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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

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Our Lady of Fatima Novena Prayer
No prayer is known to be said, but this is one of the most beautiful novenas that can be said. The same verse is said once each day for the nine days.
The Nine Day Novena To Our Lady Of Fatima
DAY ONE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY TWO
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY THREE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY FOUR
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY FIVE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY SIX
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY SEVEN
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
(top)
DAY EIGHT
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen. 
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY NINE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  


(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)

Pope Francis "Two groups of people; gentle, sweet people, humble, open to the Holy Spirit", and the others "proud..."


(Vatican Radio) We cannot understand the things of God only with our heads, we need to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit too. This was Pope Francis’ message at morning Mass Tuesday at Casa Santa Marta. The Pope also said that faith is a gift of God which we cannot receive if we live our lives “detached” from His people, the Church.

As usual, the Pope reflected on the readings offered by the liturgy of the day, which show us "two groups of people". In the First Reading, "there are those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose" following Stephen’s martyrdom. "They were dispersed with the seed of the Gospel - the Pope said – and they carried it everywhere". At first, they only spoke to the Jews. Then , "almost naturally, some of them" who had come to Antioch, "began to speak to the Greeks". And so, slowly, "they opened the doors to the Greeks, to the pagans”. Once the news arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas was sent to Antioch "to carry out an inspection". He noticed that everyone “was happy" because " a large number of people was added to the Lord".

Pope Francis noted that these people did not say “let's go to the Jews first, then the Greeks, then pagans, then everyone. No! They allowed themselves to be carried by the Holy Spirit! They were docile to the Holy Spirit". And then, he said, "one thing leads to another" and "they end up opening the doors to everyone: to the pagans, who were considered unclean in the mentality of the time”, "they opened the doors to everyone." This, he stressed , "is the first group of people, those who are docile to the Holy Spirit". "Sometimes - he added - the Holy Spirit prompts us to do bold things: like how he drove Philip to go and baptize" the Minister of Ethiopia , "like how he pushed Peter to go and baptize Cornelius".


"Other times, the Holy Spirit leads us gently and the virtue is in allowing ourselves to be carried by the Holy Spirit, in not resisting the Holy Spirit, in being docile to the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit works in the Church today, is acting in our lives today. Some of you may say: ' I have never seen him!'. 'But, pay attention to what is happening, to what comes to your mind, to what comes in your heart. Good things? It is the Spirit that invites you to take that path. It takes docility! Docility to the Holy Spirit”.
The second group presented to us in the readings of the day is the "intellectuals, who came to Jesus in the temple: they are the doctors of the law." Jesus, the Pope noted, has always had problems with them, "because they never arrived at understanding: they always came back to the same point, because they believed that religion was a thing of the mind, of laws". They saw it as a question of "fulfilling the commandments and nothing more. They cannot even imagine the existence of the Holy Spirit". The questioned Jesus , "they wanted to argue. Everything was about the mind, the intellect". "These people had no heart - he added -there is no love or beauty, there is no harmony" these people “only want explanations":

"And you give them their explanations and, not convinced, they return with more questions . This is their way: they spin round and round ... As they spun Jesus around throughout his life, until the time that they were able to take him and kill him! These people do not open their hearts to the Holy Spirit! They believe that the things of God can be understood only with the head, with ideas, with their own ideas. They are proud. They think they know everything. And what does not fit into their intelligence is not true. You can raise a dead man in front of them , but they do not believe". 

Jesus "goes further" and says "something very strong": "You do not believe because you are not part of my sheep! You do not believe because you are not of the people of Israel. You have left the people. You are in intellectual aristocracy". This attitude, he warned, "closes the heart. They have denied their own people".

"These people had become detached from the people of God and therefore could not believe. Faith is a gift from God! But faith comes if you are in His people . If you are - right now - in the Church, if you are helped by the sacraments, brothers and sisters, by the assembly. If you believe that this Church is the People of God. These people had distanced themselves, they did not believe in the people of God, they only believed in their own things, and thus built a whole system of commandments that chased the people away: they chased people away and would not let them come into the Church, the people. They could not believe! This is the sin of resisting the Holy Spirit".

Pope Francis concluded: "Two groups of people”, those who are "gentle, sweet people, humble, open to the Holy Spirit", and the others "proud, self-sufficient, detached from the people, intellectual aristocrats, who closed their doors and resist the Holy Spirit". "This is not just stubbornness", he said , "it is much more: it is having a hard heart! And this is more dangerous". "Let us ask the Lord for the grace of docility to the Holy Spirit to move forward in life, to be creative, to be joyful, because the other people were not joyful". When "there is a lot of seriousness - he said - the Spirit of God is lacking". We ask, therefore, "for the grace of obedience and that the Holy Spirit will help us to defend ourselves from this other evil spirit of self-sufficiency, pride, arrogance, closure of the heart to the Holy Spirit".


Text from Vatican Radio website 

Harvard University Protest over Satanic Black Mass

 

