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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Catholic News World : Thursday April 28, 2016 - SHARE

2016


Patron Saint of the Internet - St. Isidore of Seville - #Internet Prayer to SHARE

In 1997, Pope John Paul II chose Saint Isidore of Seville (560-636), Doctor of the Church, as patron saint of the Internet. In the year 600, Isidore succeeded his brother, Saint Leander, as Bishop of Seville. Isidore died three years later on the fourth of April at the age of seventy-six.
Here is the prayer to Saint Isidore that should be said before logging in on the internet:Almighty and eternal God, who created us in Thy image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, bishop and doctor, during our journeys through the internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

#PopeFrancis "Never be afraid to listen with humility," #Homily

Pope Francis at Mass in Santa Marta chapel speaking about resistance to the surprises of the Spirit - OSS_ROM
Pope Francis at Mass in Santa Marta chapel speaking about resistance to the surprises of the Spirit - OSS_ROM
28/04/2016 13:



(Vatican Radio) There is always resistance to the surprises of the Spirit, but it’s the Spirit who continues to lead the Church forward. That was Pope Francis’ message at Mass on Thursday at the Santa Marta chapel as he reflected on the reading about division and resistance within the early Church in Jerusalem.
Commenting on today’s reading from Acts about the Council of Jerusalem, Pope Francis said the protagonist in the Church is always the Holy Spirit. It’s the Spirit who, from the very beginning, gives strength to the apostles to proclaim the Gospel and it’s the Spirit who carries the Church forward despite its problems.
Listen to Philippa Hitchen's report:  
Even when there is an outbreak of persecution, the Pope said, it’s the Spirit who gives believers the strength to stand firm in the faith, even if they face resistance and anger from the doctors of the law. In the passage from Acts, the Pope noted, there was a double resistance to the Spirit, from those who believed that Jesus came only for the chosen people and from those who wanted to impose the law of Moses, including the practice of circumcision, on those who had converted.
There was great confusion over all this, the Pope said, but the Spirit led their hearts in a new direction. The apostles were surprised by the Spirit, he said, as they found themselves in new and unthinkable situations. But how were they to manage these circumstances? Pope Francis said the passage begins by noting that ‘much debate had taken place’: no doubt heated debate, because on the one hand they were pushed on and on by the Spirit, but on the other, they were facing new situations that they had never seen or even imagined, such as pagans receiving the Holy Spirit.
The disciples were holding a ‘hot potato’ in their hands and didn’t know what to do, the Pope said. Thus they called a meeting in Jerusalem where each one could recount their experiences of how the Holy Spirit had been received by the Gentiles. And in the end they came to an agreement. But first , the Pope noted, “The whole assembly fell silent, and they listened while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles through them.” Never be afraid to listen with humility, the Pope said. When you are afraid to listen, you don’t have the Spirit in your heart. When the apostles had listened, they decided to send several of the disciples to the Greeks, the pagan communities, that had become Christians to reassure them.
Those who converted, the Pope continued, were not obliged to be circumcised. The decision was communicated to them in a letter in which the disciples say that “The Holy Spirit and we have decided….” This is the way of the Church when faced with novelties, the Pope said. Not the worldly novelties of fashion, but the novelties of the Spirit who always surprises us. How does the Church resolve these problems? Through meetings and discussions, listening and praying, before making a final decision. This is the way of the Church when the Spirit surprises us, Pope Francis said, recalling the resistance that emerged in recent times during the Second Vatican Council.
That resistance continues today in one way or another, he said, yet the Spirit moves ahead. And the way the Church expresses its communion is through synodality, by meeting, listening, debating, praying and deciding. The Spirit is always the protagonist and the Lord asks us not to be afraid when the Spirit calls us. Just as the Spirit stopped St Paul and set him on the right road, so the Spirit will give us the courage and the patience to win over adversity and stand firm in the face of martyrdom. Let us ask the Lord for grace, the Pope concluded, to understand how the Church can face the surprises of the Spirit, to be docile and to follow the path which Christ wants for us and for the whole Church.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. April 28, 2016


Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 288


Reading 1ACTS 15:7-21

After much debate had taken place,
Peter got up and said to the Apostles and the presbyters,
“My brothers, you are well aware that from early days
God made his choice among you that through my mouth
the Gentiles would hear the word of the Gospel and believe.
And God, who knows the heart,
bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit
just as he did us.
He made no distinction between us and them,
for by faith he purified their hearts.
Why, then, are you now putting God to the test
by placing on the shoulders of the disciples
a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?
On the contrary, we believe that we are saved
through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they.”
The whole assembly fell silent,
and they listened
while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders
God had worked among the Gentiles through them.

