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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Catholic News World : Sat. November 28, 2015 - SHARE

2015

#PopeFrancis "Jesus has touched your hearts, called you by name, and asked you to follow him ...." FULL TEXT - Video in #Uganda

Pope Francis during a meeting with priests, religious, and seminarians in Kampala's cathedral, Uganda - ANSA
Pope Francis during a meeting with priests, religious, and seminarians in Kampala's cathedral, Uganda - ANSA
28/11/2015 17:


(Vatican Radio) The final event on Pope Francis’ agenda on Saturday was a meeting with priest, religious, and seminarians in Kampala cathedral. Putting aside his prepared text, Pope Francis spoke off the cuff in his native Spanish, highlighting three essential points for the clergy - memory, fidelity, prayer - and seeking to strengthen the Christian faith in their country.
Listen to Devin Watkins' report:
Firstly, he told them to keep alive the testimony of the Ugandan martyrs, not allowing themselves to become too comfortable with superficial memories of the past, but continuing to be authentic witnesses to the faith today.
Secondly, the Pope urged the priests and religious to remain faithful, following the way of holiness of the martyrs and being good missionaries. Noting that there are dioceses in the country that have many clergy and others that have very few, the Pope said fidelity means having a diocesan bishop who is generous in offering priests to a neighbouring diocese that is in need.
Thirdly, Pope Francis stressed that fidelity is only possible through prayer. If a priest or religious stops praying because he or she has too much work, he said, then they begin to lose their memory and their fidelity. Prayer means constantly confessing our sins, the Pope concluded, not leading a double life but asking for forgiveness and for the strength to keep the missionary spirit alive.
Below, please find Pope Francis’ prepared remarks for the encounter:
Meeting with Priests, Religious and Seminarians
Kampala, St Mary’s Cathedral
Saturday, 28 November 2015
Dear Brother Priests, Religious and Seminarians,
I am happy to be with you, and I thank you for your cordial welcome.  I especially thank the speakers for bearing witness to your hopes and concerns, and, above all, the joy which inspires you in your service to God’s people in Uganda.
I am pleased, too, that our meeting takes place on the eve of the First Sunday of Advent, a season which invites us to look to new beginnings.  This Advent we are also preparing to cross the threshold of the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy which I have called for the whole Church. 
As we approach the Jubilee of Mercy, I would ask you two questions.  First: who are you, as priests or future priests, and as consecrated persons?  In one sense, the answer is an easy one: surely you are men and women whose lives have been shaped by a “personal encounter with Jesus Christ” (Evangelii Gaudium, 3).  Jesus has touched your hearts, called you by name, and asked you to follow him with an undivided heart in the service of his holy people.
The Church in Uganda has been blessed, in its short yet venerable history, with a great cloud of witnesses – lay faithful, catechists, priests and religious – who forsook everything for the love of Jesus: homes, families, and, in the case of the martyrs, their own lives.  In your own lives, whether in the priestly ministry or in your religious consecration, you are called to carry on this great legacy, above all with quiet acts of humble service.  Jesus wants to use you to touch the hearts of yet other people: he wants to use your mouths to proclaim his saving word, your arms to embrace the poor whom he loves, your hands to build up communities of authentic missionary disciples.  May we never forget that our “yes” to Jesus is a “yes” to his people.  Our doors, the doors of our churches, but above all the doors of our hearts, must constantly be open to God’s people, our people.  For that is who we are.
A second question I would ask you tonight is: What more are you called to do in living your specific vocation?  Because there is always more that we can do, another mile to be walked on our journey.
God’s people, indeed all people, yearn for new life, forgiveness and peace.  Sadly, there are many troubling situations in our world for which we must pray, beginning with realities closest to us.  I pray especially for the beloved people of Burundi, that the Lord may awaken in their leaders and in society as a whole a commitment to dialogue and cooperation, reconciliation and peace.  If we are to accompany those who suffer, then like the light passing through the stained glass windows of this Cathedral, we must let God’s power and healing pass through us.  We must first let the waves of his mercy flow over us, purify us, and refresh us, so that we can bring that mercy to others, especially those on the peripheries.
All of us know well how difficult this can be.  There is so much work to be done.  At the same time, modern life also offers so many distractions which can dull our consciences, dissipate our zeal, and even lure us into that “spiritual worldliness” which eats away at the foundations of the Christian life.  The work of conversion – that conversion which is the heart of the Gospel of Jesus (cf. Mk 1:15) – must be carried out each day, in the battle to recognize and overcome those habits and ways of thinking which can fuel spiritual complacency.  We need to examine our consciences, as individuals and as communities.
As I mentioned, we are entering the season of Advent, which is a time of new beginnings.  In the Church we like to say that Africa is the continent of hope, and with good reason.  The Church in these lands is blessed with an abundant harvest of religious vocations.  This evening I would offer a special word of encouragement to the young seminarians and religious present.  The Lord’s call is a source of joy and a summons to serve.  Jesus tells us that “it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks” (Lk 6:45).  May the fire of the Holy Spirit purify your hearts, so that you can be joyful and convincing witnesses to the hope of the Gospel.  You have a beautiful word to speak!  May you always speak it, above all, by the integrity and conviction of your lives.
Dear brothers and sisters, my visit to Uganda is brief, and today was a very long day!  But I consider our meeting tonight to be the crowning of this beautiful day when I was able to go as a pilgrim to the Shrine of the Uganda Martyrs at Namugongo, and to meet with the many young people who are the future of the nation and our Church.  Truly I leave Africa with great hope in the harvest of grace which God is preparing in your midst!  I ask all of you to pray for an outpouring of apostolic zeal, for joyful perseverance in the calling you have received, and, above all, for the gift of a pure heart ever open to the needs of all our brothers and sisters.  In this way the Church in Uganda will truly prove worthy of its glorious heritage and face the challenges of the future with sure hope in Christ’s promises.  I will remember all of you in my prayers, and I ask you, please, to pray for me!

