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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Catholic News World : Sunday February 8, 2015 - Share!

2015



Catholic Quote to SHARE by #MotherTeresa "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but...."


“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” ― Mother Teresa
SHARE this make the World a better place....

#PopeFrancis "Let us pray to Mary, Health of the sick, that every person..." #Angelus


Pope Francis during his weekly Angelus address. - AP
08/02/2015 14:


(Vatican Radio) During his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis spoke about Jesus’ ministry of preaching and healing.
In the day’s Gospel, Jesus heals many sick people who are brought to Him. This leads the Pope to a reflection on the meaning of illness, and a consideration of the World Day of the Sick, which takes place on Wednesday, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. In off-the-cuff remarks, the Holy Father asked for prayers for Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski who is seriously ill in Poland; Archbishop Zymowsk is the president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers, which organises many of the events surrounding World Day of the Sick.
Pope Francis emphasized that caring for the sick has always been considered and integral part of the Church’s mission. “To care for the sick, to welcome them, to serve them, is to serve Christ!” he said. The Pope concluded his remarks by saying we are all called “to bring the light of the Word of God and the power of grace” to all those who suffer, and to those who care for them.
Below, please find the full text of Pope Francis’ Angelus address for Sunday, 8 February:
Today’s Gospel shows us Jesus Who, after having preached on the Sabbath in the synagogue, heals many sick people. To preach and to heal: this is the principle activity of Jesus in His public life. With the preaching He announces the Kingdom of God, and with the healing He shows that it is near, that the Kingdom of God is in the midst of us.
Entering into the house of Simon Peter, Jesus sees that his mother-in-law is in bed with the fever; immediately He takes her by the hand, He heals her, and raises her up. After the sun sets, when, since the Sabbath is over, the people can go and bring the sick to Him, He heals a multitude of people afflicted by maladies of every kind: physical, psychological, and spiritual. Having come to earth to announce and to realize the salvation of the whole man and of all people, Jesus shows a particular predilection for those who are wounded in body and in spirit: the poor, the sinners, the possessed, the sick, the marginalized. So He is revealed as the doctor both of souls and of bodies, the Good Samaritan of man. He is the true Saviour: Jesus saves, Jesus cures, Jesus heals.
That reality of the healing of the sick by Christ invites us to reflect on the sense and meaning of illness. This reminds us also of the World Day of the Sick, which we celebrate next Wednesday, 11 February, the liturgical memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes. I bless the initiatives prepared for this Day, in particular the Vigil that will take place in Rome on the evening of 10 February. And here I pause in order to remember the President of the Pontifical Council for the sick, for health, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, who is very sick in Poland. A prayer for him, for his health, because it was he who prepared this Day, and he accompanies us in his suffering on this Day. A prayer for Archbishop Zimowski.
The salvific work of Christ is not exhausted with His Person and in the arc of His earthly life; it continues through the Church, the sacrament of the love and of the tenderness of God for humans. Sending His disciples in mission, Jesus confers on them a double mandate: to announce the Gospel of salvation and to heal the sick (cf. Mt 10:7-8). Faithful to this charge, the Church has always considered helping the sick an integral part of her mission.
“The poor and the suffering you will always have with you,” Jesus warns (cf. Mt 26:11), and the Church continuously finds them along her path, considering those who are sick as a privileged way to encounter Christ, to welcome Him and to serve Him. To cure the sick, to welcome them, to serve them, is to serve Christ: the sick person is the flesh of Christ.
This occurs also in our own time, when, notwithstanding the many acquisitions of science, the interior and physical suffering of persons raises serious questions about the meaning of illness and of sorrow, and about the reason for death. It deals with existential questions, to which the pastoral action of the Church must respond with the light of faith, having before her eyes the Crucifixion, in which appears the whole of the salvific mystery of God the Father, Who for love of human beings did not spare His own Son (cf. Rm 8:32). Therefore, each one of us is called to bear the light of the Word of God and the power of grace to those who suffer, and to those who assist them – family, doctors, nurses – so that the service to the sick might always be better accomplished with more humanity, with generous dedication, with evangelical love, with tenderness. Mother Church, through our hands, caresses our sufferings and cures our wounds, and does so with the tenderness of a mother.
Let us pray to Mary, Health of the sick, that every person who is sick might experience, thanks to the care of those who are close to them, the power of the love of God and the comfort of His paternal tenderness. 

