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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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2014

POPE FRANCIS REMEMBERS POPE BENEDICT XVI - 1 YEAR SINCE RESIGNATION

(Vatican Radio) On the first anniversary of Benedict XVI’s historic announcement of his resignation, Pope Francis has launched a tweet calling the faithful to join him in praying for his predecessor. The tweet in English reads “Today I ask you to join me in prayer for His Holiness Benedict XVI, a man of great courage and humility.


Text from  Vatican Radio website 

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF LOURDES AND LITANY PRAYERS

NOVENA

Preliminary Prayer to be said each day
   Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us. 
DAY ONE
Sunday, February 3, 2013
   O Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, virgin and mother, queen of heaven, chosen from all eternity to be the Mother of the Eternal Word and in virtue of this title preserved from original sin, we kneel before you as did little Bernadette at Lourdes and pray with childlike trust in you that as we contemplate your glorious appearance at Lourdes, you will look with mercy on our present petition and secure for us a favorable answer to the request for which we are making this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY TWO
Monday, February 4, 2013
   Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest yourself shining with light, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child Saint Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception!" O Mary Immaculate, inflame our hearts with one ray of the burning love of your pure heart. Let them be consumed with love for Jesus and for you, in order that we may merit one day to enjoy your glorious eternity. O dispenser of His graces here below, take into your keeping and present to your Divine Son the petition for which we are making this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY THREE
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
   "You are all fair, O Mary, and there is in you no stain of original sin." O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. O brilliant star of sanctity, as on that lovely day, upon a rough rock in Lourdes you spoke to the child Bernadette and a fountain broke from thee plain earth and miracles happened and the great shrine of Lourdes began, so now I beseech you to hear our fervent prayer and do, we beseech you, grant us the petition we now so earnestly seek. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY FOUR
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
   O Immaculate Queen of Heaven, we your wayward, erring children, join our unworthy prayers of praise and thanksgiving to those of the angels and saints and your own the One, Holy, and Undivided Trinity may be glorified in heaven and on earth. Our Lady of Lourdes, as you looked down with love and mercy upon Bernadette as she prayed her rosary in the grotto, look down now, we beseech you, with love and mercy upon us. From the abundance of graces granted you by your Divine Son, sweet Mother of God, give to each of us all that your motherly heart sees we need and at this moment look with special favor on the grace we seek in this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY FIVE
Thursday, February 7, 2013
   O Mary Immaculate, Mother of God and our mother, from the heights of your dignity look down mercifully upon us while we, full of confidence in your unbounded goodness and confident that your Divine Son will look favorably upon any request you make of Him in our behalf, we beseech you to come to our aid and secure for us the favor we seek in this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY SIX
Friday, February 8, 2013
   O glorious Mother of God, so powerful under your special title of Our Lady of Lourdes, to you we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare and for the special favor we so earnestly seek in this novena. (mention your request)
   O Lady of Bernadette, with the stars of heaven in your hair and the roses of earth at your feet, look with compassion upon us today as you did so long ago on Bernadette in the Grotto of Lourdes.
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us. 

DAY SEVEN
Saturday, February 9, 2013
   O Almighty God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary did prepare a worthy dwelling place for your Son, we humbly beseech you that as we contemplate the apparition of Our Lady in the Grotto of Lourdes, we may be blessed with health of mind and body. And, O most gracious Mother Mary, beloved Mother of Our Lord and Redeemer, look with favor upon us as you did that day on Bernadette and intercede with Him for us that the favor we now so earnestly seek may be granted to us. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY EIGHT
Sunday, February 10, 2013
   O Immaculate Mother of God, from heaven itself you came to appear to the little Bernadette in the rough Grotto of Lourdes! And as Bernadette knelt at your feet and the magic spring burst forth and as multitudes have knelt ever since before your shrine, O Mother of God, we kneel before you today to ask that in your mercy you plead with your Divine Son to grant the special favor we seek in this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY NINE
Monday, February 11, 2013
Feast Day: Our Lady of Lourdes
(First apparition to St. Bernadette)
   O glorious Mother of god, to you we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly for the grace of a happy death. O Mother of our Divine Lord, as we conclude this novena for the special favor we seek at this time. (mention your request) We feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard. O Mother of My Lord, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ and for the glory of His Name, hear our prayers and obtain our petitions.
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.
LITANY OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. 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 Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.