Sever Hall, Harvard
 A Harvard University student group plans to hold a 'black mass' on the historic campus tonight, drawing criticism from the Archdiocese of Boston, who expressed "deep sadness and strong opposition" to the plan. The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club said in a statement it plans to host "a historical re-enactment of a black mass ceremony that has a narrator providing historical context and background." It said the event was intended to be educational and would be preceded by a lecture on the history and origins of the black mass, a ritual that parodies the Catholic mass, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed. 
The re-enactment will be performed by the Satanic Temple, a Satanist group that attracted attention earlier this year after it proposed the placement of a seven-foot (2.1-metre) tall statue of Satan with two children looking up at him,  next to an existing Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma.
"Our purpose is not to denigrate any religion or faith, which would be repugnant to our educational purposes, but instead to learn and experience the history of different cultural practices," the club said. 
The Archdiocese of Boston has voiced sharp criticism of the planned re-enactment, calling on its faithful to pray for those involved and on Harvard to disassociate itself from the event. It said in a statement:
'The Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Boston expresses its deep sadness and strong opposition to the plan to stage a “black mass” on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge.
'For the good of the Catholic faithful and all people, the Church provides clear teaching concerning Satanic worship. This activity separates people from God and the human community, it is contrary to charity and goodness, and it places participants dangerously close to destructive works of evil.
'In a recent statement, Pope Francis warned of the danger of being naïve about or underestimating the power of Satan, whose evil is too often tragically present in our midst. We call upon all believers and people of good will to join us in prayer for those who are involved in this event, that they may come to appreciate the gravity of their actions, and in asking Harvard to disassociate itself from this activity.'
A spokesman for the Archdiocese, Terrence Donilon, added in an email on Friday: "In the strongest terms possible we reject any attack on the Eucharist."
The reservation-only event is scheduled to take place tonight at the Queen’s Head Pub at Harvard’s Memorial Hall, according to a flyer provided by the student group. 
Fr Roger Landry, who runs http://catholicpreaching.com, has sent the following letter to Harrvard University President Drew G Faust
Fr Landry writes:
Dear President Faust,
I am writing to ask you to use your office to intervene to shut down the terribly ill-advised and totally insensitive Satanic Mass that’s supposed to take place at 8.30pm local time on Monday, May 12 at the Queens Head Pub within Memorial Hall.
To argue, as the Extension School’s Press Release did, that it’s about education or freedom of expression or assembly or religion is silly. We all know that if there were to be a seance to communicate with the soul of Adolf Hitler, Harvard would never countenance it, first because we’re clearly dealing with conjuring evil, and second because it would be terribly injurious to Jewish members of the Harvard community and the wider community.
We also all know that if an “independent student organization” were trying to host an event in which there would be reenacting the burning of a copy of the Koran, it likewise would never be permitted, because Harvard would never associate itself with the desecration of Islam’s sacred text or allow its name or property to be used in something that would obviously outrage the spiritual sensibilities of Muslims.
A ceremony invoking Satan, mocking the Catholic Mass and desecrating what Catholics believe to be the Body of Jesus Christ — or if, implausibly, an unconsecrated host will be used, something that is at least meant to symbolize the Eucharist — should be treated in the same way.
It’s not enough for Harvard to put out a press release saying that Harvard doesn’t “endorse the views or activities of any independent student organization.” Harvard simply would never allow itself or its properties to be associated with events that mock the religious beliefs, desecrate the sacred texts, or insult the spiritual sensitivities of Jews or Muslims. Likewise it wouldn’t allow its reputation or institution to be affiliated in any way with the activities or views of an “independent student organization” that was reenacting the lynchings of African Americans or homophobic attacks or violence against women. Harvard would act decisively in those situations, both out of just concern for its own reputation but also out of moral outrage against such insensitivity that clear thinking, ethical people immediately recognize as evil.
You have a special responsibility over Harvard’s reputation as well as occupy the most prominent position of all to demonstrate what Harvard stands for. Please grasp that Harvard’s present acquiescence to allowing its campus to be the setting for this Satanic Mass and its up-until-now anemic response have already brought the University local, national and international derision. The Founders of Harvard would, I think, be ashamed that a school to which they gave the motto Veritas: Christo et Ecclesiae would allow itself to be used in any way whatsoever as the staging for Satanic worship.
Yesterday I was asked by about two dozen people about what my alma mater was doing in allowing this mockery of Catholicism and this acquiescence in the conjuring of evil. I replied that I can’t fathom how this “dear mother” would have lost its capacity to see clearly and promptly how outrageous this is and that for the first time in my life I’m really embarrassed to be associated with Harvard. I’m sure there are many other alumni who are similarly ashamed.
There’s still time to remedy this situation and clearly communicate that mockery and desecration of the religious rites, objects, and sensitivities of others have no place at Harvard.
By shutting this event down and not just dissociating itself from what was supposed to happen but by forcefully condemning it, you would not only remedy the damage to Harvard’s reputation that has already taken place but set the type of example for educational institutions and the broader culture that Harvard has prided itself in setting for 378 years.
I’m hoping that you will use your office to respond as strongly to this insensitivity as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver recently used his office to respond to Donald Sterling’s racist comments.
That’s what this situation warrants. That’s what you have the power to do. And that’s what I’m asking and praying that you will do."
A petition calling for the event to be cancelled has already attracted more than 20,000 signatures. 
Shared from IND. Cath. News
See:
http://www.tfpstudentaction.org/get-involved/online-petitions/satanic-black-mass-at-harvard-university-sign-protest-message.html

RIP Fr. Gerry Inau Killed in Papua New Guinea

Agenzia Fides) - A Catholic priest and a layman of the diocese of Bereina were killed on Sunday, May 4, for reasons which are still unclear, while they were walking in a remote area of the diocese. We are talking about Fr. Gerry Maria Inau and Benedict, a lay extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. The news, sent to Fides by the communications office of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, was confirmed by the Vicar General of the Diocese of Bereina who, with another priest, arrived on the spot with a police helicopter. The Bishop of Bereina and the other bishops are in New Zealand for the Assembly of Bishops of Oceania, from May 12 to 16.
Fr. George Licini PIME, of the Communications Office of the Episcopal Conference says "it will take time to collect testimonies from locals and the police to reconstruct what happened". The two are perhaps victims of a tribal conflict that has been going on in the last few years. In a note sent to Fides, Fr. Casmiro Kito MSC, who knew Fr. Gerry says: "He was a priest of great faith. He had a big heart for his people and served them with love. May his death be a sacrifice for peace between the tribes of the Kunimaipa Valley". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 13/05/2014)

