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Thursday, August 28, 2014

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2014


Pope Francis at weekly General Audience
27/08/




(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday said that in a Christian community division is one of the worst sins because it comes not from God. He made the comment during weekly General Audience on Wednesday in St Peter’s Square.
The importance of unity was at the heart of Pope Francis’ catechesis at his weekly General Audience on Wednesday, telling the estimated ten thousand pilgrims and tourists present in St Peter’s Square that “ while we, the members of the Church, are sinners, the unity and holiness of the Church arise from God and call us daily to conversion.
The Holy Father said that the sins against unity, such as jealousy, envy, and  antipathy come about when we place ourselves at the centre and even occur even in our parish communities. 
 Then the Pope underlined that in a Christian community division is one of the worst sins because it comes not from God but from the Devil.
God’s will, stressed Pope Francis “is that we grow in our capacity to welcome one another, to forgive and to love, and to resemble Jesus.” 
Giving an example of Christ’s unity and Holiness at work, Pope Francis recounted a story he had heard about an elderly woman who, all her life worked for her parish. She was a women who never gossiped, never spoke ill of anyone and always had a smile on her face. This is the kind of woman, said the Pope that could be “canonized tomorrow”. This, the Holy Father noted, is the holiness of the Church – “to recognize the image of God in one another”.
Concluding his Catechesis, the Holy Father asked that we all examine our consciences and look for forgiveness “for the times when we have given rise to division or misunderstanding in our communities and may our relationships mirror more beautifully and joyfully the unity of Jesus and the Father.”
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Novena to St. Augustine : Patron of Theologians

Recite for nine days.

Saint Augustine, great Bishop of Hippo and Doctor of the Church, may your life of conversion to the Catholic Faith be an example to both those who have never been apart of the Church, and to those who have fallen away from Christ's Church. Through your closeness with Our Lord in Heaven, intercede for us and bring to the One True Faith the following people (mention names).

May your conversion centuries ago continue to inspire those who are lost today and with the help of your prayers, may God bring them to a full understanding of the Faith. Most importantly, may your struggle to find Truth, through many sins and failings be an example of the Lord Jesus' forgiveness and eternal saving Grace. Amen.

Oh God, hear the prayer of your servant, St Augustine, and bring the message of salvation to all who seek you in sincerity. Amen.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…
St. Augustine, Pray For Us!
Amen.

Today's Mass Readings : Thursday August 27, 2014


Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 428


Reading 11 COR 1:1-9

Paul, called to be an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Sosthenes our brother,
to the Church of God that is in Corinth,
to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy,
with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Responsorial Psalm PS 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (1) I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Generation after generation praises your works
and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
and tell of your wondrous works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds
and declare your greatness.
They publish the fame of your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your justice.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

Gospel MT 24:42-51

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant,
whom the master has put in charge of his household
to distribute to them their food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.
Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’
and begins to beat his fellow servants,
and eat and drink with drunkards,
the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day
and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely
and assign him a place with the hypocrites,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
Saint August 28 : St. Augustine : Doctor of the Church : Patron of Theologians and Printers



August 28
Born:
November 13, 354, Tagaste, Numidia (now Souk Ahras, Algeria)
Died:
August 28, 430, Hippo Regius, Numidia (now modern-day Annaba, Algeria)

Major Shrine:
San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, Pavia, Italy
Patron of:
brewers; printers; theologians
Augustine was born at Tagaste on 13 November, 354. Tagaste, now Souk-Ahras, about 60 miles from Bona (ancient Hippo-Regius), was at that time a small free city of proconsular Numidia which had recently been converted from Donatism. His father, Patricius, one of the curiales of the city, was still a pagan. However, the admirable virtues that made Monica the ideal of Christian mothers at length brought her husband the grace of baptism and of a holy death, about the year 371. Augustine received a Christian education. His mother had him signed with the cross and enrolled among the catechumens. Once, when very ill, he asked for baptism, but, all danger being soon passed, he deferred receiving the sacrament, thus yielding to a deplorable custom of the times. "From my tenderest infancy, I had in a manner sucked with my mother's milk that name of my Saviour, Thy Son; I kept it in the recesses of my heart; and all that presented itself to me without that Divine Name, though it might be elegant, well written, and even replete with truth, did not altogether carry me away" (Confessions, I, iv).

Before long he was obliged to confess to Monica that he had formed a sinful liaison with the person who bore him a son (372), "the son of his sin" -- an entanglement from which he only delivered himself at Milan after fifteen years.In 373, Augustine and his friend Honoratus fell into the sect of the Manich├Žans.