#PopeFrancis with #Poor "...Jesus, our brother, who loves each of us with God’s own love." in #Uganda - FULL TEXT - Video

(Vatican Radio) During his stay in the Ugandan capital on Saturday Pope Francis visited a home for the sick, the disabled and down-and-outs run by the Good Samaritan sisters. Before greeting residents and staff at the centre, the Pope visited the tomb of the first Ugandan Cardinal Emmanuel Nsubuga who founded the home in 1978 and was buried in the grounds there.
Listen to Philippa Hitchen's report: 
Pope Francis began his visit to the House of Charity in Nalukolongo by stopping for a few moments of prayer in the chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Africa. He was then accompanied by the Good Samaritan sisters to the tomb of the former Cardinal Emmanuel Nsubuga, who set up the centre and was renowned for his outspoken condemnation of human rights violations during the reign of former dictator Idi Amin. He was also instrumental in organising the first visit of a Roman pontiff to Uganda, helping to coordinate Pope Paul VI’s three day journey to the newly independent nation in the summer of 1969.
Today the House of Charity cares for about a hundred people of all ages and different religious backgrounds, from Uganda as well as from the neighbouring countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi . The youngest patient being cared for by the sisters is an eleven year old child, while the oldest is a man aged 102.
In his brief address, Pope Francis thanked the Good Samaritan sisters for their quiet and joyful service. He appealed to all parishes and communities in Africa not to forget the poor but “to go out to the peripheries of society” to find Christ amid the suffering and those in need. “How sad it is”, he said, “when our societies allow the elderly to be rejected or neglected” or when the young are exploited by the modern-day slavery of human trafficking.   
If we look closely at the world around us, the Pope said, it seems that, in many places, selfishness and indifference are spreading. How many of our brothers and sisters, he added, are victims of today’s throwaway culture, which breeds contempt above all towards the unborn, the young and the elderly!
As Christians, the Pope said, we cannot simply stand by, closing our doors and our ears to the cry of the poor.  Instead, he said, our families need to become ever more evident signs of God’s love, witnessing to the fact that people count more than things, that who we are is more important than what we possess.
Please find below the full text of Pope Francis’ address to residents of the House of Charity in Nalukolongo, Kampala on Saturday 28th November 2015
Dear Friends,
            Thank you for your warm welcome.  I wanted very much to visit this House of Charity, which Cardinal Nsubuga founded here in Nalukolongo.  This is a place which has always been associated with the Church’s outreach to the poor, the handicapped, the sick.  Here, in early times, slave children were ransomed and women received religious instruction.  I greet the Good Samaritan Sisters who carry on this fine tradition, and I thank them for their years of quiet and joyful service in this apostolate. 
            I also greet the representatives of the many other apostolic groups who serve the needs of our brothers and sisters in Uganda.  Above all, I greet the residents of this home and others like it, and all who benefit from these works of Christian charity.  For this is a home.  Here you can find love and care; here you can feel the presence of Jesus, our brother, who loves each of us with God’s own love.
            Today, from this Home, I appeal to all parishes and communities in Uganda – and the rest of Africa – not to forget the poor.  The Gospel commands us to go out to the peripheries of society, and to find Christ in the suffering and those in need.  The Lord tells us, in no uncertain terms, that is what he will judge us on!  How sad it is when our societies allow the elderly to be rejected or neglected!  How wrong it is when the young are exploited by the modern-day slavery of human trafficking!  If we look closely at the world around us, it seems that, in many places, selfishness and indifference are spreading.  How many of our brothers and sisters are victims of today’s throwaway culture, which breeds contempt above all towards the unborn, the young and the elderly!
            As Christians, we cannot simply stand by.  Something must change!  Our families need to become ever more evident signs of God’s patient and merciful love, not only for our children and elders, but for all those in need.  Our parishes must not close their doors, or their ears, to the cry of the poor.  This is the royal road of Christian discipleship.  In this way we bear witness to the Lord who came not to be served, but to serve.  In this way we show that people count more than things, that who we are is more important than what we possess.  For in those whom we serve, Christ daily reveals himself and prepares the welcome which we hope one day to receive in his eternal kingdom.
            Dear friends, by simple gestures, by simple prayerful actions which honour Christ in the least of his brothers and sisters, we can bring the power of his love into our world, and truly change it.  I thank you once more for your generosity and love.  I will remember you in my prayers and I ask you, please, to pray for me.  I commend all of you to the loving protection of Mary, our Mother, and I give you my blessing. 
            Omukama Abakuume!                      (God protect you!)

