Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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Novena to St. Kateri Tekakwitha - #Litany and #Hymn #Prayers - #StKateri

Novena: Kateri, favored child and Lily of the Mohawks, I come to seek your intercession in my present need: (State your intention here...) I admire the virtues which adorned your soul: love of God and neighbor, humility, obedience, patience, purity and the spirit of sacrifice.
 Help me to imitate your example in my state of life. Through the goodness and mercy of God, Who has blessed you with so many graces which led you to the true faith and to a high degree of holiness, pray to God for me and help me. Obtain for me a very fervent devotion to the Holy Eucharist so that I may love Holy Mass as you did and receive Holy Communion as often as I can. Teach me also to be devoted to my crucified Savior as you were, that I may cheerfully bear my daily crosses for love of Him Who suffered so much for love of me.
 Most of all I beg you to pray for me that I may avoid sin, lead a holy life and save my soul. AMEN
 In Thanksgiving to God for the graces bestowed upon Kateri: (Recite the following prayers...) Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be... (3 times) Kateri, Lily of the Mohawks, pray for me.
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Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Kateri, lily of purity, pray for us.
Kateri, consoler of the heart of Jesus, pray for us.
Kateri, bright light for all Indians, pray for us.
Kateri, courage of the afflicted, pray for us.
Kateri, lover of the cross of Jesus, pray for us.
Kateri, flower of fortitude for the persecuted, pray for us.
Kateri, unshakeable in temptations, pray for us.
Kateri, full of patience in suffering, pray for us.
Kateri, keeper of your virginity in persecutions, pray for us.
Kateri, leader of many Indians to the true faith through your love for Mary, pray for us.

Kateri, who loved Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.
Kateri, lover of penance, pray for us.
Kateri, who traveled many miles to learn the faith, pray for us.
Kateri, steadfast in all prayer, pray for us.
Kateri, who loved to pray the rosary for all people, pray for us.
Kateri, example to your people in all virtues, pray for us.
Kateri, humble servant to the sick, pray for us.
Kateri, who by your love of humility, gave joy to the angels,
pray for us.
Kateri, your holy death gave strength to all Indians
to love Jesus and Mary, pray for us.
Kateri, whose scarred face in life became beautiful after death,
pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, 0 Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, 0 Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

0 Jesus, who gave Kateri to the Indians as an example of purity, teach all men to love purity, and to console your immaculate Mother Mary through the lily, Kateri Tekakwitha, and your Holy Cross, Amen.

#PopeFrancis "The world is polarized." FULL TEXT Interview on Plane to #Rome

Please read below the full text of the Pope’s inflight interview: (Text Shared from CNA)

Fr. Federico Lombardi: The Holy Father has said that he can give us an hour of his time and no more. So, know that this is the limit. We’ll move forward to that limit and then at a certain point, we’ll finish. Now, for the first question, let’s give the floor to Anibal Velazquez from Paraguay, unless you want to say something to us first.

Pope Francis: Good evening to everyone and thanks for the work you’ve done. It was tiring for you. Thanks!

Anibal Velazquez: Hello, Holiness. Anibal Velazquez of Paraguay. We thank you for elevating the shrine of our Lady of Caacupe to a basilica, but the people of Paraguay ask: Why don’t we have a cardinal? What is the sin of Paraguay that we don’t have a cardinal? Is it far off for us to have a cardinal?

Pope Francis: Well, not having a cardinal isn’t a sin. Most countries in the world don’t have a cardinal – the majority. The nationality of the cardinals, I don’t remember them, how many there are, but they are a minority compared to the whole.

It’s true, Paraguay has never had a cardinal up until now, but I wouldn’t be able to give you a reason. Sometimes an evaluation is made, the files are studied one by one, you see the person, the charisma, especially, of the cardinal that will have to advise and assist the Pope in the universal government of the Church.  The cardinal, though he belongs to a particular Church, is incardinated to the Church of Rome, and needs to have a universal vision. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a bishop in Paraguay who has it. But you always have to elect up to a number, you can’t have more than a limit of 120 cardinal electors, so it will be for that.

Bolivia has had two. Uruguay has had two. Antonio Maria Barbieri(editor’s note: he served as Archbishop of Montevideo 1940-1976 and was created cardinal in 1958) and the current one (editor’s note: Fernando Sturla). And other Latin American countries… some Central American countries haven’t had one either. I don’t remember well, but it’s no sin, and it depends on the circumstances and the people, the charisma to be incardinated. This doesn’t represent an insult, or that the Paraguayan bishops have no value. There are some that are great. The two [inaudible] made history in Paraguay. Why weren’t they made cardinals? Because there wasn’t an opportunity. It’s not a promotion, certainly. I ask another question: Does Paraguay deserve a cardinal, if we look at the Church of Paraguay? I’d say that yes, they deserve two. It doesn’t have anything to do with its merits. It’s a lively Church, a joyful Church, a fighting Church with a glorious history.

Fr. Federico Lombardi: Thanks a million. And now we give the floor, a single question they tell me, to our two colleagues from Bolivia who are Priscilla and Cecilia, who are here.

Priscilla Quiroga Sarmiento (Cadena “A” Red Nacional): Holiness, please, we would like to know your criteria on if you consider the yearning of the Bolivians just to have sovereign access to the sea, to return to having a sovereign access to the Pacific.

Cecilia Dorado Nava, (El Deber): And, Holiness, in the case that Chile and Bolivia asked for your mediation, would you accept?

Pope Francis: Answering the question, the issue of mediation is a very delicate one. And, it would be a last step. It’s to say that Argentina lived that with Chile, and it was truly to stop a war, a very extreme situation, and (it was) dealt with very well by those appointed by the Holy See, behind whom was always John Paul II, being interested, and with the good will of the two countries which said “let’s see if this works out.”

It’s curious, there was, at least in Argentina, a group that never wanted this mediation, and when the president (Raul) Alfonsin called for a plebiscite to see if the proposal for a mediation would be accepted, obviously the majority of the country said “yes,” but there was a group that resisted, that always resisted.

In the case of mediation, hardly ever is a whole country in agreement. But it’s the final resort, there are other diplomatic tools that can help in this case, facilitators, et cetera.

At this point, I have to be very respectful about this because Bolivia has made an appeal to an international court. So right now if I make a comment, as a head of state, it could be interpreted as me trying to mingle in the sovereignty of another state and as disrespectful of the decision of the Bolivian people who made this appeal. Isn’t that right?

I also know that there have been previous instances of wanting to dialogue. I don’t remember well. I was told once something like that: once they were very close to a solution. It was in the times of president Lagos, Chilean president Lagos, but I say it without having exact details. It was a comment made to me by Cardinal Errazuriz, but I don’t want to say something foolish about this.

But there’s something I want to make very clear: I, in the Cathedral of Bolivia, touched on this issue in a very delicate way, taking into consideration the situation of the appeal to the international court. I remember the context perfectly – brothers have to dialogue, the Latin American peoples to have dialogue. In order to create the Great Homeland, dialogue is necessary. I stopped, made a silence, and said, “I’m thinking of the sea,” and then I continued, “dialogue and dialogue.” I think it was clear that my intervention was referring to this problem, though respecting the situation as it’s presented now.

It’s in an international tribunal, one can’t speak of mediation or facilitation. We have to wait for that.

[Inaudible follow-up question from Bolivian journalists]

Pope Francis: There’s always a base of justice when there’s a change in the territorial borders, particularly after a war. So, there’s a continuous revision of this. I’d say that it’s not unfair to present something like this, this desire. I remember that in the year 1960, no, 1961, during my first year of philosophy, we were passed along a documentary about Bolivia, from a Father who had come from Bolivia. I believe it was called 'The Twelve Stars'. How many provinces has Bolivia?

Dorado Nava: Nine departments.

Pope Francis: So it was called 'The Ten Stars'. And it presented each one of the nine departments, and at the end, the tenth department, and you saw the sea without any word. That remained in my mind, so it’s visible that there’s a desire. After a war of this kind, losses come up and I believe it’s important: first dialogue, the healthy negotiation. But at this point dialogue is stopped because of this appeal to The Hague.

Fr. Federico Lombardi: A thousand thanks, Holiness. Now, we give the floor to Freddy Paredes of Ecuador.

Freddy Paredes (Caceres, Teleamazonas): Holiness, good evening. Many thanks. Ecuador was convulsed before your visit, and after you left the country those who oppose the government went back to the streets. It would seem that they would like to use your presence in Ecuador politically, especially because of the phrase you used, “the people of Ecuador has stood up with dignity.” I would like to ask you, if it’s possible, what do you mean by this? Do you sympathize in President Correa’s political project? Do you believe that the general recommendations you’ve made during your visit to Ecuador, that look to improve development, dialogue, the construction of a democracy in the hopes of leaving behind the throw away culture, as you call it, is already practiced in Ecuador?

Pope Francis: Evidently, I know there were some political problems and strikes. I know that. I don’t know the complications of politics of Ecuador. It would be obnoxious of me to give an opinion. Afterward, they told me that there was a type of parenthesis during my visit, for which I’m thankful, because it’s the gesture of a people on their feet, a certain respect for the visit of a Pope. I’m thankful for and value this. But if things resume, obviously, the problems of political debates … and concerning the phrase you talk about: I refer to the greater consciousness the people of Ecuador has been gaining, it’s courage…  There was a border war with Peru not long ago, so there’s a history of war. Then, there’s been a greater awareness of Ecuador’s variety of ethnic diversity, and this gives dignity. Ecuador isn’t a country of throwing away, so it refers to the people as a whole and to all of the dignity of that people who after the border war stood up and once again took more consciousness of its dignity and the wealth it has in its diversity and variety, so it cannot be attributed to one concrete political situation, from one sign or another because that same phrase, someone told me, I didn’t see it, was used to explain both situations.

That Ecuador stood up or that those contrary to the government … One sentence can be manipulated, and I believe that in this we must be very careful. And I thank you for your question because it’s a way to be careful. You’re giving an example of being careful.

And if you allow me, and no one asked me this, but I give you five extra minutes more as a concession, if we need them. In your job, the hermeneutics of a text is very important. A text can’t be interpreted only in one sentence. The hermeneutic has to be applied to the entire context. There are phrases that are exactly the keys to the hermeneutic, and others that aren’t, that are spoken “by the way” or “plasticas.” So, in all of the context, looking at the situation. So looking at the history, so being the history from that moment or if we’re looking at the past we need to interpret an event with the hermeneutic of that time. I don’t know, for instance the crusades – let’s interpret the crusades with a hermeneutic of how they thought in that time, no? It’s key to interpret a speech, any text, with a comprehensive hermeneutic, not isolated. Forgive me, I don’t want to play the “plum teacher” (editor’s note: ‘maestro ciruela;’ Argentine idiom that refers to the teacher who is constantly giving lecturing rants), but I say this to help you.

Now, shall we move on to Guarani?

Fr. Federico Lombardi: Now we give the floor to Stefania Falasca of Avvenire for the Italian group and we await the response in Guarani. In the meantime, Anna Matranga, is getting prepared for the English group.

Stefania Falasca, (Avvenire): So, we thought this: you, in the speech you gave in Bolivia to the popular movements, you spoke of the new colonialism and of the idolatry of money that the economy subdues and of the imposition of methods of austerity that always adjust the “pocket,” the “belt” of the poor. Now this week in Europe, we have this case of Greece and the destiny of Greece, which risks leaving the European currency. What do you think about what is happening in Greece and how it concerns all of Europe?

Pope Francis: First of all, why this intervention of mine at the conference of the popular movements? It was the second one. The first was held in the Vatican, in the old synod hall. There were more or less 120 people. It is something that (the Pontifical Council of) Justice and Peace organizes, but I am close to this because it is a phenomenon in the whole world, in the whole world, also in the East, in the Philippines, in India, in Thailand. These are movements that organize among themselves, not just to protest but to move forward, to be able to live, and they are movements that have strength. These people, and there are many, many of them, don't feel represented by the unions because they say that unions now are a corporation and they do not struggle – I am simplifying a bit – but the idea of many people is that they don't fight for the rights of poorest. The Church cannot be indifferent. The Church has a social doctrine, and dialogues with these movements, and dialogues well. You saw it. You saw the enthusiasm of feeling that the Church is not far from us, the Church has a doctrine that helps us in the struggle with this. It is a dialogue. It is not that the Church has an option for the anarchic way. No, they not anarchists. They work. They try do many jobs, even connected with waste, the things that are left behind. They are real workers. That is the first thing, the importance of this.
Then, the other. Tell me.

