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Friday, May 30, 2014

Catholic News World : Friday May 30, 2014 - Share!

2014

Patriarch Reveals discussion with Pope Francis for the Catholic - Orthodox Synod of Nicea in 2025

2 Teenage Girls Raped and Killed in India - Villagers Protest by their Bodies Hung from a Tree - Please Pray

Asia News IT Release: by NAT da Polis

In an interview with AsiaNews , the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople reveals the future steps to strengthen unity between Catholics and Orthodox. In addition to the appointment of Nicaea, the first truly ecumenical council , in the autumn the next meeting of the Catholic-Orthodox Joint Commission will be held in Jerusalem, where everyone "must commit themselves without hypocrisy".


Istanbul (AsiaNews) - On his return from Jerusalem , where he met with Pope Francis at the Holy Sepulchre, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, has revealed an important appointment for unity between Catholics and Orthodox: a gathering at Nicaea in 2025, where the first real ecumenical council of the undivided Church was celebrated.

Speaking exclusively with AsiaNews, Bartholomew says that together with Pope Francis "we agreed to leave as a legacy to ourselves and our successors a gathering in Nicaea in 2025, to celebrate together, after 17 centuries , the first truly ecumenical synod, where the Creed was first promulgated".



The Council of Nicaea (now Iznik, 130 km south- east of Istanbul) , brought together more than 300 bishops from East and West in  325 and is considered the first true ecumenical council. It was there that the formula of the Creed was decided, similar to the one recited during the liturgy today, saying that Jesus "is co-substantial to the Father,"to counter the Aryan ideology.

Francis and Bartolomew met to mark 50 years since the embrace between Paul VI and Athenagoras. The 1964 meeting broke a centuries old silence between the Christian East and the West, with all the socio-political consequences that have arisen, and from which Europe still suffers.

The meeting at the Holy Sepulchre has revitalized dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox , two Christian visions that despite their differences, have a common vision of the sacraments and  apostolic tradition.

"The dialogue for unity between Catholics and Orthodox - Bartholomew tellsAsiaNews - will start again from Jerusalem. In this city, in the autumn , a meeting of the Catholic-Orthodox Joint Commission  will be held hosted by the Greek -Orthodox patriarch Theophilos III . It is a long journey in which we all must be committed without hypocrisy".

 "Jerusalem - continues Bartholomew - is the place, the land of the dialogue between God and man, the place where the Logos of God was incarnated. Our predecessors Paul VI and Athenagoras have chosen this place to break a silence that lasted centuries between the two sister Churches".

"I walked with my brother Francis in the Holy Land not with the fears of Luke and Cleopas on their way to Emmaus (cf. Luke 24: 13-35), but inspired by a living hope which we learn from our Lord".

(Image Share YNet News)
(Article Share from Asia News IT)

Attack on Catholic Church leaves Over 15 Killed including Priest in CAR

Agenzia Fides) – The perpetrators of the attack on Our Lady of Fatima parish church in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, spoke neither French nor the locale Sango, Fides was told by Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, archbishop of Bangui, who added: “The attackers shouted in English ‘open the door’”.  (Image Share France24)
On 28 May men armed with automatic weapons and hand grenades attacked the parish where a number of persons had sought shelter from violence. The attack left 18 people dead including a Catholic priest Rev. Paul-Emile Nzale, aged 76. According to Fides sources at least 42 people were taken hostage and the bodies were later found. However Archbishop Nzapalainga cannot confirm the news. “Some survivors whom I met told me people were taken away, but on their whereabouts voices are contradictory: some say they were killed others affirm they are still alive” the Archbishop said.
 The attack has increased tension in the capital. “The city is totally paralyzed. Demonstrators calling for the temporary government to resign were dispersed by the army. Tension is high and no one knows what is going to happen” concludes Mons. Nzapalainga.
According to Fides sources, the attack on Our Lady of Fatima parish was carried out by foreign jihadists who now have complete control of Muslims living in the Km 5 district of Bangui. “Although the authorities pretend not to notice, many Central Africans know that jihadists terrorists from Sudan and Nigeria have infiltrated into the Seleka and are now in the Km 5 district. Likening the anti balaka to Christians, the western media offered these criminals a perfect means of propaganda” our sources conclude. Bishop Nestor Desire Nongo-Aziagbia, Bishop of Bossangoa, had earlier told Fides Agency about the presence of foreign jihadists at km 5 (see Fides 28/4/2014).
Seleka is the rebel coalition which took power in Bangui in March 2013, throwing the country into chaos. The anti balaka militiamen who chased the Seleka from the capital turned into criminal gangs now rampant in various parts of Central Africa. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/5/2014