Today's Mass Online : Tues. May 13, 2014

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 280

Video Added Later

Reading 1ACTS 11:19-26

Those who had been scattered by the persecution
that arose because of Stephen
went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to no one but Jews.
There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however,
who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well,
proclaiming the Lord Jesus.
The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Responsorial Psalm PS 87:1B-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (117:1a) All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
His foundation upon the holy mountains
the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I tell of Egypt and Babylon
among those who know the LORD;
Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia:
“This man was born there.”
And of Zion they shall say:
“One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High LORD.”
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
“This man was born there.”
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
“My home is within you.”
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel JN 10:22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”

Saint May 13 : Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima
Feast: May 13


Information:
Feast Day:May 13
Throughout the Old Testament God, in His great mercy, chose prophets to call His people back to Him. In recent times God is sending His Mother. One of the apparitions of the Mother of God in this century took place in 1917 at Fatima, a little village in Portugal. Our Lady came there to warn us of the harm we would inflict upon ourselves as a result of our sins: wars, famines, plagues, persecution of the Church and the loss of many souls in Hell. God, in His great mercy, wished to save us from these miseries through the Immaculate Heart of His Mother. Our Heavenly Mother revealed at Fatima a plan of hope for this world which continues to plunge headlong toward its own destruction.
In 1915 an Angel appeared to four little girls, among them Lucia de Jesus dos Santos. While saying the Rosary they saw what looked like a cloud that was whiter than snow, slightly transparent, with a human outline. This same apparition took place on two more occasions, leaving the girls in a state of amazement.

One year later Lucia was tending sheep with her two cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. This time the Angel came with very distinguishable features. He said to them: "Don't be afraid. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me." He then knelt and, bowing with his forehead to the ground, prayed three times: "My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee! I beg pardon of Thee for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee!" Then He said to the children: "Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications." With these words the Angel left them. The children felt so enveloped by God's Presence that they remained bowed to the ground for a long time repeating this prayer. This special atmosphere which they felt then gradually left them. Soon the three children were back to spending their days playing games together.

Lucia, the oldest of the children, was born on March 22, 1907 and was the youngest of seven. Francisco was born on June 11, 1908 and Jacinta on March 11, 1910. One day, while the three were playing, the Angel visited them again and said, "What are you doing? Pray! Pray a great deal! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs for you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High." Lucia asked how they were to sacrifice. The Angel responded, "With all your power offer a sacrifice as an act of reparation for the sinners by whom He [the Lord] is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners. Thus draw peace upon your country. I am its Guardian Angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all accept and endure with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you."

Only Lucia and Jacinta heard the Angel. Francisco had to learn what he said from them. By the light of grace the children understood the value of sacrifice. They spent many hours repeating the prayer he had taught them. In Autumn of that year the Angel appeared to them again. He was holding a chalice in his hand with a Host suspended over it from which drops of Blood were falling into the chalice. Leaving the Host and chalice suspended in mid-air the Angel prostrated himself on the ground praying three times, "Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly and offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference by which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners." Then the Angel arose and gave the Sacred Host to Lucia. The contents  of the chalice were given to Francisco and Jacinta while he said, "Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly insulted by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God." Then the Angel again prostrated himself, praying three times, "Most Holy Trinity. . .."

On May 13th, 1917 the children were again playing their games, this time building castles out of rock in the field. Suddenly they saw a flash of light. Believing it to be lightning, even though the sky was clear, the children gathered the sheep and started for home. They took refuge under a tree about a hundred yards away. They saw a flash of light again. They began running, going about a hundred yards further when suddenly they saw, standing over a small holmoak tree, a Lady dressed in white more brilliant than the sun. She said, "Don't be afraid. I won't hurt you! I am from Heaven. I come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the thirteenth day at this same hour. Then I will tell you who I am, and what I want. And afterwards I will return here a seventh time." (Our Lady appeared at the holmoak a total of six times. To this day there are only conjectures about when the seventh apparition took or will take place.) Lucia asked if the three of them would go to Heaven. The Lady said they would except that Francisco would have to say many Rosaries first. Lucia asked about two of her friends who had died. The Lady responded that one was in Heaven but the other would be in Purgatory until the end of the world. The Lady went on to say, "Do you wish to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings that He may please to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and to ask for the conversion of sinners?" Lucia responded, "Yes" for all three of them. Then the Lady said, "Then you will have much to suffer. But the grace of God will be your comfort." With this the Lady opened Her Hands and enveloped the children in light. Moved by an inward impulse, they fell to their knees praying, "O most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament." Again the Lady spoke saying, "Say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war" [World War I].

Up to this point the visions of the children remained secret. This time Jacinta told her mother about her experience. News spread quickly around the village exposing the children to ridicule and disbelief. On June 13th Our Lady appeared again at the same spot, known as the Cova da Iria, and said to the children, "I want you to come here on the thirteenth day of the coming month and to recite five decades of the Rosary every day." Lucia asked if the Lady would take them to Heaven. The Lady responded that Jacinta and Francisco would be taken soon. But Lucia would have to remain to help establish in the world devotion to Her Immaculate Heart. Lucia began to cry thinking she would be left all alone. Our Lady comforted her by saying She would not forsake her. Then the children saw a Heart in Our Lady's right hand with thorns encircling It. They understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, for which reparation had to be made.

On July 13th crowds began to gather for the apparition. This time Our Lady said, "I want you to come here on the thirteenth day of the coming month, and to continue to say five decades of the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain the peace of the world and the end of the war. For She alone will be able to help." Lucia asked for a miracle to prove Her appearances to people who doubted. The Lady responded, "Continue to come here every month. In October I will tell you who I am and what I wish, and will perform a miracle that everyone will have to believe. . . Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say many times, especially when you make some sacrifice: `O Jesus, it is for Thy love, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'"

With these words light streamed from the Lady penetrating the earth. The children saw demons and people immersed in a sea of fire. From them came shrieks and groans of despair. Our Lady then said, "You see Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If they do what I will tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace. The war is going to end. But if they do not stop offending God, another and worse one will begin in the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that is the great sign God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, of hunger, and of persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this I come to ask the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays. If they listen to my requests, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not she will scatter her errors through the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer [Jacinta later had more visions concerning a future Pope's suffering], various nations will be annihilated. In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and it will be converted and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world. In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be kept. Do not tell this to anyone. Francisco, yes, you may tell. [This became known as the secret, only part of which is disclosed here] When you say the Rosary, say after each Mystery, `O my Jesus, pardon us and deliver us from the fire of Hell. Draw all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need.'"

