Sunday, November 13, 2016

Catholic News World : Sun. November 13, 2016 - SHARE


#PopeFrancis "..look with trust to the God of mercy, with the certainty that “love never ends” #Homily - FULL TEXT - Mass Video

Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for some 6000 poor and homeless people from countries in Europe and Africa.

Please find below the full text of Pope Francis’ homily:  
“For you… the sun of justice shall rise, with healing in its wings” (Mal 4:2).  The words of the Prophet Malachi, which we heard in the first reading, shed light on today’s Jubilee.  They come to us from the last page of the last Old Testament prophet.  They are words directed to those who trust in the Lord, who place their hope in him, who see in him life’s greatest good and refuse to live only for themselves and their own interests.  For those who are materially poor but rich in God, the sun of justice will rise.  These are the poor in spirit, to whom Jesus promised the kingdom of heaven (cf. Mt 5:3) and whom God, through the words of the Prophet Malachi, calls “my special possession” (Mal 3:17).  The prophet contrasts them with the proud, those who seek a secure life in their self-sufficiency and their earthly possessions.  This last page of the Old Testament raises challenging questions about the ultimate meaning of life: where do I look for security?  In the Lord or in other forms of security not pleasing to God?  Where is my life headed, what does my heart long for?  The Lord of life or ephemeral things that cannot satisfy?
Similar questions appear in today’s Gospel.  Jesus is in Jerusalem for the last and most important page of his earthly life: his death and resurrection.  He is in the precincts of the Temple, “adorned with noble stones and offerings” (Lk 21:5).  People were speaking of the beautiful exterior of the temple, when Jesus says: “The days will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another” (v. 6).  He adds that there will be no lack of conflicts, famine, convulsions on earth and in the heavens.  Jesus does not want to frighten us, but to tell us that everything we now see will inevitably pass away.  Even the strongest kingdoms, the most sacred buildings and the surest realities of this world do not last for ever; sooner or later they fall.
In response, people immediately put two questions to the Master: “When will this be, and what will be the sign?” (v. 7).  When and what…  We are constantly driven by curiosity: we want to know when and we want to see signs.  Yet Jesus does not care for such curiosity.  On the contrary, he exhorts us not to be taken in by apocalyptic preachers.  Those who follow Jesus pay no heed to prophets of doom, the nonsense of horoscopes, or terrifying sermons and predictions that distract from the truly important things.  Amid the din of so many voices, the Lord asks us to distinguish between what is from him and what is from the false spirit.  This is important: to distinguish the word of wisdom that the God speaks to us each day from the shouting of those who seek in God’s name to frighten, to nourish division and fear.  
Jesus firmly tells us not to be afraid of the upheavals in every period of history, not even in the face of the most serious trials and injustices that may befall his disciples.  He asks us to persevere in the good and to place all our trust in God, who does not disappoint: “Not a hair of your head will perish” (v. 18).  God does not forget his faithful ones, his precious possession.  He does not forget us. 
Today, however, he questions us about the meaning of our lives.  Using an image, we could say that these readings serve as a “strainer” through which our life can be poured: they remind us that almost everything in this world is passing away, like running water.  But there are treasured realities that remain, like a precious stone in a strainer.  What endures, what has value in life, what riches do not disappear?  Surely these two: the Lord and our neighbour.  These two riches do no disappear!  These are the greatest goods; these are to be loved.  Everything else – the heavens, the earth, all that is most beautiful, even this Basilica – will pass away; but we must never exclude God or others from our lives.
Today, though, when we speak of exclusion, we immediately think of concrete people, not useless objects but precious persons.  The human person, set by God at the pinnacle of creation, is often discarded, set aside in favour of ephemeral things.  This is unacceptable, because in God’s eyes man is the most precious good.  It is ominous that we are growing used to this rejection.  We should be worried when our consciences are anaesthetized and we no longer see the brother or sister suffering at our side, or notice the grave problems in our world, which become a mere refrain familiar from the headlines on the evening news.
Dear brothers and sisters, today is your Jubilee.  Your presence here helps us to be attuned to God’s wavelength, to see what he sees.  He sees not only appearances (cf. 1 Sam 16:7), but turns his gaze to the “humble and contrite in spirit” (Is 66:2), to the many poor Lazaruses of our day.  What harm we do to ourselves when we fail to notice Lazarus, excluded and cast out (cf. Lk 16:19-21)!  It is turning away from God himself.  It is the symptom of a spiritual sclerosis when we are only interested in objects to be produced rather than on persons to be loved.  This is the origin of the tragic contradiction of our age: as progress and new possibilities increase, which is a good thing, less and less people are able to benefit from them.  This is a great injustice that should concern us much more than knowing when or how the world will end.  Because we cannot go about our business quietly at home while Lazarus lies at the door.  There is no peace in the homes of the prosperous as long as justice is lacking in the home of everyone.
Today, in the cathedrals and sanctuaries throughout the world, the Doors of Mercy are being closed.  Let us ask for the grace not to close our eyes to God who sees us and to our neighbour who asks something of us.  Let us open our eyes to God, purifying the eye of our hearts of deceitful and fearful images, from the god of power and retribution, the projection of human pride and fear.  Let us look with trust to the God of mercy, with the certainty that “love never ends” (1 Cor 13:8).  Let us renew our hope in the true life to which we are called, the life that will not pass away and that awaits us in communion with the Lord and with others, in a joy that will last forever, without end.
And let us open our eyes to our neighbour, especially to our brothers and sisters who are forgotten and excluded, to the “Lazarus” at our door.  That is where the Church’s magnifying glass is pointed.  May the Lord free us from turning it towards ourselves.  May he turn us away from the trappings that distract us, from interests and privileges, from attachment to power and glory, from being seduced by the spirit of the world.  Our Mother the Church looks “in particular to that portion of humanity that is suffering and crying out, because she knows that these people belong to her by evangelical right” (PAUL VI, Address at the beginning of the Second Session of the Second Vatican Council, 29 September 1963).  By right but also by evangelical duty, for it is our responsibility to care for the true riches which are the poor.  In the light of these reflections, I would like today to be the “day of the poor”.  We are reminded of this by an ancient tradition according to which the Roman martyr Lawrence, before suffering a cruel martyrdom for the love of the Lord, distributed the goods of the community to the poor, whom he described as the true treasure of the Church.  May the Lord grant that we may look without fear to what truly matters, and turn our hearts to our true treasure.