Pope Francis "We must tell the truth: Christian life not just one big party."


Pope Francis at Friday morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta
30/05/2014


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis’ morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta was a hymn to Christian joy, which we cannot buy because it is a gift from God.  The Pope likened this joy gifted by God to the joy of a mother embracing her baby after childbirth, because it is a joy “purified” by the suffering of labor.  The joy of the Christians, he said is a "joy in hope".

Pope Francis based his homily on the observation that St. Paul "was very brave", "because he had strength in the Lord”.   Of course, he noted, sometimes even the Apostle to the Gentiles was afraid. "It happens to all of us in life, to have some ‘fear’ he added.  So much so, that sometime one wonder’s whether "it would be better to keep a lower profile, to not be a little less Christian and seek a compromise with the world".
However, Paul knew that “neither the Jews, nor the Gentiles" liked what he did, but this didn’t stop him and in the end he endured hardship and persecution. The Pope said that this should make us think about our fears.   Even Jesus in Gethsemane felt fear and anguish. And in his farewell speech, to his disciples clearly says that "the world will rejoice" for their suffering, as was the case with the first martyrs in the Coliseum:
"We must tell the truth: Christian life not just one big party. Not at all! We cry, we cry so many times. When we are sick; when we have a problem with our son, in the family, with our daughter, or wife, or husband; When we see that our salary does not reach the end of the month and we have a sick child; when we see that we cannot pay the mortgage on the house and we must somehow survive ... So many problems, we have so many. But Jesus tells us: 'Do not be afraid!'. 'Yes, you will be sad, cry and people will even rejoice, the people who are against you'".
"But - he continued - there is another sadness: the sadness that comes to all of us when we take the wrong road". When , "to put it simply", "we try to buy happiness, joy, [the happiness and joy] of the world, of sin.  In the end there is a void within us, there is sadness". And this, he reiterated , "is the sadness of  the wrong sort of happiness". Christian joy, "is a joy in hope, which comes".
"However, in times of trial we do not see this. It is a joy that is purified by trials, our everyday trials: 'Your sorrow will turn to joy'. But it's hard to go to a sick person who is suffering greatly and say: 'Come on! Come on! Tomorrow you will have joy!'. No, you cannot say this! We have to help them feel what Jesus made us feel. When we are in the dark, we do not see anything , 'I know, Lord, that this sorrow will turn to joy. I do not know how, but I know it!'. An act of faith in the Lord. An act of faith!".
To help us understand the sadness turns to joy, Jesus takes the example of a woman in labor: "It’s true, women suffer a lot in childbirth - the Pope said - but then when she holds her child,  she forgets". What remains is "the joy of Jesus, a purified joy". That is "the joy that remains". The Pope acknowledged that this joy is "hidden in some moments of life, we do not feel it in bad times, but it comes later: a joy in hope". This, then, "is the message of the Church today: Do not be afraid!".
"Be courageous in suffering and remember that after the Lord will come, after joy will come, after the dark comes the sun. May the Lord give us all this joy in hope. And the sign that we have this joy in hope is peace. How many sick, who are at the end of life, in pain, have that peace of soul ... This is the seed of joy, this is the joy of hope and peace. Do you have peace of soul in times of darkness, in times of trouble, in times of persecution, when everyone else rejoices at your suffering? Do you have peace? If you have peace, you have the seed of joy that will come later. May the Lord help us understand these things”.

