- Year XXII - Num. 113
|- The family faced with death|
|- Appeal for the defence of creation and aid to refugees|
|- Consistory for the canonisation of blesseds Vincenzo Grossi, Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Louis Martin and Marie-Azelie Guerin|
|- Other Pontifical Acts|
|The family faced with death|
Vatican City, (VIS) – Bereavement in the family was the theme of Pope Francis' catechesis during general audience in St. Peter's Square, attended by more than fifteen thousand people.
“Death is an experience that affects all families, without exception. It is part of life; however, when it touches someone close to us, it never appears natural to us. For parents, the loss of a child … is an affront to the promises, gifts and sacrifices of love joyfully offered to the life we have brought into being. The whole family is paralysed, silenced. And a child suffers something similar when he or she is left alone by the loss of one or both parents. The emptiness and abandonment that opens up inside the child is even more distressing on account of the fact that he does not have the sufficient experience to 'give a name' to what has happened. In these cases death is like a black hole that opens up in the life of families, for which we are unable to give any explanation. And at times we even reach the point of blaming God”.
“But many people – and I understand them – become angry with God, and blaspheme. 'Why have you taken my son, my daughter from me? There is no God, God does not exist! Why has He done this to me?'. But this anger arises from great pain; the loss of a son or a daughter, a father or mother, is an immense pain. … In these cases, death seems like a hole”.
But physical death, the Pope warned, has “accomplices” that are even worse: “hatred, envy, pride and greed, the sin of the world that works for death and renders it even more painful and unjust. Family ties appear to be the predestined and helpless victims of these powerful auxiliaries of death that accompany human history. Think of the absurd 'normality' with which, in certain moments and in certain places, the events that add horror to death are provoked by the hatred and indifference of other human beings. May the Lord free us from growing accustomed to this”.
Thanks to God's compassion given to us in Jesus, “many families demonstrate in their actions that death does not have the last word. Every time that a bereaved family – even terribly – finds the strength to keep the faith and love that unite us to those whom we love, it prevents death from claiming everything. The darkness of death must be faced with more intense love. In the light of the Resurrection of the Lord, Who never abandons any of those whom the Father has entrusted to Him, we can remove the 'sting' from death, as the apostle Paul said; we can prevent it from poisoning life, from spoiling our affections, from making us fall into the darkest emptiness. In this faith, we are able to console each other, knowing that the Lord has defeated death once and for all. Our dear ones have not disappeared into the darkness of nothing: hope assures us that they are in the good and strong hands of God. Love is stronger than death”, the Pope emphasised. If we let ourselves be supported by this faith, “the experience of bereavement can generate a stronger solidarity in family ties, a new openness to the suffering of other families, a new fraternity with those families who are born and reborn in hope”.
Faith gives us birth and rebirth in hope, reiterated Francis, recalling the passage from the Gospel in which Jesus revives the widower's son, restoring him to his mother. “This is our hope”, he exclaimed. “Jesus will restore to us all our dear ones who have passed away, He will return them to us and we will meet them again. … Let us remember this gesture of Jesus … as the Lord will do the same with the loved ones in our family”. This faith, he said, “protects us from a nihilistic vision of death, as well as from the false consolations of the world, 'so that the Christian truth does not risk mixing itself with myths of various types'”, giving way to rites of superstition, ancient or modern”.
The Pope concluded by urging all pastors and all Christians to express in the most concrete way the sense of faith in relation to the family experience of bereavement. “The right to weep must not be denied”, he exclaimed. “Even Jesus was deeply moved and profoundly troubled by the bereavement of a family he loved. We can, instead, draw from the simple and powerful witness of many families who have known how to grasp, in the difficult passage of death, also the safe passage offered by the Lord, crucified and risen, with his irrevocable promise of the resurrection of the dead. The work of God's love is stronger than the work of death. We must seek to be 'accomplices' to that love, with our faith. … Death was defeated by Jesus on the cross. Jesus will restore all of us to our families”.
|Appeal for the defence of creation and aid to refugees|
Vatican City, (VIS) – Following today's catechesis the Pope mentioned that the Encyclical on the care of creation, our “common home”, will be published. “Our home is being ruined and this damages everyone, especially the poorest. I therefore make an appeal for responsibility, on the basis of the task that God assigned to the human being in creation: 'to tend and to keep' the 'garden' in which He placed him. I invite everyone to welcome with an open heart this Document which is in line with the social doctrine of the Church”.
