Saturday, January 16, 2016

Catholic News World : Sat. January 16, 2016 - SHARE


#BreakingNews 1st Female President of Taiwan - #Taiwan Democratic Party Wins

Tsai Ing-wen becomes Taiwan’s first female president

Although vote counting is still underway, the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) appears to have secured a landslide victory. Her main opponent, Eric Chu, of the Kuomintang, has already conceded defeat and resigned from the leadership of his party. Chen Chien-je, a Catholic, becomes vice president.

Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Tsai Ing-wen has been elected Taiwan's first female president. With most of the votes counted, her party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has a commanding lead in the Legislative Yuan (parliament).
Following his poor performance, KMT (Nationalist Party) presidential candidate Eric Chu announced his resignation. “Sorry everybody,” he said, “Chu Li-luan has disappointed you. We have failed. We have failed the expectations of all voters. We have failed our responsibilities towards Taiwan”.
Tsai Ing-wen also ran in the 2012 presidential elections (when as the first female presidential candidate she lost to Ma Ying-jeou, with 45 per cent of the votes).
Born in Fangshan in 1956, before becoming DPP leader, she was Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council and Vice Premier (officially vice president of the Executive Yuan) under President Ma Ying-jeou’s predecessor, Chen Shui-bien.
With Tsai Ing-wen’s election, Chen Chien-je, a Catholic and a well known figure in Taiwanese society, becomes vice president.
Since President Lee Teng-hui adopted a policy of “Special state-to-state relations,” which she helped draft, Tsai Ing-wen has moderated her views.
Although she has pledged to maintain peaceful and stable relations with mainland China and wants to meet with Chinese government officials, she remains a supporter of Taiwanese independence, and refuses to support the view that Taiwan is part of "one China". Share from Asia News IT

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Sat. January 16, 2016

Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 310

Reading 11 SM 9:1-4, 17-19; 10:1

There was a stalwart man from Benjamin named Kish,
who was the son of Abiel, son of Zeror,
son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite.
He had a son named Saul, who was a handsome young man.
There was no other child of Israel more handsome than Saul;
he stood head and shoulders above the people.

Now the asses of Saul’s father, Kish, had wandered off.
Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you
and go out and hunt for the asses.”
Accordingly they went through the hill country of Ephraim,
and through the land of Shalishah.
Not finding them there,
they continued through the land of Shaalim without success.
They also went through the land of Benjamin,
but they failed to find the animals.

When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the LORD assured him,
“This is the man of whom I told you; he is to govern my people.”

Saul met Samuel in the gateway and said,
“Please tell me where the seer lives.”
Samuel answered Saul: “I am the seer.
Go up ahead of me to the high place and eat with me today.
In the morning, before dismissing you,
I will tell you whatever you wish.”

Then, from a flask he had with him, Samuel poured oil on Saul’s head;
he also kissed him, saying:
“The LORD anoints you commander over his heritage.
You are to govern the LORD’s people Israel,
and to save them from the grasp of their enemies roundabout.

“This will be the sign for you
that the LORD has anointed you commander over his heritage.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 21:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (2a) Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
O LORD, in your strength the king is glad;
in your victory how greatly he rejoices!
You have granted him his heart’s desire;
you refused not the wish of his lips.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
For you welcomed him with goodly blessings,
you placed on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked life of you: you gave him
length of days forever and ever.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
Great is his glory in your victory;
majesty and splendor you conferred upon him.
For you made him a blessing forever;
you gladdened him with the joy of your face.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.

AlleluiaLK 4:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor
and to proclaim liberty to captives.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 2:13-17

Jesus went out along the sea.
All the crowd came to him and he taught them.
As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus,
sitting at the customs post.
Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed Jesus.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples;
for there were many who followed him.
Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with sinners
and tax collectors and said to his disciples,
“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus heard this and said to them,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Saint January 16 : St. Berard of Carbio : Friar Minor : Martyr

