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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Catholic News World : Saturday February 27, 2016 - SHARE

2016

#Archbishop says Last Rights may be Denied for those seeking #Euthanasia



Canadian law has changed recently and approved forms of Euthanasia or Doctor Assisted Suicide in the country. This has prompted the action of several Bishops and the Canadian Conference of Bishops to defend Life. Several Catholic hospitals have declared that they will not be providing Euthanasia. In an article by Journalist Deborah Gyapong in the Catholic Register she interviewed Archbishop Prendergast of Ottawa who explained that Last Rights may be denied to Catholics who receive Assisted Suicide. Here are some pertinent excerpts from the Archbishop's interview: 
“Asking your priest to be present to something that is in direct contradiction to our Catholic values is not fair to the pastor,” Prendergast said. “Of course a pastor will try and dissuade a patient from requesting suicide and will pray with them and their family, but asking him to be present is in effect asking him to condone a serious sin.”
A person who requests a lethal injection “lacks the proper disposition for the anointing of the sick,” he said.
“Asking to be killed is gravely disordered and is a rejection of the hope that the rite calls for and tries to bring into the situation.”
“The rite is for people who are gravely ill or labour under the burden of years and it contains the forgiveness of sins as part of the rite, in either form,” he said. “But we cannot be forgiven pre-emptively for something we are going to do — like ask for assisted suicide when suicide is a grave sin.”
“When someone asks for the presence of a priest, whatever the situation, you always say yes,” said Montreal Archbishop Christian Lépine.
Without speaking specifically about administering the sacraments, the archbishop said suicide is “a grave evil” and the focus “has to be to promote the sacred character of life from conception to natural death.”
He compared attending to a person intent on assisted suicide to seeing someone ready to jump to their death from a bridge and rushing to talk them out of it. “It’s the same thing with the terminally ill,” he said.
Catholic priests can only pray the person will “turn away from it,” Prendergast said.
The Canadian Conference has released a letter regarding the controversy; FULL TEXT below: 
CCCB Release: Dear brothers and sisters,
The Special Joint Committee of the Government of Canada on "Physician-Assisted Dying" this past February 25 released its report,Medical Assistance in Dying: A Patient-Centred Approach. The report, in part, recommends:
- That assisted suicide be available to those with psychiatric conditions (Recommendation 3)
- That psychological suffering be among the criteria making an individual eligible for assisted suicide (Recommendation 4)
- That within approximately three years assisted suicide be available for adolescents and possibly also children who can be considered "mature minors" (Recommendation 6)
- That all health-care practitioners be obliged at the minimum to provide an "effective referral" for clients seeking assisted suicide (Recommendation 10)
- That all publicly funded health-care institutions in Canada provide assisted suicide
(Recommendation 11)
In addition, the report fails to show how palliative care and home care can provide true options for those tempted by suicide, nor does it call for a national plan to prevent suicides. Suicide rates are five to seven times higher for First Nations youth in Canada than for non-Aboriginal youth, while suicide rates among Inuit youth are among the highest in the world, at 11 times the national Canadian average.
The teaching of the Catholic Church and the stance of the Catholic Bishops of Canada are clear. Suicide is not part of health care. Killing the mentally and physically ill, whether young or aged, is contrary to caring for and loving one's brother and sister. The dignity of the human person and the flourishing of the human community demand: 1) protection and respect for each human life from conception to natural death, and 2) freedom of conscience and religion for each person as well as each institution. Social wellbeing, personal security and the common good – together with religious faith – involve safeguarding, not endangering, the lives of those suffer.
The above recommendations and the thrust of the report completely fail to be "patient-centred" or to assist and support the dying and the vulnerable. To borrow from the words of Pope Francis, the report's recommendations are the approach of a "throw-away" society. They do not reveal the face of God's mercy.
Together with my brother Bishops, both Catholic and Orthodox, as well as with leaders from the Evangelical Protestant, Jewish and Muslim faith communities, and many of other faiths or of no faith, I urge you to inform your elected officials why euthanasia, assisted suicide and the above recommendations are completely unacceptable.
(Most Rev.) Douglas Crosby, OMI
Bishop of Hamilton
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