RIP Fr. Ron Harden"A Man of Deep Faith" - #Sydney Mourns in Australia

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese Report:

6 Feb 2015

Fr Ron Harden (seated left of Cardinal Pell) at the Annual Vianney Dinner
"He was a holy man.  A man of deep faith and spirituality," according to Sydney's Auxiliary Bishop Terence Brady, talking about his friend Fr Ron Harden who died on Monday. He was 86.
Fr Harden had a great love for parish life and the community but he also contributed to the development and growth of the St Mary's Cathedral Choir which has gone on to become one of international renown.
Born in Bexley, Fr Harden was educated at St Joseph's Convent School, Rockdale and Marist Brothers' College, Darlinghurst. He then went on to study for the Priesthood at Springwood and Manly before being ordained at St Mary's Cathedral on 21st July 1951.
Fr Harden's first appointment was as Assistant Priest at Rosebery, before moving to Surry Hills in 1954, and St Mary's Cathedral in 1956 where he became Director of the Cathedral School's Choir. He also served as a member of the Archdiocesan Commission for Liturgy, Sacred Music and Art for 20 years up to 1974. It was during this time that Bishop Terry first encountered Fr Ron Harden, who was responsible for forming the Cathedral Choir as a boys and men's choir, consistent with the Benedictine English tradition and something which still remains today. 
In 1970, he was appointed Parish Priest of St Michael's Hurstville where he remained until 2005. During this time, Fr Ron was involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and which "had a great impact on his priesthood" says Bishop Terry. "He became a phenomenal priest throughout this time. He was very focused on the parish, and on its people - he could build community and ensured people were involved".
During his time at Hurstville, Fr Ron became close friends with Bishop David Cremin, former auxiliary Bishop of Sydney who spoke fondly of their friendship at Bishop David's final Mass at Hurstville. "I lived with Fr Ron for 32 years and we never had a decent fight ... you just couldn't fight with Ron," Bishop Cremin said at the time.

St Michaels Hurstville
In 2005, Fr Ron retired to Ferndale Nursing Home where he continued to be very active by celebrating Masses and building community in the home. "It was only in recent months that he wasn't able to be as involved, which would have been hard for him - he was a person who wanted to connect with others. I learnt a lot about what it means to be a priest through Fr Harden," Bishop Terry commented.
In 2011 hosted a special dinner for priests celebrating 25, 50 and 60 year anniversaries of their ordination. For Fr Harden it was his 60th.
Fr Ron's Requiem Mass will be celebrated at St Michael's Catholic Church, Hurstville at 11:00am on Tuesday 10 February. All are welcome. 
Cardinal George Pell, then Archbishop of Sydney hosted the dinner for priests in 2011 who were celebrating their 25, 50 or 60 year anniversary - including Fr Harden who was celebrating 60 years.
He is seated on Cardinal Pell's right hand side.

Mercy Chaplet Instructions - Pray daily for Peace in the World - SHARE!

Mercy Chaplet (instructions) pray daily for the salvation of the world
1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross,
1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
 2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
 3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. (Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
 4. Conclude with (three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
 Then say: (optional) O Blood and Water that gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in You. Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion --- inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.
 Sister Faustina who gave us the Chaplet from God acknowledges the following: "I saw an Angel, the executor of God's wrath... about to strike the earth...I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words which I heard interiorly.
As I prayed in this way, I saw the Angel's helplessness, and he could not carry out the just punishment...." "Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to those who trust in My Mercy...." "....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just judge but as the Merciful Savior".

International Day Of Prayer And Awareness Against Human Trafficking

International Day Of Prayer And Awareness Against Human Trafficking


February 8: International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking 

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General has designated February 8 as an annual day of prayer and awareness against human trafficking. February 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she became a Canossian nun and dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering. She was declared a Saint in 2000.
 On February 8, Catholics all over the world are encouraged to host or attend prayer services to create greater awareness about this phenomenon. Through prayer, we not only reflect on the experiences of those that have suffered through this affront to human dignity, but also comfort, strengthen, and help empower survivors. 
If you are in the Washington, DC area please join us on Sunday, February 8, 2015  for a Special Mass at Noon in the Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Or use this flyer to promote the day and visit our Become a SHEPHERD page to help you host an awareness raising event locally. In the words of the  committee chairman for migration, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S.: "If just one person realizes from this day that they or someone they know is being trafficked, we will have made a difference."

