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Monday, January 9, 2017

Catholic News World : Monday January 9, 2017 - SHARE

2017

#PopeFrancis "That all Christians may be faithful to the Lord’s teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to restore ecclesial communion..." Prayer Intention for January


Pope Francis’ prayer intention for January:
Christian Unity: 
"That all Christians may be faithful to the Lord’s teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to restore ecclesial communion and by collaborating to meet the challenges facing humanity. "
 The Apostleship of Prayer has produced the Pope’s Video on this prayer intention.  The full text of the Pope’s Video is below:
In today’s world, many Christians from various churches work together to serve humanity in need, to defend human life and its dignity, to defend creation, and to combat injustice. [1]
This desire to walk together, to collaborate in service and in solidarity with the weakest and with those who suffer, is a source of joy for us all. [2]
Join your voice to mine in praying for all who contribute through prayer and fraternal charity to restoring full ecclesial communion in service of the challenges facing humanity. [3]
_____________________
[1] Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for promoting Christian unity for the 50th anniversary of the decree "Unitatis Redintegratio".
[2] Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for promoting Christian unity for the 50th anniversary of the decree "Unitatis Redintegratio".
[3] Universal Prayer Intention of the Holy Father entrusted to the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer). January 2017.

#PopeFrancis we must ask ourselves the question: “is Jesus Christ at the center of my life?" #Homily

(Vatican Radio) Christian life is simple; a Christian does not need to do strange or difficult things, but put Jesus at the center of his or her daily choices.
This was the message at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily on Monday during morning Mass.
Resuming the daily Santa Marta Mass after the Christmas break, the Pope remarked on the fact that we have begun a new liturgical season in ordinary time, highlighting however that Jesus is always at the center of Christian life:
"Jesus Christ manifested himself; we are invited to get to know him, to recognize him in our lives and in so many circumstances of life” he said.
The Pope also explained that Saints and apparitions are important, but without Jesus, he said, they would not exist.

Hence, he said, we must ask ourselves the question: “is Jesus Christ at the center of my life? And what is my relationship with Jesus Christ? "
Thus, the Pope continued, we have three tasks because "to be able to put Jesus at the center we must make sure that we know Him and that we are able to recognize Him. 
“In His time many did not recognize him: the doctors of the law, the chief priests, the scribes, the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Indeed, they persecuted Him and they killed Him. We too must ask ourselves: ‘Am I interested in getting to know Jesus? Or am I perhaps more interested in watching soap operas, in gossiping, in pursuing an ambition or talking about the lives of others?’” he said.
To get to know Jesus, the Pope explained, there is prayer, there is the Holy Spirit, “there is also the Gospel, which we should carry with us and read a passage every day.  It’s the only way to get to know Jesus.  And then the Holy Spirit does the work afterwards. He who makes the seed sprout and grow is the Holy Spirit”.
The second task, Francis continued, is to worship Jesus: “not just asking things of Him and thanking Him”, but praying silently in adoration, and removing from our hearts other things we adore and that capture our interest. “All the rest, he said, is of use only if I am capable of worshiping God alone”. 
And the Pope invited the faithful to pray the ‘Glory Be’: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit”. 
Pointing out that too often we recite it like parrots, he said: “this prayer is adoration!” It is a way of worshiping the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. A little prayer, in silence, before the greatness of God is a way to worship Jesus and say: 'You are the only one, you are the beginning and the end, and I want to stay with you throughout my life, throughout eternity. It is a way to chase away the things that prevent me from worshiping Jesus.”
The third task, the Pope said, is to follow Jesus, as illustrated in today's Gospel in which the Lord calls his first disciples. It means putting Jesus at the center of our lives:
“Christian life is simple, but we need the grace of the Holy Spirit to awaken the desire to know Jesus, to worship Jesus and to follow Him. That’s why, during the Collect we asked the Lord what we are called to do and we asked Him for the strength to do it” he said. 
Christians, Pope Francis concluded, do not need to do strange, difficult or superfluous things, so let us ask the Lord for the grace to know Jesus, to worship Jesus and to follow Him.

Our Lady of Prompt Succor - Brief History - #Novena Prayers and #Litany to SHARE


Brief History of Devotion

On their arrival in New Orleans, December 30,18lO, this precious statue was solemnly installed in the Convent
Chapel, and from that time the homage and veneration offered to Mary under the title of "OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR" has been constantly growing in our city and state and spreading far and wide allover the United States.

It does not come within the sphere of this brief sketch to relate all the favors, both spiritual and temporal, wrought through the intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor during the past one hundred years and more. The Chronicles of the Ursuline Convent sum up these graces by saying: "Under this title,the Most Blessed Virgin has so often manifested her power and goodness, that the Religious have unbounded confidence in her."

Two historical facts are especially worthy of notice here: the fire in 1812, and the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.
Devotion to Our Lady of Prompt Succor was only beginning to be known in New Orleans when, in 1812, a terrible fire ravaged  the city. The wind rapidly drove the flames toward the convent, and the danger being imminent an order was given to leave the convent. Just then, Sr. Anthony placed a small statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor on a window sill facing the  fire, and Mother St. Michel prayed aloud: "Our Lady of Prompt Succor, we are lost, unless you hasten to our help."  Instantaneously, the wind changed, the convent and environs were out of danger, and the flames extinguished. Witnesses  of this inexplicable incident cried out unanimously: "Our Lady of Prompt Succor has saved us!"

General Andrew Jackson's glorious victory over the British in the battle of New Orleans, fought on the plains of Chalmette, January 8, 1815, is another signal favor rightly attributed to the all-powerful intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.  Before the combat, in order to obtain God's blessing upon the American forces, the weeping, terror-stricken wives, mothers, children, and sisters of Jackson's valiant little band spent the night of January 7th in prayer before the statue of  Our Lady of Prompt Succor in the Ursuline Chapel. On the morning of January 8th, Very Rev. William Dubourg, Vicar General  and, later, Bishop of New Orleans, offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the main altar, above which the statue had been placed, and the Ursulines, through their Prioress, Mother Ste. Marie Olivier de Vezin, made the vow to have a Mass of Thanksgiving sung annually should the Americans be victorious. At the moment of Communion, a courier rushed into the  chapel, announcing the glad tidings of the enemy's defeat. After Mass Father Dubourg intoned the Te Deum, which was sung  enthusiastically and with heartfelt gratitude. No one could reasonably doubt the miraculous intervention of Our Lady of  Prompt Succor. Jackson himself did not hesitate to admit of a Divine interposition in his favor, and came in  person to the convent, accompanied by his staff, to thank the nuns for their prayers on his behalf. The vow made by the
Ursulines has been faithfully kept throughout these long years.

Rome has officially approved "DEVOTION TO OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR." Most precious documents have, at different times, emanated from the Holy See, placing the Seal of Holy Church on this devotion andn conferring special privileges upon  it. On September 27, 1851, His Holiness, Pius IX, graciously authorized the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Prompt  Succor and the singing of the yearly Mass of Thanksgiving on January the 8th........

At the request of Their Excellencies Most Reverend John William Shaw, Archbishop of New Orleans; Most Reverend Cornelius  Van de Ven, Bishop of Alexandria; and Most Reverend Jules B. Jeanmard, Bishop of Lafayette; in a decree rendered on the thirteenth day of June, 1928, by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, the Holy See approved and confirmed the choice of Our  Lady of Prompt Succor as the Principal Patroness of the City of New Orleans and of the State of Louisiana, conceding at  the same time each and all of the liturgical privileges proper to the principal patrons of places.