#BreakingNews Women in #Pakistan Raped and Forcibly Converted to Islam to Marry their Attackers - Please Pray

Christian women in Pakistan forcibly converted to Islam and married off to their kidnappers

Shafique Khokhar
Tahira, 21, and Reema Bibi, 20, were abducted near their home last December. The Muslim men who took them, raped them and forcibly married them, and then kept them segregated. At least 1,000 Christian women are forcibly converted in Pakistan each year. If they escape, the police arrests a family member.
Lahore (AsiaNews) – Tahira, 21, and Reema Bibi, 20, are two Pakistani Christian women who were abducted on 2 December 2015 from near their home in Sargodha (Punjab) as they returned together from work.
The two Muslim men who took the two young women, raped them, and then forcibly married them. Afterwards, they kept them segregated in their Islamabad home, this according to British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), an activist group that works for religious freedom in Pakistan, and monitors the continuous violations against minorities, especially women, which the government does not punish.
Forced marriages have been a scourge in the Muslim nation for years, one that does not seem close to any resolution. The case of Tahira and Reema is emblematic. On 11 February, Tahira managed to escape, but her Muslim "husband" filed a complaint with police, who immediately arrested six members of her family. The relatives were released thanks to pressure from human rights groups, but the authorities have ordered the family to return Tahira to her "husband."
The BPCA reported a similar case a few days ago. A Christian woman was seized and forced to marry the Muslim owner of the house where she worked as a cleaner. After she managed to escape thanks to a colleague, the police ordered her family to hand her over to the authorities; otherwise, they would arrest a relative.
According to a report by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace in Pakistan, at least 1,000 Pakistani women and girls are forced into Muslim marriages and made to convert to Islam each year. However, the real number is certainly much higher, since many incidents go unreported.
The aforementioned report found that forced marriages usually follow a similar pattern: females between the ages of 12 and 25 are abducted, made to convert to Islam, and then married to the abductor or an associate.
Even if a case goes to court, the victims are threatened and pressured by their “husband” and his family to declare that their conversion was voluntary.
Victims are often sexually abused, forced into prostitution, and suffer domestic abuse or even wind up in the human trafficking racket. Those who try to rebel are told that they “are now Muslims and that the punishment for apostasy is death”.
In November 2015, the Pakistani Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Council of Islamic Ideology opposed a law on “forced conversion”, sparking dismay and protests among Pakistani Hindus and Christians.
Since most minority Pakistanis are very poor, it is hard for them to have adequate political representation and receive justice.
That of forced marriages is just one of many issues that religious and ethnic minorities face as they are deprived of their rights, even though they are formally guaranteed by the Constitution.
A landmark Supreme Court ruling on 19 June 2014 took note of the injustice meted out to the country’s minorities.
Headed by Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, the bench included justices Azmat Saeed and Mushir Alam. It found that the government is complicitous in the acts of injustice. Unfortunately, the court’s ruling did not spark any reaction from the government.
In the latest case, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has called for the return of Tahira and Reema to their families and criminal proceedings against their captors and rapists. Established in 1994, the AHRC is based in Hong Kong. 
Shared from AsiaNewsIT

#PopeFrancis Prays at casket of Pregnant Receptionist Miriam Woldu who died

Pope Francis on Saturday morning paid his respects for Miriam Woldu, a 34-year-old receptionist at the Pope’s residence who died recently.  - ANSA
Pope Francis on Saturday morning paid his respects for Miriam Woldu, a 34-year-old receptionist at the Pope’s residence who died recently. - ANSA
27/02/2016 14:43

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday morning paid his respects for Miriam Woldu, a 34-year-old receptionist at the Pope’s residence who died recently at her apartment on the outskirts of Rome.
The receptionist was an Eritrean-born Italian citizen, who was seven-months-pregnant. She had been suffering diabetes-related complications during her pregnancy.
The funeral was held on Saturday in the Church of the St. Stephen of the Abyssinians, located on the grounds of the Vatican.
The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, said before the funeral Mass, Pope Francis prayed silently for 20 minutes in the church – “showing his great affection and respect for his dear collaborator in the Casa Santa Marta” – and left a bouquet of 12 white roses.
Last month, Pope Francis remembered another deceased member of the Casa Santa Marta staff – a cleaner named Elvira – during his Sunday Angelus. The Holy Father said his collaborators “are not just employees, but are a part of the family in the house.”

