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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Catholic News World : Sunday April 26, 2015 - Share!

2015

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#PopeFrancis "He offered His life as a sacrifice for all of us..." Regina Coeli Video/Text


Below is a translation of Pope Francis' address today before and after the recitation of the Regina Coeli to the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square: **** Before the Regina Coeli:
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning! This Fourth Sunday of Easter, called "Good Shepherd Sunday," each year invites us to rediscover even more new wonder, this definition which Jesus gave of Himself, reading into it in light of His Passion, Death and Resurrection. "The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (Jn 10:11). These words came true when Christ fully, freely obeying the will of the Father, sacrificed himself on the Cross. Then it becomes quite clear what it means that He is "the Good Shepherd:" He gives life, He offered His life as a sacrifice for all of us: for you, for you, for you, for me, for everyone! And this is the good shepherd!
Christ is the true shepherd, which realizes the highest model of love for the flock: He has laid down His life freely, no one takes it from him (cf. v. 18), but gives it in favor of the sheep (v. 17). In open opposition to false shepherds, Jesus presents himself as the only true shepherd of the people, the bad shepherd thinks of himself and uses his sheep; the good shepherd thinks of his sheep and gives himself. Unlike the mercenary, Christ is a caring, guiding shepherd who participates in the life of His flock, not for other interests, for He has no other ambition than to guide, nurture and protect his sheep. And all this at the highest price, that of the sacrifice of His own life.
In the figure of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, we contemplate God's providence, His paternal concern for each of us. He does not leave us alone! The consequence of this contemplation of Jesus, the true and good Shepherd, is the exclamation of profound wonder that we find in the Second Reading of today's Liturgy: "See what love the Father has given us ..." It's really a surprising and mysterious love, because in giving us Jesus as the Shepherd who gives His life for us, the Father has given us everything as big and as valuable as He possibly could give us! It is the highest and purest love because it is not motivated by any necessity, is not conditioned by any calculation, and is not attracted to any interested desire to exchange. Faced with this love of God, we experience great joy and we are open to gratitude for what we have received for free. But it is not enough to contemplate and give thanks. One should also follow the Good Shepherd. In particular, those who have the mission as leaders in the Church - priests, bishops, popes - are called not to take on the mentality of 'manager,' but that of the servant, in imitation of Jesus who, stripping himself, has saved us with His mercy. Also called to this style of pastoral life of the Good Shepherd are the new priests of the Diocese of Rome, whom I have had the joy of ordaining this morning in St. Peter's Basilica. And two of them will overlook to thank you for your prayers and to greet you ... [two priests near the Holy Father were overlooking those gathered]
Mary obtain for me, for the bishops and priests of the whole world the grace to serve the holy people of God through joyful proclamation of the Gospel, heartfelt celebration of the sacraments and patient and mild pastoral leadership.
[Original text: Italian] After the Regina Coeli:
Dear brothers and sisters,
I want to assure my closeness to people affected by a strong earthquake in Nepal and neighboring countries. I pray for the victims, for the wounded and for all who suffer because of this disaster. You have the support of fraternal solidarity. Let's pray to Our Lady who is close to them. "Hail Mary ..." Today, in Canada, Blessed Maria Elisa Turgeon, founder of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of San Germano, is proclaimed: an exemplary religious, devoted to prayer, teaching in small towns of her diocese, and to works of charity. We thank the Lord for this woman, model of life consecrated to God and generous commitment to the service of others.
I greet with affection all the pilgrims from Rome, Italy and from various countries, especially those coming in large numbers from Poland to mark the first anniversary of the canonization of John Paul II. Beloved, always resound in your hearts his call: "Open the doors to Christ!" that he said in the strong and holy voice he had. May the Lord bless you and your families and Madonna protect you.
I greet the faithful of Budapest, Madrid, Burgos, Bratislava and Cairo; as well as those of Trieste, Giovinazzo, Gorga, Gorlago, Pesaro, Lamezia Terme. I greet the young people of Niscemi and Trezzano Rosa, and the boys of the vicariates of Casalpusterlengo and Codogno, who are going to renew the profession of faith.
I wish you all a good Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!  [Original text: Italian]
[Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

#BreakingNews 2000 Killed by Quake in #Nepal - Please PRAY

AsiaNewsIT: New quake in Nepal: more than 2,000 confirmed dead with tens of thousands of injured
by Christopher Sharma
 India, China, Great Britain, United States and France have already sent help. The death toll is rising. Remote areas remain largely inaccessible with communications cut off. Water and food are in short supply. On Mount Everest, at least 25 climbers have lost their lives.


Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Last night, a new quake of magnitude 6.7 rocked Nepal again, bringing the death toll to more than 2,000 confirmed deaths and tens of thousands of injured.
The earthquake, which was centred on an area some 60 kilometres east of the capital Kathmandu, caused further panic in the population.
The death toll from the first earthquake is still tentative since it cut off communications with remote areas and made access to them difficult.
The Government of Nepal has declared a state of emergency and asked the international community for help and support in its rescue and relief efforts. India, China, Great Britain, United States and France have already dispatched help.
According to experts, the first quake, which occurred at 11:56 am (local time) yesterday, caused the worst damage.
The National Earthquake Centre issued an appeal to the population, telling them to seek shelter outdoor because of possible aftershocks.
According to the Centre, yesterday’s was the worst earthquake to strike Nepal since 1934. In that year, a huge quake killed some 8,500 people.
Dozens of Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries were hit. In the capital, the famous Pashupatinath temple of suffered serious damage.
The Krishna temple in Patan and the Durbar Squares near the royal palaces in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, were devastated.
Early reports indicate that most Christians, Catholics included, are safe, without any major damage. However, in Kathmandu, a Protestant church collapsed, killing at least 70 worshipers who were inside at the time of the quake.
Christians and Christian religious associations are praying for the victims and survivors, helping the authorities in rescue operations.
According to official reports, thousands of people are stranded in damaged buildings, and can be heard shouting for help. In many places, rescuers are forced to dig with bare hands to get to those who are still alive.
The earthquake struck 29 districts, in particular 11 of them. Kathmandu, Nuwakot, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Sindhuli, Dolakha, Ramechham, Gorkha and Dhading have reported the highest number of casualties. In the capital alone, more than 700 people have been reportedly killed.
Water and food are in short supply. Water mains are broken, electricity has been cut off, whilst phone services have disrupted.
Police have also reported some looting among abandoned homes.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Shushil Koirala – who was attending in Bandung, Indonesia, for the Asia Africa Conference – is on the way to return home.

Climbers on Mount Everest report serious damages and heavy avalanches. “At the base camp, at least 25 climbers were killed and dozens were injured,” said Uttam Parajuli, a mountaineering expert involved in arranging Mount Everest expedition. However, “full details have yet to be established.”
Shared from Asia News IT

#PopeFrancis #Vocation Sunday Mass "Dispense to all the word of God" Homily/Video

