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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Catholic News World : Thursday October 13, 2016 - SHARE

2016

What is the Miracle of the Sun of Fatima - #Fatima Miracle witnessed by 70000 in 1917 on October 13 - SHARE


At Fatima, Portugal, from May to October 1917, three shepherd children (Blesseds Francisco & Jacinta Marto, and Servant of God Lucia dos Santos) saw apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary on a small holm-oak tree. During the these visions, the children were given secrets, were instructed to pray the Rosary and to offer penance for the conversion of sinners. In the September apparition, Our Lady told them:
“Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. In October St. Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus in order to bless the world.”
On October 13th over 70,000 people gathered around the site of the apparitions. People from different walks of life (including atheists who had gone to attack the children) witnessed what is now famously known as “The Miracle of the Sun.” During the Miracle of the Sun, the three shepherd children were witnessing what the Virgin had promised them in September. 
A cold rain had been falling throughout the night and into the day. 
Moved by an inner impulse, Lucia asked the people to shut their umbrellas and pray the Rosary. 
Some of the pilgrims during the Miracle of the Sun 
At noon, Our Lady appeared over the holm-oak she told Lucia several things.
As Our Lady ascended up into the sky, Lucy shouted: “She’s going! She’s going! Look at the sun!” Then the miracle Our Lady had promised began.
The sky cleared and the people could look at the sun without it hurting their eyes at all. Then the sun began to spin in place.  Then it started to fall, plunging towards the earth.
The sun became very large in the sky and very hot. It looked as if it was going to fall on top of the people and kill them all, as if it was the end of the world. So, the people fell on their knees in the mud and cried to God for mercy, begging Our Lady for Her help, Her intercession, and Her prayers.
Suddenly, the sun stopped falling and went back up into the sky to its regular place. Then the people got up from their knees and they all began to notice that their clothes were dry and clean. Not only that, but many sick persons were cured that day — the blind were able to see and the lame could walk. Many sinners were converted too. They stopped sinning and went to Confession, and then lived according to God’s Commandments.
Lucia explained what they saw:
Our Lady having disappeared in the immensity of the firmament, we saw, beside the sun, St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady clothed in white with a blue mantle. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands.
Here we have St. Joseph, no words are spoken by him, but rather we have his actions. St. Joseph, holding his son Jesus, blesses the world by tracing the Sign of the Cross with his hand. By giving his special blessing to the world, St. Joseph shows us that he is still vigilant in his role as Patron of the Catholic Church (as proclaimed in 1870 by Bl. Pius IX) and still keeps watch over the faithful entrusted to his care.
Popes Pius XII, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI all accepted the supernatural origin of the Fátima. The local bishop declared that (1) the visions of the three children are credible and (2) the veneration of the Blessed Virgin is permitted, the Portuguese bishops approved and declared the genuine supernatural nature of the event. The Vatican responded with granting indulgences and permitting special Liturgies of the Mass to be celebrated in Fátima.

The Fatima Message Continues
It does not end here we are continually called by Our Lady to PRAY the ROSARY daily, make sacrifices and go to confession. Only in this way will Jesus bring His Peace and stop the evils in the world today.
As promised by Our Lady, God soon took Francisco and Jacinta to Heaven. Francisco died on April 4, 1919 and Jacinta on February 20, 1920.
Lucia was left here on earth to tell everyone about Fatima. She was to make our Lady known and loved, and to spread devotion to Her Immaculate Heart.
(Edited from Fatimaforbeginners.org)
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For Complete FATIMA PRAYERS click Link Below

Novena to Our Lady of Fatima - Litany and Fatima Prayers - 5 Saturday Devotion - SHARE