#PopeFrancis "..stay firm in the hope of the eternity of God." #Audience FULL TEXT - Video

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
The Gospel for today gives us the first part of Jesus’ words on the end times, as related by St. Luke. Jesus speaks about this while in front of the Temple of Jerusalem, drawing from the people’s exclamations of admiration at the beauty of the sanctuary and its decorations. Jesus then says, “All that you see here — the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”
We can imagine the effect of these words on Jesus’ disciples. He doesn’t want to offend the temple but rather to make them understand, and us today as well, that human constructions — even the most sacred — are passing, and we shouldn’t place our securities in them.
How many supposed certainties in our lives have we thought were definitive and then they turned out to be ephemeral. On the other hand, how many problems we’ve faced that seemed to have no way out, and then they were overcome!
Jesus knows that there are always people who speculate in the need that people have of securities. That’s why he says: “See that you not be deceived,” and puts them on guard against all the false messiahs who present themselves. Today we still have these. And Jesus adds that there is no need to become terrified or disoriented by wars, revolutions and calamities, because these are also part of the reality of this world.
The history of the Church is rich in examples of people who endured tribulations and terrible sufferings with serenity, because they were aware that they were safely in the hands of God. He is a faithful and attentive father who never abandons his children. Never. And we should have this certainty in our hearts. God never abandons us.
To stay firm in the Lord, to walk in the hope that he never abandons us, to work to build a better world despite the difficulties and the sad events that mark our collective and personal existence — this is what really counts.
That is what the Christian community is called to do to go out to meet the “day of the Lord.”
Precisely in this context we want to place the efforts that begin after these months in which we’ve lived with faith the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which today is wrapping up in the dioceses of the world with the closing of the Holy Doors in the cathedral churches. The Holy Year has called us, on one hand, to have our gaze set on the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God, and on the other hand, to build the future on this earth, working to evangelize the present, to bring about a time of salvation for all.
Jesus in the Gospel exhorts us to have clear in our minds and hearts the certainty that God guides our history and knows the ultimate end of things and events.
History — with its uncertain progression and the interweaving of good and evil — develops under the merciful gaze of the Lord. Everything that happens is conserved in Him. Our life cannot be lost because it is in his hands.
Let us pray to the Virgin Mary, so that she helps us through the good and the sad events of this world to stay firm in the hope of the eternity of God. Let us pray to the Virgin that she helps us to deeply understand the truth that God never abandons his children.
Dear brothers and sisters, this week the oldest wooden crucifix of St. Peter’s basilica has been reinstated for the devotion of the faithful; it dates from the 14th century. After a laborious work of restoration it’s been returned to its former splendor and will be hung in the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, to recall the Jubilee of Mercy.
Today in Italy is celebrated the traditional day of Thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and human work. I unite myself to the bishops in their desire that mother earth always be cultivated in a sustainable manner. The Church, with understanding and recognition, is beside the world of agriculture and does not forget those who in various parts of the world are deprives of essential gifts such as food and water.
I greet everyone, families, parishes, associations and faithful, who have come from Italy and so many other parts of the world. In particular, I greet and thank the associations that in these days have supported the jubilee for excluded peoples.
I greet the pilgrims from Río de Janeiro, Salerno, Piacenza, Veroli and Acri, and also “The Family” service of Milan, and the Italian fraternities of the secular Order of the Trinity.
I wish you all a good Sunday. Please don’t forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you soon!
[Translation by ZENIT]

