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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Catholic News World : Tuesday October 4, 2016 - SHARE

2016

#PopeFrancis "That journalists, in carrying out their work, may always be motivated by respect for truth..." Prayer Intention for October


 Pope Francis
October
Universal: Journalists
That journalists, in carrying out their work, may always be motivated by respect for truth and a strong sense of ethics.
Evangelization: World Mission Day
That World Mission Day may renew within all Christian communities the joy of the Gospel and the responsibility to announce it.
The text of the video message reads:
“I often wonder: How can media be put to the service of a culture of encounter?
We need information leading to compromise for the good of humanity and the planet.
Join me in this prayer request.
That journalists, in carrying out their work, may always be motivated by respect for truth and a strong sense of ethics. 
Can you help me spread this prayer request?
Yes.

#Novena to St. Francis of Assisi - #Litany and #Prayers - SHARE

Novena to St. Francis of Assisi

Say once a day for nine days. 

Glorious Saint Francis, who voluntarily renounced all the comforts and riches of thy home to follow more perfectly the life of poverty and abnegation of Jesus Christ: Obtain for us, we pray, a generous contempt of all things in this world, that we may secure the true and eternal things of heaven. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

O glorious Saint Francis, who during the whole course of thy life continually wept over the passion of the Redeemer, and labored most zealously for the salvation of souls: Obtain for us, we pray, the grace of weeping continually over those sins by which we have crucified afresh Our Lord Jesus Christ, that we may attain to be of the number of those who shall eternally bless His supreme mercy. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

O glorious Saint Francis, who, loving above all things suffering and the Cross, merited to bear in thy body the miraculous stigmata, by which thou becamest a living image of Jesus Christ crucified: Obtain for us, we pray, the grace to bear in our bodies the mortifications of Christ, that we may merit one day to receive the consolations which are infallibly promised to all those who now weep. 

"If we be dead with Christ Jesus, we shall live also with Him," says the Apostle; "if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him." 

Pray for us, Saint Francis, that we may obtain the graces and favors we ask for in this novena; pray for us, especially, that we may obtain the grace of perseverance; of a holy death and a happy eternity. 

Pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be five times

LITANY IN HONOUR OF
SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI.


Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.  Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, conceived without sin, 
Pray for us.

Holy Mary, special patroness of the three Orders of Saint Francis, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, seraphic patriarch,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, most prudent father,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, despiser of the world,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, model of penance,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, conqueror of vices,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, imitator of the Saviour,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, bearer of the marks of Christ,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, sealed with the character of Jesus,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, example of purity,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, image of humility,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, abounding in grace,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, reformer of the erring,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, healer of the sick,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, pillar of the Church,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, defender of the Faith,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, champion of Christ,
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, defender of thy children, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, invulnerable shield, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, confounder of the heretics, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, converter of the pagans, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, supporter of the lame, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, raiser of the dead, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, healer of the lepers, 
Pray for us.

Saint Francis, our advocate, 
Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, 
Have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

V. Pray for us, O blessed father Francis,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let Us Pray

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, 
when the world was growing cold, 
in order to renew in our hearts 
the flame of love, 
imprinted the sacred marks of Thy Passion 
on the body of our blessed father Francis, 
mercifully grant that by his merits and prayers 
we may persevere in bearing the cross 
and may bring forth fruits worthy of penance, 
Thou Who livest and reignest, 
world without end.

Amen
Lord make me  an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, Let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, Joy.
O Divine Master grant that I may Not so much seek to be consoled As to console; To be understood, As to understand; To be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. And it is in dying that we are Born to eternal life.
Amen

Free Catholic Movie : Francis of Assisi - Stars Dolores Hart #StFrancis

Francis of Assisi (1961) 105 min - Biography | Drama | History - 12 July 1961 (USA) Francis Bernardone (Bradford Dillman) is the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, who gives up all his worldly goods to dedicate himself to God. Clare (Dolores Hart) is a young maiden. Director: Michael Curtiz Writers: Ludwig von Wohl (novel), Eugene Vale (screenplay), Stars: Bradford Dillman, Dolores Hart, Stuart Whitman
For Breaking News, Prayers,  Inspirational Stories, and Free Catholic Movies LIKE http://fb.com/catholicnewsworld  

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday October 4, 2016 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lectionary: 462


Reading 1GAL 1:13-24

Brothers and sisters:
You heard of my former way of life in Judaism,
how I persecuted the Church of God beyond measure
and tried to destroy it, 
and progressed in Judaism
beyond many of my contemporaries among my race,
since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions.
But when he, who from my mother’s womb had set me apart
and called me through his grace,
was pleased to reveal his Son to me,
so that I might proclaim him to the Gentiles,
I did not immediately consult flesh and blood,
nor did I go up to Jerusalem
to those who were Apostles before me;
rather, I went into Arabia and then returned to Damascus.

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas
and remained with him for fifteen days.
But I did not see any other of the Apostles,
only James the brother of the Lord.
(As to what I am writing to you, behold,
before God, I am not lying.)
Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
And I was unknown personally to the churches of Judea
that are in Christ;
they only kept hearing that “the one who once was persecuting us
is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”
So they glorified God because of me.

Responsorial PsalmPS 139:1B-3, 13-14AB, 14C-15

R. (24b) Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
O LORD, you have probed me and you know me;
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.

AlleluiaLK 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are those who hear the word of God
and observe it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village 
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. 
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? 
Tell her to help me.” 
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. 
There is need of only one thing. 
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

Saint October 4 : St. Francis of Assisi : Patron of #Animals, #Ecology, #Environment, Franciscans, Peace

Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181 or 1182 — the exact year is uncertain; died there, 3 October, 1226. His father, Pietro Bernardone, was a wealthy Assisian cloth merchant. Of his mother, Pica, little is known, but she is said to have belonged to a noble family of Provence. Francis was one of several children. The legend that he was born in a stable dates from the fifteenth century only, and appears to have originated in the desire of certain writers to make his life resemble that of Christ. At baptism the saint received the name of Giovanni, which his father afterwards altered to Francesco, through fondness it would seem for France, whither business had led him at the time of his son's birth. In any case, since the child was renamed in infancy, the change can hardly have had anything to do with his aptitude for learning French, as some have thought.
Francis received some elementary instruction from the priests of St. George's at Assisi, though he learned more perhaps in the school of the Troubadours, who were just then making for refinement in Italy. However this may be, he was not very studious, and his literary education remained incomplete. Although associated with his father in trade, he showed little liking for a merchant's career, and his parents seemed to have indulged his every whim. Thomas of Celano, his first biographer, speaks in very severe terms of Francis's youth. Certain it is that the saint's early life gave no presage of the golden years that were to come. No one loved pleasure more than Francis; he had a ready wit, sang merrily, delighted in fine clothes and showy display. Handsome, gay, gallant, and courteous, he soon became the prime favourite among the young nobles of Assisi, the foremost in every feat of arms, the leader of the civil revels, the very king of frolic. But even at this time Francis showed an instinctive sympathy with the poor, and though he spent money lavishly, it still flowed in such channels as to attest a princely magnanimity of spirit.
When about twenty, Francis went out with the townsmen to fight the Perugians in one of the petty skirmishes so frequent at that time between the rival cities. The Assisians were defeated on this occasion, and Francis, being among those taken prisoners, was held captive for more than a year in Perugia. A low fever which he there contracted appears to have turned his thoughts to the things of eternity; at least the emptiness of the life he had been leading came to him during that long illness. With returning health, however, Francis's eagerness after glory reawakened and his fancy wandered in search of victories; at length he resolved to embrace a military career, and circumstances seemed to favour his aspirations. A knight of Assisi was about to join "the gentle count", Walter of Brienne, who was then in arms in the Neapolitan States against the emperor, and Francis arranged to accompany him. His biographers tell us that the night before Francis set forth he had a strange dream, in which he saw a vast hall hung with armour all marked with the Cross. "These", said a voice, "are for you and your soldiers." "I know I shall be a great prince", exclaimed Francis exultingly, as he started for Apulia. But a second illness arrested his course at Spoleto. There, we are told, Francis had another dream in which the same voice bade him turn back to Assisi. He did so at once. This was in 1205. Although Francis still joined at times in the noisy revels of his former comrades, his changed demeanour plainly showed that his heart was no longer with them; a yearning for the life of the spirit had already possessed it. His companions twitted Francis on his absent-mindedness and asked if he were minded to be married. "Yes", he replied, "I am about to take a wife of surpassing fairness." She was no other than Lady Poverty whom Dante and Giotto have wedded to his name, and whom even now he had begun to love. After a short period of uncertainty he began to seek in prayer and solitude the answer to his call; he had already given up his gay attire and wasteful ways. One day, while crossing the Umbrian plain on horseback, Francis unexpectedly drew near a poor leper. The sudden appearance of this repulsive object filled him with disgust and he instinctively retreated, but presently controlling his natural aversion he dismounted, embraced the unfortunate man, and gave him all the money he had. About the same time Francis made a pilgrimage to Rome. Pained at the miserly offerings he saw at the tomb of St. Peter, he emptied his purse thereon. Then, as if to put his fastidious nature to the test, he exchanged clothes with a tattered mendicant and stood for the rest of the day fasting among the horde of beggars at the door of the basilica. Not long after his return to Assisi, whilst Francis was praying before an ancient crucifix in the forsaken wayside chapel of St. Damian's below the town, he heard a voice saying: "Go, Francis, and repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin." Taking this behest literally, as referring to the ruinous church wherein he knelt, Francis went to his father's shop, impulsively bundled together a load of coloured drapery, and mounting his horse hastened to Foligno, then a mart of some importance, and there sold both horse and stuff to procure the money needful for the restoration of St. Damian's. When, however, the poor priest who officiated there refused to receive the gold thus gotten, Francis flung it from him disdainfully. The elder Bernardone, a most niggardly man, was incensed beyond measure at his son's conduct, and Francis, to avert his father's wrath, hid himself in a cave near St. Damian's for a whole month. When he emerged from this place of concealment and returned to the town, emaciated with hunger and squalid with dirt, Francis was followed by a hooting rabble, pelted with mud and stones, and otherwise mocked as a madman. Finally, he was dragged home by his father, beaten, bound, and locked in a dark closet.
Freed by his mother during Bernardone's absence, Francis returned at once to St. Damian's, where he found a shelter with the officiating priest, but he was soon cited before the city consuls by his father. The latter, not content with having recovered the scattered gold from St. Damian's, sought also to force his son to forego his inheritance. This Francis was only too eager to do; he declared, however, that since he had entered the service of God he was no longer under civil jurisdiction. Having therefore been taken before the bishop, Francis stripped himself of the very clothes he wore, and gave them to his father, saying: "Hitherto I have called you my father on earth; henceforth I desire to say only 'Our Father who art in Heaven'." Then and there, as Dante sings, were solemnized Francis's nuptials with his beloved spouse, the Lady Poverty, under which name, in the mystical language afterwards so familiar to him, he comprehended the total surrender of all worldly goods, honours, and privileges. And now Francis wandered forth into the hills behind Assisi, improvising hymns of praise as he went. "I am the herald of the great King", he declared in answer to some robbers, who thereupon despoiled him of all he had and threw him scornfully in a snow drift. Naked and half frozen, Francis crawled to a neighbouring monastery and there worked for a time as a scullion. At Gubbio, whither he went next, Francis obtained from a friend the cloak, girdle, and staff of a pilgrim as an alms. Returning to Assisi, he traversed the city begging stones for the restoration of St. Damian's. These he carried to the old chapel, set in place himself, and so at length rebuilt it. In the same way Francis afterwards restored two other deserted chapels, St. Peter's, some distance from the city, and St. Mary of the Angels, in the plain below it, at a spot called the Porziuncola. Meantime he redoubled his zeal in works of charity, more especially in nursing the lepers.
 On a certain morning in 1208, probably 24 February, Francis was hearing Mass in the chapel of St. Mary of the Angels, near which he had then built himself a hut; the Gospel of the day told how the disciples of Christ were to possess neither gold nor silver, nor scrip for their journey, nor two coats, nor shoes, nor a staff, and that they were to exhort sinners to repentance and announce the Kingdom of God. Francis took these words as if spoken directly to himself, and so soon as Mass was over threw away the poor fragment left him of the world's goods, his shoes, cloak, pilgrim staff, and empty wallet. At last he had found his vocation. Having obtained a coarse woolen tunic of "beast colour", the dress then worn by the poorest Umbrian peasants, and tied it round him with a knotted rope, Francis went forth at once exhorting the people of the country-side to penance, brotherly love, and peace. The Assisians had already ceased to scoff at Francis; they now paused in wonderment; his example even drew others to him. Bernard of Quintavalle, a magnate of the town, was the first to join Francis, and he was soon followed by Peter of Cattaneo, a well-known canon of the cathedral. In true spirit of religious enthusiasm, Francis repaired to the church of St. Nicholas and sought to learn God's will in their regard by thrice opening at random the book of the Gospels on the altar. Each time it opened at passages where Christ told His disciples to leave all things and follow Him. "This shall be our rule of life", exclaimed Francis, and led his companions to the public square, where they forthwith gave away all their belongings to the poor. After this they procured rough habits like that of Francis, and built themselves small huts near his at the Porziuncola. A few days later Giles, afterwards the great ecstatic and sayer of "good words", became the third follower of Francis. The little band divided and went about, two and two, making such an impression by their words and behaviour that before long several other disciples grouped themselves round Francis eager to share his poverty, among them being Sabatinus, vir bonus et justus, Moricus, who had belonged to the Crucigeri, John of Capella, who afterwards fell away, Philip "the Long", and four others of whom we know only the names. When the number of his companions had increased to eleven, Francis found it expedient to draw up a written rule for them. This first rule, as it is called, of the Friars Minor has not come down to us in its original form, but it appears to have been very short and simple, a mere adaptation of the Gospel precepts already selected by Francis for the guidance of his first companions, and which he desired to practice in all their perfection. When this rule was ready the Penitents of Assisi, as Francis and his followers styled themselves, set out for Rome to seek the approval of the Holy See, although as yet no such approbation was obligatory. There are differing accounts of Francis's reception by Innocent III. It seems, however, that Guido, Bishop of Assisi, who was then in Rome, commended Francis to Cardinal John of St. Paul, and that at the instance of the latter, the pope recalled the saint whose first overtures he had, as it appears, somewhat rudely rejected. Moreover, in site of the sinister predictions of others in the Sacred College, who regarded the mode of life proposed by Francis as unsafe and impracticable, Innocent, moved it is said by a dream in which he beheld the Poor Man of Assisi upholding the tottering Lateran, gave a verbal sanction to the rule submitted by Francis and granted the saint and his companions leave to preach repentance everywhere. Before leaving Rome they all received the ecclesiastical tonsure, Francis himself being ordained deacon later on.