But the religious crisis of this great soul was only to be resolved in Italy, under the influence of Ambrose. In 383 Augustine, at the age of twenty-nine, yielded to the irresistible attraction which Italy had for him At first he turned towards the philosophy of the Academics, with its pessimistic scepticism; then neo-Platonic philosophy inspired him with genuine enthusiasm. At Milan he had scarcely read certain works of Plato and, more especially, of Plotinus, before the hope of finding the truth dawned upon him. Monica, who had joined her son at Milan, prevailed upon him to become betrothed, but his affianced bride was too young, and although Augustine dismissed the mother of Adeodatus, her place was soon filled by another. Thus did he pass through one last period of struggle and anguish. Finally, through the reading of the Holy Scriptures light penetrated his mind. Soon he possessed the certainty that Jesus Christ is the only way to truth and salvation. After that resistance came only from the heart. An interview with Simplicianus, the future successor of St. Ambrose, who told Augustine the story of the conversion of the celebrated neo-Platonic rhetorician, Victorinus (Confessions, VIII, i, ii), prepared the way for the grand stroke of grace which, at the age of thirty-three, smote him to the ground in the garden at Milan (September, 386). A few days later Augustine, being ill, took advantage of the autumn holidays and, resigning his professorship, went with Monica, Adeodatus, and his friends to Cassisiacum, the country estate of Verecundus, there to devote himself to the pursuit of true philosophy which, for him, was now inseparable from Christianity.

It was this Divine grace that Augustine sought in Christian baptism. Towards the beginning of Lent, 387, he went to Milan and, with Adeodatus and Alypius, took his place among the competentes, being baptized by Ambrose on Easter Day, or at least during Eastertide. The Augustine remained several months in Rome, chiefly engaged in refuting Manich├Žism. He sailed for Africa after the death of the tyrant Maximus (August 388) and after a short sojourn in Carthage, returned to his native Tagaste. Immediately upon arriving there, he wished to carry out his idea of a perfect life, and began by selling all his goods and giving the proceeds to the poor. Then he and his friends withdrew to his estate, which had already been alienated, there to lead a common life in poverty, prayer, and the study of sacred letters.

One day, having been summoned to Hippo by a friend whose soul's salvation was at stake, he was praying in a church when the people suddenly gathered about him, cheered him, and begged Valerius, the bishop, to raise him to the priesthood. In spite of his tears Augustine was obliged to yield to their entreaties, and was ordained in 391. The new priest looked upon his ordination as an additional reason for resuming religious life at Tagaste, and so fully did Valerius approve that he put some church property at Augustine's disposal, thus enabling him to establish a monastery the second that he had founded. Enfeebled by old age, Valerius, Bishop of Hippo, obtained the authorization of Aurelius, Primate of Africa, to associate Augustine with himself as coadjutor. Augustine had to resign himself to consecration at the hands of Megalius, Primate of Numidia. He was then forty two, and was to occupy the See of Hippo for thirty-four years.
of evil have a more zealous defender than this bishop." Nothing is more opposed to the facts. Augustine acknowledges that he had not yet understood how the first good inclination of the will is a gift of God (Retractions, I, xxiii, n, 3); but it should be remembered that he never retracted his leading theories on liberty, never modified his opinion upon what constitutes its essential condition, that is to say, the full power of choosing or of deciding. He was stricken with what he realized to be a fatal illness, and, after three months of admirable patience and fervent prayer, departed from this land of exile on 28 August, 430, in the seventy-sixth year of his age.
(Edited from: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/A/staugustine.asp

Saint August 28 : St. Moses the Black : Patron of Africa




Information:
Feast Day:
August 28
Born:
330; Ethiopian ancestry
Died: 405, Scetes, Egypt
Major Shrine:
Paromeos Monastery, Scetes, Egypt
Patron of:
Africa
Moses the Black, sometimes called the Ethiopian, was a slave of a government official in Egypt who dismissed him for theft and suspected murder. He became the leader of a gang of bandits who roamed the Nile Valley spreading terror and violence. He was a large, imposing figure. On one occasion, a barking dog prevented Moses from carrying out a robbery, so he swore vengeance on the owner. Weapons in his mouth, Moses swam the river toward the owner's hut. The owner, again alerted, hid, and the frustrated Moses took some of his sheep to slaughter. Attempting to hide from local authorities, he took shelter with some monks in a colony in the desert of Scete, near Alexandria. The dedication of their lives, as well as their peace and contentment, influenced Moses deeply. He soon gave up his old way of life and joined the monastic community at Scete.