The governor of the area was a former Catholic turned Mason who was very set against the Church. On August 13th he offered to take the children to the apparition site in his carriage. Once they got inside he kidnapped them. He locked them in a room of his house. The next day he took them to the Town Hall. The children were questioned. He was especially interested in the "secret" which the Lady told them. The children would not tell him. Finding that he was getting nowhere he threw them in jail. After they spent a short time in the jail he questioned them again. At one point the governor threatened to throw them in boiling oil. Even this failed. He kept them locked up overnight at his house. The next day he questioned them again. Finally, seeing that his efforts were useless, he released them.

On August 19th the Lady appeared to the children in a different place. She said, "I want you to continue to go to Cova da Iria on the thirteenth day and to continue to recite the Rosary every day. In the last month [October] I will perform the miracle so that all shall believe. . . Pray, pray a great deal, and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to Hell because they have no one to sacrifice and pray for them." Lucia asked the Lady what to do with the money that the crowd had left at the Cova da Iria. She said some should be used for a procession on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and the rest should go for the support of the chapel which the people would build.

On September 13th the crowd had grown so much that the children could barely make their way to the apparition site. That day Our Lady said, "Continue to say the Rosary to bring about the end of the War. In October Our Lord will come also, and Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and Saint Joseph with the Child Jesus, to bless the world. . ."

October 13th was a very rainy day. Yet this did not keep believers and non-believers from coming to witness the miracle the Lady had promised. Some estimated the crowd at around 70,000. The Lady came at noon and Lucia asked Her, "What do You want of me?" She responded, "I want to tell you to have them build a Chapel here in My honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Let them continue to say the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes." Lucia asked Our Lady if She would grant some requests given to her by the people. Our Lady said, "Some yes, others no. It is necessary that they amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. Let them offend Our Lord God no more, for He is already much offended." As Our Lady ascended from their sight She opened Her Hands and pointed toward the sun. The children then saw in the sky three tableau of the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. Then the Holy Family appeared. St. Joseph and the Infant Jesus blessed the crowd three times. Next only Lucia saw Our Lady of Sorrows beside Her Suffering Son Who also blessed the crowd. Finally the children saw Our Lady of Mount Carmel with the Infant Jesus upon Her knee.

The crowd, on the other hand, saw something very different. The people stared at the sun which started dancing in the sky. Then it whirled rapidly, emitting flames of fire which reflected many different colors upon the earth. Finally it appeared to be plummeting from the sky toward the crowd which frightened the people very much. Some thought it was the end of the world. Then the sun reversed its direction and returned to its normal position in the sky. As the people regained their senses they noticed still another miracle. Although it had been a very rainy day now the ground and even their clothes were dry.

The public apparitions ceased but the children, from time to time, would still see Our Lady. Toward the end of October, 1918, Francisco and Jacinta became ill with influenza. On April 4th, 1919 Francisco died of this disease. He had spent the remainder of his short life in prayer and penance. He was often seen praying before the Most Blessed Sacrament. Francisco, with great insight for his young age, talked about "the hidden Jesus" in the tabernacle. Jacinta's agony would last longer. She offered up heroic sacrifices during her illness. She developed pneumonia and then pleurisy. She was taken to a hospital at Ourem. After two months she returned home with an incision in her chest. A doctor on pilgrimage visited Jacinta and said she should go to the children's hospital in Lisbon. So mother and child set out on the journey. In Lisbon they stayed for a few days at an orphanage run by a Franciscan nun, Mother Godinho.

Mother Godinho had an opportunity to converse with Jacinta. Jacinta told her that war is the punishment for the sins of mankind. If people would repent Jesus would save the world but if they did not He would punish it. She talked about the importance of Confession, that it was a Sacrament of mercy and that it was necessary for salvation. Jacinta mentioned the great charity we must have, even for the wicked, and that we should never speak ill words about anyone. She emphasized the value of patience and that it would bring us to Heaven. Jacinta said that many people were in Hell due to the sins of the flesh. She prophesied that certain women's fashions would be introduced which would be very offensive to Our Lady.

When Jacinta was at the hospital in Lisbon the doctors talked about performing an operation. She said that it would all be in vain because she was going to die. She even had someone write to Lucia informing her of the day and hour of her death. Mother Godinho continued to converse with her. Jacinta prophesied other incidents about certain people and these later came true. Because of her weakened state only a local anaesthesia could be given for the operation. They removed two ribs and left an open wound in her chest the size of a fist. She suffered very much but never complained. Four days before her death Our Lady came and took all her pains away. On February 20th, 1920, she died. Fifteen years later her body was moved to a cemetery at Fatima and was found still whole and incorrupt.

A small chapel was built by the people to Our Lady. In 1922 a bomb destroyed this chapel. Another bomb placed at the holmoak above which Our Lady stood during the apparitions did not explode. Many years later a great shrine to Our Lady of Fatima was built which included a hospital, convent and retreat house.
In 1921 the Bishop, due to the numerous pilgrims who came to see Lucia and her family, told Lucia to attend the school of the Sisters of St. Dorothy near Oporto where she would be unknown. At the school the Mother Superior changed her name to Maria of the Sorrows. Lucia was told not to speak about the apparitions. In 1925 Lucia joined the Sisters of St. Dorothy.

