Thursday, September 17, 2015

Catholic News World : Thurs. September 17, 2015 - SHARE


#PopeFrancis "It means that woman bears a secret and special blessing, for the defense of her child from the Evil One!" FULL TEXT/Video

Here is a ZENIT translation of the Holy Father's address today during his Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter's Square.
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
This is our final reflection on the subject of marriage and the family. We are on the eve of beautiful and demanding events, which are directly connected with this great subject: the World Meeting of Families at Philadelphia and the Synod of Bishops here in Rome. Both have a worldwide breadth, which corresponds to the universal dimension of Christianity, but also to the universal importance of this fundamental and irreplaceable human community that, in fact, the family is.
The present period of civilization seems marked by the long-term effects of a society administered by economic technocracy. The subordination of ethics to the logic of profit has tremendous resources and enormous media support. In this scenario, a new alliance of man and woman becomes not only necessary but also strategic for the emancipation of people from the colonization of money. This alliance must return to orientate politics, the economy and civil coexistence! It decides the habitability of the earth, the transmission of the meaning of life, the bonds of memory and of hope.
Of this alliance, the conjugal-family community of man and woman is the generative grammar, the “golden bond,” we could say. Faith draws it from the wisdom of the creation of God, who has entrusted to the family not the care of an intimacy that ends in itself, but rather the exciting project of rendering the world “domestic.” The family, in fact, is at the beginning, at the base of this global culture that saves us. It saves us from so many, so many attachments, so many destructions, so many colonizations, such as that of money or those ideological ones that threaten the world so much; the family is at the base to defend oneself.
In fact, in our brief Wednesday meditations on the family, we took our fundamental inspiration from the biblical Word of creation. We can and must draw from this Word again with abundance and profundity. It is a great work that awaits us, but also very exciting. God’s creation is not a simple philosophical premise: it is the universal horizon of life and of faith! There is not a different divine design of creation and of its salvation. It is for the salvation of the creature – of every creature – that God became man: “for us men and for our salvation,” as the Creed says. And the Risen Jesus is “the first born of all creation” (Colossians 1:15).
The created world is entrusted to man and woman: what happens between them leaves an imprint on everything. Their rejection of God’s blessing leads fatally to a delirium of omnipotence that ruins everything. It is what we call “original sin.” And we all come into the world with this inherited sickness.
Despite this, we are not cursed or abandoned to ourselves. The ancient account of God’s first love for man and woman, already had pages written with fire in this regard! “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed” (Genesis 3:15a).  They are the words that God addresses to the deceitful, beguiling serpent. Through these words God marks woman with a protective barrier against evil, to which she can take recourse – if she wishes – for every generation. It means that woman bears a secret and special blessing, for the defense of her child from the Evil One! As the Woman of Revelation, who runs to hide her son from the Dragon. And God protects her (cf. Revelation 12:6).
Think what depth opens here! There are many common places, sometimes even offensive, of the temptress woman that inspires to evil. Instead, there is room for a theology of woman that is equal to this blessing of God for herself and for the generation!
In any case, the merciful protection of God in the dealings of man and woman never fails for both. Let us not forget this! The symbolic language of the Bible tells us that before driving them out from the Garden of Eden, God made for the man and the woman garments of skins, and clothed them (cf. Genesis 3:21) This gesture of tenderness also means that in the painful consequences of our sin, God does not want us to remain naked and abandoned to our fate of sinners. We see this divine tenderness, this care for us, incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God, “born of woman” (Galatians 4:4). And Saint Paul says again: “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Christ, born of woman, of a woman, is God’s caress on our wounds, on our mistakes, on our sins. But God loves us as we are and wants to lead us forward with this plan! And woman is the strongest who carries this plan forward.
The promise that God makes to man and woman, at the beginning of history, includes all human beings until the end of history. If we have sufficient faith, the families of the peoples of the earth will recognize themselves in this blessing. Whoever lets himself be moved by this vision in any way, regardless to what people, nation, or religion he belongs, let him get underway with us. He/she will be our brother and sister, without engaging in proselytism, no! We walk together under this blessing and under this objective of God to make us all brothers in life in a world that goes forward and is born in fact of the family, of the union of man and woman.
May God bless you, families of all corners of the earth! And may God bless you all!
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today we conclude our series of catecheses on marriage and the family, on the eve of two significant international events: the World Meeting of Families, to be held next week in Philadelphia, and the Synod of Bishops here in Rome. In these past months, guided by God’s Word, we have reflected on the perennial value of the covenant between man and woman for the future of the entire human family. In the Creator’s plan, marriage and the family have an essential role in shaping an ever more humane political, economic and social life. This role is all the more critical today, in a society increasingly subject to technology and to forms of economic colonization which subordinate ethics to profits. From the beginning, God entrusted his creation to man and woman. Despite our rejection of his original blessing, he continues to watch over our efforts to make this world our common home. In a special way, by the coming of Jesus his Son, he has maintained his promise (cf. Gen 3:15) to bless and protect us in every generation. May families everywhere come to know this blessing!
Pope Francis (in Italian):
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including those from Great Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Malta, Croatia, Kenya, South Africa, Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Canada and the United States ofAmerica. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke an abundance of joy and peace in the Lord Jesus. God bless you all!
* * *
Next Saturday I shall leave for the Apostolic Journey to Cuba and the United States of America, a mission to which I set out with great hope. The main reason for the trip is the Eighth World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Philadelphia. I will also go to the main headquarters of the UN, on the 70th anniversary of that institution. I greet with affection the Cuban people and those of the United States that, guided by their Pastors, have prepared themselves spiritually. I ask everyone to accompany me with their prayer, invoking the light and strength of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of Mary Most Holy, Patroness of Cuba as Virgin of Charity of Cobre, and Patroness of the United States of America as the Immaculate Conception.
Also next Saturday, Blessed Pio Alberto del Corona, Bishop of that diocese and Founder of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Spirit, will be proclaimed Blessed at San Miniato. He was a zealous guide and wise teacher of the people entrusted to him. May his example and his intercession help the Church to walk in the spirit of the Gospel, bearing fruits of good works.
* * *
I give a cordial welcome to all the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I am happy to receive AVIS of the Marches, accompanied by the Archbishop of Ancona-Osimo, Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli, and the faithful of Spinazzola, with the Archbishop of Altamura-Gravina-Acquaviva delle Fonti, Monsignor Giovanni Ricchiuti, on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the birth of Pope Innocent XII.
I greet the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, who are observing the first centenary of the death of the Founder, Father Lodovico Acernese; the young people of the Custody of the Holy Land; the military men of Italian Air Force, and the professors and researchers taking part in the updating course organized by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. May the visit to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul nourish in all the faith, which is manifested in concrete works of charity.
A special thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Yesterday we celebrated the Liturgical Memoria of Our Lady of Sorrows. Invoke the Mother of God, dear young people, to feel the sweetness of her maternal love; you, dear sick, pray to her in moments of the cross and of suffering; and you, dear newlyweds, look at Her, as the model of your conjugal journey of dedication and fidelity.

[Translation by ZENIT]


Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. September 17, 2015

Thursday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 446

Reading 11 TM 4:12-16

Let no one have contempt for your youth,
but set an example for those who believe,
in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.
Until I arrive, attend to the reading, exhortation, and teaching.
Do not neglect the gift you have,
which was conferred on you through the prophetic word
with the imposition of hands by the presbyterate.
Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them,
so that your progress may be evident to everyone.
Attend to yourself and to your teaching;
persevere in both tasks,
for by doing so you will save
both yourself and those who listen to you.

Responsorial PsalmPS 111:7-8, 9, 10

R. (2) How great are the works of the Lord!
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
prudent are all who live by it.
His praise endures forever.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!

AlleluiaMT 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 7:36-50

A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him,
and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table.
Now there was a sinful woman in the city
who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.
Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment,
she stood behind him at his feet weeping
and began to bathe his feet with her tears.
Then she wiped them with her hair,
kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself,
“If this man were a prophet,
he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him,
that she is a sinner.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Simon, I have something to say to you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
“Two people were in debt to a certain creditor;
one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.
Which of them will love him more?”
Simon said in reply,
“The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.”
He said to him, “You have judged rightly.”
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon,
“Do you see this woman?
When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet,
but she has bathed them with her tears
and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss,
but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.
You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she anointed my feet with ointment.
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven;
hence, she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The others at table said to themselves,
“Who is this who even forgives sins?”
But he said to the woman,
“Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Saint September 17 : St. Robert Bellarmine : Patron of #Catechists, #Canon #Lawyers and #Catechumens : Doctor

St. Robert Bellarmine
Feast: September 17
Feast Day:
September 17
October 4, 1542, Montepulciano, Italy
September 17, 1621, Rome, Italy
June 29, 1930, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Major Shrine:
Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio, Rome, Italy
Patron of:
Preparatory; canonists; canon lawyers; catechists; catechumens

