Tuesday, October 14, 2014

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Pope Francis “Jesus condemns this cosmetic spirituality, to look good, beautiful – but the truth..." Homily

Pope Francis at Mass

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said Mass on Tuesday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta guesthouse in the Vatican. In remarks to the faithful following the readings of the day, the Holy Father focused on the need for authenticity in Christian living, saying that faith is not only a “cosmetic” matter, but one of active charity. Drawing from the Gospel reading of the day (Lk. 11:37-41), in which St. Luke recounts the story of Our Lord’s dinner visit to the house of a Pharisee and stuns his host when he omits the standard ritual ablutions, Pope Francis stressed Christ’s unsparing rejoinder:
“Jesus condemns this cosmetic spirituality, [which attempts to] look good, beautiful – but the truth inside is something else. Jesus condemns the people of good manners but of bad habits, those habits that are not seen, but practice in secret. Everything seems in place: these people who liked to walk in the streets, to be seen praying, to ‘make themselves with a little 'weakness when fasting. Is the Lord perhaps like this? You see that there are two  adjectives he uses here, [distinct], but related: greed and wickedness.”
Jesus will call these Pharisees “whitewashed sepulchres” in the Gospel according to Matthew. Here, he invites them rather to give alms, which in Biblical tradition – in both the Old Testament and the New – a touchstone and paragon of justice. Such works of charity are essential, he explained, for, howsoever important it might be, “the law on its own does not save”:
“That, which avails, is faith – which faith? That, ‘which worketh by love’ – [this is] the same thing Jesus said to the Pharisee: a faith that is not merely reciting the Creed – we all believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, eternal life. We all believe! This, however, is a [static] faith, not one that is ‘at work’. That, which in Christ Jesus avails, is the hard work that comes from faith, or rather the faith that works through charity – that is, the faith that returns to almsgiving – almsgiving in the broadest sense of the word: of detaching oneself from the dictatorship of money, from the idolatry of lucre. Every disordered desire distances us from Jesus Christ.”
Pope Francis went on to recall an episode in the life of his late confrére, Father Arrupe, SJ Superior General of the Jesuits from the sixties to the eighties.One day, explained the Holy Father, a rich lady invited him someplace to give him money for the missions in Japan, to which Fr. Arrupe was committed. She handed over the envelope on the doorstep of a building, right on the street, before reporters and photographers, and Fr. Arrupe said he had suffered a “great humiliation,” but he had accepted the money, “for the poor people of Japan.” When he opened the envelope, there were ten dollars inside. “Let us ask ourselves,” said Pope Francis, “whether is a cosmetically Christian life, of [mere] appearance of a Christian life, or  whether it is a Christian life of faith that is industrious in loving”:  
“Jesus offers us this advice: ‘Do not sound the trumpet’. The second piece of advice: ‘Do not give only of your excess’ – and He is speaking to us of that old woman who gave everything she had to live on, and He praises that woman for having done it – and she did it half-secretly, for she was ashamed not to be able to give more.”

Today's Mass Readings : Tuesday October 14, 2014

Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 468

Reading 1GAL 5:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

It is I, Paul, who am telling you
that if you have yourselves circumcised,
Christ will be of no benefit to you.
Once again I declare to every man who has himself circumcised
that he is bound to observe the entire law.
You are separated from Christ,
you who are trying to be justified by law;
you have fallen from grace.
For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness.
For in Christ Jesus,
neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything,
but only faith working through love.

Responsorial Psalm PS 119:41, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48

R. (41a) Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
Let your mercy come to me, O LORD,
your salvation according to your promise.
R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
Take not the word of truth from my mouth,
for in your ordinances is my hope.
R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
And I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever.
R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
And I will walk at liberty,
because I seek your precepts.
R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
And I will delight in your commands,
which I love.
R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
And I will lift up my hands to your commands
and meditate on your statutes.
R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.

