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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Catholic News World : Wed. October 21, 2015 - SHARE

 2015

Wow Muslim Mother blesses her Son after Ordination as Catholic Priest - SHARE



Siti Asiyah, a Muslim mother, accepted his son, Robertus B Asiyanto, to be inaugurated as a priest in Ledalero Maumere, October 10, 2015. Image: katolikkita.com 
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Robertus Belarminus Asiyanto, 31, was one of the 11 newly ordained priests from SVD (Societas Verbi Divini) order. He received his priestly ordonation on October 10, at St. Paul Ledalero Seminary, Maumere, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara. Yanto, so he is called, is a new internet sensation, as a picture of his ordination surfaced in public. Yanto was accompanied by his mother, Siti Asiyah, notably a Muslim.
Previously, Father Hubertus Tenga SVD, Mission Secretary of SVD Ende Province had posted a picture of the priestly ordonation in his Facebook account. He then received a number of feedbacks from both foreign and national media, in light of Asiyanto’s ordonation.
“Amid massive religious clash around the globe, Mama Asiyah serves as a real example of inter-religious action,” he said.
“She is a remarkable mother. She raised her son and gave him freedom to become a priest,” said Father Leo Kleden, Superior Provincial of SVD Ende Province. “Everyone applauded Siti Asiyah, who was in tears as she witnessed her son’s ordination.” Siti Asiyah was a transmigrant from Java. She gave birth to Asiyanto in Flores, before having left by her husband at some point of her life. Asiyanto spent her early childhood in Catholic neighborhood. "He has been a Catholic since he was a kid, probably since he was in primary school," said Leo. Asiyanto then proceeded to seminary education and decided to become a priest.
Prior to the priestly ordonation, Asiyanto asked his mother for a permission. "Follow your heart," said his mother, as cited by Father Leo. Shared from TempoCoAGUSTINA WIDIARSI | REZKI ALVIONITASARI

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. October 21, 2015


Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 475


Reading 1ROM 6:12-18

Brothers and sisters:
Sin must not reign over your mortal bodies
so that you obey their desires.
And do not present the parts of your bodies to sin
as weapons for wickedness,
but present yourselves to God as raised from the dead to life
and the parts of your bodies to God
as weapons for righteousness.
For sin is not to have any power over you,
since you are not under the law but under grace.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law
but under grace?
Of course not!
Do you not know that if you present yourselves
to someone as obedient slaves,
you are slaves of the one you obey,
either of sin, which leads to death,
or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
But thanks be to God that, although you were once slaves of sin,
you have become obedient from the heart
to the pattern of teaching to which you were entrusted.
Freed from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness.

Responsorial PsalmPS 124:1B-3, 4-6, 7-8

R. (8a) Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Had not the LORD been with us,
let Israel say, had not the LORD been with us–
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive;
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept the raging waters.
Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us
a prey to their teeth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
We were rescued like a bird
from the fowlers’ snare;
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

AlleluiaMT 24:42A, 44

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stay awake!
For you do not know when the Son of Man will come.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said,
“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”
And the Lord replied,
“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
‘My master is delayed in coming,’
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant’s master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master’s will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

Latest #News of #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis at #Synod15