After they had fallen silent, James responded,
“My brothers, listen to me.
Symeon has described how God first concerned himself
with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name.
The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written:

After this I shall return
and rebuild the fallen hut of David;
from its ruins I shall rebuild it
and raise it up again,
so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord,
even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked.
Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things,
known from of old.


It is my judgment, therefore,
that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God,
but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols,
unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.
For Moses, for generations now,
has had those who proclaim him in every town,
as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 96:1-2A, 2B-3, 10

R. (3) Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
or:
R. Alleluia.
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. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep know my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 15:9-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete.”

#PopeFrancis Authorizes causes for #Canonization of New Saints


(Vatican Radio) A number of causes for canonization were advanced on Tuesday, including an Italian diocesan priest. A miracle attributed to Blessed Alfonso Maria Fusco clears the way for his canonization. 
Another miracle, attributed to the intercession of the Venerable John Sullivan, an Irish Jesuit, was also recognized. 
The decrees also recognize the martyrdom of several victims of Communism, including the Servants of God Fr José Antón Gómez, OSB, along with three other Benedictine priests, who were killed during the Spanish civil war; and Archbishop Nikollë Vinçenc Prennushi of Durrës (Durazzo), and 37 companions, killed under the Communist regime in Albania between 1945 and 1974. Pope Francis honoured the martyrs of Albania during his visit to that country in 2014. 
Another country recently visited by the the Holy Father also saw one of its sons advanced along the path toward canonization, as the Congregation recognized the heroic virtues of Father Thomas Choe Yang-Eop, a Korean priest.
Below, please find Vatican Radio's translation of the announcement of the promulgation of decrees concerning the Causes of Saints: 
Pope Francis on Tuesday received in private audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
During the audience, the Holy Father authorized the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees regarding:
  • the miracle, attributed to the intercession of Blessed Alfonso Maria Fusco, diocesan Priest, Founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of St John the Baptist; born 23 March 1839, died 6 February 1910;
  • the miracle, attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God John Sullivan, professed Priest of the Society of Jesus; born 8 May 1861, died 19 February 1933;
  • the martyrdom of the Servant of God Nikollë Vinçenc Prennushi, of the Order of Friars Minor, Archbishop of Durrës (Durazzo), and 37 companions, killed between 1945 and 1974;
  • the martyrdom of the Servant of God José Antón Gómez, and three companions, priests of the Order of St Benedict, killed in 1936;
  • the heroic virtue of the Servant of God Thomas Choe Yang-Eop, diocesan Priest; born 1 March 1821, died 15 June 1861;
  • the heroic virtue of the Servant of God Sosio Del Prete (né Vincenzo), professed Priest of the Order of Friars Minor, Founder of the Congregation of Little Handmaids of Christ the King; born 28 December 1885, died 27 January 1952;
  • the heroic virtue of the Servant of God Venantius Katarzyniec (né Joseph), professed Priest of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual; born 7 October 1889, died 31 March 1921;
  • the heroic virtue of the Servant of God Maria Consiglio dello Spirito Santo (née Emilia Pasqualina Addatis), Foundress of the Congregation of Sister Servants of the Sorrowful Mother; born 5 January 1845, died 11 January 1900;
  • the heroic virtue of the Servant of God María de la Encarnación (née Caterina Carrasco Tenorio), Foundress of the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis of the Rebaño de María; born 24 March 1840, died 24 November 1917;
  • the heroic virtue of the Servant of God Maria Laura Baraggia, Foundress of the Sisters of the Family of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; born 1 May 1851, died 18 December 1923;
  • the heroic virtue of the Servant of God Ilia Corsaro, Foundress of the Little Missionaries of the Eucharist; born 4 October 1897, died 23 March 1977;
  • the heroic virtue of the Servant of God María Montserrat Grases García, Laywoman, of the Personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and of Opus Dei; born 10 July 1941, died 26 March 1959.

