Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Catholic News World : Tuesday May 27, 2014 - Share!


Pope Francis at St. Mary Major

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis made a private visit to the Rome Basilica of Saint Mary Major on Tuesday morning to thank Our lady for the positive outcome of his apostolic visit to the Holy Land.
The Pope arrived back in the Vatican on Monday evening after an intense three-day journey that took him to Jordan, Palestine and Israel.
Cardinal Abril y Castello, Archpriest of the Basilica, said that Pope Francis arrived at Saint Mary Major at about 11am with the offering of a bouquet of flowers for Our Lady to thank her for the good outcome of his journey and to entrust to Her the fruits of his pilgrimage. After gathering in prayer before the image of the Madonna Salus Populi Romani, the Pope had words of greeting for the faithful present in the Basilica before leaving at about 11.30am.
Pope Francis made an unannounced visit to the same Basilica on Friday morning before departing for his Holy Land journey. He had done the same thing before his journey to Brazil in July 2013.
Today’s visit to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major is his ninth since the beginning of his Pontificate. Shared from Radio Vaticana

Today's Mass Online : Tues. May 27, 2014

Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 292

Reading 1ACTS 16:22-34

The crowd in Philippi joined in the attack on Paul and Silas,
and the magistrates had them stripped
and ordered them to be beaten with rods.
After inflicting many blows on them,
they threw them into prison
and instructed the jailer to guard them securely.
When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell
and secured their feet to a stake.

About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened,
there was suddenly such a severe earthquake
that the foundations of the jail shook;
all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose.
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open,
he drew his sword and was about to kill himself,
thinking that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul shouted out in a loud voice,
“Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.”
He asked for a light and rushed in and,
trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.
Then he brought them out and said,
“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus
and you and your household will be saved.”
So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.
He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds;
then he and all his family were baptized at once.
He brought them up into his house and provided a meal
and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.

Responsorial Psalm PS 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 7C-8

R. (7c) Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple,
and give thanks to your name.
R. Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Because of your kindness and your truth,
you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel JN 16:5-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

Pope Francis June Prayer “That the unemployed may receive support and find the work they need to live in dignity”

Pope meets Italian steel workers and stresses importance of work
(Vatican Radio) Europe’s Christian identity and the suffering caused by the current jobs crisis which is particularly affecting the old continent are the focus of the Pope’s prayer intentions for June, as Emer McCarthy reports The Holy Father’s Universal prayer intention for June is: “That the unemployed may receive support and find the work they need to live in dignity”.
His missionary prayer intention is “that Europe may rediscover its Christian roots through the witness of believers”.
Both intentions underscore the Pope’s awareness of the malaise currently sweeping the old continent where austerity measures and rising unemployment figures were dominant factors across the board in EU and local elections this weekend.
In fact, one of the questions he was asked during his Q&A with journalists on the returning flight from his Holy Land pilgrimage, was about the populism revealed by the election results.
Pope Francis frankly stated that while he knew little about populism in Europe, the impact of unemployment in a society based on money should not be underestimated.  He said such a society discards children, the elderly and young people. This is seen in dramatically low birth rates, a disguised form of euthanasia and youth unemployment rates that reach 40%, in Italy, 50% in Spain.
Pope Francis said “There is an entire generation of people that is not studying or working. This culture of waste is very serious. Europe is not the only place where it exists,  but it is strongly felt in Europe. It is an inhumane economic system… this economic system kills.”
In March this year Pope Francis spoke at length on  the primary importance of work and the need for creativity and solidarity to face the economic crisis, receiving in audience the employees and managers of the Italian “Acciaierie di Terni” steelworks, accompanied by the bishop of the diocese and a group of faithful, to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the company's foundation.
“It is necessary to reaffirm that employment is necessary for society, for families and for individuals”, said the Pope. “Its primary value is the good of the human person, as it allows the individual to be fully realised as such, with his or her attitudes and intellectual, creative and manual capacities. Therefore, it follows that work has not only the economic objective of profit, but above all a purpose that regards man and his dignity. And if there is no work, this dignity is wounded! Indeed, the unemployed and underemployed risk being relegated to the margins of society, becoming victims of social exclusion”.
“What can we say, when faced with the very serious problem of unemployment that affects various European countries?”, he asked. “It is the consequence of an economic system that is no longer able to create work, because it has placed at its centre the idol of money. Therefore, the various political, social and economic actors are called upon to promote a different approach, based on justice and solidarity, to ensure the possibility of dignified work for all. Work is an asset for all, and must be available to all. Phases of serious difficulties and unemployment must be faced with the tools of creativity and solidarity. The creativity of courageous businesspeople and craftspeople, who look to the future with trust and hope. And solidarity between all the elements of society, who all give something up, adopting a more sober lifestyle, to help those in need”.
“This great challenge requires the involvement of the Christian community as a whole”, concluded the Pope. “The first challenge is to revive the roots of faith and of our adhesion to Jesus Christ. This is the inspiring principle in the choices of a Christian: faith. Faith moves mountains! Christian faith is able to enrich society through the concrete element of brotherhood it embodies. … Never cease to hope for a better future. Do not let yourselves be trapped in the vortex of pessimism! If everyone does his part, if we all put the human person and his dignity at the centre, and if we consolidate an attitude of solidarity and fraternal sharing, inspired by the Gospel, we can emerge from the swamp of this difficult and burdensome period of economic turmoil”