Wow Serial Killer Ted Bundy Last Interview admits #Pornography Harms - Say NO to Porn! SHARE

This is the Last Interview with Serial Killer Ted Bundy. He admits to his secret addiction and how it influenced him. Although coming from a devote family...Please watch and SHARE
Let the World Know that Pornography is Evil.....

#Devotion to Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows and #Litany #Prayers to SHARE with Promises


Sorrow 1
The Presentation in the Temple

FIRST PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
 

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

1. I grieve for you, O Mary, most sorrowful, in the affliction of your tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by your heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Sorrow 2
The Flight into Egypt
 
THE SECOND PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
2. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of your most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and your sojourn there.
Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Sorrow 3
Loss of Jesus For Three Days
THE THIRD PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

3. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried your troubled heart at the lost of your dear Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen. 
Sorrow 4
The Way to Calvary
 
THE FOURTH PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
 4. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of your heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His cross. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Sorrow 5
The Crucifixion 
THE FIFTH PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
 

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

5. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which your generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by your afflicted heart, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Sorrow 6
The Descent from the Cross
THE SIXTH PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
 

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

6. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of your compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance before His Body was removed from the cross. Dear Mother, by your heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of
understanding.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Sorrow 7
The Burial of Jesus
THE SEVENTH PRAYER OF THE CHAPLET:
The Seven Dolors of The Blessed Virgin Mary
 

V: O God, come to my assistance;
R: O Lord, make haste to help me
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

7. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched your most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
PRAYER OF ST. BONAVENTURE TO
THE MOTHER OF SORROWS

O sorrowful Virgin, unite me at least to the humiliations and wounds of thy Son, so that both He and thee may find comfort in having someone sharing thy sufferings. Oh, how happy I would be if I could do this! For is there perhaps anything greater, sweeter, or more advantageous for a person? Why dost thou not grant me what I ask? If I have offended thee, be just and pierce my heart. If I have been faithful to thee, leave me not without a reward: give me thy sorrows.

 

PRAYER OF ST. ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI
 

O afflicted Virgin, O soul great in virtues, as in sorrows, both the one and the other spring from that great fire burning in thyr heart for God, the only love of thy heart!
Mother, have pity on me, who has not loved God, and who has so greatly offended Him. Thy sorrows, it is true, assure me of pardon, but that is not sufficient. I wish to love God. Who could obtain for me that grace if not thee, who are the Mother of holy love! O Mary, Thou consolest everyone; favor me also, with thy consolations. Amen. 
The Seven Graces of this Devotion
  1. I will grant peace to their families.
  2.They will be enlightened about the Divine mysteries.
  3. I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
  4. I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my Divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
  5. I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
  6. I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother.
  7. I have obtained this Grace from my Divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.