Saint April 28 St. Gianna Beretta Molla - Patron of Unborn #Babies , #Mothers , and Physicians

St. Gianna Beretta Molla
MOTHER
Feast: April 28


Information:
Feast Day:April 28
Born:
October 4, 1922, Magenta, Italy
Died:April 28, 1962, Monza, Italy
Canonized:May 16, 2004 by Pope John Paul II
Patron of:mothers, physicians, preborn children
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla was born in Magenta (Milan), Italy, on 4 October 1922, the 10th of 13 children. Already as a young girl she willingly accepted the gift of faith and the clearly Christian education that she received from her excellent parents. As a result, she experienced life as a marvellous gift from God, had a strong faith in Providence and was convinced of the necessity and effectivneess of prayer.

She diligently dedicated herself to studies during the years of her secondary and university education, while, at the same time, applying her faith in generous apostolic service among the elderly and needy as a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. After earning degrees in medicine and surgery from the University of Pavia in 1949, she opened a medical clinic in Mesero (near Magenta) in 1950. She specialized in pediatrics at the University of Milan in 1952 and thereafter gave special attention to mothers, babies, the elderly and the poor.

While working in the field of medicine—which she considered a "mission" and practiced as such—she increased her generous service to Catholic Action, especially among the "very young" and, at the same time, expressed her joie de vivre and love of creation through skiing and mountaineering.      Through her prayers and those of others, she reflected on her  vocation, which she also considered a gift from God. Having chosen the vocation of marriage, she embraced it with complete enthusiasm and wholly dedicated herself "to forming a truly Christian family."

She became engaged to Pietro Molla and was radiant with joy and happiness during the time of their engagement, for which she thanked and praised the Lord. They were married on 24 September 1955 in St. Martin's Basilica in Magenta, and she became a happy wife. In November 1956, to her great joy, she became the mother of Pierluigi; in December 1957 of Mariolina; in July 1959 of Laura. With simplicity and equilibrium she harmonized the demands of mother, wife, doctor and her passion for life.

In September 1961, towards the end of the second month of pregnancy, she was touched by suffering and the mystery of      pain; she had developed a fibroma in her uterus. Before the required surgical operation, and conscious of the risk that her continued pregnancy brought, she pleaded with the surgeon to save the life of the child she was carrying, and entrusted herself to prayer and Providence. The life was saved, for which she thanked the Lord. She spent the seven months remaining until the birth of the child in incomparable strength of spirit and unrelenting dedication to her tasks as mother and doctor. She worried that the baby in her womb might be born in pain, and she asked God to prevent that.

A few days before the child was due, although trusting as always in Providence, she was ready to give her life in order to save that of her child: "If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child—I insist on it. Save the baby." On the morning of 21 April 1962 Gianna Emanuela was born. Despite all efforts and treatments to save both of them, on the morning of 28 April, amid unspeakable pain and after repeated exclamations of "Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you," the mother died. She was 39 years old. Her funeral was an occasion of profound grief, faith and prayer. The body of the new blessed lies in the cemetary of Mesero (4 km. from Magenta).

Gianna was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1994, and officially canonized as a saint on May 16, 2004. Gianna's husband Pietro and their last child, Gianna, were present at the canonization ceremony.

St. Gianna is a patron saint for mothers, physicians, and unborn children.
SOURCE:GiannaberettaMolla on MaryPages