After their return to Assisi, the Friars Minor — for thus Francis had named his brethren, either after the minores, or lower classes, as some think, or as others believe, with reference to the Gospel (Matthew 25:40-45), and as a perpetual reminder of their humility — found shelter in a deserted hut at Rivo Torto in the plain below the city, but were forced to abandon this poor abode by a rough peasant who drove in his ass upon them. About 1211 they obtained a permanent foothold near Assisi, through the generosity of the Benedictines of Monte Subasio, who gave them the little chapel of St. Mary of the Angels or the Porziuncola. Adjoining this humble sanctuary, already dear to Francis, the first Franciscan convent was formed by the erection of a few small huts or cells of wattle, straw, and mud, and enclosed by a hedge. From this settlement, which became the cradle of the Franciscan Order (Caput et Mater Ordinis) and the central spot in the life of St. Francis, the Friars Minor went forth two by two exhorting the people of the surrounding country. Like children "careless of the day", they wandered from place to place singing in their joy, and calling themselves the Lord's minstrels. The wide world was their cloister; sleeping in haylofts, grottos, or church porches, they toiled with the labourers in the fields, and when none gave them work they would beg. In a short while Francis and his companions gained an immense influence, and men of different grades of life and ways of thought flocked to the order. Among the new recruits made about this time by Francis were the famous Three Companions, who afterwards wrote his life, namely: Angelus Tancredi, a noble cavalier; Leo, the saint's secretary and confessor; and Rufinus, a cousin of St. Clare; besides Juniper, "the renowned jester of the Lord".
During the Lent of 1212, a new joy, great as it was unexpected, came to Francis. Clare, a young heiress of Assisi, moved by the saint's preaching at the church of St. George, sought him out, and begged to be allowed to embrace the new manner of life he had founded. By his advice, Clare, who was then but eighteen, secretly left her father's house on the night following Palm Sunday, and with two companions went to the Porziuncola, where the friars met her in procession, carrying lighted torches. Then Francis, having cut off her hair, clothed her in the Minorite habit and thus received her to a life of poverty, penance, and seclusion. Clare stayed provisionally with some Benedictine nuns near Assisi, until Francis could provide a suitable retreat for her, and for St. Agnes, her sister, and the other pious maidens who had joined her. He eventually established them at St. Damian's, in a dwelling adjoining the chapel he had rebuilt with his own hands, which was now given to the saint by the Benedictines as domicile for his spiritual daughters, and which thus became the first monastery of the Second Franciscan Order of Poor Ladies, now known as Poor Clares.
In the autumn of the same year (1212) Francis's burning desire for the conversion of the Saracens led him to embark for Syria, but having been shipwrecked on the coast of Slavonia, he had to return to Ancona. The following spring he devoted himself to evangelizing Central Italy. About this time (1213) Francis received from Count Orlando of Chiusi the mountain of La Verna, an isolated peak among the Tuscan Apennines, rising some 4000 feet above the valley of the Casentino, as a retreat, "especially favourable for contemplation", to which he might retire from time to time for prayer and rest. For Francis never altogether separated the contemplative from the active life, as the several hermitages associated with his memory, and the quaint regulations he wrote for those living in them bear witness. At one time, indeed, a strong desire to give himself wholly to a life of contemplation seems to have possessed the saint. During the next year (1214) Francis set out for Morocco, in another attempt to reach the infidels and, if needs be, to shed his blood for the Gospel, but while yet in Spain was overtaken by so severe an illness that he was compelled to turn back to Italy once more.
Authentic details are unfortunately lacking of Francis's journey to Spain and sojourn there. It probably took place in the winter of 1214-1215. After his return to Umbria he received several noble and learned men into his order, including his future biographer Thomas of Celano. The next eighteen months comprise, perhaps, the most obscure period of the saint's life. That he took part in the Lateran Council of 1215 may well be, but it is not certain; we know from Eccleston, however, that Francis was present at the death of Innocent III, which took place at Perugia, in July 1216. Shortly afterwards, i.e. very early in the pontificate of Honorius III, is placed the concession of the famous Porziuncola Indulgence. It is related that once, while Francis was praying at the Porziuncola, Christ appeared to him and offered him whatever favour he might desire. The salvation of souls was ever the burden of Francis's prayers, and wishing moreover, to make his beloved Porziuncola a sanctuary where many might be saved, he begged a plenary Indulgence for all who, having confessed their sins, should visit the little chapel. Our Lord acceded to this request on condition that the pope should ratify the Indulgence. Francis thereupon set out for Perugia, with Brother Masseo, to find Honorius III. The latter, notwithstanding some opposition from the Curia at such an unheard-of favour, granted the Indulgence, restricting it, however, to one day yearly. He subsequently fixed 2 August in perpetuity, as the day for gaining this Porziuncola Indulgence, commonly known in Italy as il perdono d'Assisi.
Such is the traditional account. The fact that there is no record of this Indulgence in either the papal or diocesan archives and no allusion to it in the earliest biographies of Francis or other contemporary documents has led some writers to reject the whole story. This argumentum ex silentio has, however, been met by M. Paul Sabatier, who in his critical edition of the "Tractatus de Indulgentia" of Fra Bartholi has adduced all the really credible evidence in its favour. But even those who regard the granting of this Indulgence as traditionally believed to be an established fact of history, admit that its early history is uncertain. (See PORTIUNCULA.) The first general chapter of the Friars Minor was held in May, 1217, at Porziuncola, the order being divided into provinces, and an apportionment made of the Christian world into so many Franciscan missions. Tuscany, Lombardy, Provence, Spain, and Germany were assigned to five of Francis's principal followers; for himself the saint reserved France, and he actually set out for that kingdom, but on arriving at Florence, was dissuaded from going further by Cardinal Ugolino, who had been made protector of the order in 1216. He therefore sent in his stead Brother Pacificus, who in the world had been renowned as a poet, together with Brother Agnellus, who later on established the Friars Minor in England. Although success came indeed to Francis and his friars, with it came also opposition, and it was with a view to allaying any prejudices the Curia might have imbibed against their methods that Francis, at the instance of Cardinal Ugolino, went to Rome and preached before the pope and cardinals in the Lateran. This visit to the Eternal City, which took place 1217-18, was apparently the occasion of Francis's memorable meeting with St. Dominic. The year 1218 Francis devoted to missionary tours in Italy, which were a continual triumph for him. He usually preached out of doors, in the market-places, from church steps, from the walls of castle court-yards. Allured by the magic spell of his presence, admiring crowds, unused for the rest to anything like popular preaching in the vernacular, followed Francis from place to place hanging on his lips; church bells rang at his approach; processions of clergy and people advanced to meet him with music and singing; they brought the sick to him to bless and heal, and kissed the very ground on which he trod, and even sought to cut away pieces of his tunic. The extraordinary enthusiasm with which the saint was everywhere welcomed was equalled only by the immediate and visible result of his preaching. His exhortations of the people, for sermons they can hardly be called, short, homely, affectionate, and pathetic, touched even the hardest and most frivolous, and Francis became in sooth a very conqueror of souls. Thus it happened, on one occasion, while the saint was preaching at Camara, a small village near Assisi, that the whole congregation were so moved by his "words of spirit and life" that they presented themselves to him in a body and begged to be admitted into his order. It was to accede, so far as might be, to like requests that Francis devised his Third Order, as it is now called, of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance, which he intended as a sort of middle state between the world and the cloister for those who could not leave their home or desert their wonted avocations in order to enter either the First Order of Friars Minor or the Second Order of Poor Ladies. That Francis prescribed particular duties for these tertiaries is beyond question. They were not to carry arms, or take oaths, or engage in lawsuits, etc. It is also said that he drew up a formal rule for them, but it is clear that the rule, confirmed by Nicholas IV in 1289, does not, at least in the form in which it has come down to us, represent the original rule of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance. In any event, it is customary to assign 1221 as the year of the foundation of this third order, but the date is not certain.
At the second general chapter (May, 1219) Francis, bent on realizing his project of evangelizing the infidels, assigned a separate mission to each of his foremost disciples, himself selecting the seat of war between the crusaders and the Saracens. With eleven companions, including Brother Illuminato and Peter of Cattaneo, Francis set sail from Ancona on 21 June, for Saint-Jean d'Acre, and he was present at the siege and taking of Damietta. After preaching there to the assembled Christian forces, Francis fearlessly passed over to the infidel camp, where he was taken prisoner and led before the sultan. According to the testimony of Jacques de Vitry, who was with the crusaders at Damietta, the sultan received Francis with courtesy, but beyond obtaining a promise from this ruler of more indulgent treatment for the Christian captives, the saint's preaching seems to have effected little.
Before returning to Europe, the saint is believed to have visited Palestine and there obtained for the friars the foothold they still retain as guardians of the holy places. What is certain is that Francis was compelled to hasten back to Italy because of various troubles that had arisen there during his absence. News had reached him in the East that Matthew of Narni and Gregory of Naples, the two vicars-general whom he had left in charge of the order, had summoned a chapter which, among other innovations, sought to impose new fasts upon the friars, more severe than the rule required. Moreover, Cardinal Ugolino had conferred on the Poor Ladies a written rule which was practically that of the Benedictine nuns, and Brother Philip, whom Francis had charged with their interests, had accepted it. To make matters worse, John of Capella, one of the saint's first companions, had assembled a large number of lepers, both men and women, with a view to forming them into a new religious order, and had set out for Rome to seek approval for the rule he had drawn up for these unfortunates. Finally a rumour had been spread abroad that Francis was dead, so that when the saint returned to Italy with Brother Elias — he appeared to have arrived at Venice in July, 1220 — a general feeling of unrest prevailed among the friars.