A distinguished Jesuit theologian, writer, and cardinal, born at Montepulciano, 4 October, 1542; died 17 September, 1621. His father was Vincenzo Bellarmino, his mother Cinthia Cervini, sister of Cardinal Marcello Cervini, afterwards Pope Marcellus II. He was brought up at the newly founded Jesuit college in his native town, and entered the Society of Jesus on 20 September, 1560, being admitted to his first vows on the following day. The next three years he spent in studying philosophy at the Roman College, after which he taught the humanities first at Florence, then at Mondovì. In 1567 he began his theology at Padua, but in 1569 was sent to finish it at Louvain, where he could obtain a fuller acquaintance with the prevailing heresies. Having been ordained there, he quickly obtained a reputation both as a professor and a preacher, in the latter capacity drawing to his pulpit both Catholics and Protestants, even from distant parts. In 1576 he was recalled to Italy, and entrusted with the chair of Controversies recently founded at the Roman College. He proved himself equal to the arduous task, and the lectures thus delivered grew into the work "De Controversiis" which, amidst so much else of excellence, forms the chief title to his greatness. This monumental work was the earliest attempt to systematize the various controversies of thetime, and made an immense impression throughout Europe, the blow it dealt to Protestantism being so acutely felt in Germany and England that special chairs were founded in order to provide replies to it. Nor has it even yet been superseded as the classical book on its subject-matter, though, as was to be expected, the progress ofcriticism has impaired the value of some of its historical arguments.
In 1588 Bellarmine was made Spiritual Father to the Roman College, but in 1590 he went with Cardinal Gaetano as theologian to the embassy Sixtus V was then sending into France to protect the interests of the Church amidst the troubles of the civil wars. Whilst he was there news reached him that Sixtus, who had warmly accepted the dedication of his "De Controversiis", was now proposing to put its first volume on the Index. This was because he had discovered that it assigned to the Holy See not a direct but only an indirect power over temporals. Bellarmine, whose loyalty to the Holy See was intense, took this greatly to heart; it was, however, averted by the death of Sixtus, and the new pope, Gregory XIV, even granted to Bellarmine's work the distinction of a special approbation. Gaetano's mission now terminating, Bellarmine resumed his work as Spiritual Father, and had the consolation of guiding the last years of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, who died in the Roman College in 1591. Many years later he had the further consolation of successfully promoting the beatification of the saintly youth. Likewise at this time he sat on the final commission for the revision of the Vulgate text. This revision had been desired by the Council of Trent, and subsequent popes had laboured over the task and had almost brought it to completion. But Sixtus V, though unskilled in this branch of criticism, had introduced alterations of his own, all for the worse. He had even gone so far as to have an impression of this vitiated edition printed and partially distributed, together with the proposed Bull enforcing its use. He died, however, before the actual promulgation, and his immediate successors at once proceeded to remove the blunders and call in the defective impression. The difficulty was how to substitute a more correct edition without affixing a stigma to the name of Sixtus, and Bellarmine proposed that the new edition should continue in the name of Sixtus, with a prefatory explanation that, on account of aliqua vitia vel typographorum vel aliorum which had crept in, Sixtus had himself resolved that a new impression should be undertaken. The suggestion was accepted, and Bellarmine himself wrote the preface, still prefixed to the Clementine edition ever since in use. On the other hand, he has been accused of untruthfulness in stating that Sixtus had resolved on a new impression. But his testimony, as there is no evidence to the contrary, should be accepted as decisive, seeing howconscientious a man he was in the estimation of his contemporaries; and the more so since it cannot be impugned without casting a slur on thecharacter of his fellow-commissioners who accepted his suggestion, and of Clement VIII who with full knowledge of the facts gave his sanction to Bellarmine's preface being prefixed to the new edition. Besides, Angelo Rocca, the Secretary of the revisory commissions of Sixtus V and the succeeding pontiffs, himself wrote a draft preface for the new edition in which he makes the same statement: (Sixtus) "dum errores ex typographiâ ortos, et mutationes omnes, atque varias hominum opiniones recognoscere cœpit, ut postea de toto negotio deliberare atque Vulgatam editionem, prout debebat, publicare posset, morte præventus quod cœperat perficere non potuit". This draft preface, to which Bellarmine's was preferred, is still extant, attached to the copy of the Sixtine edition in which the Clementine corrections are marked, and may be seen in the Biblioteca Angelica at Rome.
In 1592 Bellarmine was made Rector of the Roman College, and in 1595 Provincial of Naples. In 1597 Clement VIII recalled him to Rome and made him his own theologian and likewise Examiner of Bishops and Consultor of the Holy Office. Further, in 1599 he made him Cardinal-Priest of the title of Santa Maria in viâ, alleging as his reason for this promotion that "the Church of God had not his equal in learning". He was now appointed, along with the Dominican Cardinal d'Ascoli, an assessor to Cardinal Madruzzi, the President of the Congregation de Auxiliis, which had been instituted shortly before to settle the controversy which had recently arisen between the Thomists and the Molinists concerning the nature of the concord between efficacious grace and human liberty. Bellarmine's advice was from the first that the doctrinal question should not be decided authoritatively, but left over for further discussion in the schools, the disputants on either side being strictly forbidden to indulge in censures or condemnations of their adversaries. Clement VIII at first inclined to this view, but afterwards changed completely and determined on a doctrinal definition. Bellarmine's presence then became embarrassing, and he appointed him to the Archbishopric of Capua just then vacant. This is sometimes spoken of as the cardinal's disgrace, but Clement consecrated him with his own hands--an honour which the popes usually accord as a mark of special regard. The new archbishop departed at once for his see, and during the next three years set a bright example of pastoral zeal in its administration.
In 1605 Clement VIII died, and was succeeded by Leo XI who reigned only twenty-six days, and then by Paul V. In both conclaves, especially that latter, the name of Bellarmine was much before the electors, greatly to his own distress, but his quality as a Jesuit stood against him in the judgment of many of the cardinals. The new pope insisted on keeping him at Rome, and the cardinal, obediently complying, demanded that at least he should be released from an episcopal charge the duties of which he could no longer fulfil. He was now made a member of the Holy Office and of other congregations, and thenceforth was the chief advisor of the Holy See in the theological department of its administration. Of the particular transactions with which his name is most generally associated the following were the most important: The inquiry de Auxiliis, which after all Clement had not seen his way to decide, was now terminated with a settlement on the lines of Bellarmine's original suggestion. 1606 marked the beginning of the quarrel between the Holy See and the Republic of Venice which, without even consulting the pope, had presumed to abrogate the law of clerical exemption from civil jurisdiction and to withdraw the Church's right to hold real property. The quarrel led to a war of pamphlets in which the part of the Republic was sustained by John Marsiglio and an apostate monk named Paolo Sarpi, and that of the Holy See by Bellarmine and Baronius. Contemporaneous with the Venetian episode was that of the English Oath of Alliance. In 1606, in addition to the grave disabilities which already weighed them down, the English Catholics were required under pain of prœmunire to take an oath of allegiance craftily worded in such wise that a Catholic in refusing to take it might appear to be disavowing an undoubted civl obligation, whilst if he should take it he would be not merely rejecting but even condemning as "impious and heretical" the doctrine of the deposing power, that is to say, of a power, which, whether rightly or wrongly, the Holy See had claimed and exercised for centuries with the full approval of Christendom, and which even in that age the mass of the theologians of Europe defended. The Holy See having forbidden Catholics to take this oath, King James himself came forward as its defender, in a book entitled "Tripoli nodo triplex cuneus", to which Bellarmine replied in his "Responsio Matthfi Torti". Other treatises followed on either side, and the result of one, written in denial of the deposing power by William Barclay, an English jurist resident in France, was that Bellarmine's reply to it was branded by the Regalist Parlement of Paris. Thus it came to pass that, for following the via media of the indirect power, he was condemned in 1590 as too much of a Regalist and in 1605 as too much of a Papalist.
Bellarmine did not live to deal with the later and more serious stage of the Galileo case, but in 1615 he took part in its earlier stage. He had always shown great interest in the discoveries of that investigator, and was on terms of friendly correspondence with him. He took up too--as is witnessed by his letter to Galileo's friend Foscarini--exactly the right attitude towards scientific theories in seeming contradiction with Scripture. If, as was undoubtedly the case then with Galileo's heliocentric theory, a scientific theory is insufficiently proved, it should be advanced only as an hypothesis; but if, as is the case with this theory now, it is solidly demonstrated, care must be taken to interpretScripture only in accordance with it. When the Holy Office condemned the heliocentric theory, by an excess in the opposite direction, it becameBellarmine's official duty to signify the condemnation to Galileo, and receive his submission. Bellarmine lived to see one more conclave, that which elected Gregory XV (February, 1621). His health was now failing, and in the summer of the same year he was permitted to retire to Sant' Andrea and prepare for the end. His death was most edifying and was a fitting termination to a life which had been no less remarkable for its virtues than for its achievements.
His spirit of prayer, his singular delicacy of conscience and freedom from sin, his spirit of humility and poverty, together with the disinterestedness which he displayed as much under the cardinal's robes as under the Jesuit's gown, his lavish charity to the poor, and his devotedness to work, had combined to impress those who knew him intimately with the feeling that he was of the number of the saints. Accordingly, when he died there was a general expectation that his cause would be promptly introduced. And so it was, under Urban VIII in 1627, when he became entitled to the appellation of Venerable. But a technical obstacle, arising out of Urban VIII's own general legislation in regard to beatifications, required its prorogation at that time. Though it was reintroduced on several occasions (1675, 1714, 1752, and 1832), and though on each occasion the great preponderance of votes was in favour of the beatification, a successful issue came only after many years. This was partly because of the influential character of some of those who recorded adverse votes, Barbarigo, Casante, and Azzolino in 1675, and Passionei in 1752, but still more for reasons of political expediency, Bellarmine's name being closely associated with a doctrine of papal authority most obnoxious to the Regalist politicians of the French Court. "We have said", wrote Benedict XIV to Cardinal de Tencin, "in confidence to the General of the Jesuits that the delay of the Cause has come not from the petty matters laid to his charge by Cardinal Passionei, but from the sad circumstances of the times" (Études Religieuses, 15 April, 1896).
[Note: St. Robert Bellarmine was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930, and declared a Doctor of the Universal Church in 1931. He is the patron saint of catechists.]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. September 16, 2015

Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs
Lectionary: 445

Reading 11 TM 3:14-16

I am writing you,
although I hope to visit you soon.
But if I should be delayed,
you should know how to behave in the household of God,
which is the Church of the living God,
the pillar and foundation of truth.
Undeniably great is the mystery of devotion,

Who was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated in the spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed to the Gentiles,
believed in throughout the world,
taken up in glory.

Responsorial PsalmPS 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (2) How great are the works of the Lord!
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
Majesty and glory are his work,
and his justice endures forever.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
He has made known to his people the power of his works,
giving them the inheritance of the nations.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!