Meriam Ibrahim gives Birth in Prison to a Baby Girl - Please Pray for her Release

Meriam Ibrahim, who was imprisoned due to her Christian Faith, gave birth to a baby girl on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 while chained in prison. She was sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her Christian faith, . Meriam also was sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery (since her marriage to a Christian husband is not valid in Islamic Court). Her father was a Muslim, but her mother a Christian, and therefore the courts find her marriage to American Christian Daniel Wani invalid. Ibrahim disputes the courts by saying, "I was never a Muslim"and "I was raised a Christian from the start." Meriam and her son, a 20-month-old, have been in jail since February. PLEASE PRAY FOR this Family....

Pope Francis very Open to Journalists on Plane about Future Plans

Pope Francis speaks to journalists during his return flight from the Holy Land.

(Vatican Radio) Despite the grueling schedule of his three day pilgrimage to the Holy Land, on Monday evening Pope Francis held an hour long in-flight question and answer session with the journalists who had accompanied him.  The Pope responded to their questions on issues that ranged from the Churches’ efforts in combatting the sexual abuse of minors by clergy, to the reform of the Curia. The Pope addressed questions that have arisen ahead of October’s Synod on the family, regarding the situation of divorced and remarried Catholics, he spoke of future papal travels and dwelt the modern day reality of Christian martyrs for the faith.Responding to a question on the Churches handling of the abuse crisis, Pope Francis stated that there will be no preferential treatment when it comes to child abuse. That three bishops are currently under investigation for and one has been convicted with punishment pending.  Such abuse is a betrayal of the Lord’s body, he said.  He then announced that next week he will hold a two day meeting with survivors of abuse and celebrate mass with them at his residence in Casa Santa Marta.
Responding to a question on the issue of communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, which has arisen ahead of next October’s Synod on the Family, Pope Francis lamented that the entire Synod should be boiled down to this one issue.  He noted the real issue is the crisis that the family is undergoing today with a drop in the number of young people choosing to marry.   However, the Pope did add that the procedure of preparation for marriage and annulments of marriage needed further reflection. He also concluded that divorced Catholics must not be treated as if they had been excommunicated.
He also answered a question on priestly celibacy, noting that the Catholic Church has married priests in the Eastern rites, that celibacy is not a dogma of faith but a rule of life that he appreciate a great deal and believes is a gift for the Church.
Regarding the reform of the Curia, Pope Francis laughingly confessed that he himself is perhaps the greatest obstacle to it.  The Pope revealed that the organization will be made lighter, by merging dicasteries.
He also revealed that there are two Asian trips planned: one to South Korea and then next January, a trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
Finally, answering a question as to whether he too – like Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI – will choose to resign from the papacy, Pope Francis stated that his predecessor had “opened the door” to such a possibility, but that he  will do what the Lord tells him to do.-