#PopeFrancisinUganda "so that we may bear witness to Jesus and make him everywhere known and loved." FULL TEXT Mass Homily - Video

Pope Francis beginning Holy Mass at the Shrine of the Ugandan Martyrs. - REUTERS
Pope Francis beginning Holy Mass at the Shrine of the Ugandan Martyrs. - REUTERS
28/11/2015 07:


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday morning celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the National Sanctuary of the Ugandan Martyrs at Namugongo. The Shrine commemorates the martyrdom of 22 young Catholic converts during an anti-Christian persecution that took place under Mwanga II, the king of Buganda.
Below, please find the full text of Pope Francis’ prepared homily for the Holy Mass at the Sanctuary of the Ugandan Martyrs at Namugongo:
Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Mass at the Uganda Martyrs’ Shrine, Namugongo
Saturday, 28 November 2015
“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
From the age of the Apostles to our own day, a great cloud of witnesses has been raised up to proclaim Jesus and show forth the power of the Holy Spirit. Today, we recall with gratitude the sacrifice of the Uganda martyrs, whose witness of love for Christ and his Church has truly gone “to the end of the earth”. We remember also the Anglican martyrs whose deaths for Christ testify to the ecumenism of blood. All these witnesses nurtured the gift of the Holy Spirit in their lives and freely gave testimony of their faith in Jesus Christ, even at the cost of their lives, many at such a young age.
We too have received the gift of the Spirit, to make us sons and daughters of God, but also so that we may bear witness to Jesus and make him everywhere known and loved. We received the Spirit when we were reborn in Baptism, and we were strengthened by his gifts at our Confirmation. Every day we are called to deepen the Holy Spirit’s presence in our life, to “fan into flame” the gift of his divine love so that we may be a source of wisdom and strength to others.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is a gift which is meant to be shared. It unites us to one another as believers and living members of Christ’s mystical Body. We do not receive the gift of the Spirit for ourselves alone, but to build up one another in faith, hope and love. I think of Saints Joseph Mkasa and Charles Lwanga, who after being catechized by others, wanted to pass on the gift they had received. They did this in dangerous times. Not only were their lives threatened but so too were the lives of the younger boys under their care. Because they had tended to their faith and deepened their love of God, they were fearless in bringing Christ to others, even at the cost of their lives. Their faith became witness; today, venerated as martyrs, their example continues to inspire people throughout the world. They continue to proclaim Jesus Christ and the power of his Cross.
If, like the martyrs, we daily fan into flame the gift of the Spirit who dwells in our hearts, then we will surely become the missionary disciples which Christ calls us to be. To our families and friends certainly, but also to those whom we do not know, especially those who might be unfriendly, even hostile, to us. This openness to others begins first in the family, in our homes where charity and forgiveness are learned, and the mercy and love of God made known in our parents’ love. It finds expression too in our care for the elderly and the poor, the widowed and the orphaned.
Just as the mother and seven sons from the Second Book of Maccabees encouraged one another in their moment of great trial (7:1-2. 9-14), so too, as members of God’s family, we are to assist one another, to protect one another, and to lead one another to the fullness of life. Here I think with gratitude of all those – bishops, priests, consecrated men and women, and catechists – who in so many ways help to support Christian families. May the Church in this country continue, especially through its parish communities, to assist young couples to prepare for marriage, to encourage couples to live the marital bond in love and fidelity, and to assist parents in their duty as the first teachers of the faith for their children.
Like the Apostles and the Uganda martyrs before us, we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit to become missionary disciples called to go forth and bring the Gospel to all. At times this may take us to the end of the earth, as missionaries to faraway lands. This is essential to the spread of God’s Kingdom, and I ask always for your generous response to this need. But we do not need to travel to be missionary disciples. In fact, we need only to open our eyes and see the needs in our homes and our local communities to realize how many opportunities await us.
Here too the Uganda martyrs show us the way. Their faith sought the good of all people, including the very King who condemned them for their Christian beliefs. Their response was to meet hatred with love, and thus to radiate the splendour of the Gospel. They did not simply tell the King what the Gospel does not allow, but showed through their lives what saying “yes” to Jesus really means. It means mercy and purity of heart, being meek and poor in spirit, and thirsting for righteousness in the hope of an eternal reward.  
The witness of the martyrs shows to all who have heard their story, then and now, that the worldly pleasures and earthly power do not bring lasting joy or peace. Rather, fidelity to God, honesty and integrity of life, and genuine concern for the good of others bring us that peace which the world cannot give. This does not diminish our concern for this world, as if we only look to the life to come. Instead, it gives purpose to our lives in this world, and helps us to reach out to those in need, to cooperate with others for the common good, and to build a more just society which promotes human dignity, defends God’s gift of life and protects the wonders of nature, his creation and our common home.
Dear brothers and sisters, this is the legacy which you have received from the Uganda martyrs – lives marked by the power of the Holy Spirit, lives which witness even now to the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This legacy is not served by an occasional remembrance, or by being enshrined in a museum as a precious jewel. Rather, we honour them, and all the saints, when we carry on their witness to Christ, in our homes and neighbourhoods, in our workplaces and civil society, whether we never leave our homes or we go to the farthest corner of the world.
May the Uganda martyrs, together with Mary, Mother of the Church, intercede for us, and may the Holy Spirit kindle within us the fire of his divine love!
Omukama Abawe Omukisa! (God bless you!)