On December 10, 1925, Our Lady, with the Child Jesus beside Her, appeared to Sister Lucia in her room. She was holding out Her Heart surrounded by sharp thorns. Both asked for reparation to be made to the Immaculate Heart. Our Lady promised to assist with all the necessary graces for salvation at death those who would make the Five First Saturdays. That is, those who, for five consecutive first Saturdays of the month, would go to Confession, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and spend fifteen minutes meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary, all with the intention of making reparation to Her. (Later Our Lord said that Confession could be on another day as long as one receives Holy Communion in the state of grace.)

On May 29, 1930 Our Lord explained to Sr. Lucy that the five Saturdays were in reparation for: 1. Those who deny the Immaculate Conception. 2. Those who deny Our Lady's virginity. 3. Those who deny Our Lady's Divine maternity and that She is the Mother of all mankind. 4. Those who cause children to have indifference, contempt or hatred toward Our Lady. 5. Those who commit outrages against Holy Images of Our Lady.

In 1927, at the Convent in Spain to which she was transferred, Lucia, in a vision, received permission to reveal two parts of a three-part secret which she received from Our Lady at the Cova da Iria during the July 13th apparitions: the vision of Hell and the urgent need for devotion to the Immaculate Heart. The third part of this secret was given to the Bishop and later was given to the Pope. Sr. Lucia asked that it not be made public before 1960. This part of the secret has never been made public.

In 1929, during Lucia's weekly Thursday Holy Hour between 11 P.M. and midnight, she saw a cross of light appear above the altar. On the cross was Jesus Crucified. From Our Lord's wounded side and His face drops of Blood fell onto a Host, then into a chalice below, which were suspended in the air. From the left arm of the cross large letters reading "Grace and Mercy" made of what appeared to be water ran down upon the altar. On the top of the cross was the image of the Eternal Father. Before Him was a dove of light representing the Holy Spirit. Beneath the right arm of the cross was Our Lady of Fatima with Her Immaculate Heart in Her left hand. In the midst of this vision Our Lady made a request for the Pope to consecrate the world to Her Immaculate Heart in union with all the Bishops of the world, making a special mention of Russia.

This request was brought to the attention of the Pope. Our Lord told Sr. Lucy He wanted this consecration so that, by Our Lady's triumph, devotion to the Immaculate Heart would spread throughout the whole Church placing it beside the devotion to the Sacred Heart. Our Lord said that the Holy Father would make the consecration but it would be late. He added that the Immaculate Heart would save Russia.
World War II began just as predicted by Our Lady of Fatima. In 1938 unusual lights appeared in the sky which, according to Lucia, was the sign promised by Our Lady before God's punishment of the world. Shortly thereafter the war began with the annexation of Austria by Hitler during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI. In 1942, Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart. He did not, however, do this in union with all the Bishops. Our Lord told Lucia that He was pleased with this act although incomplete according to His desire. Because of it He promised to end World War II. But the conversion of Russia would not take place.

Some people thought, based on the example of the Fatima children, that the sacrifices requested by Our Lady were too great for them to perform. In 1943 Our Lord told Sr. Lucy that the penance He now desired was the fulfillment of one's duties in life and the sacrifices required in the observance of His Law. This type of penance was possible for everyone.

In 1944 the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was put on the Church Calendar to be celebrated on August 22nd. After Vatican II the Church Calendar was revised changing the celebration of August 22nd to the Saturday following the Feast of the Sacred Heart, which is always the Friday after the Feast of Corpus Christi.

In 1946 John M. Haffert, a great promoter of the Brown Scapular, asked Sr. Lucy to help him formulate a Fatima message pledge which people could make. In 1947 Msgr. Colgan, inspired by the Fatima messages, began the Blue Army. A little later he met John Haffert who told him about the Fatima Pledge. Fr. Colgan appointed him to spread the Blue Army in the U.S. The Blue Army became the greatest apostolate for promoting the messages of Fatima.

In 1948 Sr. Lucia entered the Carmelite convent in Coimbra, Portugal. Later she took for her religious name Sr. Maria of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In an interview with John Haffert that same year Sister said the most important request of Fatima is the fulfillment of one's daily duty. Praying the Rosary aids one in doing this. The First Saturdays help one to free oneself from sin and renews the commitment to fulfill one's daily duties. Two years later in another interview with John Haffert Sister explained that wearing the Brown Scapular is also part of the Fatima message. It is a sign of one's consecration to the Immaculate Heart.
Russia continued to spread her errors all around the world, fulfilling Our Lady's prophecies. An attempt was even made on the life of Pope John Paul II on May 13th, 1981. The Holy Father believed that Our Lady of Fatima saved his life. This led him to see that the only way to save the world from atheism was the consecration requested by Our Lady of Fatima. On March 25, 1984, the Holy Father consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. According to Sr. Lucia this consecration was accepted by Our Lady. The result was the peaceful fall of Communism a few years later.

Certainly we see the mercy of God in the Fatima apparitions. God really wishes to have mercy on the whole world. He forewarns us of evils which will befall us, by our own fault, if we do not return to Him. He gives us His Mother to help us and guide us. Had we responded to His grace World War II would never have happened, Russia would have been converted sooner and the world would have peace. It is evident that we have not lived the Fatima messages as we should. How patient God has been with humanity! God wishes all people to save their souls. Because we are all part of God's family His mercy allows us to make reparation for the sins of others. This not only consoles God for their offenses but can bring about the conversion of the offenders. If wars and punishments come upon the earth it is still God's mercy. By allowing these events He wishes sinners to turn to Him with a purpose of amendment and say, "My Jesus, mercy." And those in the state of God's grace, some lukewarm in their love of God and neighbor, are brought to greater fervor and more detachment from the passing things of this world. God is our Father. He doesn't want us to suffer. But sometimes it is necessary for the salvation of many souls.