April 26, 2015 in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Pope Francis presided over the ordinations of priests for the diocese of Rome.19 men were ordained were part of Roman seminaries, including the Pontifical Roman Seminary, the Redemptoris Mater diocesan college, and the Madonna del Divino Amore seminary. Below is a translation of Pope Francis' homily today, the fourth Sunday of Easter and the 52nd World Day of Pray for the Vocations's Mass, at this morning's Mass in St. Peter's Basilica:
*** Dear brothers,
These, our sons, were called the order of presbyter. We will do well to reflect a bit on that ministry to which they will be elevated in the Church. As you know, the Lord Jesus is the only High Priest of the New Testament, but also in Him all the holy people of God were constituted as priestly people. All of us! Nevertheless, among all his disciples, the Lord Jesus wants to choose a few in particular, for exercising the priesthood publicly in the Church, in the favor of all men, continuing His personal mission of master, priest and pastor.
In fact, for this is why He had been sent by the Father. And so, in turn, He sent in the world first the Apostles, and then the bishops and their successors, who finally were given as collaborators, priests, who, together with them in the priestly ministry, are called to serve the People of God.
They have reflected on this, on their vocation, and now they are going to receive the ordination of presbyters. And the bishop risks--risks!-- and chooses them, just as the Father has risked for each of us. They will indeed be configured to Christ, the Eternal High Priest, namely they will be consecrated as true priests of the New Testament, and as such, they'll be united in the priesthood with their bishop. They will be preachers of the Gospel, Pastors of the People of God, and will preside over acts of worship, especially in celebrating the Lord's sacrifice.
As for you, you are about to be promoted to the order of the priesthood, consider that in exercising the ministry of the Holy Doctrine, you will share in the mission of Christ, the only Master. Dispense to all the word of God, that you yourselves received with joy. Read and meditate assiduously on the Word of the Lord to believe what you read, to teach what you have learned in faith, and to live what you have taught.
And this is the nourishment of the People of God; that your sermons are not boring; that your own homilies reach people's hearts because they come from your heart, because what you are saying is truly what you have in your heart. So give the Word of God, and thus your doctrine will be joy and support for the faithful of Christ; the scent of your life will be the testimony, because the example builds, but the words without example are empty words, and will never arrive at the heart and even do harm: They do no good! You will continue the sanctifying work of Christ. Through your ministry, the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is made perfect--because joined to the sacrifice of Christ, through your hands, in the name of the whole Church--[and is] is offered, in a bloodless manner, on the altar in the celebration of the Holy Mysteries.
 When you celebrate the Mass, therefore, acknowledge what you do. Do not do it in a hurry! Imitate that which you celebrate - not an artificial rite, an artificial ritual artificial - in order that, participating in the mystery of death and resurrection of the Lord, you bring the death of Christ in your members and so that you walk with Him in the newness of life.
In Baptism, join new faithful to the People of God. Do not ever refuse Baptism to anyone who asks! With the Sacrament of Penance, forgive sins in the name of Christ and the Church. And I, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and his Bride, the Holy Church, I ask you not to grow weary of being merciful. In the confessional, you are to going to forgive, not to condemn! Imitate the Father who never gets tired of forgiving. With holy oil, you will give relief to sick. Celebrating the sacred rites and raising at various times of day prayers of praise and supplication, you will make the voice of the People of God and of all humanity.
Aware of being chosen from among men and being favored among them to attend to the things of God, exercise in joy and sincere charity the priestly work of Christ, intent only on pleasing God and not yourselves. It is a bad priest who lives to please himself, who does "the "Peacock!" Finally, participating in the mission of Christ, the Head and Shepherd, in son-like communion with your bishop, strive to unite the faithful in one family - Be ministers of unity in the Church, in family - leading them to God the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit. And always keep in mind the example of the Good Shepherd, who came not to be served but to serve; not to stay in his comfort, but to go out and seek and save what was lost. [Original Text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