#PopeFrancis in #Uganda to #Youth "God’s gift of love is at the heart of..." FULL TEXT - Video

Pope Francis arrives at Kololo air strip for a meeting with young people in Uganda - REUTERS
Pope Francis arrives at Kololo air strip for a meeting with young people in Uganda - REUTERS
28/11/2015 14:

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday encouraged young people in Uganda to turn negative experiences into positive ones with the help of Jesus and his grace.  In an address where the Pope put aside his prepared remarks and spoke off-the-cuff in Spanish, he urged the young people to open the door of their hearts to Jesus. More than 150,000 cheering and dancing young people had gathered at an airstrip near Kampala to hear the Pope and gave him a rousing welcome when he arrived in his Popemobile.  Before speaking to the crowd, the Pope listened to testimony from two young people, Emmanuel and Winnie, both of whom had faced many negative events in their lives.
Listen to this report by Susy Hodges: 

Please find below a summary in English of the main points of Pope Francis’ off-the-cuff remarks: 
The Pope said he listened with “great pain” to the testimony of Emmanuel and Winnie, noting that “both had very negative experiences.” But he stressed that "a negative experience can be transformed from a wall into a path that opens to the future" with the help and strength of Jesus.  The Pope noted that Jesus experienced the most negative thing that has been experienced in history, he was insulted, rejected and murdered but then through the power of God he rose from the dead.  He then asked the young people whether they were ready to transform all the negative things into positive ones.  "Are you ready to transform hatred into love and war into peace?"

Please find below an English translation of Pope Francis' prepared written remarks to the young people:

Address of His Holiness Pope Francis
Meeting with Young People
Kampala, Kololo Air Strip
Saturday 28 November 2015

Holy Father:                      Omukama Mulungi!                      (God is good!)
Young people:                  Obudde bwonna!                           (For ever and ever!)

Dear Young Friends,
                I am happy to be here and to share these moments with you.  I greet my brother bishops and the civil authorities present, and I thank Bishop Paul Ssemogerere for his words of welcome.  The testimonies of Winnie and Emmanuel confirm my impression that the Church in Uganda is alive with young people who want a better future.  Today, if you will allow me, I want to confirm you in your faith, encourage you in your love, and in a special way, strengthen you in your hope.
                Christian hope is not simply optimism; it is much more.  It is rooted in the new life we have received in Jesus Christ.  Saint Paul tells us that hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love was poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit at our baptism (cf. Rom 5:5).  This hope enables us to trust in Christ’s promises, to trust in the power of his love, his forgiveness, his friendship.  That love opens the door to new life.  Whenever you experience a problem, a setback, a failure, you must anchor your heart in that love, for it has the power to turn death into life and to banish every evil.
                So this afternoon I would invite you, first of all, to pray for this gift to grow within you, and for the grace to become messengers of hope.  There are so many people around us who experience deep anxiety and even despair.  Jesus lifts these clouds, if we allow him to. 
                I would also like to share with you a few thoughts about some of the obstacles which you may encounter on our journey of hope.  All of you want a better future, employment, health and prosperity.  This is good.  You want to share your gifts, your aspirations and your enthusiasm with others, for the good of the nation and of the Church.  This too is very good.  But when you see poverty, when you experience lack of opportunity, when you experience failure in your lives, sometimes a feeling of despair can grow.  You can be tempted to lose hope.
                Have you ever seen a little child who stops in front of a dirty puddle on the path ahead of him?  A puddle he cannot leap over or go around?  He may try but then he stumbles and gets soaked.  Then, after many attempts, he calls out to his father, who takes his hand and swings him over to the other side.  We are like that child.  Life presents us with many dirty puddles.  But we don’t have to overcome all those problems and hurdles on our own.  God is there to take our hand, if only we call on him. 
                What I am saying is that all of us have to be like that little child, even the Pope!  For it is only when we are small and humble that we are not afraid to call out to our Father.  If you have experienced his help, you know what I am speaking about.  We need to learn to put our hope in him, knowing that he is always there for us.  He gives us confidence and courage.  But – and this is important – it would be wrong not to share this beautiful experience with others.  It would be wrong for us not to become messengers of hope for others.
                There is one particular puddle which can be frightening to young people who want to grow in their friendship with Christ.  It is the fear of failing in our commitment to love, and above all, failing in that great and lofty ideal which is Christian marriage.  You may be afraid of failing to be a good wife and mother, failing to be a good husband and father.  If you are looking at that puddle, you may even see your weaknesses and fears reflected back to you.  Please, don’t give in to them!  Sometimes these fears come from the devil who does not want you to be happy.  No!  Call out to God, extend your hearts to him and he will lift you in his arms and show you how to love.  I ask young couples in particular to trust that God wants to bless their love and their lives with his grace in the sacrament of marriage.  God’s gift of love is at the heart of Christian marriage, not the costly parties which often obscure the deep spiritual meaning of this day of joyful celebration with family and friends.
                Finally, one puddle that we all have to face is the fear of being different, of going against the grain in a society which puts increasing pressure on us to embrace models of gratification and consumption alien to the deepest values of African culture.  Think about it!  What would the Uganda martyrs say about the misuse of our modern means of communication, where young people are exposed to images and distorted views of sexuality that degrade human dignity, leading to sadness and emptiness?  What would be the Uganda martyrs’ reaction to the growth of greed and corruption in our midst?  Surely they would appeal to you to be model Christians, confident that your love of Christ, your fidelity to the Gospel, and your wise use of your God-given gifts can only enrich, purify and elevate the life of this country.  They continue to show you the way.  Do not be afraid to let the light of your faith shine in your families, your schools and your places of work.  Do not be afraid to enter into dialogue humbly with others who may see things differently.
Dear young friends, when I look at your faces I am filled with hope: hope for you, hope for your country, and hope for the Church.  I ask you to pray that the hope which you have received from the Holy Spirit will continue to inspire your efforts to grow in wisdom, generosity and goodness.  Don’t forget to be messengers of that hope!  And don’t forget that God will help you to cross whatever puddles you meet along the way!
Hope in Christ and he will enable you to find true happiness.  And if you find it hard to pray, if you find it hard to hope, do not be afraid to turn to Mary, for she is our Mother, the Mother of Hope.  Finally, please, do not forget to pray for me!  God bless you all!