St. Berard of Carbio
Feast: January 16

Feast Day:January 16
Carbio, Umbria, Italy
Died16 January 1220, Morocco
Canonized:1481, Rome by Pope Sixtus IV
Of the noble family of Leopardi, and a native of Carbio in Umbria, Berard was received into the Franciscan Order by the Seraphic Patriarch  himself, in 1213. He was well versed in Arabic, an eloquent preacher, and was chosen by St. Francis, together with two other priests, Peter and Otho, and two lay-brothers, Accursius and Adjutus, to evangelize the infidels of the East. On the conclusion of the Second General Chapter in 1219, St. Francis believed that the time had then come for the religious of his order to extend their apostolic labours beyond the Italian peninsula and Northern Europe; and, choosing for himself and twelve other religious the greater part of Syria and Egypt, he allotted to Berard and his companions the missions of Morocco. The five missionaries set sail from Italy, and after sojourning some time in Spain and Portugal finally arrived in the Kingdom of Morocco. Their open preaching of the Gospel there and their bold denunciation of the religion of Mahomet soon caused them to be apprehended and cast into prison. Having vainly endeavoured to persuade them to abandon the true religion, the Moorish king in a fit of rage opened their heads with his scimitar, and thus were offered to God the first fruits of the blood of the Friars Minor. Berard and his companions were canonized by Sixtus V, in 1481. The feast of the martyrs of Morocco is kept in the order on the 16th of January.


#PopeFrancis ''May the Lord make us grow in faith in Jesus Christ, God, who forgives...'' #Homily in #VaticanCity

Pope Francis at Mass, Jan 15, 2016 - OSS_ROM
Pope Francis at Mass, Jan 15, 2016 - OSS_ROM
15/01/2016 11:

(Vatican Radio) “How is my faith in Jesus Christ?” This was the question Pope Francis addressed in his remarks to the faithful following the readings of the day at Mass on Friday morning in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta. The Holy Father focused particularly on the Gospel reading, stressing that, in order really to understand Jesus, we should not have a “closed heart”, but ought to follow the path of forgiveness and humiliation. “Faith,” he said, “is something that no one can one can buy,” it is “a gift” that changes our life.
The Gospel reading on Friday was drawn from the Gospel according to St. Mark, and recounts the miraculous healing of a paralytic in Capernaum.
Click below to hear our report
The people of Capernaum were ready to do anything to get closer to Jesus – they did not heed even risks that may be incurred in order to be able to listen or simply get close enough to brush Him.  So many were the people in and around the house where Jesus was, that they had to open the roof and lower the paralyzed man in search of healing into the house. “They had faith,” the Pope said, “the same faith as that lady who, also in a crowd, arranged to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, Jesus’ robe, when He going to the house of Jairus, that she too might be healed.” It was the same faith of the centurion, who desired the healing of his servant. “Strong faith, courageous, forward – looking,” said Pope Francis - hearts to faith.”
If we have closed hearts, we cannot understand Jesus
In the story of the paralytic, he noted, “Jesus goes a step further.” In Nazareth, the beginning of His ministry, “He went into the Synagogue and said he had been sent to free the oppressed, prisoners, to give sight to the blind ... to inaugurate a year of grace,” a year “of pardon, of growing closer to the Lord – to inaugurate a way to God.” Here, however, He goes a step further: not only healing the sick but forgiving their sins:
“There were those there who had their hearts closed, but accepted – up to a point – that Jesus was a healer – but forgiving sins is strong! This man is over the top! He has no right to say this, because only God can forgive sins. Only Jesus knew what they were thinking and said: ‘I am God’? - No, He did not say that. [He said,] ?Why are you thinking these things? Because you know that the Son of Man has the power – this is what makes him special [It. รจ il passo avanti] – to forgive sins: ‘Arise, take up your mat and be healed.’ He begins to speak the language that at some point will discourage people, some of disciples who followed him – for, hard is this language, when he speaks of eating his body as a way of salvation.”
Let us ask ourselves if faith in Jesus really changes our lives
When Jesus shows up with a power greater than that of a man, “To give that forgiveness, to give life, to recreate humanity, even His disciples doubt, and [some of them] go away.” Jesus asked a small group, ‘Do you also want to go away?’”:
“Faith in Jesus Christ: how is my faith in Jesus Christ? Do I believe that Jesus Christ is God, the Son of God? And has this faith been life-changing? Does my faith make this year of grace begin in my heart, this year of pardon, this year of growing in nearness to the Lord? Faith is a gift. No one ‘deserves’ faith. No one can buy it. It is a gift. Does ‘my’ faith in Jesus Christ, bring me to humiliation? I do not say humility: humiliation, repentance, prayer asking: ‘Forgive me, Lord. You are God. You ‘can’ forgive my sins.”
The test of our faith is the ability to praise God
Let the Lord “make us grow in faith,” was the prayer of Pope Francis. The people, he noted, “sought Jesus in order that they might hear Him, because he spoke “with authority, not as the scribes speak.” Also, he added, they followed Him because He healed people, because he performed miracles – but in the end, “these people, after seeing this, went away and they were all amazed, and glorified God”:
“Praise: the proof that I believe that Jesus Christ is God in my life, that He was sent to me to ‘forgive me’, is praise; if I have the ability to praise God. Praise the Lord. This is free - praise is gratis. It is a sentiment that the Holy Spirit gives and that brings you to say: ‘You are the only God.’ May the Lord make us grow in faith in Jesus Christ, God, who forgives us, who gives us a year of grace – and this faith leads us to praise.”