Today's Mass Readings Online : Friday May 30, 2014

Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 295


Reading 1ACTS 18:9-18

One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision,
“Do not be afraid.
Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.
No one will attack and harm you,
for I have many people in this city.”
He settled there for a year and a half
and taught the word of God among them.

But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia,
the Jews rose up together against Paul
and brought him to the tribunal, saying,
“This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law.”
When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews,
“If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud,
I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews;
but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles
and your own law, see to it yourselves.
I do not wish to be a judge of such matters.”
And he drove them away from the tribunal.
They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official,
and beat him in full view of the tribunal.
But none of this was of concern to Gallio.

Paul remained for quite some time,
and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria,
together with Priscilla and Aquila.
At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow. 

Responsorial Psalm PS 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (8a) God is king of all the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God is king of all the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He brings people under us;
nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance,
the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.
R. God is king of all the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God is king of all the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel JN 16:20-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.” 

Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost SHARE this Prayer

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY GHOST

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. / I adore the brightness of Your purity the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength / and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart! To be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light: and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You / by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds / and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart / I implore You / Adorable Spirit I Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere / "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.


PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul / the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth / the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You I and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God find know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable / the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples / and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.


FIRST DAY OF THE NOVENA

Holy Spirit! Lord of Light!
From Your clear celestial height,
Your pure beaming radiance give!

Prayer


Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)



Novena Day 1 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-1-pentecost.html
Day 2 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/holy-spirit-novena-day-2-for-pentecost.html
Day 3 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/holy-spirit-novena-day-3-for-pentecost.html
Day 4 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-4-for.html
Day 5 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-5-for.html
Day 6 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-6-for.html
Day 7 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-7-for.html
Day 8 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-8-for.html
Day 9 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-day-9-to-holy-spirit-for.html




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Latest from the Vatican Information Service - New Saints and Other News