Gospel LK 11:37-41

After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

Latest Vatican Information Service News - #Synod2014 and #PopeFrancis

13-10-2014 - Year XXII - Num. 176 

Relatio post disceptationem: listen to the family and discuss pastoral perspectives, with a gaze fixed on Christ
- The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world: theme of the next Synod
- Consistory for the canonisation of the Blesseds Joseph Vaz and Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception
- Mass of thanks for the new Canadian saints
- Angelus: respond to the Lord's invitation with witness to charity
- Genoa in the Pope's prayers
- Synod Fathers to draw up the Relatio Synodi
- Tenth General Congregation: Fraternal Delegates
- Declaration from the director of the Holy See Press Office
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
Relatio post disceptationem: listen to the family and discuss pastoral perspectives, with a gaze fixed on Christ
Vatican City, 13 October 2014 (VIS) – The “post-discussion report” of the Extraordinary Synod on the family was presented this morning by the General Rapporteur of the Assembly, Cardinal Peter Erdo. It summarises the Synod Fathers’ main reflections that have emerged during the General Congregations during recent days, and forms the basis of the final documents of the Synod.
The Report sets out three main guidelines: listening to the socio-cultural context in which families live today; discussing the pastoral perspectives to be taken, and above all, looking to Christ and to His Gospel of the family.
The family, therefore, is “decisive and valuable”, the “source of joys and trials, of deep affections and relations, at times wounded”, a “school of humanity”, and must first be listened to in its “complexity”. Exasperated individualism, the “great test” of solitude, the “narcissistic affectivity” linked to the “fragility” of sentiments, the “nightmare” of precariousness in the workplace, along with war, terrorism and migrations increasingly cause deterioration in family situations. It is here, according to the Relatio, that the Church must give “hope and meaning” to the life of modern humanity, ensuring that “the doctrine of faith” is better known, but proposing it “with mercy”.
Turning our gaze to Christ “reaffirms the indissoluble union between a man and a woman”, but also allows us to “interpret the nuptial covenant in terms of continuity and novelty”. The principle, explains Cardinal Erdo, must be that of “gradualness” for couples in failed marriages, with an “inclusive perspective” for the “imperfect forms” of nuptial reality: “Realizing the need, therefore, for spiritual discernment with regard to cohabitation, civil marriages and divorced and remarried persons, it is the task of the Church to recognise those seeds of the Word that have spread beyond its visible and sacramental boundaries. … The Church turns respectfully to those who participate in her life in an incomplete and imperfect way, appreciating the positive values they contain rather than their limitations and shortcomings”.
There is a need, therefore, for a “new dimension of family pastoral” able to nurture seeds in the process of maturation, such as civil marriages characterised by stability, deep affection, and responsibility in relation to offspring, and which may lead to a sacramental bond. Frequently cohabitation or de facto unions are not dictated by a rejection of Christian values, but rather by practical needs, such as waiting for a stable job. The Church, a true “House of the Father”, a “torch carried among the people”, continued the Cardinal, must accompany “her most fragile sons and daughters, marked by wounded and lost love, with attention and care”, restoring trust and hope to them.
In the third part, the “post-discussion Report” goes on to face the “most urgent pastoral issues”, the implementation of which is entrusted to the individual local Churches, always in communion with the Pope. First, the “proclamation of the Gospel of the family” is “not to condemn, but to cure human fragility”. This proclamation also involves the faithful: “Evangelising is the shared responsibility of all God’s people, each according to his or her own ministry and charism. Without the joyous testimony of spouses and families, the announcement, even if correct, risks being misunderstood or submerged by the ocean of words that is a characteristic of our society. Catholic families are themselves called upon to be the active subjects of all the pastoral of the family”.
The Gospel of the family is “joy”, underlined Cardinal Erdo, and therefore requires “a missionary conversion” so as not to stop at a proclamation that is “merely theoretical and has nothing to do with people’s real problems”. At the same time, it is also necessary to act in relation to language: “Conversion has, above all, to be that of language so that this might prove to be effectively meaningful. … This is not merely about presenting a set of regulations but about putting forward values, responding to those who find themselves in need today even in the most secularised countries”.
Adequate preparation for Christian marriage is also essential, as this is not merely a cultural tradition or a social obligation, but rather a “vocational decision”. Without “complicating the cycles of formation”, the aim should be that of exploring the issue in depth, not limiting the issue merely to “general orientations” but instead renewing also “the formation of presbyters and other pastoral operators” on the matter, with the involvement of families themselves, whose witness is to be privileged. The accompaniment of the Church is also suggested following marriage, a “vital and delicate” period in which couples mature their understanding of the sacrament, its meaning and the challenges that it poses.