Latest #News of #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis at #HolySee to SHARE

14-01-2016 - Year XXVI - Num. 8 

- Merciful like the Father: message for the Jubilee of Mercy for the young
- Apostolic almoner: afternoon at the circus for the homeless
- Vatican parishes welcome refugees
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts

- General audience: new cycle of catechesis on mercy in the Bible
- Francis prays for the victims of the Istanbul attack
Merciful like the Father: message for the Jubilee of Mercy for the young
Vatican City, 14 January 2016 (VIS) – Pope Francis' message for the Jubilee of Mercy for young boys and girls was published today. In the text, dated 6 January 2016, Solemnity of the Epiphany, the Holy Father addresses young boys and girls aged 13 to 16, many of whom intend to make a pilgrimage to Rome from 23 to 25 April, and who are "preparing to be Christians capable of making courageous choices and decisions, in order to build daily, even through little things, a world of peace", and encourages those who live in difficult situations not to lose hope as the Lord "has a great dream" for them that He wishes to come true. He invites them not to be "taken in by the messages of hatred or terror all around us", and instead to make new friendships.
The following is the full text of the Message:
"Dear Young Friends,
The Church is celebrating the Holy Year of Mercy, a time of grace, peace, conversion and joy. It is meant for everyone: people of every age, from far and near. There are no walls or distances which can prevent the Father’s mercy from reaching and embracing us. The Holy Door is now open in Rome and in all the dioceses of the world.
This grace-filled moment also concerns you, dear young people. I encourage you to take an active part in this celebration and to realise that each of you is a child of God. I would like to invite you, one by one, calling you by name, as Jesus does each day. For you know that your names are written in heaven, in the heart of the Father, that Merciful Heart which is the source of all reconciliation and kindness.
The Jubilee is a year-long celebration, in which every moment becomes a chance for us to grow in holiness. It is a time when we can discover that life together as brothers and sisters is like a great party, perhaps the most beautiful party we can imagine, the endless party that Jesus has taught us to celebrate by his Spirit. The Jubilee is the party to which Jesus invites us all, without excluding anyone. That is why I also wanted to have some days of prayer and celebration with you. I am looking forward to seeing many of you in April.
'Merciful like the Father'. This is the theme of the Jubilee, but it is also the prayer we make for all of you as we welcome you in the name of Jesus. To be merciful means to grow in a love which is courageous, generous and real. It means to grow physically and spiritually. You are preparing to be Christians capable of making courageous choices and decisions, in order to build daily, even through little things, a world of peace.
Yours is a time of life which is full of amazing changes. Everything seems possible and impossible all at once. I repeat what I said to some of your friends: 'Remain steadfast in the journey of faith, with firm hope in the Lord. This is the secret of our journey! He gives us the courage to swim against the tide. Pay attention, my young friends: to go against the current; this is good for the heart, but we need courage to swim against the tide. Jesus gives us this courage! … With Him we can do great things; He will give us the joy of being His disciples, His witnesses. Commit yourselves to great ideals, to the most important things. We Christians were not chosen by the Lord for little things; push onwards toward the highest principles. Stake your lives on noble ideals'.
Here I cannot forget those of you who are living in situations of war, extreme poverty, daily troubles and loneliness. Don’t ever lose hope! The Lord has a great dream which, with your help, He wants to come true! Your friends, young people your age living in less trying conditions than your own, have not forgotten you; they are working for peace and justice for everyone everywhere. Don’t be taken in by the messages of hatred or terror all around us. Instead, make new friends. Give of your time and always show concern for those who ask your help. Be brave and go against the tide; be friends of Jesus, Who is the Prince of Peace. 'Everything in him speaks of mercy. Nothing in him is devoid of compassion'.
