Thursday, December 15, 2016

Catholic News World : Thursday December 15, 2016 - SHARE


#PopeFrancis “A life without dreams is not worthy of God..." Visit to Children's #Hospital ‘Bambino Gesù’ - VIDEO

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday greeted young patients, their families and hospital staff of Rome’s ‘Bambino Gesù’ Children’s Hospitaland encouraged them to nurture hope and to say ‘thank you’ to God for having shown us the way to give meaning to our human existence.
Amongst the hundreds of children at the audience receiving care from the Vatican hospital, were young patients from across the world including 15 kids from the Central African Republic where the ‘Bambino Gesù’ has a special cooperation project like the ones in Jordan and in Palestine which reach out to give medical assistance to refugee children from Syria and Iraq.
The packed audience that took place in the Paul VI Hall was opened by ‘Bambino Gesù’ President Mariella Enoc who spoke about how the hospital has a system stretches well beyond regional and national boundaries with Centers in impoverished Italian regions and with numerous international missions in developing nations.
She explained that today the ‘Bambino Gesù’ is present in 12 countries, with the goal of providing care and passing on its experience in the poorest areas of the world. 
Pope Francis then listened to questions asked by Valentina, to an appeal made by Dino, to the words of Serena and to the doubts raised by Luca who is at the beginning of his professional and human experience as a pediatric nurse.
He told Valentina, who is also a nurse, that he has no answer to her question ‘why do children suffer?’: “I do not have the answer” he said.  Not even Jesus had an answer to this question.  But Jesus, he said, shows us the way to give meaning to our human experience; he himself suffered offering his own life for our salvation. All we can do, the Pope said, is to be close to the child who suffers, cry with him, pray with him, look to the crucified Jesus. 
He also urged Christians searching for a balm for those who are close to those who suffer never to neglect the value of gratitude and to always say ‘thank you’.
“To say thank you is a medicine against bouts of hopelessness, which is a contagious ailment” he said.
To say thank you is to nurture hope, the Pope continued, and hope is the ‘fuel’ of Christian life that allows us to go forward every day.
To Dino, a ‘Bambino Gesù’ staff member who was asking for greater spaces to offer the patients of the hospital, the Pope said: “It is essential to open one’s heart: Providence will find concrete spaces!” 
But he also took the occasion to warn against the temptation of transforming a hospital into a place in which to do business, a place where doctors and nurses become profiteers saying “one of the worst cancers in a hospital is corruption.
With strong words and strong tones against what he called a profit-driven health industry that deceives many, the Pope reiterated that we are all sinners, but we must learn from children and never be corrupt. 
And to Luca who is beginning his career as a pediatric nurse the Pope said: “follow your dreams”; never stop doing good and never give up your wish to give life to great projects.
“A life without dreams is not worthy of God, a life that is tired, resigned and lacking enthusiasm is not Christian” he said.
And finally, to Serena, a former oncological patient of the Children’s Hospital who is studying to become a doctor, the Pope spoke of the special strength and joy of those who dedicated their lives and their talents for others: “this is a gift” he said. 
He recalled an Italian nun whom he said saved his life when, as a young man in Buenos Aires he was struck by a severe case of pneumonia. The Pope spoke of her joyfulness and of the joy that derives of “sowing life, of helping young lives to grow, of giving to others”.
“This, he said, will be your best stipend!”

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. December 15, 2016

Thursday of the Third Week in Advent
Lectionary: 190

Reading 1IS 54:1-10

Raise a glad cry, you barren one who did not bear,
Break forth in jubilant song, you who were not in labor,
For more numerous are the children of the deserted wife
than the children of her who has a husband,
says the LORD.
Enlarge the space for your tent,
spread out your tent cloths unsparingly;
lengthen your ropes and make firm your stakes.
For you shall spread abroad to the right and to the left;
your descendants shall dispossess the nations
and shall people the desolate cities.