AlleluiaSEE JN 6:63C, 68C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life,
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 7:31-35

Jesus said to the crowds:
“To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,

‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’

For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
and you said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’
But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

Saint September 16 : St. Cornelius : #Pope : Patron of #Fever, #Pets and #Earache

St. Cornelius
Feast: September 16
Feast Day:
September 16
Patron of:
against earache, against epilepsy, against fever, against twitching, cattle, domestic animals, earache sufferers

Martyr (251 to 253).
We may accept the statement of the Liberian catalogue that he reigned two years, three months, and ten days, for Lipsius, Lightfoot, and Harnack have shown that this list is a first-rate authority for this date. His predecessor, Fabian, was put to death by Decius, 20 January, 250. About the beginning of March, 251 the persecution slackened, owing to the absence of the emperor, against whom two rivals had arisen. It was possible to assemble sixteen bishops at Rome, and Cornelius was elected though against his will (Cyprian, Ep. lv, 24), "by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of almost all the clergy, by the vote of the people then present, by the consent of aged priests and of good men, at a time when no one had been made before him, when the place of Fabian, that is the place of Peter, and the step of the sacerdotal chair were vacant". "What fortitude in his acceptance of the episcopate, what strength of mind, what firmness of faith, that he took his seat intrepid in the sacerdotal chair, at a time when the tyrant in his hatred of bishops was making unspeakable threats, when he heard with far more patience that a rival prince was arising against him, than that a bishop of God was appointed at Rome" (ibid., 9). Is he not, asks St. Cyprian, to be numbered among the glorious confessors and martyrs who sat so long awaiting the sword or the cross or the stake and every other torture?
A few weeks later the Roman priest Novatian made himself antipope, and the whole Christian world was convulsed by the schism at Rome. But the adhesion of St. Cyprian secured to Cornelius the hundred bishops of Africa, and the influence of St. Dionysius the Great, Bishop of Alexandria, brought the East within a few months to a right decision. In Italy itself the pope got together a synod of sixty bishops. (See NOVATIAN.) Fabius, Bishop of Antioch, seems to have wavered. Three letters to him from Cornelius were known to Eusebius, who gives extracts from one of them (Church History VI.43), in which the pope details the faults in Novatian's election and conduct with considerable bitterness. We incidentally learn that in the Roman Church there were forty-six priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons, forty-two acolytes, fifty-two ostiarii, and over one thousand five hundred widows and persons in distress. From this Burnet estimated the number of Christians in Rome at fifty thousand, so also Gibbon; but Benson and Harnack think this figure possibly too large. Pope Fabian had made seven regions; it appears that each had one deacon, one subdeacon and six acolytes. Of the letters of Cornelius to Cyprian two have come down to us, together with nine from Cyprian to the pope. Mgr. Merrati has shown that in the true text the letters of Cornelius are in the colloquial "vulgar-Latin" of the day, and not in the more classical style affected by the ex-orator Cyprian and the learned philosopher Novatian. Cornelius sanctioned the milder measures proposed by St. Cyprian and accepted by his Carthaginian council of 251 for the restoration to communion, after varying forms of penance, of those who had fallen during the Decian persecution.
At the beginning of 252 a new persecution suddenly broke out. Cornelius was exiled to Centumcellæ (Civita Vecchia). There were no defections among the Roman Christians; all were confessors. The pope "led his brethren in confession", writes Cyprian (Ep. lx, ad Corn.), with a manifest reference to the confession of St. Peter. "With one heart and one voice the whole Roman Church confessed. Then was seen, dearest Brother, that faith which the blessed Apostle praised in you (Romans 1:8); even then he foresaw in spirit your glorious fortitude and firm strength." In June Cornelius died a martyr, as St. Cyprian repeatedly calls him. The Liberian catalogue has ibi cum gloriâ dormicionem accepit, and this may mean that he died of the rigours of his banishment, though later accounts say that he was beheaded. St. Jerome says that Cornelius and Cyprian suffered on the same day in different years, and his careless statement has been generally followed. The feast of St. Cyprian was in fact kept at Rome at the tomb of Cornelius, for the fourth century "Depositio Martirum" has "XVIII kl octob Cypriani Africæ Romæ celebratur in Callisti". St. Cornelius was not buried in the chapel of the popes, but in an adjoining catacomb, perhaps that of a branch of the noble Cornelii. His inscription is in Latin: CORNELIUS* MARTYR* whereas those of Fabian and Lucius are in Greek (Northcote and Brownlow, "Roma sotteranea", I, vi).

Saint September 16 : St. Cyprian : #Bishop and #Martyr

St. Cyprian
Feast: September 16
Feast Day:
September 16
3rd century AD, North Africa
September 14, 258, Carthage, Africa Province, Roman Empire
Patron of:
Algeria, North Africa

CYPRIAN was an African of noble birth, but of evil life, a pagan, and a teacher of rhetoric. In middle life he was converted to Christianity, and shortly after his baptism was ordained priest, and made Bishop of Carthage, notwithstanding his resistance. When the persecution of Decius broke out, he fled from his episcopal city, that he might be the better able to minister to the wants of his flock, but returned on occasion of a pestilence. Later on he was banished, and saw in a vision his future martyrdom. Being recalled from exile, sentence of death was pronounced against him, which he received with the words "Thanks be to God." His great desire was to die whilst in the act of preaching the faith of Christ, and he had the consolation of being surrounded at his martyrdom by crowds of his faithful children. He was beheaded on the 14th of September, 258, and was buried with great solemnity. Even the pagans respected his memory.

Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows - #Litany and #Rosary #Prayers and Promises - SHARE

Novena Prayer in Honor of the Sorrows of The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Novena finds it's origin in ancient Church tradition. A Novena is simply any prayer said faithfully for a period of dedicated time. Generally it is said for nine consecutive days, nine Sundays, Fridays or Saturdays, or even nine hours in a row. Novenas have traditionally been known to be very powerful ~ used since the time of the Apostles when most notably, they and the other disciples prayed and fasted for nine days prior to receiving the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentacost. 

Most holy and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, you stood beneath the cross, witnessing the agony of your dying Son. Look with a mother's tenderness and pity on me, who kneel before you. I venerate your sorrows and I place my requests with filial confidence in the sanctuary of your wounded heart. Present them, I beseech you, on my behalf to Jesus Christ, through the merits of His own most sacred passion and death, together with your sufferings at the foot of the cross. Through the united efficacy of both, obtain the granting of my petition. To whom shall I have recourse in my wants and miseries if not to you, Mother of Mercy? You have drunk so deeply of the chalice of your Son, you can compassionate our sorrows. Holy Mary, your soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of your Divine Son. Intercede for me and obtain for me from Jesus (mention request) if it be for His honor and glory and for my good. Amen. 

The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows

The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows consists of 7 groups of 7 beads, with 3 additional beads and a Crucifix.  Say each of the sorrow below followed by 7 Hail Mary's. The 7 groups of 7 Hail Mary's are recited in remembrance of
the 7 Sorrows of Mary:
1. The prophecy of Simeon.
2. The flight into Egypt.
3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple.
4. Mary meets Jesus carrying His cross.
5. The Crucifixion
6. Mary received the Body of Jesus from the cross
7. The Body of Jesus is placed in a tomb.
3 Hail Mary's are added in remembrance of the tears Mary shed because of the suffering of her Divine Son. These are said to obtain true sorrow for our sins.
The concluding prayer follows:
V/. Pray for us, O most sorrowful Virgin.
R/. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
Lord Jesus, we now implore, both for the present and for the hour of our death, the intercession of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose holy soul was pierced at the time of Thy passion by a sword of grief.  Grant us this favor, O Saviour of the world, Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.
The Blessed Virgin Mary grants 7 special graces to the souls who honor her daily by saying 7 Hail Mary's
and meditating on her tears and dolors. This devotion was passed on by St. Bridget of Sweden.
Here are the 7 special graces:

1. I will grant peace to their families.
2. They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.
3. I will console them in their pains, and I will accompany them in their work.
4. I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
5. I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy, and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
6. I will visibly help them at the moment of their death; they will see the face of their mother.
7. I have obtained (this grace) from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.

Litany of the Seven Sorrows
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 Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, Pray for us.
Mother crucified, Pray for us.
Mother sorrowful, Pray for us.
Mother tearful, Pray for us.
Mother afflicted, Pray for us.
Mother forsaken, Pray for us.
Mother desolate, Pray for us.
Mother bereft of thy Child, Pray for us.
Mother transfixed with the sword, Pray for us.
Mother consumed with grief, Pray for us.
Mother filled with anguish, Pray for us.
Mother crucified in heart, Pray for us.
Mother most sad, Pray for us.
Fountain of tears, Pray for us.
Abyss of suffering, Pray for us.
Mirror of patience, Pray for us.
Rock of constancy, Pray for us.
Anchor of confidence, Pray for us.
Refuge of the forsaken, Pray for us.
Shield of the oppressed, Pray for us.
Subduer of the unbelieving, Pray for us.
Comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Medicine of the sick, Pray for us.
Strength of the weak, Pray for us.
Harbor of the wrecked, Pray for us.
Allayer of tempests, Pray for us.
Resource of mourners, Pray for us.
Terror of the treacherous, Pray for us.
Treasure of the faithful, Pray for us.
Eye of the Prophets, Pray for us.
Staff of the Apostles, Pray for us.
Crown of Martyrs, Pray for us.
Light of confessors, Pray for us.
Pearl of virgins, Pray for us.
Consolation of widows, Pray for us.
Joy of all Saints, Pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
Look down upon us, deliver us, and save us from all trouble, in the power of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let us pray: Imprint, O Lady, thy wounds upon my heart, that I may read therein sorrow and love--- sorrow to endure every sorrow for thee, love to despise every love for thee. Amen.
Pray 1 Apostles Creed, 1 Hail Holy Queen, and 3 Hail Mary's,
in honor of the Most Holy Heart of Mary.