CONSISTORY FOR THE CAUSES OF CANONISATION
Vatican City, 30 May 2014 (VIS) – On Thursday, 12 June, in the Consistory Hall of the Apostolic Palace, during the celebration of Terce, an ordinary public consistory will be held for the canonisation of the following Blesseds:
- Giovanni Antonio Farina, bishop of Vicenza, Italy, and founder of the Institute of the Sisters of Saint Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts.
- Kuriakose Elias Chavara of the Holy Family, Indian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate.
- Ludovico de Casoria, Italian professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor, founder of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Saint Elizabeth (“Bigie”).
- Nicola da Longobardi, Italian professed oblate of the Order of Minims.
- Eufrasia Eluvathingal of the Sacred Heart, Indian professed religious of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel.
- Amato Ronconi, Italian layperson of the Third Order of St. Francis, founder of the founder of the Hospital-Hospice for Poor Pilgrims of Saludecio, now the Beato Amato Ronconi Nursing Home.
THE POPE JOINS IN THE CHARISMATIC CONVENTION AT THE OLYMPIC STADIUM
Vatican City, 30 May 2014 (VIS) – Next Sunday afternoon, the Holy Father will participate in a charismatic convention at the Olympic Stadium of Rome, which will take place from 1-2 June with the theme “Convert! Believe! Receive the Holy Spirit!”. Francis will arrive at the stadium at 5 p.m. and will enjoy the event from a box in the VIP area. It will be the first ever papal visit to a stadium in the Italian capital. This celebration of faith, organised by Renewal in the Spirit, will be attended by representatives of more than fifty countries, and an influx of more than 52,000 people is expected. During the encounter, which will involve moments of prayer, music and dance, the Holy Father will give an address.
AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 30 May 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Professor Rolf Heuer, director general of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).
- Sixteen prelates of the Mexican Episcopal Conference on their “ad limina” visit:
Archbishop Constancio Miranda Weckmann of Chihuahua;
Bishop Juan Guillermo Lopez Soto of Cuauhtemoc-Madera;
Archbishop Hector Gonzalez Martinez of Durango, with his auxiliary, Bishop Enrique Sanchez Martinez;
Bishop Jose Guadalupe Torres Campos of Gomez Palacio;
Bishop Mario Espinosa Contreras of Mazatlan;
Bishop Jose Guadalupe Galvan Galindo of Torreon;
Bishop Jonas Guerrero Corona of Culiacan;
Bishop Jose Benjamin Castillo Plasencia of Celaya;
Bishop Francisco Moreno Barron of Tlaxcala;
Bishop Lucas Martinez Lara of Matehuala;
Archbishop Rafael Romo Munoz of Tijuana;
Bishop Rafael Valdez Torres of Ensenada;
Bishop Miguel Angel Alba Diaz of La Paz en la Baja California Sur;
Bishop Jose Isidro Guerrero Macias of Mexicali;
Bishop Salvador Rangel Mendoza of Huejutla.
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 30 May 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Fr. Stephan Burger as archbishop of Freiburg im Breisgau, (area 16,229, population 4,735,970, Catholics 1,953,041, priests 1,007, permanent deacons 246, religious 1,684), Germany. The bishop-elect was born in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He studied theology at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau and obtained a licentiate in canon law from the University of Munster. He has served in the following roles: deputy priest in the parishes of St. Martin at Tauberbischofsheim and St. Franziskus at Pforzheim; parish administrator and subsequently priest of the parish of St. Mauritius at St. Leon-Rot; promoter of justice and subsequently judicial vicar at the tribunal of the archdiocese of Freiburg im Breisgau; and canon of the cathedral chapter.
- appointed Fr. Jonas Benson Okoye as auxiliary of the diocese of Awka (area 1,551, population 1,645,044, Catholics 818,792, priests 337, religious 165), Nigeria. The bishop-elect was born in Kaduna, Nigeria in 1963 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He studied theology and canon law at the Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port Harcourt, and holds a licentiate in canon law from St. Paul's University, Ottawa, Canada and a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including vicar of St. John's Parish, Ezinfite; priest of St. Peter's Parish, Oko; defender of the bond at the ecclesiastical tribunal of Awka; priest of St. John's Parish, Neni and deputy judicial vicar of the diocese of Awka; and priest of the Immaculate Conception Heart Parish, Ekwulobia. He is currently priest of the parish of St. Matthew, Amawbia, judicial vicar of the diocese of Awka, judge of the interdiocesan ecclesiastical tribunal of Onitsha, and president of the Nigerian Society of Canon Law.
- appointed Msgr. Paolo Giulietti as auxiliary of the metropolitan archdiocese of Perugia-Città della Pieve (area 1,900, population 286,645, Catholics 256,000, priests 195, religious 427), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Perugia, Italy in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1991. He studied at the Theological Institute of Assisi and the Pontifical Salesian University, where he obtained a licentiate in theology, youth pastoral and catechetics. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including: vicar in the parish of San Sisto in Perugia, spiritual assistant of the Confraternity of St. Jacopo of Compostela; director of the National Office of Youth Pastoral of the Italian Episcopal Conference; and priest of the parish of St. Bartholomew the Apostle in Ponte San Giovanni. He is currently vicar general of the archdiocese of Perugia-Città della Pieve. He is also moderator of the Curia, canon of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Perugia, and regional head of itineraries of faith. He was named Chaplain of His Holiness in 2005.
On Thursday, 29 May the Holy Father:
- confirmed the erection of the eparchy of St. Basil the Great of Bucharest of the Romanians, Romania, with territory from the current archieparchy of Fagaras and Alba Iulia of the Romanians.
- confirmed the transfer of Bishop Mihai Catalin Fratila from the office of auxiliary of and protosyncellus of Fagaras and Alba Iulia of the Romanians to the new eparchy of St. Basil the Great of Bucharest of the Romanians, Romania.