Fear not, you shall not be put to shame;
you need not blush, for you shall not be disgraced.
The shame of your youth you shall forget,
the reproach of your widowhood no longer remember.
For he who has become your husband is your Maker;
his name is the LORD of hosts;
Your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
called God of all the earth.
The LORD calls you back,
like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
A wife married in youth and then cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with great tenderness I will take you back.
In an outburst of wrath, for a moment
I hid my face from you;
But with enduring love I take pity on you,
says the LORD, your redeemer.

This is for me like the days of Noah,
when I swore that the waters of Noah
should never again deluge the earth;
So I have sworn not to be angry with you,
or to rebuke you.
Though the mountains leave their place
and the hills be shaken,
My love shall never leave you
nor my covenant of peace be shaken,
says the LORD, who has mercy on you.

Responsorial PsalmPS 30:2 AND 4, 5-6, 11-12A AND 13B

R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the nether world;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
“Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.”
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

AlleluiaLK 3:4, 6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths:
All flesh shall see the salvation of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 7:24-30

When the messengers of John the Baptist had left,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John.
“What did you go out to the desert to see B a reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine garments?
Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously
are found in royal palaces.
Then what did you go out to see?
A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom Scripture says:

Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
he will prepare your way before you.

I tell you,
among those born of women, no one is greater than John;
yet the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.”
(All the people who listened, including the tax collectors,
who were baptized with the baptism of John,
acknowledged the righteousness of God;
but the Pharisees and scholars of the law,
who were not baptized by him,
rejected the plan of God for themselves.)

#PopeFrancis "In every situation, this means rejecting violence as a method for resolving conflicts..." to #Ambassadors - FULL TEXT

English translation of the Pope's discourse to the Ambassadors
Your Excellencies,
I am pleased to receive you for presentation of the Letters accrediting you as Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Holy See on the part of your respective countries: Burundi, Fiji, Mauritius, Moldova, Sweden and Tunisia.  I thank you for your kind words, which attest to your desire to maintain and develop the relations of esteem and cooperation which you enjoy with the Holy See, and I ask you to convey to the Heads of State whom you represent my gratitude and the assurance of my prayers for them and for their nations.
You have come from distant and very different areas of the world.  Here in Rome this is always a source of satisfaction, since the horizon of the Holy See is intrinsically universal.  This is due to the vocation and mission entrusted by God to the Successor of the Apostle Peter, a mission that is essentially religious, yet in the course of history has also involved relations with states and those who govern them.  The Catholic Church, whose centre of unity and direction is found, as it were, in the Holy See, is called to pass on and bear witness to those spiritual and moral values grounded in the very nature of human beings and society, and which, as such, can be shared by all those committed to the pursuit of the common good.
Preeminent among these values is that of peace, as seen in the fact that for fifty years now, the Popes have dedicated the first day of January to peace, addressing a special Message to the world’s civil and religious authorities, and to all men and women of goodwill.  The Message for the coming World Day of Peace, published just three days ago, has as its theme: Nonviolence: A Style of Politics for Peace.  The happy occasion of our meeting today allows me to share with you some brief reflections on that theme.
Nonviolence is a typical example of a universal value that finds fulfilment in the Gospel of Christ but is also a part of other noble and ancient spiritual traditions.  In a world like our own, sadly marked by wars and numerous conflicts, to say nothing of widespread violence evident in various ways in day-to-day life, the choice of nonviolence as a style of life is increasingly demanded in the exercise of responsibility at every level, from family education, to social and civil commitment, to political activity and international relations.  In every situation, this means rejecting violence as a method for resolving conflicts and dealing with them instead through dialogue and negotiation.
In a particular way, those who hold public office on the national and international levels are called to cultivate a nonviolent style in their consciences and in the exercise of their duties.  This is not the same as weakness or passivity; rather it presupposes firmness, courage and the ability to face issues and conflicts with intellectual honesty, truly seeking the common good over and above all partisan interest, be it ideological, economic or political.  In the course of the past century, marred by wars and genocides of unheard-of proportions, we have nonetheless seen outstanding examples of how nonviolence, embraced with conviction and practised consistently, can yield significant results, also on the social and political plane.  Some peoples, and indeed entire nations, thanks to the efforts of nonviolent leaders, peacefully achieved the goals of freedom and justice.  This is the path to pursue now and in the future.  This is the way of peace.  Not a peace proclaimed by words but in fact denied by pursuing strategies of domination, backed up by scandalous outlays for arms, while so many people lack the very necessities of life. Dear Ambassadors, it is my desire, and that of the Holy See, to advance, together with the governments of your countries, this process of promoting peace and those other values that contribute to the integral development of individuals and society.  With this in mind, I now offer you my heartfelt best wishes for the mission that you begin today, while assuring you of the ready cooperation of the Roman Curia.  Upon you and your families, and upon your respective countries, I invoke an abundance of divine blessings.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Saint December 15 : St. Mary di Rosa : #Foundress of the Handmaids of Charity