He also drew attention to World Refugee Day, organised by the United Nations and to be held, and called for prayers “for the many brothers and sisters who seek refuge far from the lands of their birth, in search of a place where they can live without fear, so that their dignity may always be respected”. He added, “I encourage the work of the many who help them, and hope that the international community will act in a concerted and effective way to prevent the causes of forced migration”.
In his greetings to Polish pilgrims, the Holy Father mentioned St. Albert Chmielowski, whose memory is celebrated today. “Remembering his commitment to the poor, to the homeless, to the incurably sick, we open our hearts to the needs of our brothers. From this we learn to serve Christ in the poor and to be good for others, like bread. Let us imitate him in aspiring to holiness”.
|Consistory for the canonisation of blesseds Vincenzo Grossi, Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Louis Martin and Marie-Azelie Guerin|
Vatican City, (VIS) – On , in the Consistory Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father will preside at the celebration of Terce and the ordinary public consistory for the canonisation of the blesseds Vincenzo Grossi, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Institute of Daughters of the Oratory (1845-1917); Mary of the Immaculate Conception (nee Maria Isabel Salvat Romero), Spanish superior general of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Company of the Cross (1926-1998); and the French spouses Louis Martin (1823-1894) and Marie-Azelie Guerin (1831-1877), parents of St. Therese of Lisieux.
|Other Pontifical Acts|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, professor of theoretical physics at the University of Potsdam and director of the Institute for Climate Impact in Potsdam, Federal Republic of Germany, as ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
#Actor Chris Pratt of Jurassic World on Birth of his Son “It restored my faith in God, not that it needed to be restored..."
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held his weekly General Audience on Wednesday in St. Peter’s Square. In remarks to the pilgrims and tourists gathered for the occasion, the Holy Father continued his series of catechetical reflections on the family. Specifically, this Wednesday’s meditation was devoted to the theme of loss in the family: the pain and suffering that the passing of a family member can bring, and the duty we have to comfort and console those who mourn.
Please find the official English summary of the Holy Father’s remarks, below
******************************** Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In our ongoing catechesis on the family, I wish to reflect on one of the more dramatic and painful events that every person, without exception, has to deal with, namely, the death of a family member. Jesus has compassion on those who mourn, as today’s Scripture reading reminds us, because the death of a loved one is never without pain for families; this is especially true of parents who lose a child. Jesus’ presence with the widow at Na’in assures us that he is with us in our darkest moments and that he is with us in our loss and mourning. Through faith in him, in his Resurrection and his abiding presence, we can face our loss, “the sting of death”, as Saint Paul calls it, make sense of it, and have confidence that death does not have the last word. May we, with Christ-like tenderness and compassion, know how to be close and offer consolation to families suffering the loss of a loved one. Above all, may we always be witnesses to the love which Christ revealed through his cross and resurrection, a love stronger than death. Let us also be grateful for our faith in him, which is the only adequate response to our deepest needs in the face of the death of a loved one.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has renewed his call on the international community to take effective action on behalf of refugees. In remarks to pilgrims and tourists gathered for his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, Pope Francis said, “We pray for the many brothers and sisters who seek refuge far from their native lands, who seek a home where they can live without fear: that they might always be respected in their dignity.”
The Holy Father made his appeal ahead of the UN-sponsored World Refugee Day, marked each year on June 20th. “I Encourage the work of those who bring help to those in need,” said Pope Francis.
The Holy Father concluded saying, “It is my hope that the international community should act in a fitting and effective way to prevent the causes of forced migration.”
Please find Vatican Radio's English translation of the full text of the Holy Father's appeal, below ****************************************************** This coming Saturday [June 20, 2015] marks World Refugee Day, promoted by the United Nations. We pray for the many brothers and sisters who seek refuge far from their native lands, who seek a home where they can live without fear: that they might always be respected in their dignity. I encourage the work of those who bring help to those in need, and it is my hope that the international community should act in a fitting and effective way to prevent the causes of forced migration.
And I invite everyone to ask forgiveness for those persons and institutions that close the doors on these people who are searching for family, that are searching for safety.