Attacked by a group of robbers in his desert cell, Moses fought back, overpowered the intruders, and dragged them to the chapel where the other monks were at prayer. He told the brothers that he didn't think it Christian to hurt the robbers and asked what he should do with them. The overwhelmed robbers repented, were converted, and themselves joined the community.

Moses was zealous in all he did, but became discouraged when he concluded he was not perfect enough. Early one morning, St. Isidore, abbot of the community, took Brother Moses to the roof and together they watched the first rays of dawn come over the horizon. Isidore told Moses, "Only slowly do the rays of the sun drive away the night and usher in a new day, and thus, only slowly does one become a perfect contemplative."

Moses proved to be effective as a prophetic spiritual leader. The abbot ordered the brothers to fast during a particular week. Some brothers came to Moses, and he prepared a meal for them. Neighboring monks reported to the abbot that Moses was breaking the fast. When they came to confront Moses, they changed their minds, saying "You did not keep a human commandment, but it was so that you might keep the divine commandment of hospitality." Some see in this account one of the earliest allusions to the Paschal fast, which developed at this time.

When a brother committed a fault and Moses was invited to a meeting to discuss an appropriate penance, Moses refused to attend. When he was again called to the meeting, Moses took a leaking jug filled with water and carried it on his shoulder. Another version of the story has him carrying a basket filled with sand. When he arrived at the meeting place, the others asked why he was carrying the jug. He replied, "My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another." On hearing this, the assembled brothers forgave the erring monk.

Moses became the spiritual leader of a colony of hermits in the desert. At some time, he had been ordained priest. At about age 75, about the year 407, word came that a group of renegades planned to attack the colony. The brothers wanted to defend themselves, but Moses forbade it. He told them to retreat, rather than take up weapons. He and seven others remained behind and greeted the invaders with open arms, but all eight were martyred by the bandits. A modern interpretation honors St. Moses the Black as an apostle of non-violence.
The lives of St. Moses the Black and St. Norbert, contain some interesting parallels. Both lived rather dissolute lives in their younger years. Both had conversion experiences in which they heard and heeded the call of God. Both were leaders in their respective religious communities. Both are known as men of peace, having spent much of their ministry calling people to reconciliation and forgiveness by word and example.
(Edited from: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/M/stmosestheblack.asp
Pope Francis meets with Dr. Paul Bhatti former Minister of Pakistan

Pope Francis embraces Paul Bhatti, former Pakistani Minister for Minority Affairs and brother of the assassinated member of the Pakistani National Assembly Shahbaz Bhatti.
27/08/



(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis met briefly Wednesday with Dr. Paul Bhatti, former Pakistani Minister for National Harmony and Minorities.  Dr. Bhatti attended the weekly General Audience where he and his mother, both Catholics, had an opportunity to speak with the Pope.  Bhatti, whose brother Shabhaz was assassinated by Islamic extremists as Pakistan’s first Minister for Minority Affairs in 2011, says Pope Francis is a father figure for the world’s persecuted Christians.  Bhatti and his mother invited Pope Francis to visit Pakistan’s small Christian community and said their meeting with the Pope was a special moment.
In the interview, Bhatti criticizes the international community's complacency in speaking out against persecution against Christians and says the root causes of religious extremism and terrorism must be identified and dealt with.  He also speaks about the courage of some Muslims who come to the defense of Christians and condemns the “abuse of children” who are sometimes “brainwashed” as early as the age of 6 to kill.
2014

Saint August 27 : St. Monica : Patron of Mothers, Alcoholics and Victims of Abuse