St. Mary di Rosa
Feast: December 15

Feast Day: December 15
Born: November 6, 1813, Brescia, Italy
Died: 1855, Brescia, Italy
Canonized: 12 June 1954 by Pope Pius XII
Foundress of the Handmaids of Charity of Brescia, also called the Servants of Charity. Born into a wealthy family in Brescia, Italy, on November 6, 1813, by age seventeen she was running her father's household and caring for the girls in her father's mill and estate. In the cholera epidemic of 1836, she became well-known as she directed a home for girls and begame another residence for deaf and mute young ladies. In 1840, she became superior of a community that evolved into her congregation. The women of the Servants of Charity ministered to the wounded on the battlefields of northern Italy and in hospitals. Maria died at Brescia on December 15. She was canonized in 1954.

Wow wish #PopeFrancis a Happy 80th Birthday via Email - #Vatican Releases Address and #HashTag - #Pontifex80 - SHARE

The Vatican has created new email addresses for well wishers to leave Birthday messages for the Pope.
Pope Francis turns 80 years old on December 17th. 
According to his staff, Pope Francis will be working “just as normal” on the day itself. He will receive the President of Malta in audience and will later meet with the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Oullet, as well as other guests and dignitaries. He will also celebrate Mass in the Pauline Chapel in the Vatican, along with those Cardinals who are living and working in Rome. 
Seven new Vatican email addresses have been created to allow well wishers to leave Birthday messages for the Pope. Messages can be left in Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Polish and Latin.
The email addresses are:  (Latin)   (Italian)  (Spanish / Portuguese)  (English)  (French)  (German)  (Polish) 
A social media hashtag has also been created. #Pontifex80 

#PopeFrancis "God. He is able to overcome the greatest sin, the most shameful, the most terrible...with love" #Audience FULL TEXT - Video

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning! We are approaching Christmas, and the prophet Isaiah helps us once again to open ourselves to hope, receiving the Good News of the coming of salvation. Chapter 52 of Isaiah begins with the invitation addressed to Jerusalem to awake, to shake herself from the dust and loose the bonds, and to put on her beautiful garments, because the Lord has come to liberate His people (vv. 1-3). And he adds: “My people shall know my name, that it is I who speak; here am I” (v. 6).
To this “Here am I” said by God, which summarizing His whole will of salvation and of closeness to us, the song of joy of Jerusalem responds, in keeping with the prophet’s invitation. It is a very important historical moment. It is the end of the exile of Babylon; it is the possibility for Israel to find God again and, in faith, to find itself again. The Lord makes Himself close, and the “little remnant,” namely the few people that remained after the exile and that in exile endured in faith, that went through the crisis and continued to believe and to hope even in the midst of darkness, that “little remnant” will be able to see the wonders of God.