#Novena to Saint Frances Cabrini - Patron of #Immigrants - SHARE this Prayer!

Novena to St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Almighty and Eternal Father, Giver of all Gifts, show us Your mercy, and grant, we beseech You, through the merits of Your faithful Servant, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, that all who invoke her intercession may obtain what they desire according to the good pleasure of Your Holy Will.
 [Mention your request]
 O Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, mindful of Your bountiful goodness and love, deign, we implore You, through the tender devotion of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini for Your Sacred Heart, to hear our prayers and grant our petitions.
 O God, the Holy Spirit, Comforter of the afflicted, Fountain of Light and Truth, through the ardent zeal of Your humble handmaid, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, grant us Your all-powerful aid in our necessities, sanctify our souls and fill our minds with Divine Light that we may see the Holy Will of God in all things. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, beloved spouse of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, intercede for us that the favor we now ask may be granted.
 Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be (three times)

Last Mercy #Jubilee Audience of Pope Francis “faithful witness to God’s inclusive love.” FULL Video

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held the last special Saturday audience for the Jubilee Year of  Mercy  this week, during which he stressed the need for inclusion, especially towards the poor, the weary, and the burdened.
By showing mercy, love, and forgiveness, the Holy Father said, the Church bears “faithful witness to God’s inclusive love.”
Below is the official English language synthesis of the Pope’s address, which he delivered in Italian:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:  In this, the last of our special Saturday Audiences for the Holy Year of Mercy, I would like to stress the importance of inclusion.  God’s mercy, which excludes no one, challenges us to be merciful and open to the needs of others, especially the poor and all those who are weary and burdened.  We, who have experienced that love and mercy, have a part to play in his saving plan, which embraces all of history.  In his mercy, God calls all men and women to become members of the body of Christ, which is the Church, and to work together, as one family, in building a world of justice, solidarity and peace.  God reconciled mankind to himself by the sacrifice of his Son on the cross.  He now sends us, his Church, to extend that merciful embrace to our brothers and sisters throughout the world.  The arms of the great colonnade surrounding this Square symbolize that embrace.  They remind us not only of the Church’s mission to the human family, but also of our own call to bear faithful witness to God’s inclusive love through the mercy, love and forgiveness we show to others.

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. November 13, 2016 - 33rd Ord. Time C - #Eucharist - Readings and Video

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 159

Reading 1MAL 3:19-20A

Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,
and the day that is coming will set them on fire,
leaving them neither root nor branch,
says the LORD of hosts.
But for you who fear my name, there will arise
the sun of justice with its healing rays.

Responsorial PsalmPS 98:5-6, 7-8, 9

R. (cf. 9) The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth,
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Reading 22 THES 3:7-12

Brothers and sisters:
You know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day
we worked, so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you,
we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work,
neither should that one eat.
We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a
disorderly way,
by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.
Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly
and to eat their own food.

AlleluiaLK 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 21:5-19

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, “All that you see here--
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”
He answered,
“See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.”
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.

“Before all this happens, however,
they will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

#PopeFrancis "..figure both of the patient (‘Christus patiens’) and the physician (‘Christus medicus’)" to Health Workers - FULL TEXT

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a Message to the participants in the thirty-first international conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers.
Please find the official English translation of the Holy Father’s Message, below