Accordingly, each year the Patronal Feast continues to be celebrated with solemnity on eighth day of January, the anniversary date of the battle of New Orleans.........

May devotion to Mary under her hope-inspiring tide of Our Lady of Prompt Succor spread far and wide! To invoke Our Lady under this tide is to tell her that our needs are great and pressing, and that we hope for and expect much from her. Her  power equals her love; therefore, our confidence should know no bounds

 Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us!
Opening Prayer to Our Lady
Oh, Immaculate Heart! Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths towards the future!
From famine and war, deliver us.
From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.
From sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver us.
From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.
From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.
From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.
From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us.
From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us, deliver us.

Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole societies.
Let there be revealed, once more, in the history of the world your infinite power of merciful Love. May it put a stop to evil. May it transform consciences. May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of Hope.
Taken from L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English 24 May 1982
FIRST DAY
    When we wish to obtain some special favor through the intercession of Our Blessed Lady, the first disposition to bring to prayer is the humble recognition of our unworthiness, for it is the prayer of the contrite and humble heart that rises to the very throne of God.
PRAYER
     Our Lady of Prompt Succor, you are after Jesus our only hope. O Most Holy Virgin, whose merits have raised you high above angel choirs to the very throne of the Eternal and whose foot crushed the head of the infernal serpent, you are strong against the enemies of our salvation. O Mother of God, you are our Mediatrix most kind and loving. Hasten, then, to our help, and as you did once save your beloved City from ravaging flames and our Country from an alien foe, do now have pity on our misery, and obtain for us the graces we beg of you. Deliver us from the wiles of Satan, assist us in the many trials which beset our path in this valley of tears, and be to us truly Our Lady of Prompt Succor now and especially at the hour of our death.  Amen.
     Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. (Three times.)
     The Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father may be added, with the Litany of Our Lady of Prompt Succor and the prayer "O Mary, Mother of God".

SECOND DAY 
      Filial resignation to God's Holy Will is the second disposition required for the obtaining of special graces. This disposition is especially necessary when we ask for temporal favors, for we cannot be certain whether they are conducive to our salvation or not.
PRAYER
      Our Lady of Prompt Succor, O Virgin most pure and Mother of the Word Incarnate, you are the dispenser of all graces and the refuge of poor sinners. With lively faith and unbounded confidence we have recourse to your maternal love and we beg you to obtain from your Divine Son the favors we now implore (here name the special favor desired). With filial trust we place our hearts under your motherly care beseeching you to obtain for us the all-important grace of perfect conformity to God's Will, and, O Mary, show yourself to be OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR, especially at the hour of our death.  Amen.
      Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. (Three times.)
      Our Father, etc., as on first day.

THIRD DAY
      A profound respect for the exalted dignity and sublime prerogatives of Mary is an excellent means to draw down upon us Heaven's choicest blessings. 
PRAYER
      Our Lady of Prompt Succor, O Mary Immaculate, you are the model of all virtues, the path by which we go to Jesus, the mysterious channel through which divine favors are imparted to us. You have such power over the Heart of Jesus, hasten to our assistance and obtain our earnest request (here name the favor desired). In you, O Mary, we put our trust, let it not be said that our hopes have been frustrated. O Mother most chaste, be our strength against temptation, our help in danger, our consolation in sorrow, but especially be OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR at the hour of our death.  Amen.
     Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. (Three times.)
     Our Father, etc., as on first day.

FOURTH DAY
      A filial eagerness in striving to fathom the treasures of holiness contained in the heart of Mary, the most loving and lovable of mothers, is another means of obtaining Our Lady's special protection.
PRAYER
     Our Lady of Prompt Succor, living temple of the Holy Spirit and Queen of Heaven and earth, behold us prostrate at your feet to offer you the filial homage of our hearts, to thank you for the innumerable favors you have obtained for us, and to implore, through your all-powerful intercession, the graces we need, especially (here specify the favor desired). O Mary, be truly to us "Mary," that is, our shield against the darts of temptation, our solace in the midst of trials and afflictions, our firm hope, sweet consolation, and PROMPT SUCCOR at the hour of our death.  Amen.
     Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. (Three times.)
     Our Father, etc., as on first day.

FIFTH DAY
     One of the surest means to acquire a special right to the protection of Mary is to keep ourselves in the state of grace and endeavor to please her by imitating her virtues.
PRAYER
     Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Virgin most powerful and Mirror of Justice, who offered yourself totally to God for the perfect accomplishment of His Holy Will, make us generous in sacrifice. We have recourse to you to obtain the graces we need, especially (here name the favor desired). O Mary, Our Lady of Prompt Succor, heavenly protectress of souls devoted to your Divine Son, deign to bless us each day of our mortal pilgrimage, cast upon us your eyes of mercy, and after our exile, show unto us Jesus, your Son and our Brother.  Amen.
      Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. (Three times.)
      Our Father, etc., as on first day.

SIXTH DAY
      A tender love for Mary is another efficacious means of obtaining her favors. Since love can be requited only by love, what should not be our sentiments of filial affection for so generous and loving a Mother?
PRAYER
      O Mary, Our Lady of Prompt Succor, bright Star of the Sea shining upon life's stormy ocean, we implore your speedy help especially to obtain (here specify the desired favor).  Shining Star of our tempest-tossed souls, lovingly guide us among temptation's heaving billows and treacherous shoals, and lead us safely into eternity's peaceful harbor. O sweetest of mothers, we seek your PROMPT SUCCOR now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.
      Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. (Three times.)
      Our Father, etc., as on first day.

SEVENTH DAY 
      Mary's love for us is tender and generous. Our love for her should be characterized by deep gratitude, filial confidence, and ardent zeal. We should endeavor, by good example and the spirit of sacrifice, to propagate devotion to her under her sweet title of PROMPT SUCCOR.
PRAYER
      O Mary, Our Lady of Prompt Succor, whose protection is so powerful and whose help is so prompt and efficacious, we come to lay at your feet all our cares and sorrows, to place into your hands all our hopes, to entrust to you all our interest both spiritual and temporal. Deign, O Most Holy Virgin, to assist us and obtain the graces we now ask, especially (here mention the favor desired). O Mother of PROMPT SUCCOR, close not
your ears to our earnest supplications; rather hasten to our help now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.
      Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us.  (Three times.)
      Our Father, etc., as on first day.

EIGHTH DAY
      Confidence is an excellent and necessary means for obtaining Mary's protection. Our Lady of Prompt Succor will bestow favors upon us in proportion to our filial trust in her all-powerful intercession.
PRAYER
      Our Lady of Prompt Succor, sanctuary of every virtue, who was chosen among all women to be the Mother of our Redeemer, be our advocate and protectress. To you do we raise our hearts and hands imploring your powerful intercession to obtain the favors we ask, especially (here mention the favor desired). Assist us by your mediation, O Mary, that your Divine Son may shower His blessings upon us now and at the moment of our death.  Amen.
      Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. (Three times.)
      Our Father, etc., as on first day.

NINTH DAY
       Mary became our Mother on Calvary's crest. We are the children of her tears and sorrows. On this last day of our novena, let us take the resolution ever to foster a true and tender devotion to our Immaculate Mother of Prompt Succor, to cast all our cares and anxieties into her maternal heart. Our confidence will not remain unrewarded.
PRAYER
       Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Queen of the Universe and Sovereign full of kindness, you are the advocate of sinners, a haven of safety to the shipwrecked, the health of the sick and infirm, the consolation of the afflicted, the refuge and salvation of all on earth. O Mary, grant us, we beseech you, the help of your prayers to obtain the graces we implore, and in particular (here name the favor desired). Let your maternal heart be touched by our misery; hasten to our assistance and be to us, now and at the hour of our death, OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR.  Amen.
      Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. (Three times.)
      Our Father, etc., as on first day. 