Latest News from #Vatican and #PopeFrancis


24-04-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 077 

Summary
- The Pope receives the president of the Czech Republic: strengthen collaboration in areas of common interest
- “Ad Limina” visit of the bishops of Lesotho and Namibia: be generous in bringing Christ's tenderness to those who suffer
- The Holy See at the United Nations: condemnation of violence against women in armed conflict
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
The Pope receives the president of the Czech Republic: strengthen collaboration in areas of common interest
Vatican City, 24 April 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Francis received in audience the president of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, who subsequently met with Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.
 During the cordial discussions, which took place on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the then-Czech and Slovak Federative Republic, which took place on 19 April 1990, mutual willingness to strengthen the good bilateral relations was confirmed, along with the hope of concluding negotiations with a view to stipulating a bilateral Agreement. The Parties expressed their wish to further develop cooperation between Church and State in sectors of mutual interest, especially in culture, education and social welfare, for the benefit of the entire nation.
Attention then turned to the current international context, with special attention to the situation of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East.
“Ad Limina” visit of the bishops of Lesotho and Namibia: be generous in bringing Christ's tenderness to those who suffer
Vatican City, 24 April 2015 (VIS) – Today Pope Francis received in audience the bishops of Lesotho and Namibia, “lands known for their flourishing Christian faith”, at the end of the “ad Limina” visit. In the written discourse he handed to the prelates, the Pope recalled the labours and sacrifices of many missionaries, who were supported by generations of indigenous companions in lands which have often presented great challenges, both environmental and social, but which are known for their churches and chapels, parishes, mission stations and outstations, “which draw many to a community life centred on prayer and work”.
“Renowned too are your numerous schools at every level, your clinics and hospitals, built with love and faithfulness from the materials of Namibia’s soil and Lesotho’s mountains. I encourage you to continue supporting and nurturing these great blessings, even when resources are sparse, for the Lord promises that he will not fail to bless us”.
He continued, “I know that your communities face many challenges daily, and I am sure that this weighs heavily on your hearts. Strengthen them in love to overcome selfishness in private or public life; be generous in bringing them the tenderness of Christ where threats to human life occur, from the womb to old age – and I think particularly of those suffering with HIV and AIDS”. He encouraged them to “not only win them to the cause of Christ but also make them protagonists of a renewed African society”.
The Pope goes on to mention Christian families that are fragmented due to employment far away from home, or because of separation or divorce and urged the bishops to continue offering them help and guidance, preparing couples for Christian marriage, and constantly sustaining families by offering generously the Church’s Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of mercy. “I thank you for your efforts in promoting healthy family life in the face of distorted views that emerge in contemporary society. … The family is the best setting for learning and applying the culture of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation. … From healthy families will come numerous priestly vocations, families where men have learned to love inasmuch as they have been unconditionally loved ...having learned respect, justice, the role of authority expressed by parents and loving concern”.
“In a time of an apparent decrease in vocations to the priesthood and to religious life, it is important to speak openly about the fulfilling and joyful experience of offering one’s life to Christ”, continues the Holy Father. “For when your Christian communities are built up by your own continued example of 'living in truth and joy your priestly commitments, celibacy in chastity and detachment from material possessions', then vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life will most certainly abound”. He thanks God for “the continued witness and service of so many communities of religious brothers and sisters who are vital to the praying heart of the Church, along with the many committed sodalities and other lay associations of the Church in Lesotho and Namibia”. He also notes, when developing pastoral plans, in paying careful spiritual attention to the poorest in society. “I ask you to be particularly mindful of those most in need in your Churches, entrusting all your initiatives to God's care”.
Finally, he exhorts the bishops to “persevere as men of deep and constant prayer, in the way of Blessed Joseph Gerard, who listened to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in all matters. Prayer precedes and leads to authentic evangelisation. As you know from experience, when the Church summons all Christians to constantly take up anew the task of evangelising the world, 'she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfilment'; that is, she is showing us the path to our deepest happiness”.
The Holy See at the United Nations: condemnation of violence against women in armed conflict
Vatican City, 23 April 2015 (VIS) – Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See permanent observer at the United Nations, spoke during the Security Council open debate on “Women, peace security” in New York on 15 April 2015.