Exalted model of all mothers,
Pray for us.*
Mother who didst suffer so much,*
Mother poor and without shelter,*
Mother who didst bear along forgotten roads the fruit of thy womb,*
Who didst find no other shelter for thy Son and thy God than a wild cave, and no other cradle than a manger,*
Who didst declare: "I am the Immaculate Conception,*
Who didst appear to an humble peasant girl in order to teach us humility,*
Who wast clad in a white robe to remind us of purity,*
Who didst wear a girdle of blue to remind us of Heaven,*
Who didst tread on a rose bush to remind us of the sufferings we must endure in order to merit Heaven,*
Who didst carry the Rosary to induce us to pray,*
Who hadst thy hands joined and thy eyes raised to Heaven to draw us to penance,*
Who art the Star of Hope,*
Who dost pray to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for us,*
Who dost give strength to the clergy,*
Who dost heal the sick,*
Who art the health of the weak,*
Refuge of sinners,*
Comforter of the afflicted,*


Our Lady of Lourdes, conceived without sin:
Pray for us who have recourse to thee.


Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Spare its, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us.


Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us,


V. Pray for us, Our Lady of Lourdes, Holy Mother of God:
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin didst prepare a worthy habitation for Thy Son: we humbly beseech Thee, that we who celebrate the feast of the Apparition of the same holy Virgin, may obtain health both of soul and body. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

RIP SHIRLEY TEMPLE FAMOUS HOLLYWOOD CHILD ACTRESS - AGE 85

 Shirley Temple Black (born Shirley Temple; April 23, 1928 – February 10, 2014)was an American film and television actress, singer, dancer. When she was older she became U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.  Temple began her film career in 1932 at the age of three. Her career started with the film "Bright Eyes". She made 43 feature films including "Heidi", “The Little Princess, ``Stand Up and Cheer!'' and “Little Miss Marker”. She also made 14 short films and 25 storybook movies. She was awarded a Juvenile Academy Award in February 1935. She appeared in some films during her mid-to-late teens, but retired from films in 1950 at the age of 22.  She married  John Agar (m. 1945–1950) but then divorced him due to his problems with alcohol. The couple had 1 child Linda Susan Agar. Then she married Charles Alden Black (m. 1950–2005). (pictured with family in 1958)
They had two children: Lori Black and Charles Alden Black Jr. Temple returned to show business in 1958 on television. In 1988, she published her autobiography, Child Star.  Shirley Temple was born on April 23, 1928, in Santa Monica, California. She was the daughter of Gertrude Amelia Temple (born Krieger), a homemaker, and George Francis Temple, a bank worker. The family was of English, German, and Dutch ancestry.She had two brothers, George Francis, Jr. and John Stanley. Shirley Temple has died at the age of 85 at her home near San Francisco in the US.PLEASE PRAY FOR HER SOUL

