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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Catholic News World : Wed. December 30, 2015 - SHARE

2015

#Catholic Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach of the #Philippines visited a Convent to ask for Prayers before her Win...SHARE

Born Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach on September 24, 1989 (age 26) in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Pia grew up in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. She is an actress, model, host, TV personality, and chef. Pia won the Miss Universe 2015 for the Philippines. 
Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Public Affairs Committee (CBCP-PAC), said that Filipinos should be proud of what Wurtzbach has achieved.

“Pia Wurtzbach’s feat is something that we should be proud of. As our countrymen suffer from the onslaught of typhoon 'Nona,' let her win be an inspiration and let her message be a rallying point for everyone that beauty is nothing without a heart!” he said.
Pia is a Marian Devotee and a Certified Baclaran church goer. Ms. Wurtzbach visited a group of cloistered Nuns before her win and asked them to pray for her (pictured below from Google/AsiaNet)
First of all, thank you Lord! My prayers have finally been answered. I’ve lost count on how many times I visited Baclaran & prayed for this. She stated on her Twitter account after winning: "Thank You, Lord. Everything makes sense now. In God's perfect timing. "

Pope Francis venerates a statue of the Christ-child - AFP
Pope Francis venerates a statue of the Christ-child - AFP
30/12/2015 13:49



(Vatican Radio) The figure of the Christ-child was the focus of Pope Francis’ catechesis on Wednesday at the weekly General Audience.
The humility of Our Divine Lord in the manger, and its stark contrast with our own often grandiose self-appraisal was a particular motif of the catechetical reflection the Holy Father offered to the pilgrims and visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the event.
“This is a great mystery,” said Pope Francis, departing from his prepared text in Italian, “God is humble.” He went on to say, “We, who are proud, full of vanity, and who think ourselves great stuff – we are nothing. He is the great one: He is humble, and He makes Himself a child.”
“This,” repeated Pope Francis, “is a true mystery: God is humble – and it is a beautiful thing.”
Below, please find the official English-language summary of the Holy Father’s catechesis, which was read following the main reflection at the audience on Wednesday
Dear Brothers and Sisters:  During this holy season it is customary in many places for each home to set up a Christmas crib, following a tradition begun by Saint Francis of Assisi.  The crib scene invites us to adore the Child Jesus and to contemplate the mystery of the Incarnation as a revelation of God’s saving love.  Devotion to the Child Jesus can teach us much about our faith.  Although the Gospels tell us little about our Lord’s childhood, we know from experience the message which all newborn babies bring.  By contemplating the Infant Jesus, we come to understand more fully the meaning of his coming among us.  Like every baby, the Infant Jesus cries out for our attention; he asks us to care for and protect him.  Like every baby, he wants us to smile at him, as a sign of our delight in him and our sharing in the mystery of his love.  Finally, he wants us to play with him, to enter into his world and to become like a child ourselves, in order to please him.  In these days of Christmas, let us not only gaze upon the Child Jesus, but also take him into our arms and allow him to give us the joy and freedom born of the Father’s merciful love.
After the summary, Pope Francis greeted Anglophone pilgrims and visitors with the following words, through his interpreter
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including the pilgrimage groups from Norway, the Philippines and the United States of America.  I thank the choirs for their praise of God in song.  With prayerful good wishes that the the Church’s celebration of the Jubilee of Mercy will be a moment of grace and spiritual renewal for all, I invoke upon you and your families an abundance of joy and peace in the Lord.  Happy New Year!
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called for prayerful solidarity with victims of natural disasters that recently struck parts of the United States, Great Britain, and South America (in particular Paraguay). The Holy Father’s appeal came at the end of his catechetical reflection during the General Audience on Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.
“I invite everyone to pray for the victims of the calamities which in these days have befallen the United States, Great Britain, and South America – particularly Paraguay,” said Pope Francis.
Click below to hear our report
 
Paraguay is the country hardest hit by flooding in South America that has spread across Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay as well, causing several fatalities and inflicting massive damage, while driving at least 150 thousand people from their homes. Climatologists say the flooding is due to unusually heavy summer rains resulting from an intense “el Niño” weather phenomenon.
In the United States,  severe weather that included tornadoes and flooding killed dozens of people over the past weekend, and continues to advance across the United States, bringing heavy snow and freezing rain over a great stretch of the country from Texas to northern New England.
The United Kingdom was in the throes of another major north Atlantic storm on Wednesday, after several episodes of severe weather provoked flooding from western Scotland to Wales, and especially in Cumbria and Yorkshire. Storm Frank, as the latest disturbance has been called by meteorologists, was expected to produce more heavy rain and wind gusts in excess of 80 km/h throughout much of the UK through Wednesday.
“May the Lord give comfort to all these peoples,” prayed Pope Francis, “and may fraternal solidarity aid them in their need.”   

Powerful Performance of O Holy Night with Images of the Nativity by #JoshGroban goes #Viral - SHARE

An amazing performance of  O Holy Night - by Josh Groban - Set to scenes from The Nativity Story...SHARE this beautiful tribute to Christ's Birth!

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. December 30, 2015


The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas
Lectionary: 203


Reading 11 JN 2:12-17

I am writing to you, children,
because your sins have been forgiven for his name’s sake.

I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you, young men,
because you have conquered the Evil One.

I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.

I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men,
because you are strong and the word of God remains in you,
and you have conquered the Evil One.