Litany of Our Lady of Prompt Succor
(For private recitation only)
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, pray for us.
Mother of the Infant Jesus, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of all who invoke you with confidence, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of all who are devout toward the Infant Jesus, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for obtaining a lively faith, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for sustaining the hope of Christians, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for obtaining and persevering in charity, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for observing the law of God, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for observing perseverance in virtue and good works, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every spiritual necessity, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the revolt of self-will, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in the occasion of sin, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every temptation, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the evil spirit, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for obtaining contrition, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of those wishing to re-enter the path of salvation, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for the conversion of sinners, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every temporal necessity, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every affliction, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of afflicted families, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of the sick and the poor, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against contagious diseases and epidemics, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every accident, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against destruction by fire, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against lightning and tempest, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against destruction by flood, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of travelers, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of navigators, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of the shipwrecked, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the enemies of our country, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in time of war, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of those aspiring to the Holy Priesthood and the religious life, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of laborers in the Lord's vineyard, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of missionaries who spread the faith, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of our Holy Father the Pope, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for those searching for the faith, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the enemies of the Church, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor at the hour of death, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for the deliverance of the souls in Purgatory, pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V.  Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us.
R.  That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

LET US PRAY
     O Almighty and Eternal God! Who sees us surrounded by so many dangers and miseries, grant in Your infinite goodness that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Your Divine Son, may defend us from the evil spirit and protect us against all adversities, that always, and with PROMPT SUCCOR, she may deliver us from every evil of soul and body, and safely guide us to the kingdom of heaven, through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.  Amen.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us.  (3 Times) (partial indulgence)

PRAYERS TO
OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR 
     O, Mary, Mother of God, who, amidst the tribulations of the world, watches over us and over the Church of your Son, be to us and to the Church truly OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR, make haste to help us in all our necessities, that in this fleeting life you may be our succor, and obtain for us (here ask the particular favor you desire). Help us to gain life everlasting through the merits of Jesus, your Son, our Lord and Redeemer.  Amen.
(partial indulgence)
      Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.
      Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. (Three times)
     O Queen of the Universe, Our Lady of Prompt Succor, sovereign full of kindness, you are the advocate of sinners, a haven of safety to the shipwrecked; you are the resource of the world, the ransom of captives, the health of the infirm, the consolation of the afflicted, the refuge and salvation of all on earth. We beseech you to grant us the help of your prayers, which incline our Heavenly Father to forgive our sins and grant our petitions in all the necessities of this miserable life, prayers which obtain for us an abundance of graces to receive the pardon of our faults and arrive at the practice of virtue, prayers which stop our enemies, confound their designs, and triumph over their efforts.  Amen.  (partial indulgence) 

Text from RosaryCongress.org

What is #Baptism ? - We become Children of God cleansed from Sin - #Catechism 101 to SHARE

Today is the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. Here is some information on this Important Sacrament of the Church:
THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua),4 and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."5
IMAGE: Giovanni Bellini (Venice, c. 1432 - Venice, 1516) Baptism of Christ 1501)
Renew your Promises :  (It is customary to renew Baptism promises today)
Lord Jesus Christ,
I acknowledge You as King of the universe.
All creation was made for You.
Exercise all Your sovereign rights over me.
I renew my baptismal promises,
renouncing Satan and all his works and empty promises
and I promise to lead a good Christian life.
I will try to bring about the recognition of the truth of God
and your Church.
Divine Heart of Jesus,
I offer all my actions
that every human heart may accept Your kingship.
May the kingdom of Your peace be established across the world.
Amen

 
I. WHAT IS THIS SACRAMENT CALLED?
1214 This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to "plunge" or "immerse"; the "plunge" into the water symbolizes the catechumen's burial into Christ's death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as "a new creature."6

1215 This sacrament is also called "the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit," for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one "can enter the kingdom of God."7
1216 "This bath is called enlightenment, because those who receive this [catechetical] instruction are enlightened in their understanding . . . ."8 Having received in Baptism the Word, "the true light that enlightens every man," the person baptized has been "enlightened," he becomes a "son of light," indeed, he becomes "light" himself:9

Baptism is God's most beautiful and magnificent gift. . . .We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God's Lordship.10
II. BAPTISM IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION
Prefigurations of Baptism in the Old Covenant
1217 In the liturgy of the Easter Vigil, during the blessing of the baptismal water, the Church solemnly commemorates the great events in salvation history that already prefigured the mystery of Baptism:

Father, you give us grace through sacramental signs,
which tell us of the wonders of your unseen power.In Baptism we use your gift of water,
which you have made a rich symbol
of the grace you give us in this sacrament.11
1218 Since the beginning of the world, water, so humble and wonderful a creature, has been the source of life and fruitfulness. Sacred Scripture sees it as "overshadowed" by the Spirit of God:12

At the very dawn of creation
your Spirit breathed on the waters,
making them the wellspring of all holiness.13
1219 The Church has seen in Noah's ark a prefiguring of salvation by Baptism, for by it "a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water":14

The waters of the great flood
you made a sign of the waters of Baptism,
that make an end of sin and a new beginning of goodness.15
1220 If water springing up from the earth symbolizes life, the water of the sea is a symbol of death and so can represent the mystery of the cross. By this symbolism Baptism signifies communion with Christ's death.
1221 But above all, the crossing of the Red Sea, literally the liberation of Israel from the slavery of Egypt, announces the liberation wrought by Baptism:

You freed the children of Abraham from the slavery of Pharaoh,
bringing them dry-shod through the waters of the Red Sea,
to be an image of the people set free in Baptism.16
1222 Finally, Baptism is prefigured in the crossing of the Jordan River by which the People of God received the gift of the land promised to Abraham's descendants, an image of eternal life. The promise of this blessed inheritance is fulfilled in the New Covenant.
Christ's Baptism
1223 All the Old Covenant prefigurations find their fulfillment in Christ Jesus. He begins his public life after having himself baptized by St. John the Baptist in the Jordan.17After his resurrection Christ gives this mission to his apostles: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you."18
1224 Our Lord voluntarily submitted himself to the baptism of St. John, intended for sinners, in order to "fulfill all righteousness."19 Jesus' gesture is a manifestation of his self-emptying.20 The Spirit who had hovered over the waters of the first creation descended then on the Christ as a prelude of the new creation, and the Father revealed Jesus as his "beloved Son."21
1225 In his Passover Christ opened to all men the fountain of Baptism. He had already spoken of his Passion, which he was about to suffer in Jerusalem, as a "Baptism" with which he had to be baptized.22 The blood and water that flowed from the pierced side of the crucified Jesus are types of Baptism and the Eucharist, the sacraments of new life.23 From then on, it is possible "to be born of water and the Spirit"24 in order to enter the Kingdom of God.