~~ originally written in Latin by Pope Pius VII in 1809

Feast September 15 : Our Lady of Sorrows - #OurLady

Our Lady of Sorrows
Feast: September 15
Feast Day:
September 15

There are two such days:
* Friday before Palm Sunday, major double;* third Sunday in September double of the second class.
The object of these feasts are the spiritual martyrdom of the Mother of God and her compassion with the sufferings of her Divine Son.
(1) The seven founders of the Servite Order, in 1239, five years after they established themselves on Monte Senario, took up the sorrows of Mary, standing under the Cross, as the principal devotion of their order. The corresponding feast, however, did not originate with them; its celebration was enacted by a provincial synod of Cologne (1413) to expiate the crimes of the iconoclast Hussites; it was to be kept on the Friday after the third Sunday after Easter under the title: "Commemoratio angustix et doloris B. Marix V.". Its object was exclusively the sorrow of Mary during the Crucifixion and Death of Christ. Before the sixteenth century this feast was limited to the dioceses of North Germany, Scandinavia, and Scotland. Being termed "Compassio" or "Transfixio", "Commendatio, Lamentatio B.M.V.", it was kept at a great variety of dates, mostly during Eastertide or shortly after Pentacost, or on some fixed day of a month (18 July, Merseburg; 19 July, Halberstadt, Lxbeck, Meissen; 20 July, Naumberg; cf. Grotefend, "Zeitrechnung", II, 2, 166). Dreves and Blume (Analecta hymnica) have published a large number of rhythmical offices, sequences and hymns for the feast of the Compassion, which show that from the end of the fifteenth century in several dioceses the scope of this feast was widened to commemorate either five dolours, from the imprisonment to the burial of Christ, or seven dolours, extending over the entire life of Mary (cf. XXIV, 122-53; VIII, 51 sq.; X, 79 sq., etc.). Towards the end of the end of the sixteenth century the feast spread over part of the south of Europe; in 1506 it was granted to the nuns of the Annunciation under the title "Spasmi B.M.V.", Monday after Passion Sunday; in 1600 to the Servite nuns of Valencia, "B.M.V. sub pede Crucis", Friday before Palm Sunday. After 1600 it became popular in France and was termed "Dominx N. de Pietate", Friday before Palm Sunday. To this latter date the feast was assigned for the whole German Empire (1674). By a Decree of 22 April 1727, Benedict XIII extended it to the entire Latin Church, under the title "Septem dolorum B.M.V.", although the Office and Mass retain the original character of the feast, the Compassion of Mary at the foot of the Cross. At both Mass and Office the "Stabat Mater" of Giacopone da Todi (1306) is sung.
(2) The second feast was granted to the Servites, 9 June and 15 September, 1668, double with an octave for the third Sunday in September. Its object of the seven dolours of Mary (according to the responsories of Matins: the sorrow
* at the prophecy of Simeon;* at the flight into Egypt;* having lost the Holy Child at Jerusalem;* meeting Jesus on his way to Calvary;* standing at the foot of the Cross;* Jesus being taken from the Cross;* at the burial of Christ.
This feast was extended to Spain (1735); to Tuscany (double of the second class with an octave, 1807). After his return from his exile in France Pius VII extended the feast to the Latin Church (18 September, 1814), major double); it was raised to the rank of a double of the second class, 13 May, 1908. The Servites celebrate it as a double of the first class with an octave and a vigil. Also in the Passionate Order, at Florence and Granada (N.S. de las Angustias), its rank is double of the first class with an octave. The hymns which are now used in the Office of this feast were probably composed by the Servite Callisto Palumbella (eighteenth century). On the devotion, cf. Kellner, "Heortology", p. 271. The old title of the "Compassio" is preserved by the Diocese of Hildesheim in a simple feast, Saturday after the octave of Corpus Christi. A feast, "B.M.V. de pietate", with a beautiful medieval office, is kept in honour of the sorrowful mother at Goa in India and Braga in Portugal, on the third Sunday of October; in the ecclesiastical province of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, last Sunday of May, etc. (cf. the corresponding calendars). A special form of devotion is practised in Spanish-speaking countries under the term of "N.S. de la Soledad", to commemorate the solitude of Mary on Holy Saturday. Its origin goes back to Queen Juana, lamenting the early death of her husband Philip I, King of Spain (1506).
To the oriental churches these feasts are unknown; the Catholic Ruthenians keep a feast of the sorrowful Mother on Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi.

Latest #News from #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis at #HolySee

16-09-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 157 

- The universal scope of the family
- Francis asks for prayers for his trip to Cuba and the United States
- The Pope to EU environment ministers: it is time to honour our ecological debt
- Briefing on the eleventh meeting of the Council of Cardinals
- Other Pontifical Acts

- Message for the 24th World Day of the Sick
- Statistics of the Catholic Church in Cuba and the United States of America
- Participants in the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
- Other Pontifical Acts
The universal scope of the family
Vatican City, 16 September 2015 (VIS) – In the catechesis of today's general audience, Pope Francis concluded his reflections on marriage and the family, on the eve of events directly linked to this theme: the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and the Synod of Bishops in Rome. “Both have a global reach, which corresponds both to the universal dimension of Christianity and to the universal scope of the fundamental and indispensable human community of the family”.
“Our civilisation currently appears marked by the long term effects of a society managed by economic technocracy. The subordination of ethics to the logic of profit is sustained by substantial means and enjoys enormous media support. … A new alliance of man and woman would seem not only necessary, but also strategic for the emancipation of peoples from their colonisation by money”, he continued. “This alliance must once again guide politics, the economy and civil coexistence. It decides the habitability of the earth, the transmission of the sentiment of life, and the bonds of memory and hope”.
“Of this alliance, the matrimonial-familiar community of man and woman is its generative grammar, its 'golden bond', so to speak. Faith draws upon knowledge of God's creation: He entrusted to the family not only the care of intimacy for its own sake, but also the project of making the entire world domestic. It is precisely the family that is at the origin and the base of this worldwide culture that saves us: it saves us from many attacks, many forms of destruction, and many forms of colonisation, for instance by money and ideologies, that so threaten the world. The family is a base from which we defend ourselves”.
“The Biblical Word of creation has provided us with the fundamental inspiration for our brief reflections on the family during the Wednesday audiences. … God's creation is not simply a philosophical premise: it is the universal horizon of life and faith. The divine plan consists only of creation and its salvation. It is for the salvation of the creature – of every creature – that God became man. … The world He created is entrusted to man and to woman: what happens between casts the die for all that follows. Their refusal of God's blessing leads them fatally to the delirium of omnipotence that ruins all things. It is what we call 'original sin'. And we all come into the world with the legacy of this disease”.
However, “we are not cursed or abandoned to our own devices. 'I will make you and the woman enemies to each other. Your descendants and her descendants will be enemies', God says to the deceitful and enchanting snake. With these words God bestows upon the woman a protective barrier against evil, to which she may resort, if she wishes, for every generation. This means that the women bears a secret and special blessing, for the defence of her creature against the Evil One. … Many stereotypes exists, often offensive, regarding the woman as temptress who inspires evil. Instead, there is space for a theology of the woman worthy of this blessing from God, for her and for her generation”.
“God's merciful protection of man and woman never ends. … The symbolic language of the Bible tells us that before casting them out of the Garden of Eden, God gave them animal skin tunics and dressed them. This gesture of tenderness means that, even in the painful consequences of our sin, God does not want us to remain naked and abandoned to our destiny as sinners. This divine tenderness, this care for us, we see incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God 'born of woman'. ... It is God's caress to our wounds, our mistakes, our sins. But God loves us as we are and wants to lead us ahead with this plan, and the woman is the strongest at taking it forward”.
“The promise God makes to man and woman, at the origin of history, includes all human beings, up to the end of history. If we have enough faith, the families of the peoples of the world will recognise themselves in this blessing. In any case, may whoever allows him- or herself to be moved by this vision, regardless of the people, nation, or religion to which he or she belongs, walk with us and become our brother or sister, without proselytism. Let us walk together under this blessing and with God's aim to make us all brothers and sisters in life in a world that goes ahead and that is born precisely of the family, the union of man and woman”.

Francis asks for prayers for his trip to Cuba and the United States
Vatican City, 16 September 2015 (VIS) – After today's catechesis the Holy Father mentioned that this Saturday he will commence, with high expectations, his apostolic trip to Cuba and the United States of America. The main reason for the trip is the Eighth World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Philadelphia, but Francis will also visit the central headquarters of the United Nations to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the founding of this institution.
“Until then, I greet with affection the Cuban and American faithful who, guided by their pastors, are preparing themselves spiritually. I ask all to accompany me with prayer, invoking the light and the strength of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of Mary Most Holy, patroness of Cuba as Our Lady of Charity del Cobre, and patroness of the United States as the Immaculate Conception”.
He also spoke about the forthcoming beatification of Pio Alberto del Corona (1837-1912), bishop of San Miniato, Italy, and founder of the Dominican Brothers of the Holy Spirit, to take place this Saturday in the same diocese. “He was a committed guide and a wise teacher of the people entrusted to him. May his example and his intercession help the Church to walk in the spirit of the Gospel, bringing fruit to good works”.
The Pope to EU environment ministers: it is time to honour our ecological debt
Vatican City, 16 September 2015 (VIS) – This morning, before the Wednesday general audience, the Pope received the environment ministers of the European Union who will soon face two important events: the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the COP 21 in Paris. Francis remarked that their mission is increasingly important since the environment is a “collective good, a patrimony for all humanity, and the responsibility of each one of us – a responsibility that can only be transversal and which requires effective collaboration within the entire international community”.
He went on to suggest to the ministers three principles which should inspire their work, starting with the principle of solidarity. “A word that is sometimes forgotten, and at other times abused in a sterile fashion. We know that the people most vulnerable to environmental degradation are the poor, who suffer the most serious consequences. Solidarity therefore means creating effective tools able to unite the fight against environmental degradation with the struggle against poverty. Many positive experiences exist in this area, such as the development and transfer of appropriate technologies able to make the best use of human, natural and socio-economic resources, rendering them more accessible at local level, so as to guarantee sustainability also in the long term”.
Secondly, there is the principle of justice. “In the encyclical 'Laudato si'' I spoke about our ecological debt, especially between the North and the South, linked to commercial imbalances with consequences in the environmental sphere, such as the disproportionate use of natural resources historically made by some countries. We must honour that debt. These latter are required to contribute to settling the debt by offering a good example, substantially limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy, contributing resources to countries in need to promote policies and programmes of sustainable development, adopting suitable systems for managing forests, transport and refuse, and facing the serious problem of food waste, promoting a circular model for the economy and encouraging new attitudes and lifestyles”.
Thirdly, there is the principle of participation, which “requires the involvement of all the parties involved, including those who often remain marginal to decision-making processes. Indeed, we live in a very interesting historical moment: on the one hand, science and technology place unprecedented power in our hands, whereas on the other, the correct use of such power presupposes the adoption of a more integral and integrating vision. This requires us to open the doors to dialogue, a dialogue inspired by a vision rooted in that integral ecology that is the subject of 'Laudato si''. This is obviously a great cultural, spirital and educational challenge: solidarity, justice and participation respecting our dignity and respecting creation”.
The Pope concluded by encouraging the ministers in their work, emphasising that both he and the Holy See would guarantee their support “to adequately respond to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”.
Briefing on the eleventh meeting of the Council of Cardinals
Vatican City, 16 September 2015 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., held a briefing this morning on the results of the eleventh meeting of the Council of Cardinals with the Holy Father, which began on Monday 14 November.
“The proposal for a new Congregation, provisionally entitled “Laity, Family and Life”, was again taken into consideration”, said Fr. Lombardi. “In this regard Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, designated by the Holy Father in recent months to prepare a study on the feasibility of the project, was heard. At the end of their reflections the Council presented to the Pope a proposal orientated towards the implementation of the project.
Consideration of the proposal for a new Congregation dedicated to “Charity, Justice and Peace” was resumed and further reflections were made without yet reaching, however, a conclusive proposal by the Council.
The Cardinals went on to reflect on the procedures for the appointment of new bishops, or more specifically on the qualities and requisites for candidates in view of the needs of today’s world, and on the related issue of information gathering. Naturally the theme will need to be explored further and developed in collaboration with the competent Dicasteries concerned.
The Prefect of the new Secretariat for Communication reported to the Council on the first steps taken so far and in particular on the appointment of a group to draw up the Statutes for the new Dicastery. The working group has been constituted and has already commenced activity. It is made up of representatives of the institutes variously involved. The Statutes, while taking into account the progressive phase of consolidating the different entities that will form the Secretariat, defines the structure of the Dicastery as “definitive”. Particular attention will be given to evaluating legal and administrative aspects of the communication activities of the Holy See. The regulations will subsequently be drafted and issued.
The Cardinals expressed their unanimous appreciation and stressed that, despite the progressive nature of the work, precise guidance must be given to the institutions involved so that, as the Motu Proprio requires, the reform can make decisive progress towards integration and unitary management.
The theme proposed during the last session of the Council regarding issues linked to the abuse of minors was again taken into consideration. The matter of how to implement proposals was explored in further depth, especially with regard to the possibility of accelerating the resolution of the many cases still pending.
A draft Preamble of the new Constitution was also re-evaluated.
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodríguez Maradiaga was absent for health reasons.
The next session of the Council is scheduled to be held from 10 to 12 December”.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 16 September 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral ministry of the diocese of Cajazeiras, Brazil, presented by Bishop Jose Gonzalez Alonso upon reaching the age limit.