To the Most Reverend Monsignor
Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers
I wish to send my cordial greetings to those taking part in the thirty-first international conference on the subject ‘Towards a Culture of Health that is Welcoming and Supportive, at the Service of People with Rare and Neglected Pathologies’, organised by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, which I thank for this initiative. I also address grateful thoughts to the memory of my much lamented brother in the episcopate, H.E. Msgr. Zygmunt Zimowski, the former President of the Pontifical Council, who returned to the House of the Father last July.
Qualified experts, from every part of the world, have come together to explore the subject of ‘rare’ pathologies and ‘neglected’ diseases in their various aspects: from the medical-epidemiological to the socio-political and from the economic to the juridical-ethical. The conference intends to engage in a survey of the present situation, as well as an identification and a re-launching of practicable guidelines for action in this special medical/health-care scenario; having as founding values respect for the lives, the dignity and the rights of patients, together with a welcoming and supportive approach; and producing strategies for care and treatment that are moved by a sincere love for the actual person who suffers – from a ‘rare’ or ‘neglected’ disease as well.
The data that are available on these two chapters of medicine are emblematic. The most recent calculations of the World Health Organisation indicate that 400 million people in the world as a whole suffer from diseases defined as ‘rare’. The scenario of ‘neglected’ diseases is even more dramatic because they affect over a billion people. They are for the most part infectious diseases and they are widespread amongst the poorest populations of the world, often in countries where access to health-care services is insufficient to cover essential needs, above all in Africa and Latin America, in areas that have a tropical climate, with insecure drinking water and deficient hygienic/alimentary, housing and social conditions.
The challenge, from an epidemiological, scientific, clinical/care, hygienic and economic point of view is, therefore, enormous because it involves responsibilities and commitments on a global scale: international and national health-care and political authorities, health-care workers, the biomedical industry, associations of citizens/patients, and lay and religious volunteers.
This is an enormous challenge, but not an impossible one. Given the complexity of the subject, indeed, a multidisciplinary and joint approach is necessary; an effort that calls on all the human realities involved, whether institutional or otherwise. Amongst them there is also the Catholic Church which has always found a motivation and impulse in her Lord, Jesus Christ, who was crucified and rose again, the figure both of the patient (‘Christus patiens’) and the physician (‘Christus medicus’, the Good Samaritan).
At this point, I would like to offer some observations that can contribute to your reflections.
The first is that if the human person is the eminent value, it follows that each person, above all a person who suffers, because of a ‘rare’ or ‘neglected’ disease as well, without any hesitation deserves every kind of commitment in order to be welcomed, treated and, if possible, healed.
The effective addressing of entire chapters of illness, as is the case with ‘rare’ and ‘neglected’ diseases, requires not only qualified and diversified skills and abilities in health-care but also ones that are beyond health care – one may think of health-care managers, of administrative and political health-care authorities, and of health-care economists. An integrated approach, and careful assessments of contexts directed towards the planning and implementation of operational strategies, as well as the obtaining and management of the necessary sizeable resources, are required. At the base of every initiative, however, lies, first and foremost, free and courageous good will directed towards the solving of this major problem of global health: an authentic ‘wisdom of the heart’. Together with scientific and technical study, the determination and wisdom of those who set themselves to work not only in the existential fringes of the world but also in its fringes at the level of care, as is of often the case with ‘rare’ and ‘neglected’ diseases, are, therefore, crucial.