In the same way, the Church, continues the Report, must encourage and support laypersons occupied with culture, politics and in society, to ensure that those factors that impede authentic family life, leading to discrimination, poverty, exclusion and violence, are denounced.
Moving on to the issue of separated couples, divorced persons, including those subsequently remarried, Cardinal Erdo underlined that “it is not wise to think of single solutions or those inspired by a logic of ‘all or nothing’”; dialogue must therefore continue in the local Churches, “with respect and love” for every wounded family, thinking of those who have unjustly suffered abandonment by their spouse, avoiding discriminatory attitudes and protecting children: “It is indispensable to assume in a faithful and constructive way the consequences of separation or divorce on the children; they must not become an 'object' to be fought over and the most suitable means need to be sought so that they can get over the trauma of family break-up and grow up in the most serene way possible”.
With regard to the streamlining of procedures for the recognition of matrimonial nullity, the General Rapporteur of the Synod reported the proposals made by the Assembly: to abandon the need for the double conforming sentence, to establish an administrative channel at diocesan level, and the introduction of a summary process in the case of clear nullity, and the possibility of “giving weight to the faith of those about to be married in terms of the validity of the sacrament of marriage”. The Cardinal emphasised that this all requires suitably prepared clergy and laypersons and a greater responsibility on the part of local bishops.
With regard to access to the sacrament of the Eucharist for divorced and remarried persons, the Report lists the main suggestions that emerged from the Synod: maintaining the current discipline; allowing greater openness in particular cases, that may not be resolved without further injustice or suffering; or rather, opting for a “penitential” approach: partaking of the sacraments might occur were it preceded by a penitential path – under the responsibility of the diocesan bishop –, and with a clear undertaking in favour of the children. This would not be a general possibility, but the fruit of a discernment applied on a case-by-case basis, according to a law of gradualness, that takes into consideration the distinction between state of sin, state of grace and the attenuating circumstances.
The question of “spiritual communion”, for which a greater theological examination was called for, remains open; again, further reflection was required on mixed marriages and “serious problems” linked to the different nuptial discipline of Orthodox Churches.
With regard to homosexuals, it was underlined that they have “gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community”: the Church must therefore be, for them, a “welcoming home”. The Church affirms that same-sex unions are not “on the same footing” as marriage between a man and a woman and stated that it was unacceptable for international bodies to place pressure on pastors to make financial aid dependent on the introduction of regulations inspired by gender ideology. However, “without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasising that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority”.
In the final part, the Report returns to the theme of Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical “Humanae Vitae”, and focuses on the question of openness to life, defining it as an “instrinsic requirement of conjugal love”. This gives rise to the need for a “realistic language” able to explain “the beauty and truth” of opening oneself to the gift of a child, also thanks to “appropriate teaching regarding natural methods of fertility control” and a “harmonious and aware” communication between spouses, in all its dimensions. Furthermore, the challenge of education is central, in which the Church has a valuable role of support for families, to support them in their choices and their responsibilities.
Finally, Cardinal Erdo underlines that the synodal dialogue took place “in great freedom and with a spirit of reciprocal listening”, and recalls that the reflections proposed so far do not represent decisions that have already been taken: indeed, the itinerary will continue with the Ordinary General Synod, again on the theme of the family, to be held in October 2015.
The full text of the Relatio post disceptationem may be consulted at:
The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world: theme of the next Synod
Vatican City, 13 October 2014 (VIS) – During the General Congregation of the Synod, held this morning, it was announced that Pope Francis has convoked the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, on the theme “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world”, which will be held in the Vatican from 4 to 25 October 2015.
Consistory for the canonisation of the Blesseds Joseph Vaz and Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception
Vatican City, 13 October 2014 (VIS) – On Monday, 20 October, in the New Synod Hall, the Holy Father Francis will preside at a celebration of Terce and the Ordinary Public Consistory for the canonisation of the Blesseds Joseph Vaz, Indian priest of the Oratorians of St. Philip Neri, founder of the Oratory of the Holy Cross of Miracles in Goa, India, and missionary in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Kanara, India, and Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception, Italian foundress of the Congregation of the Oblation Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. The Pope also informed the members of the College of Cardinals on the current situation faced by Christians in the Middle Eaast, and the Church's commitment to peace in the region.
Mass of thanks for the new Canadian saints
Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) – This morning in St. Peter's Basilica, a Holy Mass was celebrated to give thanks for the canonisation of the Canadian saints Francois de Laval and Marie de l'Incarnation. In his homily, the Holy Father spoke about missionaries who, like the new saints, “in docility to the Holy Spirit, have the courage to live the Gospel”.
“Missionaries have received this call: they have gone out to call everyone, in the highways and byways of the world”, he continued. “In this way they have done immense good for the Church, for once the Church stops moving, once she becomes closed in on herself, she falls ill, she can be corrupted, whether by sins or by that false knowledge cut off from God which is worldly secularism. Missionaries have turned their gaze to Christ crucified … they have been able to live in poverty and abundance, in plenty and hunger”.
The Pope gave two pieces of advice to Canadian pilgrims. “Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith”, and “Recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings. Do not abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. You need only endurance”.
Pope Francis concluded by mentioning the many Canadian missionaries, so that “this memory does not lead us to abandon frankness and courage”. He added, “the devil is envious and cannot tolerate that a land can be so rich in missionaries”, and asked for prayers for Quebec, so that it may “return to the path of fruitfulness, to give many missionaries to the world” and so that the new Canadian saints “may help us as intercessors”.
Angelus: respond to the Lord's invitation with witness to charity
Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) – Today at midday, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. Before the Marian prayer, Pope Francis commented on the day's reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew, in which God, represented by a king, gives an invitation to participate in a wedding banquet; however, none of those invited choose to attend, and some demonstrate indifference or even annoyance. The Pope first remarked on the three characteristics of the invitation: gratuitousness, amplitude, and universality. “God is good to us”, he said. “He freely offers us His friendship. He freely offers His joy and salvation. But very often we do not welcome His gifts. We prioritise our material concerns, our own interests, and even when the Lord calls us, many times it is as if this irritates us”.
He continued, “Some of those invited even mistreat and kill the servants who bring the invitation. But despite the lack of response from those invited, God's project is not interrupted. Faced with rejection from those He invites first, he is not discouraged and does not cancel the feast, but instead extends the invitation again, this time expanding it beyond reasonable limits, sending His servants to the squares and crossroads to gather together all the people they meet”.
“God's goodness has no limits, and does not discriminate against anyone. This is why the banquet of the gifts of the Lord is universal. It is universal for everyone. He gives everyone the opportunity to respond to His invitation, to His call; no-one has the right to feel privileged or to claim exclusivity”. He concluded, “The goodness of God does not have limits and does not discriminate against anyone. We are all called upon to expand the Church to the dimensions of the Kingdom of God. There is only one condition: put on the wedding garment: that is, bear concrete witness to charity towards God and neighbour”.
Genoa in the Pope's prayers
Vatican City, 12 October 2014 (VIS) – At the end of today's Angelus, the Pope addressed the city of Genoa, again afflicted by floods. “I assure my prayers for the victims and those who have suffered serious damages. May Our Lady of the Guard support the dear people of Genoa in their collective efforts to overcome this crisis”.
He went on to greet all the faithful and pilgrims, especially the Canadians in Rome for the canonisation of Francois de Laval and Marie de l'Incarnation. “May the new saints arouse apostolic fervour in the hearts of young Canadians”.
Synod Fathers to draw up the Relatio Synodi
Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has decided that, to draw up the Relatio Synodi, the General Rapporteur, the Special Secretary and the Secretary General will be joined by the following Synod Fathers: Cardinals Gianfranco Ravasi and Donald William Wuerl, Archbishops Victor Manuel Fernandez and Carlos Aguiar Retes, Bishop Peter Kang U-il and Rev. Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, S.J.
Tenth General Congregation: Fraternal Delegates
Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) – The tenth general Congregation involved hearing seven fraternal Delegates of various Christian confessions. The intervention of the eighth Delegate, Metropolitan Hilarion, president of the Department for External Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow, will be given in the coming days.
In their interventions, the fraternal Delegates expressed to the Holy Father and the Synod Fathers their gratitude for the invitation to participate in the Assembly. Each one then went on to present the question of the family in the context of his own Christian confession.
Overall, it was underlined that the challenges and hopes attached to the family unit are common to all Christians: the family, it was said, is fundamental for society, it is the foundation of communion in justice. Certainly, there is no lack of difficulties: the economic crisis is pressing, the mass media reduce moments of dialogue in the home, at times even proposing models that lead to adultery, and factors such as wars, migration, globalisation, the drama of diseases such as Aids and Ebola, and the Islamic fundamentalism present in some countries continually place the good of the family at risk in every context.
Common to all Christians is the need for adequate preparation for marriage and appropriate reflection on marriage between believers and non-believers. With regard to divorced and remarried persons, it was said that their acceptance in the Church may give new hope, promoting a more serene family life and thus creating a richer society. Therefore, on the part of all Christian confessions, it is essential to listen to those who find themselves in difficult family situations, who are in need of mercy and compassion every day, as the Church wishes always to help those who suffer, looking both at the Sacred Scriptures and at the problems of contemporary life.
The wish was expressed for listening and comprehension, far from any form of condemnation, in relation to homosexual persons, while emphasising that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Particular attention was shown towards children born in difficult contexts and for all victims of violence, especially women and minors, as the defence of the most vulnerable, of those who have no voice of their own – believers or otherwise – is common to all Christians.
Another central theme in the interventions by the fraternal Delegates was that of the proclamation of the Gospel. The family, it was said, is the first school of faith: it is the place where knowledge of the Good News is transmitted and disseminated, and it is therefore essential that Christians share the “joy of the Gospel”, that “evangelii gaudium” frequently mentioned by Pope Francis.
Some differences in approach were encountered, for example on the theme of birth control, underlining the freedom of conscience of believers, while always respecting the meaning of love and marriage. Furthermore, in relation to second marriages, it was said by the Orthodox delegates that these in any case constitute a deviation and while they are celebrated, it is after a period of accompaniment on the part of the Church in an attempt to bring married couples towards reconciliation.
In particular, the fraternal Delegates of the Churches present in the Middle East thanked Pope Francis for the prayer vigil for peace in Syria and throughout the world, held on 7 September 2013; in this context, the responsibility of evangelisation by Middle Eastern Christian families within a largely Islamic context was emphasised.
Finally, the delegates concluded their interventions by expressing the hope that the extraordinary Synod on the family will prove successful, especially in view of the ordinary Assembly scheduled for 2015.
Declaration from the director of the Holy See Press Office
Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) – In response to questions from journalists regarding the meeting between the Holy Father Francis and the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung, the director of the Holy See Press Office Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., issued the following declaration:
“As agreed, the Holy Father Francis will receive Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on Saturday 18 October 2014. The meeting will allow a deepening of the bilateral relations between Viet Nam and the Holy See”.
Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;
- Cardinal Geraldo Majello Agnelo, archbishop emeritus of Sao Salvador de Bahia, Brazil;
- Bishop Francesco Moraglia, patriarch of Venice, Italy.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Bishop Djalwana Laurent Lompo as metropolitan archbishop of the archdiocese of Niamey (area 200,000, population 7,637,000, Catholics 20,600, priests 39, religious 81), Niger. Msgr. Djalwana Laurent Lompo, currently auxiliary of the same diocese, succeeds Archbishop Michel Carteteguy, S.M.A., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law, was accepted by the Holy Father.
- appointed Archbishop Vincenzo Pelvi, military ordinary emeritus of Italy, as metropolitan archbishop of Foggia-Bovino (area 1,666, population 215,000, Catholics 212,000, priests 154, permanent deacons 10, religious 228), Italy. He succeeds Archbishop Francesco Pio Tamburrino, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- appointed Bishop Jan Piotrowski, auxiliary of Tarnow, Poland, as bishop of Kielce (area 8,319, population 813,525, Catholics 768,743, priests 729, religious 437), Poland. He succeeds Bishop Kazimierz Ryczan, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