Do not love the world or the things of the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world,
sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life,
is not from the Father but is from the world.
Yet the world and its enticement are passing away.
But whoever does the will of God remains forever.

Responsorial PsalmPS 96:7-8A, 8B-9, 10

R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Bring gifts, and enter his courts;
worship the LORD in holy attire.
Tremble before him, all the earth.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A holy day has dawned upon us.
Come, you nations, and adore the Lord.
Today a great light has come upon the earth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 2:36-40

There was a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee,
to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.

#BreakingNews over 150,000 People forced from Home due to Floods in #SouthAmerica - Please PRAY

150,000 people in Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil have been forced to leave their homes with the worst flooding in 50 years. At least six people have been killed. Paraguay has been the worst affected region by the rains and 130,000 people have been evacuated. 90,000 people are now living in temporary shelters in parks, public spaces, schools and military buildings. The Paraguayan government has declared a state of emergency. Image share Google Images/

Saint December 30 : Bl. Eugenia Ravasco : #Foundress

Eugenia Ravasco (1845-1900) 
Bl. Eugenia Ravasco
FOUNDRESS
Feast: December 30
 


Information:
Feast Day:December 30
Born:4 January 1845 in Milan, Italy
Died:30 December 1900 in Genoa, Italy

Eugenia Ravasco was born on 4 January 1845 in Milan, Italy, the third of Francesco Matteo and Carolina Mozzoni Frosconi's six children. When she was three years old her mother died and her father moved to Genoa where his two brothers lived, taking with him his eldest son, Ambrose, and the youngest daughter, Elisa. Eugenia remained in Milan with her Aunt Marietta Anselmi, who became a second mother to her and carefully educated her in the faith.
In 1852, the family was reunited in Genoa and following her father's death in March 1855, Eugenia went to live for some time with her uncle Luigi Ravasco and her aunt Elisa and their 10 children. Luigi Ravasco was careful to give his nephews and nieces a Christian upbringing. He was well aware of the anticlericalism on the rise in Italy at the time and of the efforts of the Freemasons, and was especially worried about Eugenia's brother, Ambrose, who had come under the influence of this spreading problem.
From early adolescence, Eugenia was deeply influenced by her uncle's responsible Christian example and his generosity towards the poor. Unlike her shy younger sister, Elisa, Eugenia was expansive and energetic and loved to serve others. Eucharistic worship, together with devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, became an essential part of her spirituality.
On 21 June 1855, Eugenia made her First Communion and Confirmation in St Ambrose's Church and from that day on, whenever she passed a church she would enter it to pray. God was preparing her for greater things.
In December 1862, her Uncle died, leaving Eugenia with the responsibility of caring for the family. With the help of God and the advice of Canon Salvatore Magnasco, she valiantly faced the problems caused by her brother. Aunt Marietta joined Eugenia to help the family. Both made every effort to rescue Ambrose, but without success.
Although her aunt wanted her to marry, Eugenia prayed that the Lord would show her the path to take, since she felt a growing inner call to religious life. On 31 May 1863 she received an answer as she entered the Church of St Sabina to pray. Fr Giacinto Bianchi, an ardent missionary of the Sacred Heart, was celebrating Mass. When she heard him say to the faithful, "Is there no one out there who feels called to dedicate themselves to doing good for love of the Heart of Jesus?", Eugenia understood that God was speaking to her, calling her to him through the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Eugenia found a spiritual director to help her discern what she was feeling, and shortly thereafter she began to teach catechism in the parish church to the disadvantaged young girls of the city. Her aunt and those close to her were against this, especially because these girls were unmannered and street-wise. But Eugenia persevered, accepting with patience the humiliations that she received from all sides. Little by little, she won the young girls over, organizing day trips and games for them and gaining their trust. She reached out to the most uneducated, neglected girls who, left to themselves, were in danger of going down the same errant path as her brother Ambrose.
As time went on, Eugenia felt that God was calling her to found a religious order that would form "honest citizens in society and saints in Heaven". Other young women had also joined her in this effort. On 6 December 1868, when she was 23 years old, she founded the religious congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Canon (later Archbishop) Magnasco had prepared her carefully and she continued, together with the sisters, to teach catechism and to open schools.
Despite open hostility towards the Church and the activity of the Freemasons, Mother Eugenia opened in 1878 a school for girls to give them Christian instruction and to prepare "Christian teachers" for the future. She proved courageous in the face of the persecution and ridicule she received from the local press. She also gave particular attention to the dying, the imprisoned and those away from the Church.

Notwithstanding her poor health, she travelled around Italy and to France and Switzerland, opening new communities and attracting religious vocations.
In 1882 the Congregation received diocesan approval and in 1884, together with her sisters, Mother Eugenia made her perpetual profession. She guided the foundations and her sisters with love and prudence, giving them as model the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Her apostolic ideal in life was "to burn with the desire to do good to others, especially to youth", and to "live in abbandonment to God and in the hands of Mary Immaculate". Mother Eugenia Ravasco died on 30 December 1900 in Genoa, consumed by illness. And in 1909 the Congregation she founded received Pontifical approval.
Today the Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (also known as the "Ravasco Institute") are present in Albania, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Venezuela, Africa and the Philippines. They continue their work in schools, parishes and missions and are especially dedicated to serving youth and the needy and to promoting the dignity of women.

(Taken from Vatican website)
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