Sunday Mass Online : February 8, 2015 : 5th Ord. Time


Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 74


Reading 1JB 7:1-4, 6-7

Job spoke, saying:
Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery?
Are not his days those of hirelings?
He is a slave who longs for the shade,
a hireling who waits for his wages.
So I have been assigned months of misery,
and troubled nights have been allotted to me.
If in bed I say, “When shall I arise?”
then the night drags on;
I am filled with restlessness until the dawn.
My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle;
they come to an end without hope.
Remember that my life is like the wind;
I shall not see happiness again.

Responsorial PsalmPS 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (cf. 3a) Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, for he is good;
sing praise to our God, for he is gracious;
it is fitting to praise him.
The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem;
the dispersed of Israel he gathers.
R. Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He tells the number of the stars;
he calls each by name.
R. Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
to his wisdom there is no limit.
The LORD sustains the lowly;
the wicked he casts to the ground.
R. Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 21 COR 9:16-19, 22-23

Brothers and sisters:
If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast,
for an obligation has been imposed on me,
and woe to me if I do not preach it!
If I do so willingly, I have a recompense,
but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship.
What then is my recompense?
That, when I preach,
I offer the gospel free of charge
so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

Although I am free in regard to all,
I have made myself a slave to all
so as to win over as many as possible.
To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak.
I have become all things to all, to save at least some.
All this I do for the sake of the gospel,
so that I too may have a share in it.

AlleluiaMT 8:17

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ took away our infirmities
and bore our diseases.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 1:29-39

On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn, he left
and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come.”
So he went into their synagogues,
preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.

Saint February 8 : St. Josephine Bakhita - From Slave to Saint - Share!

Happy Childhood (1869-1876)

Bakhita was born in 1869 in Olgossa, in Darfur, a territory to the South-East of Sudan, inhabited by the Dajus, one the major ethnic groups who had settled in that region centuries before. Bakhita's family was prosperous, possessing lands with plantations and cattle. She herself said, "My life was completely happy. I did not know the meaning of sorrow". Bakhita had three brothers and three sisters. In 1874 the elder sister was kidnapped.
Harsh Slavery (1876-1882)
In 1876 two men kidnapped Bakhtia, who was then about seven years of age. After a month's imprisonment she was sold to a slave-trader (the second master). With great courage the girl attempted to escape, but was recaptured by a shepherd (her third master) and sold again to a fierce-looking man (her fourth master) who sold her to a slave-trader (fifth master). One day she was beaten and left unconscious and bleeding on the ground. 
She was then sold to a Turkish general (6th master), whose wife subjected Bakhita to the torture of tattooing. Her torturer spared only her face, because it was very beautiful, while he inflicted 114 cuts with a razor on her stomach and arms.

 The poor little victim felt she was dying, especially when salt was rubbed into her wounds to keep them open. Immersed in a pool of blood, she was carried away on a pallet and left for a month without even a rag to dry the serum that oozed from her wounds.

To Freedom (1882-1885)

In 1882 the Turkish general sold Bakhita in Khartoum to the consular official Callisto Legnani (seventh master), who was very kind to her. Right away he showed his benevolence, dressing her for the first time in a tunic which restored her dignity as a woman. He would have brought her back to her own village if Bakhita had been able to remember its name, but she was too small at the time of her kidnapping to register exact details. When, in 1885, Legnani was preparing to leave Africa for Italy, Bakhita asked for and received permission to go with him. They embarked, together with a friend of the consul, Augusto Michieli. It was to the latter that Legnani gave the young African upon their arrival in Genoa.In Italy