21-10-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 184 

Summary
- Fidelity to the promise, a work of art
- The Circuli Minori conclude their examination of the Instrumentum Laboris
- Declaration by the director of the Holy See Press Office
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
- Listen to women, say auditors to Synod Fathers
- Audiences
Fidelity to the promise, a work of art
Vatican City, 21 October 2015 (VIS) – This morning Pope Francis held his usual Wednesdaygeneral audience in St. Peter's Square. In his catechesis, in which he revisited the theme of the family, he reflected on faithfulness and the promise of love between a man and a woman, on which the family is based, and which implies the promise to welcome and educate children, to care for elderly parents and the weakest members of the family, and to help each other to develop their own qualities and to accept their limitations.
 “A family that closes up on itself is a contradiction, a mortification of the promise that brought it to life”, he said. “Never forget that the identity of the family is always a promise that extends and expands to all the family, and also to all humanity. … Love, like friendship, owes its strength and beauty to the fact that it generates a bond without curbing freedom. Love is free, the promise of the family is free, and this is its beauty. Without freedom there is no friendship, without freedom there is no love, without freedom there is no marriage. So, freedom and fidelity are not opposed to each other; on the contrary, they support each other, in terms of both interpersonal and social relationships. Indeed, think of the damage caused, in the civilisation of global communication, by the inflation of promises not kept, in various fields, and the indulgence for infidelity to the word given and to commitments made”.
“Being faithful to promises is a true work of art by humanity”, added Pope Francis. “No relationship of love – no friendship, no form of caring for another person, no joy of the common good – reaches the height of our desire and our hope, if it does not arrive at the point of inhabiting this miracle of the soul. And I use the word 'miracle', because the strength and persuasiveness of fidelity, in spite of everything, can only enchant and surprise us. … No school can teach the truth of love, if the family does not do so. No law can imposed the beauty or legacy of this treasure of human dignity, if the personal bond between love and generation does not inscribe it in our flesh”.
 “Our fidelity to our promises is always entrusted to the grace and mercy of God. Love for the human family, in good times and bad, is a point of honour for the Church. May God enable us always to be worthy of this promise”.
The Circuli Minori conclude their examination of the Instrumentum Laboris
Vatican City, 21 October 2015 (VIS) – On Monday and Tuesday this week the Synod Fathers examined the third part of the Instrumentum Laboris, which deals with, among other themes, irregular family situations, admission of divorced and remarried faithful to communion, the pastoral care of homosexuals, and responsible parenthood.
The working groups analyses the special needs of families in irregular or difficult situations, acknowledging, as affirmed by the English-speaking group C whose rapporteur is Archbishop Mark Benedict Coleridge, that “those cohabiting are in a quite different situation from those who are divorced and civilly remarried. We also agreed that cohabitation, though very widespread in many cultures now, could not be considered a good in itself. We were prepared to recognise that there may be good in the relationship of those cohabiting rather than in cohabitation in some quasi-institutional sense”.
“We know that that are many other families who feel they are far from the ideal model, and others who to a greater or lesser extent do not even think it is for them”, comments the French group represented by Bishop Laurent Ulrich. “Divided families, mixed families, single parent families, families without marriage, even civil only; we cannot reject them, and we do not wish to think that their path does not lead them to God, Who loves and draws all people towards Him. We believe that in them we see the Spirit of the Lord Who inspires much of their behaviour in their lives, and this detracts nothing from Christian families whom we support and encourage”.
With regard to the divorced and civilly remarried, there is general agreement about the need to provide more effective pastoral accompaniment for these couples, and especially for their children who also have rights. Some groups express perplexity, however, in relation to what the Instrumentum Laboris refers to as a “a penitential path”. “It is not clear to name the journey taken by the divorced and remarried as a 'penitential path'”, remarks the Spanish-speaking group represented by Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo. “Perhaps it would be better to speak about itineraries of reconciliation, as there are some irreversible situations that cannot be subject to a penitential path without the possibility of overcoming this”.
“It would appear that, with regard to the issue of closeness, we are all in agreement, but what happens when we consider access to the sacraments?” asked the Spanish-speaking group whose rapporteur is Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, O.A.R. “Without doubt, we need to set in motion a generous movement removing many of the obstacles from the way so that divorced and remarried faithful can participate more widely in the life of the Church: at the moment they cannot be godparents, they cannot be catechists, and they are not able to teach religion. … We must show that we are listening to the cry of many people who suffer and who call to participate as fully as possible in the life of the Church”.
“With regard to the discipline of remarried divorcees, at present it is not possible to establish general criteria covering all cases, which are very diverse”, observes the Italian group represented by Cardinal Maurizio Piacenza. “There are divorced and remarried faithful who apply themselves to following the path of the Gospel, offering significant witness of charity. At the same time, it is undeniable that in some circumstances, factors are present that limit the possibilities of acting differently. As a consequence, the judgement on an objective situation cannot be assumed in the judgement on subjective 'impunity'. The limits and conditions thus become an appeal to discernment – primarily on the part of the bishop – which must be accurate and respect the complexity of such situations”.
The English group A, whose rapporteur is Archbishop Joseph Edward Kurtz, expresses the view that “pastoral practice concerning admission to the Sacrament of the Eucharist by the divorced and civilly remarried ought not to be left to individual episcopal conferences. To do so would risk harm to the unity of the Catholic Church, the understanding of her sacramental order, and the visible witness of the life of the faithful”.