Saint May 30 : St. Joan of Arc : Patron of Soldiers, Martyrs, Prisoners and France

St. Joan of Arc
PATRON SAINT OF FRANCE
Feast: May 30


Information:
Feast Day:May 30
Born:6 January c. 1412, Domrémy, France
Died:May 30, 1431, Rouen, France
Canonized:May 16, 1920, St. Peter's Basilica, Rome by Pope Benedict XV
Patron of:France; martyrs; captives; militants; people ridiculed for their piety; prisoners; soldiers; Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service; Women's Army Corps
Savior of France and the national heroine of that country, Joan of Arc lives on in the imagination of the world as a symbol of that integrity of purpose that makes one die for what one believes. Jeanne la Pucelle, the Maid, is the shining example of what a brave spirit can accomplish in the world of men and events. The saint was born on the feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 1412, at Domremy, a village in the rich province of Champagne, on the Meuse River in northeast France. She came of sound peasant stock. Her father, Jacques d'Arc, was a good man, though rather morose; his wife was a gentle, affectionate mother to their five children. From her the two daughters of the family received careful training in all household duties. "In sewing and spinning," Joan declared towards the end of her short life, "I fear no woman." She whose destiny it was to save France was a well-brought-up country girl who, in common with most people of the time, never had an opportunity to learn to read or write. The little we know of her childhood is contained in the impressive and often touching testimony to her piety and dutiful conduct in the depositions presented during the process for her rehabilitation in I456, twenty-five years after her death. Priests and former playmates then recalled her love of prayer and faithful attendance at church, her frequent use of the Sacraments, kindness to sick people, and sympathy for poor wayfarers, to whom she sometimes gave up her own bed. "She was so good," the neighbors said, "that all the village loved her."

Joan's early life, however, must have been disturbed by the confusion of the period and the disasters befalling her beloved land. The Hundred Years War between England and France was still running its dismal course. Whole provinces were being lost to the English and the Burgundians, while the weak and irresolute government of France offered no real resistance. A frontier village like Domremy, bordering on Lorraine, was especially exposed to the invaders. On one occasion, at least, Joan fled with her parents to Neufchatel, eight miles distant, to escape a raid of Burgundians who sacked Domremy and set fire to the church, which was near Joan's home.

The child had been three years old when in 1415 King Henry V of England had started the latest chain of troubles by invading Normandy and claiming the crown of the insane king, Charles VI. France, already in the throes of civil war between the supporters of the Dukes of Burgundy and Orleans, had been in no condition to resist, and when the Duke of Burgundy was treacherously killed by the Dauphin's servants, most of his faction joined the British forces. King Henry and King Charles both died in 1422, but the war continued. The Duke of Bedford, as regent for the infant king of England, pushed the campaign vigorously, one town after another falling to him or to his Burgundian allies. Most of the country north of the Loire was in English hands. Charles VII, the Dauphin, as he was still called, considered his position hopeless, for the enemy even occupied the city of Rheims, where he should have been crowned. He spent his time away from the fighting lines in frivolous pastimes with his court.

Joan was in her fourteenth year when she heard the first of the unearthly voices, which, she felt sure, brought her messages from God. One day while she was at work in the garden, she heard a voice, accompanied by a blaze of light; after this, she vowed to remain a virgin and to lead a godly life. Afterwards, for a period of two years, the voices increased in number, and she was able to see her heavenly visitors, whom she identified as St. Michael, St. Catherine of  Alexandria, and St. Margaret, the three saints whose ages stood in the church at Domremy. Gradually they revealed to her the purpose of their visits: she, an ignorant peasant girl, was given the high mission of saving her country; she was to take Charles to Rheims to be crowned, and then drive out the English! We do not know just when Joan decided to obey the voices; she spoke little of them at home, fearing her stern father's disapproval. But by May, 1428, the voices had become insistent and explicit. Joan, now sixteen, must first go quickly to Robert de Baudricourt, who commanded the Dauphin's forces in the neighboring town of Vaucouleurs and say that she was appointed to lead the Dauphin to his crowning. An uncle accompanied Joan, but the errand proved fruitless; Baudricourt laughed and said that her father should give her a whipping. Thus rebuffed, Joan went back to Domremy, but the voices gave her no rest. When she protested that she was a poor girl who could neither ride nor fight, they answered, "It is God who commands it."