OFFICIAL MESSAGE OF POPE FRANCIS FOR WORLD DAY OF THE SICK


MESSAGE OF POPE FRANCIS
FOR THE 22nd WORLD DAY OF THE SICK 2014
Faith and Charity: “We Ought to Lay Down Our Lives for One Another” (1 Jn 3:16)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. On the occasion of the Twenty-second World Day of the Sick, whose theme this year is Faith and Charity: “We Ought to Lay Down Our Lives for One Another” (1 Jn 3:16), I turn in a special way to the sick and all those who provide them with assistance and care. The Church recognizes in you, the sick, a special presence of the suffering Christ. It is true. At the side of – and indeed within – our suffering, is the suffering of Christ; he bears its burden with us and he reveals its meaning. When the Son of God mounted the cross, he destroyed the solitude of suffering and illuminated its darkness. We thus find ourselves before the mystery of God’s love for us, which gives us hope and courage: hope, because in the plan of God’s love even the night of pain yields to the light of Easter, and courage, which enables us to confront every hardship in his company, in union with him.
2. The incarnate Son of God did not remove illness and suffering from human experience but by taking them upon himself he transformed them and gave them new meaning. New meaning because they no longer have the last word which, instead, is new and abundant life; transformed them, because in union with Christ they need no longer be negative but positive. Jesus is the way, and with his Spirit we can follow him. Just as the Father gave us the Son out of love, and the Son gave himself to us out of the same love, so we too can love others as God has loved us, giving our lives for one another. Faith in God becomes goodness, faith in the crucified Christ becomes the strength to love to the end, even our enemies. The proof of authentic faith in Christ is self-giving and the spreading of love for our neighbours, especially for those who do not merit it, for the suffering and for the marginalized.
3. By virtue of Baptism and Confirmation we are called to conform ourselves to Christ, who is the Good Samaritan for all who suffer. “We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another” (1 Jn 3:16). When we draw near with tender love to those in need of care, we bring hope and God’s smile to the contradictions of the world. When generous devotion to others becomes the hallmark of our actions, we give way to the Heart of Christ and bask in its warmth, and thus contribute to the coming of God’s Kingdom.
4. To grow in tender love, and a respectful and sensitive charity, we have a sure Christian model to contemplate: Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother, who is always attentive to the voice of God and the needs and troubles of her children. Mary, impelled by God’s mercy which took flesh within her, selflessly hastened from Galilee to Judea to find and help her kinswoman Elizabeth. She interceded with her Son at the wedding feast of Cana when she saw that there was a shortage of wine. She bore in her heart, throughout the pilgrimage of her life, the words of the elderly Simeon who foretold that a sword would pierce her soul, and with persevering strength she stood at the foot of the cross of Jesus. She knows the way, and for this reason she is the Mother of all of the sick and suffering. To her we can turn with confidence and filial devotion, certain that she will help us, support us and not abandon us. She is the Mother of the crucified and risen Christ: she stands beside our crosses and she accompanies us on the journey towards the resurrection and the fullness of life.
5. Saint John, the disciple who stood with Mary beneath the cross, brings us to the sources of faith and charity, to the heart of the God who “is love” (1 Jn 4:8,16). He reminds us that we cannot love God if we do not love our brothers and sisters. Those who stand with Mary beneath the cross learn to love as Jesus does. The cross is “the certainty of the faithful love which God has for us. A love so great that it enters into our sin and forgives it, enters into our suffering and gives us the strength to bear it. It is a love which enters into death to conquer it and to save us… the cross of Christ invites us also to allow ourselves to be smitten by his love, teaching us always to look upon others with mercy and tenderness, especially those who suffer, who are in need of help” (Way of the Cross withYoung People, Rio de Janeiro, 26 July 2013).
I entrust this Twenty-second World Day of the Sick to the intercession of Mary. I ask her to help the sick to bear their sufferings in fellowship with Jesus Christ and to support all those who care for them. To all the ill, and to all the health-care workers and volunteers who assist them, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.
From the Vatican, 6 December 2013
FRANCIS
SOURCE USCCB/VATICAN

FREE CATHOLIC MOVIES - ST. BERNADETTE OF LOURDES - PART 1-12

TOP Catholic movies of all time.
119 min - Drama - January 1989 (USA)The true story of St. Bernadette Soubarous who saw Our Lady of Lourdes. An unemployed miller moves his family into grim lodgings; his wife takes in laundry. In February of 1858, at the Massabielle grotto, their 14-year old asthmatic, illiterate daughter, Bernadette, sees a light she later distinguishes as a beautiful young woman. Crowds follow her and people are cured by the waters from a spring Bernadette has cleared.
Director: Jean Delannoy
Writers: Robert Arnaut, Jean Delannoy
Stars: Sydney Penny, Jean-Marc Bory, Jean-Marie Bernicat
FOR FREE MOVIES AND MORE LIKE US ON FACEBOOK NOW


PART I http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of.html

PART II http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_10.html
PART III http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_11.html
PART IV  http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_12.html 
PART V http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_15.html  
PART VI http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_2525.html
PART VII http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_16.html
PART VIII http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_8154.html
PART IX http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_17.html
PART X http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_18.html
PART XI AND XII http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_19.html 