See where you are baptized, see where Baptism comes from, if not from the cross of Christ, from his death. There is the whole mystery: he died for you. In him you are redeemed, in him you are saved.25
Baptism in the Church
1226 From the very day of Pentecost the Church has celebrated and administered holy Baptism. Indeed St. Peter declares to the crowd astounded by his preaching: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."26 The apostles and their collaborators offer Baptism to anyone who believed in Jesus: Jews, the God-fearing, pagans.27 Always, Baptism is seen as connected with faith: "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household," St. Paul declared to his jailer in Philippi. And the narrative continues, the jailer "was baptized at once, with all his family."28
1227 According to the Apostle Paul, the believer enters through Baptism into communion with Christ's death, is buried with him, and rises with him:
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.29
The baptized have "put on Christ."30 Through the Holy Spirit, Baptism is a bath that purifies, justifies, and sanctifies.31
1228 Hence Baptism is a bath of water in which the "imperishable seed" of the Word of God produces its life-giving effect.32 St. Augustine says of Baptism: "The word is brought to the material element, and it becomes a sacrament."33
III. HOW IS THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM CELEBRATED?
Christian Initiation
1229 From the time of the apostles, becoming a Christian has been accomplished by a journey and initiation in several stages. This journey can be covered rapidly or slowly, but certain essential elements will always have to be present: proclamation of the Word, acceptance of the Gospel entailing conversion, profession of faith, Baptism itself, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and admission to Eucharistic communion.
1230 This initiation has varied greatly through the centuries according to circumstances. In the first centuries of the Church, Christian initiation saw considerable development. A long period ofcatechumenate included a series of preparatory rites, which were liturgical landmarks along the path of catechumenal preparation and culminated in the celebration of the sacraments of Christian initiation.
1231 Where infant Baptism has become the form in which this sacrament is usually celebrated, it has become a single act encapsulating the preparatory stages of Christian initiation in a very abridged way. By its very nature infant Baptism requires a post-baptismal catechumenate. Not only is there a need for instruction after Baptism, but also for the necessary flowering of baptismal grace in personal growth. The catechism has its proper place here.
1232 The second Vatican Council restored for the Latin Church "the catechumenate for adults, comprising several distinct steps."34 The rites for these stages are to be found in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).35 The Council also gives permission that: "In mission countries, in addition to what is furnished by the Christian tradition, those elements of initiation rites may be admitted which are already in use among some peoples insofar as they can be adapted to the Christian ritual."36
1233 Today in all the rites, Latin and Eastern, the Christian initiation of adults begins with their entry into the catechumenate and reaches its culmination in a single celebration of the three sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.37 In the Eastern rites the Christian initiation of infants also begins with Baptism followed immediately by Confirmation and the Eucharist, while in the Roman rite it is followed by years of catechesis before being completed later by Confirmation and the Eucharist, the summit of their Christian initiation.38
The mystagogy of the celebration
1234 The meaning and grace of the sacrament of Baptism are clearly seen in the rites of its celebration. By following the gestures and words of this celebration with attentive participation, the faithful are initiated into the riches this sacrament signifies and actually brings about in each newly baptized person.
1235 The sign of the cross, on the threshold of the celebration, marks with the imprint of Christ the one who is going to belong to him and signifies the grace of the redemption Christ won for us by his cross.
1236 The proclamation of the Word of God enlightens the candidates and the assembly with the revealed truth and elicits the response of faith, which is inseparable from Baptism. Indeed Baptism is "the sacrament of faith" in a particular way, since it is the sacramental entry into the life of faith.
1237 Since Baptism signifies liberation from sin and from its instigator the devil, one or more exorcisms are pronounced over the candidate. The celebrant then anoints him with the oil of catechumens, or lays his hands on him, and he explicitly renounces Satan. Thus prepared, he is able to confess the faith of the Church, to which he will be "entrusted" by Baptism.39
1238 The baptismal water is consecrated by a prayer of epiclesis (either at this moment or at the Easter Vigil). The Church asks God that through his Son the power of the Holy Spirit may be sent upon the water, so that those who will be baptized in it may be "born of water and the Spirit."40
1239 The essential rite of the sacrament follows: Baptism properly speaking. It signifies and actually brings about death to sin and entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity through configuration to the Paschal mystery of Christ. Baptism is performed in the most expressive way by triple immersion in the baptismal water. However, from ancient times it has also been able to be conferred by pouring the water three times over the candidate's head.
1240 In the Latin Church this triple infusion is accompanied by the minister's words: "N., I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." In the Eastern liturgies the catechumen turns toward the East and the priest says: "The servant of God, N., is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." At the invocation of each person of the Most Holy Trinity, the priest immerses the candidate in the water and raises him up again.
1241 The anointing with sacred chrism, perfumed oil consecrated by the bishop, signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit to the newly baptized, who has become a Christian, that is, one "anointed" by the Holy Spirit, incorporated into Christ who is anointed priest, prophet, and king.41
1242 In the liturgy of the Eastern Churches, the post-baptismal anointing is the sacrament of Chrismation (Confirmation). In the Roman liturgy the post- baptismal anointing announces a second anointing with sacred chrism to be conferred later by the bishop Confirmation, which will as it were "confirm" and complete the baptismal anointing.
1243 The white garment symbolizes that the person baptized has "put on Christ,"42 has risen with Christ. The candle, lit from the Easter candle, signifies that Christ has enlightened the neophyte. In him the baptized are "the light of the world."43
The newly baptized is now, in the only Son, a child of God entitled to say the prayer of the children of God: "Our Father."
1244 First Holy Communion. Having become a child of God clothed with the wedding garment, the neophyte is admitted "to the marriage supper of the Lamb"44 and receives the food of the new life, the body and blood of Christ. The Eastern Churches maintain a lively awareness of the unity of Christian initiation by giving Holy Communion to all the newly baptized and confirmed, even little children, recalling the Lord's words: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them."45 The Latin Church, which reserves admission to Holy Communion to those who have attained the age of reason, expresses the orientation of Baptism to the Eucharist by having the newly baptized child brought to the altar for the praying of the Our Father.
1245 The solemn blessing concludes the celebration of Baptism. At the Baptism of newborns the blessing of the mother occupies a special place.
IV. WHO CAN RECEIVE BAPTISM?
1246 "Every person not yet baptized and only such a person is able to be baptized."46
The Baptism of adults
1247 Since the beginning of the Church, adult Baptism is the common practice where the proclamation of the Gospel is still new. The catechumenate (preparation for Baptism) therefore occupies an important place. This initiation into Christian faith and life should dispose the catechumen to receive the gift of God in Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
1248 The catechumenate, or formation of catechumens, aims at bringing their conversion and faith to maturity, in response to the divine initiative and in union with an ecclesial community. The catechumenate is to be "a formation in the whole Christian life . . . during which the disciples will be joined to Christ their teacher. The catechumens should be properly initiated into the mystery of salvation and the practice of the evangelical virtues, and they should be introduced into the life of faith, liturgy, and charity of the People of God by successive sacred rites."47
1249 Catechumens "are already joined to the Church, they are already of the household of Christ, and are quite frequently already living a life of faith, hope, and charity."48"With love and solicitude mother Church already embraces them as her own."49
The Baptism of infants
1250 Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called.50 The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.51
1251 Christian parents will recognize that this practice also accords with their role as nurturers of the life that God has entrusted to them.52
1252 The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole "households" received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.53
Faith and Baptism
1253 Baptism is the sacrament of faith.54 But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: "What do you ask of God's Church?" The response is: "Faith!"
1254 For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth.
1255 For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents' help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized - child or adult on the road of Christian life.55 Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium).56 The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism.
V. WHO CAN BAPTIZE?
1256 The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and priest and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon.57 In case of necessity, anyone, even a non-baptized person, with the required intention, can baptize58 , by using the Trinitarian baptismal formula. The intention required is to will to do what the Church does when she baptizes. The Church finds the reason for this possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation.59
VI. THE NECESSITY OF BAPTISM
1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.61Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.62 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.
1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.
1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.
1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.
1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,"64 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.
VII. THE GRACE OF BAPTISM
1262 The different effects of Baptism are signified by the perceptible elements of the sacramental rite. Immersion in water symbolizes not only death and purification, but also regeneration and renewal. Thus the two principal effects are purification from sins and new birth in the Holy Spirit.65
For the forgiveness of sins . . .
1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin.66 In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam's sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.
1264 Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, "the tinder for sin" (fomes peccati); since concupiscence "is left for us to wrestle with, it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ."67 Indeed, "an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules."68
"A new creature"
1265 Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte "a new creature," an adopted son of God, who has become a "partaker of the divine nature,"69member of Christ and co-heir with him,70 and a temple of the Holy Spirit.71
1266 The Most Holy Trinity gives the baptized sanctifying grace, the grace of justification:
- enabling them to believe in God, to hope in him, and to love him through the theological virtues;
- giving them the power to live and act under the prompting of the Holy Spirit through the gifts of the Holy Spirit;
- allowing them to grow in goodness through the moral virtues.
Thus the whole organism of the Christian's supernatural life has its roots in Baptism.

Incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ
1267 Baptism makes us members of the Body of Christ: "Therefore . . . we are members one of another."72 Baptism incorporates us into the Church. From the baptismal fonts is born the one People of God of the New Covenant, which transcends all the natural or human limits of nations, cultures, races, and sexes: "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body."73
1268 The baptized have become "living stones" to be "built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood."74 By Baptism they share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission. They are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that [they] may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called [them] out of darkness into his marvelous light."75 Baptism gives a share in the common priesthood of all believers.
1269 Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us.76 From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to "obey and submit" to the Church's leaders,77 holding them in respect and affection.78 Just as Baptism is the source of responsibilities and duties, the baptized person also enjoys rights within the Church: to receive the sacraments, to be nourished with the Word of God and to be sustained by the other spiritual helps of the Church.79
1270 "Reborn as sons of God, [the baptized] must profess before men the faith they have received from God through the Church" and participate in the apostolic and missionary activity of the People of God.80
The sacramental bond of the unity of Christians
1271 Baptism constitutes the foundation of communion among all Christians, including those who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church: "For men who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church. Justified by faith in Baptism, [they] are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church."81"Baptism therefore constitutes the sacramental bond of unity existing among all who through it are reborn."82
An indelible spiritual mark . . .
1272 Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, the person baptized is configured to Christ. Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation.83 Given once for all, Baptism cannot be repeated.
1273 Incorporated into the Church by Baptism, the faithful have received the sacramental character that consecrates them for Christian religious worship.84 The baptismal seal enables and commits Christians to serve God by a vital participation in the holy liturgy of the Church and to exercise their baptismal priesthood by the witness of holy lives and practical charity.85
1274 The Holy Spirit has marked us with the seal of the Lord ("Dominicus character") "for the day of redemption."86 "Baptism indeed is the seal of eternal life."87 The faithful Christian who has "kept the seal" until the end, remaining faithful to the demands of his Baptism, will be able to depart this life "marked with the sign of faith,"88 with his baptismal faith, in expectation of the blessed vision of God - the consummation of faith - and in the hope of resurrection.
IN BRIEF
1275 Christian initiation is accomplished by three sacraments together: Baptism which is the beginning of new life; Confirmation which is its strengthening; and the Eucharist which nourishes the disciple with Christ's Body and Blood for his transformation in Christ.
1276 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Mt 28:19-20).
1277 Baptism is birth into the new life in Christ. In accordance with the Lord's will, it is necessary for salvation, as is the Church herself, which we enter by Baptism.
1278 The essential rite of Baptism consists in immersing the candidate in water or pouring water on his head, while pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
1279 The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ.
1280 Baptism imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual sign, the character, which consecrates the baptized person for Christian worship. Because of the character Baptism cannot be repeated (cf. DS 1609 and DS 1624).
1281 Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, can be saved even if they have not been baptized (cf. LG 16).
1282 Since the earliest times, Baptism has been administered to children, for it is a grace and a gift of God that does not presuppose any human merit; children are baptized in the faith of the Church. Entry into Christian life gives access to true freedom.
1283 With respect to children who have died without Baptism, the liturgy of the Church invites us to trust in God's mercy and to pray for their salvation.
1284 In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pours water on the candidate's head while saying: "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

2017

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday January 9, 2017 - #Baptism of Jesus


The Baptism of the Lord
Lectionary: 21


Reading 1IS 42:1-4, 6-7

Thus says the LORD:
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
upon whom I have put my spirit;
he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
not crying out, not shouting,
not making his voice heard in the street.
a bruised reed he shall not break,
and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
until he establishes justice on the earth;
the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice,
I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
as a covenant of the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

Or:ACTS 10:34-38

Peter proceeded to speak to those gathered
in the house of Cornelius, saying:
"In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.
Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly
is acceptable to him.
You know the word that he sent to the Israelites
as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all,
what has happened all over Judea,
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached,
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil,
for God was with him."

Responsorial PsalmPS 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10

R. (11b) The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,
give to the LORD glory and praise,
Give to the LORD the glory due his name;
adore the LORD in holy attire.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters,
the LORD, over vast waters.
The voice of the LORD is mighty;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The God of glory thunders,
and in his temple all say, "Glory!"
The LORD is enthroned above the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as king forever.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.

AlleluiaMK 9:7

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The heavens were opened and the voice of the Father thundered:
This is my beloved Son, listen to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 3:13-17

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan
to be baptized by him.
John tried to prevent him, saying,
"I need to be baptized by you,
and yet you are coming to me?"
Jesus said to him in reply,
"Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us
to fulfill all righteousness."
Then he allowed him.
After Jesus was baptized,
he came up from the water and behold,
the heavens were opened for him,
and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove
and coming upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, saying,
"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

An African by birth, Adrian became a monk and an abbot in Italy, and finally supervised a flourishing school in Canterbury.
An African by birth, then a monk and an abbot in Italy, and finally chosen to accompany the Greek monk Theodore of Tarsus to become archbishop of Canterbury, Adrian supervised a flourishing school in that cathedral town. Patrick Duffy tells his story.
An unusual appointmentAdrian was born in Africa and became a monk and eventually abbot of Nerida, not far from Naples. In the early years of the See of Canterbury after St Augustine, the archbishops were chosen from the companions who had come with him from Rome. Two Englishmen then succeeded, but as both fell victim to the plague in 664 and 665, the pope of the time, Vitalian (657-672) wanted to appoint Adrian. He refused but suggested the nomination of a Greek monk Theodore of Tarsus. Vitalian accepted this suggestion, provided Adrian accompany Theodore as his adviser and helper. Which he did.
 A golden age for the Church in England
On arrival in Canterbury Theodore appointed Adrian abbot of the monastery of Saints Peter and Paul (later St Augustine’s). An excellent administrator as well as a Greek and Latin scholar, Adrian insured that the monastery grew into a centre of theological learning drawing students from all over England and even Ireland. Adrian helped his archbishop in the pastoral governance of the English Church. Bede says of this time: “Never had there been such happy times as these since the English settled in Britain.”
Death and influenceAdrian worked at Canterbury for nearly forty years, far outliving Theodore. He was buried in the church of the monastery. His body was still incorrupt when renovations made the translation of Canterbury saints necessary. Many of the miracles for which his tomb became famous were in favour of boys who studied in the monastery and were in trouble with their masters.
Shared from Catholic Ireland Net