At this point the prophet inserts a song of exultance:
How beautiful upon the mountains*
are the feet of the one bringing good news,
Announcing peace, bearing good news,
announcing salvation, saying to Zion,
“Your God is King!”a
Break out together in song,
O ruins of Jerusalem!
For the LORD has comforted his people,
has redeemed Jerusalem.
The LORD has bared his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations;
All the ends of the earth can see
the salvation of our God. (Isaiah 52:7.9-10).
These words of Isaiah, on which we wish to pause a little, make reference to the miracle of peace, and they do so in a very particular way, fixing the eyes not on the messenger but on his feet, which run swiftly: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger …”
It is like the Bride of the Canticle of Canticles, who runs to her Beloved: “Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills” (Canticle 2:8). Thus runs also the messenger of peace, bringing the happy announcement of liberation, of salvation, and proclaiming that God reigns.
God has not abandoned His people and did not let Himself be defeated by evil, because He is faithful, and his grace is greater than sin. We must learn this, because we are obstinate and do not learn it. But I will ask a question: what is greater, God or sin? God! And who wins at the end, God or sin? God. He is able to overcome the greatest sin, the most shameful, the most terrible, the worst of sins. With what weapon does God overcome sin? With love! This means that “God reigns”; these are the words of faith in a Lord whose power bends over humanity, abases Himself, to offer mercy and liberate man from what disfigures in him the beautiful image of God, because when we are in sin, God’s image is disfigured. And the fulfilment of so much love will be in fact the Kingdom established by Jesus, that Kingdom of forgiveness and peace that we celebrate at Christmas and that is realized definitively at Easter. And the most beautiful joy of Christmas is this interior joy of peace: the Lord has cancelled my sins, the Lord has forgiven me, the Lord has had mercy on me, He came to save me. This is the joy of Christmas!
These are, brothers and sisters, the reasons for our hope. When everything seems finished, when, in face of so many negative realities, faith becomes difficult and the temptation comes to say that nothing has meaning anymore, see instead the Good News brought by those swift feet: God is coming to realize something new, to establish a kingdom of peace. God has “bared His arm” and is coming to bring freedom and consolation. Evil will not triumph forever, there is an end to pain. Despair is defeated because God is among us.
And we are also asked to awake somewhat, like Jerusalem, in keeping with the invitation addressed to her by the prophet. We are called to become men and women of hope, collaborating with the coming of this Kingdom made of light and destined to all, men and women of hope. How awful it is when we meet a Christian that has lost hope! “But I don’t hope for anything, everything has ended for me”: so says a Christian who is unable to look at horizons of hope and, before his eyes there is only a wall. But God destroys these walls with forgiveness! And we must pray for this, that God may give us hope every day, and that He may give it to everyone; that hope that is born when we see God in the crib in Bethlehem. The message of the Good News that has been entrusted to us is urgent. We must also run like the messenger on the mountains, because the world cannot wait; humanity has hunger and thirst for justice, for truth for peace.
And seeing the little Babe of Bethlehem, the little ones of the world will know that the promise has been fulfilled, the message has been realized. Enclosed in a newly born child, needy of everything, wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger, is the whole power of the God that saves. Christmas is a day to open the heart: it is necessary to open one’s heart to so much littleness, which is there in that Baby, and to so much wonder. It is the wonder of Christmas, for which we are preparing, with hope, in this Season of Advent. It is the surprise of a Child God, of a poor God, of a weak God, of a God who abandons His greatness to make himself close to each one of us.
 [Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]
In Italian
In these days of joyous preparation for Christmas, a warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I thank you all for your good wishes for my forthcoming birthday, thank you so much! But I will tell you something that will make you laugh: in my land, to express good wishes beforehand brings bad luck! And one who expresses good wishes beforehand is one who “casts the evil eye!” I am happy to receive you new priests of the Legionaries of Christ with your relatives and also you, seminarians of Brescia: I hope you will be able to live your priesthood with authenticity, a spirit of service and the capacity of mediation between God’s grace and the frailty of the human condition. Capacity of mediation: you must be mediators, never intermediaries.
I greet the faithful of Petrignano of Assisi, and thank them for the gift of the artistic Crib; the military men committed in the Safe Streets Operation for the Jubilee; and the Agents of the Catholic Insurance Group, observing the seventieth anniversary of activity.
Finally, a thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Today the Liturgy remembers Saint John of the Cross, zealous Pastor and mystic Doctor of the Church: dear young people, meditate on the greatness of the love of Jesus, who was born and died for us; dear sick, in union with Christ, accept your cross with meekness for the conversion of sinners; and you, dear newlyweds, make room for prayer especially in this Season of Advent, so that your conjugal life becomes a journey of Christian perfection.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. December 14, 2016

Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 189

Reading 1IS 45:6C-8, 18, 21C-25

I am the LORD, there is no other;
I form the light, and create the darkness,
I make well-being and create woe;
I, the LORD, do all these things.
Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above,
like gentle rain let the skies drop it down.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth;
let justice also spring up!
I, the LORD, have created this.

For thus says the LORD,
The creator of the heavens,
who is God,
The designer and maker of the earth
who established it,
Not creating it to be a waste,
but designing it be lived in:
I am the LORD, and there is no other.

Who announced this from the beginning
and foretold it from of old?
Was it not I, the LORD,
besides whom there is no other God?
There is no just and saving God but me.

Turn to me and be safe,
all you ends of the earth,
for I am God; there is no other!
By myself I swear,
uttering my just decree
and my unalterable word:
To me every knee shall bend;
by me every tongue shall swear,
Saying, “Only in the LORD
are just deeds and power.
Before him in shame shall come
all who vent their anger against him.
In the LORD shall be the vindication and the glory
of all the descendants of Israel.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14

R. (Isaiah 45:8) Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.

Alleluia SEE IS 40:9-10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Raise your voice and tell the Good News:
Behold, the Lord GOD comes with power.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 7:18B-23

At that time,
John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask,
“Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
When the men came to the Lord, they said,
“John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask,
‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’”
At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits;
he also granted sight to many who were blind.
And Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Saint December 14 : St. John of the Cross : Patron of #Contemplatives; #Mystics; Spanish poets