Saint April 28 St. Louis de Montfort - Established #TrueDevotion to Mary


St. Louis de Montfort
CONFESSOR, MARIAN DEVOTEE, FOUNDER
Feast: April 28


Information:
Feast Day:April 28
Born:
31 January 1673 at Montfort-La-Cane, Brittany, France
Died:1716 at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sovre, France
Canonized:1947 by Pope Pius XII
Missionary in Brittany and Vendee; born at Montfort, 31 January, 1673; died at Saint Laurent sur Sevre, 28 April, 1716.
From his childhood, he was indefatigably devoted to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, and, when from his twelfth year he was sent as a day pupil to the Jesuit college at Rennes, he never failed to visit the church before and after class. He joined a society of young men who during holidays  ministered to the poor and to the incurables in the hospitals, and read for them edifying books during their meals. At the age of nineteen, he went on foot to Paris to follow the course in theology, gave away on the journey all his money to the poor, exchanged clothing with them, and made a vow to subsist thenceforth only on alms. He was ordained priest at the age of twenty-seven, and for some time fulfilled the duties of chaplain in a hospital. In 1705, when he was thirty-two, he found his true vocation, and thereafter devoted himself to preaching to the people. During seventeen years he preached the Gospel in countless towns and villages. As an orator he was highly gifted, his language being simple but replete with fire and divine love. His whole life was conspicuous for virtues difficult for modern degeneracy to comprehend: constant prayer, love of the poor, poverty carried to an unheard-of degree, joy in humiliations and persecutions.
The following two instances will illustrate his success. He once gave a mission for the soldiers of the garrison at La Rochelle, and moved by his words, the men wept, and cried aloud for the forgiveness of their sins. In the procession which terminated this mission, an officer walked at the head, barefooted and carrying a banner, and the soldiers, also barefooted, followed, carrying in one hand a crucifix, in the other a rosary, and singing hymns.
Grignion's extraordinary influence was especially apparent in the matter of the calvary at Pontchateau. When he announced his determination of building a monumental calvary on a neighbouring hill, the idea was enthusiastically received by the inhabitants. For fifteen months between two and four hundred peasants worked daily without recompense, and the task had just been completed, when the king commanded that the whole should be demolished, and the land restored to its former condition. The Jansenists had convinced the Governor of Brittany that a fortress capable of affording aid to persons in revolt was being erected, and for several months five hundred peasants, watched by a company of soldiers, were compelled to carry out the work of destruction. Father de Montfort was not disturbed on receiving this humiliating news, exclaiming only: "Blessed be God!"
This was by no means the only trial to which Grignion was subjected. It often happened that the Jansenists, irritated by his success, secure by their intrigues his banishment form the district, in which he was giving a mission. At La Rochelle some wretches put poison into his cup of broth, and, despite the antidote which he swallowed, his health was always impaired. On another occasion, some malefactors hid in a narrow street with the intention of assassinating him, but he had a presentiment of danger and escaped by going by another street. A year before his death, Father de Montfort founded two congregations -- the Sisters of Wisdom, who were to devote themselves to hospital work and the instruction of poor girls, and the Company of Mary, composed of missionaries. He had long cherished these projects but circumstances had hindered their execution, and, humanly speaking, the work appeared to have failed at his death, since these congregations numbered respectively only four sisters and two priests with a few brothers. But the blessed founder, who had on several occasions shown himself possessed of the gift of prophecy, knew that the tree would grow. At the beginning of the twentieth century the Sisters of Wisdom numbered five thousand, and were spread throughout every country; they possessed forty-four houses, and gave instruction to 60,000 children. After the death of its founder, the Company of Mary was governed for 39 years by Father Mulot. He had at first refused to join de Montfort in his missionary labours. "I cannot become a missionary", said he, "for I have been paralysed on one side for years; I have an affection of the lungs which scarcely allows me to breathe, and am indeed so ill that I have no rest day or night." But the holy man, impelled by a sudden inspiration, replied, "As soon as you begin to preach you will be completely cured." And the event justified the prediction. Grignion de Montfort was beatified by Leo XIII in 1888. 
SOURCEStlouisdemontfort.Catholic Encyclopedia

Saint April 28 St. Peter Chanel - Patron of #Oceania

St. Peter Chanel
PROTOMARTYR OF OCEANIA
Feast: April 28

Information:
Feast Day:April 28
Born:July 12, 1803, Cuet, near Belley, France
Died:April 28, 1841, Futuna Island
Canonized:12 June 1954, Rome by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:Futuna
Patron of:Oceania
On April 18, 1841, a band of native warriors entered the hut of Father Peter Chanel on the island of Futuna in the New Hebrides islands near New Zealand. They clubbed the missionary to death and cut up his body with hatchets. Two years later, the whole island was Catholic.
St. Peter Chanel's death bears witness to the ancient axiom that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians." He is the first martyr from Oceania, that part of the world spread over the south Pacific, and he came there as the fulfillment of a dream he had had as a boy.
Peter was born in 1803 in the diocese of Belley, France. At the age of seven, he was a shepherd boy, but the local parish priest, recognizing something unusual in the boy, convinced his parents to let him study, in a little school the priest had started. From there Peter went on to the seminary, where it was said of him: "He had a heart of gold with the simple faith of a child, and he led the life of an angel."
He was ordained a priest and assigned to a parish at Crozet. In three years he had transformed the parish. In 1831, he joined the newly founded Society of Mary, since he had long dreamed of being a missionary; but for five years he was assigned to teach at the seminary in Belley. Finally, in 1836, his dream was realized, and he was sent with other Marists to the islands of the Pacific. He had to suffer great hardships, disappointments, frustration, and almost complete failure as well as the opposition of the local chieftain. The work seemed hopeless: only a few had been baptized, and the chieftain continued to be suspicious and hostile. Then, when the chief's son asked for baptism, the chief was so angry that he sent warriors to kill the missionary.
Peter's violent death brought about the conversion of the island, and the people of Futuna remain Catholic to this day. Peter Chanel was beatified in 1889 and canonized in 1954.
Thought for the Day: Success or failure is often not completely in our hands, and sometimes we have to face what seems almost certain failure. But success is not required of us, only fidelity. St. Peter Chanel's work ended in his own death in the face of what seemed total failure. Out of  that failure, God brought about the success Peter was seeking.
From 'The Catholic One Year Bible': . . 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. April 27, 2016


Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 287


Reading 1ACTS 15:1-6

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved.”
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and presbyters
about this question.
They were sent on their journey by the Church,
and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria
telling of the conversion of the Gentiles,
and brought great joy to all the brethren.
When they arrived in Jerusalem,
they were welcomed by the Church,
as well as by the Apostles and the presbyters,
and they reported what God had done with them.
But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers
stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them
and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.”

The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.

Responsorial PsalmPS 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5

R. (see 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 15:4A, 5B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

#PopeFrancis “Compassion is an essential characteristic of God’s mercy” #Audience FULL TEXT- Video

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly General Audience in St. Peter's Square 27 April 2016 - AP
Pope Francis arrives for his weekly General Audience in St. Peter's Square 27 April 2016 - AP
27/04/2016 10:21


(Vatican Radio)  The story of the Good Samaritan and its lesson of “love thy neighbour” were at the heart of Pope Francis’ catechesis during the General Audience on Wednesday 27 April.
Listen to the report by Tracey McClure:
 
Let us never forget:  we cannot stand by as onlookers when we see so many people worn out by hunger, violence and injustice:  that’s Pope Francis’s call to Christians to become Good Samaritans in their everyday lives.  “To ignore man’s suffering means to ignore God,” says the Pope who recalls how, in the parable, the Levite and the priest walk by the man who had been attacked by thieves and lay moribund on the side of the road.
Both men of the temple cult, their inaction was contrary to the Law of the Lord, Pope Francis says.  The Law obliges us to stop and help anyone in distress.  And here, the parable offers us a lesson:  that it’s not a given “that those who frequent the house of God and are aware of His mercy know how to love the other.”
The Samaritan, a schismatic Jew, was despised in Jesus’ day as “an outsider, a pagan and impure,” notes the Pope.  And he too had things to do – but when he saw the wounded man, he did not pass by as the other two men did. He stopped and “had compassion for him.”
“Compassion is an essential characteristic of God’s mercy” and “in the gestures and actions of the Good Samaritan, we recognize the action of God’s mercy throughout salvation history.”
“It is the same compassion with which God encounters each of us: He does not ignore us.  He recognizes our pain, He knows when we need help and consolation.  He comes close and never abandons us.”
The Samaritan, the Pope stresses, acts with true mercy: he binds the man’s wounds, takes him to a hostel, and “personally takes care of him.”
All of this, the Pope says, teaches us that compassion and love are not “vague” sentiments; but mean “caring for the other to the point of personal sacrifice.”  If we have compassionate hearts, he adds, like Jesus, we can be close to anyone who is in need of help...

Below, we publish the Holy Father’s message to the English speaking pilgrims present in Saint Peter’s Square:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:  In our catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now turn to the parable of the Good Samaritan.  Jesus had taught the great commandment of love for God and neighbour.  In reply to the question: “Who is my neighbour?”, he recounts the story of the priest and the levite who pass by a man in need at the side of the road.  Their religiosity is ultimately inauthentic, for it does not find expression in service to others.  Love, the Lord tells us, is never abstract or distant; it “sees” and it responds.  The compassion shown by the Samaritan is an image of the infinite mercy of God, who always sees our needs and draws near to us in love.  The command to love God and neighbour, then, is supremely practical; it entails caring for others even to the point of personal sacrifice.  By the end of the parable, we see that the “neighbour” is not so much the man in need, but rather the one who responded to that need with compassion.  Jesus tells all of us to be neighbours in this sense: “Go and do likewise”.  He himself is the model of the Good Samaritan; by imitating his love and compassion, we show ourselves truly to be his followers.
I greet the English-speaking visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the pilgrims from England, Sweden, Slovakia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, the Philippines, Canada and the United States of America.  In the joy of the Risen Lord, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father.  May the Lord bless you all!
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