The English group represented by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin requests that “the Holy Father, taking into account the rich material which has emerged during this synodal process, consider establishing during the Jubilee Year of Mercy a Special Commission to study in depth the ways in which the disciplines of the Church which flow from the indissolubility of marriage apply to the situation of people in irregular unions, including situations arising from the practice of polygamy”.
There are many references to this issue in St. John Paul II's encyclical “Familiaris consortio”.
The condition of homosexual persons is considered primarily from the perspective of the family context. The English group C insists that “we address this issue as pastors, seeking to understand the reality of people's lives rather than issues in some more abstract sense”. The group also asks that “the final document include at an appropriate point a clear statement of Church teaching that same-sex unions are in no way equivalent to marriage”.
On the same issue, the English group A reiterates that “the Church as the spouse of Christ patterns her behaviour after the Lord Jesus, Whose all-embracing love is offered to every person without exception. Parents and siblings of family members with homosexual tendencies are called to love and accept these members of their family with an undivided and understanding heart”.
Some Fathers suggest that the issue be eliminated from the discussions in this Synod as its importance would call for a specific Synod on the matter.
The theme of responsible parenthood has given rise to lively exchange, and is of great current importance in relation to the dignity of the person and of life. The working groups also considered mixed marriage, and called for greater pastoral focus on the defence of women and children in precarious situations.
With regard to the Synod methodology, the French group represented by Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher writes, “like agronomists who talk about different methods of irrigation, we have talked about the method of our Synod. Is it well-suited to its purpose? We expend an enormous amount of energy, from all points of view. People are exhausted from the work they are doing. Will the result be worth the effort? Perhaps we could have identified some specific themes to examine between the two Synods, so as to have more time to study. Will Pontifical Commissions be appointed to carry out the work we hope will be done? … We have enjoyed the greater amount of time given to us in small groups. From our exchanges, there strongly emerges the ministry of communion that is ours as bishops”.
“The theme of mercy has run throughout the Synod, challenging our pastoral ministry”, concludes the Italian group B. “We are aware that the mystery of the Incarnation fully expresses the salvific will of God. This divine determination has also been entrusted to our mission and to the sacramental means that find their true hermeneutic in the sense of being an appeal to conversion, support, a medicine and an aid for our salvation”.
Declaration by the director of the Holy See Press Office
Vatican City, 21 October 2015 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., issued the following statement this morning:
“The circulation of entirely unfounded news regarding the health of the Holy Father by an Italian newspaper is gravely irresponsible and unworthy of attention. Furthermore, as is clearly evident, the Pope is carrying out his very intense activity in an totally normal way”.
Subsequently, during a briefing on the Synod, he added the following further information:
“I fully confirm my previous statement, having verified the facts with the appropriate sources, including the Holy Father.
No Japanese doctor has visited the Pope in the Vatican and there have been no examinations of the type indicated in the article. The competent offices have confirmed that there have been no arrivals of external parties in the Vatican by helicopter; similarly, there were no arrivals of this type during the month of January.
 I am able to confirm that the Pope is in good health.
I reiterate that the publication of this false information is a grave act of irresponsibility, absolutely inexcusable and unconscionable. It would be equally unjustifiable to continue to fuel similarly unfounded information. It is hoped, therefore, that this matter be closed immediately”.
Audiences
Vatican City, 21 October 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, president of the Department for External Ecclesiastical Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 21 October 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Fr. Henrique Aparecido De Lima, C.SS.R., as bishop of Dourados (area 38,125, population 535,000, Catholics 375,000, priests 59, permanent deacons 11, religious 154), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Toledo, Brazil in 1964, gave his religious vows in 1995 and was ordained a priest in 1999. He has served in a number of pastoral roles including parish vicar, pastor and administrator of the diocese of Jardim, and deputy provincial of the Redemptorists. He is currently superior of the Redemptorist Province of Campo Grande. He succeeds Bishop Redovino Rizzardo, C.S., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- Fr. Jose Reginaldo Andrietta as bishop of Jales (area 12,788, population 400,000, Catholics 323,000, priests 36, religious 15), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Pirassununga, Brazil in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1983. He holds a master's degree in catechesis from the Institut de Catechese et Pastorale Lumen Vitae in Brussels, Belgium and a licentiate in pastoral theology from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. He has served in a number of pastoral, academic and administrative roles in the diocese of Limeira, Brazil and in Brussels, Belgium, including parish vicar, parish priest, professor of pastoral theology and member of the presbyteral council. He is currently pastor of the “Sao Judas Tadeu” parish in Americana. He succeeds Bishop Luiz Demetrio Valentini, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- Msgr. Paulo Bosi Dal'Bo as bishop of Sao Mateus (area 15,496, population 469,000, Catholics 335,000, priests 46, religious 49), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Colatina, Brazil in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 2000. He holds a degree in accounting sciences and master's degrees in social communications and psychology of education. He has served in a number of roles in the diocese of Colatina, including director of the “Nossa Senhora Mae dos Pobres” house of formation, parish vicar and parish administrator, pastor, rector of the diocesan seminary and president of the Organisation of Seminaries and Philosophical and Theological Institutes in Brazil. He is currently vicar general of the diocese and parish priest.
20-10-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 183 