Mr. Michieli, a rich businessman from Venice, took Bakhita with him to his villa at Zianigo, near Mirano Venetto. Here, for three years, Bakhita was nursemaid to the little daughter, Alice, nicknamed Mimmina. The Michieli were good, honest people, but not church-goers. Mrs. Turina Michieli, who was Orthodox, had forbidden Bakhita to enter a church. However, Providence had placed on Bakhita's path the Michieli's manager, Illuminato Checchini, who played a fundamental part in her journey of faith. "A man with a heart of gold and an enlightened conscience" was how Bakhita described him; he always had a "fatherly love" for her. It was he, in fact, who concerned himself the religious education of the young African. When the Michieli returned in 1886 to Africa, where they had acquired a large hotel at Suakim and took Bakhita with them, the good Illuminato felt remorse, because he had not yet been able to speak to her about God. He was, thus, very happy, the following year, when he saw her return with his wife and the little girl, and inwardly promised to do everything he could for the benefit of that soul. "The missionaries", he said, "go to Africa to convert its inhabitants, shall we do nothing to enlighten this poor girl?" He began by presenting her with a little crucifix, saying to himself: "Jesus, I entrust her to you. Now, you look after her". He was also instrumental in placing Mimmina and Bakhita in the care of the Canossian sisters in Venice when the Michieli had to leave again for Suakim. At this Institute Bakhita was admitted to the catechumen ate. When, after nine months, Mrs Michieli returned for her daughter and the girl whom she regarded as in some way, her slave, in order to take them back again to Africa, she encountered a very firm attitude on the part of the latter. It was on that occasion that Bakhita, who was still a catechumen, displayed singular strength of spirit and great faith. In fact, when confronted with the affection and economic security offered her by the Michieli family, and the hope of rediscovering her family if she returned to Africa, she preferred God's love and abandonment to divine Providence for her future, which in human terms, was very uncertain. Thus she said, with determination: "No, I cannot return to Africa, because I would not be able to profess my faith in the Lord. I love the lady and her little girl very much, but I cannot lose my God. So I am remaining". It was 29 November 1889, as bakhita later recorded in her memoirs. This moment of courageous decision is most significant; it was to set the tone for her entire life.

In this difficult struggle Bakhita had the support of the Patriarch of Venice and the King's Procurator, who, according to Italian law, which forbade slavery, declared her to be a free person.
"If I did not die", Bakhita was to say later, "it was by a miracle of God, who had destined me for better things".
Josephine Bakhita
As preparations were made for the great day - January 9, 1890 - when she was to receive Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion at the hands of the Patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Agostini, Bakhita experienced very mixed feelings. On the one hand, she was profoundly aware of her own unworthiness, while on the other, she felt indescribable joy at the thought that she would become a child of God. Realizing God's ineffable love, she was at times intensely moved. She then had moments when she was unable to grasp how she, a poor black girl, a slave, an ignorant person, could be called by the Lord His daughter, she who had nothing to offer Him. She would then run to Mother Fabretti, her catechists, who calmed her, assuring her that in the eyes of God, wealth and wisdom were worth nothing: all that counted was love. "And you love the Lord, don't you?" Bakhita would agree, smiling contentedly, her eyes wet with tears. "Go in peace, then", concluded Mother Fabretti, "and call Him with confidence: "Our Father who art in Heaven...

After she had been baptized, receiving the names of Josephine, Margherita and Fortunata, Bakhita remained at the Institute of the Catechumens, where she soon became aware of the call to a life of special consecration. She did not dare expressed this desire, feeling herself to be unworthy. She feared that she might disfigure the Congregation on account of her black skin. Her confessor reassured her. God does not look at the colour of one's skin, but rather at the innermost depths of one's heart.

Bakhita was accepted, and after three years of Novitiate she made her Vows on Decembe 8, 1896. Cardinal Sarto, the then Patriarch of Venice, examined her and told her: "Pronounce your holy vows without fear. This is what Jesus wants. Jesus loves you. Love Him and serve Him always in this way". He also reassured her about the eternal salvation of her dear ones: "God has infinite ways of making Himself known and when He chooses a person to be His bride, He also thinks of her family".
After she had been baptized, receiving the names of Josephine, Margherita and Fortunata, Bakhita remained at the Institute of the Catechumens, where she soon became aware of the call to a life of special consecration. She did not dare expressed this desire, feeling herself to be unworthy. She feared that she might disfigure the Congregation on account of her black skin. Her confessor reassured her. God does not look at the colour of one's skin, but rather at the innermost depths of one's heart.

Bakhita was accepted, and after three years of Novitiate she made her Vows on Decembe 8, 1896. Cardinal Sarto, the then Patriarch of Venice, examined her and told her: "Pronounce your holy vows without fear. This is what Jesus wants. Jesus loves you. Love Him and serve Him always in this way". He also reassured her about the eternal salvation of her dear ones: "God has infinite ways of making Himself known and when He chooses a person to be His bride, He also thinks of her family".