Let us respond to Our Lady's messages by living God-centered lives and by fulfilling the requests of Our Lady of Fatima, the fulfillment of our daily duty and the keeping of God's Commandments, making the Five First Saturdays, wearing the Brown Scapular as a sign of our consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and praying the Holy Rosary every day!


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/O/ourladyoffatima.asp#ixzz1ukKNti6M

Saint May 13 : St. John the Silent


St. John the Silent
BISHOP
Feast: May 13


     Information:
Feast Day:May 13
Born:8 January 454 at Nicopolis, Armenia
Died:558
John had his surname given him from his love of silence and recollection. He was born at Nicopolis in Armenia, in the year 454. His descent by both parents was from the most illustrious generals and governors of that part of the empire; but he derived from their virtue a much more illustrious nobility than that of their pedigree. They were solicitous above all things to give their son the most holy education. After their death, he, with part of his estate, built at Nicopolis a church in honor of the Blessed Virgin, as also a monastery, in which, with ten fervent companions, he shut himself up when only eighteen years of age, with a view of making the salvation and most perfect sanctification of his soul his only and earnest pursuit, directing to this end all his thoughts and endeavors. As humility is the foundation and guardian of all virtue, this he labored in the first place to obtain.

Accordingly he made it his earnest petition to God; and, by assiduous meditation on his own nothingness, his absolute insufficiency, numberless miseries, and baseness, and on the infinite majesty and adorable perfections of God, he studied to know God and himself. He learned sincerely to look upon all manner of humiliations as his due, and to receive them with joy from whatever quarter they were sent; and cheerfully to exercise himself in those which appeared most repugnant to flesh and blood, and most proper to beat down all secret sentiments of pride. To kill the seeds of all other vices, he practiced the most constant and severe denial of his own will, and he added corporal austerities to subdue his flesh, and to fit his soul for the spiritual functions of contemplation and prayer. Not only to shun the danger of sin by the tongue, but also out of a sense of sincere humility and contempt of himself, and the love of interior recollection and prayer, he very seldom spoke; and if necessity obliged him to open his mouth, it was always in very few words, and with great discretion. He banished sloth out of his little community as a fruitful source of vice, and the poison of all virtue. Some humbling, painful, and useful labor, filled up in his house all the intervals of time which public prayer and other necessary duties left vacant. His mildness, prudence, and piety, won him the esteem and affection of all. his brethren, who strove in every virtue to be the copies of their holy abbot. But, to his extreme affliction, when he was only twenty-eight years old, the archbishop of Sebaste obliged him to quit his retreat, and ordained him bishop of Colonian in Armenia in 482.

In this dignity John preserved always the same spirit, and, as much as was compatible with the duties of his charge, continued his monastic austerities and exercises. His brother and nephew, who enjoyed honorable places in the emperor's palace, were moved by his example to contemn the world in the very midst of its honors, and the same grace which sanctifies anchorets in their deserts, made them saints in the court. But he found not the same comfort in a brother-in-law, who was governor of Armenia, against whose oppressions of his church the saint was obliged to have recourse to the emperor Zeno, and readily obtained his protection.

St. John had fulfilled all the duties of a holy bishop nine years, practicing all the austerities of his former life, and refusing to allow himself even the necessary conveniences of life, that he might bestow all he possessed on the poor. He instructed his flock by preaching, and, by his example, invited them to practice what he taught. He was the comforter of all that were in affliction, and bore their burdens with them; and he never ceased to instil sentiments of humility, moderation, and compunction, into the hearts of those who lived in the more dangerous flattering state of worldly prosperity. He was the father of all, and carried them all in his heart, that he might plant in them the spirit, and transfer them into the heart of Christ. Certain evils which he found it impossible for him to remedy, joined with his strong inclination to a retired life, gave him an earnest desire to resign his charge. By the rule of the church and his sacred engagement, he was bound not to abandon the spouse to which he was tied, or to leave exposed to wolves a flock which the supreme Pastor had intrusted to his care. But the divine grace sometimes makes exceptions in order to raise a soul to an extraordinary sanctity. John had reason at first to look upon the thought of such a project as suspected, to examine it impartially, and to consult God for a considerable time by earnest prayer. The author of his life assures us, that while he was watching one night in prayer, he saw before him a bright cross formed in the air, and heard a voice, which said to him, "If thou desires" to be saved, follow this light." He then seemed to see it move before him, and at length point out to the Laura of St. Sabas.
Being satisfied what the sacrifice was which God required at his hands, he found means to abdicate the episcopal charge, and embarked in a vessel bound for Palestine. He went first to Jerusalem, and having there performed his devotions, retired to the neighboring Laura of St. Sabas, which at that time contained one hundred and fifty fervent monks, all animated with the spirit of their holy founder and superior. St. John was then thirty-eight years old. St. Sabas first placed him under the steward of the Laura, to fetch water, carry stones, and serve the workmen in building a new hospital. John went and came like a beast of burden, continuing always recollected in God, always cheerful and silent. After this trial, the experienced superior appointed him to receive and entertain strangers. The blessed man served every one as if he had served Christ himself, whom he considered in his members; and all persons were exceedingly edified with his humility and devotion. Saint Sabas observed every step, and admired to see the behavior of this young monk in an employment which is often dangerous to the monastic spirit, even in those that are most advanced. For the dissipation of such an attendance seemed no way to interrupt his attention to God, or abate his spirit of recollection. St. Sabas by this time clearly perceived that his novice was already a masterly proficient in the monastic profession, and eminently endowed with the spirit of his vocation. Therefore, to afford him opportunities of the greatest spiritual progress by uninterrupted contemplation, he allowed him a separate hermitage, which was his method only with regard to the more perfect. During five days in the week, which he passed without taking any nourishment, John never left his cell; but on Saturdays and Sundays he attended the public worship of God in the church.