Saint October 14 : St. Callistus I : Pope : Patron of Cemetery workers

St. Callistus I
Feast: October 14
Feast Day:
October 14
Patron of:
cemetery workers

The name of St. Callistus is rendered famous by the ancient cemetery which he beautified, and which, for the great number of holy martyrs whose bodies were there deposited, was the most celebrated of all those about Rome. He was a Roman by birth, succeeded St. Zephirin in the pontificate in 217 or 218, on the 2nd of August, and governed the church five years and two months, according to the true reading of the most ancient Pontifical, compiled from the registers of the Roman Church, as Henschenius, Papebroke, and Moret show, though Tillemont and Orsi give him only four years and some months. Antoninus Caracalla, who had been liberal to his soldiers, but the most barbarous murderer and oppressor of the people, having been massacred by a conspiracy raised by the contrivance of Macrinus, on the 8th of April 217, who assumed the purple, the empire was threatened on every side with commotions. Macrinus bestowed on infamous pleasures at Antioch that time which he owed to his own safety and to the tranquillity of the state, and gave an opportunity to a woman to overturn his empire. This was Julia Moesa, sister to Caracalla's mother, who had two daughters, Sohemis and Julia Mammaea. The latter was mother of Alexander Severus, the former of Bassianus, who being priest of the sun, called by the Syrians Elagabel, Emesa, in Phoenicia, was surnamed Heliogabalus. Moesa, being rich and liberal, prevailed for money with the army in Syria to proclaim him emperor; and Macrinus, quitting Antioch, was defeated and slain in Bithynia in 219, after he had reigned a year and two months, wanting three days. Heliogabalus, for his unnatural lusts, enormous prodigality and gluttony, and mad pride and vanity, was one of the most filthy monsters and detestable tyrants that Rome ever produced. He reigned only three years, nine months, and four days, being assassinated on the 11th of March 222 by the soldiers, together with his mother and favorites. His cousin—German and successor, Alexander, surnamed Severus, was for his clemency, modesty, sweetness, and prudence one of the best of princes. He discharged the officers of his predecessor, reduced the soldiers to their duty, and kept them in awe by regular pay. He had in his private chapel the images of Christ, Abraham, Apollonius of Tyana, and Orpheus, and learned of his mother, Mamma a, to have a great esteem for the Christians. It reflects great honour on our pope that this wise emperor used always to admire with what caution and solicitude the choice was made of persons that were promoted to the priesthood among the Christians, whose example he often proposed to his officers and to the people, to be imitated in the election of civil magistrates. It was in his peaceable reign that the Christians first began to build churches, which were demolished in the succeeding persecution. Lampridius, this emperor's historian, tells us that a certain idolater, putting in a claim to an oratory of the Christians which he wanted to make an eating-house of, the emperor adjudged the house to the Bishop of Rome, saying it were better it should serve in any kind to the divine worship than to gluttony, in being made a cook's shop.
To the debaucheries of Heliogabalus St. Callistus opposed fasting and tears, and he every way promoted exceedingly true religion and virtue. His apostolic labours were recompensed with the crown of martyrdom on the 12th of October 222. His feast is marked on this day in the ancient Martyrology of Lucca. The Liberian Calendar places him in the list of martyrs, and testifies that he was buried on the 14th of this month in the cemetery of Calepodius, on the Aurelian Way, three miles from Rome. The pontificals ascribe to him a decree appointing the four fasts called Ember-days; which is confirmed by ancient Sacramentaries, and other monuments quoted by Moretti. He also decreed that ordinations should be held in each of the Ember-weeks. He founded the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary beyond the Tiber. In the Calendar published by Fronto le Duc he is styled a confessor, but we find other martyrs sometimes called confessors. If St. Callistus was thrown into a pit, as his acts relate, it seems probable that he was put to death in some popular tumult. Dion mentions several such commotions under this prince, in one of which the praetorian guards murdered Ulpian, their own prefect. Pope Paul I and his successors, seeing the cemeteries without walls, and neglected after the devastations of the barbarians, withdrew from thence the bodies of the most illustrious martyrs, and had them carried to the principal churches of the city. Those of SS. Callistus and Calepodius were translated to the Church of St. Mary beyond the Tiber. Count Everard, lord of Cisoin or Chisoing, four leagues from Tournay, obtained of Leo IV, about the year 854, the body of St. Callistus, pope and martyr, which he placed in the-abbey of Canon Regulars which he had founded at Cisoin fourteen years before; the church of which place was on this account dedicated in honour of St. Callistus. These circumstances are mentioned by Fulco, Archbishop of Rheims, in a letter which he wrote to Pope Formosus in 890. The relics were removed soon after to Rheims for fear of the Normans, and never restored to the abbey of Cisoin. They remain behind the altar of our Lady at Rheims. Some of the relics, however, of this pope are kept with those of St. Calepodius, martyr, in the Church of St. Mary Trastevere at Rome. A portion was formerly possessed at Glastonbury.
Among the sacred edifices which upon the first transient glimpse of favour, or at least tranquillity, that the church enjoyed at Rome, this holy pope erected, the most celebrated was the cemetery which he enlarged and adorned on the Appian Road, the entrance of which is at St. Sebastian's, a monastery founded by Nicholas I, now inhabited by reformed Cistercian monks. In it the bodies of SS. Peter and Paul lay for some time, according to Anastasius, who says that the devout Lady Lucina buried St. Cornelius in her own farm near this place; whence it for some time took her name, though she is not to be confounded with Lucina who buried St. Paul's body on the Ostian Way and built a famous cemetery on the Aurelian Way. Among many thousand martyrs deposited in this place were St. Sebastian, whom the Lady Lucina interred, St. Cecily, and several whose tombs Pope Damasus adorned with verses.
In the assured faith of the resurrection of the flesh, the saints, in all ages down from Adam, were careful to treat their dead with religious respect, and to give them a modest and decent burial. The commendations which our Lord bestowed on the woman who poured precious ointments upon him a little before his death, and the devotion of those pious persons who took so much care of our Lord's funeral, recommended this office of charity; and the practice of the primitive Christians in this respect was most remarkable. Their care of their dead consisted not in any extravagant pomp, in which the pagans far outdid them,[8] but in a modest religious gravity and respect which was most pathetically expressive of their firm hope of a future resurrection, in which they regarded the mortal remains of their dead as precious in the eyes of God, who watches over them, regarding them as the apple of his eye, to be raised one day in the brightest glory, and made shining lustres in the heavenly Jerusalem.