After her religious profession, which took place in Verona, Mother Bakhita returned to Venice, and later was sent to the house in Schio. Here she spent the best part of 45 years, immediately gaining the sympathy and esteem of all the town's inhabitants, who began to call her affectionately 'Madre Moretta' (Black Mother). Bakhita achieved the ideals set by the Foundress, St. Magdalene of Canossa, who wished her daughters to be "anchorites and apostles". Whether in church or sacristy, at the door or in the kitchen, she was engrossed in her Lord, and daily bore witness to the Lord's love for all His creatures. During the First World War, with great love, she set about easing the physical suffering and moral anguish of all those around her, in particular, the soldiers looked after in the Institute, which had been turned into a military hospital. During the Second World War people attributed to her presence the fact that Schio was preserved from the bombing. In fact, when the alarm sounded, Bakhita would say, "Don't worry, because the 'Master' knows what He has to do nothing will happen here."

From the moment of her profession, she showed how close she felt to her African brothers and sisters. On that day she uttered the following heartfelt prayer: "O Lord, if I could but fly to my people and preach aloud Your goodness to everyone! Oh, how many souls would I win for you. Among the first would be my mother, my father, my brothers, my sister, still a slave... all, all the poor black people of Africa. Grant, Jesus, that they too may know and love you!" Between 1936 and 1938 Mother Bakhita was at Vimercate, the seat of the Canossian Missionary Novitiate. This was her base for journeys to various Italian cities to promote the missions. She was accompanied by another Sister, who had returned from her mission in China. Everyone wanted to hear first-hand her "wonderful story". Referring to this experience, Mother Bakhita was to say later: "Many will think I enjoyed travelling around, but for me it was real martyrdom". Wherever she went, she left goodness in her wake, even though she herself was not aware of it.

At the height of World War II, on December 8, 1943, Mother Bakhita celebrated the 50th anniversary of her religious life. Not only her own community, but the whole of Schio, celebrated, despite the adverse circumstances of the time. But now, for Bakhita, aches and pains were beginning to make themselves felt, crippling arthritis, asthmatic bronchitis with cough, convulsed her body. This was not to be wondered at, considering the suffering she had undergone in her younger years and the rigours of the northern climate to which she was not accustomed. During her long illness never a complaint passed her lips. When she was asked: "Don't you feel anything, Mother Bakhita?" She replied: "Of course I feel something - I'm alive; it's only the dead who can't feel anything". "And how is it that you never complain?" "Oh, when nature wants something, I say: now be good, we'll see about it. Then I think about Jesus on the cross, and about the Sorrowful Virgin. That way, nature is calmed, and I no longer need anything". What heroic patience! Very soon she had to abandon her walking-stick in favour of a wheelchair, until broncho pneumonia brought her inexorably to the end. Fully conscious, and to the great edification of all, she received the last sacraments. The Virgin Mary came to comfort her at the moment of her death on Saturday, February 8, 1947. "How happy I am... the Madonna, the Madonna! These were her last words as she passed from this earthly life to the full freedom of God's children.
Her Motto

From her childhood, Bakhita learnt to wonder at the beauty of creation. Even as a slave, she found comfort in admiring the sun, the moon, and the stars. She told how, when she had, finally, lost hope of ever seeing her family again, she began to appreciate more the beauties of nature. She wondered who could have been their Maker and ardently desired to know Him so as to be able to thank Him and do Him homage.

She was utterly surprised when she began to grasp the meaning of this truth: through Baptism you will become a child of God. "A child of God - I, a poor black girl!", she would repeat, filled with amazement. Her baptism gave her such great joy that she felt its beneficial effects ever after. "Here, I became a child of God!" she exclaimed with emotion, kneeling at the baptismal font when she had the good fortune to visit the church where she had been baptized. Baptism shaped her human and Christian future completely, and her whole life was overwhelmed with wonder at the goodness of a Father who orders everything for the good of those whom He has chosen. This, then, was the source of Bakhita's constant goodness.