Amongst the many who give of themselves generously, the Church, as well, has always been active in this field and will continue with this exacting and demanding pathway of nearness to, and the accompanying of, the person who suffers. It is no accident, therefore, that this thirty-first international conference wanted to adopt the following key words to communicate the sense – understood as meaning and direction – of the presence of the Church in this authentic work of mercy: to inform, in order to establish the state of present knowledge at a scientific and clinical/care level; to care for the life of patients in a better way in a welcoming and supportive approach; to steward the environment in which man lives.
The relationship between these diseases and the environment is decisive. Indeed, many diseases have genetic causes; in the case of others, environmental factors have a major importance. But even when the causes are genetic, a polluted environment acts as a multiplier of damage. And the greatest burden falls on the poorest populations. It is for this reason that I want once again to emphasise the absolute importance of respect for, and the stewardship of, the creation, our common home.
A second observation that I would like to bring to your attention is that it remains a priority of the Church to keep herself dynamically in a state of ‘moving outwards’, to bear witness at a concrete level to divine mercy, making herself a ‘field hospital’ for marginalised people who live in every existential, socio-economic, health-care, environmental and geographical fringe of the world.
The third and last observation relates to the subject of justice. Although it is true that care for a person with a ‘rare’ or ‘neglected’ disease is in large measure connected with the interpersonal relationship of the doctor and the patient, it is equally true that the approach, at a social level, to this health-care phenomenon requires a clear application of justice, in the sense of ‘giving to each his or her due’, that is to say equal access to effective care for equal health needs, independently of factors connected with socio-economic, geographical or cultural contexts. The reason for this rests on three fundamental principles of the social doctrine of the Church. The first is the principle of sociality, according to which the good of the person reverberates through the entire community. Therefore, care for health is not only a responsibility entrusted to the stewardship of the person himself or herself. It is also a social good, in the sense that the more individual health grows, the more ‘collective health’ will benefit from this, not least at the level, as well, of the resources that are freed up for other chapters of illness that require demanding research and treatment. The second principle is that of subsidiarity which, on the one hand, supports, promotes and develops socially the capacity of each person in attaining fulfilment and his or her legitimate and good aspirations, and, on the other, comes to the aid of a person where he or she is not able on his or her own to overcome possible obstacles, as is the case, for example, with an illness. And the third principle, with which a health-care strategy should be marked, and which must take the person as a value and the common good into account, is that of solidarity.
On these three cornerstones, which I believe can be shared by anybody who holds dear the eminent value of the human being, one can identify realistic, courageous, generous and supportive solutions to addressing even more effectively, and to solving, the health-care emergency of ‘rare’ and ‘neglected’ diseases.
In the name of this love for man, for every man, above all for suffering man, I express to all of you, participants in the thirty-first international conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, the wish that you will have a renewed impetus and generous dedication towards sick people, as well as a tireless drive towards the greatest common good in the health-care field.
Let us ask the Most Holy Mary, Health of the sick, to make the deliberations of this conference of yours bear fruit. To her we entrust the commitment to making increasingly human that service which, every day, the various professional figures of the world of health perform for suffering people. I bless from my heart all of you, your families, and your communities, as I do those whom you meet in hospitals and nursing homes. I pray for you; and you, please, pray for me.