(Inaudible, clarifying question)

Pope Francis: On Greece and the international system, I have a great allergy to economic things, because my father was an accountant and when he did not manage to finish his work at the factory, he brought the work home on Saturday and Sunday, with those books in those day where the titles were written in gothic. When I saw my father I had a great allergy and I didn’t understand it very well. Certainly, it would be all too simple to say that the fault is only on one side. If the Greek government has brought forward this situation of international debt, also they have a responsibility. With the new Greek government we see a revision and it’s a bit right ... I hope that they find a way to resolve the Greek problem and also a way to have oversight so that the same problem will not fall on other countries. And this will help us move forward because that road of loans and debts, in the end, it never ends. They told me something about a year and a half ago but it is something that I heard, I don't know if it’s true, that there was a project at the U.N. – if any of you know anything about it, it would be good if you could explain it – there was a project whereby a country could declare itself bankrupt, which is not the same as default. It is a project, they told me, that was in the United Nations. I don't know how it ended it up or whether it was true or not  ... I am just using it to illustrate something that I heard. But, if a company can declare bankruptcy why can’t a country do it and we go to the aid of others? And, this is one of the foundations of the project, but I can’t say anything more about this.
And then the new colonizations. Evidently, all of them are about values. It’s the colonization of consumerism. The habit of consumerism was a product of colonization. It’s the habit, no? It brings about a habit that is not yours and it even causes disequilibrium in the personality; consumerism causes disequilibrium the internal economy and social justice and even physical and mental health, just to give an example.
Fr. Federico Lombardi: Now, Anna Matranga, if you can take a seat here.

Anna Matranga, (CBS News): Your Holiness, one of the strongest messages of this trip was that the global economic system often imposes a profit mentality at any cost, to the detriment of the poor. This is perceived by Americans as a direct criticism of their system and their way of life. How do you respond to this perception, and what is your evaluation of the impact of the United States in the world?

Pope Francis:  What I said, that phrase, it’s not new. I said in Evangelii Gaudium. This economy kills. I remember that phrase well. It had a context. And I said it in Laudato Si'. It’s not a new thing, this is known. I cannot say … I heard that there were some criticisms from the United States. I heard about it, but I haven’t read about it, I haven’t had the time to study this well, because every criticism must be received, studied, and then dialogue must be ensue. You ask me what I think. If I have not had a dialogue with those who criticize, I don’t have the right to state an opinion, isolated from dialogue, no? This is what comes to mind.

Matranga: But now you are going to the U.S.

Pope Francis: Yes, I will go.

Matranga: Now you will go the United States. You must have an idea how it will be, you must have some thoughts about the nation.

Pope Francis: No, I have to begin to study now. Until now I studied these three beautiful countries [Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay]. Such richness, such beauty…Now I must begin to study Cuba, I will go for two and a half days. And then the United States. The three cities, the east. I cannot go to the west because … Washington, New York, Philadelphia, no? Yes, I must begin studying these criticisms, no? And then dialogue a bit with this.

Fr. Federico Lombardi: Now we give the floor to Aura Miguel from the Portuguese, whom you know well.

Aura Vistas Miguel, (Radio Renascenca): Well, there’s no group. It’s just me from Portugal. (laughing) Holiness, what did you think when you saw the hammer and sickle with Christ on it? And where did this object end up? What did you think when you saw the hammer and sickle with the Christ on it, given to you by Evo Morales? And where did this object end up?

Pope Francis: Ah, yes, truly. I heard 'mantello' (editor’s note: mantle, cloak: ‘mantello’ is similar to ‘martello,’ the Italian for hammer, that’s why the Pope needed the question repeated), and I didn't understand. It’s curious, I didn't know this, nor did I know that Fr. Espinal was a sculptor and also a poet. I learned this in these days. I saw it and for me it was a surprise. Secondly, you can qualify it in the genre of “protest art” – for example in Buenos Aires, some years ago, there was an exhibit of a good sculptor, creative, Argentine, who is now dead. It was protest art, and I recall one, it was a crucified Christ on a bomber that was falling down, no? It’s Christianity, but a criticism that, let's say, Christianity allied with imperialism, which is the bomber. The genre that first I didn’t know, and secondly, I would qualify it as protest art, which in some cases can be offensive, in some cases. Thirdly, in this concrete case, Fr Espinal was killed in 1980. It was a time when liberation theology had many different branches. One of the branches was with Marxist analysis of reality. Fr Espinal belonged to this, this. Yes, I knew because I was in those years rector of the theology faculty and we talked a lot about it, about the different branches and who were the representatives, no? In the same year, the general of the Society (of Jesus), Fr. Arrupe, wrote a letter to the whole Society on the Marxist analysis of reality in theology. Stopping on this point saying, “it’s no good, these are different things, it’s not right, it’s not correct.” And, four years later in 1984, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published the first small volume, the first declaration on liberation theology that criticizes this. Then comes the second, which opens to a more Christian perspective. I’m simplifying, no? Let’s do the hermeneutic of that time: Espinal was an enthusiast of this Marxist analysis of the reality, but also of theology using Marxism. From this, he came up with this work. Also the poetry of Espinal was of this kind of protest. But, it was his life, it was his thought. He was a special man, with so much human geniality, who fought in good faith, no? Making a hermeneutic like this, I understand this work. For me it wasn’t an offense, but I had to do this hermeneutic, and I say it to you so that there aren't any wrong opinions.

Vistas: Did you leave it there?

Pope Francis: No, it’s traveling with me. Maybe you heard that President Morales wished to give me two honors, the most important of Bolivia (editor’s note: the Condor of Andes) and the other of the Order of Fr. Espinal, a new order (editor’s note: the Senate of Bolivia approved it June 30). If I ... first, I’ve never accepted honors. I don’t do it. But, he did it with so much good will and with so much pleasure to please me. And, I thought that this comes from the people of Bolivia. So I prayed about it, what I should do. (I thought,) If I bring it to the Vatican it'll go to the museum and end up there and no one ... I thought about leaving it with Our Lady of Copacabana, the Mother of Bolivia, which will go to the sanctuary. The two honors will be in the Shrine of Our Lady of Copacabana, the Madonna, while the Christ is coming with me. Thanks.

Fr. Federico Lombardi: Now we give the floor to Anais Feuga from the French group.

Anais Feuga, (Radio France): Good evening. During the Mass in Guayaquil, you said that the synod needed to help a true discernment to mature to find concrete solutions to the difficulties of the family, and then you’ve asked the people to pray so that what seems to be impure, scandalous, or scary, that God may transform it into a miracle. Can you explain to us what impure, scary or scandalous situations you were referring?

Pope Francis: Here, too, I will do some ‘hermeneutics’ of the text. I was speaking of the miracle of the fine wine. I said the jugs, the jugs of water were full, but they were for the purification. Every person who entered for the celebration performed his purification and left his “spiritual dirt”. It was a rite of purification before entering into a house or the temple, no? Now we have this in the holy water – that is what has remained of the Jewish rite.

I said that precisely Jesus makes the best wine from dirty water – the worst water. In general, I thought of making this comment.

But, the family is in crisis, you know. We all know it. It’s enough to read the “Instrumentum Laboris” (editor’s note: the “working document” for October’s Synod) – which you know well because it was presented to you – and there – I was referring to all of that, in general. That the Lord would purify us from the crises of so many things that are described in that book of the “Instrumentum Laboris.” But it was in general – I wasn’t thinking of any point in particular. That he would make us better, families that are more mature, better. The family is in crisis, may the Lord purify us, and let’s move forward. But the specifics of this crisis are all in the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod that is finished and you have it.

Fr. Federico Lombardi: Now we pass the floor to Javier Martinez Brocal from the Spanish group, from Rome Reports.

Javier Martinez Brocal, (Rome Reports): Holiness, thank you so much for this dialogue which helps us so much personally, and also our work. I pose this question in the name of all of the Spanish language journalists: Seeing how well the mediation went between Cuba and the U.S., do you think it would it be possible to do something similar between other delicate situations in other countries on the Latin American continent? I’m thinking of Colombia and Venezuela. Also, out of curiosity, I have a father who is a few years younger than you and has half your energy. We’ve seen it on this trip and in these two-and-a-half years. What is your secret?

Pope Francis: ‘What is your drug?’ is what he wants to ask. That’s the question!

The process between Cuba and the United States was not a mediation. No, no, no, it did not have the character of a mediation. There was a desire that had arrived, then on the other side also a desire. And then – and in this I’m telling the truth – there passed – this was in January of last year – three months went by, and I only prayed over this. I didn’t decide to do anything, what could I do with these two who have been going on like this for more than 50 years. Then the Lord made me think of a cardinal, and he went there and talked. Then I didn’t know anything; months went by. One day the secretary of state, who is here, told me, “Tomorrow we will have the second meeting with the two teams.” How’s that? “Yes, yes, they are talking, between the two groups they are all talking, they are making …” It went by itself. It was not a mediation. It was the goodwill of the two countries, and the merit is theirs, the merit is theirs for doing this. We did hardly anything, only small things. And in December, mid-December, it was announced. This is the story, truly, there is no more to it.

Right now, I am concerned that the peace process in Colombia not halt. I must say so, and I hope that this process goes ahead. In this sense, we are always disposed to help, we have so many ways to help. It would be an ugly thing if it couldn’t go ahead. In Venezuela, the bishops’ conference is working to make a little bit of peace there, too. But there is no mediation, what you asked about. In the case of the United States, it was the Lord, and then two things maybe by chance, and then it went on. In Colombia, I have hoped and prayed, and we must pray, that this process does not stop. It is a process that has gone on for more than 50 years, too. How many dead? I’ve heard millions. And then, about Venezuela, I don’t know anything.

(Inaudible follow up)

Pope Francis: The drug! Well, mate helps me but I didn’t try the coca (tea). This is clear, eh!

Fr. Federico Lombardi: Good, now Ludwig Ring-Eifel, so we also have a representative of the German group. And then, if we still have time, there would be Vania di Luca.

Ludwig Ring-Eifel, (CIC): Holy Father, on this trip, we’ve heard so many strong messages for the poor, also many strong, at times severe, messages for the rich and powerful, but something we’ve heard very little was a message for the middle class – that is, people who work, people who pay their taxes, “normal people.” My question is why in the magisterium of the Holy Father are there so few messages on the middle class. If there were such a message, what would it be?

Pope Francis: Thank you so much. It’s a good correction, thanks. You are right. It’s an error of mine not to think about this. I will make a comment, but not to justify myself. You’re right. I have to think a bit.

The world is polarized. The middle class becomes smaller. The polarization between the rich and the poor is big. This is true. And, perhaps this has brought me not to take account of this, no? Some nations are doing very well, but in the world in general the polarization is seen. And the number of poor is large. And why do I speak of the poor? Because they’re at the heart of the Gospel. And I always speak from the Gospel on poverty, no? It’s not that it’s sociological. Then on the middle class, there are some words that I’ve said, but a little in passing. But the common people, the simple people, the worker, that is a great value, no? But, I think you’re telling me about something I need to do. I need to do delve further into this magisterium.

Fr Federico Lombardi: Good. OK, now the floor goes to Vania de Luca for the Italian group.

Vania de Luca, (RAI - News 24): In these days you’ve insisted on the necessity of methods of social integration against the throwaway culture. You’ve also supported projects that go in this direction of living well, also if you’ve said you’ve still got to think of the visit to the United States. Will you touch on these things when you go to the United Nations, to the White House? Were you also thinking of that trip when you mentioned those issues?

Pope Francis: No. No, I was just thinking concretely of this trip and of the world in general – that is true.

The debt of countries at this moment is terrible; every country has debts. There are one or two countries that have purchased the debt of big countries. It’s a global problem. But I didn’t think specifically of the trip to the United States in this.

Fr. Federico Lombardi: Now, we’ve still got Courtney Walsh from the English group. I think it may be the last, the last question. (Inaudible) So, no, two more. Courtney and then after, if we can do another, Benedicte.

Courtney Walsh, (Fox News): OK, Holiness, we’ve spoken a bit about Cuba that before you go to the United States and the role the Vatican has had in bringing the two ex-friends back together. Now that Cuba will have a role in the international community, in your opinion should Havana improve its record on human rights, as well as religious freedom? And, do you think Cuba risks losing something in this new relationship with the most powerful country in the world? Thanks a lot.