Listen to women, say auditors to Synod Fathers
Vatican City, October 2015 (VIS) – The role of the woman in the family, in society and in the Church, cultural differences, concerns regarding ethics in medicine, the situation of persecuted Christian families and the testimonies of those engaged in family catechesis were main themes of the interventions by auditors in the Synod Hall during the general congregations of Thursday 15 and Friday 16 October, published today.
The national president of the Catholic Women Organisation in Nigeria, Agnes Offiong Erogunaye, reminded the Synod Fathers that African women are known for taking care of their families with or without the contributions of their spouses, and the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria indicates the strength and role of “a typical woman and mother determined to keep her family together in the face of helplessness and calamity”. She added, “From my experience with women in this difficult moment, I can boldly say that although the man is the head of the family, the woman is however the heart of the family, and when the heart stops beating the family dies because the foundation is shaken and the stability destroyed. In Nigeria, Catholic women are not just homebuilders. They are a strong force to be reckoned with when it comes to spirituality and economy, and growth in the Church”.
Sister Maureen Kelleher from the United States of America quoted the paragraph in the Instrumentum laboris that states, “The Church must instil in families a sense of 'we' in which no member is forgotten. Everyone ought to be encouraged to develop their skills and accomplish their personal plan of life in service of the Kingdom of God”. She called upon the Church, “my family”, to “live up to the challenge to instil in our family the Church a sense of 'we', to encourage each person – male or female – to develop their skills to serve the Kingdom of God”. She added, “I ask our Church leaders to recognise how many women who feel called to be in service of the Kingdom of God but cannot find a place in our Church. Gifted though some may be, they cannot bring their talents to the tables of decision making and pastoral planning. They must go elsewhere to be of service in building the Kingdom of God. In 1974, at the Synod on Evangelisation, one of our sisters, Margaret Mary, was one of two nuns appointed from the Union of Superiors General. Today, forty years later, we are three”.
“The Church needs to listen to women … as only in reciprocal listening does true discernment function”, emphasised Lucetta Scaraffia, professor of Modern History at the University of Rome. “Women are great experts in the family: leaving abstract theories behind, we can turn in particular to women to understand what must be done, and how we can lay the foundations for a new family open to respect for all its members, no longer based on the exploitation on the capacity for sacrifice of the woman, but instead ensuring emotional nourishment and solidarity for all. Instead, both in the text and in the contributions very little is said about women, about us. As if mothers, daughters, grandmothers, wives – the heart of families – were not a part of the Church, of the Church who encompasses the world, who thinks, who decides. As if it were possible to continue, even in relation to the family, pretending that women do not exist. As if it were possible to continue to forget the new outlook, the previously unheard-of and revolutionary relationship that Jesus had with women”.
“Families throughout the world are very diverse, but in all of them the women play the most important and decisive role in guaranteeing that their solidity and duration. And when we speak about families, we should not speak always and only about marriage. There is a growing number of families composed of a single mother and her children. It is almost always women who stay by their children's side, even when they are ill, disabled or afflicted by violence. These women and mothers have seldom followed courses in theology, and often they are not even married, but they offer an admirable example of Christian behaviour. If you, Synod Fathers, do not pay attention to them, if you do not listen to them, you risk making them feel even more disgraced as their family is so different to the one you focus on. Indeed, you talk too readily of an abstract family, a perfect family that does not exist, a family that has nothing to do with the real families Jesus encountered or spoke about. Such a perfect family would almost seem not to be in need of His mercy or His Word: 'I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance'”.
The issue of mixed marriages also attracted attention, as mentioned by Rev. Fr. Garas Boulos Garas Bishay, pastor of St. Mary of Peace in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, who expressed his concern for a socio-cultural phenomenon widespread in tourist areas such as that of his parish: “mixed marriages between Christian girls and women from Russia and Europe, with Muslim boys and men (indeed, Islamic Shariah only allows Muslim men to marry women of other religions and never the contrary). Certainly this phenomenon, along with the mass demographic shift and a growing number of refugees and migrants who tend to settle in Europe, does not only affect countries with an Islamic majority or tourist areas, but will inevitably also affect the West and is therefore worthy of study and serious consideration. These are families with mixed morals and a dual cultural and religious affiliation. … It should not be forgotten that Islamic law permits polygamy and the Koran obliges the parents to the provide an Islamic education for the children. There is a profoundly different cultural and religious anthropology that may easily give rise to serious crises within the couple, even leading to irreparable fractures and grave consequences for the children”.
Maria Harries, Chair of Catholic Social Services in Australia, also spoke about cultural diversity, providing the example of the very marginalised Aboriginal people, which comprise many language groups and family traditions. “For most of them, the idea of the family as it is represented by our Church teaching is alien. For some, the matrilineal system means that they have many mothers. The child is reared in a kinship group, not by a mother and father. Women play a dynamic role in their kinship world and they expect them to be visible. In the words of one of the aboriginal leaders, 'By not having women visible on the Altar and in the life of the Church, we are concealing our mothers, our sisters and our daughters from view'. In welcoming the Gospel, they ask not to be recolonised by our Church as they have been by our nation's forebears. The challenge for our Church is to formally and institutionally incorporate cross-cultural dialogue and adopt systems with indigenous Australians that honour and do not violate their culture”.
Harries, who has worked for forty years with people who have experienced sexual abuse in the family and for the last twenty with those who have been abused by members of the clergy, affirmed that “all sexual abuse is connected to the abuse of power. … The horrific evidence of abuse of children in families and institutions and our failure to respond adequately to this has left the Church in Australia and of course elsewhere in very deep pain. … In the words of Pope Francis, as we all pray for and 'receive the grace of shame', we need local and collective ways of meeting all these victims and their families and each other in our garden of agony and to listen deeply, very deeply. From our failings and the accompanying pain, we have the opportunity to learn collectively and perhaps even doctrinally, and to re-engage with and accompany the thousands of families whom we have lost”.
Brenda Kim Nayoug spoke of what is referred to in South Korea as the “Sampo generation”, or rather, the generation that chooses to forego courtship, marriage and childbirth. “Many of the young generation have given up these three things because of their social pressures and economic problems. There are so many young people who are suffering due to unemployment, they unfortunately postpone their marriage, and forget that marriage is a calling given by God. Dear Fathers”, she exclaimed, “married life is a long journey. There might be lots of possibilities to get lost or to be wounded on their journey of life, therefore the Church should open up and truly accompany us at the various stages of our married life, so that we do not give up but instead find for ourselves the beauty of the Christian family”.
A recurrent theme in the interventions was that of married sexuality and ethics in medicine. The Peruvian paediatrican Edgar Humberto Tejada Zeballos remarked that “there are couples who believe that having a child is a right, without considering that children are a gift from God, and resort to measures that aside from violating morality, cost innocent lives, such as in vitro fertilisation, in which many embryos are eliminated, burned, frozen or sold. They also consider practices such as surrogacy and other means that … denying morality, cause the sacrifice of a great number of embryos without mercy or use them in experiments. Holy Father, I believe that in the working document, in paragraphs 140 and 141 these threats to life and to the family could be mentioned clearly, to transmit this knowledge to many Christians who commit these immoral acts out of ignorance”.
Massimo and Patrizia Paloni, a married couple from Rome and members of the Neocatechumenal Way, are the parents of twelve children and are currently in mission in Holland to announce the Gospel to the “existential peripheries of Europe”. They expressed their gratitude to Paul VI for the encyclical Humanae Vitae, which helped them understand that “responsible parenthood is not about deciding the number of children, but rather about being aware of the greatness of the vocation to collaborate with God in the creation of sons and daughters for eternity”, adding that “every day around us we see suffering, separations, abortions, and lonely people without hope. The world is awaiting the witness of the Christian family, and we are convinced that the salvation of humanity is through the Christian family. … The Christian community saves the family, and the family saves the Church”.
Sister Berta Maria Porras Fallas of Costa Rica insisted on the need for formation for “vocational realisation”, and proposed three priorities in youth pastoral ministry. “First, love in discernment, with the themes of formation for discernment and discerning the mission. Secondly, loving as a couple, man and woman, with the analysis of current issues. And finally, loving as sexual giving, with the theme of human sexuality as a gift, conjugal love and daring to love”.
Finally, the Marqus-Odeesho couple, on behalf of families in Iraq, told how the Christians of Nineveh have found themselves having to leave their homes, jobs, memories, possessions and schools overnight. “The new experience was very harsh”, they said. “Only the words of our Lord Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew – 'Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven' – condole us and relieve our wounds; thus we started to hear testimonies of some displaced families giving their experience, saying that despite the suffering and harshness of displacement, getting closer to the Church helped them lot and they started to feel that their faith was strengthening and maturing, and they began sharing in spiritual activities. … Today the challenges continue through events such as kidnapping, bombing, robbery and terror. But in spite of this situation there are still many families who are committed to their land and their Church, giving testimony to their faith without realising that this persecution will bring a lot of good to the Church of Christ, as it did for the early Church, in spreading the good news”.
Audiences
Vatican City, 20 October 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, major archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malabars, India.
- His Beatitude Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts, Egypt.