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Sat. November 28, 2015


Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 508


Reading 1DN 7:15-27

I, Daniel, found my spirit anguished within its covering of flesh,
and I was terrified by the visions of my mind.
I approached one of those present
and asked him what all this meant in truth;
in answer, he made known to me the meaning of the things:
“These four great beasts stand for four kingdoms
which shall arise on the earth.
But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingship,
to possess it forever and ever.”

But I wished to make certain about the fourth beast,
so very terrible and different from the others,
devouring and crushing with its iron teeth and bronze claws,
and trampling with its feet what was left;
about the ten horns on its head, and the other one that sprang up,
before which three horns fell;
about the horn with the eyes and the mouth that spoke arrogantly,
which appeared greater than its fellows.
For, as I watched, that horn made war against the holy ones
and was victorious until the Ancient One arrived;
judgment was pronounced in favor of the holy ones of the Most High,
and the time came when the holy ones possessed the kingdom.
He answered me thus:

“The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth
different from all the others;
It shall devour the whole earth,
beat it down, and crush it.
The ten horns shall be ten kings
rising out of that kingdom;
another shall rise up after them,
Different from those before him,
who shall lay low three kings.
He shall speak against the Most High
and oppress the holy ones of the Most High,
thinking to change the feast days and the law.
They shall be handed over to him
for a year, two years, and a half-year.
But when the court is convened,
and his power is taken away
by final and absolute destruction,
Then the kingship and dominion and majesty
of all the kingdoms under the heavens
shall be given to the holy people of the Most High,
Whose Kingdom shall be everlasting:
all dominions shall serve and obey him.”

Responsorial PsalmDANIEL 3:82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87

R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“You sons of men, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“O Israel, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.

AlleluiaLK 21:36

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Be vigilant at all times and pray
that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 21:34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Saint November 28 : St. Catherine Labore : #Nun : #Incorrupt : Promoter of the #MiraculousMedal

St. Catherine Laboure

MaryPages.com: Feastday: November 28 - Also known as: Zoe Laboure; Catherine Labore
Zoe Laboure was born at Fain-lès-Moutiers, Burgundy, France to the farmer Pierre Labouré and Louise Laboure as the ninth of eleven children on May 2, 1806. From an early age felt a call to the religious life. When Catherine was nine years old, her saintly mother died on October 9, 1815. After the burial service, little Catherine retired to her room, stood on a chair, took our Lady's statue from the wall, kissed it, and said: "Now, dear Lady, you are to be my mother." On January 25, 1818, Catherine made her First Communion. One day she had a dream in which a priest said to her: "My daughter, you may flee me now, but one day you will to come to me. Do not forget that God has plans for you." Sometime later, while visiting a hospital of the Daughters of Charity at Chatillon-sur-Seine, she noticed a priest's picture on the wall. She asked a sister who he might be, and was told: "Our Holy Founder Saint Vincent de Paul." This was the same priest Catherine had seen in the dream. Catherine knew she was in the right place.
Later, on January 1830, Catherine began her postulancy at Chatillon. On Wednesday, April 21, 1830, Catherine Labouré entered the novitiate of the Daughters of Charity, located at their motherhouse, Rue du Bac 140, Paris.  taking the name Catherine. On the eve of the Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul, July 19, the Sister Superior spoke to the novices about the virtues of their Holy Founder and gave each of the novices a piece of cloth from the holy founder's surplice. Because of her extreme love, Catherine split her piece down the middle, swallowing half and placing the rest in her prayer book. She earnestly prayed to Saint Vincent that she might, with her own eyes, see the Mother of God. 
1st apparition of the Blessed Virgin: 19th July, 1830 Chapel Rue du Bac 140, Paris