Pope Francis: Human rights are for everyone. And human rights are not respected not only in one or two countries. I would say that in many countries of the world human rights are not respected. Many countries in the world .. and what will Cuba lose or the U.S. lose? Both will gain something and lose something, because this happens in negotiations. Both will gain, this is sure: peace, meetings, friendship, collaboration. These they will gain … but what will they lose, I cannot imagine. They may be concrete things. But in negotiations one always [both] wins and loses. But returning to human rights, and religious freedom. Just think of the world. There are some countries and also some European countries where you cannot make a sign of religion, for different reasons, and on other continents the same. Yes. Religious liberty is not present in all the world, there are many place that do not have it.        

Fr Federico Lombardi: Now, we pass the floor to Benedicte Lutaud for the French group.

Benedicte Lutaud, (I.Media): Holiness, you present yourself as the new world leader of alternative politics. I would like to know: why do you support popular movements so strongly, and not so much the business world? And do you think the world will follow you in your outstretched hand to popular movements, which are very secular?

Pope Francis: The world of popular movements is a reality. Popular movements are a very big reality, all over the world. What did I do? What I gave them is the social doctrine of the Church, just as I do with the business world. There is a social doctrine of the Church. If you look back at what I told the popular movements, which is a fairly large speech, it comes from the Church’s social doctrine, applied to their situation. But it’s the social doctrine of the Church. Everything I said is the social doctrine of the Church. And, when I need to speak to the world of business, I say the same, that is the social doctrine of the Church, what does it say to the world of business. In Laudato Si' there is a passage on the common good and also on the social debt of private property, all of this that goes in that sense. But it’s applying the Church’s social doctrine.

Lutaud: Do you think the Church will follow you, in your closeness towards popular movements?

Pope Francis: It is I who follow the Church! Because I simply preach the Church’s social doctrine to these movements. It’s not an outstretched hand to an enemy. It’s not political, no, it’s a catechetical fact. I want it to be clear.

Fr Federico Lombardi: Yet another question, from Cristina Cabrejas from the Spanish group.

Cristina Cabrejas, (EFE): Holy Father, the Spanish-speaking journalists want to ask if you are not somewhat scared that you or your speeches might be exploited by governments, by power (lobby) groups, by movements. Thanks.

Pope Francis: I repeat a bit what I said at the beginning. Every word, every sentence can be exploited. What the journalist from Ecuador asked me, that very sentence, some said it was for the government, others said it was against the government. That is why I allowed myself to speak of the hermeneutics of the whole (speech). They can always be exploited. At times some news takes a phrase, out of context. I am not afraid. Simply I say look at the context. And if I make a mistake, with a bit of shame I ask forgiveness, and move forward.

Cabrejas: Can I ask another quick question? What do you think of people taking selfies at Mass, which young people and children want to take with you?

Pope Francis: What do I think of it? I feel like a grandfather! It’s another culture. Today as I was taking leave (from Asuncion), a policeman in his 40s asked me for a selfie! I told him, listen, you’re a teenager! It’s another culture – I respect it.

Fr. Federico Lombardi: Now, let’s do a final question and we’ll let a person who knows the Pope knows well do it, Andrea Tornielli from the Italian group.

Andrea Tornielli, (Vatican Insider): I wanted to ask you, Holy Father, in synthesis what was the message you wished to give to the Latin American Church during these days and what role can the Latin American Church have also as a sign to the world?

Pope Francis: The Latin American Church has a great wealth. It’s a young Church. And this is important. It’s a young Church with a certain freshness. Also, with some informalities, not so formal, no? It also has a rich theology of research. I’ve wished to give encouragement to this young Church and I believe that this Church can give us much. I’ll say something that really struck me. In all three countries, all three, along the streets there were moms and dads with their children, showing their children. I’ve never seen so many kids! So many kids. It’s a people, and also the Church is like this, no? It’s is a lesson for us, isn’t it? For Europe, where the decrease in birthrate is a bit scary, no? And also the policies for helping big families are few. I think of France, which has a good policy for helping big families. It has arrived to a higher than two percent birthrate, but others are at zero percent or less. (Inaudible) In Albania, for example, I believe the level of age is at 45 percent. (In) Paraguay 72 or 75 percent of the population is younger than 40 years old. The wealth of this Church, this nation, but also this living Church. This is a Church of life, no? And, this is important. We also need to learn from this and correct it because on the contrary if children don’t come… For me, it’s the same, waste. Children are thrown away. Elderly are discarded. We all know that the elderly… With the lack of work, we discard young people, no? And these new nations of young people give us more strength in this, no? And for the Church I’d say a young Church with so many problems. It has problems and this is the message I find. Don’t be afraid. This youth has this freshness of the Church. It can also be an undisciplined Church, but with time it will become disciplined. But it will give us so much good. I don’t know if this is what you wanted to ask me. Thanks.

Fr. Federico Lombardi: Thanks a lot, Holiness. So, we’ll close the series of questions. As every once in a while when we’re here together, we inform you about the birthdays of our colleagues, between today and tomorrow or yesterday and today we have two. One is Cristiana Caricato of TV2000 and the other is Antoine Marie Izoarde. What’s that? Pablo too, the day before yesterday. Great.

(Fr. Lombardi begins singing Happy Birthday)

Thanks so much for this answers and questions and for all the work you do. I wish you a good trip. See you tomorrow.

(Applause) Text Shared from CNA

#BreakingNews Bomb attacks in Baghdad #Iraq Kill 29 and Injure 80 - Please PRAY

Baghdad, 29 dead and over 80 injured in a series of bomb attacks
At present there are no official claims for yesterday’s attacks. Suspicions point to Islamic State, who want to conquer the Iraqi capital. Security forces have armored the area north of Baghdad, in fear of more explosions. Markets and checkpoints targeted creating numerous civilian victims.

Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The death toll so far from a series of bomb attacks that struck Baghdad yesterday is 29 dead and 80 people injured. At present there are no official claims for yesterday’s attacks, but - in recent times - these terrorist acts are often the work of the Islamic state.

The jihadist group, which conquered large parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria and founded a so-called "Caliphate", have stepped up attacks against security forces and the government with a Shiite majority, in the context of an increasing offensive in the north and west.

The bloodiest bombings yesterday in Baghdad hit the northern district of Shaab, when a man wearing explosives detonated himself in a crowded market; the toll is at least 10 dead and 25 wounded.

Previously, a car bomb exploded in the district of Khazimiyah, targeting the Aden checkpoint. This left eight dead, including five civilians, and 23 wounded. And again, a second car bomb targeted the Banook district, killing six people and wounding 15.

Finally, in the al-Askan district a third car packed with explosives killed four people and injured 11. The explosion occurred around sunset, to coincide with the end of the daily fast in the holy month of Ramadan.

Security forces have closed several areas north of the capital and are looking for new bombs ready to explode.

Iraq has long been the scene of a confessional and sectarian violence, which has intensified with the emergence of the militias of the Islamic state. The jihadist militiamen have occupied large areas in the north (including Mosul and the Nineveh Plain) and in the west, but the goal remains the conquest of Baghdad. Shared from AsiaNewsIT

Novena to St. Camillus de Lellis for #Sick and #Cancer patients - SHARE

St Camillus de Lellis is patron saint of the sick, hospitals and nurses. He dedicated his life to the sick and to organising hospitals. He founded the Order of the Camillians, priests and brothers who work in the area of health. He considered the sick to be Jesus Himself.
Glorious St Camillus, turn your merciful eyes upon those who suffer and those who care for them. Grant to the sick Christian resignation and trust in the goodness and power of God. Make those who take care of the sick be generous and lovingly dedicated. Help me to understand the mystery of suffering as a means of redemption and the way to God. May your protection comfort the sick and their families and encourage them to live together in love. Bless those who dedicate themselves to the infirm. And may the good God grant peace and hope to all. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be. St Camillus de Lellis, pray for us.
“Blessed are those who suffer because they will be consoled.” “I was sick and you visited me.” “Come, blessed of my Father, and take possession of heaven.” “Everything you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me.” Novena prayers, day 1 to 9 – always begin with the Sign of the Cross. 
End with the “Prayer of the Sick”, at the end of this post. 
Dear St Camillus, knowing that there is no greater love than to give your life for another, you patiently put up with many infirmities during your life without ceasing to work on behalf of the sick. Intercede with God so that I (or mention name(s) of the person(s) instead of “I” during the course of these novena prayers) may have the strength necessary to overcome the troubles that afflict my life and the life of my family and friends. Help me to spiritually benefit from everything that happens. Do a good deed to someone in need. Optional Reading Mark 5:21-43.
 SECOND DAY: Dear St Camillus, shocked by the abandonment in which the sick lived, you received from Jesus the inspiration to create an organisation for caring for the sick with love. Help me to understand that it is important before God to treat those who suffer with love. In the difficult moments of life, give me courage not to become disheartened. Pray for someone who suffers more than you do.
Optional Reading Mark 10:46-52.
 THIRD DAY: Dear St Camillus, inspired by the example of the Good Samaritan, you vowed to improve the treatment of the sick. In all countries, may there be more concern and responsibility in helping the sick and in all health services. Give those who are in good health more joy in taking care of the sick. May everyone believe in the immense riches that God reserves for those who love Him and their brothers and sisters.
Ask God for the help needed by those who are not taken care of.
Optional Reading Luke 10:29-38.
Dear St Camillus, because of your extraordinary love of the infirm, the Church declared you patron saint of hospitals, the sick and nurses. Intercede with God in favour of doctors, the sick and all who take care of them so that they may be good hearted, enthusiastic and competent in their work. Make them remember that Jesus said that ‘everything you do to the least of my brothers, you do to me’.
Pray for those who take care of the sick.
Optional Reading Matthew 25:31-46.
Dear St Camillus, meditating on the words of Jesus (everything you do to the least of my brothers, you do to me), you received from God such great faith that you considered the sick as if they were Jesus Himself. Help me to grow in faith in order to always increase my love of the sick and to be ready to help them like a loving mother cares for her only sick child.
Make an effort to have more faith.
Optional Reading John 5:1-18.
Dear St Camillus, in a moment of great difficulty, you heard from the open-armed crucifix: “Courage, do not become downhearted, this work is not for you, but for me.” Give me always the strength not to become disheartened before the problems of my life and that of others. May everything I suffer convince me of the immense power of God in my favour.
Never desist of doing good.
Optional Reading John 9:1-41.
Dear St Camillus, you had great devotion to the Mother of Jesus. May I have greater trust in the power of intercession of Mary with God and be able to imitate her virtues. Help me understand the meaning of suffering and not consider it a punishment. Lord, You helped Camillus in his struggles, help me in the difficulties I face to remain at peace and not get disheartened.
Peace must be worked at every day.
Optional Reading John 2:1-12.
Dear St Camillus, even in the most difficult situations, you always trusted entirely in Divine Providence. Increase my faith in the goodness and power of God in favour of His creatures. May I always put myself in His hands in order to be strong in trials and suffering. Help me remember the last words of Jesus: “I will be with you until the end of time.”
Never lose hope. God is there.
Optional Reading Matthew 6:25-34.
 NINTH DAY: Dear St Camillus, inspired by the words of Jesus (“I was sick and you visited me”), you dedicated your life and all your strength to help the sick, and to improve hospitals and health conditions in the most difficult circumstances. Arouse everyone’s conscience to be more interested in health problems and to diminish the suffering of the people. Commit yourself to doing good and being with the good.
Optional Reading John 13:1-17.
Lord, I come before You in prayer. I know that You hear me, You know me. I know that I am in You and that Your strength is in me. Look at my body racked with infirmity. You know, Lord, how much it hurts me to suffer. I know that You are not pleased with the suffering of Your children.
Give me, Lord, the strength and courage to overcome moments of desperation and exhaustion. Make me patient and understanding. I offer up my worries, anxiety and suffering to be more worthy of You.
Let me, Lord, unite my sufferings with those of Your Son Jesus who for love of men gave His life on the Cross. Furthermore, I ask You, Lord: Help doctors and nurses take care of the sick with the same dedication and love that St Camillus had.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. July 14, 2015

Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin
Lectionary: 390

Video will be added at 10amEST

Reading 1EX 2:1-15A

A certain man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman,
who conceived and bore a son.
Seeing that he was a goodly child, she hid him for three months.
When she could hide him no longer, she took a papyrus basket,
daubed it with bitumen and pitch,
and putting the child in it,
placed it among the reeds on the river bank.
His sister stationed herself at a distance
to find out what would happen to him.

Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the river to bathe,
while her maids walked along the river bank.
Noticing the basket among the reeds, she sent her handmaid to fetch it.
On opening it, she looked, and lo, there was a baby boy, crying!
She was moved with pity for him and said,
“It is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter,
“Shall I go and call one of the Hebrew women
to nurse the child for you?”
“Yes, do so,” she answered.
So the maiden went and called the child’s own mother.
Pharaoh’s daughter said to her,
“Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will repay you.”
The woman therefore took the child and nursed it.
When the child grew, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter,
who adopted him as her son and called him Moses;
for she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

On one occasion, after Moses had grown up,
when he visited his kinsmen and witnessed their forced labor,
he saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his own kinsmen.
Looking about and seeing no one,
he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
The next day he went out again, and now two Hebrews were fighting!
So he asked the culprit,
“Why are you striking your fellow Hebrew?”
But the culprit replied,
“Who has appointed you ruler and judge over us?
Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?”
Then Moses became afraid and thought,
“The affair must certainly be known.”

Pharaoh, too, heard of the affair and sought to put Moses to death.
But Moses fled from him and stayed in the land of Midian.

Responsorial PsalmPS 69:3, 14, 30-31, 33-34

R. (see 33) Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I am sunk in the abysmal swamp
where there is no foothold;
I have reached the watery depths;
the flood overwhelms me.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
But I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me;
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.

AlleluiaPS 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 11:20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Saint July 14 : St. Kateri Tekakwitha : Patron of #Ecology and #Natives

Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha
Feast: July 14

Feast Day:July 14
Born:1656, Ossernenon, Iroquois Confederacy (Modern Auriesville, New York)
Died:17 April 1680 at Caughnawaga, Canada
Beatified:22 June 1980 by Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine:St Francis Xavier Church, Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada
Patron of:Ecology 

Known as the "Lily of the Mohawks", and the "Genevieve of New France" an Indian virgin of the Mohawk tribe, born according to some authorities at the Turtle Castle of Ossernenon, according to others at the village of Gandaouge, in 1656; died at Caughnawaga, Canada, 17 April, 1680. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin who had been captured by the Iroquois and saved from a captive's fate by the father of Tekakwitha, to whom she also bore a son. When Tekakwitha was about four years old, her parents and brother died of small-pox, and the child was adopted by her aunts and an uncle who had become chief of the Turtle clan. Although small-pox had marked her face and seriously impaired her eyesight and her manner was reserved and shrinking, her aunts began when she was yet very young to form marriage projects for her, from which, as she grew older, she shrank with great aversion.
In 1667 the Jesuit missionaries Fremin, Bruyas, and Pierron, accompanying the Mohawk deputies who had been to Quebec to conclude peace with the French, spent three days in the lodge of Tekakwitha's uncle. From them she received her first knowledge of Christianity, but although she forthwith eagerly accepted it in her heart she did not at that time ask to be baptized. Some time later the Turtle clan moved to the north bank of the Mohawk River, the "castle" being built above what is now the town of Fonda. Here in the midst of scenes of carnage, debauchery, and idolatrous frency Tekakwitha lived a life of remarkable virtue, at heart not only a Christian but a Christian virgin, for she firmly and often, with great risk to herself, resisted all efforts to induce her to marry. When she was eighteen, Father Jacques de Lamberville arrived to take charge of the mission which included the Turtle clan, and from him, at her earnest request, Tekakwitha received baptism. Thenceforth she practised her religion unflinchingly in the face of almost unbearable opposition, till finally her uncle's lodge ceased to be a place of protection to her and she was assisted by some Christian Indians to escape to Caughnawaga on the St. Laurence. Here she lived in the cabin of Anastasia Tegonhatsihonga, a Christian Indian woman, her extraordinary sanctity impressing not only her own people but the French and the missionaries. Her mortifications were extreme, and Chauchtiere says that she had attained the most perfect union with God in prayer.
Upon her death devotion to her began immediately to be manifested by her people. Many pilgrims visit her grave in Caughnawaga where a monument to her memory was erected by the Rev. Clarence Walworth in 1884; and Councils of Baltimore and Quebec have petitioned for her canonization. On 22 June 1980, she was beatified by Pope John Paul II; her feast day is celebrated on 14 July.


Saint July 14 : St. Camillus de Lellis : Patron of #Nurses , #Hospitals and #Sick

St. Camillus de Lellis
Feast: July 14

Feast Day:July 14
Born:1550 at Bocchiavico, Abruzzi, kingdom of Naples, Italy
Died:14 July 1614 at Genoa, Italy
Canonized:1746 by Pope Benedict XIV
Major Shrine:Church of Mary Magdalene, Rome, Italy
Patron of:against illness, hospitals, hospital workers, nurses, sick people
THE early years of Camillus gave no sign of sanctity. At the age of nineteen he took service with his father, an Italian noble, against the Turks, and after four years’ hard campaigning found himself, through his violent temper, reckless habits, and inveterate passion for gambling, a discharged soldier, and in such straitened circumstances that he was obliged to work as a laborer on a Capuchin convent which was then building. A few words from a Capuchin friar brought about his conversion, and he resolved to become a religious. Thrice he entered the Capuchin novitiate, but each time an obstinate wound in his leg forced him to leave. He repaired to Rome for medical treatment, and there took St. Philip as his confessor, and entered the hospital of St. Giacomo, of which he became in time the superintendent. The carelessness of the paid chaplains and nurses towards the suffering patients now inspired him with the thought of founding a congregation to minister to their wants. With this end he was ordained priest, and in 1586 his community of the Servants of the Sick was confirmed by the Pope. Its usefulness was soon felt, not only in hospitals, but in private houses. Summoned at every hour of the day and night, the devotion of Camillus never grew cold. With a woman's tenderness he attended to the needs of his patients. He wept with them, consoled them, and prayed with them. He knew miraculously the state of their souls; and St. Philip saw angels whispering to two Servants of the Sick who were consoling a dying person. One day a sick man said to the Saint, "Father, may I beg you to make up my bed? it is very hard." Camillus replied, "God forgive you, brother! You beg me! Don't you know yet that you are to command me, for I am your servant and slave." "Would to God," he would cry, "that in the hour of my death one sigh or one blessing of these poor creatures might fall upon me!" His prayer was heard. He was granted the same consolations in his last hour which he had so often procured for others. In the year 1614 he died with the full use of his faculties, after two weeks' saintly preparation, as the priest was reciting the words of the ritual, "May Jesus Christ appear to thee with a mild and joyful countenance!"


Saint July 13 : St. Teresa de los Andes - #Discalced #Carmelite of #Chile

Teresa de Jesús "de los Andes" (1900-1920)
virgin, Discalced Carmelite Nuns 
 photo Release: The young woman who is today glorified by the Church with the title of Saint, is a prophet of God for the men and women of today. By the example of her life, TERESA OF JESUS OF LOS ANDES shows us Christ's Gospel lived down to the last detail.
She is irrefutable proof that Christ's call to be Saints is indeed real, it happens in our time, and can be answered. She is presented to us to demonstrate that the total dedication that following Christ involves, is the one and only thing that is worth this effort and that gives us true happiness.
Teresa of Los Andes with the language of her ardent life, confirms for us that God exists, that God is love and happiness, and that he is our fulfilment.
She was born in Santiago de Chile on 13 July 1900. At the font she was christened Juana Enriqueta Josefina of the Sacred Hearts Fernandez Solar. Those who knew her closely called her Juanita, the name by which she is widely known today.
She had a normal upbringing surrounded by her family: her parents Miguel Fernandez and Lucia Solar, three brothers and two sisters, her maternal grandfather, uncles, aunts and cousins.
Her family were well-off and were faithful to their Christian faith, living it with faith and constancy.
Juana was educated in the college of the French nuns of the Sacred Heart. Her brief but intense life unfolded within her family and at college. When she was fourteen, under God's inspiration, she decided to consecrate herself to him as a religious in the Discalced Carmelite Nuns.
This desire of hers was realized on 7 May 1919, when she entered the tiny monastery of the Holy Spirit in the township of Los Andes, some 90 kilometers from Santiago.
She was clothed with the Carmelite habit 14 October the same year and began her novitiate with the name of Teresa of Jesus. She knew a long time before that she would die young. Moreover the Lord revealed this to her. A month before she was to depart this life, she related this to her confessor.
She accepted all this with happiness, serenity and confidence. She was certain that her mission to make God known and loved would continue in eternity.
After many interior trials and indescribable physical suffering caused by a violent attack of typhus that cut short her life, she passed from this world to her heavenly Father on the evening of 12 April 1920. She received the last sacraments with the utmost fervour, and on 7 April, because of danger of death, she made her religious profession. She was three months short of her 20th birthday, and had yet 6 months to complete her canonical novitiate and to be legally able to make her religious profession. She died as a Discalced Carmelite novice.
Externally this is all there is to this young girl from Santiago de Chile. It is all rather disconcerting and a great question arises in us, "What was accomplished?" The answer to such a question is equally disconcerting: living, believing, loving.
When the disciples asked Jesus what they must do to carry out God's work, he replied, "This is carrying out God's work: you must believe in the one he has sent." (Jn 6, 28-29). For this reason, in order to recognize the value of Juanita's fife, it is necessary to examine the substance within, where the Kingdom of God is to be found.
She wakened to the life of grace while still quite young. She affirms that God drew her at the age of six to begin to spare no effort in directing her capacity to love totally towards him. "It was shortly after the 1906 earthquake that Jesus began to claim my heart for himself." (Diary n. 3, p. 26).
Juanita possessed an enormous capacity to love and to be loved joined with an extraordinary intelligence. God allowed her to experience his presence. With this knowledge he purified her and made her his own through what it entails to take up the cross. Knowing him, she loved him; and loving him, she bound herself totally to him.
Once this child understood that love demonstrates itself in deeds rather than words, the result was that she expressed her love through every action of her life. She examined herself sincerely and wisely and understood that in order to belong to God it was necessary to die to herself in all that did not belong to him.
Her natural inclinations were completely contrary to the demands of the Gospel. She was proud, self-centred, stubborn, with all the defects that these things suppose, as is the common lot. But where she differed from the general run, was to carry out continual warfare on every impulse that did not arise from love.
At the age of ten she became a new person. What lay immediately behind this was the fact that she was going to make her first Communion. Understanding that nobody less that God was going to dwell within her, she set about acquiring all the virtues that would make her less unworthy of this grace. In the shortest possible time she managed to transform her character completely.
In making her first Communion she received from God the mystical grace of interior locutions, which from then on supported her throughout her fife. God took over her natural inclinations, transforming them from that day into friendship and a fife of prayer.
Four years later she received an interior revelation that shaped the direction of her life. Jesus told her that she would be a Carmelite and that holiness must be her goal.
With God's abundant grace and the generosity of a young girl in love, she gave herself over to prayer, to the acquiring of virtue and the practice of a life in accord with the Gospel. Such were her efforts that in a few short years she reached a high degree of union with God.
Christ was the one and only ideal she had. She was in love with him and ready each moment to crucify herself for him. A bridal love pervaded her with the result that she desired to unite herself fully to him who had captivated her. As a result, at the age of fifteen she made a vow of virginity for 9 days, continually renewing it from then on.
The holiness of her life shone out in the everyday occurrences, wherever she found herself: at home, in college, with friends, the people she stayed with on holidays. To all, with apostolic zeal, she spoke of God and gave assistance. She was young like her friends, but they knew she was different. They took her as a model, seeking her support and advice. All the pains that are part of living, Juanita felt keenly, and the happiness she enjoyed deeply, all in God.
She was cheerful, happy, sympathetic, attractive, communicative and involved in sport. During her adolescence she reached perfect psychic and spiritual equilibrium. These were the fruit of her asceticism and prayer. The serenity of her face was a reflection of the divine guest within. Her life as a nun, from 7 May 1919, was the last rung on the ladder to holiness. Only eleven months were necessary to bring to an end the process of making her life totally Christ-like.
Her community was quick to discover the hand of God in her past life. The young novice found in the Carmelite way of life the full and efficient channel for spreading the torrent of life that she wanted to give to the Church of Christ. It was a way of life that, in her own way, she had lived amongst her own and for which she was born. The Order of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel fulfilled the desires of Juanita. It was proof to her that God's mother, whom she had loved from infancy, had drawn her to be part of it.
She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Santiago de Chile on 3 April 1987. Her remains are venerated in the Sanctuary of Auco-Rinconada of Los Andes by the thousands of pilgrims who seek in her and find guidance, light and a direct way to God.
SAINT TERESA OF JESUS OF LOS ANDES is the first Chilean to be declared a Saint. She is the first Discalced Carmelite Nun to become a Saint outside the boundaries of Europe and the fourth Saint Teresa in Carmel together with Saints Teresa of Avila, of Florence and of Lisieux.