After passing three years in this eremitical life, he was made steward of the Laura. His virtue drew a blessing on the community; neither was this employment any distraction to his mind. Such, indeed, was his love to God, that his soul stood in need of no effort to think continually of him. Such a habit is not to be attempted at once. Too strained an attention might hurt the head, as experience has sometimes shown. This practice, and a constant attention to the divine presence, is to be acquired at first by frequent ejaculations to God during exterior actions, repeated at intervals; either such as naturally occur to the devout mind, or select ones of divine praise, compunction, love, &c., such as are contained in the petitions of the Lord's Prayer, the Psalms, or other parts of the inspired writings. By this method, such a practice in John grew habitual, and by daily use became more perfect and familiar.

Our saint had discharged this last office four years, when St. Sabas, judging him worthy to be promoted to the priesthood, presented him to the Patriarch Elias. When they came to the church of Mount Calvary, where the ordination was to be performed, St. John said to the patriarch, "Holy father, I have something to impart to you in private; after which, if you judge me worthy, I will receive holy orders." The patriarch tool. him aside, and John, having obtained from him a promise of secrecy, said, "Father, I have been ordained bishop; but on account of the multitude of my sins have fled, and am come into this desert to wait the visit of the Lord."

The patriarch was startled, and calling in St. Sabas, said to him, "I desire to be excused from ordaining this man, on account of some particulars he has discovered to me." St. Sabas went back much afflicted, fearing lest John had been formerly guilty of some grievous crime. Under this uncertainty, God revealed to him, at his request, the state of the affair. Whereupon calling for John, he complained to him of his unkindness in concealing the matter from him. Finding himself discovered, John was for quitting the Laura, nor could St. Sabas prevail on him to stay, but on a promise never to divulge the secret. John lived after this four years in his cell, without speaking to any one except to the person who brought him necessaries. In the year 503, the factious spirit of certain turbulent disciples obliged St. Sabas to quit his Laura. St. John, that he might have no part in such an unhappy disturbance, withdrew into a neighboring wilderness, where he spent six years in silence, conversing only with God, and subsisting on the wild roots and herbs which the desert afforded. When St. Sabas was called home again, he went to seek St. John in his desert, and brought him back, in 510.

But a long and happy experience had taught him, that a soul which has been accustomed to converse only with God, finds nothing but emptiness and bitterness in any thing besides. His love of obscurity and humility made him desire more and more to live unknown to men; but such was the lustre of his sanctity as rendered it impossible for him to succeed herein to the full extent of his desire. He went back with his old master, and confined himself for forty years to his cell, after his return to the Laura; but did not refuse instructions to those who resorted to him. Among whom was the judicious and learned monk Cyril,  who wrote his life when the saint had lived forty years in his hermitage, after his return, and was one hundred and four years old. He at that age retained the vigor of his mind, and that sweetness which rendered him always amiable and venerable. This Cyril of Scythopolis, who is one of the ablest writers of antiquity, relates, that in his youth, when he was about sixteen years of age, he addressed himself to St. John, who was then ninety years old, and begged his advice concerning the choice of a state of life. The holy old man advised him to dedicate himself to God in the monastery of St. Euthymius. Cyril, however, preferred one of the little monasteries on the banks of the Jordan. But he was no sooner arrived at the place than he fell sick of a fever.

His distemper every day augmented, and he began grievously to afflict and condemn himself for having neglected the advice of the servant of God. But in the night St. John appearing to him in his sleep, after a gentle reprimand for not having followed his counsel, told him, that if he repaired to the monastery of St. Euthymius, he should be restored to his health, and should find his salvation. The next morning he arose, and, notwithstanding the entreaties of the brethren, broke from them, and having taken no other refreshment but that of the blessed eucharist, which he had received that morning, he set out, walked to the aforesaid monastery of St. Euthymius, and found himself perfectly recovered. The same author tells us, that while he was conversing one day with St. John on matters of piety, he saw a man named George bring his son, who was a child possessed by the devil, and lay him on the ground before the saint without speaking a word. St. John understood the miserable condition of the child, and made the sign of the cross on his forehead with blessed oil, and the same instant the child was delivered from the evil spirit. A nobleman of Constantinople, who was infected with Eutychianism, was introduced by one Theodorus to the saint. The holy man gave his blessing to Theodorus, but refused it to the nobleman, with a mild reproach for his schism and heresy; who, seeing that he could only have been apprized or these circumstances by revelation, became upon the spot a most devout Catholic. St. John, by his example and counsels, conducted many fervent souls to God, and continued in his hermitage to emulate, as much as this mortal state will allow, the glorious employment of the heavenly spirits in an uninterrupted exercise of love and praise, till he passed to their blessed company, soon after the year 558; having lived seventy-six years in the desert, which had only been interrupted by the nine years of his episcopal dignity.

His astonishing austerity, love of silence, and sublime contemplation condemn the unmortified spirit and dissipation of the world. Interior recollection is, as it were, the soul of Christian virtue. Without it, the most active zeal and devotion will only be superficial. A dissipated heart can never be truly devout. One that is united with God, and relishes the sweetness of his divine converse, finds the tumult of creatures and the noise of the world an insupportable burden, and he truly understands from experience what pure joy holy solitude is able to afford. A love of Christian silence, or a silence of virtue and choice, not of stupidity or sullenness, is a proof that a soul makes it her chiefest delight to be occupied on God, and finds no comfort like that of conversing with him. This is the paradise of all devout souls.



source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/J/stjohnthesilent.asp#ixzz1ukK7dBgt

2014

Pope Francis "...two small things – do not speak ill of others and pray for those..."

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday met with the rectors and students of the Pontifical Universities and Colleges in Rome. In his opening remarks, the Holy Father noted the many students from the Middle East and from Ukraine. "I want to tell you that I am very close to you in this time of suffering: indeed, very close; and in prayer,” he said. The encounter continued in an informal manner, with Pope Francis responding “off-the-cuff” to questions from the assembled students, covering a number of topics, including balancing the academic life with the spiritual life, the style of leadership necessary for a priest, and the New Evangelization.  