I realise that not all of you can come to Rome, but the Jubilee is truly for everyone and it is also being celebrated in your local Churches. You are all invited to this moment of joy. Don’t just prepare your rucksacks and your banners, but your hearts and your minds as well. Think carefully about the hope and desires you will hand over to Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and in the Eucharist which we will celebrate together. As you walk through the Holy Door, remember that you are committing yourselves to grow in holiness and to draw nourishment from the Gospel and the Eucharist, the Word and the Bread of life, in order to help build a more just and fraternal world.
May the Lord bless your journey towards the Holy Door. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide your steps and enlighten you. For you and your families, and for all who help you to grow in goodness and in grace, may the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of us all, be true Door of Mercy".
Apostolic almoner: afternoon at the circus for the homeless
Vatican City, 14 January 2016 (VIS) – The Apostolic Almoner reports that this afternoon a group of homeless people, refugees, prisoners and people living in poverty, will have the opportunity to attend a circus show offered by the Rony Roller Circus, which will make two thousand seats available for the event.
The show will begin with a song dedicated to Pope Francis by a Spanish singer-songwriter, also homeless, which will serve as the opening prayer. The Holy Father, during a general audience in 2015, commented that circus performers are "creators of beauty", which is good for the soul and which we are greatly in need of. This gift, offered by circus artistes, who with consistency, commitment and many sacrifices manage to create and give beauty to themselves and others, may encourage our poorest brethren to overcome to hardships of life.
In addition, during this charitable event, the attendees will have the opportunity to be assisted by doctors and nurses from the Vatican Health Services who will be present with a dedicated Vatican camper van and ambulances.
Vatican parishes welcome refugees
Vatican City, 14 January 2016 (VIS) – As our readers will recall, following the Angelus prayer on Sunday 6 September 2015, the Holy Father invited all parishes to host a family of refugees, starting in the diocese of Rome.
The two Vatican parishes, St. Anna and St. Peter, immediately took steps to respond to this invitation, in collaboration with the Apostolic Almoner Archbishop Konrad Krajewski and the Sant'Egidio Community. The St. Anna parish community in the Borgo area hosts a Syrian family made up of a couple with two children.
Similarly, the parish of St. Peter's Basilica, in a large apartment situated in the area of Via Gregorio VII, hosts an Eritrean family composed of a mother and five children, three of whom are already with her in the apartment. Her other two children are still in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, but the Sant'Egidio Community is working to reunite the family by the end of the month or within a few weeks. The youngest child, just a few months old, was born in Norway where the family had arrived, and from where they were sent back to Italy in accordance with the Dublin Convention. The family shares the apartment with a young friend and her young son.
Vatican City, 14 January 2016 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Archbishop Giovanni D'Aniello, apostolic nuncio in Brazil;
- Archbishop Marek Zalewski, apostolic nuncio in Zimbabwe;
- Archbishop Hector Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte of Trujillo, Bishop Norbert Klemens Strotmann Hoppe of Chosica and Bishop Robert Francis Prevost of Chiclayo, Peru;
- Jean Todt, president of the Federation Internationale d'Automobile (FIA), and entourage,
- Fabrizio Palenzona, president of the "Aeroporti di Roma", and entourage;
- Maria Romana De Gasperi, honorary president of the De Gasperi Foundation;
- Community of the Collegio Sacerdotale Argentino in Rome.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 14 January 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Mannar, Sri Lanka presented by Bishop Rayappu Joseph upon reaching the age limit. He appointed Bishop Joseph Kingsley Swampillai, emeritus of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, as apostolic administrator of the same diocese.
- given his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Catholic Ukrainian Church of Fr. Volodymyr Hrutsa, C.Ss.R., as auxiliary bishop of Lviv (area 3,767, population 1,067,200, Catholics 730,525, priests 468, permanent deacons 4, religious 513), Ukraine. The bishop-elect was born in Dobromyl, Ukraine in 1976, gave his religious vows in 2000 and was ordained a priest in 2001. He holds a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the University of Innsbruck, Austria and has served in a number of roles within his congregation, including director of studies of the Province of Lviv and master of novices of the same province, and lecturer of dogmatic theology at the Catholic University of Ukraine, the major seminary of Lviv and the seminary of Basilian fathers in Bryukhovychi.