“Women are not spared any of the brutal consequences of war, and are additionally subject to uniquely degrading and traumatising attacks and long-term consequences”, said the prelate. “It is only just and reasonable that their voice should be present and influential in the work of preventing and resolving violence and war. It is well documented that sexual violence of many kinds accompanies modern warfare. We all know the awful litany: women are raped and trafficked, forced into prostitution to earn a living, and terrorised individually and in their roles as protectors of their children and other vulnerable family members. All violence against human life is terrible, but sexual violence is intended to debase, dehumanise, demoralise – in a unique way. The consequences are profound and long lasting – physical as well as psychological”.
The nuncio remarked that this last year has been notable for the “new and ongoing atrocities involving sexual violence in various conflicts and by groups such as Boko Haram and the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Some are also attacks upon women and girls purely because of the faith they profess. Although this is of very serious concern today for Christians, surely this is a matter where our shared human nature, across all religions and cultures, cries out for common commitment of members of all faiths and governments, strongly to condemn and confront such heinous acts, and to step forward to protect those threatened”.
“It seems that, in the past several years, there has emerged a greater international consciousness of the scourge of human trafficking, and even increased responses” he continued. “It is to be hoped that there will be an ever greater appreciation of what Pope Francis has called the 'trauma', affecting both 'body and spirit', of rape as a tool of war. To adapt an observation made by His Holiness, a two point drop in the stock market is front page news, while the violation of hundreds or even thousands of women would go unreported”.
The Holy See delegation therefore supports the processes identified in successive reports issued by the Secretary General, as essential for ensuring justice to women assaulted in conflict: effective investigation and documentation; consistent and rigorous prosecution; and ongoing investigation and responsibility regarding the root causes of sexual and other violence in armed conflict. “We support efforts to bring adequate legal, medical and social services to the particular women affected, to witnesses and survivors, and to their family members. Because of the Catholic Church’s permanent local presence in the areas of the world most affected by disasters, a network of Catholic institutions and agencies respond rapidly and effectively to address the consequence of violence in armed conflict. It is always distressing, however, to see that some are still promoting the abortion of unborn children as part of the 'treatment' or response to the attack of their mothers. This contradicts the peace and security mission of the United Nations, and proposes to meet violence with more violence”.
Archbishop Auza concluded, “It has been observed many times at this body, and it is true, that women are not only victims but also necessary agents and contributors in the work of preventing and resolving conflicts. Without their contributions, government, negotiators and civil society groups can neither understand the problems, nor propose effective solutions. Moreover, it is important to continue in every Member State the steady and patient work of achieving structural justice for women in every sector of society. A proper vision of women’s roles in society, and an integration of women in every social sector, are crucial aspects of the prevention of violence”.
Audiences
Vatican City, 24 April 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;
- Ana Maria Freire;
- Seven prelates of the Namibia and Lesotho Catholic Bishops' Conferences, on their “ad Limina” visit:
- Archbishop Liborius Ndumbukuti Nashenda, O.M.I. of Windhoek, Namibia;
- Bishop Philipp Pollitzer, O.M.I., of Keetmanshoop, Namibia;
- Bishop Joseph Shipandeni Shikongo, O.M.I., apostolic vicar of Rundu, Namibia;
- Archbishop Gerard Tlali Lerotholi, O.M.I., of Maseru, Lesotho;
- Bishop Augustinus Tumaole Bane, O.M.I., of Leribe, Lesotho;
- Bishop John Joale Tlhomola, S.C.P., of Mohale's Hoek, Lesotho;
- Bishop Joseph Mopeli Sephamola, O.M.I., of Qacha's Nek, Lesotho.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 24 April 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Rev. Fr. Edward C. Malesic as bishop of Greensburg (area 8,632, population 704,000, Catholics 166,200, priests 205, permanent deacons 2, religious 350), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Harrisburg, U.S.A. in 1960, and was ordained a priest in 1987. He holds a licentiate in canon law from the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Harrisburg, including deputy priest, chaplain of the York College and the Millersville University; auditor; defender of the bond and canonical consultor of the ecclesiastical tribunal; and adjunct judicial vicar. He is currently parish priest of the Holy Infant Parish in York Haven, and judicial vicar. He succeeds Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit has been accepted by the Holy Father.
- Bishop Josef Graf as auxiliary of the diocese of Regensburg (area 14,665, population 1,712,000, Catholics 1,207,706, priests 953, permanent deacons 108, religious 477), Germany. The bishop-elect was born in Riedenburg, Germany in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1983. He holds as doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served as parish vicar in Regensburg-Reinhausen. He is currently spiritual director of the major seminary of Regensburg. In 2007 he was named Chaplain of His Holiness.
- Msgr. Piergiorgio Bertoldi, nunciature counsellor, as apostolic nuncio to Burkina Faso and Niger, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop.
On Thursday, 23 April, the Holy Father appointed Rev. Fr. Brendan Cahill as bishop of Victoria in Texas (area 23,573, population 292,229, Catholics 119,600, priests 62, permanent deacons 39, religious 88), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in 1963 in Coral Gables, U.S.A., and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar, rector of the “St. Mary” seminary in Houston, archdiocesan director of the Secretariat for Clergy Formation and Chaplaincy Services, head of the Priests Personnel Board, and member of the presbyteral council. He is currently vicar for the clergy of the same diocese. He succeeds Bishop David E. Fellhauer, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