Feast: June 17
|ST. AVITUS was a native of Orleans, and, retiring into Auvergne, took the monastic habit, together with St. Calais, in the abbey of Menat, at that time very small, though afterward enriched by Queen Brunehault, and by St. Boner, Bishop of Clermont. The two Saints soon after returned to Miscy, a famous abbey situated a league and a half below Orleans. It was founded toward the end of the reign of Clovis I. by St. Euspicius, a holy priest, honored on the 14th of June, and his nephew St. Maximin or Mesnim, whose name this monastery, which is now of the Cistercian Order, bears. Many call St. Maximin the first abbot, others St. Euspicius the first, St. Maximin the second, and St. Avitus the third. But our Saint and St. Calais made not a long stay at Miscy, though St. Maximin gave them a gracious reception. In quest of a closer retirement, St. Avitus, who had succeeded St. Maximin, soon after resigned the abbacy, and with St. Calais lived a recluse in the territory now called Dunois, on the frontiers of La Perche. Others joining them, St. Calais retired into a forest in Maine, and King Clotaire built a church and monastery for St. Avitus and his companions. This is at present a Benedictine nunnery, called St. Avy of Chateaudun, and is situated on the Loire, at the foot of the hill on which the town of Chateaudun is built, in the diocese of Chartres. Three famous monks, Leobin, afterwards Bishop of Chartres, Euphronius, and Rusticus, attended our Saint to his happy death, which happened about the year 530. His body was carried to Orleans, and buried with great pomp in that city.|
(Taken from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler)
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
JESUIT EVANGELIST AND PREACHER
Feast: June 16
|Born 31 January, 1597, in the village of Fontcouverte (department of Aude); died at la Louvesc, 30 Dec., 1640. His father Jean, a rich merchant, had been recently ennobled in recognition of the prominent part he had taken in the Wars of the League; his mother, Marguerite de Cugunhan, belonged by birth to the landed nobility of that part of Languedoc. They watched with Christian solicitude over the early education of their son, whose sole fear was lest he should displease his parents or his tutors. The slightest harsh word rendered him inconsolable, and quite paralyzed his youthful faculties. When he reached the age of fourteen, he was sent to continue his studies in the Jesuit college at Béziers. His conduct was exemplary and he was much given to practices of devotion, while his good humour, frankness, and eagerness to oblige everybody soon won for him the good-will of his comrades. But Francis did not love the world, and even during the vacations lived in retirement, occupied in study and prayer. On one occasion only he allowed himself the diversions of the chase. At the end of his five years' study of the humanities, grace and his ascetic inclinations led him to embrace the religious life under the standard of St. Ignatius Loyola. He entered the Jesuit novitiate of Toulouse on 8 December, 1616, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Here he was distinguished for an extreme fervour, which never afterwards flagged, neither at Cahors, where he studied rhetoric for a year (Oct., 1618-Oct., 1619), nor during the six years in which he taught grammar at the colleges of Billom (1619-22), of Puy-en-Velay (1625-27), and of Auch (1627-28), nor during the three years in which he studied philosophy in the scholasticate at Tournon (Oct., 1622-Oct., 1625). During this time, although he was filling the laborious office of regent, he made his first attempts as a preacher. On feast-days he loved to visit the towns and villages of the neighbourhood, and there give an informal instruction, which never failed--as attested by those who heard him--to produce a profound impression on those present.|
As he burned with the desire to devote himself entirely to the salvation of his neighbour, he aspired with all his heart to the priesthood. In this spirit he began in October, 1628, his theological studies. The four years he was supposed to devote to them seemed to him so very long that he finally begged his superiors to shorten the term. This request was granted, and in consequenceFrancis said his first Mass on Trinity Sunday, 15 June, 1631; but on the other hand, in conformity with the statutes of his order, which require the full course of study, he was not admitted to the solemn profession of the four vows. The plague was at that time raging in Toulouse. The new priest hastened to lavish on the unfortunate victims the first-fruits of his apostolate. In the beginning of 1632, after having reconciled family differences at Fontcouverte, his birthplace, and having resumed for some weeks a class in grammar at Pamiers, he was definitively set to work by his superiors at the hard labour of the missions. This became the work of the last ten years of his life. It is impossible to enumerate the cities and localities which were the scene of his zeal. On this subject the reader must consult his modern biographer, Father de Curley, who has succeeded best in reconstructing the itinerary of the holy man. We need only mention that from May, 1632, to Sept., 1634, his head-quarters were at the Jesuit college of Montpellier, and here he laboured for the conversion of the Huguenots, visiting the hospitals, assisting the needy, withdrawing from vice wayward girls and women, and preaching Catholic doctrine with tireless zeal to children and the poor. Later (1633-40) he evangelized more than fifty districts in le Vivarais, le Forez, and le Velay. He displayed everywhere the same spirit, the same intrepidity, which were rewarded by the most striking conversions. "Everybody", wrote the rector of Montpellier to