Saint July 13 : St. Henry II : Patron of #Childless, #Disabled and #Oblates

St. Henry II
Feast: July 13

Feast Day:July 13
Born:May 6, 972, Bavaria, Germany
Died:July 13, 1024, Gottingen, Germany
Canonized:1146 by Pope Eugene III
Major Shrine:Bamberg Cathedral
Patron of:against sterility, Benedictine Oblates, childless people, disabled people, dukes, kings, people rejected by religious orders
German King and Holy Roman Emperor, son of Duke Henry II (the Quarrelsome) and of the Burgundian Princess Gisela; b. 972; d. in his palace of Grona, at Gottingen, 13 July, 1024.
Like his predecessor, Otto III, he had the literary education of his time. In his youth he had been destined for the priesthood. Therefore he became acquainted with ecclesiastical interests at an early age.
Willingly he performed pious practices, gladly also he strengthened the Church of Germany, without, however, ceasing to regard ecclesiastical institutions as pivots of his power, according to the views of Otto the Great. With all his learning and piety, Henry was an eminently sober man, endowed with sound, practical common sense. He went his way circumspectly, never attempting anything but the possible and, wherever it was practicable, applying the methods of amiable and reasonable good sense. This prudence, however, was combined with energy and conscientiousness. Sick and suffering from fever, he traversed the empire in order to maintain peace. At all times he used his power to adjust troubles. The masses especially he wished to help.
The Church, as the constitutional Church of Germany, and therefore as the advocate of German unity and of the claims of inherited succession, raised Henry to the throne. The new king straightway resumed the policy of Otto I both in domestic and in foreign affairs.
This policy first appeared in his treatment of the Eastern Marches. The encroachments of Duke Boleslaw, who had founded a great kingdom, impelled him to intervene. But his success was not marked.
In Italy the local and national opposition to the universalism of the German king had found a champion in Arduin of Ivrea. The latter assumed the Lombard crown in 1002. In 1004 Henry crossed the Alps. Arduin yielded to his superior power. The Archbishop of Milan now crowned him King of Italy. This rapid success was largely due to the fact that a large part of the Italian episcopate upheld the idea of the Roman Empire and that of the unity of Church and State.
On his second expedition to Rome, occasioned by the dispute between the Counts of Tuscany and the Crescentians over the nomination to the papal throne, he was crowned emperor on 14 February, 1014. But it was not until later, on his third expedition to Rome, that he was able to restore the prestige of the empire completely.
Before this happened, however, he was obliged to intervene in the west. Disturbances were especially prevalent throughout the entire north-west. Lorraine caused great trouble. The Counts of Lutzelburg (Luxemburg), brothers-in-law of the king, were the heart and soul of the disaffection in that country. Of these men, Adalbero had made himself Bishop of Trier by uncanonical methods (1003); but he was not recognized any more than his brother Theodoric, who had had himself elected Bishop of Metz.
True to his duty, the king could not be induced to abet any selfish family policy at the expense of the empire. Even though Henry, on the whole, was able to hold his own against these Counts of Lutzelburg, still the royal authority suffered greatly by loss of prestige in the north-west.
Burgundy afforded compensation for this. The lord of that country was Rudolph, who, to protect himself against his vassals, joined the party of Henry II, the son of his sister, Gisela, and to Henry the childless duke bequeathed his duchy, despite the opposition of the nobles (1006). Henry had to undertake several campaigns before he was able to enforce his claims. He did not achieve any tangible result, he only bequeathed the theoretical claims on Burgundy to his successors.
Better fortune awaited the king in the central and eastern parts of the empire. It is true that he had a quarrel with the Conradinians over Carinthia and Swabia: but Henry proved victorious because his kingdom rested on the solid foundation of intimate alliance with the Church.
That his attitude towards the Church was dictated in part by practical reasons, primarily he promoted the institutions of the Church chiefly in order to make them more useful supports his royal power, is clearly shown by his policy. How boldly Henry posed as the real ruler of the Church appears particularly in the establishment of the See of Bamberg, which was entirely his own scheme.
He carried out this measure, in 1007, in spite of the energetic opposition of the Bishop of Wurzburg against this change in the organization of the Church. The primary purpose of the new bishopric was the germanization of the regions on the Upper Main and the Regnitz, where the Wends had fixed their homes. As a large part of the environs of Bamberg belonged to the king, he was able to furnish rich endowments for the new bishopric. The importance of Bamberg lay principally in the field of culture, which it promoted chiefly by its prosperous schools. Henry, therefore, relied on the aid of the Church against the lay powers, which had become quite formidable. But he made no concessions to the Church.
Though naturally pious, and though well acquainted with ecclesiastical culture, he was at bottom a stranger to her spirit. He disposed of bishoprics autocratically. Under his rule the bishops, from whom he demanded unqualified obedience, seemed to be nothing but officials of the empire. He demanded the same obedience from the abbots. However, this political dependency did not injure the internal life of the German Church under Henry. By means of its economic and educational resources the Church had a blessed influence in this epoch.
But it was precisely this civilizing power of the German Church that aroused the suspicions of the reform party. This was significant, because Henry was more and more won over to the ideas of this party. At a synod at Goslar he confirmed decrees that tended to realize the demands made by the reform party. Ultimately this tendency could not fail to subvert the Othonian system, moreover could not fail to awaken the opposition of the Church of Germany as it was constituted.
This hostility on the part of the German Church came to a head in the emperor's dispute with Archbishop Aribo of Mainz. Aribo was an opponent of the reform movement of the monks of Cluny. The Hammerstein marriage imbroglio afforded the opportunity he desired to offer a bold front against Rome. Otto von Hammerstein had been excommunicated by Aribo on account of his marriage with Irmengard, and the latter had successfully appealed to Rome.
This called forth the opposition of the Synod of Seligenstadt, in 1023, which forbade an appeal to Rome without the consent of the bishop. This step meant open rebellion against the idea of church unity, and its ultimate result would have been the founding of a German national Church. In this dispute the emperor was entirely on the side of the reform party. He even wanted to institute international proceedings against the unruly archbishop by means of treaties with the French king. But his death prevented this.
Before this Henry had made his third journey to Rome in 1021. He came at the request of the loyal Italian bishops, who had warned him at Strasburg of the dangerous aspect of the Italian situation, and also of the pope, who sought him out at Bamberg in 1020. Thus the imperial power, which had already begun to withdraw from Italy, was summoned back thither. This time the object was to put an end to the supremacy of the Greeks in Italy. His success was not complete; he succeeded, however, in restoring the prestige of the empire in northern and central Italy.
Henry was far too reasonable a man to think seriously of readopting the imperialist plans of his predecessors. He was satisfied to have ensured the dominant position of the empire in Italy within reasonable bounds. Henry's power was in fact controlling, and this was in no small degree due to the fact that he was primarily engaged in solidifying the national foundations of his authority.
The later ecclesiastical legends have ascribed ascetic traits to this ruler, some of which certainly cannot withstand serious criticism. For instance, the highly varied theme of his virgin marriage to Cunegond has certainly no basis in fact.
The Church canonized this emperor in 1146, and his wife Cunegond in 1200.


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13-07-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 131 