APPROVED BY POPE PIUS VII  IN 1815 

Litany of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows

by Pope Pius VII
V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.
Mother of the Crucified, [etc.]
Sorrowful Mother
Mournful Mother
Sighing Mother
Afflicted Mother
Foresaken Mother
Desolate Mother
Mother most sad
Mother set around with anguish
Mother overwhelmed by grief
Mother transfixed by a sword
Mother crucified in thy heart
Mother bereaved of thy Son
Sighing Dove
Mother of Dolors
Fount of tears
Sea of bitterness
Field of tribulation
Mass of suffering
Mirror of patience
Rock of constancy
Remedy in perplexity
Joy of the afflicted
Ark of the desolate
Refuge of the abandoned
Shiled of the oppressed
Conqueror of the incredulous
Solace of the wretched
Medicine of the sick
Help of the faint
Strength of the weak
Protectress of those who fight
Haven of the shipwrecked
Calmer of tempests
Companion of the sorrowful
Retreat of those who groan
Terror of the treacherous
Standard-bearer of the Martyrs
Treasure of the Faithful
Light of Confessors
Pearl of Virgins
Comfort of Widows
Joy of all Saints
Queen of thy Servants
Holy Mary, who alone art unexampled
V. Pray for us, most Sorrowful Virgin,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
O God, in whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of grief pierced through the most sweet soul of Thy glorious Blessed Virgin Mother Mary: grant that we, who celebrate the memory of her Seven Sorrows, may obtain the happy effect of Thy Passion, Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.
The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady
1. The Prophecy of Simeon
2. The Flight into Egypt
3. The Loss of Jesus in the Temple
4. Mary meets Jesus Carrying the Cross
5. The Crucifixion
6. Mary Receives the Dead Body of Her Son
7. The Burial of Her Son and Closing of the Tomb.


Litany by Pope Pius VII

#PopeFrancis “May justice always be your teacher,” to #Business Association - Text - Video

Pope Francis met with Italy’s Confindustria business association on Saturday. - AP
Pope Francis met with Italy’s Confindustria business association on Saturday. - AP
27/02/2016 13:00

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Saturday met with members of the Italian association of manufacturing companies, Confindustria, calling them to reflect together on the ethics of doing business.
Listen to Devin Watkins' report:
 
In remarks prepared for the occasion, Pope Francis spoke with the more than 7,000 businessmen and women from Italy’s largest manufacturing association about their slogan 'Work Together'.
Calling them to make that slogan into a true business program, the Holy Father meditated with the members of Confindustria on its deeper meaning of a way to contribute to a more just society.
“Your proposal,” the pope said, “is to reflect together on the ethics of doing business; together you have decided to focus your attention on values, values which are the ‘backbone’ of any formation project, of the appreciation of your country, and of promoting social relations, and which allow for a concrete alternative to the consumeristic model of profit at all costs.”
He went on to list how a program based on the slogan 'Work Together' would take into account the various groups in society most in need and most often forgotten. 
These include the family, “in which the work experience, the sacrifice which sustains it, and the fruits which it produces find meaning and import”. It also takes into account those weaker and more marginalized categories of people, like the elderly and young people whose potential for work should not be imprisoned in uncertainty and unemployment.
“All these strengths combined,” Pope Francis said, “can make a difference for a business which places at its center the person, the quality of their relations, and the truth of his or her work to build a more just world, a world truly for all.”
The Pope continued, saying “This attention to the concrete person carries with it a series of important choices:  It means giving to each his own, relieving of mothers and fathers of families the worry of not being able to give a future, or even a present, to their children.  It means knowing how to direct, but also knowing how to share projects and ideas with humility and trust.  It means acting in such a way that one task creates another, one responsibility creates other responsibilities, hope generates other hopes, especially for the younger generations, which today are more than ever are in need.”
Pope Francis concluded his remarks by calling the business people to altruism in favor of the dignity of every person.
“May justice always be your teacher,” he said, “justice which refuses the ‘easy-way-out’ of recommendations and favoritisms, and the dangerous deviations of dishonesty and easy compromises. […] For there is no freedom without justice, and there is no justice without respect for the dignity of every person.”

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Sat. February 27, 2016


Saturday of the Second Week of Lent
Lectionary: 235


Reading 1MI 7:14-15, 18-20

Shepherd your people with your staff,
the flock of your inheritance,
That dwells apart in a woodland,
in the midst of Carmel.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
as in the days of old;
As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt,
show us wonderful signs.

Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but delights rather in clemency,
And will again have compassion on us,
treading underfoot our guilt?
You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins;
You will show faithfulness to Jacob,
and grace to Abraham,
As you have sworn to our fathers
from days of old.