Sunday Mass Online : Sunday April 26, 2015 - 4th Easter - Vocation Sunday


Fourth Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 50


Reading 1ACTS 4:8-12

Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said:
“Leaders of the people and elders:
If we are being examined today
about a good deed done to a cripple,
namely, by what means he was saved,
then all of you and all the people of Israel should know
that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean
whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead;
in his name this man stands before you healed.
He is the stone rejected by you, the builders,
which has become the cornerstone.

There is no salvation through anyone else,
nor is there any other name under heaven
given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29

R. (22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have been my savior.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
we bless you from the house of the LORD.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have been my savior.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his kindness endures forever.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 21 JN 3:1-2

Beloved:
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.

AlleluiaJN 10:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 10:11-18

Jesus said:
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.”

Saiunt April 26 : ST. Marcellinus Pope and Martyr


St. Marcellinus
POPE AND MARTYR
Feast: April 26


     Information:
Feast Day:April 26
Born:Rome, Italy
Died:25 October 304 at Rome, Italy
He succeeded St. Caius in the bishopric of Rome, in 296, about the time that Diocletian set himself up for a deity and impiously claimed divine honours. Theodoret says that in those stormy times of persecution Marcellinus acquired great glory. He sat in St. Peter's chair eight years, three months, and twenty-five days, dying in 304, a year after the cruel persecution broke out, in which he gained much honour. He has been styled a martyr, though his blood was not shed in the cause of religion, as appears from the Liberian Calendar, which places him among those popes that were not put to death for the faith.
It is a fundamental maxim of the Christian morality, and a truth which Christ has established in the clearest terms and in innumerable passages of the gospel, that the cross, or sufferings and mortifications, are the road to eternal bliss. They, therefore, who lead not here a crucified and mortified life are unworthy ever to possess the unspeakable joys of his kingdom. Our Lord himself, our model and our head, walked in this path, and his great apostle puts us in mind that he entered into bliss only by his blood and by the cross. Nevertheless, this is a truth which the world can never understand, how clearly soever it be preached by Christ and recommended by his powerful example and that of his martyrs and of all the saints. Christians still pretend, by the joys and pleasures of this world, to attain to the bliss of heaven, and shudder at the very mention of mortification, penance, or sufferings. So prevalent is this fatal error, which self-love and the example and false maxims of the world strongly fortify in the minds of many, that those who have given themselves to God with the greatest fervour are bound always to stand upon their guard against it, and daily to renew their fervour in the love and practice of penance, and to arm themselves with patience against sufferings, lest the weight of the corruption of our nature, the pleasures of sense, and flattering blandishments of the world, draw them aside and make them leave the path of mortification, or lose courage under its labours, and under the afflictions with which God is pleased to purify them and afford them means of sanctifying themselves.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/M/stmarcellinus.asp#ixzz1t9EHiuwY