- Visit to the “Ninos de Acosta Nu” paediatric hospital
- Caacupe: when everything seemed to be falling apart, Paraguayan women, like Our Lady, hoped against hope
- Francis responds to the “builders of society” in Paraguay
- Vespers in the Cathedral of Asuncion
- The Pope at the Banado Norte: faith without solidarity is faith without Christ
- Mass in Nu Guazu: learning Christian hospitality
- Angelus: with Mary's help, may the Church become a home for all
- The Pope greets the young before leaving Paraguay
- Telegram for the death of Cardinal Biffi
- Strong condemnation of the attack on the Italian consulate in Cairo
- Other Pontifical Acts
Visit to the “Ninos de Acosta Nu” paediatric hospital
Vatican City, 12 July 2015 (VIS) – The Pope's first visit in Paraguay after his meeting with the president, Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara, was to the patients of the Ninos de Acosta Nu paediatric hospital.
The Pope arrived at 8.30 a.m. (local time) and spent around an hour with the inpatients, including those who were in the emergency room and the oncology ward. Instead of pronouncing the discourse he had prepared, the full text of which is reproduced below, he handed out a copy “as read” and spoke informally to the patients.
“Dear children, I want to ask you a question; maybe you can help me. They tell me that you are all very intelligent, and so I want to ask you: Did Jesus ever get annoyed? … Do you remember when?
If this seems like a difficult question, let me help you. It was when they wouldn’t let the children come to Him. That is the only time in the entire Gospel of Mark when we hear that He was 'annoyed'. We would say that He was really 'ticked off'.
Do you get annoyed every now and then? Jesus felt that way when they wouldn’t let the children come to Him. He was really mad. He loved children. Not that He didn’t like adults, but He was really happy to be with children. He enjoyed their company, He enjoyed being friends with them. But not only. He didn’t just want to have them around, he wanted something else: he wanted them to be an example. He told his disciples that 'unless you become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven'.
The children kept coming to Jesus, and the adults kept trying to keep them away, but Jesus called them, embraced them and brought them forward, so that people us could learn to be like them. Today, he wants to tell us the same thing. He looks at us and he says: 'Learn from the children'.
We need to learn from you. We need to learn from your trust, your joy, and your tenderness. We need to learn from your ability to fight, from your strength, from your remarkable endurance. Some of you are fighters. And when we look at young 'warriors' like you, we feel very proud. Isn’t that right, moms? Isn’t that right, dads and grandparents? Looking at you gives us strength, it gives us the courage to trust, to keep moving forward.
Dear mothers, fathers, grandparents: I know that it is not easy to be here. There are moments of great suffering and uncertainty. There are times of heart-rending anguish but also moments of immense happiness. These two feelings often collide deep within us. However, there is no better relief than your tender compassion, your closeness to one another. It makes me happy to know that as families you help, encourage and support each other, so that you can keep going in these difficult moments.
You count on the support of the doctors, nurses and the entire staff of this home. I thank them for their vocation of service, for helping not only to care for, but also to be there, for these young brothers and sisters of ours who suffer.
Let us never forget that Jesus is close to his children. He is very near, in our hearts. Never hesitate to pray to Him, to talk to Him, to share with him your questions and your pain. He is always with us, He is ever near and he will not let us fall.
There is another thing we can be sure of, and I would say it once again. Wherever there is a son or daughter, there is always a mother. Wherever Jesus is, there is Mary, the Virgin of Caacupe. Let us ask her to wrap us in her mantle, to protect and intercede for you and for your families.
And also, please don’t forget to pray for me. I am certain that your prayers are heard in heaven”.
Caacupe: when everything seemed to be falling apart, Paraguayan women, like Our Lady, hoped against hope
Vatican City, 12 July 2015 (VIS) – After greeting the patients at the paediatric hospital “Ninos de Acosta Nu”, the Pope transferred by car to the Shrine of Caacupe which in Guarani means “behind the mount”, and from which Lake Ypacaray is visible. Caacupe is considered the spiritual capital of Paraguay and is famous for the feast celebrated on 8 December in honour of the Our Lady of Miracles. According to legend, the image was sculpted in the sixteenth century by a converted Atyra Indio who, feeling from rival Mhayaes indigenous people, hid inside a large tree trunk and prayed to the Virgin to be saved. He later carved the image of Our Lady in a piece of the trunk as an ex voto. The Indio, named Jose, built a small chapel, the nucleus of the future Shrine, which was completed in 1770, considered to be the official date of the founding of the city of Caacupe.
The Pope travelled the last few kilometres leading to the Shrine by popemobile, greeted by the tens of thousands of faithful who awaited him to participate in the Holy Mass, with prayers in Spanish and Guarani. In his homily the Pope emphasised that the Shrine of Caacupe treasured the memory of a people who know that Mary is their mother, and stays by her children's side. He reiterated his admiration for Paraguayan women and mothers, who “ at great cost and sacrifice were able to lift up a country defeated, devastated and laid low by an abominable war”.
 “Being here with you makes me feel at home, at the feet of our Mother, the Virgin of Miracles of Caacupe”, Francis affirmed. “In every shrine we, her children, encounter our Mother and are reminded that we are brothers and sisters. Shrines are places of festival, of encounter, of family. We come to present our needs. We come to give thanks, to ask forgiveness and to begin again. How many baptisms, priestly and religious vocations, engagements and marriages, have been born at the feet of our Mother! How many tearful farewells! We come bringing our lives, because here we are at home and it is wonderful to know there is someone waiting for us.
“As so often in the past, we now come because we want to renew our desire to live the joy of the Gospel”, he continued. “How can we forget that this shrine is a vital part of the Paraguayan people, of yourselves? You feel it, it shapes your prayers, and you sing: 'Here, in your Eden of Caacupe, are your people, Virgin most pure, who offer you their love and their faith'. Today we gather as the People of God, at the feet of our Mother, to offer her our love and our faith”.
Francis cited the Angel's greeting to Mary: “'Rejoice, full of grace. The Lord is with you'. Rejoice, Mary, rejoice. Upon hearing this greeting, Mary was confused and asked herself what it could mean. She did not fully understand what was happening. But she knew that the angel came from God and so she said yes. Mary is the Mother of Yes. Yes to God’s dream, yes to God’s care, yes to God’s will. It was a yes that, as we know, was not easy to live. A yes that bestowed no privileges or distinctions. Simeon told her in his prophecy: 'a sword will pierce your heart', and indeed it did. That is why we love her so much. We find in her a true Mother, one who helps us to keep faith and hope alive in the midst of complicated situations”.
The Pope then considered Simeon’s prophecy, reflecting briefly on three difficult moments in Mary’s life: the birth of Jesus, the flight to Egypt and her Son's death on the Cross.
With regard to the first, he commented, “there was no room for them. They had no house, no dwelling to receive her Son. There was no place where she could give birth. They had no family close by; they were alone. The only place available was a stall of animals. Surely she remembered the words of the angel: 'Rejoice, Mary, the Lord is with you'. She might well have asked herself: 'Where is he now?'”.
During the flight to Egypt, “they had to leave, to go into exile. Not only was there no room for them, no family nearby, but their lives were also in danger. They had to depart to a foreign land. They were persecuted migrants, on account of the envy and greed of the King. There too she might well have asked: 'What happened to all those things promised by the angel?'.
Finally, Jesus’ death on the cross: “there can be no more difficult experience for a mother than to witness the death of her child. It is heart-rending. We see Mary there, at the foot of the cross, like every mother, strong, faithful, staying with her child even to his death, death on the cross. There too she might well have asked: 'What happened to all those things promised to me by the angel?'. Then we see her encouraging and supporting the disciples.
“We contemplate her life, and we feel understood, we feel heard. We can sit down to pray with her and use a common language in the face of the countless situations we encounter each day. We can identify with many situations in her own life. We can tell her what is happening in our lives, because she understands.
“Mary is the woman of faith; she is the Mother of the Church; she believed. Her life testifies that God does not deceive us, that God does not abandon his people, even in moments or situations when it might seem that he is not there. Mary was the first of her Son’s disciples and in moments of difficulty she kept alive the hope of the apostles. With probably more than one key, they were locked in the upper room, due to fear. A woman attentive to the needs of others, she could say – when it seemed like the feast and joy were at an end – 'see, they have no wine'. She was the woman who went to stay with her cousin 'about three months', so that Elizabeth would not be alone as she prepared to give birth. That is out mother, so good and so kind, she who accompanies us in our lives.
“We know all this from the Gospel, but we also know that in this land she is the Mother who has stood beside us in so many difficult situations. This shrine preserves and treasures the memory of a people who know that Mary is their Mother, and that she has always been at the side of her children. Mary has always been in our hospitals, our schools and our homes. She has always sat at the table in every home. She has always been part of the history of this country, making it a nation. Hers has been a discreet and silent presence, making itself felt through a statue, a holy card or a medal. Under the sign of the rosary, we know that we are never alone, that she always accompanies us.
“Why? Because Mary simply wanted to be in the midst of her people, with her children, with her family. She followed Jesus always, from within the crowd. As a good Mother, she did not want to abandon her children, rather, she would always show up wherever one of her children was in need. For the simple reason that she is our Mother. A Mother who learned, amid so many hardships, the meaning of the words: 'Do not be afraid, the Lord is with you'. A Mother who keeps saying to us: 'Do whatever he tells you'. This is what she constantly says to us: 'Do whatever he tells you'. She doesn’t have a plan of her own; she doesn’t come to tell us something new. Rather, she prefers to remain silent, and simply accompanies our faith with her own.
“You know this from experience. All of you, all Paraguayans, share in the living memory of a people who have made incarnate these words of the Gospel. Here I would like especially to mention you, the women, wives and mothers of Paraguay, who at great cost and sacrifice were able to lift up a country defeated, devastated and laid low by an abominable war. You are keepers of the memory, the lifeblood of those who rebuilt the life, faith and dignity of your people, together with Mary. You lived through many difficult situations which, in the eyes of the world, would seem to discredit all faith. Yet, inspired and sustained by the Blessed Virgin, you continued to believe, even 'hoping against all hope'. And when all seemed to be falling apart, with Mary you said: 'Let us not be afraid, the Lord is with us; he is with our people, with our families; let us do what he tells us'. Then and now, you found the strength not to let this land lose its bearings. God bless your perseverance, God bless and encourage your faith, God bless the women of Paraguay, the most glorious women of America.
“As a people, we have come home, to this house of all Paraguayans, to hear once more those words which are so comforting: 'Rejoice, the Lord is with you'. They are a summons to cherish your memory, your roots, and the many signs which you have received as a people of believers tested by trials and struggles. Yours is a faith which has become life, a life which has become hope, and a hope which leads to eminent charity. Yes, like Jesus, may you be outstanding in love. May you be bearers of this faith, this life and this hope. May you, Paraguayans, continue to build these up this country’s present and future”.
The Holy Father invited those present to join him in prayer: “Here, in your Eden of Caacupe, are your people, Virgin most pure, who offer you their love and their faith”. Her exclaimed, “All together: here, in your Eden of Caacupe, are your people, Virgin most pure, who offer you their love and their faith. Pray for us, Holy Mother of God, that we may be worthy of the promises and graces of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen”.
Following the Holy Mass, the Pope commended Paraguay to Our Lady of the Miracles of Caacupe, repeating the act by his predecessor St. John Paul II on 18 May 1988, during his visit to the Shrine as part of his apostolic trip to Paraguay.
Francis responds to the “builders of society” in Paraguay
Vatican City, 12 July 2015 (VIS) – The Leon Condou Sports Centre in Asuncion was the location of the Pope's meeting with the so-called “society-builders” in Paraguay – that is, school and university professors, artists and businesspeople, journalists, women's associations, agriculturalists and indigenous groups. The Holy Father answered various questions from those present, whom he greeted first with the following words:
“Seeing all of you together, each coming from his or her own sector or organisation within beloved Paraguayan society, each bringing his or her own joys, concerns, struggles and hopes, makes me grateful to God. In other words, it seems that Paraguay is anything but dead, thank God. When a people is unengaged and listless, passively accepting things as they are, it is a dead people. On the contrary, I see in you great vitality and promise. And God always blesses this. God is always on the side of those who help to uplift and improve the lives of His children. To be sure, problems and situations of injustice exist. But seeing you and listening to you helps renew my hope in the Lord Who continues to work in the midst of His people. You represent many different backgrounds, situations and aspirations; all together, you make up Paraguayan culture. All of you have a part to play in the pursuit of the common good. In the present condition of global society, where injustices abound and growing numbers of people are deprived of basic human rights and considered expendable, to see you here before me is a real gift.
The first question was from a young person who expressed his concern regarding the construction of a society characterised by fraternity, justice, peace and dignity for all.
“Youth is a time of high ideals”, said the Pope. “I often say that it is really sad to see a young person who is out of work. It is important that you, the young, and there are indeed many young persons here in Paraguay, realise that genuine happiness comes from working to make a more fraternal country! It comes from realising that happiness and pleasure are not synonymous. Happiness, joy, is one thing, but fleeting pleasure is another. Happiness is built up, it is something solid which edifies. Happiness is demanding, it requires commitment and effort. … Paraguay has a large population of young people and this is a great source of enrichment for the nation. So I think that the first thing to do is to make sure that all that energy, that light, does not disappear from your hearts, and to resist the growing mentality which considers it useless and absurd to aspire to things that demand effort. … Be committed to something, be committed to someone. This is the vocation of young people so don’t be afraid to take a risk on the field, but play fairly and give it your best. Don’t be afraid to give the best of yourselves! Don’t look for easy solutions beforehand so as to avoid tiredness and struggle. And don’t bribe the referee. I ask you not to fight the good fight alone. Try to talk about these things among yourselves, profit from the lives, the stories of your elders, of your grandparents, for there is great wisdom there. 'Waste' lots of time listening to all the good things they have to teach you. They are the guardians of that spiritual legacy of faith and values which define a people and illumine a path. ... Jesus extends to you an invitation through the memory of your people. … Fraternity, justice, peace and dignity are concrete and real, otherwise they are useless. They are constructed with the work of each day. And so, how do you shape those ideals, daily and concretely? Even if you make mistakes, make amends, get up again and move forward – make progress with concrete steps. I confess to you that I feel somewhat allergic … to very eloquent discourses; those who know the speaker end up saying, 'What are liar you are!' This is why words on their own are not enough. If you give your word of honour, then make sacrifices each day to be faithful to that word, to be committed!