From the Vatican, 12 November 2016

Saint November 13 : St. Francis Xavier Cabrini : Patron of #Immigrants and #hospital administrators

St. Francis Xavier Cabrini
Feast: November 13
Feast Day:
November 13
July 15, 1850, Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Italy
December 22, 1917, Chicago
July 7, 1946 by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:
Chapel of Mother Cabrini High School, New York City
Patron of:
immigrants, hospital administrators
“We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone.”

Today, November 13, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), the first United States citizen to be canonized. She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals, and at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, moved to the United States to work among immigrants. Through her care for those who were struggling, hard work, and obedience, Saint Frances is regarded today as the Patron Saint of all immigrants.
Frances Cabrini was born in Sant’Angelo Lodigiano (Lombardy, Italy). Born two months prematurely, Frances was small and weak, and struggled for survival. Frequently ill as a child, she would remain physically frail and susceptible to illness her entire life.
Frances’ parents were farmers, and her mother stayed at home each day with the children. In total, her parents produced eleven children, with Frances being the tenth. Sadly, only four of the Cabrini children survived their childhood. Despite numerous losses and tragedies in the family, both Frances’ mother and father were strong in the Catholic faith, and through their teaching and example, Frances came to love God. One of her favorite activities was listening to her father read the stories of missionaries from the Annals of the Propagation of the faith. More than anything, from and early age and throughout her life, Frances desired to travel to China as a missionary.
Frances was especially devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which inspired her growing faith. With her parents’ support, she applied for admission to several religious orders, but was turned away by each due to her frequent illnesses and frail health. Disappointed, but not discouraged, Frances cared for her parents until their death, as well as raised her brothers and sisters. Throughout all of this, despite her frailties, she worked on the family farm—physical activity that both taxed her body, but also prepared her for the physical work that she would encounter throughout her life. Upon the death of her parents, Frances began studying to her teaching degree at a boarding school administered by the Daughters of the Sacred Heart. While her classmates complained, she was delighted that the students of the school were required to live in the convent with the religious sisters. Adding to her joy was the devotion of the sisters to the Sacred Heart. Upon graduation, she again petitioned to join the order, but was again refused, with her health cited. The Superior of the Order encouraged her, saying, “You are called to establish another Institute that will bring new glory to the Heart of Jesus.”
Again disappointed, but not discouraged, Frances returned to her home town, and began teaching in a private school, spending her non-work hours devoted to charitable works and serving the poor. She was immediately recognized for her gentle spirit, teaching ability, faith, and obedience, and over the next several years, was requested to move from school to school by the diocese, filling vacant positions and invigorating educational facilities. Eventually, she was requested to move to the town of Codogno, and assume direction of the girls’ orphanage there, known as the House of Providence. The diocese wished to restructure the facility into a religious institute, and realized that despite her frail health, Frances possessed the faith and spirit to accomplish the task. Without hesitation, Frances accepted, and within the year, the five young women who taught at the House, entered their novitiate with Frances as their novice mistress. In 1877, at the age of 27, Frances’ wish to take the veil was granted, and along with her five sisters, made her profession. In honor of Jesuit father Frances Xavier, Frances took the name Xavier, becoming Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini—as she would be known for the remainder of her life. Named superior of the community by her local bishop, she was encouraged to form a new religious institute. Along with the five sisters who took their vows with her, she founded the Institute of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1880. While some objected to the inclusion of the word “Missionaries” in the order’s name (as it implied overseas work, and the bishop intended that the sisters serve locally), Mother Cabrini was already thinking on a larger, grander scale. She had plans for her sisters to spread the Gospel beyond the borders of Lombardy. Mother Cabrini left Lombardy to travel to Rome, as was the custom at the time, seeking approval from the pope for her fledgling order. She also wished to establish a mission house in Rome, from which she could then use as a base for international missions. Surprisingly, despite the youth of the foundress and the relative newness of the order, she received papal approval and permission to open two missions in Rome. Mother Cabrini also met the founder of the Missionary Institute of Saint Charles, who was looking for a religious woman to assist him with ministering to Italian immigrants overseas—specifically in New York. He requested that she assist, but Mother Cabrini was reluctant. Her plans were to send her missionaries to China, as she had always dreamed. However, when presented with a letter from New York Archbishop Corrigan, formally inviting the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart to establish a house in New York, she was moved to request an audience with the pope.
Ever obedient, and certain in the plan of the Lord, Mother Cabrini decided that she would do whatever Pope Leo XIII asked her to. She presented her dilemma to him, and following deliberation and conversation, he responded: “Not to the East, but to the West.” Disappointed, but not discouraged, Mother Cabrini and six of her sisters set out immediately for New York. Upon arrival, she was surprised to find that Archbishop Corrigan had not expected her so soon, and even more surprised when he suggested they return to Italy until he could prepare for her arrival. But Mother Cabrini answered, "Your excellency, the Pope sent me here and here I must stay." The archbishop admired her pioneer spirit, and so she and her sisters were permitted to begin their work. She and her companions spent the first night in a dingy tenement in the heart of the Italian ghetto. They could not sleep and stayed awake, tired, yet peacefully engaged in prayer.