Responsorial PsalmPS 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Verse Before The GospelLK 15:18

I will get up and go to my father and shall say to him,
Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

GospelLK 15:1-3, 11-32

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them Jesus addressed this parable.
“A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’
So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
and set off to a distant country
where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything,
a severe famine struck that country,
and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought,
‘How many of my father’s hired workers
have more than enough food to eat,
but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’
So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered his servants,
‘Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.’
Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field
and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him,
‘Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
because he has him back safe and sound.’
He became angry,
and when he refused to enter the house,
his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply,
‘Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
But when your son returns
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.’”

Saint February 27 : St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows : #Patron of: #Students, #Youth, #Seminarians : Passionist Monk

, February 27, marks the feast day of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862), the patron saint of young people, students, and young religious. Saint Gabriel’s short life is marked by piety, faith, and obedience to the Lord, and religious vocation at the behest of Our Blessed Mother. While the last six years of his life, spent as a brother in the Passionist Order, were marked by humility, self-denial, and simplicity, Gabriel’s early life was quite the opposite. His complete consecration of his life to the Lord, despite the temptations of the modern world which he so loved, make his sacrifice a vivid example of the Christian love and obedience we should strive for.
Born Francis Possenti, in Assisi, Italy in 1838, Saint Gabriel was the eleventh of thirteen children produced by the union of his parents. His father, a pious man with great political recognition in the area, and his mother, a well-connected religious woman from a respected family, were delighted in their son. He was baptized at the same font that his saintly namesake had been baptized nearly 600 years earlier.
From an early age, Francis demonstrated the potential for thoughtfulness and piety. He encouraged his teacher and siblings to pay more attention to the poor, oftentimes choosing to give some of his portions to those in need. Before he reached the age of four, his mother passed away from a serious illness, as did four of his siblings. Francis, the most sensitive of the family, was severely moved by these losses, increasing his empathy for others and his sensitivity to those in need.
As Francis matured, he developed insight into the fact that he was smart, charming, and attractive. He pursued hedonistic pleasures like art and theater, which he would later write to friends almost “cost him his soul.” He dressed to perfection, paying careful attention to his appearance. Francis excelled at school, and was generally the award-winner in all of his classes. He was chosen to give his commencement address upon graduation from the Jesuit College. Francis embraced the world, and to his classmates and friends, he appeared to have all the tools required for great success. He was the center of attention wherever he went, all the doors of the finest families and establishments open to him throughout the city. And while he was impulsive, prone to anger, and pridefully vain, he was poised to achieve great worldly things.
But Francis felt called in a different direction. Twice, Francis came down with serious illnesses while in school, illnesses he was not expected to recover from. During these times, he prayed to the Lord, promising to become a religious if his life was spared. While a student at the Jesuit College, he had asked permission to enter the Order, and was granted permission from his spiritual director. But Francis delayed entering the Order, finding reasons to wait. He maintained his faith, praying daily in the chapel and receiving the Eucharist, but could not commit to the religious life and give up his worldly enjoyments. As time went on, Francis began to doubt his choice of the Jesuit Order, instead feeling called to become a Passionist, the Order formed by Saint John of the Cross. His spiritual director encouraged him to wait and pray, and see where the Lord led him.
Following the cholera outbreak in 1856, the town rejoiced in thanks to the Blessed Mother, who interceded to save Spoleto. In veneration, a statue of Our Lady was carried throughout the streets. Francis observed the procession, more curious than devoted. As the statue was carried past him, he gazed into the face of the Blessed Virgin, and through the eyes of the statue, Mary pierced his heart with a gaze so strong it felt as a ‘dart of fire.” At the same time, he heard the words deep within in, “Why! thou art not made for the world! What art thou doing in the world? Hasten, become a religious!”