Saint October 21 : St. Hilarion of Gaza : Hermit


St. Hilarion
ABBOT
Feast: October 21
Information:
Feast Day:
October 21
Born:
291 at Gaza, Palestine
Died:
371 at Cyprus

Hilarion was born in a little town called Tabatha, five miles to the south of Gaza; he sprang like a rose out of thorns, his parents being idolaters. He was sent by them very young to Alexandria to study grammar, when, by his progress in learning, he gave great proofs of his wit, for which, and his good temper and dispositions, he was exceedingly beloved by all that knew him. Being brought to the knowledge of the Christian faith, he was baptized and became immediately a new man, renouncing all the mad sports of the circus and the entertainments of the theatre, and taking no delight but in the churches and assemblies of the faithful. Having heard of St. Antony, whose name was famous in Egypt, he went into the desert to see him. Moved by the example of his virtue he changed his habit and stayed with him two months, observing his manner of life, his fervour in prayer, his humility in receiving the brethren, his severity in reproving them, his earnestness in exhorting them, and his perseverance in austerities. But not being able to bear the frequent concourse of those who resorted to St. Antony to be healed of diseases or delivered from devils, and being desirous to begin to serve God like St. Antony in perfect solitude, he returned with certain monks into his own country. Upon his arrival there, finding his father and mother both dead, he gave part of his goods to his brethren and the rest to the poor, reserving nothing for himself.
He was then but fifteen years of age, this happening about the year 307. He retired into a desert seven miles from Majuma, toward Egypt, between the seashore on one side and certain fens on the other. His friends forewarned him that the place was notorious for murders and robberies, but his answer was that he feared nothing but eternal death. Everybody admired his fervour and extraordinary manner of life. In the beginning of his retirement certain robbers who lurked in those deserts asked him what he would do if thieves and assassins came to him? He answered, "The poor and naked fear no thieves." "But they may kill you," said they. "It is true," said the holy man, "and for this very reason I am not afraid of them, because it is my endeavour to be always prepared for death." So great fervour and resolution in one so young and so tender as our saint was both surprising and edifying to all who knew him. His constitution was so weak and delicate that the least excess of heat or cold affected him very sensibly; yet his whole clothing consisted only of a piece of sackcloth, a leather coat, which St. Antony gave him, and an ordinary short cloak. Living in solitude, he thought himself at liberty to practice certain mortifications which the respect we owe to our neighbour makes unseasonable in the world. He cut his hair only once a year, against Easter; never changed any coat till it was worn out, and never washed the sackcloth which he had once put on, saying, "It is idle to look for neatness in a hair shirt."
At his first entering on this penitential life he renounced the use of bread; and for six years together his whole diet was fifteen figs a day, which he never took till sunset. When he felt the attacks of any temptation of the flesh, being angry with himself and beating his breast, he would say to his body, "I will take order, thou little ass, that thou shalt not kick; I will feed thee with straw instead of corn; and will load and weary thee, that so thou mayest think rather how to get a little bit to eat than of pleasure." He then retrenched part of his scanty meal, and sometimes fasted three or four days without eating; and when after this he was fainting, he sustained his body only with a few dried figs and the juice of herbs. At the same time, praying and singing, he would be breaking the ground with a rake, that his labour might add to the trouble of his fasting. His employment was digging or tilling the earth, or, in imitation of the Egyptian monks, weaving small twigs together with great rushes in making baskets whereby he provided himself with the frugal necessaries of life. During the first four years of his penance he had no other shelter from the inclemencies of the weather than a little hovel or arbour which he made himself of reeds and rushes which he found in a neighbouring marsh, and which he had woven together. Afterwards he built himself a little cell, which was still to be seen in St. Jerome's time; it was but four feet broad and five feet in height, and was a little longer than the extent of his body, so that a person would have rather taken it for a grave than a house. During the course of his penance he made some alteration in his diet, but never in favour of his appetites. From the age of twenty-one he for three years lived on a measure which was little more than half a pint of pulse steeped in cold water a-day; and for the next three years his whole food was dry bread with salt and water. From his twenty-seventh year to his thirty-first he ate only wild herbs and raw roots; and from thirty-one to thirty-five he took for his daily food six ounces of barley bread a day, to which he added a few kitchen herbs, but half boiled and without oil. But perceiving his sight to grow dim and his body to be subject to an itching with an unnatural kind of scurf and roughness, he added a little oil to this diet. Thus he went on till his sixty-fourth year when, conceiving by the decay of his strength that his death was drawing near, he retrenched even his bread, and from that time to his eightieth year his whole meal never exceeded five ounces. When he was fourscore years of age there were made for him little weak broths or gruels of flour and herbs, the whole quantity of his meat and drink scarce amounting to the weight of four ounces. Thus he passed his whole life; and he never broke his fast till sunset, not even upon the highest feasts or in his greatest sickness.
Anyone who considers the condition of man in this state of trial and the malice of the enemy of our salvation will easily conceive that our saint did not pass all these years, nor arrive at so eminent a degree of virtue and sanctity, without violent temptations and assaults from the infernal spirit; in all which he was victorious by the assistance of omnipotent grace. Sometimes his soul was covered with a dark cloud, and his heart was dry and oppressed with bitter anguish; but the deafer heaven seemed to his cries on such occasions, the louder and the more earnestly he persevered knocking. To have dropped the shield of prayer under these temptations would have been to perish. At other times his mind was haunted and his imagination filled with impure images, or with the vanities of the theatre and circus. The phantoms of the enemy St. Hilarion dissipated by casting himself upon his knees and signing his forehead with the cross of Christ; and, being enlightened and strengthened by a supernatural grace, he discovered his snares, and never suffered himself to be imposed upon by the artifices by which that subtle fiend strove to withdraw him from holy prayer, in which the saint spent the days and great part of the nights.
St. Hilarion had spent above twenty years in his desert when he wrought his first miracle. A certain married woman of Eleutheropolis, who was the scorn of her husband for her barrenness, sought him out in his solitude, and by her tears and importunities prevailed upon him to pray that God would bless her with fruitfulness; and before the year's end she brought forth a son, A second miracle much enhanced the saint's reputation. Elpidius, who was afterwards prefect of the praetorium, and his wife Aristeneta, returning from a visit of devotion they had made to St. Antony to receive his blessing and instructions, arrived at Gaza, where their three children fell sick, and their fever proving superior to the power of medicines they were brought to the last extremity, and their recovery despaired of by the physicians. The mother, like one distracted, addressed herself to Hilarion, who, moved by her tears, went to Gaza to visit them. Upon his invoking the holy name of Jesus by their bedside, the children fell into a violent sweat, by which they were so refreshed as to be able to eat, to know their mother, and kiss the saint's hand. Upon the report of this miracle many flocked to the saint, desiring to embrace a monastic life under his direction. Till that time neither Syria nor Palestine were acquainted with that penitential state; so that St. Hilarion was the first founder of it in those countries, as Antony had been in Egypt. Among other miraculous cures, several persons possessed by devils were delivered by our saint. The most remarkable were Marisitas, a young man of the territory about Jerusalem, so strong that he boasted he could carry seven bushels of corn; and Orion, a rich man of the city of Aila, who, after his cure, pressed the saint to accept many great presents, at least for the poor. But the holy hermit persisted obstinately to refuse touching any of them, bidding him bestow them himself. St. Hilarion restored sight to a woman of Facidia, a town near Rinocorura, in Egypt, who had been blind ten years. A citizen of Majuma, called Italicus, who was a Christian, kept horses to run in the circus against a Duumvir of Gaza, who adored Mamas, which was the great idol of Gaza, that word signifying in Syriac, Lord of men. Italicus, knowing that his adversary had recourse to spells to stop his horses, came to St. Hilarion, by whose blessing his horses seemed to fly while the others seemed fettered; upon seeing which the people cried out that Mamas was vanquished by Christ. From the model which our saint set, a great number of monasteries were founded all over Palestine. St. Hilarion visited them all on certain days before the vintage.