the general of the Jesuits, "agrees that Father Regis has a marvellous talent for the Missions" (Daubenton, "La vie du B. Jean-François Régis", ed. 1716, p. 73). But not everyone appreciated the transports of his zeal. He was reproached in certain quarters with being impetuous and meddlesome, with troubling the peace of families by an indiscreet charity, with preaching not evangelical sermons, but satires and invectives which converted no one. Some priests, who felt their own manner of life rebuked, determined to ruin him, and therefore denounced him to the Bishop of Viviers. They had laid their plot with such perfidy and cunning that the bishop permitted himself to be prejudiced for a time. But it was only a passing cloud. The influence of the best people on the one hand, and on the other the patience and humility of the saint, soon succeeded in confounding the calumny and caused the discreet and enlightened ardour of Regis to shine forth with renewed splendour (Daubenton, loc. dit., 67- 73). Less moderate indeed was his love of mortification, which he practiced with extreme rigour on all occasions, without ruffling in the least his evenness of temper. As he returned to the house one evening after a hard day's toil, one of his confrères laughingly asked: "Well, Father Regis, speaking candidly, are you not very tired?" "No", he replied, "I am as fresh as a rose." He then took only a bowl of milk and a little fruit, which usually constituted both his dinner and supper, and finally, after long hours of prayer, lay down on the floor of his room, the only bed he knew. He desired ardently to go to Canada, which at that time was one of the missions of the Society of Jesus where one ran the greatest risks. Having been refused, he finally sought and obtained from the general permission to spend six months of the year, and those the terrible months of winter, on the missions of the society. The remainder of the time he devoted to the most thankless labour in the cities, especially to the rescue of public women, whom he helped to persevere after their conversion by opening refuges for them, where they found honest means of livelihood. This most delicate of tasks absorbed a great part of his time and caused him many annoyances, but his strength of soul was above the dangers which he ran. Dissolute men often presented a pistol at him or held a dagger to his throat. He did not even change colour, and the brightness of his countenance, his fearlessness, and the power of his words caused them to drop the weapons from their hands. He was more sensitive to that opposition which occasionally proceeded from those who should have seconded his courage. His work among penitents urged his zeal to enormous undertakings. His superiors, as his first biographers candidly state, did not always share his optimism, or rather his unshaken faith in Providence, and it sometimes happened that they were alarmed at his charitable projects and manifested to him their disapproval. This was the cross which caused the saint the greatest suffering, but it was sufficient for him that obedience spoke: he silenced all the murmurs of human nature, and abandoned his most cherished designs. Seventy-two years after his death a French ecclesiastic, who believed he had a grievance against the Jesuits, circulated the legend that towards the end of his life St. John Francis Regis had been expelled from the Society of Jesus. Many different accounts were given, but finally the enemies of the Jesuits settled on the version that the letter of the general announcing to John his dismissal was sent from Rome, but that it was late in reaching its destination, only arriving some days after the death of the saint. This calumny will not stand the slightest examination. (For its refutation see de Curley, "St. Jean-François Régis", 336-51; more briefly and completely in "Analecta Bollandiana", XIII, 78-9.) It was in the depth of winter, at la Louvesc, a poor hamlet of the mountains of Ardèche, after having spent with heroic courage the little strength that he had left, and while he was contemplating the conversion of the Cévennes, that the saint's death occurred, on 30 December, 1640. There was no delay in ordering canonical investigations. On 18 May, 1716, the decree of beatification was issued by Clement XI. On 5 April, 1737, Clement XII promulgated the decree of canonization. Benedict XIV established the feast-day for 16 June. But immediately after his death Regis was venerated as a saint. Pilgrims came in crowds to his tomb, and since then the concourse has only grown. Mention must be made of the fact that a visit made in 1804 to the blessed remains of the Apostle of Vivarais was the beginning of the vocation of the Blessed Curé of Ars, Jean-Baptiste Vianney, whom the Church has raised in his turn to her altars. "Everything good that I have done", he said when dying, "I owe to him" (de Curley, op. cit., 371). The place where Regis died has been transformed into a mortuary chapel. Near by is a spring of fresh water to which those who are devoted to St. John Francis Regis attribute miraculous cures through his intercession. The old church of la Louvesc has received (1888) the title and privileges of a basilica. On this sacred site was founded in the beginning of the nineteenth century the Institute of the Sisters of St. Regis, or Sisters of Retreat, better known under the name of the Religious of the Cenacle; and it was the memory of his merciful zeal in behalf of so many unfortunate fallen women that gave rise to the now flourishing work of St. Francis Regis, which is to provide for the poor and working people who wish to marry, and which is chiefly concerned with bringing illegitimate unions into conformity with Divine and human laws.
(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)