The moment that had a great and decisive impact on her life was when she discovered the infinite love of God, manifested in his Crucified Son. Seeing the image of Jesus on the cross for the first time, Bakhita was greatly impressed, and asked: "What did that man do that was so wrong, for him to be treated in such a way?" "Nothing," was the reply, "He wished to die for us, for love of us, and also for you". "Also for me!" astonished Bakhita repeatedly. Always drawn irresistibly by the love of Jesus who had died on the cross for her, she became a strong woman, firm and unshakeable in her decision to devote herself totally to the service of her new heavenly Master. Consequently, her former resignation to her fate was transformed into free and holy abandonment to the divine will of Him whom she still gladly called "el Paron", "the Master", out of long-standing mental habit, but now no longer as a slave of arbitrary and evil masters by fate, but as a "slave of love" carrying out the orders of the good God, who loves His servants as a Father.

Her life, after death, would also depend on the will of the "Master". For this reason, when she was sick, she replied to those who asked for her prayers: "If the Lord permits, I will look after everyone from Heaven, I will obtain many graces for the salvation of souls."
Inner Face
"In St. Josephine Bakhita we find an outstanding witness to God's fatherly love and a bright sign of the enduring value of the Beatitudes. In our time, when the race for power, money, and pleasure causes distrust, violence and loneliness, the Lord is giving us Sister Bakhita as the Universal Sister, so that she may reveal to us the secret of the truest happiness: the Beatitudes. Hers is a message of heroic goodness, mirroring the goodness of the heavenly Father. She has left us a testimony of evangelical reconciliation and forgiveness, which will surely give comfort to the Christians in her homeland, Sudan, so sorely tried by conflict that has lasted for many years and caused many victims. Their faithfulness and their hope are reason fro pride and thanksgiving on the part of the whole Church. At this time of great tribulations, Sister Bakhita goes before them on the road of imitation of Christ, a deepening of the Christian life and of unshakeable attachment to the Church." (John Paul II - May 17,1992).

Mother Josephine Bakhita's life is marked by unconditional surrender to the will of God. Her motto was "What the Master Wishes". Thus she made her spiritual life very simple, because "doing God's will well" is the essence of perfection.

In all the positions she held as a Canossian - cook, embroiderer, sacristan, portress - Bakhita always showed herself to be a true "Daughter of Charity, Servant of the poor". The virtues that mark her relationship with her neighbours are: Goodness, Meekness, Tenderness. Her black hands caressed the heads of the children who attended the Institute's schools daily. Her amiable voice, which had the inflection of her African songs, was pleasing to the little children, comforting to the poor and the suffering, and encouraging to all who knocked at the door of the Institute.

The value of forgiveness is evident in Bakhita: "If I met those slave traders who kidnapped me and treated me so cruelly, I would kneel to kiss their hands, because if that had not happened, I would not be a Christian and a religious today." One is impressed above all by the excuse she makes for them: "Poor things, maybe they did not know they were hurting me so much: they were the masters, I was their slave. Just as we are used to doing good, so they did that by force of habit, not because they were wicked". As she told her terrible story, she continued to thank the Lord, who, in unimaginable ways, had led her to the faith and made her His bride. There was no hint of resentment in her words: she had forgiven everyone from her heart and prayed for them all.

St. Josephine Bakhita body remains incorrupt.


Litany of St. Josephine Bakhita



Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy, Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy

Christ hear us, Christ, graciously hear us

God, our heavenly Father Have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world Have mercy on us
God, the Holy Spirit Have mercy on us

Holy Mary Pray for us
St. Joseph Pray for us
St. Magdalen of Canossa Pray for us
St. Josephine Bakhita Pray for us

Flower of Sudan Pray for us
Universal Sister Pray for us
Model of Hope Pray for us
Child slave Pray for us
The Fortunate One Pray for us
Daughter of God Pray for us
Consecrated Virgin Pray for us
Bride of Christ Pray for us

Bakhita, most innocent Pray for us
Bakhita, most forgiving Pray for us
Bakhita, most chaste Pray for us
Bakhita, most courageous Pray for us
Bakhita, most free Pray for us
Bakhita, most prayer ful Pray for us
Bakhita, most faithful Pray for us