Saint May 27 : St. Augustine of Canterbury : Patron of England

St. Augustine of Canterbury
Feast: May 27

Feast Day:May 27
Born:early 6th century, Rome, Italy
Died:26 May 604, Canterbury, Kent, England
Patron of:England
When Pope Gregory began to plan for the evangelization of England, the land was still largely pagan, although in the southwest there were remnants of earlier missionary efforts. To lead this important mission, Gregory chose Augustine, prior of St. Andrew's monastery in Rome, of which Gregory had been the founder. Nothing is known of Augustine's life until the year 596, when, with a party of Benedictine monks, he set out northwards from Rome. He carried letters of commendation to various Gallic bishops. On reaching Provence, the monks accompanying Augustine grew fearful of the dangers that lay ahead. Alarming stories were told of the ferocity of the pagans and the hazards of the Channel crossing. They persuaded Augustine to return to Rome to ask the Pope's permission to abandon the whole enterprise. Meanwhile the Pope had received word that the common people of England and also some of their chieftains and kings  were ready to welcome Christian missionaries. After Pope Gregory had told Augustine this news and had discussed the situation with him further, Augustine rejoined his companions and inspired them with his own courage. Taking with them several Franks to act as interpreters, the party crossed safely over to the Isle of Thanet, in the domain of Ethelbert, King of Kent, whom they formally notified of their arrival and of their purpose in coming.

Ethelbert was still a pagan, but his wife Bertha, daughter of King Charibert of the Franks, had been converted to Christianity. Sitting under a spreading oak, Ethelbert received the missionaries. After listening carefully to their words, he gave them permission to preach to his subjects. He also made over to them a house in Canterbury, with the use of the little stone church of St. Martin, which had stood there since the period of Roman occupation. This had formerly been the oratory of Queen Bertha and her confessor Liud hard. Ethelbert was converted and baptized at Pentecost, 597. After this promising start, Augustine went back to Provence to be consecrated bishop by Vergilius, metropolitan of Arles and papal legate for Gaul. On his return some ten thousand of Ethelbert's subjects were baptized in the Swale River.

Augustine, greatly heartened by the success of his mission, now sent two of his monks to Rome to report to the Pope, and to ask for more helpers. Also he wished to have the Pope's counsel on various problems. When the monks came back to England with a fresh band of missionaries, they brought the pallium for Augustine. Among the new group were Mellitus, Justus, and Paulinus, who was afterwards archbishop of York. With these "ministers of the Word," wrote the Venerable Bede, "the holy Pope sent all things needed in general for divine worship and the service of the Church, viz. sacred vessels, altar cloths, ornaments for churches, and vestments for priests and clerks, and also many books." The latter item was especially important, for the books helped to inspire the great love of learning which characterized the English Church.

Gregory sent to Augustine a plan for developing an ecclesiastical hierarchy and establishing a working organization for the whole country-a plan which was not fully carried out in Augustine's lifetime. There was to be a northern and a southern province, with twelve suffragan bishops in each. In a letter to Mellitus, which is presented earlier, following the life of , he gave instruction on other points, showing his administrative ability as well as considerable psychological insight. Pagan temples were, as far as possible, to be Christianized and retained. Consecration rites and feasts of martyrs were to replace the heathen festivals, for, Gregory wisely writes, "he who would climb to a lofty height must go by steps, not leaps."
In 603 Augustine rebuilt and reconsecrated the Canterbury church and the house given him by King Ethelbert. These structures formed the nucleus for his metropolitan cathedral. They were destroyed by fire in 1067, and the present cathedral, begun by the great Lanfranc in 1070, stands on their site. A converted temple outside the walls of Canterbury was made into another religious house, which Augustine dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. After his death this abbey became known as St. Augustine's.