WIDOWED MOTHER OF ST. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO
Feast: August 27
Information: Feast Day: August 27
Born: 322 at Tagaste (Souk Ahrus), Algeria
Died: 387 at Ostia, Italy
Major Shrine: Sant'Agostino, Rome
Patron of: patience, married women, homemakers and housewives, mothers, wives, widows, alcoholics, difficult marriages, disappointing children, victims of adultery or unfaithfulness, and victims of (verbal) abuse
Widow; born of Christian parents at Tagaste, North Africa, in 333; died at Ostia, near Rome, in 387. We are told but little of her childhood. She was married early in life to Patritius who held an official position in Tagaste. He was a pagan, though like so many at that period, his religion was no more than a name; his temper was violent and he appears to have been of dissolute habits. Consequently Monica's married life was far from being a happy one, more especially as Patritius's mother seems to have been of a like disposition with himself. There was of course a gulf between husband and wife; her almsdeeds and her habits of prayer annoyed him, but it is said that he always held her in a sort of reverence. Monica was not the only matron of Tagaste whose married life was unhappy, but, by her sweetness and patience, she was able to exercise a veritable apostolate amongst the wives and mothers of her native town; they knew that she suffered as they did, and her words and example had a proportionate effect.
Three children were born of this marriage, Augustine the eldest, Navigius the second, and a daughter, Perpetua. Monica had been unable to secure baptism for her children, and her grief was great when Augustine fell ill; in her distress she besought Patritius to allow him to be baptized; he agreed, but on the boy's recovery withdrew his consent. All Monica s anxiety now centred in Augustine; he was wayward and, as he himself tells us, lazy. He was sent to Madaura to school and Monica seems to have literally wrestled with God for the soul of her son. A great consolation was vouchsafed her -- in compensation perhaps for all that she was to experience through Augustine -- Patritius became a Christian. Meanwhile, Augustine had been sent to Carthage, to prosecute his studies, and here he fell into grievous sin. Patritius died very shortly after his reception into the Church and Monica resolved not to marry again. At Carthage Augustine had become a Manichean and when on his return home he ventilated certain heretical propositions she drove him away from her table, but a strange vision which she had urged her to recall him. It was at this time that she went to see a certain holy bishop, whose name is not given, but who consoled her with the now famous words, "the child of those tears shall never perish." There is no more pathetic story in the annals of the Saints than that of Monica pursuing her wayward son to Rome, wither he had gone by stealth; when she arrived he had already gone to Milan, but she followed him. Here she found St. Ambrose and through him she ultimately had the joy of seeing Augustine yield, after seventeen years of resistance. Mother and son spent six months of true peace at Cassiacum, after which time Augustine was baptized in the church of St. John the Baptist at Milan. Africa claimed them however, and they set out on their journey, stopping at Civit' Vecchia and at Ostia. Here death overtook Monica and the finest pages of his "Confessions" were penned as the result of the emotion Augustine then experienced.
St. Monica was buried at Ostia, and at first seems to have been almost forgotten, though her body was removed during the sixth century to a hidden crypt in the church of St. Aureus. About the thirteenth century, however, the cult of St. Monica began to spread and a feast in her honour was kept on 4 May. In 1430 Martin V ordered the relics to be brought to Rome. Many miracles occurred on the way, and the cultus of St. Monica was definitely established. Later the Archbishop of Rouen, Cardinal d'Estouteville, built a church at Rome in honour of St. Augustine and deposited the relics of St. Monica in a chapel to the left of the high altar. The Office of St. Monica however does not seem to have found a place in the Roman Breviary before the sixteenth century. In 1850 there was established at Notre Dame de Sion at Paris an Association of Christian mothers under the patronage of St. Monica; its object was mutual prayer for sons and husbands who had gone astray. This Association was in 1856 raised to the rank of an archconfraternity and spread rapidly over all the Catholic world, branches being established in Dublin, London, Liverpool, Sidney, and Buenos Ayres. Eugenius IV had established a similar Confraternity long before.
http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/M/stmonica.asp

Novena Prayer to St. Monica - Patron of Mothers

PRAYER TO
NOVENA TO SAINT MONICA

(Say this for 9 Days)

Exemplary Mother of the Great Augustine,
You perserveringly pursued your wayward son
Not with wild threats 
But with prayerful cries to heaven. 

Intercede for all mothers in our day 
So that they may learn 
To draw their children to God. 


Teach them how to remain
Close to their children, 
Even the prodigal sons and daughters 
Who have sadly gone astray. 

Dear St Monica, troubled wife and mother, 
Many sorrows pierced your heart
During your lifetime. 
Yet you never despaired or lost faith. 
With confidence, persistence and profound faith, 
You prayed daily for the conversion
Of your beloved husband, Patricius 
And your beloved son, Augustine. 

Grant me that same fortitude, 
Patience and trust in the Lord. 
Intercede for me, dear St. Monica, 
That God may favorably hear my plea 
For 

[State your petition here.) 

And grant me the grace 
To accept his will in all things, 
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, 
In the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
One God forever and ever.