First of all, he warned the students against academism, saying it was “dangerous” when student returns from studying in Rome not as “a father”, but as “doctor.”

“I would not understand a priest a priest who is getting a degree here, in Rome, but does not have a community life: This is wrong,” said Pope Francis. “Or does not take care of his spiritual life – daily Mass, daily prayer, lectio divina, personal prayer with the Lord – or the apostolic life.”

He said that academic “purism” is bad, and that if you see only the academic side of things, “there is a danger of slipping into ideology.” 

Pope Francis also spoke of the importance of community life.

“If one prepares for the priesthood alone, without a community, it is painful,” he said. Community life “is very important because there is a sharing between brothers…walking towards the priesthood.”

Pope Francis said community life includes problems and struggles, but also friendships and the exchange of ideas. However, he warned against what he calls a “clerical language”, which tends to be diplomatic to a person’s face, but less so at other times. He also spoke of the importance of praying for each other, especially those most in need.

“I assure you that if you do these two things, the community will go on: You can live well, speak well, argue well, pray well together…but two small things – do not speak ill of others and pray for those with whom you have problems,” Pope Francis said.

In answer to a question about leadership, Pope Francis said there is “only one way”, which is “service.”

He also urged the seminarians to seek the help of the Virgin Mary if they feel spiritually troubled.

“First of all go [to the Mantle of Mary] and wait until there is a bit of calm,” Pope Francis said. “Some of you will tell me…in this time of so many modern goods – psychiatry, psychology - in this time of turbulence, I think it would be better to see a psychiatrist to get help. But - do not dismiss this - but first go to your Mother, because a priest who forgets [the Virgin Mary], especially in times of turbulence, is missing something. He is an orphan priest, the one who forgets his Mother.”


Text from Vatican Radio website 

Saint May 12 : St. Pancras - Martyr - Patron against headaches

St. Pancras
MARTYR
Feast: May 12


Information:
Feast Day:May 12
Born:~289 AD, Synnada, Phrygia
Died:~304 AD, Via Aurelia, Rome
Major Shrine:San Pancrazio, Rome
Patron of:children; invoked against cramp, false witness, headache, and perjury
He is said to have suffered at Rome in the fourteenth year of his age. Having been beheaded for the faith, which he had gloriously confessed under Dioclesian in the year 304, he was interred in the cemetery of Calepodius, which afterwards took his name. His old church in that place was repaired in the fifth century by Pope Symmachus, and in the seventh by pope Honorius I. St. Gregory the Great speaks of his relics. St. Gregory of Tours1 calls him the Avenger of Perjuries, and says that God by a perpetual miracle visibly punished false oaths made before his relics. Pope Vitalian sent a portion of them to king Oswi in 656.2 Italy, England, France, Spain, &c., abound with churches which bear his name.3 See D. Jenichen, Diss. de S. Pancratio, urbis et ecclesiae primariae Giessensis patrono titular), in 4to. anno 1758, at Giessen, a university in Upper Hesse, belonging to the landgrave of Hesse Darmstadt.


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpancras.asp#ixzz1ueJMLY7d

Pope Francis "The Holy Spirit is the living presence of God in the Church."

(Vatican Radio) "Who are we to close the doors " to the Holy Spirit? This was the question that Pope Francis repeated this morning during his homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta, a homily dedicated to the conversion of the first pagans to Christianity. The Holy Spirit, he reiterated, is what makes the Church to go "beyond the limits, go ever forward."

The Spirit blows where it wills, but one of the most common temptations of those who have faith is to bar its path and drive it in one direction or another. A temptation that was not alien even in the early days of the Church, as the experience of Simon Peter in today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles shows. A community of pagans welcomes the announcement of the Gospel and Peter is an eyewitness to the descent of the Holy Spirit on them. First hesitates to make contact with what he had always considered "unclean" and then he suffers harsh criticism from the Christians of Jerusalem, shocked by the fact that their leader had eaten with the "uncircumcised" and had even baptized them. A moment of internal crisis that Pope Francis recalls with a hint of irony :

"That was unthinkable. If – for example - tomorrow an expedition of Martians came, and some of them came to us, here... Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them... And one says, 'But I want to be baptized!' What would happen?"

Peter understands his error when a vision enlightens him to a fundamental truth: that which has been purified by God cannot be called "profane" by anyone. And in narrating these facts to the crowd that criticized him, the Apostle calms them all with this statement: "If then God gave them the same gift He gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?"

"When the Lord shows us the way, who are we to say, 'No, Lord, it is not prudent! No, lets do it this way'... and Peter in that first diocese - the first diocese was Antioch - makes this decision: ‘Who am I to admit impediments?' A nice word for bishops, for priests and for Christians. Who are we to close doors? In the early Church, even today, there is the ministry of the ostiary [usher]. And what did the ostiary do? He opened the door, received the people, allowed them to pass. But it was never the ministry of the closed door, never."

Again Pope Francis repeated, God has left the guidance of the Church "in the hands of the Holy Spirit." "The Holy Spirit - he continued - as Jesus said, will teach us everything" and "remind us what Jesus taught us":

"The Holy Spirit is the living presence of God in the Church. He keeps the Church going, keeps the Church moving forward. More and more, beyond the limits, onwards. The Holy Spirit with His gifts guides the Church. You cannot understand the Church of Jesus without this Paraclete, whom the Lord sends us for this very reason. And He makes unthinkable choices, but unimaginable! To use a word of St. John XXIII: it is the Holy Spirit that updates the Church: Really, he really updates it and keeps it going. And we Christians must ask the Lord for the grace of docility to the Holy Spirit. Docility in this Spirit, who speaks to us in our heart, who speaks to us in all of life’s circumstances, who speaks to us in the Church's life, in Christian communities, who is always speaking to us."


Text from  Vatican Radio website 
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