15-01-2016 - Year XXVI - Num. 8 

Vatican City, 15 January 2016 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples;
- Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, apostolic nuncio in Israel and in Cyprus; apostolic delegate in Jerusalem and in Palestine;
- Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto, apostolic nuncio in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Montenegro;
- Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google;
- Fr. Pedro Aguado Cuesta, prepositor general of the Order of Poor Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools;
- John Anthony Gerard McCarthy, ambassador of Australia to the Holy See, on his farewell visit.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 15 January 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Domenico Cornacchia of Lucera – Troia, Italy, as bishop of Molfetta-Ruvo-Giovinazzo-Terlizzi (area 442, population 133,317, Catholics 132,503, priests 103, permanent deacons 10, religious 153), Italy.

13-01-2016 - Year XXVI - Num. 7 

General audience: new cycle of catechesis on mercy in the Bible
Vatican City, 13 January 2016 (VIS) – During today's general audience, which took place in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, the Pope began a new cycle of catechesis dedicated to mercy from a Biblical perspective, to foster an understanding of what mercy is through listening to what God Himself teaches us with His Word.
Francis referred to a passage from the Book of Exodus in which the Lord describes Himself as "a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness". "In other texts too we encounter this formula, with some variation, but stress is always placed on the mercy and love of God Who never tires of forgiving", he said, before going on to analyse each of these terms used in the sacred Scripture to describe God.
 The word "merciful" evokes an attitude of tenderness, "like that of a mother towards her child. Indeed, the Hebrew word used in the Bible makes us think of the maternal womb. Therefore the image suggested is that of a God who is moved to tenderness for us like a mother when she holds her child in her arms, wishing only to love, protect and help him, willing to give everything, even herself. A love, then, that can be defined as … visceral".
 The Lord is full of pity and compassion; in His greatness "He stoops to those who are weak and poor, always ready to welcome, understand and forgive". He is like the father in the parable of the prodigal son "who does not close himself in resentment at his abandonment by his youngest son, but on the contrary continues to wait for him, and then runs out to meet and embrace him. He does not even let him finish his confession ... so great is his love and joy at finding him again".
Of this merciful God it is also said that He is "slow to anger", as if He waited before responding, breathing deeply without losing patience. "God knows how to wait: He does not have the impatience of men. He is like the wise farmer who knows how to wait, who leaves time to let the good seed grow, rather than weeds".
Finally, the Lord proclaims Himself "abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness". "How beautiful is this definition of God!", exclaimed the Pope. "Here we find everything. Because God is great and powerful, but this greatness and power are shown in loving us, so small and incapable as we are. The word 'to love' as used here indicates affection, grace, goodness. It is the love that takes the first step, that does not depend upon human merits but on an immense gratuity. It is the divine solicitude that nothing can stop, not even sin, as it goes beyond sin, conquering evil and forgiving it. A faithfulness without limits: here is the last word of God's revelation to Moses. God's faithfulness never ceases because the Lord … never sleeps, but rather keeps watch over us continually to bring us to life".
"God is always and completely loyal", concluded Francis. "His is a solid and stable presence. It is the certainty of our faith. In this Jubilee of Mercy, let us trust fully in Him, to feel the joy of being loved by this merciful and clement God, slow to anger and great in love and faithfulness".
Francis prays for the victims of the Istanbul attack
 Vatican City, 13 January 2016 (VIS) – At the end of today's general audience, the Holy Father invited prayer for the victims of the attack that took place yesterday afternoon in Istanbul. "May the Lord, the Merciful, grant eternal peace to the departed, consolation to their families and steadfast solidarity to all of society, and convert the hearts of the violent".