St. John of the Cross
Feast: December 14

Founder (with St. Teresa) of the Discalced Carmelites, doctor of mystic theology,
b. at Hontoveros, Old Castile, 24 June, 1542;
d. at Ubeda, Andalusia, 14 Dec., 1591. John de Yepes, youngest child of Gonzalo de Yepes and Catherine Alvarez, poor silk weavers of Toledo, knew from his earliest years the hardships of life. The father, originally of a good family but disinherited on account of his marriage below his rank, died in the prime of his youth; the widow, assisted by her eldest son, was scarcely able to provide the bare necessities. John was sent to the poor school at Medina del Campo, whither the family had gone to live, and proved an attentive and diligent pupil; but when apprenticed to an artisan, he seemed incapable of learning anything. Thereupon the governor of the hospital of Medina took him into his service, and for seven years John divided his time between waiting on the poorest of the poor, and frequenting a school established by the Jesuits. Already at that early age he treated his body with the utmost rigour; twice he was saved from certain death by the intervention of the Blessed Virgin.
Anxious about his future life, he was told in prayer that he was to serve God in an order the ancient perfection of which he was to help bring back again. The Carmelites having founded a house at Medina, he there received the habit on 24 February, 1563, and took the name of John of St. Matthias. After profession he obtained leave from his superiors to follow to the letter the original Carmelite rule without the mitigations granted by various popes. He was sent to Salamanca for the higher studies, and was ordained priest in 1567; at his first Mass he received the assurance that he should preserve his baptismal innocence. But, shrinking from the responsibilities of the priesthood, he determined to join the Carthusians. However, before taking any further step he made the acquaintance of St. Teresa, who had come to Medina to found a convent of nuns, and who persuaded him to remain in the Carmelite Order and to assist her in the establishment of a monastery of friars carrying out the primitive rule. He accompanied her to Valladolid in order to gain practi cal experience of the manner of life led by the reformed nuns. A small house having been offered, St. John resolved to try at once the new form of life, although St. Teresa did not think anyone, however great his spirituality, could bear the discomforts of that hovel. He was joined by two companions, an ex-prior and a lay brother, with whom he inaugurated the reform among friars, 28 Nov., 1568. St. Teresa has left a classical description of the sort of life led by these first Discalced Carmelites, in chaps. xiii and xiv of her "Book of Foundations". John of the Cross, as he now called himself, became the first master of novices, and laid the foundation of the spiritual edifice which soon was to assume majestic proportions. He filled various posts in different places until St. Teresa called him to Avila as director and confessor to the convent of the Incarnation, of which she had been appointed prioress. He remained there, with a few interruptions, for over five years. Meanwhile, the reform spread rapidly, and, partly through the confusion caused by contradictory orders issued by the general and the general chapter on one hand, and the Apostolic nuncio on the other, and partly through human passion which sometimes ran high, its existence became seriously endangered.
St. John was ordered by his provincial to return to the house of his profession (Medina), and, on his refusing to do so, owing to the fact that he held his office not from the order but from the Apostolic delegate, he was taken prisoner in the night of 3 December, 1577, and carried off to Toledo, where he suffered for more than nine months close imprisonment in a narrow, stifling cell, together with such additional punishment as might have been called for in the case of one guilty of the most serious crimes. In the midst of his sufferings he was visited with heavenly consolations, and some of his exquisite poetry dates from that period. He made good his escape in a miraculous manner, August, 1578.
During the next years he was chiefly occupied with the foundation and government of monasteries at Baeza, Granada, Cordova, Segovia, and elsewhere, but took no prominent part in the negotiations which led to the establishment of a separate government for the Discalced Carmelites. After the death of St. Teresa (4 Oct., 1582), when the two parties of the Moderates under Jerome Gratian, and the Zelanti under Nicholas Doria struggled for the upper hand, St. John supported the former and shared his fate. For some time he filled the post of vicar provincial of Andalusia, but when Doria changed the government of the order, concentrating all power in the hands of a permanent committee, St. John resisted and, supporting the nuns in their endeavour to secure the papal approbation of their constitutions, drew upon himself the displeasure of the superior, who deprived him of his offices and relegated him to one of the poorest monasteries, where he fell seriously ill. One of his opponents went so far as to go from monastery to monastery gathering materials in order to bring grave charges against him, hoping for his expulsion from the order which he had helped to found.
As his illness increased he was removed to the monastery of Ubeda, where he at first was treated very unkindly, his constant prayer, "to suffer and to be despised", being thus literally fulfilled almost to the end of his life. But at last even his adversaries came to acknowledge his sanctity, and his funeral was the occasion of a great outburst of enthusiasm. The body, still incorrupt, as has been ascertained within the last few years, was removed to Segovia, only a small portion remaining at Ubeda; there was some litigation about its possession. A strange phenomenon, for which no satisfactory explanation has been given, has frequently been observed in connexion with the relics of St. John of the Cross: Francis de Yepes, the brother of the saint, and after him many other persons have noticed the appearance in his relics of images of Christ on the Cross, the Blessed Virgin, St. Elias, St. Francis Xavier, or other saints, according to the devotion of the beholder. The beatification took place on 25 Jan., 1675, the translation of his body on 21 May of the same year, and the canonization on 27 Dec., 1726.
Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia
Feast Day:December 14
24 June 1542, Fontiveros, Spain
Died:December 14, 1591, Ubeda, Andalusia, Spain
Canonized:27 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
Major Shrine:Tomb of Saint John of the Cross, Segovia, Spain
Patron of:contemplative life; contemplatives; mystical theology; mystics; Spanish poets