At last, she was impelled to return secretly to Baudricourt, whose skepticism was shaken, for news had reached him of just the sort of serious French defeat that Joan had predicted. The military position was now desperate, for Orleans, the last remaining French stronghold on the Loire, was invested by the English and seemed likely to fall. Baudricourt now agreed to send Joan to the Dauphin, and gave her an escort of three soldiers. It was her own idea to put on male attire, as a protection. On March 6, 1429, the party reached Chinon, where the Dauphin was staying, and two days later Joan was admitted to the royal presence. To test her, Charles had disguised himself as one of his courtiers, but she identified him without hesitation and, by a sign which only she and he understood, convinced him that her mission was authentic.
The ministers were less easy to convince. When Joan asked for soldiers to lead to the relief of Orleans, she was opposed by La Tremouille, one of Charles' favorites, and by others, who regarded the girl either as a crazy visionary or a scheming impostor. To settle the question, they sent her to Poitiers, to be questioned by a commission of theologians. After an exhaustive examination lasting for three weeks, the learned ecclesiastics pronounced Joan honest, good, and virtuous; they counseled Charles to make prudent use of her services. Thus vindicated, Joan returned full of courage of Chinon, and plans went forward to equip her with a small force, A banner was made, bearing at her request, the words, "Jesus Maria," along with a figure of God the Father, to whom two kneeling angels were presenting a fleur-de-lis, the royal emblem of France. On April 27 the army left Blois with Joan, now known to her troops as "La Pucelle," the Maid, clad in dazzling white armor Joan was a handsome, healthy, well-built girl, with a smiling face, and dark hair which had been cut short. She had now learned to ride well, but, naturally, she had no knowledge of military tactics. Yet her gallantry and valor kindled the soldiers and with them she broke through the English line and entered Orleans on April 29. Her presence in the city greatly heartened the French garrison. By May 8 the English fort outside Orleans had been captured and the siege raised. Conspicuous in her white armor, Joan had led the attack and had been slightly wounded in the shoulder by an arrow.

Her desire was to follow up these first successes with even more daring assaults, for the voices had told her that she would not live long, but La Tremouille and the archbishop of Rheims were in favor of negotiating. However, the Maid was allowed to join in a short campaign along the Loire with the Duc d'Alencon, one of her devoted supporters. It ended with a victory at Patay, in which the English forces under Sir John Falstolf suffered a crushing defeat. She now urged the immediate coronation of the Dauphin, since the road to Rheims had been practically cleared. The French leaders argued and dallied, and finally consented to follow her to Rheims. There, on July 17, 1429, Charles VII was duly crowned, Joan standing proudly behind him with her banner.

The mission entrusted to her by the heavenly voices was now only half fulfilled, for the English were still in France. Charles, weak and irresolute, did not follow up these auspicious happenings, and an attack on Paris failed, mainly for lack of his promised support and presence. During the action Joan was again wounded and had to be dragged to safety by the Duc d'Alencon. There followed winter's truce, which Joan spent for the most part in the company of the court, where she was regarded with ill-concealed suspicion. When hostilities were renewed in the spring, she hurried off to the relief of Compiegne, which was besieged by the Burgundians. Entering the city at sunrise on May 23, 1430, she led against the enemy later in the day. It failed, and through miscalculation on the part of the governor, the drawbridge over which her forces were retiring was lifted too soon, leaving her and a number of soldiers outside, at the mercy of the enemy. Joan was dragged from her horse and led to the quarters of John of Luxembourg, one of whose soldiers had been her captor. From then until the late autumn she remained the prisoner of the Duke of Burgundy, incarcerated in a high tower of the castle of the Luxembourgs. In a desperate attempt to escape, the girl leapt from the tower, landing on soft turf, stunned and bruised. It was thought a miracle that she had not been killed.