The second question related to dialogue as a means to advance the project of a fully inclusive nation. “Dialogue is not easy. There exists also a 'theatrical dialogue' by which I mean that we rehearse dialogue, play out the conversation, but it is subsequently all forgotten. ... For example, I think about that dialogue we have in the Church, interreligious dialogue, where different representatives of religions speak to each other. We sometimes meet to speak and share our points of view, and everyone speaks on the basis of their own identity: 'I’m Buddhist, I’m Evangelical. I’m Orthodox, I’m Catholic'. Each one explains their identity. They do not negotiate their identity. This means that, for there to be dialogue, that fundamental basis of identity must exist. And what is the identity of a country? – and here we are speaking about a social identity – to love the nation. The nation first, and then my business! … That is identity. That is the basis upon which I will dialogue. If I am to speak without that basis, without that identity, then dialogue is pointless. Moreover, dialogue presupposes and demands that we seek a culture of encounter; an encounter which acknowledges that diversity is not only good, it is necessary. Uniformity nullifies us, it makes us robots. The richness of life is in diversity. For this reason, the point of departure cannot be, 'I'm going to dialogue but he’s wrong'. No, no, we must not presume that the other person is wrong. I dialogue with my identity but I'm going to listen to what the other person has to say, how I can be enriched by the other, who makes me realise my mistakes and see the contribution I can offer. It is a process of going out and coming back, always with an open heart. … This is the culture of encounter. Dialogue is not about negotiating. Negotiating is trying to get your own slice of the cake. … Dialogue is about seeking the common good. Discuss, think, and discover together a better solution for everybody. … During dialogue there is conflict. This is logical and even desirable. Because if I think in one way and you in another and we walk together, there will be conflict. But we mustn't fear it, we mustn’t ignore it. On the contrary, we are invited to embrace conflict. … Conflict exists: we have to embrace it, we have to try and resolve it as far as possible, but with the intention of achieving that unity which is not uniformity, but rather a unity in diversity. … True cultures are never closed in on themselves – cultures would die if they closed in on themselves – but are called to meet other cultures and to create new realities. ... Without this essential presupposition, without this basis of fraternity, it will be very difficult to arrive at dialogue. If someone thinks that there are persons, cultures, or situations which are second, third or fourth class surely things will go badly, because the bare minimum, a recognition of the dignity of the other, is lacking. There are no first, second, third, fourth categories of persons: they are all of the same lineage”.
The third question was, “How do we hear the cry of the poor in order to build a more inclusive society?”. The Pope responded, “It is important not to exclude anybody, and not to exclude oneself, because everybody needs everybody. A fundamental part of helping the poor involves the way we see them. An ideological approach is useless: it ends up using the poor in the service of other political or personal interests. Ideologies end badly, and are useless. They relate to people in ways that are either incomplete, unhealthy, or evil. Ideologies do not embrace a people. You just have to look at the last century. What was the result of ideologies? Dictatorships, in every case. Always think of the people, never stop thinking about the good of the people. … To really help people, the first thing is for us to be truly concerned for individual persons, and I'm thinking of the poor here, valuing them for their goodness. Valuing them, however, also means being ready to learn from them. The poor have much to teach us about humanity, goodness, sacrifice and solidarity. As Christians, moreover, we have an additional reason to love and serve the poor; for in them we see the face and the flesh of Christ, who made Himself poor so as to enrich us with His poverty. … Let us reflect carefully. The poor person is just like me and, if he or she is going through a difficult time for many reasons, be they economic political, social or personal, it could be me in their place, me longing for someone to help me. As well as desiring this help, if I am in their shoes, I have the right to be respected”.
Another theme was economic growth and the creation of wealth.
“Certainly every country needs economic growth and the creation of wealth, and the extension of these to each citizen, without exclusion. And this is necessary. But the creation of this wealth must always be at the service of the common good, and not only for the benefit of a few. On this point we must be very clear. For 'the worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose'. Those charged with promoting economic development have the responsibility of ensuring that it always has a human face. Economic development must have a human face. … They have in their hands the possibility of providing employment for many persons and in this way of giving hope to many families. … I ask them not to yield to an economic model which is idolatrous, which needs to sacrifice human lives on the altar of money and profit. In economics, in business and in politics, what counts first and foremost, in every instance, is the human person and the environment in which he or she lives”.
“Paraguay is rightly known throughout the world for being the place where the Reductions began. These were among the most significant experiences of evangelisation and social organisation in history. There the Gospel was the soul and the life of communities which did not know hunger, unemployment, illiteracy or oppression. This historical experience shows us that, today too, a more humane society is possible. You have truly lived this here. It is possible! Where there is love of people and a willingness to serve them, it is possible to create the conditions necessary for everyone to have access to basic goods, so that no one goes without. It is possible to seek solutions in every situation, through dialogue”.
The fifth question focused on the definition and importance of a country's culture.
“There exist enlightened cultures which are good and which must be respected”, said Francis. “But there is another culture, which has this same value, which is the culture of the people, of the earliest people, and represents different ethnic groups. I would dare to call this culture, in a positive sense, a popular culture. People possess their own culture and create culture”.
“Before ending, I'd like to make reference to two things”, he continued. “In doing this, as there are political authorities present here, I wish to say this fraternally. Someone told me: 'Look, Mr so-and-so was kidnapped by the Army, please do something to help! I do not know if this is true, or if it is not true, if it is right, or if it is not right, but one of the methods used by dictatorial ideologies of the last century, which I referred to earlier, was to separate the people, either by exile or imprisonment, or in the case of concentration camps, Nazis and Stalinists excluded them by death. For there to be a true culture of the people, a political culture, a culture of the common good, there must be quick and clear judicial proceedings. No other kind of strategy is required. Clear, concise judgements. That would help all of us. … And there is a second thing I would like to say: one method which does not bestow freedom upon people, and enable them to work responsibly towards the construction of society, is the method of blackmail. Blackmail is always corruption: 'If you do this, we will do this to you, and thus destroy you'. Corruption is the parasite, the gangrene of the people. For example, no politician can work and carry out a function, if they are being blackmailed by methods of corruption. … This happens in all populations around the world, and if a society wishes to maintain its dignity, it must banish such blackmail. I am speaking about something universal”.
The Holy Father concluded, “It is a great pleasure to see the number and variety of associations sharing in the creation of an ever more prosperous Paraguay. But if you do not dialogue, all is pointless. If there is blackmail, all is pointless. This great multitude of groups and persons are like a great symphony, each one with his or her own specificity and richness, yet all working together towards a harmonious end. That is what counts. And do not fear conflict, but speak about matters and look for paths that lead to solutions. Love your country, your fellow citizens, and, above all, love the poor. In this way, you will bear witness before the world that another model of development is possible. I am convinced, by virtue of your own history, that you possess the greatest strength of all: your humanity, your faith, your love. Being part of the Paraguayan people is what distinguishes you among the nations of the world”.
“I ask Our Lady of Caacupe, our Mother, to watch over you and protect you, and to encourage you in all your efforts. God bless you and pray for me. Thank you”.
Vespers in the Cathedral of Asuncion
Vatican City, 12 July 2015 (VIS) – Following his meeting with the “builders of society”, the Pope transferred by popemobile to the Cathedral of Asuncion, rebuilt at the beginning of the nineteenth century and which houses the “Cruz de la Parra”, a fifteenth-century cross, the only one left of the 29 that Christopher Columbus planted during his four voyages to America. At the entrance of the Cathedral, which can hold up to a thousand people, the Pope was awaited by the mayor, Arnaldo Samaniego, who gave him the keys to the city, while an orchestra of 220 Paraguayan harps played traditional music. The Pope celebrated first vespers with the priests, men and women religious, seminarians and representatives of the Catholic movements of Paraguay, and then pronounced a brief discourse.
“How good it is for all of us to pray Vespers together”, he said. “How can we not dream of of a Church which reflects and echoes the harmony of voices and song in her daily life? That is what we are doing in this Cathedral, rebuilt so many times over the years. This Cathedral symbolises the Church and each one of us. At times, storms from without and within force us to tear down what had been built and to begin again, but always with the hope given us by God. When we look at this building, we can surely say that it has not disappointed the hopes of the Paraguayan people, because God never disappoints! For this we give thankful praise.
“Liturgical prayer, in its unhurried structure, is meant to be an expression of the whole Church, the spouse of Christ, as she strives to be ever more conformed to her Lord. Each one of us, in prayer, wants to become more like Jesus. Prayer expresses what we experience and what we ought to experience in our daily lives. At least that is true of prayer that is not self-centred or merely for show. Prayer makes us put into practice, or examine our consciences about, what we have prayed for in the Psalms. We are the hands of the God who 'lifts up the poor from the dust'. We work to turn what is dry and barren into fertile ground. We cry out that 'precious in the eyes of the Lord is the life of his faithful ones'. We are those who fight, speak up and defend the dignity of every human life, from birth to old age, when our years are many and our strength fails. Prayer is the reflection of our love for God, for others and for all creation. The commandment of love is the greatest way for the missionary disciple to be conformed to Jesus. Union with Jesus deepens our Christian vocation, which is concerned with what Jesus 'does' – which is something much greater than mere 'activities' – with becoming more like him in all that we do. The beauty of the ecclesial community is born of this union of each of her members to the person of Jesus, creating an “ensemble of vocations” in the richness of harmonic diversity.
“The antiphons of the Gospel canticles for this weekend evoke for us the sending of the Twelve by Jesus. It is always good to grow in this awareness that apostolic work is carried out in communion. It is admirable to see you cooperating pastorally, with respect for the nature and ecclesial role of each of the vocations and charisms. I want to encourage all of you, priests, men and women religious, laity and seminarians to be committed to this ecclesial collaboration, especially with regard to diocesan pastoral plans and the continental mission, and to work together with complete availability in the service of the common good. If our divisions lead to barrenness, then there is no doubt that communion and harmony lead to fruitfulness, because they are deeply attuned to the Holy Spirit.
“Each of us has his or her limitations, and no one is able to reproduce Jesus in all His fullness. Although all vocations are associated with certain aspects of the life and work of Jesus, some vocations are more general and essential. Just now we praised the Lord for 'he did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited'. This is the case with every Christian vocation: a person called by God does not show off; he or she does not seek recognition or applause; he or she does claim to be better than others, standing apart as if on a pedestal.
“Christ’s supremacy is clearly described in the liturgy of the Letter to the Hebrews. As we just read from the final part of that Letter, we are to become perfect like 'the great Shepherd of the sheep'. This means that all consecrated persons are to be conformed to Jesus, who in His earthly life, 'with prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears', achieved perfection when, through suffering, he learned the meaning of obedience. This too is part of our calling.
“Let us conclude our celebration of Vespers. The bell tower of this Cathedral was rebuilt a number of times. The sound of its bells anticipates and accompanies our liturgical prayer on so many occasions. Rebuilt for God whenever we pray, steadfast like a bell tower, joyful in ringing out the wonders of God, let us share the Magnificat and, through our consecrated life, allow the Lord to accomplish great things in Paraguay”.
The Pope at the Banado Norte: faith without solidarity is faith without Christ
Vatican City, 13 July 2015 (VIS) – The final day of Pope Francis' trip to Paraguay began with his visit to Banado Norte, a poor and marshy area of the city of Asuncion, where various Church and public aid projects are currently underway. More than two thousand people awaited the Holy Father in the sports field, to whom he expressed his joy as soon as he arrived: “I have looked forward to being with you today. I could not come to Paraguay without spending some time with you, here on your land”, he said.
 “We are meeting in this Parish named after the Holy Family, and I confess that as I arrived, everything reminded me of the Holy Family. To see your faces, your children, your elderly, and to hear about your experiences and everything you went through to be here, to have a dignified life and a roof over your heads, to endure the bad weather and the flooding of these last few weeks... All this makes me think of the little family of Bethlehem. Your struggles have not taken away your laughter, your joy and your hope. Struggles which have not lessened your sense of solidarity but if anything, have made it grow.
“I would like think for a moment about Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem”, continue. “They were forced to leave home, families and friends. They had to leave all that they had and to go somewhere else, to a place where they knew no one, a place where they had no house or family. That was when that young couple had Jesus. That was how they gave us Jesus. They were alone, in a strange land, just the three of them. Then, all of a sudden, shepherds began to arrive. People just like them who had to leave their homes to find better opportunities for their families. Their lives were affected by harsh weather but by other kinds of hardship too. When they heard that Jesus had been born, they went to see him. They became neighbours. In an instant, they became a family to Mary and Joseph. The family of Jesus.
“That is what happens when Jesus comes into our lives. It is what happens with faith. Faith brings us closer. It makes us neighbours. It draws us closer to the lives of others. Faith awakens our commitment, our solidarity. The birth of Jesus changes our lives. A faith which does not draw us into solidarity is a faith which is dead.
“'I am very Catholic, I am a devout Catholic, I go to Mass every Sunday'” said Francis. “But tell me, what goes on in the Banados? 'Ah, I don't know, yes, no, I know that there are people there, but I don't know ...”. For all those Sunday Masses, if you do not have a fraternal heart, if you do not know what happens among your people, then your faith is very weak, it sickens, or it dies. It is a faith without Christ. Faith without solidarity is faith without Christ, it is faith without God, it is faith without brothers. This saying comes to mind – I hope I remember it well – which illustrates this problem of faith without solidarity: 'A God without people, people without brothers, people without Jesus”. This is faith without solidarity. And God places Himself in the midst of the people He chose to accompany, and sends them His Son … to save them and to help them. God acted in solidarity with His people, and Jesus did not hesitate to condescend, to humble Himself unto death for each one of us, for this brotherly solidarity, the solidarity that is born of the His love for His Father and His love for us”.
“As I said, the first to be fraternal was the Lord, Who chose to live among us, Who chose to live in our midst. And I come to you like those shepherds who were in Bethlehem. I want to be your neighbour. I want to bless your faith, your hands and your community. I come to join you in giving thanks, because faith has become hope, and hope in turn kindles love. The faith which Jesus awakens in us is a faith which makes us able to dream of the future, and to work for it here and now. That is why I want to urge you to continue to be missionaries, to keep spreading the faith in these streets and alleys. This faith that gives rise to solidarity between us, with our brother Jesus, and our Mother, the Virgin Mary. Be neighbours above all to the young and the elderly. Be a support for young families and all families which are experiencing difficulty. Perhaps the strongest message you can give is that of solidarity in faith. The devil wants us to fight among ourselves, to divide us in order to defeat us and to rob us of our faith. Solidarity among brothers to defend the faith! Solidarity among brothers to defend the faith! And may this fraternal faith be a message for all the city”.