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Fri. January 15, 2016

Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 309

Reading 11 SM 8:4-7, 10-22A

All the elders of Israel came in a body to Samuel at Ramah
and said to him, “Now that you are old,
and your sons do not follow your example,
appoint a king over us, as other nations have, to judge us.”

Samuel was displeased when they asked for a king to judge them.
He prayed to the LORD, however, who said in answer:
“Grant the people’s every request.
It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king.”

Samuel delivered the message of the LORD in full
to those who were asking him for a king.
He told them:
“The rights of the king who will rule you will be as follows:
He will take your sons and assign them to his chariots and horses,
and they will run before his chariot.
He will also appoint from among them his commanders of groups
of a thousand and of a hundred soldiers.
He will set them to do his plowing and his harvesting,
and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots.
He will use your daughters as ointment makers, as cooks, and as bakers.
He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive groves,
and give them to his officials.
He will tithe your crops and your vineyards,
and give the revenue to his eunuchs and his slaves.
He will take your male and female servants,
as well as your best oxen and your asses,
and use them to do his work.
He will tithe your flocks and you yourselves will become his slaves.
When this takes place,
you will complain against the king whom you have chosen,
but on that day the LORD will not answer you.”

The people, however, refused to listen to Samuel’s warning and said,
“Not so! There must be a king over us.
We too must be like other nations,
with a king to rule us and to lead us in warfare
and fight our battles.”
When Samuel had listened to all the people had to say,
he repeated it to the LORD, who then said to him,
“Grant their request and appoint a king to rule them.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 89:16-17, 18-19

R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
Blessed the people who know the joyful shout;
in the light of your countenance, O LORD, they walk.
At your name they rejoice all the day,
and through your justice they are exalted.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
For you are the splendor of their strength,
and by your favor our horn is exalted.
For to the LORD belongs our shield,
and to the Holy One of Israel, our King.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

AlleluiaLK 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 2:1-12

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days,
it became known that he was at home.
Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them,
not even around the door,
and he preached the word to them.
They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd,
they opened up the roof above him.
After they had broken through,
they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him,
“Child, your sins are forgiven.”
Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,
“Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming.
Who but God alone can forgive sins?”
Jesus immediately knew in his mind what
they were thinking to themselves,
so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic,
‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’?
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”
–he said to the paralytic,
“I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”
He rose, picked up his mat at once,
and went away in the sight of everyone.
They were all astounded
and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

Saint January 15 : St. Ita : Religious : Patron of Ireland

Feast Day:January 15
475, County of Waterford, Ireland
Died:15 January 570
Patron of:Diocese of Limerick, Ireland
St. Ita was born of Christian parents towards the end of the fifth century. She belonged to the noble tribe of the Decii in County Waterford. All her early biographers favor the pleasant metaphor describing her as the 'Brigid of Munster'. Actually the differences were more striking than the resemblances between those two foremost women saints of the Celtic church (see St. Brigid). Brigid's effective life as a nun was spent in continual movement. When she had made a success of one convent settlement, she moved off to found another. Organization was her bent. Ita did just the opposite. Instead of entering one of Brigid's convents, she founded another in a district where there was none, at Killeedy, County Limerick. There she remained all her life, courting retirement. Again, there is an emphasis on austerity in Ita's life not found in Brigid's. Ita's mortifications were on a par with those of the greatest contemporary missionaries.

A strongly individualistic character is glimpsed in the legends of Ita. When she decided to settle in Killeedy, a chieftain offered her a large grant of land to support the convent. But Ita would accept only four acres, which she cultivated intensively. The convent became known as a training school for little boys, many of whom later became famous churchmen. One of these was St. Brendan, whom Ita accepted in fosterage when he was a year old and kept until he was six. The great Navigator revisited her between his voyages and always deferred to her counsel. He once asked her what were the three clings which God most detested, and she replied: 'A scowling face, obstinacy in wrong-doing, and too great a confidence in the power of money'. St. Mochoemoc, whom because of his beauty she called 'Pulcherius', was another great personage of the Celtic church she fostered in infancy.
Ita died on January 15th, which is now kept as her feast, about the year 570. There is a strong local cult of her in Munster, particularly in Waterford and Limerick, and her name is a popular one for Irish girls. In the middle of the nineteenth century a new move was made in Ireland for the development of her cult, when Bishop Butler of Limerick obtained from Pope Pius IX a special office and mass for her feast