#PopeFrancis "The Christian must always move forward, he must walk." #Homily

Vatican Radio) Christians always feel the need to be forgiven and are on their way to an encounter with God. Those were the words of Pope Francis Thursday morning at Mass at the  Casa Santa Marta. The Pope painted a portrait of the good Christian who, he said, must always feel the blessing of the Lord and go on to do good.
"The Christian is blessed by the Father, who is God" , Pope Francis said in his homily from St Paul's Letter to the Ephesians, contained in the first reading on Thursday. Focusing on the "traits of this blessing", he noted that "the Christian is a" person chosen.
The Father chose us one by one, he loves us and gave us a name
God calls us one by one, "not as an oceanic crowd."  The Holy Father reiterated, “we have been chosen, expected by the Father:”
"Think of a couple, when expecting a baby: 'How will it be? And how will he or she smile? And talk? 'But I dare say that we, each of us, has been dreamed of by the Father as a father and a mother dreams of their awaited baby. And this gives you great security. The Father wanted you, not the mass of people, no, you, you, you. Each of us. And 'the foundation, is the basis of our relationship with God. We speak of a Father who loves us, who chose us, who gave us a name. "
It can also be noted, the Pope continued, when a Christian "does not feel chosen by the Father." But when they feel they belong to a community, "it is like a fan of a football club." "The fan – Pope Francis commented – is choosing the team and belongs to the football team."
The true Christian always feels the need of God's forgiveness
The Christian, therefore, "is chosen, he or she is a dream from God." And when we live like this, the Pope added, "our hearts are filled with great consolation," we do not feel "abandoned". "The second part of the Christian blessing is feeling forgiven. "A man or woman who does not feel forgiven," the Holy Father cautioned, is not fully "Christian":
"We have all been forgiven with the price of the blood of Christ. But what I have been forgiven of ? It’s a memory and a reminder of the bad things you have done, not your friend, your neighbor, you. 'What bad things have I done in life?' The Lord has forgiven these things. Here, I am blessed, I am a Christian. That is, the first part: I am chosen, dreamed by God, with a name that God gave me, loved by God. Second part: forgiven by God. "
The Christian is never still, but always on the way to do good
The third part, continued Pope Francis: the Christian "is a man and a woman walking towards fullness, towards an encounter with Christ who redeemed us":
"A Christian cannot stand still. The Christian must always move forward, he must walk. The Christian who stands still is the Christian who received the talent and for fear of life, fear of losing, fear of their boss, out of fear or convenience, buried it. He is calm and spends his life going nowhere. The Christian is a man on a journey, a woman walking, who are always doing good, trying to do good and going forward. "
This, summed up the Pope, is the Christian identity: "blessed, because they are chosen because they are forgiven and forging a path." We, he concluded, " are not anonymous, we are not proud", so as not to have "need of forgiveness. "We are not still."  "May the Lord – in his invocation - be with us through the grace of the blessing he has given us, that is the blessing of our Christian identity."

#PopeFrancis "... it is the mercy of God that unites us." to #Lutherans at #Vatican FULL TEXT - Video


 Pope Francis welcomed about 1 thousand pilgrims in the Vatican on Thursday. They were in Rome for  ecumenical preparations for the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran reformation. Remarks were also made by Lutheran Bishop Ilse Junkermann of Magdeburg, Parish President Joachim Liebig of the Lutheran Church in the Anhalt region of Germany, and Catholic Bishop Gerhard Feige, also of Magdeburg.
Please find the full text of the Holy Father's remarks, below:
*****************************************************
Dear friends,
I am very happy to meet you on the occasion of your ecumenical pilgrimage, it started from the land of Luther, Germany, and ended here at the seat of the Bishop of Rome. I address a cordial greeting to the Bishops who have accompanied you and thank you for supporting this wonderful initiative.
We give thanks to God because today, we Lutherans and Catholics, are walking on the road that leads from conflict to communion. We have come together already an important part of the way. Along the way we experience mixed feelings: grief for the division that still exists between us, but also joy for fraternity already found. Your enthusiastic presence in such large numbers is a clear sign of this fraternity, and fills us with the hope that it will continue to increase mutual understanding.
The Apostle Paul tells us that, by virtue of our baptism, we all form the one Body of Christ. The different members, in fact, are one body. This is why we belong to each other and when one suffers, all suffer, when one rejoices, all rejoice (cf. 1 Cor 12.12 to 26). Let us continue with confidence on our ecumenical journey, because we know that, beyond the many open questions that still separate us, we are already united. What unites us is much more than what divides us!
At the end of this month, God willing, I will go to Lund, in Sweden, and together with the Lutheran World Federation, we will remember, after five centuries, beginning of Luther's reform and thank the Lord for fifty years of official dialogue between Lutherans and Catholics. An essential part of this commemoration will turn our gaze towards the future, with a view to a common Christian witness in the world today, which so thirsts for God and His mercy. The witness that the world expects from us is mainly that of making visible the mercy that God has toward us through service to the poor, the sick, those who have left their homeland to seek a better future for themselves and for loved ones. In being of service to the most needy we experience already that we are united: it is the mercy of God that unites us.
Dear young people, I encourage you to be witnesses of mercy. While theologians carry on the dialogue in the doctrinal field, keep looking insistently for opportunities to encounter each other, to know each other better, to pray together and offer help to each other and to all those who are in need. Thus, free from prejudice and trusting only the Gospel of Jesus Christ, announcing peace and reconciliation, you will be the real protagonists of a new season of this journey, which, with God's help, will lead to full communion. I assure you of my prayers – and you, please pray for me, for I  need your prayers so much. Thank you!

