Saturday, December 26, 2015

Catholic News World : Sat. December 26, 2015 - SHARE


Free Christmas Movie : The Chronicles of Narnia : The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe -

The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe (1988) TV Mini-Series | Unrated | 171 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy Four kids travel to the magical land of Narnia where they must battle an evil queen with the direction of the lion, Aslan. Stars: Richard Dempsey, Sophie Cook, Jonathan R. Scott | Parts 1&2 - Stay Tuned for Parts 3-6 Tomorrow!

Wow Andrea Bocelli Christmas Surprise for Homeless in #TimesSquare - #AndreaBocelli Sings to SHARE

The Famous Blind Tenor Andrea Bocelli gave an impromtu Christmas Surprise to the Homeless. He Sang in Times Square for the Homeless raising $500 in just a few minutes as he walked the streets of New York. He donated the money to the homeless, along with a personal donation. 

#BoxingWeek Sale on Catholic #NewEvangelization Guide - SHARE your #Faith with the World!

Catholic New Evangelization Guide - Is an Amazing Book for Everyone! Buy NOW during the Sale! This Book has a IMPRIMATUR and Nihil Obstat from Archbishop Prendergast. It has Conversion and Evangelization stories from people of different backrounds. Offering insights on History, the Church, Youth, Music, Motherhood, Priesthood, Seminarians, Alcoholism, Conversion, Social Media, Education and more! Makes a great Gift for Anyone! Especially your Church family. Authors include: Miriam Westen PhDCan (Music/Youth), Sarah Koechl Gould BA (Media), Tricia Everaert BA , Fr. Denis Lemieux (Priest), Teresa Bobrow M. Ph (Historical), John Paul Meenan M. Th (Professor), Sem. John O'Brian SJ (Seminarian), Kathy Vestermark MA Th (Motherhood), Nicole DeMille MSp.Ed (Convert), Paul Sofranko BA (SoberCatholic) Only $14.95

About the Authors

Miriam Westen, M.Ed., MTS, MA Theology, PhD (Stud), is a music/language teacher and a Choir director/organist. She is the Director of the daily Catholic News World on the site or, which is read in over 200 countries. (, She can be contacted at 
Chapter 1 Teresa Matula Bobrow, MA.Phil. Teresa is a retired teacher who has a Master of Philosophy in Latin from the University of Toronto. 
Chapter 2 John Paul Meenan, B.Sc., M.Sc., B.C.T., M.Th., Professor of Theology at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom in Barry’s Bay. 
Chapter 3 Fr. Denis Raymond Lemieux has been a member of Madonna House since 1991, and was ordained a priest in 2004. He has a licentiate in sacred theology and has written two books on Marian spirituality and theology. He currently resides in Combermere, where he teaches, writes. 
Chapter 4 John O’Brien, SJ. John is a seminarian and member of the Jesuit Order. He obtained a Master’s degree in Theology and has taught at Wayside Academy in Peterborough, ON and Corpus Christi College. 
Chapter 5 Professor Kathy Vestermark is a wife and mother of six children, one with significant special needs. She worked for 13 years in medical education at USUHS on a project to include families of children with special needs as faculty and advisors to medical education. She received her MA in Theology from CDU, and has put it to use as a Coordinator/Instructor of RCIA at her parish, Women's Bible Study facilitator, lecturer, writer of a Catholic blog and contributor to other Catholic/Secular books and publications. Professor Vestermark also serves as a Student Life Coordinator for the CDU Online Student Center. 
Chapter 8 Paul Sofranko has a BA in Political Science. Married to Rose Sofranko, he is a writer at He has published 2 books: Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts on 
Chapter 9 Nicole DeMille, is a wife, mother and Convert to Catholicism from Lutheranism. She has a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has appeared on EWTN’s series the Journey Home with Marcus Grodi. Her Blog is 
Chapter 10 Sarah Gould, is a wife and former Dean of students. She obtained Biology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Tricia Everaert, has a BA. They both write the Feminine Gift site

#PopeFrancis "...we must never tire of asking God's forgiveness, because only when we are forgiven can we learn to forgive. " Angelus Text-Video

Pope Francis during the Angelus on Stephen's Day - REUTERS
Pope Francis during the Angelus on Stephen's Day - REUTERS
26/12/2015 13:

(Vatican Radio) Following two days of ceremonies at the Vatican the Pope was back in St Peter’s Square on Saturday for the Angelus.
On this St Stephen’s Day, Pope Francis recalled this Saint, the first martyr of the Church and remembered all those who suffer persecution in the name of the faith, calling them “our martyrs of today.”
Listen to Lydia O'Kane's report
The Holy Father noted that Stephen is a faithful witness, because he does as Jesus does. He knows how to love, to give, but especially to forgive.
Forgiveness, the Pope explained, “leads to "results" and is not just "a good deed": "Among those for which Stephen begged forgiveness, said Pope Francis, was St Paul. The Pope continued, “we can say that Paul was born by God's grace and Stephen’s forgiveness".
"We too, he went on to say, are born from God's forgiveness. Not only in baptism, but every time we are forgiven our heart is reborn, it is regenerated. The Holy Father also stressed that, we must never tire of asking God's forgiveness, because only when we are forgiven can we learn to forgive. "

But, the Pope underlined, that "to forgive, is always very difficult." Every day, he said, we have the opportunity to train ourselves to forgive, to live this elevated gesture that brings man closer to God. As our Heavenly Father, we too become merciful, through forgiveness we overcome evil with good, we transform hate into love and so we make the world cleaner ".

After the recitation of the Marian prayer, Pope Francis expressed his thanks for the many Christmas greetings he received "from Rome and elsewhere."

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Sat. December 26, 2015

Feast of Saint Stephen, first martyr
Lectionary: 696

Reading 1ACTS 6:8-10; 7:54-59

Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyrenians, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke.

When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
But he, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven
and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and he said,
“Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God.”
But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears,
and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 31:3CD-4, 6 AND 8AB, 16BC AND 17

R. (6) Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

AlleluiaPS 118:26A, 27A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD:
the LORD is God and has given us light.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 10:17-22

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”

Saint December 26 : St. Stephen : #Protomartyr : Patron of #Deacons; #Headaches; Horses; Masons

December 26: Saint Stephen the Protomartyr Posted by Jacob
"Christian friends, your voices raise.
Wake the day with gladness. God Himself to joy and praise turns our human sadness:
Joy that martyrs won their crown, opened heaven's bright portal, when they laid the mortal down for the life immortal." Today, December 26, we celebrate Saint Stephen’s Day, the feast day of Saint Stephen the Protomartyr (died 33). Prophetically, Stephen’s name means “crown,” and he was the first disciple of Jesus to earn the martyr’s crown. Saint Stephen recognized the love of Our Lord and Savior, and was willing to die for that love, on the day after the commemoration of his birth. As the light of Christmas burns brightly in our hearts, we turn our attention to this holy man who held true to the teachings of Christ, dying a glorious death for his beliefs!
The little we know about Saint Stephen is recorded in Chapters 6 and 7 of the Acts of the Apostles. As Scripture tells us, Stephen is the most famous of the seven deacons of the early Church—charged with caring for the widows and the poor. He was a man filled with grace and power, through whom God worked many miracles. Such was his wisdom that many were converted and became followers of Christ.
1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. 7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. 8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.
11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” 12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”
15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel. (Acts 6)
As we can read, Stephen’s wisdom, grace, and influencing of hearts caused great concern to certain Jewish leaders-- members of the Synagogue of Roman Freedmen. These men debated with Stephen, but proved no match for the spirit of God shining through his words. Of course, this led to fear, and eventually Stephen was persecuted on false charges of blasphemy. Led before the Sanhedrin, he calmly—peacefully—spoke without fear regarding the Lord’s guidance throughout Israel’s history, as well as Israel’s idolatry and disobedience. He then claimed that his persecutors were showing this same spirit.
Saint Stephen spoke about Jesus, showing that He is the Savior, God had promised to send. He scolded his enemies for not having believed in Jesus. At that, they rose up in great anger and shouted at him. But Stephen looked up to Heaven and said that he saw the heavens opening and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
1 Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?” 2a To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! 44 “Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the covenant law with them in the wilderness. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen. 45 After receiving the tabernacle, our ancestors under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David, 46 who enjoyed God’s favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him.
48 “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says:
49 “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? 50 Has not my hand made all these things?’
51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.” 54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7: 1-2a; 44-59).
Saint Stephen was dragged outside the city gates, and stoned to death for his beliefs. We are reminded of Christ, in the example of Saint Stephen: He embodied a love so strong and pure that he gave himself over completely in love, finding in the midst of suffering, pain, and death the perfect charity to pray for and forgive his executioners! On the day after the joyful triumph of Our Lord in birth, we are confronted with the loving triumph of Saint Stephen in death—and are reminded that self-giving love requires sacrifice and sometimes suffering… like not only Saint Stephen, but our Lord and Savior on the Cross!
today we celebrate the entrance of Saint Stephen into eternal glory. He died praying for those who killed him. Help us to imitate his goodness and to love our enemies. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Text Shared from 365Rosaries Blog

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