Saint January 14 : St. Felix of Nola : Patron of #Eyes, Against #Lies; #domestic #Animals

Today, January 14, marks the death and martyrdom ofSaint Felix of Nola (born early third century, died 255). Born in Campania, Italy, Felix joined the clergy, giving all he had to the poor, shortly following the death of his father. Working under the guidance of Bishop Maximus of Nola, both underwent persecution and torture at the hands of Roman Emperor Decius.

Shortly following the imprisonment of Bishop Maximus, Felix was taken into custody by Roman soldiers, imprisoned, scourged and tortured, and wrapped with heavy chains in his prison cell. He miraculously escaped from his cell, following visitation from an angel who instructed him to go to the aid of his ailing bishop. As the angel encouraged Felix, his chains fell off and his prison cell was opened. Felix rescued Maximus, bearing him on his back (despite weakness and small stature), and effectively hiding both men from Roman authorities until the end of Decius’ reign.

The second attempt to imprison Felix and Maximus was miraculously prevented by a spider! Upon hearing Roman soldiers approaching, Felix crawled into a small hole in the building he was staying, where it is said a spider immediately spun a web over the opening. The guards saw the spider web and ceased searching for the men, assuming that the room had been undisturbed for some time.
Felix was a humble and giving servant of the Lord. Following the death of Maximus, he was called to be the next Bishop of Nola, but refused, indicating that one of his more experienced brothers (ordained only seven days prior to Felix) was more deserving. He refused to reclaim his possessions and land seized during the persecution, instead renting a meager plot, tilling it by hand, and sharing his goods with the poorest around him. It is said that whatever Felix possessed, he gave away to those in need, oftentimes to his own detriment. He died in 255, and is considered a Church martyr due to the torture, imprisonment, persecution, and suffering he endured for his faith. Buried in Nola, numerous miracles have been reported at his tomb.
Felix received a clear call to action from the angel in his prison cell, just as the Blessed Virgin received the Archangel Gabriel’s message of her extraordinary role in the Incarnation of Jesus. Felix heard the call, and risked his life and unimaginable suffering to answer it. While the messages we receive from the Lord are not always heralded by angels, we still need to listen for them—and perhaps listen all the more closely. These are the quiet urgings of our hearts, which bring us closer to our God. How often are we too busy and too wrapped up in our wants and needless anxieties to hear the call of God? Might slowing down and creating some silence in our lives enable a deeper communion with Christ? Today, we pray for that silence—the silence in which we hear and understand what the Lord wishes for us, and the courage to stand up and put the call into action!

Saint January 14 : St. Sava : #Patron of #Serbia

Feast Day:January 14
Died:January 14, 1235, Tarnovgrad, Bulgariaa
Major Shrine:Temple of Saint Sava (Belgrade)
Patron of:Serbia
Born, Rastko, he was the third son of Stephen I Nemanja (r. 1167-1196), ruler of Serbia. In 1191, he went to Mount Athos, where he took the name Sava and became a monk. He was joined there five years later by his father, who had abdicated in favor of his eldest son, Stephen. With his father, Sava established on Mount Athos the monastery of Khilander (Hilandar), which emerged as one of the leading monastic centers for the Serbians. Sava returned to Serbia in 1208 and became archimandrite of Studenica, using the post to wield considerable political and religious influence throughout the kingdom.

He opposed his brother's religious policy of treating with the Holy See and in 1219 was consecrated the metropolitan of an independent Serbian Church by the patriarch of Nicaea with the approval of the Byzantine emperor, who was much in favor of keeping Serbia within the sphere of Greek Orthodox influence. Sava worked to establish dioceses throughout Serbia, promoted native clergy, built churches, and translated numerous religious texts into Serbian. In 1229, he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, returning there in 1233 to win recognition of the Bulgarian patriarch from the patriarchs of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch. he died while on his way home, at Tirnovo, Bulgaria.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints

Post a Comment