Amen.
Pray Hail Mary 3 times 
Pray Glory Be 3 times 
St. Monica, pray for us
2014

Pope Francis 3 times "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Full Text Angelus/video


Pope Francis delivers his weekly Angelus address
24/08/

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis based his weekly Angelus address on Sunday’s Gospel account of St Peter’s profession of faith in Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Our Lord responds to this confession by re-naming Simon “Peter,” a name meaning “rock.” But, the Pope said, Jesus gives Simon this name “not for his own personal qualities or his human merits, but on account of his genuine and firm faith, which comes from on high.”
Simon’s faith is a gift from God the Father, a dependable, trustworthy faith upon which our Lord can build His Church – His community, the Pope said, that is, all of us. Our Lord founds His Church on faith, on a relationship with Himself, a relationship of love and trust. When He began His Church, Jesus was looking for a solid faith from His disciples — that was the reason for His question in the Gospel, “Who do you say that I am?”
“What happened in a unique way in Saint Peter,” the Pope said, “also takes place in every Christian who develops a sincere faith in Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Addressing the crowd, Pope Francis asked, “What does your faith look like?” Is it a firm, rock-like faith? Or is it sandy, that is doubtful, mistrustful, unbelieving? The Lord, he said, is searching for faith in our hearts – not necessarily a perfect faith, but a sincere, genuine faith. When He finds it, the Pope said, our Lord “will see in us, too, the living rocks on which He builds His community.” Jesus is the unique cornerstone, while Peter, the rock, is the visible foundation of the unity of the Church… but, the Holy Father reminded us, every baptized person is called to offer to Jesus his or her own faith, poor but sincere, so that He can continue to build His Church today, in every part of the world.
Pope Francis concluded his address by recalling the Jesus’ question to St Peter: “Who do you say that I am?” That question, he said, is addressed to each of us today. How will we answer that question? We must think about the answer, but even more, the Pope said, we must pray to God the Father, that He might give us the answer, that He might give us the gift to respond with sincere hearts.
This, he said, "is a confession of faith, this is the creed” – and the Pope, the Successor of Peter, echoing the faith of Peter, lead the crowd in the profession of faith: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
Below, please find Vatican Radio’s translation of Pope Francis’ Angelus address for Sunday, 24 August 2014, the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time.
The Gospel of this Sunday (Mt 16:13-20) is the celebrated passage, central to Matthew’s account, in which Simon, in the name of the Twelve, professes his faith in Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God”; and Jesus calls Simon “blessed” for his faith, recognizing in it a special gift of the Father. He says to [Simon], “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church.”
Let us pause for a moment on this point, on the fact that Jesus bestows on Simon this new name, “Peter,” that in Jesus’ language [Aramaic] was “Kepha,” a word meaning “rock.” In the Bible, this name, this term, “rock,” referred to God. Jesus attributes this name to Simon not for his own personal qualities or his human merits, but on account of his genuine and firm faith, which comes from on high.
Jesus feels a great joy in His heart, because He recognizes in Simon the hand of the Father, the action of the Holy Spirit. He recognizes that God the Father has given Simon a “dependable” faith, upon which He, Jesus, can build His Church, that is, His community, that is, all of us. All of us. Jesus intend to give live to “His” Church, a people founded not on offspring, but on faith, that is to say, on a relationship with Himself, a relationship of love and trust. Our relationship with Jesus builds the Church. And so to begin His Church Jesus needs to find in His disciples a solid faith, “dependable” faith. This is what He must confirm at this point in the journey, and this is why He asks the question.
The Lord has in mind the image of building, the image of the community as an edifice. And so, when He hears Simon’s frank profession of faith, He calls him “rock,” and makes clear His intention of building His Church on this faith.
Brothers and sisters, what happened in a unique way in Saint Peter, also takes place in every Christian who develops a sincere faith in Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God. Today’s Gospel challenges each of us: How is your faith? Let each of us answer in our heart. How is your faith? How is it? What does the Lord find in our hearts: a firm heart, like a rock? Or a heart like sand, that is, doubtful, mistrustful, unbelieving? It would do us good to think about this throughout the day. If the Lord finds in our hearts a faith – I won’t say perfect, but sincere, genuine, then He will see in us, too, the living rocks on which He builds His community. For this community, the foundation stone is Christ, the unique cornerstone. For his part, Peter is the rock, as the visible foundation of the unity of the Church; but every baptized person is called to offer to Jesus his or her own faith, poor but sincere, so that He can continue to build His Church, today, in every part of the world.
Even in our days, many people think that Jesus is a great prophet, a teacher of wisdom, a model of justice… And even today, Jesus asks His disciples – that is, us, all of us – “But you, who do you say that I am?” A prophet? A teacher of wisdom? A model of justice? How will we answer? Let us think about it. But above all let us pray to God the Father, that He will give us the answer, and through the intercession of the Virgin Mary; let us pray that He will give us the gift to respond with sincere hearts: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” This is a confession of faith, this is a the creed. But we can say it three times, together:
[Pope Francis with the faithful:] You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Shared from Radio Vaticana

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