It is 11.30 pm; Sister Catherine Laboure (24 years old) wakes up as she hears her name called three times. She opens the curtains of her cell and sees her Guardian Angel in de form of a 5 year old child. He says: "follow me to the chapel, where the Virgin Mary awaits you". Catherine Laboure hastily dresses herself and follows him to the chapel. The chapel is lit as for midnight-Mass, but she can't see the Blessed Virgin. She then kneels and prays. After half an hour her guardian angel says: "there is the Blessed Virgin Mary". Catherine Laboure hears a rustle like that of silk and to the left of St. Joseph she sees the Blessed Virgin Mary descend and sit herself on the chair of the Priest. Within a moment she is on her knees in front of the Blessed Virgin, with her hands confidently folded on Mary's knees. This is the beginning of a two hour long conversation. The Blessed Virgin Mary tells her that God will charge her with a mission. In the process she will experience many difficulties. The Blessed Virgin already speaks of bad times ahead. The whole world will be plunged into confusion through all sorts of incidents. The Cross will be treated with contempt; it will be cast to earth. The side of our Lord will be pierced again. The Blessed Virgin says this with a very sorrowful look on her face. Encouragingly though, she adds:
"but come to the foot of this altar and here graces will be bestowed upon all, 
who ask with confidence and fervour. they will be given to the rich and to the poor"

2nd apparition of the Blessed Virgin: 27th November, 1830 Chapel Rue du Bac 140, Paris
Catherine LabouréIt is 5.30pm, and the Sisters are in the chapel for the hour of Meditation. Suddenly Catherine Laboure hears, to her right, the same rustle as before; it is the Blessed Virgin Mary. She stops to the left near the painting of St. Joseph. This whole apparition is conducted in scenes and sign-language. The Blessed Virgin "standing in space". She was dressed in white, standing on a globe and holding a golden ball, with rings on her fingers flashing with light. An inner voice told her that the ball represented the whole world and that the rays coming from Mary's fingers represented graces for individuals. Then, a second phase: The golden ball then vanished as this apparition changed to represent Mary with her arms outstretched, inside an oval frame with golden lettering:"O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you." This was the front side of the medal that was to be made."

The reverse side of the Medal


Mary gave her this instruction: "have a medal struck on this model. All those who carry this will receive Grace in abundance, especially if they wear the medal around their neck and say this prayer confidently, they will receive special protection from the Mother of God and abundant graces". Then it is although the whole scene turns around and Catherine Laboure can see the back of the medal: in the centre is the letter M, from where a Cross ascends with at its base a cross-beam which passes through the letter M and below this the two hearts of Jesus and Mary, one crowned with thorns the other pierced by the sword of sorrow. The whole is surrounded with a crown of 12 stars recalling the vision of St. John in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse or Book of Revelation. Catherine Laboure hears: "the M with the Cross and the two hearts say enough".
During the next year this apparition occurred five times and each time with the same instructions: "have a medal struck on this model, and all those who wear it will receive great graces, especially when worn around the neck".Sister Catherine endured many humiliations, but she persevered. It took two years before her confessor, Father Aladel, a Vicentian priest, had the medal struck. The original name of the medal is that of  holy Mary’s Immaculate Conception; only after 7 years was the name changed to the “Miraculous Medal”. Because of the many answered prayers, the conversions and the cures, some 10 million medals were sold during the first 5 years. The short prayer: "O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee", has since been prayed innumerable times by believers, so that the entire Christianity became familiar with Mary's "Immaculate Conception". It was Pope Pius IX who made it a rule of faith. This was received with great joy by the entire Church. Four years later, Mary came as though to confirm this, when She said to Bernadette at Lourdes:I am the Immaculate 

Catherine Laboure died on 31st December 1876.  When her body was exhumed, after fifty-seven years of burial, it was found to be completely incorrupt and supple. Her eyes were as blue as the day she died. On 28th May, 1933 she was beatified by Pope Pius XI. This occasion was witnessed by 50,000 people, of which there were 8,000 children of Mary, veiled in white, all wearing the Miraculous Medal. On 27th July, 1947 Catherine Laboure was canonized by Pope Pius XII. Here again many believers were present, including more than 10,000 children of Mary, veiled in white.
 INCORRUPT Body Catherine Laboure
Many healings, including those of people for whom there was totally no hope, were attributed to the "Miraculous Medal". Just in the American city of Philadelphia alone, between 1930 and 1950, more than 750.000 favours were granted and registered. Catherine Laboure is still lying in state at the right of the altar in the chapel Rue du Bac 140, in Paris and she still looks as though she only died yesterday!
Patroness of architects, miners, and prisoners.
SHARED FROM MARY PAGES


"These apparitions of Mary and the Miraculous Medal by Catherine Laboure are fully approved by the Holy See: 1836"

#PopeFrancisinUganda "...speak to everyone of the beauty of prayer, the power of mercy and forgiveness, the joy of sharing in the Eucharist ..." FULL TEXT - Video