15-09-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 156 
Message for the 24th World Day of the Sick
Vatican City, 15 September 2015 (VIS) – “Entrusting oneself to the merciful Jesus like Mary: 'do whatever he tells you'” is the title of the Holy Father's message for the 24th World Day of the Sick (11 February, liturgical memory of Our Lady of Lourdes). This year the Day will be solemnly celebrated in the Holy Land, and for this reason, reflecting on the Gospel account of the wedding at Cana, the Pope recalls that illness, especially when grave, challenges our human existence and causes us to pose questions that explore the depths of the person. The following is the full text of his message, signed in the Vatican on 15 September, the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.
“The twenty-fourth World Day of the Sick offers me an opportunity to draw particularly close to you, dear friends who are ill, and to those who care for you. This year, since the Day of the Sick will be solemnly celebrated in the Holy Land, I wish to propose a meditation on the Gospel account of the wedding feast of Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle through the intervention of his Mother. The theme chosen - Entrusting oneself to the merciful Jesus like Mary: 'Do whatever he tells you' is quite fitting in light of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. The main Eucharistic celebration of the Day will take place on 11 February 2016, the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, in Nazareth itself, where 'the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us'. In Nazareth, Jesus began his salvific mission, applying to himself the words of the Prophet Isaiah, as we are told by the Evangelist Luke: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord'.
Illness, above all grave illness, always places human existence in crisis and brings with it questions that dig deep. Our first response may at times be one of rebellion: why has this happened to me? We can feel desperate, thinking that all is lost, that things no longer have meaning.
In these situations, faith in God is on the one hand tested, yet at the same time can reveal all of its positive resources. Not because faith makes illness, pain, or the questions which they raise, disappear, but because it offers a key by which we can discover the deepest meaning of what we are experiencing; a key that helps us to see how illness can be the way to draw nearer to Jesus who walks at our side, weighed down by the Cross. And this key is given to us by Mary, our Mother, who has known this way at first hand.
At the wedding feast of Cana, Mary is the thoughtful woman who sees a serious problem for the spouses: the wine, the symbol of the joy of the feast, has run out. Mary recognises the difficulty, in some way makes it her own, and acts swiftly and discreetly. She does not simply look on, much less spend time in finding fault, but rather, she turns to Jesus and presents him with the concrete problem: 'They have no wine'. And when Jesus tells her that it is not yet the time for him to reveal himself, she says to the servants: 'Do whatever he tells you'. Jesus then performs the miracle, turning water into wine, a wine that immediately appears to be the best of the whole celebration. What teaching can we draw from this mystery of the wedding feast of Cana for the World Day of the Sick?
The wedding feast of Cana is an image of the Church: at the centre there is Jesus who in his mercy performs a sign; around him are the disciples, the first fruits of the new community; and beside Jesus and the disciples is Mary, the provident and prayerful Mother. Mary partakes of the joy of ordinary people and helps it to increase; she intercedes with her Son on behalf of the spouses and all the invited guests. Nor does Jesus refuse the request of his Mother. How much hope there is in that event for all of us! We have a Mother with benevolent and watchful eyes, like her Son; a heart that is maternal and full of mercy, like him; hands that want to help, like the hands of Jesus who broke bread for those who were hungry, touched the sick and healed them. All this fills us with trust and opens our hearts to the grace and mercy of Christ. Mary’s intercession makes us experience the consolation for which the apostle Paul blesses God: 'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God. For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow'. Mary is the 'comforted' Mother who comforts her children.
At Cana the distinctive features of Jesus and his mission are clearly seen: he comes to the help of those in difficulty and need. Indeed, in the course of his messianic ministry he would heal many people of illnesses, infirmities and evil spirits, give sight to the blind, make the lame walk, restore health and dignity to lepers, raise the dead, and proclaim the good news to the poor. Mary’s request at the wedding feast, suggested by the Holy Spirit to her maternal heart, clearly shows not only Jesus’ messianic power but also his mercy.
In Mary’s concern we see reflected the tenderness of God. This same tenderness is present in the lives of all those persons who attend the sick and understand their needs, even the most imperceptible ones, because they look upon them with eyes full of love. How many times has a mother at the bedside of her sick child, or a child caring for an elderly parent, or a grandchild concerned for a grandparent, placed his or her prayer in the hands of Our Lady! For our loved ones who suffer because of illness we ask first for their health. Jesus himself showed the presence of the Kingdom of God specifically through his healings: 'Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them'. But love animated by faith makes us ask for them something greater than physical health: we ask for peace, a serenity in life that comes from the heart and is God’s gift, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, a gift which the Father never denies to those who ask him for it with trust.
In the scene of Cana, in addition to Jesus and his Mother, there are the 'servants', whom she tells: 'Do whatever he tells you'. Naturally, the miracle takes place as the work of Christ; however, he wants to employ human assistance in performing this miracle. He could have made the wine appear directly in the jars. But he wants to rely upon human cooperation, and so he asks the servants to fill them with water. How wonderful and pleasing to God it is to be servants of others! This more than anything else makes us like Jesus, who 'did not come to be served but to serve'. These unnamed people in the Gospel teach us a great deal. Not only do they obey, but they obey generously: they fill the jars to the brim. They trust the Mother and carry out immediately and well what they are asked to do, without complaining, without second thoughts.
On this World Day of the Sick let us ask Jesus in his mercy, through the intercession of Mary, his Mother and ours, to grant to all of us this same readiness to be serve those in need, and, in particular, our infirm brothers and sisters. At times this service can be tiring and burdensome, yet we are certain that the Lord will surely turn our human efforts into something divine. We too can be hands, arms and hearts which help God to perform his miracles, so often hidden. We too, whether healthy or sick, can offer up our toil and sufferings like the water which filled the jars at the wedding feast of Cana and was turned into the finest wine. By quietly helping those who suffer, as in illness itself, we take our daily cross upon our shoulders and follow the Master. Even though the experience of suffering will always remain a mystery, Jesus helps us to reveal its meaning.
If we can learn to obey the words of Mary, who says: 'Do whatever he tells you', Jesus will always change the water of our lives into precious wine. Thus this World Day of the Sick, solemnly celebrated in the Holy Land, will help fulfil the hope which I expressed in the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy: ‘I trust that this Jubilee year celebrating the mercy of God will foster an encounter with [Judaism and Islam] and with other noble religious traditions; may it open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better; may it eliminate every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination’ (Misericordiae Vultus, 23). Every hospital and nursing home can be a visible sign and setting in which to promote the culture of encounter and peace, where the experience of illness and suffering, along with professional and fraternal assistance, helps to overcome every limitation and division.
For this we are set an example by the two religious sisters who were canonised last May: S.t Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas and St. Mary of Jesus Crucified Baouardy, both daughters of the Holy Land. The first was a witness to meekness and unity, who bore clear witness to the importance of being responsible for one another other, living in service to one another. The second, a humble and illiterate woman, was docile to the Holy Spirit and became an instrument of encounter with the Muslim world.
To all those who assist the sick and the suffering I express my confident hope that they will draw inspiration from Mary, the Mother of Mercy. 'May the sweetness of her countenance watch over us in this Holy Year, so that all of us may rediscover the joy of God’s tenderness', allow it to dwell in our hearts and express it in our actions! Let us entrust to the Virgin Mary our trials and tribulations, together with our joys and consolations. Let us beg her to turn her eyes of mercy towards us, especially in times of pain, and make us worthy of beholding, today and always, the merciful face of her Son Jesus!
With this prayer for all of you, I send my Apostolic Blessing”.
Statistics of the Catholic Church in Cuba and the United States of America
Vatican City, 15 September 2015 (VIS) – In view of the Pope's upcoming apostolic trip to Cuba and the United States of America, the Central Church Statistics Office has published the statistics relating to the Catholic Church in the two countries, current as of 31 December 2013.
Cuba has a surface area of 110,861 km2 and a population of 11,192,000 inhabitants, of whom 6,775,000 are Catholics, equivalent to 60.5 per cent of the population. There are 11 ecclesiastical circumscriptions, 283 parishes and 2,094 pastoral centres. There are currently 17 bishops, 365 priests, 659 men and women religious, and 4,395 catechists. There are 85 seminarians. The Church has six centres for Catholic education, from pre-school to university level. With regard to charitable and social centres belonging to the Church or directed by ecclesiastics or religious, in Cuba there are 173 hospitals and clinics, one home for the elderly or disabled, two orphanages and nurseries, and three special centres for social education or re-education and institutions of other types.
The United States have a surface area of 9,372,616 km2 and a population of 316,253,000 inhabitants, of whom 71,796,000 are Catholics, representing 22.7 per cent of the population. There are 196 ecclesiastical circumscriptions, 18,256 parishes and 2,183 pastoral centres. There are currently 457 bishops, 40,967 priests, 55,390 men and women religious, 381,892 catechists and 5,829 seminarians. The Church has 11,265 centres for Catholic education, from pre-school to university level. With regard to charitable and social centres belonging to the Church or directed by ecclesiastics or religious, in the United States there are 888 hospitals and clinics, two leper colonies, 1,152 homes for the elderly or disabled, 1,090 orphanages and nurseries, 981 family advisory centres and other centres for the protection of life, and 4,295 special centres for social education or re-education and institutions of other types.