From that moment, Francis’ life changed. He entered the noviatiate of the Passionists, where he would live until his death. The Passionist Order is a strict order, and his family and friends urged him not to commit to such a life. Rather, they suggested he become a priest, or better yet, not become a religious and use his “talents” in the world. Francis was not to be disuaded. After his initial retreat, he was clothed in the robes of the Passionists, and gave up his name for a new name: Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
His days were spent in prayer, chanting, study, and manual labor. The Passionist Order maintains a rule of silence, and speaking was forbidden without permission. Gabriel spent the majority of his time meditating on the Passion of Christ, and praying the Rosary to Our Lady of Sorrows. Despite the rules and strict lifestyle, Gabriel was filled with joy. “My life is a continuous delight; what I experience inside these sacred walls is almost inexpressible; the 24 hours of the day seem to me like 24 short instants; really my life is full of delight.” He looked at each sacrifice as a way in which to polish away his sinful life, his pride, his vanity, and devote his life to Jesus. He wrote, “I will attempt day by day to break my will into pieces. I want to do God’s Holy Will, not my own”
Saint Gabriel looked to the Blessed Mother as his comfort and refuge in times of suffering, of which he had plenty due to illness. He wrote of her to his brother, “Love Mary!… She is loveable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love, but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her. She comes quickly and opens her merciful heart to you, embraces you and consoles and serves you. She will even be at hand to accompany you on the trip to eternity.” Within a few years of joining the Order, Gabriel was stricken with Consumption. He died a slow and painful death, over the course of two years, during which he maintained a cheerful and joyous disposition, so much so that his brothers in the Order wished to spend their days with him. In his dying moments, he asked for his picture of the Crucifixion, with the Blessed Virgin standing at the foot of the cross. It was well-worn from use. He devoutly kissed it, placed it upon him, folded his hands across it, and began to pray. With indescribable love he began to say aloud: “Oh, my Mother make haste, make haste!”
Many from the Order watched and prayed in his cell with him, as they knew his moment of death was close at hand. They were moved to tears by his devotion, and by the love with which he implored the comfort of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. By their records, Gabriel suddenly turned his eyes to the left and above him, gazing in rapture upon some heavenly vision. With a peaceful smile, he died, never letting go of his beloved picture. Not yest a priest when he died at age 24, Gabriel was buried at the Passionist retreat in Isola di Gran Sasso, Italy.
Since his death, numerous miracles have been reported via his intercession. For exmaple, Saint Gemma (1878-1903), a young woman with numerous ailments including deafness from meningitis, paralysis, abcesses, and curvature of the spine was miraculously cured after praying a novena to Saint Gabriel. In her own words, "I grew in admiration of his virtues and his ways. My devotion to him increased. At night I did not sleep without having his picture under my pillow, and after that I began to see him near me. I don’t know how to explain this, but I felt his presence. At all times and in every action Brother Gabriel came to mind.”
When she was approximately 20, and on her deathbed, Gemma began her novena to Saint Gabriel. While trying to sleep, she heard the rattling of a Rosary and he appeared to her, saying, “Do you wish to recover? Pray with faith every evening to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I will come to you until the Novena is ended, and will pray together to this Most Sacred Heart.” On the last night of the Novena, Gemma was miraculously cured of all her ailments, a scientific impossibility at the time. Saint Gemma went on to be visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary, and bore the stigmata throughout her prayerful life, committed to Jesus.
One of his brothers wrote of him: “In the garden within the monastery walls at Isola stands a large crucifix. A seed fell to the ground before it. A plant sprang up, and twined itself around the cross until it reached the feet of the figure nailed upon it. It then bent outward, as if to behold what was above. A bud formed, swelled, burst into bloom, and gazed in loving awe upon the figure of Christ Crucified. Lo! it was a true flower of the Passion! Its heart was pierced and stamped with the signs of Him Who hung upon the cross. The seed that fell at the foot of the crucifix was Francis Possenti. The plant that grew there from and flowered was Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Passionist.”
Text shared from 365 Rosaries

Free Catholic #Movie : #PadrePio Movie with English Subtitles


Padre Pio (2000) TV Movie - 202 min - Biography | Drama - 17 April 2000 (Italy)
The poor Italian peasant boy Francesco already has visions of Jesus and Mary as a child, but the Devil visits him too. He, Francesco, is quite certain that he will become a priest.
 Director: Carlo Carlei Writers: Renzo Allegri (book), Carlo Carlei,
Stars: Sergio Castellitto, Jürgen Prochnow, Lorenza Indovina
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