#PopeFrancis "Faith is believing what is the truth: that God, the Father, Who sent His Son and the Spirit.." #Homily FULL with Baptisms + Mass Video


Pope Francis on Sunday baptised 28 babies during Mass in the Sistine chapel,
FULL TEXT Homily: 
Dear parents,
You have asked for your children faith. The faith that will be given in baptism. Faith … that which means the life of faith, because faith is lived, walking on the road of faith and giving witness to the faith. Faith is not only reciting the Creed at Sunday Mass. It is not only this. Faith is believing what is the truth: that God, the Father, Who sent His Son and the Spirit, gives us life. But faith is trust in God, and this, you must teach to them [your babies], by your example and by your life. Faith is light: in the baptism ceremony, you will be given a candle lit, as in the early days of the Church. At that time, baptism was called “enlightenment” because faith illuminates the heart,  makes one see things with another light.
Through Baptism, the Church will give faith to your children. And you have the task to make it grow, preserve it, and ensure it becomes a witness to all the others. This is the meaning of this ceremony. This is what I wanted to tell you: keep the faith, make it grow, so that it can be a witness to others.
And then, began the concert, it is because the children are in a place that they do not know, they got up earlier than usual, perhaps. When one begins one note, the other follows along … Some cry simply because another cried. Jesus did the same: I like to think that the first ‘sermon’ of Jesus in the stable was a cry, the first … And then since the ceremony is a bit long, someone cries of hunger. So to you mothers: breastfeed! Without fear, all as normal. As the Madonna nursing Jesus. Do not forget you have asked for faith. To you, [is] the task of guarding the faith, making it grow, in order that it may become a witness for all of us. For all of us, even for us priests and bishops.
[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

#PopeFrancis "For Christians, peace is a gift of the Lord, proclaimed in song by the Angels..." to #Diplomats FULL TEXT/Video