Ugandans lining the road to greet Pope Francis. - REUTERS
Ugandans lining the road to greet Pope Francis. - REUTERS
27/11/2015 14:

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday met catechists and teachers at the Munyonyo shrine situated some 40 kilometres south of the Uganda capital, Kampala. In his brief address to the gathering, he encouraged them to persevere in their “rewarding” but “not easy” work and be not just teachers but also "a witness" through their example.
Please find below an English translation of the Pope’s prepared remarks to the catechists and teachers:  

Greeting to Catechists
Kampala, Munyonyo
Friday, 27 November 2015

Dear Catechists and Teachers, Dear Friends,
                I greet you with affection in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Teacher.
                 “Teacher!”  What a beautiful name this is!  Jesus is our first and greatest teacher.  Saint Paul tells us that Jesus gave his Church not only apostles and pastors, but also teachers, to build up the whole body in faith and love.  Together with the bishops, priests and deacons who are ordained to preach the Gospel and care for the Lord’s flock, you, as catechists, play an outstanding part in bringing the Good News to every village and homestead in your country.
                I wish before all else, to thank you for the sacrifices which you and your families make, and for the zeal and devotion with which you carry out your important task.  You teach what Jesus taught, you instruct adults and help parents to raise their children in the faith, and you bring the joy and hope of eternal life to all.  Thank you for your dedication, your example, your closeness to God’s people in their daily lives, and all the many ways you plant and nurture the seeds of faith throughout this vast land.  Thank you especially for teaching our children and young people how to pray.
                I know that your work, although rewarding, is not easy.  So I encourage you to persevere, and I ask your bishops and priests to support you with a doctrinal, spiritual and pastoral formation capable of making you ever more effective in your outreach.  Even when the task seems too much, the resources too few, the obstacles too great, it should never be forgotten that yours is a holy work.  The Holy Spirit is present wherever the name of Christ is proclaimed.  He is in our midst whenever we lift up our hearts and minds to God in prayer.  He will give you the light and strength you need!  The message you bring will take root all the more firmly in people’s hearts if you are not only a teacher but also a witness.  Your example should speak to everyone of the beauty of prayer, the power of mercy and forgiveness, the joy of sharing in the Eucharist with all our brothers and sisters.
                The Christian community in Uganda grew strong through the witness of the martyrs.  They testified to the truth which sets men free; they were willing to shed their blood to be faithful to what they knew was good and beautiful and true.  We stand here today in Munyonyo at the place where King Mwanga determined to wipe out the followers of Christ.  He failed in this, just as King Herod failed to kill Jesus.  The light shone in the darkness, and the darkness could not overcome it (cf. Jn 1:5).  After seeing the fearless testimony of Saint Andrew Kaggwa and his companions, Christians in Uganda became even more convinced of Christ’s promises. 
                May Saint Andrew, your patron, and all the Ugandan catechist martyrs, obtain for you the grace to be wise teachers, men and women whose every word is filled with grace, convincing witnesses to the splendour of God’s truth and the joy of the Gospel!  Go forth without fear to every town and village in this country, to spread the good seed of God’s word, and trust in his promise that you will come back rejoicing, with sheaves full from the harvest. 
                Omukama Abawe Omukisa!      (God bless you!)

What is the Miraculous Medal - How to get a FREE one - SHARE - Origin Nov. 27, 1830

The Miraculous Medal (French: Médaille miraculeuse), also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, is a medal, the design of which was originated by Saint Catherine Labouré following her vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary and made by goldsmith Adrien Vachette. November 27 marks the anniversary of the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, known as the Miraculous Medal. This aided the Church's official declaration of the dogma in 1854. On the front is written: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." On the reverse, twelve stars surround a large "M," from which a cross arises. Below the "M," the medal depicts two flaming hearts. The left heart, circled with thorns, represents Jesus. The right heart, pierced by a sword, symbolizes Mary. A 24-year-old novice, received the visions, in the community of Sisters known as the Daughters of Charity, Paris, France, in 1830. On July 18, 1830, a child awakened Sister Catherine Laboure. The child lead her to the convent's chapel where the Virgin Mary was sitting in a chair. She kneels beside Mary. A little more than four months later, during her evening meditation on Nov. 27, 1830, Catherine had a vision of Mary. Mary said, "Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around their neck."  The first medals were made in 1832 and distributed throughout Paris.  In 1836, a Church investigation declared the apparitions to be genuine.
What does the medal mean?
The Front Side • Mary stands on a globe, crushing a serpent beneath her feet. Describing the original vision, Catherine said the Blessed Mother appeared radiant as a sunrise, " • Rays shoot out from Mary's hands, which she told Catherine, "... symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them." • Words from the vision form an oval frame around Mary: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." Seen as a matrix, the elements of the front design encapsulate major Marian tenets: • Immaculate The words, "conceived without sin" • Assumed into Heaven She stands on the globe • Mediatrix Rays from her hands symbolizing "graces" The Reverse Side • A cross-and-bar surmounts a large, bold "M" • 12 stars disperse around the perimeter • Two hearts are depicted underneath the "M," the left lapped with a crown of thorns, the right skewed by a sword. From each, a flame emanates from the top. Again, employing a grid analysis, we can see how the reverse-side design contains great symbolism reflecting major tenets of the Catholic faith. Design Element and its Catholic Meaning • The large letter "M" — Mary as Mother, Mediatrix. • Cross and bar — Jesus' cross of Redemption. • 12 stars — 12 Apostles, who formed the first Church. • Left Heart — The Sacred Heart, who died for our sins. • Right Heart — The Immaculate Heart, who intercedes for us. • Flames — The burning love Jesus and Mary have for us. It is "a testimony to faith and the power of trusting prayer. Its greatest miracles are those of patience, forgiveness, repentance, and faith."
 To obtain a free Miraculous Medal, write to the Association of the Miraculous Medal, 1811 W. St. Joseph St., Perryville, MO, 63775.