Apart from these difficulties, the order was then passing through a period of transition. It had become evident that the simple, familiar, and unceremonious ways which had marked the Franciscan movement at its beginning were gradually disappearing, and that the heroic poverty practiced by Francis and his companions at the outset became less easy as the friars with amazing rapidity increased in number. And this Francis could not help seeing on his return. Cardinal Ugolino had already undertaken the task "of reconciling inspirations so unstudied and so free with an order of things they had outgrown." This remarkable man, who afterwards ascended the papal throne as Gregory IX, was deeply attached to Francis, whom he venerated as a saint and also, some writers tell us, managed as an enthusiast.
That Cardinal Ugolino had no small share in bringing Francis's lofty ideals "within range and compass" seems beyond dispute, and it is not difficult to recognize his hand in the important changes made in the organization of the order in the so-called Chapter of Mats. At this famous assembly, held at Porziuncola at Whitsuntide, 1220 or 1221 (there is seemingly much room for doubt as to the exact date and number of the early chapters), about 5000 friars are said to have been present, besides some 500 applicants for admission to the order. Huts of wattle and mud afforded shelter for this multitude. Francis had purposely made no provision for them, but the charity of the neighbouring towns supplied them with food, while knights and nobles waited upon them gladly. It was on this occasion that Francis, harassed no doubt and disheartened at the tendency betrayed by a large number of the friars to relax the rigours of the rule, according to the promptings of human prudence, and feeling, perhaps unfitted for a place which now called largely for organizing abilities, relinquished his position as general of the order in favour of Peter of Cattaneo. But the latter died in less than a year, being succeeded as vicar-general by the unhappy Brother Elias, who continued in that office until the death of Francis.
The saint, meanwhile, during the few years that remained in him, sought to impress on the friars by the silent teaching of personal example of what sort he would fain have them to be. Already, while passing through Bologna on his return from the East, Francis had refused to enter the convent there because he had heard it called the "House of the Friars" and because a studium had been instituted there. He moreover bade all the friars, even those who were ill, quit it at once, and it was only some time after, when Cardinal Ugolino had publicly declared the house to be his own property, that Francis suffered his brethren to re-enter it. Yet strong and definite as the saint's convictions were, and determinedly as his line was taken, he was never a slave to a theory in regard to the observances of poverty or anything else; about him indeed, there was nothing narrow or fanatical. As for his attitude towards study, Francis desiderated for his friars only such theological knowledge as was conformable to the mission of the order, which was before all else a mission of example. Hence he regarded the accumulation of books as being at variance with the poverty his friars professed, and he resisted the eager desire for mere book-learning, so prevalent in his time, in so far as it struck at the roots of that simplicity which entered so largely into the essence of his life and ideal and threatened to stifle the spirit of prayer, which he accounted preferable to all the rest.
In 1221, so some writers tell us, Francis drew up a new rule for the Friars Minor. Others regard this so-called Rule of 1221 not as a new rule, but as the first one which Innocent had orally approved; not, indeed, its original form, which we do not possess, but with such additions and modifications as it has suffered during the course of twelve years. However this may be, the composition called by some the Rule of 1221 is very unlike any conventional rule ever made. It was too lengthy and unprecise to become a formal rule, and two years later Francis retired to Fonte Colombo, a hermitage near Rieti, and rewrote the rule in more compendious form. This revised draft he entrusted to Brother Elias, who not long after declared he had lost it through negligence. Francis thereupon returned to the solitude of Fonte Colombo, and recast the rule on the same lines as before, its twenty-three chapters being reduced to twelve and some of its precepts being modified in certain details at the instance of Cardinal Ugolino. In this form the rule was solemnly approved by Honorius III, 29 November, 1223 (Litt. "Solet annuere"). This Second Rule, as it is usually called or Regula Bullata of the Friars Minor, is the one ever since professed throughout the First Order of St. Francis (see RULE OF SAINT FRANCIS). It is based on the three vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity, special stress however being laid on poverty, which Francis sought to make the special characteristic of his order, and which became the sign to be contradicted. This vow of absolute poverty in the first and second orders and the reconciliation of the religious with the secular state in the Third Order of Penance are the chief novelties introduced by Francis in monastic regulation.
It was during Christmastide of this year (1223) that the saint conceived the idea of celebrating the Nativity "in a new manner", by reproducing in a church at Greccio the praesepio of Bethlehem, and he has thus come to be regarded as having inaugurated the popular devotion of the Crib. Christmas appears indeed to have been the favourite feast of Francis, and he wished to persuade the emperor to make a special law that men should then provide well for the birds and the beasts, as well as for the poor, so that all might have occasion to rejoice in the Lord. Early in August, 1224, Francis retired with three companions to "that rugged rock 'twixt Tiber and Arno", as Dante called La Verna, there to keep a forty days fast in preparation for Michaelmas. During this retreat the sufferings of Christ became more than ever the burden of his meditations; into few souls, perhaps, had the full meaning of the Passion so deeply entered. It was on or about the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (14 September) while praying on the mountainside, that he beheld the marvellous vision of the seraph, as a sequel of which there appeared on his body the visible marks of the five wounds of the Crucified which, says an early writer, had long since been impressed upon his heart. Brother Leo, who was with St. Francis when he received the stigmata, has left us in his note to the saint's autograph blessing, preserved at Assisi, a clear and simple account of the miracle, which for the rest is better attested than many another historical fact. The saint's right side is described as bearing on open wound which looked as if made by a lance, while through his hands and feet were black nails of flesh, the points of which were bent backward. After the reception of the stigmata, Francis suffered increasing pains throughout his frail body, already broken by continual mortification. For, condescending as the saint always was to the weaknesses of others, he was ever so unsparing towards himself that at the last he felt constrained to ask pardon of "Brother Ass", as he called his body, for having treated it so harshly. Worn out, moreover, as Francis now was by eighteen years of unremitting toil, his strength gave way completely, and at times his eyesight so far failed him that he was almost wholly blind. During an excess of anguish, Francis paid a last visit to St. Clare at St. Damian's, and it was in a little hut of reeds, made for him in the garden there, that the saint composed that "Canticle of the Sun", in which his poetic genius expands itself so gloriously. This was in September, 1225. Not long afterwards Francis, at the urgent instance of Brother Elias, underwent an unsuccessful operation for the eyes, at Rieti. He seems to have passed the winter 1225-26 at Siena, whither he had been taken for further medical treatment. In April, 1226, during an interval of improvement, Francis was moved to Cortona, and it is believed to have been while resting at the hermitage of the Celle there, that the saint dictated his testament, which he describes as a "reminder, a warning, and an exhortation". In this touching document Francis, writing from the fullness of his heart, urges anew with the simple eloquence, the few, but clearly defined, principles that were to guide his followers, implicit obedience to superiors as holding the place of God, literal observance of the rule "without gloss", especially as regards poverty, and the duty of manual labor, being solemnly enjoined on all the friars.
Meanwhile alarming dropsical symptoms had developed, and it was in a dying condition that Francis set out for Assisi. A roundabout route was taken by the little caravan that escorted him, for it was feared to follow the direct road lest the saucy Perugians should attempt to carry Francis off by force so that he might die in their city, which would thus enter into possession of his coveted relics. It was therefore under a strong guard that Francis, in July, 1226, was finally borne in safety to the bishop's palace in his native city amid the enthusiastic rejoicings of the entire populace. In the early autumn Francis, feeling the hand of death upon him, was carried to his beloved Porziuncola, that he might breathe his last sigh where his vocation had been revealed to him and whence his order had struggled into sight. On the way thither he asked to be set down, and with painful effort he invoked a beautiful blessing on Assisi, which, however, his eyes could no longer discern. The saint's last days were passed at the Porziuncola in a tiny hut, near the chapel, that served as an infirmary. The arrival there about this time of the Lady Jacoba of Settesoli, who had come with her two sons and a great retinue to bid Francis farewell, caused some consternation, since women were forbidden to enter the friary. But Francis in his tender gratitude to this Roman noblewoman, made an exception in her favour, and "Brother Jacoba", as Francis had named her on account of her fortitude, remained to the last.
On the eve of his death, the saint, in imitation of his Divine Master, had bread brought to him and broken. This he distributed among those present, blessing Bernard of Quintaville, his first companion, Elias, his vicar, and all the others in order. "I have done my part," he said next, "may Christ teach you to do yours." Then wishing to give a last token of detachment and to show he no longer had anything in common with the world, Francis removed his poor habit and lay down on the bare ground, covered with a borrowed cloth, rejoicing that he was able to keep faith with his Lady Poverty to the end. After a while he asked to have read to him the Passion according to St. John, and then in faltering tones he himself intoned Psalm 141. At the concluding verse, "Bring my soul out of prison", Francis was led away from earth by "Sister Death", in whose praise he had shortly before added a new strophe to his "Canticle of the Sun". It was Saturday evening, 3 October, 1226, Francis being then in the forty-fifth year of his age, and the twentieth from his perfect conversion to Christ. Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia

#BreakingNews Rockets in Aleppo, Syria Kill Christians - Please PRAY for Peace

Aleppo’s Armenian Christian neighbourhoods targeted by jihadi (and Turkish) rockets



Rockets from the city’s eastern sector hit Christian areas for days, fired by the al Nusra Front on Turkish orders.  At least five Armenian Christians have been killed over the weekend, and a dozen wounded. Aleppo’s Armenian community calls for help from all the Churches of the world.
Aleppo (AsiaNews) – Fighting and dying continue not only in eastern Aleppo, where the Syrian army is pursuing its offensive backed by Russian air strikes, but also in the government-controlled western districts.
Local sources said that over the weekend the Russian-Syrian airstrikes hit a hospital in the eastern sector. At the same time, the Armenian districts in the western sector of northern Syria’s economic hub came under fire from the city’s jihadi-controlled eastern sector.
This attack began last Friday (30 September). Local sources said that the predominantly Armenian areas of Nor Kiugh and Villa were especially targeted. Al Nusra forces are thought to be behind it acting on Turkish order, local witnesses said. In fact, Ankara appears to be directing the bombing of Armenian civilians.
Four people are known to have died: Dzila Jabaghcourian, Arman Hindoyan, Hasmig Ghiragossian, and Mireille Hindoyan.
According to Aleppo Kantzasar, the local Armenian language newspaper, Turkey is the instigator of the massacres of innocents through "its local agents", which is how it describes the al Nusra Front, Turkmen groups, and the El Nur Eddin Zanki movement.
The death of these four people came right after the death of 47-year-old Sevan Haddadian, who was killed in the bombing in Suleymaniye, another Armenian area in western Aleppo.
Two other Armenian Christians seriously injured in the bombings are currently fighting for their life.  Seven others reported minor injuries.
Also last Friday, students at an Armenian school in Aleppo, founded by missionary Karen Jeppe for orphans who survived the Turkish genocide of 1915, were moved to underground shelters. They were unable to reach their families until late evening.
Between 23 and 30 September rocket attacks from eastern Aleppo, especially Bustan el Pasha, Madrassat al Hikme, al Rashidin 4, Project 1070 and the financial district, hit in particular Christian neighbourhoods, claiming 57 lives (20 children, 14 women and 23 men) and injuring another 167, including 37 children and 53 women.
The districts in western Aleppo subject to rocket attacks and sniper fire include predominantly Christian Suleymaniye and al Maydan, as well as al Jabiriya, al Hamadaniya and Jamiyaat.
Rockets also hit a group of Sunni worshipers as they left the mosque in al Zahra'a at the end of Friday prayers. The al Nusra Front, an extremist Islamic group that describes itself as the protector of Sunnis, was responsible for the attack.
Aleppo’s Armenian community has appealed for help from all the Churches of the world through Kantzasar, calling for "an end to the bombings against innocent civilians on both sides of the city."
Aleppo’s Armenian newspaper also thanked "His Holiness the pope for not forgetting Aleppo’s tragedy during his pastoral visit to Georgia."
The Armenian foreign minister, who expressed his "deep concern" over the escalation of violence, also announced that Armenian President Serj Sarkissian ordered that two planes with urgent humanitarian aid be sent to Syria.
"Aleppo is dying before the eyes of the world amid extreme indifference,” said a presenter on the first channel of Armenian State television, “just like 101 years ago when our nation was exterminated as a whole." (PB)
Shared from AsiaNewsIT