The Holy Father was giving his annual address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See.
The full speech by Pope Francis to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See is below
 ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS TO THE MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS
Monday, 9 January 2017
Your Excellencies, dear Ambassadors,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
            I offer you a cordial welcome.  I thank you for your presence in such numbers at this traditional gathering, which permits us to exchange greetings and good wishes that the year just beginning will be for everyone a time of joy, prosperity and peace. I express particular gratitude to the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, His Excellency Armindo Fernandes do Espírito Santo Vieira, the Ambassador of Angola, for his courteous greetings on behalf of the entire Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, which has recently been enlarged following the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Mauritania a month ago.  I likewise express my gratitude to the many Ambassadors resident in Rome, whose number has grown this past year, and to the non-resident Ambassadors, whose presence today is a clear sign of the bonds of friendship uniting their peoples to the Holy See.  At the same time, I would like to express heartfelt condolences to the Ambassador of Malaysia for the death of his predecessor, Dato’ Mohd Zulkephli Bin Mohd Noor, who passed away last February.
            In the course of the past year, relations between your countries and the Holy See were further consolidated, thanks to the welcome visit of many Heads of State and Government, also in conjunction with the numerous events of the recently concluded Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.  So too, a variety of bilateral Agreements were signed or ratified, both those of a general nature aimed at recognizing the Church’s juridical status, with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Benin and Timor East, and those of a more specific character, the Avenant signed with France, the Convention on fiscal matters with the Republic of Italy, recently entered into force, and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretariat of State and the Government of the United Arab Emirates.  Furthermore, in the context of the Holy See’s commitment to the obligations assumed by the aforementioned Agreements, the Comprehensive Agreement with the State of Palestine, which took effect a year ago, was fully implemented.
Dear Ambassadors,
            A century ago, we were in the midst of the First World War.  A “useless slaughter”,[1] in which new methods of warfare sowed death and caused immense suffering to the defenceless civil population.  In 1917, the conflict changed profoundly, taking on increasingly global proportions, while those totalitarian regimes, which were long to be a cause of bitter divisions, began to appear on the horizon.  A hundred years later, it can be said that many parts of the world have benefited from lengthy periods of peace, which have favoured opportunities for economic development and unprecedented prosperity.  For many people today, peace appears as a blessing to be taken for granted, for all intents an acquired right to which not much thought is given.  Yet, for all too many others, peace remains merely a distant dream.  Millions of people still live in the midst of senseless conflicts.  Even in places once considered secure, a general sense of fear is felt.  We are frequently overwhelmed by images of death, by the pain of innocent men, women and children who plead for help and consolation, by the grief of those mourning the loss of a dear one due to hatred and violence, and by the drama of refugees fleeing war and migrants meeting tragic deaths.
            For this reason, I would like to devote today’s meeting to the theme of security and peace.  In today’s climate of general apprehension for the present, and uncertainty and anxious concern for the future, I feel it is important to speak a word of hope, which can also indicate a path on which to embark.
            Just a few days ago, we celebrated the Fiftieth World Day of Peace, instituted by my blessed predecessor Paul VI “as a hope and as a promise, at the beginning of the calendar which measures and describes the path of human life in time, that peace with its just and beneficent equilibrium may dominate the development of events to come”.[2]  For Christians, peace is a gift of the Lord, proclaimed in song by the Angels at the moment of Christ’s birth: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours” (Lk 2:14).  Peace is a positive good, “the fruit of the right ordering of things” with which God has invested human society;[3] it is “more than the absence of war”.[4]  Nor can it be “reduced to the maintenance of a balance of power between opposing forces”.[5]  Rather, it demands the commitment of those persons of good will who “thirst for an ever more perfect reign of justice”.[6]
            In this regard, I voice my firm conviction that every expression of religion is called to promote peace.  I saw this clearly in the World Day of Prayer for Peace held in Assisi last September, during which the representatives of the different religions gathered to “give voice together to all those who suffer, to all those who have no voice and are not heard”,[7] as well as in my visits to the Synagogue of Rome and the Mosque in Baku.
            We know that there has been no shortage of acts of religiously motivated violence, beginning with Europe itself, where the historical divisions between Christians have endured all too long.  In my recent visit to Sweden, I mentioned the urgent need for healing past wounds and journeying together towards common goals.  The basis of that journey can only be authentic dialogue between different religious confessions.  Such dialogue is possible and necessary, as I wished to show by my meeting in Cuba with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, as well as by my Apostolic Journeys to Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, where I sensed the rightful aspiration of those peoples to resolve conflicts which for years have threatened social harmony and peace.
            At the same time, it is fitting that we not overlook the great number of religiously inspired works that contribute, at times with the sacrifice of martyrs, to the pursuit of the common good through education and social assistance, especially in areas of great poverty and in theatres of conflict.  These efforts advance peace and testify that individuals of different nationalities, cultures and traditions can indeed live and work together, provided that the dignity of the human person is placed at the centre of their activities.
            Sadly, we are conscious that even today, religious experience, rather than fostering openness to others, can be used at times as a pretext for rejection, marginalization and violence.  I think particularly of the fundamentalist-inspired terrorism that in the past year has also reaped numerous victims throughout the world: in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, the United States of America, Tunisia and Turkey.  These are vile acts that use children to kill, as in Nigeria, or target people at prayer, as in the Coptic Cathedral of Cairo, or travellers or workers, as in Brussels, or passers-by in the streets of cities like Nice and Berlin, or simply people celebrating the arrival of the new year, as in Istanbul.
            We are dealing with a homicidal madness which misuses God’s name in order to disseminate death, in a play for domination and power.  Hence I appeal to all religious authorities to join in reaffirming unequivocally that one can never kill in God’s name.  Fundamentalist terrorism is the fruit of a profound spiritual poverty, and often is linked to significant social poverty.  It can only be fully defeated with the joint contribution of religious and political leaders.  The former are charged with transmitting those religious values which do not separate fear of God from love of neighbour.  The latter are charged with guaranteeing in the public forum the right to religious freedom, while acknowledging religion’s positive and constructive contribution to the building of a civil society that sees no opposition between social belonging, sanctioned by the principle of citizenship, and the spiritual dimension of life.  Government leaders are also responsible for ensuring that conditions do not exist that can serve as fertile terrain for the spread of forms of fundamentalism.  This calls for suitable social policies aimed at combating poverty; such policies cannot prescind from a clear appreciation of the importance of the family as the privileged place for growth in human maturity, and from a major investment in the areas of education and culture.
            In this regard, I was interested to learn of the Council of Europe’s initiative on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue, which in the past year discussed the role of education in preventing radicalization leading to terrorism and extremist violence.  This represents an occasion for a better understanding of the role of religion and education in bringing about the authentic social harmony needed for coexistence in a multicultural society.
            Here I would express my conviction that political authorities must not limit themselves to ensuring the security of their own citizens – a concept which could easily be reduced to a mere “quiet life” – but are called also to work actively for the growth of peace. Peace is an “active virtue”, once that calls for the engagement and cooperation of each individual and society as a whole.  As the Second Vatican Council observed, “peace will never be achieved once and for all, but must be built up continually”,[8] by safeguarding the good of persons and respecting their dignity.  Peacemaking requires above all else renouncing violence in vindicating one’s rights.[9]  To this very principle I devoted my Message for the 2017 World Day of Peace, with the title, “Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace”.  I wished primarily to reaffirm that nonviolence is a political style based on the rule of law and the dignity of each person.
            Peacemaking also demands that “those causes of discord which lead to wars be rooted out”,[10] beginning with acts of injustice.  Indeed, justice and peace are intimately linked[11].  Yet, as Saint John Paul II observed, “because human justice is always fragile and imperfect, subject as it is to the limitations and egoism of individuals and groups, it must include and, as it were, be completed by the forgiveness that heals and rebuilds human relations from their foundations…  Forgiveness is in no way opposed to justice.  It is rather the fullness of justice, leading to that tranquillity of order” which involves “the deepest healing of the wounds which fester in human hearts.  Justice and forgiveness are both essential to such healing”.[12]  Those words remain most timely, and met with openness on the part of some Heads of State or Government to my request to make a gesture of clemency towards the incarcerated.  To them, and to all those who promote dignified living conditions for prisoners and their reintegration into society, I would like to express my particular appreciation and gratitude.
            I am convinced that for many people the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy was an especially fruitful moment for rediscovering “mercy’s immense positive influence as a social value.[13]  In this way, everyone can help bring about “a culture of mercy, based on the rediscovery of encounter with others, a culture in which no one looks at another with indifference or turns away from the suffering of our brothers and sisters”.[14]  Only thus will it be possible to build societies that are open and welcoming towards foreigners and at the same time internally secure and at peace.  This is all the more needed at the present time, when massive waves of migration continue in various parts of the world.  I think in a special way of the great numbers of displaced persons and refugees in some areas of Africa and Southeast Asia, and all those who are fleeing areas of conflict in the Middle East.
            Last year the international community gathered at two important events convened by the United Nations: the first World Humanitarian Summit and the Summit for Refugees and Migrants.  With regard to migrants, displaced persons and refugees, a common commitment is needed, one focused on offering them a dignified welcome.  This would involve respecting the right of “every human being… to emigrate to other countries and take up residence there”,[15] while at the same time ensuring that migrants can be integrated into the societies in which they are received without the latter sensing that their security, cultural identity and political-social stability are threatened.  On the other hand, immigrants themselves must not forget that they have a duty to respect the laws, culture and traditions of the countries in which they are received.
            Prudence on the part of public authorities does not mean enacting policies of exclusion vis-à-vis migrants, but it does entail evaluating, with wisdom and foresight, the extent to which their country is in a position, without prejudice to the common good of citizens, to offer a decent life to migrants, especially those truly in need of protection.  Above all, the current crisis should not be reduced to a simple matter of numbers.  Migrants are persons, with their own names, stories and families.  There can never be true peace as long as a single human being is violated in his or her personal identity and reduced to a mere statistic or an object of economic calculation.