Novena to Our Lady of Fatima - Litany and #Fatima #Prayers - 5 Saturday #Devotion - SHARE

Our Lady of Fatima Novena Prayer
This is one of the most beautiful novenas that can be said. 

DAY ONE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
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DAY TWO
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY THREE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY FOUR
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY FIVE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY SIX
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY SEVEN
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
(top)
DAY EIGHT
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen. 
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
DAY NINE
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.  

(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)
Fátima Prayers
 The Pardon Prayer
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I beg pardon for all those that do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee. 
The Angel's Prayer
O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners. 
Most Holy Trinity, I adore you! My God, my God, I love you in the Most Blessed Sacrament. 
The Sacrifice Prayer
 O Jesus, it is for the love of You, in reparation for the offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of poor sinners [Some add here "that I pray/do this"].  "O Jesus, it is for your love, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."Acts of Reparation. T
 Conversion and Salvation Prayers
 By your pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world! Sweet Heart of Mary, be the salvation of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world. 
Lucia said that Mary called for a series of devotions, including the Five Saturdays, frequent recitation of the Rosary, and prayers for the conversion of Russia – at the time viewed by the Church as a godless, Communist nation.
Litany of Our Lady of Fatima 
Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for our beloved country. 
Our Lady of Fatima, Sanctify our clergy.
Our Lady of Fatima, Make our Catholics more fervent.
Our Lady of Fatima, Guide and inspire those who govern us.
Our Lady of Fatima, Cure the sick who confide in thee.
Our Lady of Fatima, Console the sorrowful who trust in thee.
Our Lady of Fatima, Help those who invoke thine aid.
Our Lady of Fatima, Deliver us from all dangers.
Our Lady of Fatima, Help us to resist temptation.
Our Lady of Fatima, Obtain for us all that we lovingly ask of thee.
Our Lady of Fatima, Help those who are dear to us.
Our Lady of Fatima, Bring to Holy Catholic Church those who are in error.
Our Lady of Fatima, Give us back our ancient fervor.
Our Lady of Fatima, Obtain for us pardon of our manifold sins and offenses.
Our Lady of Fatima, Bring all men to the feet of thy Divine Child.
Our Lady of Fatima, Obtain peace for the world.
O Mary conceived without sin,
Pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Let Us Pray: O God of infinite goodness and mercy, fill our hearts with a great confidence in Thy dear Mother, whom we invoke under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Fatima, and grant us by her powerful intercession all the graces, spiritual and temporal, which we need. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

DEVOTION OF THE FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS

The following is an explanation of the conditions contained in Our Lady's request regarding the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays of the Month.
  1. Confess and receive Holy Communion
    On February 15, 1926 the Child Jesus alone came to visit Sr. Lucia and asked if the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was being propagated. Sr. Lucia spoke of a difficulty some people have in confessing on the first Saturday, and asked if they might be allowed eight days in order to fulfill Our Lady's requests. Jesus answered: "Yes, even more time still, as long as they receive Me in the state of grace and have the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
  2. Recite the Rosary
    Five decades of the Rosary may be recited at any time or place; yet, since one will be attending Mass in order to receive Holy Communion, a very desirable time and place would be before or after Mass in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Meditation on the mysteries according to one's capacity is an essential condition for praying the Rosary. Yet, involuntary distractions do not rob the Rosary of fruit if one is doing the best he can.
  3. "Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary."
    The question is often asked: Does the meditation while reciting the Rosary fulfill this condition, or is there required an additional fifteen minutes of meditation? That an additional 15 minutes of meditation is required was recently confirmed by Sr. Lucia of Fatima. It is clear too from a statement by the first Bishop of Fatima.
    The last entry in the chronology of Fatima, published in the official Calendar of the Sanctuary for the year of 1940, and signed by Dom Jose Correia da Silva, the first Bishop of Fatima, gave a summary of Our Lady's requests concerning the Five First Saturdays. From that official statement in the Calendar of the Sanctuary, we read the Bishop's enumeration of the various items that pertain to the devotion of the five Saturdays:
      It consists in going to Confession, receiving Communion, reciting five decades of the Rosary and meditating for a quarter of an hour on the mysteries of the Rosary on the first Saturday of five consecutive months. The Confession may be made during the eight days preceding or following the first Saturday of each month, provided that Holy Communion be received in the state of grace. Should one forget to form the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it may be formed at the next Confession, occasion to go to confession being taken at the first opportunity.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Saint October 13 : St. Edward the Confessor : King of England : Patron of Difficult #Marriages