TODAY'S SAINT : FEB. 11 : OUR LADY OF LOURDES

Our Lady of Lourdes
Feast: February 11


Information:
Feast Day:February 11
The pilgrimage of Lourdes is founded on the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to a poor, fourteen-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubiroux. The first apparition occurred 11 February, 1858. There were eighteen in all; the last took place 16 July, of the same year. Bernadette often fell into an ecstasy. The mysterious vision she saw in the hollow of the rock Massabielle was that of a young and beautiful lady. "Lovelier than I have ever seen" said the child. But the girl was the only one who saw the vision, although sometimes many stood there with her. Now and then the apparition spoke to the seer who also was the only one who heard the voice. Thus, she one day told her to drink of a mysterious fountain, in the grotto itself, the existence of which was unknown, and of which there was no sign, but which immediately gushed forth. On another occasion the apparition bade Bernadette go and tell the priests she wished a chapel to be built on the spot and processions to be made to the grotto. At first the clergy were incredulous. It was only four years later, in 1862, that the bishop of the diocese declared the faithful "justified in believing the reality of the apparition". A basilica was built upon the rock of Massabielle by M. Peyramale, the parish priest. In 1873 the great "national" French pilgrimages were inaugurated. Three years later the basilica was consecrated and the statue solemnly crowned. In 1883 the foundation stone of another church was laid, as the first was no longer large enough. It was built at the foot of the basilica and was consecrated in 1901 and called the Church of the Rosary. Pope Leo XIII authorized a special office and a Mass, in commemoration of the apparition, and in 1907 Pius X extended the observance of this feast to the entire Church; it is now observed on 11 February.
Never has a sanctuary attracted such throngs. At the end of the year 1908, when the fiftieth anniversary of the apparition was celebrated, although the record really only began from 1867, 5297 pilgrimages had been registered and these had brought 4,919,000 pilgrims. Individual pilgrims are more numerous by far than those who come in groups. To their number must be added the visitors who do not come as pilgrims, but who are attracted by a religious feeling or sometimes merely by the desire to see this far-famed spot. The Company of the Chemins de Fer du Midi estimates that the Lourdes station receives over one million travellers per annum. Every nation in the world furnishes its contingent. Out of the total of pilgrimages given above, four hundred and sixty-four came from countries other than France. They are sent by the United States, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Italy, England, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, etc. The bishops lead the way. At the end of the year of the fiftieth anniversary, 2013 prelates, including 546 archbishops, 10 primates, 19 patriarchs, 69 cardinals, had made the pilgrimage to Lourdes. But more remarkable still than the crowd of pilgrims is the series of wonderful occurrences which take place under the protection of the celebrated sanctuary. Passing over spiritual cures, which more often than not escape human observance, we shall confine ourselves to bodily diseases. The writer of this article has recorded every recovery, whether partial or complete, and in the first half-century of the shrine's existence he has counted 3962. Notwithstanding very careful statistics which give the names and surnames of the patients who have recovered, the date of the cure, the name of the disease, and generally that of the physician who had charge of the case, there are inevitably doubtful or mistaken cases, attributable, as a rule, to the excited fancy of the afflicted one and which time soon dispels. But it is only right to note: first, that these unavoidable errors regard only secondary cases which have not like the others been the object of special study; it must also be noted that the number of cases is equalled and exceeded by actual cures which are not put on record. The afflicted who have recovered are not obliged to present themselves and half of them do not present themselves, at the Bureau des Constatations M├ędicales at Lourdes, and it is from this bureau's official reports that the list of cures is drawn up.
The estimate that about 4000 cures have been obtained at Lourdes within the first fifty years of the pilgrimage is undoubtedly considerably less than the actual number. The Bureau des Constatations stands near the shrine, and there are recorded and checked the certificates of maladies and also the certificates of cure; it is free to all physicians, whatever their nationality or religious belief. Consequently, on an average, from two to three hundred physicians annual visit this marvellous clinic. As to the nature of the diseases which are cured, nervous disorders so frequently mentioned, do not furnish even the fourteenth part of the whole; 278 have been counted, out of a total of 3962. The present writer has published the number of cases of each disease or infirmity, among them tuberculosis, tumours, sores, cancers, deafness, blindness, etc. The "Annales des Sciences Physiques", a sceptical review whose chief editor is Doctor Ch. Richet, Professor at the Medical Faculty of Paris, said in the course of a long article, apropos of this faithful study: "On reading it, unprejudiced minds cannot but be convinced that the facts stated are authentic."