Soon afterwards, a local order, the Sisters of Charity, extended Mother Cabrini and her sisters hospitality and guided their first steps through the city. At once, the new sisters were faced with a language difference. Not speaking English, and being unfamiliar with the new countries customs, Mother Cabrini worked to establish her mission. She slowly gained the support of the Archbishop, eventually becoming dear friends. She secured the donation of a house for the Order, and soon thereafter, instituted an orphanage on the same property. A free school soon followed, all through donations and alms-gathering that the sisters undertook on a daily basis. Soon, based upon their good work—and the personal attention and spiritual direction they gave to each family in the Italian district—young women were requesting to join the order.
Mother Cabrini returned to Italy, accompanied by her first North American postulants, who began their novitiate in Codogno. After an audience with her friend, Pope Leo XIII, she returned to New York, and embarked upon the institution of a larger orphanage. This site eventually included the North American novitiate of the order. Purchased at a low price, due to the lack of fresh water on the site, Mother Cabrini soon discovered a underground spring (some called it a miracle!), which still provides water to this day.
From New York, the Missionary Sisters branched out throughout America, starting in New Orleans (school and orphanage), and continuing west. It became clear—both in New York and other areas—that the immigrants were not receiving the medical care that they needed in public hospitals. However, Mother Cabrini was not particularly inclined to undertake this ministry. It was not until she had a dream of Our Blessed Mother that she changed her mind. In her dream, Mother Cabrini saw Mary, the Mother of God, tending to a hospital patient. Asking Our Blessed Mother what she was doing, Mother Cabrini was surprised by her response: “I am doing the work you refuse to do.” Upon waking, Mother Cabrini moved quickly to establish a hospital for the Italian sick poor in New York City, and to her surprise, found herself to be a capable (even outstanding) healthcare provider and administrator. Hospitals were eventually established by the Missionary Sisters in Chicago and Seattle.   The Missionary Sisters recount how the great faith of Mother Cabrini allowed this fast and miraculous growth of the order to occur. In Seattle, for example, as she was looking for a site to institute an orphanage, Mother Cabrini had a dream in which she saw a beautiful house on a hilltop. The next day she and some sisters were walking when she waved down a chauffeur-driven limo and asked for a ride. The lady in the limo was happy to help the sisters, and on the way, Mother Cabrini spoke of the house she had dreamed of. When they arrived at the convent and were saying goodbye, the lady told her: "Mother Cabrini, that house you dreamed of is mine, I own it. I never thought of parting with it, but if I may be allowed to enter your Holy House for a moment and receive a glass of water in the name of Our Lord, your little orphans shall have their home with my blessing." When asked later how she had obtained such a beautiful property, Mother Cabrini would say "I paid for it with three treasures: my love, a dream, and a glass of water in His Name."
The Order had successfully established bases in three American cities, but Mother Cabrini was thinking bigger. She extended the Missionary Sisters work into Latin America, establishing schools in Nicaragua and Argentina. She established schools in Europe, including Paris, London, and Madrid. And she continued to work throughout the United States, including schools in Chicago, Scranton, and Newark. Based upon the needs of the Italian miners working in and around the Rocky Mountains, Mother Cabrini traveled to Denver and established schools, orphanages, and a mission center.
While until that point her focus had been solely on Italian immigrants, the Missionary Sisters began to see the needs of other immigrant groups, extending their work to Mexican immigrants in California. Despite her failing health, Mother Cabrini traveled across the country (and the world!), visiting each house, and personally establishing new locations. Her travels included: New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Louisiana, Colorado, California, Washington State, Central and South America and Europe.
During this time, she fulfilled another personal goal, and became a citizen of the United States. Mother Cabrini began contemplating missions in Alaska, and still felt pulled toward Asia. However, the impact of her travels began to take its toll, and at the age of 67, she died in Chicago, in a private room at Columbus Hospital, as she was preparing Christmas candy for the local children. Less than 30 years later, she was canonized as a Saint—the first United States citizen to be canonized—by Pope Pius XII.
From the homily at the Canonization of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini by Pope Pius XII: “Inspired by the grace of god, we join the saints in honoring the holy virgin Frances Xavier Cabrini. She was a humble woman who became outstanding not because she was famous or rich or powerful, but because she lived a virtuous life. From the tender years of her youth, she kept her innocence as white as a lily and preserved it carefully with the thorns of penitence; as the years progressed, she was moved by a certain instinct and supernatural zeal to dedicate her whole life to the service and greater glory of God. She welcomed delinquent youths into safe homes, and taught them to live upright and holy lives. She consoled those who were in prison, and recalled to them the hope of eternal life. She encouraged prisoners to reform themselves, and to live honest lives. She comforted the sick and the infirm in the hospitals, and diligently cared for them. She extended a friendly and helping hand especially to immigrants, and offered them necessary shelter and relief, for having left their homeland behind, they were wandering about in a foreign land with no place to turn for help. Because of their condition, she saw that they were in danger of deserting the practice of Christian virtues and their Catholic faith. Undoubtedly she accomplished all this through the faith which was always so vibrant and alive in her heart; through the divine love which burned within her; and finally, through constant prayer by which she was so closely united with God from whom she humbly asked and obtained whatever her human weakness could not obtain. Although her constitution was very frail, her spirit was endowed with such singular strength that, knowing the will of God in her regard, she permitted nothing to impede her from accomplishing what seemed beyond her strength.”
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini’s life was filled with disappointments… but she was never discouraged. Despite setbacks, weak health, and constant difficulty, the accomplishments of Mother Cabrini are remarkable. Ever humble, she took no credit, instead directing those who might compliment her work back to the Lord—to Jesus Christ—though which all things were (and are) accomplished. Throughout her life, Mother Cabrini found her strength in the Lord, and used every ounce given to her to serve others. We look to her today as a model of obedience, hope, service and strength. Mother Cabrini, pray for us!
God our Father,
you called Frances Xavier Cabrini from Italy to serve the immigrants of America. By her example teach us concern for the stranger, the sick, and the frustrated. By her prayers help us to see Christ in all the men and women we meet Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Text by 365Rosaries