St. Edward the Confessor
KING OF ENGLAND
Feast: October 13
Information:
Feast Day:
October 13
Born:
1003 at Islip, Oxford, England
Died:
5 January 1066
Canonized:
1161
Major Shrine:
Westminster Abbey
Patron of:
difficult marriages, kings. separated spouses

King of England, born in 1003; died 5 January, 1066. He was the son of Ethelred II and Emma, daughter of Duke Richard of Normandy, being thus half-brother to King Edmund Ironside, Ethelred's son by his first wife, and to King Hardicanute, Emma's son by her second marriage with Canute. When hardly ten years old he was sent with his brother Alfred into Normandy to be brought up at the court of the duke his uncle, the Danes having gained the mastery in England. Thus he spent the best years of his life in exile, the crown having been settled by Canute, with Emma's consent, upon his own offspring by her. Early misfortune thus taught Edward the folly of ambition, and he grew up in innocence, delighting chiefly in assisting at Mass and the church offices, and in association with religious, whilst not disdaining the pleasures of the chase, or recreations suited to his station. Upon Canute's death in 1035 his illegitimate son, Harold, seized the throne, Hardicanute being then in Denmark, and Edward and his brother Alfred were persuaded to make an attempt to gain the crown, which resulted in the cruel death of Alfred who had fallen into Harold's hands, whilst Edward was obliged to return to Normandy. On Hardicanute's sudden death in 1042, Edward was called by acclamation to the throne at the age of about forty, being welcomed even by the Danish settlers owing to his gentle saintly character. His reign was one of almost unbroken peace, the threatened invasion of Canute's son, Sweyn of Norway, being averted by the opportune attack on him by Sweyn of Denmark; and the internal difficulties occasioned by the ambition of Earl Godwin and his sons being settled without bloodshed by Edward's own gentleness and prudence. He undertook no wars except to repel an inroad of the Welsh, and to assist Malcolm III of Scotland against Macbeth, the usurper of his throne. Being devoid of personal ambition, Edward's one aim was the welfare of his people. He remitted the odious "Danegelt", which had needlessly continued to be levied; and though profuse in alms to the poor and for religious purposes, he made his own royal patrimony suffice without imposing taxes. Such was the contentment caused by "the good St. Edward's laws", that their enactment was repeatedly demanded by later generations, when they felt themselves oppressed.
Yielding to the entreaty of his nobles, he accepted as his consort the virtuous Editha, Earl Godwin's daughter. Having, however, made a vow of chastity, he first required her agreement to live with him only as a sister. As he could not leave his kingdom without injury to his people, the making of a pilgrimage to St. Peter's tomb, to which he had bound himself, was commuted by the pope into the rebuilding at Westminster of St. Peter's abbey, the dedication of which took place but a week before his death, and in which he was buried. St. Edward was the first King of England to touch for the "king's evil", many sufferers from the disease were cured by him. He was canonized by Alexander III in 1161. His feast is kept on the 13th of October, his incorrupt body having been solemnly translated on that day in 1163 by St. Thomas of Canterbury in the presence of King Henry II.
Shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis "...we saw how Jesus is the incarnation of Mercy in His words and in His gestures." FULL TEXT at Angelus + Video