What is St. Lucy Day - 10 Things to SHARE about #Traditions of #StLucy

1. On the 13th December St. Lucy is honored. She was a 4th century martyr from Sicily, Italy.
2. In Sweden and Norway the darkness of the day is broken by the Lucia figure dressed in a gown of white and a wreath of candles upon her head. December 13th was the longest night of the year in the Julian calendar.
3. According to tradition a white-clad woman, wearing a crown of burning candles, appeared at Sweden’s largest lake, Vänern, bringing food to starving villagers during a time of famine.
4. In Sweden and Norway, a girl is chosen to lead the Church procession with crown of candles. Similarly dressed girls (tärnor) and boys wearing a tall pointed hat carrying a star wand (stjärngossar) and follow her. Together they sing beautiful carols (see below) Once the singing is over, the procession enjoy coffee and saffron-flavored buns called lussekatter.

5. In homes the eldest daughter had the honour to be Lucia. She and her siblings woke up the family with their singing. Then the family gathered together with saffron buns at breakfast.
Ingredients: Servings: 24 Units: | 300 ml milk 1 g saffron 50 g baker's yeast 150 g sugar 125 g butter or 125 g margarine 700 g all-purpose flour 1 egg salt raisins Directions: 1 Melt butter or margarine in a pan and add the milk and the saffron. 2 Warm the mixture to 37 oC (100 oF). 3 Use a thermometer; the correct temperature is important! 4 Pour the mixture over the finely divided yeast; then add the remaining ingredients (except for the egg and the raisins), which should have a temperature of 21-23 oC (72-75 oF). 5 Mix into a smooth dough. 6 Cover the dough with a piece of cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes. 7 Knead the dough, divide it into 25-30 pieces and form each piece into a round bun. 8 Let the buns rest for a few minutes, covered by a piece of cloth. 9 Form each bun into a string, 15-20 cm long, then arrange the string in a suitable shape, e.g. an S or double S. Regardless of the shape, the ends of the string should meet. 10 Press a few raisins into the dough. 11 Cover the"Lucia cats" with a piece of cloth and let them rise for 40 minutes. 12 Whip the egg together with a few grains of salt, and paint the"Lucia cats" with the mixture. 13 Bake them for 5-10 minutes in the oven at 250 oC (475 oF) until golden brownish yellow. SANKTA LUCIA SONG
 It is traditional in Sweden to sing the Sankta Lucia song with the same melody as the well-known Italian song. Natten går tunga fjät rund gård och stuva; kring jord, som sol förlät,skuggorna ruva. Då i vårt mörka hus, stiger med tända ljus, Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia. Natten går stor och stum nu hörs dess vingar i alla tysta rum sus som av vingar. Se, på vår tröskel står vitklädd med ljus i hår Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia. Mörkret ska flyta snart ur jordens dalar så hon ett underbart ord till oss talar. Dagen ska åter ny stiga ur rosig sky
 Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia. The night goes with heavy steps around farm and cottage; round the earth the sun has forsaken, the shadows are brooding.There in our darkened house, stands with lighted candles Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia. The night passes, large and mute now one hears wings in every silent room whispers as if from wings. See, on our threshold stands white-clad with candles in her hair Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia. The darkness shall soon depart from the earth's valleys then she speaks a wonderful word to us. The day shall be born anew Rising from the rosy sky. Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.
In Italy:
6. Santa Lucia is celebrated all over Italy.
7. In Sicily she is remembered for her intervention during a severe famine in 1582. Miraculously, ships filled with grain appeared in the harbor on December 13. The people were so hungry that they boiled the grains immediately.
8. On this day a most popular dish called cuccia which is made with boiled whole wheat berries, ricotta and sugar. In Lombardy and Veneto, goose is eaten on this day.
9. Santa Lucia brings the presents to children, not Father Christmas. She travels on a donkey on the eve of December 13, and children leave bowls of milk and carrots and hay to attract the hungry donkey and make sure Santa Lucia stops at their house.
10. Children sing for this feast: Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia Fill my stocking with candies If my mother won't do it My stocking will stay empty But with father's money Saint Lucia will prevail.

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