Saint April 25 : St. Mark Evangelist : Patron of Lawyers and Prisoners


St. Mark
EVANGELIST, PATRON SAINT OF VENICE
Feast: April 25


Information:
Feast Day:April 25
Born:1st century AD, Palestine
Died:April 25, 68 AD, Alexandria
Major Shrine:Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Cairo, Egypt)
Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Alexandria, Egypt)
Basilica di San Marco (Venice, Italy)
Patron of:against impenitence, against struma, attorneys, barristers, captives, glaziers, imprisoned people, prelature of insect bites, Ionian Islands, lawyers, lions, notaries, prisoners, scrofulous diseases, stained glass workers, struma patients, Venice
St Mark was of Jewish extraction. The style of his gospel abounding with Hebrewisms shows that he was by birth a Jew, and that the Hebrew language was more natural to him than the Greek. His acts say he was of Cyrenaica, and Bede from them adds, of the race of Aaron. Papias, quoted by Eusebius, St. Austin, Theodoret, and Bede say he was converted by the apostles after Christ's resurrection. St. Irenaeus calls him the disciple and interpreter of St. Peter, and, according to Origen and St. Jerome, he is the same Mark whom St. Peter calls his son. By his office of interpreter to St. Peter, some understood that St. Mark was the author of the style of his epistles; others, that he was employed as a translator into Greek or Latin of what the apostle had written in his own tongue, as occasion might require it. St. Jerome and some others take him to be the same with that John, surnamed Mark, son to the sister of St. Barnabas; but it is generally believed they were different persons, and that the latter was with St. Paul in the East at the same time that the Evangelist was at Rome or at Alexandria. According to Papias, and St. Clement of Alexandria, he wrote his gospel at the request of the Romans; who, as they relate, desired to have that committed to writing which St. Peter had taught them by word of mouth. Mark, to whom this request was made, did accordingly set himself to recollect what he had by long conversation learned from St. Peter; for it is affirmed by some that he had never seen our Saviour in the flesh. St. Peter rejoiced at the affection of the faithful; and having revised the work, approved of it, and authorized it to be read in the religious assemblies of the faithful. Hence it might be that, as we learn from Tertullian,6 some attributed this gospel to St. Peter himself. Many judge, by comparing the two gospels, that St. Mark abridged that of St. Matthew; for he relates the same things, and often uses the same words; but he adds several particular circumstances and changes the order of the narration, in which he agrees with St. Luke and St. John. He relates two histories not mentioned by St. Matthew, namely, that of the widow giving two mites, and that of Christ's appearing to the two disciples going to Emmaus. St. Austin calls him the Abridger of St. Matthew. But Ceillier and some others think nothing clearly proves that he made use of St. Matthew's gospel. This evangelist is concise in his narrations, and writes with a most pleasing simplicity and elegance. St. Chrysostom9 admires the humility of St. Peter (we may add also of his disciple St. Mark) when he observes that his evangelist makes no mention of the high commendations which Christ gave that apostle on his making that explicit confession of his being the Son of God; neither does he mention his walking on the water; but gives at full length the history of St. Peter's denying his Master, with all its circumstances. He wrote his gospel in Italy, and in all appearance before the year of Christ 49.

St. Peter sent his disciples from Rome to found other churches. Some moderns say St. Mark founded that of Aquileia. It is certain, at least, that he was sent by St. Peter into Egypt, and was by him appointed Bishop of Alexandria (which, after Rome, was accounted the second city of the world), as Eusebius, St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome, and others assure us. Pope Gelasius, in his Roman Council, Palladius, and the Greeks universally add that he finished his course at Alexandria by a glorious martyrdom. St. Peter left Rome and returned into the East in the ninth year of Claudius and forty-ninth of Christ. About that time St. Mark went first into Egypt, according to the Greeks. The Oriental Chronicle, published by Abraham Eckellensis, places his arrival at Alexandria only in the seventh year of Nero and sixtieth of Christ. Both which accounts agree with the relation of his martyrdom, contained in the ancient acts published by the Bollandists, which were made use of by Bede and the Oriental Chronicle, and seem to have been extant in Egypt in the fourth and fifth centuries. By them we are told that St. Mark landed at Cyrene, in Pentapolis, a part of Lybia bordering on Egypt, and by innumerable miracles brought many over to the faith, and demolished several temples of the idols. He likewise carried the gospel into other provinces of Lybia, into Thebais, and other parts of Egypt. This country was heretofore of all others the most superstitious; but the benediction of God, promised to it by the prophets, was plentifully showered down upon it during the ministry of this apostle. He employed twelve years in preaching in these parts before he, by a particular call of God, entered Alexandria, where he soon assembled a very numerous church, of which it is thought, says Fleury, that the Jewish converts then made up the greatest part. And it is the opinion of St. Jerome and Eusebius that these were the Therapeutes described by Philo, and the first founders of the ascetic life in Egypt.