#PopeFrancis "Jesus surely doesn't tell them 'go away because you are homosexual.' FULL TEXT Plane Interview

This is the FULL TEXT conference of Pope Francis aboard the Papal plane from Baku, Azerbaijan to Rome on Sunday.
Please find below the full text of the press conference, translated by Catholic News Agency:

Pope Francis: Good evening and thank you very much for your work and your help. It’s true, it was a short trip, three days, but you have had a lot of work. I am at your disposition and I thank you very much for the work, and ask what you would like.
Greg Burke, Holy See press officer: Thank you, Holy Father. The first question goes to Georgia, the television presenter Ketevan Kardava.
Ketevan Kardava, Georgian Public Broadcaster: Thank you very much. Thank you, Holy Father, for your first trip to Georgia. For me it was very important to cover this visit and to follow your visit in my country. All of us citizens of Georgia are touched by your speech, and especially your photo with the Georgian Patriarch was shared thousands and thousands of times on social media. It was an encouraging visit for our very small Catholic community. After your meeting with the Georgian Patriarch, do you see grounds for future cooperation and constructive dialogue between you and the Orthodox about the doctrine we have? You told us that we have much in common, that what unites us is more than what divides. Thank you very much, I await for your answer.
Pope Francis: I had two surprises in Georgia. One, Georgia: I've never imagined so much culture, so much faith, so much Christianity…It is a believing people and an ancient Christian culture! A people of so many martyrs. I discovered something that I didn’t know: the breadth of the Georgian faith. The second surprise was the patriarch: he is a man of God. This man has moved me. I many times have found that I left with the heart and moved and full of the sensitivity of having found a man of God, truly a man of God. And on the things that unite us and separate us, I say: don’t make us discuss things of doctrine, leave this to the theologians. They know better than we do. They discuss, and if they are good, they are good, they have good will, the theologians on one side and the other, (but) what must the people do? Pray for each other, this is important: prayer. And second: do things together. Are there poor? We work together with the poor. There is this and that problem: we can do it together, we do together. Are there migrants? We do things together ... we do good things for others, together. This we can do and this is the path of ecumenism. Not only the way of doctrine, this is the last, it comes in last. But we begin to walk together. And with good will we can do this, you MUST do it. Today ecumenism is to be done by walking together, praying for each other, and that theologians continue to talk to each other, to study each other ... I do not know ... but Georgia is wonderful, it is a land I didn’t expect, a Christian nation, but in the marrow, eh!
Tassilo Forchheimer, ARD/BR-Radio: Holy Father, after speaking with all those who can change Azerbaijan's terrible history, what needs to happen between Armenia and Azerbaijan, what needs to happen for the arrival of a lasting peace that safeguards human rights? What are the problems and what role might His Holiness have in this?
                          
Pope Francis: I have twice, in two discourses, spoken about this. In the last, I spoke of the role of religions in helping with this. I believe that the one way is dialogue, a sincere dialogue without things held under the table. Sincere and face to face. A sincere negotiation. And if you cannot arrive at this, but have the courage to go to an international tribunal, go to The Hague, for example, and submit to an international judgement. I do not see another path! The other way is war, and war always destroys; with war all is lost. And Christians also pray, pray for peace, because these hearts … this path of dialogue, of negotiation or of going to an international tribunal, but they can’t have problems like this. Think that the three Caucasus nations have problems: Georgia also has a problem with Russia, I don't know much, but it's greater … but it has a problem that can grow, it's an unknown. And Armenia is a nation with open borders, it has problems with Azerbaijan and should go to an international tribunal if dialogue and negotiation is a no-go. There is no other path. And prayer, prayer for peace.
Maria Elena Ribezzo, La Presse: Your Holiness, good evening. Yesterday you spoke of a ‘world war’ going on against marriage and in this war you used very strong words against divorce, you said it dirties the image of God, while in previous months during the synod there was talk of a welcome towards divorced persons. I wanted to know if these approaches are reconciled and how.
Pope Francis: Yes. Everything I said yesterday, with other words, because yesterday I spoke off-the-cuff and a was little hot, are in Amoris laetitia, everything! When speaking of marriage as the union of man and woman as God made it, as an image of God and man and woman, the image of God is not man, it is man with the woman together, they are one flesh when they join in marriage: this is the truth. It is true that in this culture conflicts and many problems are not well managed and even philosophies of today: I do this and when I get tired I do another, then I do a third, then I do a fourth, and this is the ‘world war’ you spoke of against marriage. We must be careful not to let these ideas enter. But first, marriage is the image of God, man and woman, one flesh. When you destroy that, you dirty or disfigure the image of God. Then Amoris laetitiatalks about how to deal with these cases, how to treat families’ wounds, and mercy enters there. There is a beautiful prayer of the Church that we prayed last week. It said this: God who so marvelously has created the world and the more marvelously recreated it (i.e., with redemption, with mercy). The wounded marriage, the wounded couple, have to do with mercy. The principle is that, but human weaknesses exist, sins exist, and weakness never has the last word, sin does not have the last word. Mercy has the last word. I like to tell, I do not know if I told you, because I repeat it so much ... in the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena - I told you or no? - There is a beautiful capital, but it is more or less from the thirteenth century. Medieval cathedrals were catechesis with sculptures. And in a part of the capital there is Judas hanged with his tongue out and eyes (bulging) out, and on the other side of the capital there is Jesus the Good Shepherd who takes (Judas) and carries him with him. And if you look closely, the face of Jesus, the lips of Jesus are sad on the one hand, but with a small smile of understanding in the other. They understood what mercy is ... with Judas, huh! For this Amoris laetitia speaks of marriage, the foundation of marriage, as it is ... but then come the problems, how to educate their children ... and in Chapter Eight, when the problems come, how do you solve them? Solve it with four criteria: welcome wounded families, accompany, discern each case and integrate and do it again. This would work in a second, in this wonderful recreation that the Lord has made with redemption. And if you take just one side it does not go! Amoris laetitia -- I mean -- they all go to the eighth chapter. No, no ... you have to read from beginning to end. And where is the center? It depends on everyone. For me the center, the core of Amoris laetitia is Chapter IV, serving for the whole life, but you have to read it all and re-read it all and discuss it all. It's all a collection. But there is sin, there is a break, but there is also mercy, redemption and care. I explained myself well on this, right?
       