St. Hilarion was informed by revelation in Palestine, where he then was, of the death of St. Antony. He was then about sixty-five years old, and had been for two years much afflicted at the great number of bishops, priests, and people that were continually resorting to him, by which his contemplation was interrupted. At length, regretting the loss of that sweet solitude and obscurity which he formerly enjoyed, he resolved to leave that country, to prevent which the people assembled to the number of ten thousand to watch him. He told them he would neither eat nor drink till they let him go; and seeing him pass seven days without taking anything they left him. He then chose forty monks who were able to walk without breaking their fast (that is, without eating till after sunset), and with them he travelled into Egypt. On the fifth day he arrived at Peleusium; and in six days more at Babylon, in Egypt. Two days after he came to the city of Aphroditon, where he applied himself to the deacon Baisanes, who used to let dromedaries to those who had desired to visit St. Antony, for carrying water which they had occasion for in that desert. The saint desired to celebrate the anniversary of St. Antony's death by watching all night in the place where he died. After travelling three days in a horrible desert they came to St. Antony's mountain, where they found two monks, Isaac and Pelusius, who had been his disciples, and the first his interpreter. It was a very high steep rock of a mile in circuit, at the foot of which was a rivulet, with abundance of palm-trees on the borders. St. Hilarion walked all over the place with the disciples of St. Antony. Here it was, said they, that he sang, here he prayed; there he laboured, and there he reposed himself when he was weary. He himself planted these vines and these little trees; he tilled this piece of ground with his own hands; he dug this basin with abundance of labour, to water his garden, and he used this hoe to work with several years together. St. Hilarion laid himself upon his bed and kissed it as if it had been still warm. The cell contained no more space in length and breadth than what was necessary for a man to stretch himself in to sleep. On the top of the mountain (to which the ascent was very difficult, turning like a vine) they found two cells of the same size, to which he often retired to avoid a number of visitors and even the conversation of his own disciples: they were hewn in a rock, nothing but doors being added to them. When they came to the garden, "Do you see," said Isaac, "this little garden planted with trees and pot-herbs? About three years since a herd of wild asses coming to destroy it, he stopped one of the first of them and, striking him on the sides with his staff, said, 'Why do you eat what you did not sow?' From that time forward they only came hither to drink, without meddling with the trees or herbs." St. Hilarion asked to see the place where he was buried. They carried him to a bye place; but it is uncertain whether they showed it him or no; for they showed no grave, and only said that St. Antony had given the strictest charge that his grave should be concealed, fearing lest Pergamius, who was a very rich man in that country, should carry the body home and cause a church to be built for it.
St. Hilarion returned from this place to Aphroditon, and, retiring with only two disciples into a neighbouring desert, exercised himself with more earnestness than ever in abstinence and silence; saying, according to his custom, that he then only began to serve Jesus Christ. It had not rained in the country for three years, that is, ever since the death of St. Antony, when the people in deep affliction and misery addressed themselves to St. Hilarion, whom they looked upon as St. Antony's successor, imploring his compassion and prayers. The saint, sensibly affected with their distress, lifted up his hands and eyes to heaven, and immediately obtained a plentiful rain. Also many labourers and herdsmen who were stung by serpents and venomous beasts were perfectly cured by anointing their wounds with oil which he had blessed and given them. Though oil be the natural and sovereign antidote against poison, these cures by his blessing were esteemed miraculous. The saint, seeing the extraordinary honours which were paid him in that place, departed privately towards Alexandria, in order to proceed to the desert of Oasis. It not being his custom to stop in great cities, he turned from Alexandria into Brutium, a remote suburb of that city, where several monks dwelt. He left this place the same evening, and when these monks very importunately pressed his stay he told them that it was necessary for their security that he should leave them. The sequel showed that he had the spirit of prophecy; for that very night armed men arrived there in pursuit of him, with an order to put him to death. When Julian the Apostate ascended the throne, the pagans of Gaza obtained an order from that prince to kill him, in revenge of the affront he had put upon their god Mamas, and of the many conversions he had made; and they had sent this party into Egypt to execute the sentence. The soldiers, finding themselves disappointed at Brutium, said he well deserved the character of a magician which he had at Gaza. The saint spent about a year in the desert of Oasis, and, finding that he was too well known in that country ever to lie concealed there, determined to seek shelter in some remote island, and, going to Paretonium in Lybia, embarked there with one companion for Sicily. He landed at Pachynus, a famous promontory on the eastern side of the island, now called Capo di Passaro. Upon landing he offered to pay for his passage and that of his companion with a copy of the gospels which he had written in his youth with his own hand; but the master, seeing their whole stock consisted in that manuscript and the clothes on their backs, would not accept of it; he even esteemed himself indebted to this passenger, who by his prayers had delivered his son, who was possessed by a devil, on board the vessel. St. Hilarion, fearing lest he should be discovered by some oriental merchants if he settled near the coast, travelled twenty miles up the country and stopped in an unfrequented wild place; where, by gathering sticks, he made every day a fagot, which he sent his disciple, whose name was Zanan, to sell at the next village, in order to buy a little bread. Hesychius, the saint's beloved disciple, had sought him in the East and through Greece when, at Methone, now called Modon, in Peloponnesus, he heard that a prophet had appeared in Sicily who wrought many miracles. He embarked and arrived at Pachynus; and inquiring for the holy man at the first village, found that everybody knew him; he was not more distinguished by his miracles than by his disinterestedness; for he could never be prevailed upon to take anything, not so much as a morsel of bread, from anyone.
St. Hilarion was desirous to go into some strange country, where not even his language should be understood. Hesychius therefore carried him to Epidaurus in Dalmatia, now Old Ragusa, the ruins of which city are seen near the present capital of the republic of that name. Miracles here again defeated the saint's design of living unknown. St. Hilarion, seeing it impossible to live there unknown, fled away in the night in a small vessel to the island of Cyprus. Being arrived there, he retired to a place two miles from Paphos. He had not been there three weeks when such as were possessed with devils in any part of the island began to cry out that Hilarion, the servant of Jesus Christ, was come. He expelled the evil spirits, but, sighing after the tranquillity of closer retirement, considered how he could make his escape to some other country; but the inhabitants watched him that he might not leave them. After two years Hesychius persuaded him to lay aside that design and retire to a solitary place which he had found twelve miles from the shore, not unpleasantly situated among very rough and craggy mountains, where there was water with fruit-trees, which advice the saint followed, but he never tasted the fruit. St. Jerome mentions that though he lived so many years in Palestine, he never went up to visit the holy places at Jerusalem but once; and then stayed only one day in that city. He went once that he might not seem to despise that devotion; but did not go oftener, lest he should seem persuaded that God or his religious worship is confined to any particular place. His chief reason, doubtless, was to shun the distractions of populous places that as much as possible nothing might interrupt the close union of his soul to God. The saint, in the eightieth year of his age, whilst Hesychius was absent, wrote him a short letter with his own hand in the nature of a last will and testament, in which he bequeathed to him all his riches, namely, his book of the gospels, his sackcloth, hood, and little cloak. Many pious persons came from Paphos to see him in his last sickness, hearing he had foretold that he was to go to our Lord. With them there came a holy woman named Constantia, whose son-in-law and daughter he had freed from death by anointing them with oil. He caused them to swear that as soon as he should have expired, they would immediately commit his corpse to the earth, apparelled as he was, with his hair-cloth, hood, and cloak. His distemper increasing upon him, very little heat appeared to remain in his body, nor did anything seem to remain in him of a living man besides his understanding, only his eyes were still open. He expressed his sense of the divine judgments, but encouraged his soul to an humble confidence in the mercy of his Judge and Redeemer, saying to himself, "Go forth, what cost thou fear? go forth, my soul, what cost thou apprehend? Behold, it is now threescore and ten years that thou hast served Christ; and art thou afraid of death?" He had scarcely spoken these words but he gave up the ghost, and was immediately buried as he had ordered.
St. Hilarion died in 371, or the following year, being about eighty years of age; for he was sixty-five years old at the death of St. Antony. Hesychius, who was in Palestine, made haste to Cyprus upon hearing this news and, pretending to take up his dwelling in the same garden, after ten months found an opportunity of secretly carrying off the saint's body into Palestine, where he interred it in his monastery, near Majuma. It was as entire as it was when alive, and the cloths were untouched. Many miracles were wrought, both in Cyprus and Palestine, through his intercession, as St. Jerome assures us. Sozomen mentions his festival to have been kept with great solemnity in the fifth age. See his life written by St. Jerome before the year 392.
If this saint trembled after an innocent, penitential, and holy life, because he considered how perfect the purity and sanctity of a soul must be to stand before him who is infinite purity and infinite justice, how much ought tepid, slothful, and sinful Christians to fear? Whilst love inflames the saints with an ardent desire of being united to their God in the kingdom of pure love and security, a holy fear of his justice checks and humbles in them all presumption. This fear must never sink into despondency, abjection, or despair; but quicken our sloth, animate our fervour, and raise our courage; it must be solicitous, not anxious. Love and hope must fill our souls with sweet peace and joy, and with an entire confidence in the infinite mercy and goodness of God, and the merits of our divine Redeemer. SOURCE EWTN