Novena to Saint Pope John Paul II - Litany and Prayers - #SHARE - Begins - #JP2 We Love You!


SHARED from Fr. Jim Chern at Montclair State University in New Jersey
Born in Poland - May 18, 1920
Ordained a Priest - November 1, 1946
Ordained a Bishop - Sept 28, 1958
Elected Pope - October 16, 1978
Entered Eternal Life - April 2, 2005
Beatified - May 1, 2011
Novena - October 13 - October 21
Feast Day: October 22


Priest: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
People: Amen

Priest: O Lord, open my lips.

People: And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.Priest: O God come to my assistance.
People: O Lord, make haste to help me.

Priest: Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
People: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; world without end, AMEN


Pray: 1 Our Father; 1 Hail Mary; 1 Glory Be

Litany to Saint John Paul II
(Leader in plain font; Responses in BOLD)

Kyrie eleison; Kyrie eleison
Christe eleison; Christe eleison
Kyrie eleison; Kyrie eleison
Christ hear us, Christ graciously hear us
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us
Servant of God, John Paul II, pray for us
Perfect disciple of Christ, pray for us
Generously gifted with the gifts of the Holy Spirit; pray for us
Great apostle of Divine Mercy; pray for us
Faithful Son of Mary; pray for us
Totally dedicated to the Mother of God; pray for us
Persevering preacher of the Gospel; pray for us
Pilgrim Pope; pray for us
Pope of the Millennium; pray for us
Model of industry; pray for us
Model of priests; pray for us
Drawing strength from the Eucharist; pray for us
Untiring man of prayer; pray for us
Lover of the rosary; pray for us
Strength of those doubting their faith; pray for us
Desiring to unite all those who believe in Christ; pray for us
Converter of sinners; pray for us
Defender of the dignity of every person; pray for us
Defender of life from conception to natural death; pray for us
Praying for the gift of parenthood for the infertile; pray for us
Friend of children; pray for us
Leader of youth; pray for us
Intercessor of families, pray for us
Comforter of the suffering; pray for us
Manly bearing his pain; pray for us
Sower of divine joy; pray for us
Great intercessor for peace; pray for us
Pride of the Polish nation; pray for us
Brilliance of the Holy Church; pray for us
That we may be faithful imitators of Christ; pray for us
That we may be strong with the power of the Holy Spirit; pray for us
That we may have trust in the Mother of God; pray for us
That we may grow in our faith, hope, and charity; pray for us
That we may live in peace in our families; pray for us
That we may know how to forgive; pray for us
That we may know how to bear suffering; pray for us
That we may not succumb to the culture of death; pray for us
That we may not be afraid and courageously fight off various temptations; pray for us
That he would intercede for us the grace of a happy death; pray for us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us
Pray for us, Venerable Servant of God John Paul II, That we may become worthy of the promises of Christ


O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit to shine through him. Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will the graces we implore, especially for [PAUSE TO ADD YOUR INTENTION] . . . we ask this, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

Make the Sign of the Cross as you say


Saint John Paul II - PRAY FOR US!

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