“I wish to pray for your families, and to pray to the Holy Family so that its example and its witness may continue to offer light for your path, and encouragement in times of trouble. May the Holy Family always give us 'shepherds', priests and bishops able to accompany, support and encourage our families; capable of nurturing this fraternal faith that can never be defeated”.
The Pope invited all those present to recite the Lord's Prayer together, the “prayer to our Father that makes us brothers, that leads us to our brother, His Son Jesus, and that gives us a Mother who accompanies us”. After blessing the inhabitants of Banado Norte, he exclaimed, “Do not let the devil divide you!”.
Mass in Nu Guazu: learning Christian hospitality
Vatican City, 13 July 2015 (VIS) – Holy Mass in Nu Guazu, the shrine where St. John Paul II canonised St. Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz and his companions in 1988, was the second stage of Pope Francis' Sunday in Paraguay. The Pope celebrated Mass in the large field of Nu Guazu in the presence of more than one and a half million people who applauded as he toured to greet the faithful from the popemobile.
In his homily, Pope Francis commented first on the Psalm of the first reading in the liturgy, which tells us that “the Lord will shower down blessings, and our land will yield its increase”. “We are invited to celebrate this mysterious communion between God and his People, between God and us. The rain is a sign of his presence, in the earth tilled by our hands. It reminds us that our communion with God always brings forth fruit, always gives life. This confidence is born of faith, from knowing that we depend on grace, which will always transform and nourish our land”.
“It is a confidence which is learned, which is taught. A confidence nurtured within a community, in the life of a family. A confidence which radiates from the faces of all those people who encourage us to follow Jesus, to be disciples of the One who can never deceive. A disciple knows that he or she is called to have this confidence; we feel Jesus’ invitation to be his friend, to share his lot, his very life. 'No longer do I call you servants... but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you'. The disciples are those who learn how to dwell in the confidence born of Jesus' friendship”.
The Gospel speaks to us of this kind of discipleship, showing us “the identity card of the Christian. Our calling card, our credentials. Jesus calls his disciples and sends them out, giving them clear and precise instructions. He challenges them to take on a whole range of attitudes and ways of acting. Sometimes these can strike us as exaggerated or even absurd. It would be easier to interpret these attitudes symbolically or 'spiritually'. But Jesus is quite precise, very clear. He doesn’t tell them simply to do whatever they think they can”.
The Pope invited reflection on some of these attitudes: “'Take nothing for the journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money...' 'When you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place'.
“All this might seem quite unrealistic”, he commented. “We could concentrate on the words, 'bread', 'money', 'bag', 'staff', 'sandals' and 'tunic'. And this would be fine. But it strikes me that one key word can easily pass unnoticed. It is a word at the heart of Christian spirituality, of our experience of discipleship: 'welcome'. Jesus as the good master, the good teacher, sends them out to be welcomed, to experience hospitality. He says to them: 'Where you enter a house, stay there'. He sends them out to learn one of the hallmarks of the community of believers. We might say that a Christian is someone who has learned to welcome others, to show hospitality.
“Jesus does not send them out as men of influence, landlords, officials armed with rules and regulations. Instead, he makes them see that the Christian journey is about changing hearts. It is about learning to live differently, under a different law, with different rules. It is about turning from the path of selfishness, conflict, division and superiority, and taking instead the path of life, generosity and love. It is about passing from a mentality which domineers, stifles and manipulates to a mentality which welcomes, accepts and cares. These are two contrasting mentalities, two ways of approaching our life and our mission.
“How many times do we see mission in terms of plans and programs”, observed the bishop of Rome. “How many times do we see evangelisation as involving any number of strategies, tactics, manoeuvres, techniques, as if we could convert people on the basis of our own arguments. Today the Lord says to us quite clearly: in the mentality of the Gospel, you do not convince people with arguments, strategies or tactics. You convince them by learning how to welcome them”.
“The Church is a mother with an open heart. She knows how to welcome and accept, especially those in need of greater care, those in greater difficulty. The Church is the home of hospitality. How much good we can do, if only we try to speak the language of hospitality, of welcome! How much pain can be soothed, how much despair can be allayed in a place where we feel at home! Welcoming the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the prisoner, the leper and the paralytic. Welcoming those who do not think as we do, who do not have faith or who have lost it. Welcoming the persecuted, the unemployed. Welcoming the different cultures, of which our earth is so richly blessed. Welcoming sinners.
“So often we forget that there is an evil underlying our sins. There is a bitter root which causes damage, great damage, and silently destroys so many lives. There is an evil which, bit by bit, finds a place in our hearts and eats away at our life: it is isolation. Isolation which can have many roots, many causes. How much it destroys our life and how much harm it does us. It makes us turn our back on others, God, the community. It makes us closed in on ourselves. That is why the real work of the Church, our mother, is not mainly to manage works and projects, but to learn how to live in fraternity with others. A welcome-filled fraternity is the best witness that God is our Father, for “by this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”.
In this way, “Jesus teaches us a new way of thinking. He opens before us a horizon brimming with life, beauty, truth and fulfilment. God never closes off horizons; he is never unconcerned about the lives and sufferings of his children. God never allows himself to be outdone in generosity. So he sends us his Son, he gives him to us, he hands him over, he shares him... so that we can learn the way of fraternity, of self-giving. He opens up a new horizon; he is the new and definitive Word which sheds light on so many situations of exclusion, disintegration, loneliness and isolation. He is the Word which breaks the silence of loneliness.
“And when we are weary or worn down by our efforts to evangelise, it is good to remember that the life which Jesus holds out to us responds to the deepest needs of people. 'We were created for what the Gospel offers us: friendship with Jesus and love of our brothers and sisters'”.
He remarked, “One thing is sure: we cannot force anyone to receive us, to welcome us; this is itself part of our poverty and freedom. But neither can anyone force us not to be welcoming, hospitable in the lives of our people. No one can tell us us not to accept and embrace the lives of our brothers and sisters, especially those who have lost hope and zest for life. How good it would be to think of our parishes, communities, chapels, wherever there are Christians, as true centres of encounter between ourselves and God.
“The Church is a mother, like Mary. In her, we have a model. We too must provide a home, like Mary, who did not lord it over the word of God, but rather welcomed that word, bore it in her womb and gave it to others. We too must provide a home, like the earth, which does not choke the seed, but receives it, nourishes it and makes it grow.
“That is how we want to be Christians, that is how we want to live the faith on this Paraguayan soil, like Mary, accepting and welcoming God’s life in our brothers and sisters, in confidence and with the certainty that 'the Lord will shower down blessings, and our land will yield its increase'. May it be so”, concluded the Holy Father.
Angelus: with Mary's help, may the Church become a home for all
Vatican City, 13 July 2015 (VIS) – At the end of the Holy Mass, Archbishop Edmundo Ponziano Valenzuela Mellid and the Orthodox archbishop of South America, Tarasios, greeted the Holy Father, who expressed his gratitude and, before praying the Angelus, invited all those present to look upon the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother.
“She is the gift that Jesus gives to his people. He gave her to us as our Mother at the hour of the cross and of His suffering. She is the fruit of Christ’s sacrifice for us. And from that moment, Mary has always been, and will always be, with her children, especially the poor and those most in need. She has become part of the tapestry of human history, of ours lands and peoples. As in so many other countries of Latin America, the faith of the Paraguayan people is imbued with love for Our Lady. They approach their Mother with confidence, they open their hearts and entrust to her their joys and sorrows, their aspirations and sufferings. Our Lady consoles them and, with tender love, fills them with hope. They never cease to turn with trust to Mary, Mother of mercy for each and every one of her children, without exception”.
“I ask Our Lady, who persevered in prayer with the Apostles as they awaited the Holy Spirit, to watch over the Church and strengthen her members in fraternal love. With Mary's help, may the Church be a home for all, a welcoming home, a mother for all peoples”.
Dear brothers: I ask you, please, do not forget to pray for me. I know how beloved the Pope is in Paraguay. I keep you in my heart and I pray for you and for your country”, concluded the Holy Father who, following the Marian prayer, blessed the one and a half million people who had attended the celebration.
He then travelled by car to the apostolic nunciature where he lunched with the 22 bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Paraguay. He then left the nunciature for the waterfront promenade of Costanera where he met with the young people of the nation.
The Pope greets the young before leaving Paraguay
Vatican City, 13 July 2015 (VIS) – The Pope bade farewell to Paraguay with a meeting with 200 thousand young people at the waterfront promenade of Costanera, where instead of reading the discourse he had prepared for the event, he responded to the testimonies presented by three young people, Orlando, Liz and Manuel. An extensive summary is presented below:
 “After reading the Gospel, Orlando came to greet me and said, 'I ask you to pray for the freedom of each one of us, of us all'. It is the blessing that we will now all ask for together: freedom. Because freedom is a gift God gives us, but we must know how to receive it, we must know how to have a free heart, for we all know that in the world there are many bonds that bind our heart and do not let it be free. Exploitation, the lack of means for survival, drug addiction, sadness … all these things take away our freedom. And so, all together, let us thank Orlando who asked for this blessing, that of keeping our heart free, a heart that can say what it thinks and what it feels, that can do what it thinks and feels. This is a free heart!”
He continued, “we have heard two other accounts, from Liz and from Manuel. … Liz could easily have put her mother in a rest home, her grandmother in another rest home, living as a young person, enjoying herself and studying whatever she wanted. And Liz said, 'no'. She has spent her life so far, up to the age of 25, serving her mother and her grandmother. Alone? No. Liz was not alone. She spoke to us about an aunt who was like an angel, and she spoke about her meetings with friends at the weekend, with a young evangelising community, with the youth group that has nurtured her faith. And those two angels – the aunt who helped and the youth group – gave her the strength to keep going. And this is solidarity”.
“First: freedom and a free heart. Second: solidarity, to accompany others. Solidarity. This is what this testimony teaches us. And Manuel has not had an easy life. He has said some tough words to us: 'I was exploited, mistreated, and I risked falling prey to drug abuse … I was alone'. Exploitation, mistreatment, loneliness. And instead of doing negative things, instead of stealing, he set to work. Instead of taking revenge for his hardship, he looked ahead! … Hope, work, fighting for life, forging ahead – this is what Manuel tells us about. As you can see, for many young people life is not easy. And I want you to understand this. … 'While for me life has been relatively easy, there are other young people for whom if has not been relatively easy'. Indeed, there are some whom desperation drives to delinquency, crime, and corruption. To these boys and girls, we must say that we are near to them, that we want to lend them a hand, we want to help them with solidarity, love and hope”.
“There are two beautiful phrases that Liz and Manuel said to us. Listen. Liz told us that as she got to know Jesus, this opened the door to hope. And Manuel said, 'I met God, my strength'. That is, getting to know God, drawing closer to Jesus, means hope and strength. And this is what we need to find in the young today: young people with hope and young people with strength. … Why? Because they know Jesus, they know God. Free heart, solidarity, work, hope, effort. This is the path. But this requires sacrifice and means swimming against the current. The Beatitudes that we have just read are Jesus' plan for us. And it is a project that goes against the grain. Jesus tells us, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit'. He does not say, 'Blessed are the rich, who accumulate wealth'. No. Those who are poor in spirit. Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who are able to draw close to and understand those who are poor. Jesus did not say, 'Blessed are those who get by well', but rather, blessed are those who are able to share in the suffering of others. … The other day, a priest said to me, jokingly, 'Go ahead, keep on telling the young to make noise; but then we have to deal with the hubbub they make! Make a noise, but organise it well! A noise that gives us a free heart, that gives us solidarity, that gives us hope, that is born of meeting Jesus and knowing that God, Who knows us, is our strength. This is the noise I want you to make”.
Following his meeting with the young, the Pope travelled to the airport of Asuncion, pausing to bless the Ycua Bolanos supermarket and commercial complex rebuilt after the worst public accident in the country's history, a fire that caused the death of 400 people and injured 500. The papal aeroplane left Paraguayan soil at 7 p.m. local time, and landed in Rome shortly before 2 p.m. (Rome time).
Telegram for the death of Cardinal Biffi
Vatican City, 11 July 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolences to Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy, for the death of Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, archbishop emeritus of the same see, at the age of 87 following a long illness.
The Pope expressed to the relatives of the deceased his profound participation in their suffering and recalls with affection the cardinal who served the Gospel with joy and wisdom, and who loved the Church tenaciously. He remembers with gratitude the late cardinal's intense work as auxiliary bishop of Milan and later as archbishop of Bologna, as well as his tireless service in the human and Christian formation of entire generations through his teaching and the publication of numerous works. The Holy Father praises his direct language in the service of the Word of God, as well as his valued preaching of the Spiritual Exercises, in particular to the Roman Curia.
Strong condemnation of the attack on the Italian consulate in Cairo
Vatican City, 11 July 2015 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram of condolences to the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fatteh Al Sisi, in response to the attack on the Italian consulate in Cairo in which one person was killed and another ten injured.
“His Holiness Pope Francis has learned with great concern of the attack in Cairo against the Italian consulate following a wave of attacks that have risked the lives of many people. Pope Francis firmly condemns this type of act and launches an appeal to political and religious leaders at all levels to work together to combat, with ever greater determination, the scourge of terrorism and to promote harmony and solidarity. The Pope expresses his profound solidarity with the families affected and with all those struck by this blind violence, assuring them of his prayers, and as a pledge of consolation, implores an abundance of divine blessings for all the Egyptian people”.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 11 July 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- the following consultors of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints: Msgr. Ennio Apeciti of the clergy of Milan, Italy and rector of the Pontifical Lombard Seminary of Sts. Ambrose and Charles in Rome; Fr. Francesco Massagrande of the clergy of Verona, Italy, member of the Pious Society of Don Nicola Mazza.
- the following members of the executive board of Caritas Internationalis: Bishop Lucas Van Looy of Gent, Belgium, president of Caritas Europe; Archbishop Youssef Antoine Soueif of Cyprus of the Maronites and president of Caritas Cyprus; and Msgr. Gerard Patrick Burns, president of Caritas Oceania.
- Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, archbishop of Manila, Philippines and president of Caritas Internationalis, as member of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”.
- Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile, as his special envoy to the Sixth National Eucharistic Congress of Mexico, to be celebrated in Monterrey from 9 to 13 September 2015.

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