#PopeFrancis " ...lives of the promise of love and fidelity that a man and woman have made to each other,” Audience Text/Video

Pope Francis at Audience Oct 21, 2015 - AFP
Pope Francis at Audience Oct 21, 2015 - AFP
21/10/2015 12:10


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held his weekly General Audience this Wednesday in St. Peter's Square. In his remarks to the faithful gathered in the Square, Pope Francis returned to the theme of the family, and specifically to the promises a man and a woman make to each other when they form a family in marriage.
Click below to hear our report
The Holy Father began his main catechesis with a reflection on the family as founded on a promise. “The family,” said Pope Francis, “lives of the promise of love and fidelity that a man and woman have made to each other,” a promise that unites families through and across generations, and extends to the whole human family. “[The marriage promise] involves a commitment [on the part of the couple] to welcome and educate their children; but it is fulfilled also in taking care of elderly parents, in protecting and caring for the weaker members of the family, in helping one another to achieve the full potential and accept the limits of each.”
Recalling, then, that the family is the natural social institution and the foundation of all human society, based on liberty and fidelity, Pope Francis He said that our ability to give our word and to keep it is one of the great and distinguishing capacities of human being. “Fidelity to promises is a masterpiece of humanity,” he said. “If we look at its daring beauty, we are afraid, but if we despise its courageous tenacity, we are lost.” This was an aspect of the nature and scope of the family in human life that was a focal point of the English-language summary read out following the main catechesis in Italian:
The promise of love and fidelity made between husbands and wives, which is the basis of all family life.  This promise is called into question nowadays, and seen as somehow opposed to personal freedom.  Yet the truth is that our freedom is shaped and sustained by our fidelity to the choices and commitments we make throughout life.  Fidelity grows through our daily efforts to keep our word; indeed, fidelity to our promises is a supreme expression of our dignity as human beings. 
The Holy Father also discussed the family as the “school” of virtue, par excellence, saying that there is truly no greater “school” to teach us such fidelity than marriage and the family, which are, in God’s plan, a blessing for our world – for, as Saint Paul tells us, the love on which the family is based, points to the bond of love between Christ and His Church. 
The Holy Father concluded with an appeal for continued prayerful support of the work of the XIV Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is currently in the last of three weeks of sessions here in Rome, exploring the challenges and vocation of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world. 

 2015

#BreakingNews Typhoon Koppu Death toll at 22 in #Philippines with 200 Villages Submerged - Please PRAY

Typhoon Koppu death toll now at 22. Fears of new flooding
At least 300 thousand people affected by the cyclone on the island of Luzon, more than 200 villages submerged. Fears for agriculture, entire areas devoted to the cultivation of rice and corn affected. State of calamity declared. Downgraded to a tropical storm, Koppu persists in the region and could strike again in the coming hours.

Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The provisional death toll from typhoon Koppu, which for two days has been ravaging the mountainous regions in the north of the Philippines has risen to 22. One of the worst affected areas is to Cabanatuan, north of Manila, where 70 villages are flooded with water.
While typhoon Koppu has abated and now became a tropical storm, it’s passage struck the east coast of Luzon reaching a speed of 210 km / h. The authorities have issued a warning for possible new flooding and remain on high alert to prevent further damage.
According to reports from the Philippine Civil Defence, Koppu hit more than 300 thousand people in the island of Luzon. Floods, landslides and shipping accidents are the causes that have killed at least 22 people, but the fear is that the toll will worsen in the coming hours.
The floods have covered some of the most important centers for the cultivation and harvesting of rice and corn in the country, especially in lowland areas north of the capital. The authorities have declared a state of calamity.
Over 200 villages have been submerged by floods, some of which are covered by over a meter of water. Meanwhile, heavy rains continue to fall in the mountainous region of the Cordillera.  This will cause further flooding in the coming hours to the areas below.
Moreover, according to experts Koppu could strike again in the north of the island of Luzon in the early hours of tomorrow, after collecting more water passing over the South China Sea. This would cause further damage to agriculture, a sector already hard hit by flooding.
Typhoons and tropical storms are a common occurrence in the Philippines, with an average of 20 per year and some of them fatal. However, Koppu has been anomalous in its slow moving pace because of the obstacle formed by the typhoon Champi further east. This causes heavy violent and prolonged rains, that exacerbate the effects of floods.

Koppu is the second typhoon of some force to befall the Philippine archipelago, the 12th in total. In November 2013, the typhoon Yolanda hit the central provinces of the country, causing more than 7,300 dead or missing and serious damage to homes and agriculture.

Saint October 21 : St. Ursula and Companions - #Virgin #Martyrs


The experiences of Ursula and her eleven thousand companions became the subject of a pious romance which acquired considerable celebrity.  This legendary account is well known: Ursula, the daughter of a Christian king of Great Britain, was asked in marriage by the son of a great pagan king. Desiring to remain a virgin, she obtained a delay of three years. At her request she was given as companions ten young women of noble birth, and she and each of the ten were accompanied by a thousand virgins, and the whole company, embarking in eleven ships sailed for three years. When the appointed time was come, and Ursula's betrothed was about to claim her, a gale of wind carried the eleven thousand virgins far from the shores of England, and they went first by water to Cologne and thence to Basle, then by land from Basle to Rome. They finally returned to Cologne, where they were slain by the Huns in hatred of the Faith. The literary origin of this romance is not easy to determine. Apart from the inscription of Clematius, transcribed in the Passion "Fuit tempore" and paraphrased in the "Regnante Domino" Passion and the "Sermo in natali", the writers seem to have been aware of a Gallic legend of which a late version is found in Geoffrey of Monmouth: the usurper Maximus (as Geoffrey calls the Emperor Maximian), having conquered British Armorica, sent there from Great Britain 100,000 colonists and 30,000 soldiers, and committed the government of Armorica to his former enemy, now his friend, the Breton prince, Conanus Meriadocus. The latter decided to bring women from Great Britain to marry them to his subjects, to which end he appealed to Dionotus, King of Cornwall, who sent him his daughter Ursula, accompanied by 11,000 noble virgins and 60,000 other young women. As the fleet which carried them sailed towards Armorica, a violent storm destroyed some of the ships and drove the rest of them to barbarian islands in Germany, where the virgins were slain by the Huns and the Picts. However, this account has been regarded by several writers since Baronius as containing a summary of the true history of the holy martyrs. Like the Passions of Cologne, it has been subjected to the anti-scientific method, which consists in setting aside as false the improbabilities, impossibilities, and manifest fables, and regarding the rest as authentic history. As a consequence two essential traits remain: the English origin of the saints and their massacre by the Huns; and then, according as adherence is given to the "Sermo in natali", Geoffrey of Monmouth, or the Passion "Regnante Domino", the martyrdom of St. Ursula is placed in the third, fourth, or fifth century. In order to account for all the details, two massacres of virgins at Cologne have been accepted, one in the third century, the other in the fifth. The different solutions with their variations suggested by scholars, sometimes with levity, sometimes with considerable learning, all share the important defect of being based on relatively late documents, unauthoritative and disfigured by manifest fables.As they are now unhesitatingly rejected by everyone, it suffices to treat them briefly. In the twelfth century there were discovered in the Ager Ursulanus at Cologne, some distance from the Church of St. Ursula, skeletons not only of women, but of little children, and even of men, and with them inscriptions which it is impossible not to recognize as gross forgeries.  Although the history of these saints of Cologne is obscure and very short, their cult was very widespread, and it would require a volume to relate in detail its many and remarkable manifestations. To mention only two characteristics, since the twelfth century a large number of relics have been sent from Cologne, not only to neighbouring countries but throughout Western Christendom, and even India and China. The legend of the Eleven Thousand Virgins has inspired a host of works of art, several of them of the highest merit, the most famous being the paintings of the old masters of Cologne, those of Memling at Bruges, and of Carpaccio at Venice. The Order of Ursulines, founded in 1535 by St. Angela de Merici, and especially devoted to the education of young girls, has also helped to spread throughout the world the name and the cult of St. Ursula. Catholic Encyclopedia