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/O/ourladyoflourdes.asp#ixzz1mFzzRcON

2014

KIDNAPPED NUNS STILL HELD HOSTAGE - REBELS WANT RELEASE OF DETAINEES - NEW VIDEO

ASIA NEWS REPORT: The video was broadcast by Al Jazeera. This time the sisters do not speak and there is only a voiceover. The sisters are a bargaining chip: the rebels want the release of all detainees in Syria.


 Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies ) - A new video showing the religious sisters kidnapped from the Christian town of Ma'aloula 55 km north of Damascus, was released yesterday afternoon by Qatar based Al Jazeera television.

The nuns were abducted December 2 from the Greek - orthodox monastery of St. Thecla , and so far all that was known was that they had been transported to Yabroud, in the north, by a group of rebels.

In the video, the sisters do not speak, but a voiceover says: "They say they are in good health, have not been abused and are waiting to be released to return to their convent". Nothing is said about where they are being held but they are described as having been "kidnapped" and that the sisters are both "Syrian and Lebanese".

In a video also released by the Qatari television on December 6, the sisters said they had not been kidnapped, but carried from Maaloula to escape the bombing in order to ensure their safety and that they would return in a couple of days.

At the time Syrian media had accused the rebels of using the nuns as human shields, and now it is evident that instead they will use them as a bargaining chip.

In the last sequence of yesterday's video the voiceover says that "the sisters would like to thank everyone who trying to obtain their release and demand the release of all detainees".

Their abduction was claimed by the Islamist brigades of al- Ahrar Qalamoun who demanded the release of "a thousand women detained in Syrian prisons of the Syrian regime" in exchange for the release of the sisters.

Pope Francis and Orthodox bishops have appealed for the nuns' release. Lebanese authorities and the Emir of Qatar has also tried in vain to secure their liberation.

Maaloula, Christian majority town, is famous for being one of the few remaining places where locals still speak the ancient Aramaic, the language of Jesus' time.  However in the past few months it has been the scene of a long battle between the army and rebels. The city was invaded several times by Islamist insurgents who have desecrated churches and monasteries, and killed several Christians.

SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : TUES. FEB. 11, 2014

Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 330

CLICK LINK ABOVE FOR VIDEO
Reading 1        1 KGS 8:22-23, 27-30
Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD
in the presence of the whole community of Israel,
and stretching forth his hands toward heaven,
he said, “LORD, God of Israel,
there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below;
you keep your covenant of mercy with your servants
who are faithful to you with their whole heart.

“Can it indeed be that God dwells on earth?
If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you,
how much less this temple which I have built!
Look kindly on the prayer and petition of your servant, O LORD, my God,
and listen to the cry of supplication which I, your servant,
utter before you this day.
May your eyes watch night and day over this temple,
the place where you have decreed you shall be honored;
may you heed the prayer which I, your servant, offer in this place.
Listen to the petitions of your servant and of your people Israel
which they offer in this place.
Listen from your heavenly dwelling and grant pardon.”

Responsorial Psalm               PS 84:3, 4, 5 AND 10, 11

R. (2) How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young—
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
O God, behold our shield,
and look upon the face of your anointed.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
I had rather one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

Gospel              MK 7:1-13

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
“Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
He responded,
“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites,
as it is written:

This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
In vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.


You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”
He went on to say,
“How well you have set aside the commandment of God
in order to uphold your tradition!
For Moses said,
Honor your father and your mother,
and Whoever curses father or mother shall die.
Yet you say,
‘If someone says to father or mother,
“Any support you might have had from me is qorban”’
(meaning, dedicated to God),
you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother.
You nullify the word of God
in favor of your tradition that you have handed on.
And you do many such things.”