Josh McElwee, National Catholic Reporter: Thank you, Holy Father. In that same speech yesterday in Georgia, you spoke, as in so many other countries about gender theory, saying that it is a great enemy and a threat against marriage. But, I would like to ask you, what would you say to someone who has struggled with their sexuality for years and feels that there is truly a problem of biology, that his aspect doesn't correspond to what he or she feels is their sexual identity. You, as a pastor and minister, how would you accompany these people?
Pope Francis: First of all: in my life as a priest and bishop, even as Pope, I have accompanied people with homosexual tendencies, I have also met homosexual persons, accompanied them, brought them closer to the Lord, as an apostle, and I have never abandoned them. People must be accompanied as Jesus accompanies them, when a person who has this condition arrives before Jesus, Jesus surely doesn't tell them 'go away because you are homosexual.' What I said is that wickedness which today is done in the indoctrination of gender theory...a French father told me that he was speaking with his children at the table, he and his wife were Catholics, 'rosewater Catholics,' but Catholics! And he asked his 10-year-old son: 'What do you want to be when you grow up?'- 'a girl.' The father realized that at school they were teaching him gender theory, and this is against the natural things. One thing is that a person has this tendency, this condition and even changes their sex, but it's another thing to teach this in line in schools in order to change the mentality. This is what I call ideological colonization. Last year I received a letter from a Spaniard who told me his story as a child, a young man, he was a girl, a girl who suffered so much because he felt he felt like a boy, but was physically a girl. He told his mother and the mom…(the girl) was around 22 years old said that she would like to do the surgical intervention and all of those things. And the mother said not to do it while she was still alive. She was elderly and she died soon after. She had the surgery and an employee of a ministry in the city of Spain went to the bishop, who accompanied (this person) a lot. Good bishop. I spent time accompanying this man. Then (the man) got married, he changed his civil identity, got married and wrote me a letter saying that for him it would be a consolation to come with his wife, he who was she, but him! I received them: they were happy and in the neighborhood where he lived there was an elderly priest in his 80s, an elderly pastor who left the parish and helped the sisters in the parish. And there was the new (priest). When the new one he would yell from the sidewalk: 'you'll go to hell!' When (the new priest) came across the old one, he would say: 'How long has it been since you confessed? Come, come, let's to so that I can confess you and you can receive communion.' Understood?
Life is life and things must be taken as they come. Sin is sin. And tendencies or hormonal imbalances have many problems and we must be careful not to say that everything is the same. Let's go party. No, that no, but in every case I accept it, I accompany it, I study it, I discern it and I integrate it. This is what Jesus would do today! Please don't say: 'the Pope sanctifies transgenders.' Please, eh! Because I see the covers of the papers. Is there any doubt as to what I said? I want to be clear! It's moral problem. It's a human problem and it must be resolved always can be with the mercy of God, with the truth like we spoke about in the case of marriage by reading all of Amoris Laetitia, but always with an open heart. And don't forget that chapter V├ęzelay, it's very beautiful, eh! Very beautiful.
Gianni Cardinale, Avvenire: Two questions, one public and one personal. The personal one, tied to my name: When will you make new cardinals and to what criteria are you aspiring in choosing? And the second, public one, as an Italian: when will you go to meet the earthquake victims and what will be the characteristics of this trip?
Pope Francis: For the second, there are three possible dates that have been proposed. Two are countable and I don't remember them well but the third I remember well, the first Sunday of Advent. I've said that when I return I'll choose the date. There are three. I need to choose. And I'll do it privately, alone, as a priest, as a bishop, as Pope, but alone, that's how I want to do it. I would like to feel, to be close to the people. But I still don't know how.
About the cardinals. The criteria will be the same as the other two consistories, a little bit of everywhere as the Church is everywhere in the world. Yes, perhaps I am still studying the names…maybe there will be three from one continent and two from another… or one from another part, and another from another. One from one country. But it's unknown. The list is long but there are only 13 spots. We need to think about how to balance it out. But I'd like to show the universality of the Church in the cardinals' college, not just the, let's say, European center. A little bit of everywhere. The 5 continents, if we can.
Cardinale: Is there already a date?
Pope Francis: No, we don't know. I need to study the list and the date. Then, it could be at the end of the year or the beginning of next year. At the end of the year, there is the problem of the Holy Year, but that can be resolved. Or, it could be at the beginning of next year. But, it will be soon.  
Aura Vistas Miguel, Radio Renascenca: Holy Father, good evening. My question is about your schedule for trips outside of Italy, in 3 parts. You said in recent days to Argentinians that your agenda is very full and you even spoke of Africa and Asia. I would like to know which countries. There's also a colleague her from Colombia who awaits you there, naturally, and I'm from Portugal and there we await you. About Portugal, when will it be, the 12th and 13th, Lisbon and Fatima?
Pope Francis: It's sure that up until today that I'll be going to Portugal and I'll go only to Fatima. Up to today. Because there's a problem. This Holy Year, the ad limina visits have been suspended. Next year, I have to do this year's ad limina visits and next year's. There's little space for trips.
But I'll go to Portugal. And India and Bangladesh, almost for certain. In Africa, the place still isn't sure. Everything depends both on the weather, in which month because if it's in Northwest Africa it's one thing, if it's in the Southeast, it's another. And it also depends on the political situation, the wars there. But there are possibilities. Think about Africa.
In America, I said that when the peace process comes out, I would like to go. When everything is locked in. When the plebiscite wins. When everything is absolutely certain, when they can't turn back. That is, when the whole world nationally and internationally are all in agreement that they won't make recourse. If it's like that, I could go. But if the thing is unstable, no. Everything depends on what the people say. The people are sovereign. We're more used to looking at the democratic forms than the sovereignty of the people and both need to go together. For example, a habit has come about in some continents where when he finishes the second term, whoever is in government tries to change the constitution to get a third. This is overestimating of the so-called "democracy" against the sovereignty of the people, which is in the constitution. Everything depends on that. The peace process will be resolved today in part with the voice of the people, which is sovereign. Whatever the people say, I think should be done.
Vistas Miguel: And Fatima will be the 12?
Pope Francis: Until now the 13. But it could be, I don’t know…
Jean-Marie Guenois, Le Figaro: Thank you, Holy Father. A question about the trips, why didn't you speak in your answer about China? Why are the reasons why you, as Pope, cannot have a ticket for Beijing? Is it a reason internal to the Church in China? Is it an issue between the Church in China and the Chinese government? Or, is the reason an issue between the Vatican and the Chinese government? And, if you allow me, I would like to pose a recent question, because some hours ago Mons. Lebrun, the archbishop of Rouen, announced that you have authorized the commencement of the process of beatification of Fr. Hamel, skipping the regular waiting period of five years. Why this decision? Thanks.
Pope Francis: On the latter, I've spoken with Cardinal Amato and we will carry out the studies and he will give the final news. But, the intention is to go on this line, to make the necessary research and to see if there are the motives to do it.
Guenois: He announced that the process has opened.