SHARE - Novena to St. Jude Thaddeus Apostle : #Patron of #Impossible - #Prayer 

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


O glorious apostle, SAINT JUDE THADDEUS, true relative of Jesus and Mary, I salute you through the most Sacred Heart of Jesus! Through this Heart I praise and thank God for all the graces He has bestowed upon you. Humbly prostrate before you, I implore you through this Heart to look down upon me with compassion. Oh, despise not my poor prayer; let not my trust be confounded! To you God has granted the privilege of aiding mankind in the most desperate cases. Oh, come to my aid that I may praise the mercies of God! All my life I will be grateful to you and will be your faithful client until I can thank you in heaven. Amen.
 "Blessed Apostle, with confidence we invoke you!"
"Blessed Apostle, with confidence we invoke you!"
 "St. Jude, help of the hopeless, aid me in my distress."
 "St. Jude, help of the hopeless, aid me in my distress."
PRAY FOR US that we before death may expiate all our sins by sincere repentance and the worthy reception of the holy Sacraments.
Pray for us that we may appease the Divine Justice and obtain a favorable judgment.
Pray for us that we may be admitted into the company of the blessed to rejoice in the presence of our God forever.
Prayer to be recited 
Saint Jude, glorious apostle, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor has caused you to be forgotten by many. But the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of difficult and desperate cases. Pray for me who am so miserable. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege accorded to you to bring visible and speedy help where help was almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly — (here make your request) — and that I may bless God with you and all the elect throughout all eternity.
I promise you, O blessed JUDE, to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor you as my special and powerful patron and do all in my power to encourage devotion to you. Amen.
Saint Jude, pray for us and for all who honor you and invoke your aid.
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father, 3 times.)

#Press Conference on the #Synod15 from #Vatican - Text- #Video - "...it must be rooted in reality.”

Pope Francis and Cardinals at the Synod on the Family - AFP
Pope Francis and Cardinals at the Synod on the Family - AFP
20/10/2015 16:06





(Vatican Radio) Tuesday 20 Oct. Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of South Africa cautioned against using “politically correct language” at the daily press briefing for the Synod on the Family on Tuesday. Napier was a guest together with Cardinals Lluis Martinez Sistach of Spain and Alberto Suarez Inda of Mexico.
Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, explained that the interventions in the plenary sessions of all the Synod auditors were now available. Tomorrow the press will be briefed on the reports that come from the working groups - or "circoli minores" - of the Synod. The bishops will meet in plenary for the report back session on Tuesday evening.
Each of the three gave an introductory address before taking questions from the press.
Click below to listen to the report by Fr. Russell Pollitt SJ
Sistach said that he has experienced a real sense of synodality in the past two weeks. He said that his small group was very much focused on looking at marriage preparation. The bishops in his group also spent time examining the process of annulment in the light of the Motu Proprio, issued by Pope Francis earlier this year, so that they could make sure annulments are done expediently.
Inda said he believed that the Synod was important and would have an impact on the whole world. He said that the family was the “cell of life” in the Church. The Cardinal said that it was the role of bishops to be merciful judges in their dioceses. The bishops have to "listen like mothers" and practice discernment in specific situations. He also thanked the bishops of the United States of America for their welcome to South American migrants. Many migrants found hospitality in parishes in the USA. He said that the US bishops provide services to assist migrants.
Inda criticized American foreign policy which divided many families. He said that the bishops of Mexico and the USA need to work together to support marriages that have been divided because of migration. Many people migrate, not because they choose to, but because they have to, in order to survive. This leads to difficulties - like infidelity in marriage when the spouses do not see each other for extended periods.
Napier spoke specifically about what the African bishops thought. The African bishops have a great sense of optimism, first because it is God that is leading them and second because of the way that Pope Francis is leading the Church. He thanked lay people who were praying for the delegates of the Synod. Napier also affirmed people living in good marriages because “they help us to see where we need to go as a Synod.”
He said that the Synod was being guided by the title “The Mission and Vocation of the Family in the Church and in the World” and that he thought that some issues needed to be dealt with in another forum, especially issues related to discipline, that had been brought up in the Synod. Napier stressed that in Africa there was a different view of marriage.  “Marriage is not between two individuals but two families.” He went on to explain that, unlike the West, cohabitation is often part of the actual preparation process for marriage which is sanctioned by the families. He also spoke about how the Church must support child-headed households in Africa. A number of young girls are left with the responsibility of heading households because of the HIV pandemic.
Inda explained that drugs and guns were a huge problem and caused much harm to many families in Mexico. He said that for the bishops doctrine is of utmost importance, “but doctrine is not just theories, it must be rooted in reality.”
Sistach said that Christians get married in order to be joy-filled. He said that the work of the Synod is to aid people to be truly happy in their marriages.
Speaking on the process of the Synod Cardinal Napier said that the African bishops were happy. He said that there had been some problems - hence the private letter written to the Pope last week by some cardinals - but that these were resolved when the Holy Father “registered our concerns.”
When asked about the annulment process all three prelates said that the Motu Proprio gave them the tools they needed to assist people. The major difference was that they do not need to go to a second court of appeal which was often the cause of delays. They said, however, that the shortened process challenged bishops to ensure they had proper personnel in place and that the process was followed faithfully. If a case is complicated it must then go through the longer process so that the Church can ensure things are done correctly. Cardinal Sistach humorously said that a way of dealing with the Motu Proprio would be the creation of a new religious order!
At the end of the briefing Cardinal Napier was asked about the change or use of “new language” by the Church. This has been a consistent topic at the Synod – that the Church find new ways of talking that are more sensitive and inclusive. Napier said that it must be remembered that this was a pastoral synod, looking at how the Church can be servant and minister. He cautioned against the use of “politically correct” language and said that the Church has to be prophetic too.
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