            The issue of migration is not one that can leave some countries indifferent, while others are left with the burden of humanitarian assistance, often at the cost of notable strain and great hardship, in the face of an apparently unending emergency.  All should feel responsible for jointly pursuing the international common good, also through concrete gestures of human solidarity; these are essential building-blocks of that peace and development which entire nations and millions of people still await.  So I am grateful to the many countries which offer a generous welcome to those in need, beginning with various European nations, particularly Italy, Germany, Greece and Sweden.
            I vividly remember my visit to the island of Lesvos in the company of my brothers Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Ieronymos.  There I saw at first hand the dramatic situation of the refugee camps, but also the goodness and spirit of service shown by the many persons committed to assisting those living there.  Nor should we overlook the welcome offered by other countries of Europe and the Middle East, such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, as well as the commitment of various African and Asian countries.  In the course of my visit to Mexico, where I experienced the joy of the Mexican people, I likewise felt close to the thousands of migrants from Central America who, in their attempt to find a better future, endure terrible injustices and dangers, victims of extortion and objects of that deplorable trade – that horrible form of modern slavery – which is human trafficking.
            One enemy of peace is a “reductive vision” of the human person, which opens the way to the spread of injustice, social inequality and corruption.  With regard to this last phenomenon, the Holy See has taken on new commitments with its formal adherence, on 19 September last, to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 31 October 2003.
            In his encyclical Populorum Progressio, issued fifty years ago, Blessed Paul VI noted how such situations of inequality provoke conflict.  As he stated, “civil progress and economic development are the only road to peace”,[16] which public authorities have the duty to encourage and foster by creating conditions for a more equitable distribution of resources and by generating employment opportunities, especially for young people.  In today’s world, all too many people, especially children, still suffer from endemic poverty and live in conditions of food insecurity – indeed, hunger – even as natural resources are the object of greedy exploitation by a few, and enormous amounts of food are wasted daily.
            Children and young people are the future; it is for them that we work and build.  They cannot be selfishly overlooked or forgotten.  As I stated recently in a letter addressed to all bishops, I consider it a priority to protect children, whose innocence is often violated by exploitation, clandestine and slave labour, prostitution or the abuse of adults, criminals and dealers in death.[17]
            During my visit to Poland for World Youth Day, I encountered thousands of young people full of life and enthusiasm.  Yet in many of them I also saw pain and suffering.  I think of the young people affected by the brutal conflict in Syria, deprived of the joys of childhood and youth, such as the ability to play games and to attend school.  My constant thoughts are with them and the beloved Syrian people.  I appeal to the international community to make every effort to encourage serious negotiations for an end to the conflict, which is causing a genuine human catastrophe.  Each of the parties must give priority to international humanitarian law, and guarantee the protection of civilians and needed humanitarian aid for the populace.  Our common aspiration is that the recently signed truce will be a sign of hope for the whole Syrian people, so greatly in need of it.
            This also means working for the elimination of the deplorable arms trade and the never-ending race to create and spread ever more sophisticated weaponry.    Particularly disturbing are the experiments being conducted on the Korean Peninsula, which destabilize the entire region and raise troubling questions for the entire international community about the risk of a new nuclear arms race.  The words of Saint John XXIII in Pacem in Terris continue to ring true: “Justice, right reason and the recognition of human dignity cry out insistently for a cessation to the arms race.  The stockpiles of armaments which have been built up in various countries must be reduced all round by the parties concerned.  Nuclear weapons must be banned”.[18]  In the light of this, and in view of the forthcoming Conference on Disarmament, the Holy See seeks to promote an ethics of peace and security that goes beyond that fear and “closure” which condition the debate on nuclear weapons.
            Also with regard to conventional weapons, we need to acknowledge that easy access to the sale of arms, including those of small calibre, not only aggravates various conflicts, but also generates a widespread sense of insecurity and fear.  This is all the more dangerous in times, like our own, of social uncertainty and epochal changes.
            Another enemy of peace is the ideology that exploits social unrest in order to foment contempt and hate, and views others as enemies to be eliminated.  Sadly, new ideologies constantly appear on the horizon of humanity.  Under the guise of promising great benefits, they instead leave a trail of poverty, division, social tensions, suffering and, not infrequently, death.  Peace, on the other hand, triumphs through solidarity.  It generates the desire for dialogue and cooperation which finds an essential instrument in diplomacy.  Mercy and solidarity inspire the convinced efforts of the Holy See and the Catholic Church to avert conflicts and to accompany processes of peace, reconciliation and the search for negotiated solutions.  It is heartening that some of these attempts have met with the good will of many people who, from a number of quarters, have actively and fruitfully worked for peace.  I think of the efforts made in the last two years for rapprochement between Cuba and the United States.  I think also of the persevering efforts made, albeit not without difficulty, to end years of conflict in Colombia.
            That approach aims at encouraging reciprocal trust, supporting processes of dialogue and emphasizing the need for courageous gestures.  These are quite urgent in neighbouring Venezuela, where the effects of the political, social and economic crisis have long burdened the civil population.  So too in other parts of the world, beginning with the Middle East, a similar approach is needed, not only to bring an end to the Syrian conflict, but also to foster fully reconciled societies in Iraq and in Yemen.  The Holy See renews its urgent appeal for the resumption of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians towards a stable and enduring solution that guarantees the peaceful coexistence of two states within internationally recognized borders.  No conflict can become a habit impossible to break.  Israelis and Palestinians need peace.  The whole Middle East urgently needs peace!
            I also express my hope that there will be a full implementation of the agreements aimed at restoring peace in Libya, where it is imperative to reconcile the divisions of recent years.  I likewise encourage every effort on the local and international level to renew peaceful civil coexistence in Sudan and South Sudan, and in the Central African Republic, all plagued by ongoing armed conflicts, massacres and destruction, as well as in other African nations marked by tensions and political and social instability.   In particular, I express my hope that the recently-signed agreement in the Democratic Republic of Congo may help enable political leaders to work diligently to pursue reconciliation and dialogue between all elements of civil society.  My thoughts also turn to Myanmar, that efforts will be made to foster peaceful co-existence and, with the support of the international community, to provide assistance to those in grave and pressing need.
            In Europe too, where tensions also exist, openness to dialogue is the only way to ensure the security and development of the continent.  Consequently, I welcome those initiatives favouring the process of reunification in Cyprus, where negotiations resume today, and I express my hope that in Ukraine viable solutions will continue to be pursued with determination in order to fulfil the commitments undertaken by the parties involved and, above all, that a prompt response will be given to the humanitarian situation, which remains grave.
            Europe as a whole is experiencing a decisive moment in its history, one in which it is called to rediscover its proper identity.  This requires recovering its roots in order to shape its future.  In response to currents of divisiveness, it is all the more urgent to update “the idea of Europe”, so as to give birth to a new humanism based on the capacity to integrate, dialogue and generate[19] that made the “Old Continent” great.  The process of European unification, begun after the Second World War, continues to be a unique opportunity for stability, peace and solidarity between peoples.  On this occasion, I can only reaffirm the interest and concern of the Holy See for Europe and its future, conscious that the values that were the inspiration and basis of that project, which this year celebrates its sixtieth anniversary, are values common to the entire continent and transcend the borders of the European Union itself.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
            To build peace also means to work actively for the care of creation.  The Paris Agreement on the climate, which recently took effect, is an important sign of the shared commitment to bequeath a more beautiful and livable world to those who will come after us.  It is my hope that the efforts made in recent times to respond to climate change will meet with increased cooperation on the part of all, for the earth is our common home and we need to realize that the choices of each have consequences for all.
            Clearly, however, certain phenomena go beyond the possibilities of human intervention.  I refer to the numerous earthquakes which have struck some areas of the world.  I think especially of those in Ecuador, Italy and Indonesia, which has claimed numerous victims and left many others in conditions of great insecurity.  I was able to visit personally some of the areas affected by the earthquake in central Italy.  In addition to seeing the damage done to a land rich in art and culture, I shared the pain of many people, but I also witnessed their courage and their determination to rebuild what was destroyed.   I pray that the solidarity which united the beloved Italian people in the days after the earthquake will continue to inspire the entire nation, particularly at this delicate time in its history.  The Holy See and Italy are particularly close for obvious historical, cultural and geographical reasons.  This relationship was evident in the Jubilee Year, and I thank all the Italian authorities for their help in organizing this event and ensuring the security of pilgrims from all over the world.
Dear Ambassadors,
            Peace is a gift, a challenge and a commitment.  It is a gift because it flows from the very heart of God.  It is a challenge because it is a good that can never be taken for granted and must constantly be achieved.  It is a commitment because it demands passionate effort on the part of all people of goodwill to seek and build it.  For true peace can only come about on the basis of a vision of human beings capable of promoting an integral development respectful of their transcendent dignity.  As Blessed Paul VI observed, “development is the new name for peace”.[20] 
            This, then, is my prayerful hope for the year just begun: that our countries and their peoples may find increased opportunities to work together in building true peace.  For its part, the Holy See, and the Secretariat of State in particular, will always be ready to cooperate with those committed to ending current conflicts and to offer support and hope to all who suffer.
            In the Church’s liturgy, we greet one another with the words: “Peace be with you”.  With this same greeting, as a pledge of abundant divine blessings, I renew to each of you, distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps, to your families and to the countries you represent, my heartfelt good wishes for the New Year.
            Thank you.



[1] BENEDICT XV, Letter to the Leaders of the Peoples at War (1 August 1917): AAS 9 (1917), 421.
[2] Message for the Celebration of the First World Day of Peace (1 January 1968).
[3] SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes (7 December 1965), 78.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Address at the World Day of Prayer for Peace, Assisi, 20 September 2016.
[8] Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 78.
[9] Cf. ibid.
[10] Ibid., 83.
[11] Cf. Ps 85:11 and Is 32:17.
[12] Message for the Thirty-fifth World Day of Peace: There is no Peace without Justice, There is no Justice without Forgiveness (1 January 2002), 3.
[13] Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera (20 November 2016), 18.
[14] Ibid., 20.
[15] JOHN XXIII, Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris (11 April 1963), 25.
[16] Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio (26 March 1967), 83.
[17] Cf. Letter to Bishops on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, 28 December 2016.
[18] Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris, 112.
[19] Cf. Address at the Conferral of the Charlemagne Prize, 6 May 2016.
[20] Cf. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 87.
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