Participants in the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
Vatican City, 15 September 2015 (VIS) – The following is a full and definitive list of the participants in the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held from 4 to 25 October 2015, on the theme, “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world”.
Francis, Supreme Pontiff
Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri
Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, France
Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, archbishop of Manila, Philippines
Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, archbishop of Aparecida, Brazil
Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, O.F.M., archbishop of Durban, South Africa
Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, president of the Episcopal Conference, Hungary, president of the Consilium Conferentiarum Episcoporum Europae (C.C.E.E.)
Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, Italy
Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Vatican City
Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, Vatican City
Synod of the Coptic Catholic Church
ex officio
His Beatitude Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts, head of the Synod of the Coptic Catholic Church.
Synod of the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church
ex officio
His Beatitude Gregoire III Laham, B.S., Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkites, head of the Synod of the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church.
ex electione
Archbishop Georges Bacouni of Akka, St. John of Acri, Ptolemaida of the Greek-Melkites.
Synod of the Syriac Catholic Church
ex officio
His Beatitude Ignace Youssif III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians, head of the Synod of the Syriac Catholic Church
Synod of the Maronite Church
ex officio
His Beatitude Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, O.M.M., Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, head of the Synod of the Maronite Church.
ex electione
Bishop Antoine Nabil Andari, auxiliary and syncellus of Joubbe, Sarba and Jounieh of the Maronites, president of the Episcopal Commission for the Family and Life.
Bishop Antoine Tarabay, O.L.M., of Saint Maron of Sydney of the Maronites.
Synod of the Chaldean Church
ex officio
His Beatitude Louis Raphael I Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, head of the Synod of the Chaldean Church.
Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church
ex officio
His Beatitude Gregoire Pierre XX Ghabroyan, Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians, head of the Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church.
Synod of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
ex officio
His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major archbishop of Kyiv-Halyc, head of the Synod of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church.
ex electione
Bishop Hlib Borys Sviatoslav Lonchyna of Holy Family of London of the Byzantine Ukrainians.
Bishop Borys Gudziak of Saint Vladimir-Le-Grand of Paris of the Byzantine Ukrainians.
Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church
ex officio
His Beatitude Cardinal George Alencherry, major archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars, president of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church.
ex electione
Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt of Palai of the Syro-Malabars.
Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Trichur of the Syro-Malabars.
Synod of the Syro-Malankara Church
ex officio
His Beatitude Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, major archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankarites, head of the Synod of the Syro-Malankara Church.
Synod of the Romanian Church
ex designatione
Bishop Mihai Catalin Fratile of St. Basil the Great of Bucarest of the Romanians.
Council of the Ethiopian Church
ex officio
Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, C.M., president of the Episcopal Conference, metropolitan archbishop of Addis Abeba, president of the Council of the Ethiopian Church.
Council of the Church Ruthenian, U.S.A.
ex officio
Archbishop William Charles Skurla, metropolitan of Pittsburg of the Byzantines, president of the council of the Ruthenian Church.
Council of the Slovak Church
ex officio
Archbishop Jan Babjak, S.J., metropolitan of Presov for Catholics of Byzantine rite, president of the Council of the Slovak Church.
Council of the Eritrean Church
ex officio
Archbishop Menghesteab Tesfamarian, M.C.C.J., metropolitan of Asmara, president of the council of the Eritrean Church.
Council of the Hungarian Church
ex officio
Archbishop Fulop Kocsis, metropolitan of Hajdudorog for Catholics of Byzantine rite, president of the Council of the Hungarian Church.
Bishop Jean-Paul Vesco, O.P., of Oran, Algeria
Bishop Emilio Sumbelelo of Uije, Angola
Bishop Eugene Cyrille Houndekon of Abomey, vice president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, Kaapstad, president of the Episcopal Conference, South Africa
Bishop Zolile Peter Mpambani, S.C.I., of Kokstad, South Africa
Bishop Joseph Sama of Nouna, Burkina Faso
Bishop Gervais Banshimiyubasa of Ngozi, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Joseph Atanga, S.J., of Bertoua
Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Henri Coudray, S.J., apostolic vicar of Mongo
CONGO (Republic)
Bishop Urbain Ngassongo of Gamboma, president of the Episcopal Commission for Family Pastoral Ministry
CONGO (Democratic Republic)
Bishop Nicolas Djomo Lola of Tshumbe
Bishop Philibert Tembo Nlandu, C.I.C.M., of Budjala
Bishop Ignace Bessi Dogbo of Katiola, president of the Commission Episcopale Nationale de l'Apostolat des Laïcs
Bishop Tsegaye Keneni Derara, apostolic vicar of Soddo, Ethiopia
Bishop Mathieu Madega Lebouakehan of Mouila, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Charles Allieu Matthew Campbell of Bo, Sierra Leone
Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle of Accra
Bishop Raphael Balla Guilavogui of N'Zerekore
Bishop Juan Matogo Oyana, C.M.F., of Bata
Cardinal John NJUE, archbishop of Nairobi
Bishop James Maria Wainaina Kungu of Muranga
Archbishop Gerard Tlali Lerotholi, O.M.I., of Maseru, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Anthony Fallah Borwah of Gbarnga
Bishop Desire Tsarahazana of Toamasina, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa, S.M.M., of Blantyre, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Jonas Dembele of Kayes
Archbishop Francisco Chimoio, O.F.M. Cap., of Maputo, president of the Episcopal Commission for the Family
Bishop Philipp Pollitzer, O.M.I., of Keetmanshoop
Archbishop Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso of Kaduna
Bishop Camillus Raymond Umoh of Ikot Ekpene
Bishop Jude Ayodeji Arogundade of Ondo
Bishop Maurice Piat, C.S.Sp., of Port-Louis, Mauritius, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Cyr-Nestor Yapaupa of Alindao
Bishop Antoine Kambanda of Kibungo
Archbishop Benjamin Ndiaye of Dakar, Senegal, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro, M.C.C.J., of Juba
Bishop Tarcisius J. M. Ngalalekumtwa of Iringa, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Renatus Leonard Nkwande of Bunda
Bishop Jacques Danka Longa of Kara
Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Joseph Anthony Zziwa of Kiyinda-Mityana, vice president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Benjamin Phiri, auxiliary of Chipata
Bishop Xavier Johnsai Munyongani of Gweru
Bishop Francis Alleyne, O.S.B., of Georgetown
Bishop Pedro Maria Laxague, auxiliary of Bahia Blanca, president of the Comisión Episcopal de Laicos y Familia
Archbishop Jose Maria Arancedo of Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz, president of the Episcopal Conference
Cardinal Mario Aurelio Poli, archbishop of Buenos Aires
Bishop Braulio SAEZ GARCIA, O.C.D., auxiliary of Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Bishop Krzysztof Janusz BIALASIK WAWROWSKA, S.V.D., of Oruro
Archbishop Sergio Da Rocha of Brasilia, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Joao Carlos Petrini of Camacari
Archbishop Geraldo Lyrio Rocha of Mariana
Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer of Sao Paulo
Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Noel Simard of Valleyfield
Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins, archbishop of Toronto
Archbishop Richard William Smith of Edmonton
Bishop Bernardo Miguel Bastres Florence, S.D.B., of Punta Arenas
Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B., archbishop of Santiago de Chile, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Pablo Emiro Salas Anteliz of Armenia
Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez, archbishop of Bogota, president of the Latin American Episcopal Council (C.E.L.AM.)
Archbishop Oscar Urbina Ortega of Villavicencio
Bishop Jose Francisco Ulloa Rojas of Cartago, president of the Comisión Episcopal para la Pastoral Familiar
Bishop Marcelo Arturo Gonzalez Amador of Santa Clara
Archbishop Antonio Arregui Yarza of Guayaquil
Archbishop Luis Gerardo Cabrera Herrera, O.F.M., of Cuenca
Bishop Constantino Barrera Morales of Sonsonate
Bishop Rodolfo Valenzuela Nunez of Vera Paz, Coban, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Yves-Marie Pean, C.S.C., of Les Gonaives
Bishop Luis Sole Fa, C.M., of Trujillo
Bishop Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez of Tehuacan
Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico
Bishop Alfonso Gerardo Miranda Guardiola, auxiliary of Monterrey
Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Guadalajara, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Cesar Bosco Vivas Robelo of Leon en Nicaragua
Bishop Anibal Saldana Santamaria, O.A.R., prelate of Bocas del Toro
Bishop Miguel Angel Cabello Almada of Concepcion en Paraguay
Archbishop Salvador Pineiro Garcia-Calderon of Ayacucho o Huamanga, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Hector Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, O.F.M., of Trujillo
Archbishop Roberto Octavio Gonzalez Nieves, O.F.M., of San Juan de Puerto Rico, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Gregorio Nicanor Pena Rodriguez of Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia en Higüey, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Joseph Edward Kurtz of Louisville, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia
Cardinal Daniel N. Di Nardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Vice president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez of Los Angeles
Bishop Jaime Rafael Fuentes Martin of Minas
Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, Santiago de Venezuela
Archbishop Diego Rafael Padron Sanchez of Cumana, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Paul Ponen Kubi, C.S.C., of Mymensingh, president of Episcopal Family Life Commission
Bishop John Baptist Lee Keh-Mien of Hsinchu
Bishop Peter Kang U-Il of Cheju
Archbishop Romulo G. Valles of Davao
Archbishop Jose S. Palma of Cebu
Bishop Gilbert A. Garcera of Daet
Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami, P.S.S., of Nagasaki, vice president of the Episcopal Conference
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, president of Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Filipe Neri Antonio Sebastiao Do Rosario Ferrao, archbishop of Goa and Damao
Bishop Selvister Ponnumuthan of Punalur
Archbishop Dominic Jala, S.D.B., of Shillong
Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardojoatmodjo of Jakarta, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Fransiskus Kopong Kung of Larantuka
Archbishop Ramzi Garmou of Teheran of the Chaldeans, patriarchal administrator of Ahwaz of the Chaldeans, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Tomasz Bernard Peta of Maria Santissima in Astana, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, apostolic vicar of Pakse, Laos
Archbishop John Wong Soo Kau of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Cardinal Charles Maung BO, S.D.B., archbishop of Yangon
His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Patriarch of JerUnited States of Americalem of the Latins, JerUnited States of Americalem, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Joseph Arshad of Faisalabad, vice president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Harold Anthony Perera of Kurunegala
Bishop Silvio Siripong Charatsri of Chanthaburi
Bishop Basílio Do Nascimento of Baucau, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc of Thanh-Pho Ho Chi Minh, Hochiminh Ville, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Joseph Dinh Duc Dao, coadjutor of Xuan Loc
Bishop George Frendo, O.P., auxiliary of Tirane-Durres
Bishop Benno Elbs of Feldkirch
Bishop Johan Jozef Bonny of Antwerpen, Anvers
Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk-Mohilev, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Tomo Vuksic, military ordinary of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bishop Gheorghi Ivanov Jovcev of Sofia and Plovdiv
Bishop Ladislav Nemet, S.V.D., of Zrenjanin, Serbia
Bishop Antun Skvorcevic of Pozega
Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, F.S.C.B., of Mother of God at Moscow, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille, president of the Episcopal Conference
Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris
Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin of Le Havre
Bishop Jean-Paul James of Nantes
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munchen und Freising
Archbishop Heiner Koch of Berlin
Bishop Franz-Josepf Hermann Bode of Osnabruck
Cardinal Vincent Gerard Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, England, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Peter John Haworth Doyle of Northampton, England
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Fragkiskos Papamanolis, O.F.M. Cap., emeritus of Syros, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin
Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, president of the Episcopal Conference
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, president of the Episcopal Conference
Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan
Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla of Novara
Bishop Enrico Solmi of Parma
Archbishop Zbig?evs Stankevics of Riga
Cardinal Audrys Juozas Backis, archbishop emeritus of Vilnius
Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo, president of the Episcopal Conference
Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht
Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki of Poznan, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop-Bishop Henryk Hoser, S.A.C., of Warszawa-Praga
Bishop Jan Franciszek Watroba of Rzeszow
Cardinal Manuel Jose Macario Do Nascimento Clemente, patriarch of Lisbon, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Antonino Eugenio Fernandes Dias of Portalegre-Castelo Branco, president of the Comissão Episcopal do Laicado e Família
Bishop Jan Vokal of Hradec Kralove
Bishop Petru Gherghel of Iasi
Bishop Teemu Sippo, S.C.I., of Helsinki
Archbishop Stanislav Zvolensky of Bratislava, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Stane Zore, O.F.M., of Ljubljana
Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez Perez, archbishop of Valladolid, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Mario Iceta Gavicagogeascoa of Bilbao
Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid
Bishop Jean-Marie Lovey, C.R.B., of Sion, Sitten
Archbishop Levon Boghos Zekiyan of Istanbul of the Armenians
Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of Lviv of the Latins, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Andras Veres of Szombathely
Bishop Daniel Eugene Hurley of Darwin
Archbishop Mark Benedict Coleridge of Brisbane
Bishop Charles Edward Drennan of Palmerston North
Archbishop Peter Loy Chong of Suva
Bishop Anton Bal of Kundiawa, representative of the Commission for Family Life
Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, S.J., prepositor general of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
Fr. Marco Tasca, O.F.M. Conv., minister general of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual
Fr. Mario Aldegani, C.S.I., superior general of the Congregation of St. Joseph (Josephites of Murialdo)
Fr. Richard Kuuia Baawobr, M.Afr., superior general of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers)
Fr. Bruno Cadore, O.P., master general of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans)
Fr. Jesus Diaz Alonso, S.F., superior general of the Sons of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Fr. Michael Brehl, C.SS.R., superior general of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists or Liguorini)
Fr. Javier Álvarez-Ossorio, SS.CC., superior general of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (Picpus)
Fr. Ab. D. Jeremias Schroder, O.S.B., arch-abbot president of the Benedictine Congregation of St. Odile
B. Herve JANSON, P.F.J., prior general of the Little Brothers of Jesus (Foucauld)
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of State
Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches
Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples
Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life
Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education
Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, major penitentiary
Cardinal Dominique Mamberti, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
Archbishop-Bishop Vincenzo Paglia emeritus of Terni-Narni-Amelia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family
Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace”
Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples
Archbishop-Bishop Zygmunt Zimowski, emeritus of Radom, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers (for Health Pastoral Care)
Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture
Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications
Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation
Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy
Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, Vatican City
Cardinal Godfried Danneels, archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussel, Maniles-Bruxelles, Belgium
Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop emeritus of Milan, Italy
Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, O.P., archbishop of Vienna, president of the Episcopal Conference, Austria
Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Vatican City
Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, O.F.M., archbishop of Durban, South Africa
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., archbishop of Tegucigalpa, president of the Episcopal Conference, Honduras
Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, president of the Episcopal Conference, president of the Consilium Conferentiarum Episcoporum Europae (C.C.E.E.), Hungary.
Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy
Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain
Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, United States of America
Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, archbishop of Aparecida, Brazil
Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, archbishop of New York, United States of America
Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, archbishop of Manila, Philippines
Cardinal Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, archbishop of Quebec, Canada
Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, archbishop of Perugia-Citta della Pieve, Italy
Cardinal Philippe Nakellentuba Ouedraogo, archbishop of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Cardinal John Atcherley Dew, archbishop of Wellington, president of the Episcopal Conference, New Zealand
Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli, archbishop of Ancona-Osimo, Italy
Cardinal Alberto Suarez Inda, archbishop of Morelia, Mexico
Cardinal Francesco Montenegro, archbishop of Agrigento, Italy
Cardinal Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, S.D.B., archbishop of Montevideo, Uruguay
Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, O.A.R., bishop of David, president of the Episcopal Conference, Panama
Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, bishop of Tonga, president of the Episcopal Conference, Tonga
Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, president emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Italy
Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, Vatican City
Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo of Merida, Venezuela
Archbishop Ioannis Spiteris, O.F.M. Cap., of Corfu, Zante and Cephalonia, Greece
Archbishop Bruno Forte, archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, Italy
Archbishop Laurent Ulrich, archbishop of Lille, France
Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes, archbishop of Tlalnepantla, Mexico
Archbishop Sergio Eduardo Castriani, C.S.Sp., of Manaus, Brazil
Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, Argentina
Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, United States of America
Bishop George Vance Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, United States of America
Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy
Bishop Alonso Gerardo Garza Trevino of Piedras Negras, Mexico
Bishop Lucas Van Looy, S.D.B., of Gent (Ghent, Gand), Belgium
Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, dean of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, Vatican City
Msgr. Saulo Scarabattoli, pastor of the Santo Spirito in Porta Eburnea parish, Perugia, Italy
Fr. Roberto Rosa, pastor of the St. James the Apostle parish, Trieste, Italy
Fr. Francois-Xavier Dumortier, S.J., Magnificent Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy
Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., editor of the journal “La Civilta Cattolica”,Italy
Fr. Manuel Jesúìus Arroba Conde, C.M.F., Spain, head of the Faculty of utrusque iure of the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome.
Bishop Fabio Fabene, Vatican City
Fr. Matías Auge Benet, C.M.F., Consultor of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Spain
Professor Giacomo Bertolini, associate professor of canon and ecclesiastical law at the University of Padua, Treviso Section; visiting professor at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, Italy
Fr. Giuseppe Bonfrate, lecturer at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy
Msgr. Philippe Bordeyne, rector of the Institut Catholique de Paris, France
Msgr. Lluis Clavell, ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, Spain
Msgr. Duarte Nuno Queiroz De Barros Da Cunha, secretary general of the Consilium Conferentiarum Episcoporum Europae (C.C.E.E.), Portugal
Mr. Leopold Djogbede, professor at the University of Abomey-Calavi and at the Higher Institute Specialist Teacher Training, Benin
Fr. Bruno Esposito, O.P., ordinary professor of canon law at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Italy