Reflection of Charity Pray for us
Wonderful Storyteller Pray for us
Lover of Children Pray for us
Exemplar of Hospitality Pray for us
Patient Model of Bead workers Pray for us
Diligent Sacristan Pray for us
Humble Porter Pray for us
Great Cook Pray for us
Mother Moretta Pray for us
Missionary at heart Pray for us
Hope of the sick Pray for us
Comfort to soldiers Pray for us
Pillar to anxious families Pray for us
Protector of Schio Pray for us
Powerful Intercessor of those in need Pray for us
Patron of the dying Pray for us
Tale of Wonder Pray for us

Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, Hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Leader: God delivered her from slavery and given her true freedom in ChristAll: And made her his daughter and his bride.Leader: Let us pray

Heavenly Father, Your Son Jesus Christ, through His suffering and death on the cross, gave Himself as a gift of love for the reconciliation and salvation of all his peoples. He continues to express this love by giving us St. Josephine Bakhita. She too offered herself through her suffering in slavery. We humbly pray that through her intercession, she may obtain for us this favour which we now ask ______________, for the needs of our parish community, for her brothers and sisters in Sudan, and for the whole world the gift of justice and peace. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
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Saint February 8 : St. Jerome Emiliani : Patron of Orphans


St. Jerome Emiliani
FOUNDER OF THE ORDER OF SOMASCHA

Information:
Feast Day:February 8
Born:
1481, Venice
Died:8 February 1537, Somasca
Canonized:1767 by Pope Clement XIII
Patron of:orphans

Founder of the Order of Somascha; b. at Venice, 1481; d. at Somascha, 8 Feb., 1537; feast, 20 July; son of Angelo Emiliani (popularly called Miani) and of Eleonore Mauroceni, joined the army, and in 1508 defended Castelnuovo against the League of Cambray. Taken prisoner and miraculously liberated, he made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Treviso, in fulfillment of a vow. He was then appointed podestà of Castelnuovo, but after a short time returned to Venice to supervise the education of his nephews. All his spare time was devoted to the study of theology and to works of charity. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1518, the hospitals and the hovels of the poor were his favourite resorts. In the year of plague and famine (1528), he seemed to be everywhere, and showed his zeal especially for the orphans, whose number had so greatly increased. He rented a house for them near the church of St. Rose and, with the assistance of some pious laymen, ministered to their wants. To his charge was also committed the hospital for incurables, founded by St. Cajetan. In 1531 he went to Verona and induced the citizens to build a hospital; at Brescia he erected an orphanage, at Bergamo one for boys and another for girls. Here also he founded the first home for fallen women who wished to do penance. Two priests, Alessandro Besuzio and Agostino Bariso, now joined him in his labours of charity, and in 1532 Jerome founded a religious society, placing the motherhouse at Somascha, a secluded hamlet between Milan and Bergamo. In the rule, Jerome puts down as the principal work of the community the care of orphans, poor, and sick, and demands that dwellings, food and clothing shall bear the mark of religious poverty. Jerome fell a martyr to his zeal; contracting a disease at Bergamo, he died at Somascha. He was beatified by Benedict XIV in 1747, and canonized by Clement XIII in 1767. The Office and Mass in his honour were approved eight years later. His biography was first written by Scipio Albani (1600); another by Andreas Stella (1605). The best was written by Aug. Tortora (Milan, 1620; in "Acta SS.", Feb., II, 217 sq.).
After the death of Jerome his community was about to disband, but was kept together by Gambarana, who had been chosen superior. He obtained the approval (1540) of Paul III. In 1547 the members vainly sought affiliation with the Society of Jesus; then in 1547-1555 they were united with the Theatines. Pius IV (1563) approved the institution, and St. Pius V raised it to the dignity of a religious order, according to the Rule of St. Augustine, with solemn vows, the privileges of the mendicants, and exemption. In 1569 the first six members made their profession, and Gambarana was made first superior general. Great favour was shown to the order by St. Charles Borromeo, and he gave it the church of St. Mayeul at Pavia, from which church the order takes its official name "Clerici regulares S. Majoli Papiae congregationis Somaschae". Later the education of youth was put into the programme of the order, and the colleges at Rome and Pavia became renowned. It spread into Austria and Switzerland, and before the great Revolution it had 119 houses in the four provinces of Rome, Lombardy, Venice, and France. At present the order has ten houses in Italy two of which are in Rome. The general resides in Rome at S. Girolamo della Carita.

(Taken frrom Catholic Encyclopedia)


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