Saint November 28 : St. James of the Marches : Franciscan Missionary

St. James of the Marches
FRANCISCAN FRIAR AND MISSIONARY
Feast: November 28


Information:
Feast Day:November 28
Born:1391, Monteprandone, Marche of Ancona, Italy
Died:November 28, 1476
Canonized:10 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
Major Shrine:Franciscan church of St. Maria la Nuova
Patron of:Patron of the city of Naples, Italy

Franciscan, b. of a poor family named Gangala, at Monteprandone, March of Ancona, Italy, 1391; d. at Naples, 28 Nov., 1476. He is generally represented holding in his right hand a chalice, out of which a snake is escaping --an allusion to some endeavours of heretics to poison him or, less likely, to the controversy about the Precious Blood.
He began his studies at Offida under the guidance of his uncle, a priest, who soon afterwards put him to school at Ascoli. At the University of Perugia he took the degree of Doctor in Civil Law. After a short stay at Florence as tutor in a noble family, and as judge of sorcerers, James was received into the Order of the Friars Minor, in the chapel of the Portiuncula, Assisi, 26 July, 1416. Having finished his novitiate at the hermitage of the Carceri, near Assisi, he studied theology at Fiesole, near Florence, under St. Bernardine of Siena. On 13 June, 1420, be was ordained priest, and soon began to preach in Tuscany, in the Marches, and Umbria; for half a century he carried on his spiritual labours, remarkable for the miracles he performed and the numerous conversions he wrought. From 1427 James preached penance, combated heretic, and was on legations in Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Bohemia, Poland, Hungary, and Bosnia. In the last-mentioned country he was also commissary of the Friars Minor. At the time of the Council of Basle he promoted the union of the moderate Hussites with the Church, and that of the Greeks it the Council of Ferrara-Florence. Against the Turk, he preached several crusades, and at the death of St. John Capistran, in 1456, James was sent to Hungary as his successor. In Italy he fought the Fraticelli, instituted several montes pietatis, and preached in all the greater cities; Milan offered him the bishopric in 1460, which he declined. St. James belonged to the Observant branch of the Friars Minor, then rapidly spreading and exciting much envy. How much he suffered on this account is shown in a letter written by him to St. John Capistran, published by Nic. Dal-Gal, O.F.M., in "Archivum Franciscanum Historicum", I (1908), 94-97. Under Callistus III, in 1455, he was appointed an arbiter on the questions at issue between Conventuals and Observants. His decision was published 2 Feb., 1456, in a papal Bull, which pleased neither part . A few years later, on Easter Monday, 1462, St. James, preaching at Brescia, uttered the opinion of some theologians, that the Precious Blood shed during the Passion was not united with the Divinity of Christ during the three days of His burial. The Dominican James of Brescia, inquisitor, immediately cited him to his tribunal. James refused to appear, and after some troubles appealed to the Holy See. The question was discussed at Rome, Christmas, 1462 (not 1463, as some have it), before Pius II and the cardinals, but no decision was given. James spent the last three years of his life at Naples, and was buried there in the Franciscan church of S. Maria la Nuova, where his body is still to be seen. Beatified by Urban VIII, 1624, he was canonized by Benedict XIII, 1726. Naples venerates him as one of its patron saints (feast, 28 Nov.).
The works of St. James of the Marches have not as yet been collected. His library and autographs are preserved in part at the Municipio of Monteprandone (see Crivellucci, "I codici della libreria raccolta da S. Giacomo della Marca nel convento di S. Maria delle Grazie presso Monteprandone", Leghorn, 1889). He wrote "Dialogus contra Fraticellos" printed in Baluze-Mansi, "Miscellanea", II, Lucca, 1761, 595-610 (cf. Ehrle in "Archiv für Litt. u. Kirchengeschichte", IV, Freiburg im Br., 1888, 107-10). His numerous sermons are not edited. For some of them, and for his treatise on the "Miracles of the Name of Jesus", see Candido Mariotti, O.F.M., "Nome di Gesù ed i Francescani", Fano, 1909, 125-34. On his notebook, or "Itinerarium", See Luigi Tasso, O.F.M., in "Miscellanea Francescana", I (1886), 125-26: "Regula confitendi peccata" was several times edited in Latin and Italian during the fifteenth century. "De Sanguine Christi effuse" and some other treatises remained in manuscript.
SOURCE EWTN

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