With the King's support, the Christianization of Kent proceeded rapidly, but Gregory's charge had stated, "All the bishops of Britain we commend to your Fraternity." The survivors of the ancient British or Celtic Church and their bishops had been driven westward and southward into Wales and Cornwall by the Saxon conquerors of the fifth century. Here they had persisted as Christian communities, cut off from the outside world. Although they were sound in  fundamental doctrine, some of their usages were at variance with those of Rome. Now, in virtue of his archiepiscopal jurisdiction, Augustine invited the Celtic bishops to meet with him at a spot outside the confines of Wessex, which has  since come to be known as Augustine's Oak. In long conferences with the representatives of the Celtic Church Augustine urged them to comply with the customs of the rest of Western Christendom, in particular in the method of determining the date of Easter, and to aid him in converting the pagans. Loyalty to their own local traditions, however, and bitterness against their Saxon conquerors, made them unwilling to agree, even though Augustine performed a miracle of healing in their presence to prove the supernatural source of his authority. They consented to attend a second conference, held in Flintshire, but it too proved a failure. Augustine did not rise to greet his Celtic brothers when they arrived and they felt that he lacked Christian humility. They refused either to listen to him or acknowledge him as their archbishop. It was not until 664, at the Synod of Whitby, that their differences were resolved and ecclesiastical uniformity was established.

Augustine's last years were spent in spreading and consolidating the faith in Ethelbert's realm, which comprised large sections of eastern England south of Northumbria. Sees were established in London and Rochester, with Mellitus appointed bishop over one and Justus over the other. Seven years after his arrival Augustine died, leaving the continuation of his work to others.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Pope Francis greeted by President of Israel during Farewell Ceremony - Plane Depart

Pope Francis in Gethsemene

(Vatican Radio)  After a morning packed with meetings with Muslim and Jewish religious and local authorities, a visit to the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, an unannounced stop at Israel's "Memorial to the Victims of Terror", and a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, Pope Francis met privately Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Pontifical Institute “Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center,” an important Jerusalem guest house for pilgrims visiting the region.

(YouTube: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Pope Francis is greeted by the President of Israel , Shimon Peres, for the Farewell Ceremony from the State of Israel.)

Following that encounter, Pope Francis shared lunch with the papal entourage and in the Chapel of the Notre Dame Jerusalem Center, blessed a tabernacle destined for a church in Galilee.
Later the Pope had an opportunity for a short private visit with Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople with whom he celebrated a special prayer liturgy Sunday evening at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The pontiff later prayed with some 400 men and women religious and seminarians at the Franciscan Church of Gethsemene near the Garden where Jesus prayed in agony the night he was arrested.
In the Garden outside, the Pope planted an olive tree close to the one planted by the first pontiff to visit the Holy Land, Pope Paul VI on January 4, 1964.

#PopeFrancis Plants an Olive Tree for Peace in the Holy Land

Two olive trees planted by two popes

(Vatican Radio) This is a story of olive trees symbols of peace and prosperity. Of two trees planted by two popes in the Garden of Gethsemane. The first by Pope Paul VI half a century ago and the second  by Pope Francis on May 26, 2014 during his three day visit to the Holy Land.The two trees now stand side by side within the sacred enclosure therein, where a centuries old olive grove recalls with its gnarled trees the Passion of Christ.
Listen as Veronica Scarisbrick tells the story:The sapling tree which was chosen for Pope Francis, a gift from the Churches of the Holy Land, had been carefully selected. It is in fact  an offshoot from one of the original eight trees in the garden, which researchers say, dates back to nine centuries ago. According to them   the  eight trees have an “identical genetic profile”. One which goes  back to the days of the Crusaders who it is presumed redesigned the garden in the twelfth century.
Why the Crusaders chose to use offshoots from one tree among others to replant the sacred garden of Gethsemane remains a mystery. What’s certain is that they considered it to be special. Perhaps they believed this tree dated back to the time of Jesus.

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