Never, during that period or afterwards, was any effort made to secure Joan's release by King Charles or his ministers. She had been a strange and disturbing ally, and they seemed content to leave her to her fate. But the English were to have her, and on November 21, the Burgundians accepted a large indemnity and gave her into English hands. They could not take her life for defeating them in war, but they could have her condemned as a sorceress and a heretic. Had she not been able to inspire the French with the Devil's own courage? In an age when belief in witchcraft and demons was general, the charge did not seem too preposterous. Already the English and Burgundian soldiers had been attributing their reverses to her spells.
In a cell in the castle of Rouen to which Joan was moved two days before Christmas, she was chained to a plank bed, and watched over night and day. On February 21, 1431, she appeared for the first time before a court of the Inquisition. It was presided over by Pierre Cauchon, bishop of Beauvais, a ruthless, ambitious man who apparently hoped through English influence to become archbishop of Rouen. The other judges were lawyers and theologians who had been carefully selected by Cauchon. In the course of six public and nine private sessions, covering a period of ten weeks, the prisoner was cross-examined as to her visions and voices, her assumption of male attire, her faith, and her willingness to submit to the Church. Alone and undefended, the nineteen-year-old girl bore herself fearlessly, her shrewd answers, honesty, piety, and accurate memory often proving embarrassing to these severe inquisitors. Through her ignorance of theological terms, on a few occasions she was betrayed into making damaging statements. At the end of the hearings, a set of articles was drawn up by the clerks and submitted to the judges, who thereupon pronounced her revelations the work of the Devil and Joan herself a heretic. The theological faculty of the University of Paris approved the court's verdict.

In final deliberations the tribunal voted to hand Joan over to the secular arm for burning if she still refused to confess she had been a witch and had lied about hearing voices. This she steadfastly refused to do, though physically exhausted and threatened with torture. Only when she was led out into the churchyard of St. Ouen before a great crowd, to hear the sentence committing her to the flames, did she kneel down and admit she had testified falsely. She was then taken back to prison. Under pressure from her jailers, she had some time  earlier put off the male attire, which her accusers seemed to find particularly objectionable. Now, either by her own choice or as the result of a trick played upon her by those who wanted her death, she resumed it. When Bishop Cauchon, with some witnesses, visited her in her cell to question her further, she had recovered from her weakness, and once more she claimed that God had truly sent her and that the voices had come from Him. Cauchon was well pleased with this turn of events.

On Tuesday, May 29, 1431, the judges, after hearing Cauchon's report, condemned Joan as a relapsed heretic and delivered her to the English. The next morning at eight o'clock she was led out into the market place of Rouen to be burned at the stake. As the faggots were lighted, a Dominican friar, at her request, held up a cross before her eyes and, while the flames leapt higher and higher, she was heard to call on the name of Jesus. John Tressart, one of King Henry's secretaries, viewed the scene with horror and was probably joined in spirit by others when he exclaimed remorsefully, "We are lost! We have burned a saint!" Joan's ashes were cast into the Seine.

Twenty-five years later, when the English had been driven out, the Pope at Avignon ordered a rehearing of the case. By that time Joan was being hailed as the savior of France. Witnesses were heard and depositions made, and in consequence the trial was pronounced irregular. She was formally rehabilitated as a true and faithful daughter of the Church. From a short time after her death up to the French Revolution, a local festival in honor of the Maid was held at Orleans on May 8, commemorating the day the siege was raised. The festival was reestablished by Napoleon I. In 1920 the French Republic declared May 8 a day of national celebration. Joan was beatified in 1909 and canonized by Benedict XV in 1919.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/J/stjoanofarc.asp#ixzz1wLwT5y4i

Thursday, May 29, 2014

2 Teenage Girls Raped and Killed in India - Villagers Protest by their Bodies Hung from a Tree - Please Pray

 Two young sisters in India were raped and killed by a gang. Their bodies were then hung from a mango tree. Hundreds of villagers surrounded the tree in silent protest due to police inaction. Four men have been arrested.  On Wednesday, May 28 they were found near their home in the Katra village of Uttar Pradesh state. The girls, were 14 and 15, and went to the fields because there was no toilet in their house. The villagers prevented the authorities from removing the bodies until the suspects were arrested. The girls were raped and strangled then hung. The family belongs to the Dalit caste.  According to statistics a rape is committed every 22 minutes in India, with a population of 1.2 billion people. PLEASE PRAY for an End to Rapes in India and Pakistan.
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