The prodigious progress of the faith in Alexandria stirred up the heathens against this Galilaean. The apostle therefore left the city, having ordained St. Anianus bishop, in the eighth year of Nero, of Christ the sixty-second, and returned to Pentapolis where he preached two years, and then visited his church of Alexandria, which he found increased in faith and grace as well as in numbers. He encouraged the faithful and again withdrew; the Oriental Chronicle says to Rome. On his return to Alexandria, the heathens called him a magician on account of his miracles, and resolved upon his death. God, however, concealed him long from them. At last, on the pagan feast of the idol Serapis, some that were employed to discover the holy man found him offering to God the prayer of the oblation, or the mass. Overjoyed to find him in their power, they seized him, tied his feet with cords and dragged him about the streets, crying out that the ox must be led to Bucoles, a place near the sea, full of rocks and precipices, where probably oxen were fed. This happened on Sunday, the 24th of April, in the year of Christ 68, of Nero the fourteenth, about three years after the death of SS. Peter and Paul. The saint was thus dragged the whole day, staining the stones with his blood and leaving the ground strewed with pieces of his flesh; all the while he ceased not to praise and thank God for his sufferings. At night he was thrown into prison, in which God comforted him by two visions, which Bede has also mentioned in his true Martyrology. The next day the infidels dragged him, as before, till he happily expired on the 25th of April, on which day the Oriental and Western churches keep his festival. The Christians gathered up the remains of his mangled body and buried them at Bucoles, where they afterwards usually assembled for prayer. His body was honourably kept there, in a church built on the spot, in 310; and towards the end of the fourth age the holy priest Philoromus made a pilgrimage thither from Galatia to visit this saint's tomb, as Palladius recounts. His body was still honoured at Alexandria, under the Mahometans, in the eighth age, in a marble tomb. It is said to have been conveyed by stealth to Venice in 815 Bernard, a French monk, who travelled over the East in 870, writes that the body of St. Mark was not then at Alexandria, because the Venetians had carried it to their isles. It is said to be deposited in the Doge's stately rich chapel of St. Mark in a secret place, that it may not be stolen, under one of the great pillars. This saint is honoured by that republic with extraordinary devotion as principal patron.

The great litany is sung on this day to beg that God would be pleased to avert from us the scourges which our sins deserve. The origin of this custom is usually ascribed to St. Gregory the Great, who, by a public supplication or litany, with a procession of the whole city of Rome, divided into seven bands or companies, obtained of God the extinction of a dreadful pestilence This St. Gregory of Tours learned from a deacon, who had assisted at this ceremony at Rome. The station was at St. Mary Major's, and this pro cession and litany were made in the year 590. St. Gregory the Great speaks of a like procession and litany which he made thirteen years after on the 29th of August, in the year 603, in which the station was at St. Sabina's. Whence it is inferred that St. Gregory performed this ceremony every year, though not on the 25th of April, on which day we find it settled, in the close of the seventh century, long before the same was appointed for the feast of St. Mark. The great litany was received in France, and commanded in the council of Aix-la-Chapelle in 836, and in the Capitulars of Charles the Bald. St. Gregory the Great observed the great litany with a strict fast. On account of the Paschal time, on the 25th of April, it is kept in several dioceses only with abstinence; in some with a fast of the Stations, or till None.

Nothing is more tender and more moving than the instructions which several councils, fathers, and holy pastors have given on the manner of performing public supplications and processions. The first council of Orleans orders masters to excuse their servants from work and attendance, that all the faithful may be assembled together to unite their prayers and sighs. A council of Mentz commanded that all should assist barefoot and covered with sackcloth; which was for some time observed in that church. St. Charles Borromaeo endeavoured, by pathetic instructions and pastoral letters, to revive the ancient piety of the faithful on the great litany and the rogation days. According to the regulations which he made, the supplications and processions began before break of day and continued till three or four o'clock in the afternoon. On them he fasted himself on bread and water and preached several times, exhorting the people to sincere penance. A neglect to assist at the public supplications of the church is a grievous disorder and perhaps one of the principal causes of the little piety and sanctity which are left, and of the scandals which reign amongst Christians. They cannot seek the kingdom of God as they ought, who deprive themselves of so powerful a means of drawing down his graces upon their souls. We must join this procession with hearts penetrated with humility, and spend some time in prayer, pious reading, and the exercises of compunction. What we are chiefly to ask of God on these days is the remission of our sins, which are the only true evil and the cause of all the chastisements which we suffer or have reason to fear. We must, secondly, beg that God avert from us all scourges and calamities which our crimes deserve, and that he bestow his blessing on the fruits of the earth.


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/M/stmark.asp#ixzz1t3MPxavf
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