Dr. John Grabowski, Spain, professor of moral theology at the School of Theology and Religious Studies, Catholic University of America, United States of America
Fr. Jose Granados, D.C.J.M., deputy director of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family
Fr. Maurizio Gronchi, ordinary professor of dogmatic at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, Italy
Dr. John Kleinsman, director of the Nathaniel Centre for Bioethics, New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Conference, New Zealand
Fr. Sabatino Majorano, C.SS.R., professor of systematic moral theology at the Alphonsianum Academy in Rome, Italy
Msgr. Michele Giulio Masciarelli, lecturer in dogmatic theology at the Marianum Faculty in Rome, and in fundamental theology at the Theological Institute of Abruzzo and Molise in Chieti, Italy
Professor Pia Matthews, lecturer at St. Mary's University College, London, Great Britain
Professor Paolo Moneta, former lecturer in canon and ecclesiastical law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Pisa, Italy
Fr. Antonio Moser, O.F.M., professor emeritus of moral and ethical theology at the Franciscan Theological Institute of Petropolis, Brazil
Fr. Aimable Musoni, S.D.B., Rwanda, lecturer in systematic theology, ecclesiology and ecumenism at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome
Fr. Georges Henri Ruyssen, S.J., Belgium, lecturer in the Faculty of Canon Law at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome
Fr. Peter Paul Saldanha, India, lecturer in ecclesiology at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome
Fr. Pierangelo Sequeri, director and lecturer in theology at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy, member of the International Theological Commission, Italy
Mr. and Mrs Miano, Italy:
Professor Giuseppina De Simone in Miano, lecturer in philosophy at the Theological Faculty of Southern Italy in Naples
Professor Francesco Miano, lecturer in moral philosophy at the University of Rome (Tor Vergata).
Mr. Jacob Mundaplakal Abraham, advisor for the Apostolate of the Family and Lay Organisations in the dioceses of Kerala, India
Dr. Anca Maria Cernea, physician at the Victor Babes Centre for Diagnosis and Treatment and president of the Association of Catholic Doctors of Bucharest, Romania
Ms. Sharron Cole, president of the Parents Centres New Zealand, New Zealand
Ms. Agnes Offiong Erogunaye, national president of the Catholic Women's Organisation of Nigeria, Nigeria
Fr. Garas Boulos Garas Bishay, pastor of the Virgin Mary Queen of Peace parish, Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt
Professor Giovanni Giacobbe, member of the Union of Italian Catholic Jurists, Italy
Ms. Maria Gomes, head of parish family pastoral ministry in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Ms. Maria Harries, national director for family pastoral care and preparation for marriage; member of the National Commission for Abuse of Minors, Australia
S. Maureen Kelleher, religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, member of the International Union of Superiors General (U.I.S.G.), United States of America
Mr. Brenda Kim Nayoug, pastoral worker for young people and young married couples, Korea
Professor Maria Marcela Mazzini, lecturer in theology at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, Argentina
Ms. Moira McQueen, director of the Canadian Catholic Institute of Bioethics, Canada
Ms. Therese Nyirabukeye, advisor and formator for the African Federation of Family Action (FAAF), Rwanda
S. Berta Maria Porras Fallas, head of Family Pastoral Care of the Tertiary Capuchin Sisters of the Holy Family, Member of the International Union of Superiors General (U.I.S.G.), Costa Rica
S. Carmen Sammut, S.M.N.D.A., president of the International Union of Superiors General (U.I.S.G.), Malta
Professor Lucia Scaraffia, former lecturer in contemporary history at the University of Rome La Sapienza; coordinator of the monthly of the L'Osservatore Romano “Donne Chiesa Mondo”, Italy
Dr. Edgar Humberto Tejada Zeballos, physician and specialist in bioethics; member of the Episcopal Commission for the Family of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, Peru.
Mr. and Mrs. Bajaj, India
Mrs. Penny and Mr. Ishwar Bajaj, Hindu-Christian couple from the diocese of Mumbai, India
Mr. and Mrs. Buch, Germany
Sig.ra Petra Buch, diocesan family pastoral worker
Dr. Aloys Johann Buch, professor of moral theology at the Interdiocesan Major Seminary of St. Lambert; permanent deacon of the diocese of Aachen
Mr. and Mrs. Diaz Victoria, Colombia
Mrs. Isabel Botia de Diaz and Mr. Humberto Diaz Victoria, members of the National Commission for the Family of the Episcopal Conference; pastoral directors of the Hombres y Mujeres de futuro Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Galindo, Mexico
Mrs. Gertrudiz Clara Rubio De Galindo and Mr. Andres Salvador Galindo Lopez, executive secretaries of the Episcopal Commission for the Family of the Episcopal Conference; secretaries of CELAM for the Mexico-Central America zone
Mr. and Mrs. Gay Montalvo, Spain
Mrs. María Monserrat Rosell Torrus De Gay Montalvo, member of the marriage group of the parish of St. Francis de Sales in Barcelona
Mr. Eugenio Gay Montalvo, former Magistrate of the Constitutional Court of Spain; former member of the diocesan Pastoral Council of Barcelona
Mr. and Mrs. Kola, Cameroon
Mrs. Aicha Marianne Kenne Sob Kola and Mr. Irenee KOLA, members of the African Federation of Family Action (FAAF); marriage and family counsellors
Mr. and Mrs. Marqus Odeesho, Iraq
Mrs. Suhaila Salim Toma and Mr. Wisam Marqus Odeesho, pastoral workers in the Chaldean parish of St. George in Baghdad
Mr. and Mrs. Matassoni, Italy
Mrs. Marialucia Zecchini and Mr. Marco Marassoni, members of the Commission for family pastoral care in the archdiocese of Trento
Mr. and Mrs. Mignonat, France
Mrs. Nathalie Mignonat and Mr. Christian Mignonat, members of the movement Equipes Reliance for remarried divorcees, founder members of the group SEDIRE for receiving and accompanying civilly married couples
Mr. and Mrs. Nkosi, South Africa
Mrs. Buysile Patronella Nkosi and Mr. Meshack Jabulani Nkosi, members of the Advisory Committee for the National Family Desk of the Southern African Episcopal Catholic Bishops' Conference.
Mr. and Mrs. Paloni, Italy
Mrs. Patrizia Calabrese and Mr. Massimo Paloni, couple involved in family missionary pastoral work
Mr. and Mrs. Pulikowski, Poland
Mrs. Jadwiga Pulikowska and Mr. Jacek Pulikowski, advisors of the Council for Family Pastoral Care of the archdiocese of Poznan
Mr. and Mrs. De Rezende, Brazil
Mrs. Ketty Abaroa De Rezende and Dr. Pedro Jussieu De Rezende, lecturers at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, engaged in family pastoral work
Mr. and Mrs. Rojas, Colombia
Mrs. Maria Angelica Rojas, engaged in family pastoral work, and Mr. Luis Haydn Rojas Martinez, director of the department of Ethics and Humanity at the La gran Colombia University
Mr. and Mrs. Salloum, Lebanon
Mrs. Souheila Rizk Salloum, lecturer in psychology at the USEK.
Mr. Georges Fayez Salloum, expert on the Maronite Patriarchal Synod
Mr. and Mrs. Villafania, Philippines
Mrs. María Socorro Ocampo Villafania, former lecturer in theology at the Assumption College; collaborator with the Salesian Sisters in the preparation of catechists
Mr. Nelson Silvestre Villafania, collaborator with the Evangelion Foundation in Manila
Mr. and Mrs. Witczak, United States of America
Mrs. Catherine Wally Witczak and Mr. Anthony Paul Witczak, directors of Worldwide Marriage Encounter International Ecclesial Team.
Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops
Bishop Fabio Fabene
Msgr. John Anthony Abruzzese
Msgr. Etienne Brocard
Msgr. Daniel Estivill
Fr. Ambrogio Ivan Samus
Fr. Raffaele Lanzilli, S.J.
Fr. Pasquale Bua
Ms. Paola Volterra Toppano
Dr. Federica Vivian
Mr. Pietro Camilli
Mr. Andrea Cimino
Msgr. Zvonimir Sersic of the diocesis of Krk, Croatia
Fr. Giuseppe Deodato of the diocesis of Rome, Italy
Fr. Edouard Akom, Cameroon
Sem. Francesco Argese, Italy
Fr. Emmanuel Ayo, Philippines
Fr. Alexis Bavugamenshi, Burundi
Fr. Diac. Jean-Baptiste Bienvenu, France
Fr. Zvonko Brezovski, Croatia
Fr. Diac. Vincent Chretienne, France
Fr. Emmanuel De Ruyver, Belgium
Fr. Gabriele Di Martino, Italy
Fr. William Donovan, United States of America
Fr. Kim D'Souza, Canada
Fr. Georges Eko, Cameroon
Fr. Edgar Estrada, Mexico
Fr. Jonathan Flemings, L.C., United States of America
Fr. Cesar Garcia Salazar, Mexico
Fr. Javier Gaxiola Loustaunau, L.C., Mexico
Fr. Tiago Gurgel Do Vale, Brazil
Fr. Juan Iniesta Saez, Spain
Fr. Miroslaw Juchno, Poland
Fr. Thomas Kallikat, India
Fr. P. Laurent Mazas, F.S.J., France
Fr. Boniface Mungai, Kenya
Fr. Brian Needles, United States of America
Fr. Stephen Prisk, United States of America
Fr. Luis Ramirez Almanra, L.C., Mexico
Fr. Carlos Rodriguez Blanco, Spain
Fr. Roberto Secchi, Italy
Sem. Mattia Seu, Italy
Fr. Jhonny Tannoury, Lebanon
Sem. Liviu-Nicolae Ursu, Romania
Sem. Gabriele Vecchione, Italy
Fr. Biasgiu Virgitti, France.
Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, Vatican City
Fr. Ciro Benedettini, C.P., deputy director of the Holy See Press Office, Vatican City
Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., Chief Executive Officer of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, Canada
Ms. Romilda Ferrauto, director of the French Section of Vatican Radio
Fr. Bernard Hagenkord, S.J., director of the German Section of Vatican Radio
Fr. Manuel Dorantes, parish priest, archdiocese of Chicago, United States of America.
Ecumenical Patriarchate
His Eminence Stephanos, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Estonia, Estonia
Patriarchate of Moscow
His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, president of the Department for External Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow, Russian Federation
Serbian Patriarchate
His Eminence Andrej, Metropolitan of Austria-Switzerland, Austria
Orthodox Church of Romania
His Eminence Iosif, Metropolitan of Western Europe, France
Orthodox Church of Albania
Bishop Andon of Kruja, Albania
Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
His Eminence Bishoy, Metropolitan of Damietta, Kafr Elsheikh and Elbarari, Egypt
Syriac-Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East
His Eminence Mar Youstinos Boulos, archbishop of Zahle and Bekaa, Lebanon
Anglican Communion
The Very Reverend Timothy Thornton, Bishop of Truro, Great Britain
World Lutheran Federation
The Very Reverend Ndanganeni Petrus Phaswana, bishop emeritus of the Evangelical Church in South Africa, South Africa
World Methodist Council
Rev. Dr. Tim MacQuiban, director of the ecumenical office of the Methodist Church in Rome, Italy
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Dr. Robert K. Welsh, president of the Council of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), United States of America
World Baptist Alliance
Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of the Baptist Churches in the United States of America, United States of America
Ecumenical Council of Churches
Rev. Dr. Walter Altmann, Brazil
World Evangelical Alliance
The Very Reverend Thomas Schirrmacher, president of the Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance, Germany.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 15 September 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop James Vann Johnston of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, United States of America, as bishop of Kansas City-Saint Joseph (area 39,361, population 2,524,329, Catholics 130,500, priests 171, permanent deacons 62, religious 276), United States of America.

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