cathedral by Bishop Lambert II. St. Stanislaus was canonized 1253 by Innocent IV at Assisi.
(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/S/ststanislaus.asp#ixzz1rhUvLfvB

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Viral Video of Priest Singing at Wedding reaches 3 Million Views - Watch Amazing!

 Chris and Leah O'Kane when they were recently married at the Oldcastle church in Meathe, Ireland, by Father Ray Kelly who broke into an incredible custom-made cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." The online viral video shows Kelly singing. Their friends and family are stunned as the priest sings.
FOR INSPIRATIONAL STORIES AND FREE MOVIES  LIKE US ON FACEBOOK NOW http://www.facebook.com/catholicnewsworld   Fr. Kelly explained, 'Sure, maybe I'll sing a song for you myself.' The priest is a trained singer and is working on his third album. Chris and Leah O'Kane were shocked when the priest sang at their wedding, Father Ray Kelly, sang a special version of ‘Hallelujah’ at their wedding.Chris and Leah O'Kane were shocked when the priest at their wedding, Father Ray Kelly, sang a special version of ‘Hallelujah’."I enjoy singing, but I wouldn't want to do it full time — I love what I'm doing as a priest," he said. "The way I look at it is, it's a gift one has, and if you have a gift you use it."

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