Saturday, November 12, 2016

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Saint November 12 : St. Josaphat : Archbishop and Martyr : Patron of #Ukraine

Feast: November 12
Feast Day:
November 12
1580 at Volodymyr, Lithuania (modern Ukraine)
12 November 1623 at Vitebsk, Belarus
Patron of:
Martyr, born in the little town of Volodymyr in Lithuania (Volyn) in 1580 or — according to some writers — 1584; died at Vitebsk, Russia, 12 November, 1623.
The saint's birth occurred in a gloomy period for the Ruthenian Church. Even as early as the beginning of the sixteenth century the Florentine Union had become a dead-letter; in the case of the Ruthenian Church, complete demoralization followed in the wake of its severance from Rome, and the whole body of its clergy became notorious alike for their gross ignorance and the viciousness of their lives. After the Union of Berest’ in 1596 the Ruthenian Church was divided into two contending parties — the Uniates and those who persevered in schism — each with its own hierarchy. Among the leaders of the schismatic party, who laboured to enkindle popular hatred against the Uniates, Meletius Smotryckyj was conspicuous, and the most celebrated of his victims was Josaphat.
Although of a noble Ruthenian stock, Josaphat's father had devoted himself to commercial pursuits, and held the office of town-councilor. Both parents contributed to implant the seeds of piety in the heart of their child. In the school at Volodymyr Josaphat — Johannes was the saint's baptismal name — gave evidence of unusual talent; he applied himself with the greatest zeal to the study of ecclesiastical Slav, and learned almost the entire casoslov (breviary), which from this period he began to read daily. From this source he drew his early religious education, for the unlettered clergy seldom preached or gave catechetical instruction. Owing to the straitened circumstances of his parents, he was apprenticed to the merchant Popovyc at Vilna. In this town, remarkable for the corruption of its morals and the contentions of the various religious sects, he seemed specially guarded by Providence, and became acquainted with certain excellent men (e.g. Benjamin Rutski), under whose direction he advanced in learning and in virtue.
 At the age of twenty-four (1604) he entered the Basilian monastery of the Trinity at Vilna. The fame of his virtues rapidly spread, and distinguished people began to visit him. After a notable life as a layman, Rutski also joined the order, bringing with him a wide erudition. When Josaphat reached the diaconate, regular services and labour for the salvation of souls had been already begun; the number of novices steadily increased, and under Rutski — who had meanwhile been ordained priest — there began the regeneration of religious life among the Ruthenians. In 1609, after private study under the Jesuit Fabricius, Josaphat was ordained priest. He subsequently became superior in several monasteries, and on 12 November, 1617, was reluctantly consecrated Bishop of Vitebsk, with right of succession to the Archbishopric of Polotsk. He became archbishop in 1618.
While each succeeding year saw fresh evidence of his fruitful labours, it also witnessed the steady growth of the hatred of the schismatic party. Finally on 12 November, 1623, an axe-stroke and a bullet brought Josaphat his martyr's crown. After numerous miracles had occurred, a commission was appointed by Urban VIII in 1628 to inquire into the cause of Josaphat, and examined on oath 116 witnesses. Although five years had elapsed since Josaphat's death, his body was still incorrupt. In 1637 a second commission investigated the life of the martyr, and in 1643 — twenty years after his death — Josaphat was beatified. His canonization took place in 1867.
Great were the virtues of the saint. As a boy he shunned the usual games of childhood, prayed much, and lost no opportunity of assisting at the Divine services. Children especially regarded him with the greatest affection, and found in him a worthy model. As an apprentice, he devoted every leisure hour to prayer and study. At first Popovyc viewed this behaviour with displeasure, but Josaphat gradually won such a position in his esteem, that Popovyc offered him his entire fortune and his daughter's hand. But Josaphat's love for the religious life never wavered. At first without a human guide along the paths of virtue, he received all spiritual direction immediately from the Holy Ghost.
His favourite pious exercise was to make a poklony (i.e. a reverence, in which the head touches the ground) with the ejaculation: "Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a poor sinner." Never eating meat, he fasted much, wore a hair-shirt and an angular chain, slept on the bare floor, and chastised his body until the blood flowed. The Jesuits frequently urged him to set some bounds to his austerities.
From his zealous study of the liturgical books he drew many proofs of Catholic truth, using his knowledge in the composition of several works — "On the Baptism of St. Volodymyr"; "On the Falsification of the Slavic Books by the Enemies of the Metropolitan"; "On Monks and their Vows". As deacon, priest, and bishop, he was distinguished by his extraordinary zeal in the service of souls. Not alone in the church did he preach and hear confessions, but likewise in the fields, hospitals, prisons, and even on his journeys. Even where his words of instruction might by themselves have failed, his entreaties and tears ensured him success. This zeal, united with his kindness and extraordinary love for the poor, won numbers to the Catholic Faith. Among his converts were included many important personages such as Ignatius, Patriarch of Moscow, and Emmanuel Cantacuzenus, who belonged to the family of the Greek Emperor Palæologus.
As archbishop he restored the churches; issued a catechism to the clergy with instructions that it should be learned by heart; composed rules for the priestly life, entrusting to the deacons the task of superintending their observance; assembled synods in various towns in the dioceses, and firmly opposed the Imperial Chancellor Sapieha, when he wished to make many concessions in favour of the schismatics. Throughout all his strivings and all his occupations, he continued his exemplary life as a religious, and never abated his zeal for self-mortification and prayer. He awaited death with a certain yearning, refusing to avail himself of the opportunity of flight afforded him. After his death his influence was still greater: conversions were numerous, and veneration for him continued to extend. His feast is kept on the first Sunday after 12 November, according to the Julian Calendar. Note: His feast is currently kept on November 12 on the Universal Calendar.
The Catholic Encyclopedia

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