THE HOLY FATHER’S CATECHESIS
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
In preceding catecheses we entered a little in the great mystery of God’s mercy. We meditated on the Father’s action in the Old Testament and then, through evangelical accounts, we saw how Jesus is the incarnation of Mercy in His words and in His gestures. He, in turn, taught His disciples: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). It is a commitment that challenges the conscience and action of every Christian. In fact, it is not enough to experience God’s mercy in one’s life; it is necessary that whoever receives it becomes also a sign and instrument of it for others. Moreover, mercy is not reserved only for particular moments, but it embraces the whole of our daily existence.
How, then, can we be witnesses of mercy? We do not think that it has to do with making great efforts or superhuman gestures. No, it is not like this. The Lord indicates to us a much simpler way, made up of little gestures, which, however, in His eyes have great value, to the point that He said to us that it is on these that we will be judged. In fact, one of the most beautiful pages of Mark’s Gospel reports to us a teaching that we can regard in some way as “Jesus’ testament” on the part of the evangelist, who experienced directly in himself the action of Mercy. Jesus says that every time we feed someone who is hungry and give drink to someone who is thirsty, that we clothe a naked person and receive a stranger, that we visit a sick or imprisoned , we do it to Him (cf. Matthew 25:31-46). The Church has called these gestures “works of corporal mercy,” because they help persons in their material needs.
There are, however, seven other works of mercy called “spiritual,’ which have to do with other equally important needs, especially today, because they touch the depth of persons and often make one suffer more. We all certainly remember one that has entered our common language: “To endure patiently annoying persons.” It might seem to be something of little importance, which makes us smile, instead, it contains a sentiment of profound charity; and it is so also for the other six, which it is good to recall: to counsel the doubtful, to teach the ignorant, to admonish sinners, to console the afflicted, to forgive offenses, to pray to God for the living and the dead.
In the forthcoming catecheses we will pause on these works, which the Church presents to us as the concrete way to live mercy. So many persons in the course of the centuries put them into practice, thus giving genuine witness of the faith. Moreover, the Church, faithful to her Lord, nourishes a preferential love for the weakest. Often they are the persons closest to us who are in need of our help. We do not have to go in search, who knows, of endeavors to carry out. It is better to begin with the simplest, which the Lord points out as the most urgent. In a world stricken, unfortunately, by the virus of indifference, the works of mercy are the best antidote. In fact, they educate us to pay attention to the most elementary needs of our “least brothers” (Matthew 25:40), in whom Jesus is present. To recognize His face in that of one who is in need is a real challenge against indifference. It enables us to be always vigilant, avoiding Christ passing beside us without our recognizing Him. Saint Augustine’s phrase comes to mind: “Timeo Iesum transeuntem” (Sermon 88, 14, 13). I wondered why Saint Augustine said he was afraid of Jesus’ passing. The answer, unfortunately, is in our behaviour, because we are often distracted, indifferent, and when the Lord passes close to us we lose the occasion of an encounter with Him.
The works of mercy awaken in us the exigency and capacity to render faith alive and active with charity. I am convinced that through these simple daily gestures we can carry out a true cultural revolution, as happened in the past. How many Saints are still remembered today not for the great works they did but for the charity they were able to transmit! We think of Mother Teresa, just canonized: we do not remember her for the many houses she opened in the world, but because she bent over every person she found in the middle of the street to restore to him his/her dignity. How many abandoned children she held in her arms; how many dying , on the threshold of eternity, she accompanied holding their hand! These works of mercy are the features of the Face of Jesus Christ, who takes care of his least brothers to bring to each of them God’s tenderness and closeness. May the Holy Spirit enkindle in us the desire to live with this style of life; may we learn again by heart the works of corporal and spiritual mercy and ask the Lord to help us to put them into practice every day.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]
In Italian
Dear Italian-speaking pilgrims, welcome! I am happy to receive the faithful of the Dioceses of Cremona, Pescia, Anagni-Alatri and Conversano-Monopoli, accompanied by their respective Pastors, and I exhort them to draw fruit from the Jubilee we are celebrating, to be heralds of the Gospel with a consistent witness of life. I greet the Sisters of Saint Elizabeth, gathered here on the occasion of their General Chapter, and I hope that the foundational charism is rediscovered in the perspective of Divine Mercy. I greet the young people of the Folklore Festival of Cori; the participants in the European Conference of Christian Radios and the Saint Rita Work Foundation of Prato with the Bishop, Monsignor Franco Agostinelli. May the crossing of the Holy Door be an act of personal and communal faith, and stimulate all to exercise the works of mercy in their own environments.
A special greeting goes to the organizers and participants in the “Match for Peace and Solidarity,” which will be held this evening in the Olympic Stadium, promoted by Scholas Occurrentes, the Love and Liberty Community, the Italian Spots Center and UNITALSI.
Finally, a greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Yesterday we celebrated the Memorial of Saint john XXIII. Dear young people, invoke his heavenly intercession to imitate the gentleness of his paternal love; pray to him in moments of the cross and of suffering, dear sick, to face difficulties with his same meekness; learn from him, dear newlyweds, the art of educating children with tenderness and with example.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]
The Holy Father’s Appeals
Tomorrow, October 13, is the International Day for the Reduction of Natural Disasters,”which this year proposes the topic: “Reduce Mortality.” In fact, natural disasters could be avoided or at least limited, because their effects are often due to the lack of care of the environment on man’s part. Therefore, I encourage the joining of forces in a farsighted way in the protection of our common home, promoting a culture of prevention, also with the help of new knowledge, reducing the risks for the most vulnerable populations.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]
I wish to stress and confirm my closeness to all the victims of the inhuman conflict in Syria. It is with a sense of urgency that I renew my appeal, imploring those responsible with all my strength, to provide an immediate cease-fire, which is imposed and respected at least for the necessary time to make possible the evacuation of civilians, especially children, who are trapped again under bloody bombardments.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]
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