Pope Francis: No, witness must be sought to open the process. Not losing the witnesses is really important, because the fresh witnesses are those who have seen the people. After a little bit of time, some die, some lose their memory … In Latin, you say "ne perdeat provationem."
On China, you know the story of China and the Church. The patriotic Church, the underground Church, but we're working and we're in good relations. We're studying and speaking. There are working commissions. I'm an optimist. Now, I believe the Vatican Museums made an exposition in China. The Chinese will make another in the Vatican. There are so many professors that go to attend school in the Chinese universities. So many sisters, so many priests that can work well there.   But the relations between the Vatican and China has to be fixed once and we're speaking about this slowly but slow things always go well. Fast things don't go well. The Chinese nation has my highest esteem. The day before yesterday, for example, there was a congress - two days, I believe - in the academy of sciences on Laudato Si. And there was a Chinese delegation from the president there too. And the Chinese president sent me a gift. They are good relations.
Guenois: But still no trip?
Pope Francis: I would like to but I don't think so yet.
Juan Vicente Boo, ABC: Thank you, Holy Father. In the Spanish language group we have seen that the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced Oct. 7. There are more than 300 nominations. An example: the people of Lesbos for what they have done in favor of the refugees or the white helmets of Syria, these volunteers who pull people out of the rubble after bombings - they have pulled 60,000 people out at the price of 130 of their own lives...or even President Santos of Colombia and the commander of the FARC, Timochenko, who signed the peace accord...and many others. Now the question: who is your preferred candidate and which are the people or organizations who merit (the award) due to the work they do?
Pope Francis: There are a lot of people who live to make war, to sell arms, to kill...there are many...but there are also many people who work for peace...many, many, many. I wouldn’t know which. To choose among so many people who today work for peace is very difficult. You mentioned some groups and there are more. But it seems there is always a restlessness in giving the peace prize. I with that also on an international level, leaving the Nobel Peace Prize aside, there would be a remembrance, a recognition, a declaration on the children, the disabled, the minors who have died under the bombs. I believe that is a sin, it’s a sin against Jesus Christ, but humanity needs to say something about the victims of war. For those who make peace, Jesus has said they are blessed in the beatitudes, the workers of peace. But the victims of war: we must say something and become aware. That they throw the children in a hospital and then a bomb and they die, 30-40 in a school...and this is a tragedy of our days. Thank you.
John Jeremiah Sullivan, New York Times Magazine: Holy Father, as you know the United States is nearing the end of a long presidential campaign that has been very ugly and has received much attention in the world. Many American Catholics and people of conscience are struggling with how to choose between two candidates, one of whom diverts from some aspects of the Church's teaching and the other of whom has made statements vilifying immigrants and religious minorities. How would you counsel the faithful in America and what wisdom would you have them keep in mind next month when the election occurs?
Pope Francis: You pose me a question where you describe a difficult choice, because, according to you, you have difficulty in one and you have difficulty in the other. In electoral campaigns, I never say a word. The people are sovereign. I'll just say a word: Study the proposals well, pray and choose in conscience. Then, I'll leave the issue and I speak of a fiction, because I don't want to speak to this concrete issue. When it happens that in whatever country here are 2, 3, 4 candidates that no one likes, that means that the political life of the nation perhaps is too politicized but perhaps it doesn't have that much politics. And,one of the jobs of the church, also in the teaching in the (university) faculties, is teaching to have political culture. There are nations, and I'm thinking of Latin America, which are too politicized. But, they don't have political culture. They are from this party, or this one or this one. Effectively, (they are) without a clear thought on the foundations, the proposals.
Burke: Thank you Holy Father. And now there is Caroline Pigozzi. Here we are…
Caroline Pigozzi, Paris Match: Holiness, good evening. I couldn’t ask this question before. The testimony of the story is more important than the will of a Pope according to you. Let me explain: Pope Wojtyla left in his will that all of his most important documents and many letters would be burned, but were later put into a book. It means that the will of a Pope was perhaps not respected. I want to know what you think. And then, the second question is easier and I would like to know by what miracle you, who extend your hand to so many people every week, still don’t have tendonitis: how do you do it? President Chirac shakes hands, he puts on a band-aid…
Pope Francis: Ah yes? I still don’t have it, I don’t feel tendonitis...and first you say the Pope who sends documents to be burned, letters...but this is the right of every man and every woman, they have the right to do it before their death…
Pigozzi: But Pope Wojtyla wasn’t respected...
Pope Francis: Whoever didn’t respect, whoever is guilty I don’t know. I don’t know the case well. But each person, when someone says, ‘this must be destroyed,’ is because it’s something concrete...but perhaps there is a copy in another area and he didn’t know that and...but it’s the right of each person to make a will as he wishes
Pigozzi: Also the Pope, but he was not respected...
Pope Francis: But many people are respected in their will...
Pigozzi: Yes, but the Pope is more important...
Pope Francis: No, the Pope is a sinner like others…
Burke: The Pope said there is space for another question, but there is no one else on my list and I would like to say that today you have responded to a question: why make these trips to places where there are very few Catholics? We liked (the answer), and we don’t think it’s a waste of your time. We make these short and intense trips, but if you want to make a long relaxing trip we can do it...
Pope Francis: This was asked of me after the first trip, it was in Albania: “Why did you choose to go to Albania for your first European trip, a nation that isn’t in the European Union?” Then, I went to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is not in the European Union. The first nation of the European Union I went to was Greece, the island of Lesbos. It was the first. Why make trip to these countries? But these three are the Caucasus, these three, the three presidents came to the Vatican to invite me, and strongly. All three have a different religious attitude: the Armenians are proud of - this without offending, eh - proud of the Armenianism. And, they have a history and they are Christians in their great majority, but almost all of them… Apostolic Christians, Catholic Christians and a few Evangelical Christians… few! Georgia is a Christian nation, totally Christian, but Orthodox. The Catholics are few. But just a bit, but they are Orthodox. On the other hand, Azerbaijan is a nation which I believe is 96-97 percent Muslim. I don’t know how many inhabitants it has because I said 2 million but I think it’s 20, right? Around 10. Around 10. Around 10 million. The Catholics are 600 at the most, very few. And why go there? For the Catholics, to go out to the periphery of a Catholic community, which is precisely in the periphery, which is small and today at Mass I told them that they reminded me of the peripheral community of Jerusalem closed in the cenacle, awaiting the Holy Spirit, waiting to be able to grow, to go out… it’s small… it’s not persecuted, no! Because in Azerbaijan there is a great religious respect, a great religious liberty.... This is true. I said it today in the speech. And also these three countries are peripheral countries, like Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and I’ve told you: reality is understood better and is seen better from the peripheries than from the center. And that’s why I choose there. But this doesn’t take away the possibility of going to some great country like Portugal, France, I don’t know. We’ll see…
Thanks so much for your work and now rest up a bit and have a good dinner… and pray for me!
Burke: Thanks, Holiness.