Sunday, March 5, 2017

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#PopeFrancis "What would happen if we read God’s messages contained in the Bible as we read our phone messages?" Angelus FULL TEXT + Video

Sunday Mass Online : 1st of #Lent Sun. March 5, 2017 - Readings + Video - #Eucharist

Before the Angelus
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
In this first Sunday of Lent, the Gospel introduces us on the path towards Easter, showing Jesus, who stays forty days in the desert, subjected to the devil’s temptations (cf. Matthew4:1-11). This episode is placed in a specific moment of Jesus’ life: immediately after His Baptism in the river Jordan and before His public ministry. He has just received His solemn investiture: the Spirit of God descended on Him, the Father of heaven declared Him: ”This is my beloved Son” (Matthew 3:17). Jesus is now ready to begin His mission; and because it has a declared enemy, namely Satan, He confronts him immediately, body to body.” In fact, the devil appeals to His title of “Son of God,” to dissuade Jesus from carrying out His mission: “If you are the Son of God . . .”, he repeats to Him (vv. 3.6), and he suggests that He engage miraculous gestures — to be a “magician” — such as transforming the stones into bread to satiate His hunger, and throwing Himself  from the wall of the Temple, having the Angels rescue Him. These two temptations are followed by a third: to adore him, the devil, to have dominion over the world (cf. v. 9).
Through this threefold temptation, Satan wants to divert Jesus from the way of obedience and humiliation – because he knows that, through this way, evil will thus be defeated – and lead Him on the false shortcut of success and glory. However, the devil’s poisonous arrows are all “stopped” with the shield of the Word of God (vv. 4.7.10), which expresses the Father’s will. Jesus does not say a single word of his own: He responds only with the Word of God. And thus the Son, full of the strength of the Holy Spirit, comes out victorious from the desert.
As Christians we are invited, during the forty days of Lent, to follow in Jesus steps and face the spiritual combat against the Evil One with the strength of the Word of God. Not with our word, which is useless. The Word of God: that which has the strength to defeat Satan. Therefore, it is necessary to draw confidence from the Bible: to read it often, meditate on it and assimilate it. The Bible contains the World of God, which is always timely and effective. Someone said: what would happen if we treated the Bible as we treat our mobile phone? If we always carried it with us, or at least a small pocket Bible, what would happen? If we went back when we forgot it: you forgot your mobile phone – O, I don’t have it, I’ll go back to find it; if we opened it several times a day; what would happen if we read God’s messages contained in the Bible as we read our phone messages? The paragon is clearly paradoxical, but it makes us reflect. In fact, if we had the Word of God always in the heart, no temptation would be able to estrange us from God  and no obstacle would be able to make us deviate from the path of goodness; we would be able to overcome the daily suggestions of evil that are in us and outside of us; we would be more capable of living a resurrected life according to the Spirit, receiving and loving our brothers, especially the weakest and neediest, and also our enemies.
May the Virgin Mary, perfect icon of obedience to God and of unconditional trust in His will, sustain us on our Lenten journey, so that we place ourselves in docile listening to the Word of God, to undertake a true conversion of the heart.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Angelus
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I extend a warm greeting to the families, the parish groups, the Associations and all the pilgrims from Italy and from various countries. I greet the faithful from the dioceses of Madrid, Cordoba and Warsaw, as well as those from Belluno and Mestre. I greet the youngsters of the deanery of Baggio (Milan) and the participants in the meeting promoted by the Maestre Pie Filippini.
A few days ago we began Lent, which is the journey of the People of God toward Easter, a journey of conversion, of struggle against evil with the weapons of prayer, fasting and works of charity. I hope that the Lenten journey is rich in fruits for all; and I ask you to remember me and my collaborators of the Roman Curia in prayer, who this evening will begin the week of Spiritual Exercises — my heartfelt thanks for this prayer.
And please, don’t forget – don’t forget! – what would happen if we treated the Bible as we treat our mobile phone. Think about it — the Bible always with us, close to us!
Have a good Sunday! Have a good lunch and see you soon.
[Original text: Italian]  [BLOG SHARE of ZENIT Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Sunday Mass Online : 1st of #Lent Sun. March 5, 2017 - Readings + Video - #Eucharist

First Sunday of Lent
Lectionary: 22

Reading 1GN 2:7-9; 3:1-7

The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground
and blew into his nostrils the breath of life,
and so man became a living being.

Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east,
and placed there the man whom he had formed.
Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow
that were delightful to look at and good for food,
with the tree of life in the middle of the garden
and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals
that the LORD God had made.
The serpent asked the woman,
"Did God really tell you not to eat
from any of the trees in the garden?"
The woman answered the serpent:
"We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
it is only about the fruit of the tree
in the middle of the garden that God said,
'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'"
But the serpent said to the woman:
"You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil."
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her,
and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized that they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together
and made loincloths for themselves.

Responsorial PsalmPS 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17

R. (cf. 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
"Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight."
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Reading 2 ROM 5:12-19

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned—
for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world,
though sin is not accounted when there is no law.
But death reigned from Adam to Moses,
even over those who did not sin
after the pattern of the trespass of Adam,
who is the type of the one who was to come.
But the gift is not like the transgression.
For if by the transgression of the one, the many died,
how much more did the grace of God
and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ
overflow for the many.
And the gift is not like the result of the one who sinned.
For after one sin there was the judgment that brought condemnation;
but the gift, after many transgressions, brought acquittal.
For if, by the transgression of the one,
death came to reign through that one,
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace
and of the gift of justification
come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, just as through one transgression
condemnation came upon all,
so, through one righteous act,
acquittal and life came to all.
For just as through the disobedience of the one man
the many were made sinners,
so, through the obedience of the one,
the many will be made righteous.

OrROM 5:12, 17-19

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.

For if, by the transgression of the one,
death came to reign through that one,
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace
and of the gift of justification
come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, just as through one transgression
condemnation came upon all,
so, through one righteous act,
acquittal and life came to all.
For just as through the disobedience of the one man
the many were made sinners,
so, through the obedience of the one,
the many will be made righteous.

Verse Before The GospelMT 4:4B

One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

GospelMT 4:1-11

At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert
to be tempted by the devil.
He fasted for forty days and forty nights,
and afterwards he was hungry.
The tempter approached and said to him,
"If you are the Son of God,
command that these stones become loaves of bread."
He said in reply,
"It is written:
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth
from the mouth of God

Then the devil took him to the holy city,
and made him stand on the parapet of the temple,
and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.
For it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you
and with their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone
Jesus answered him,
"Again it is written,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test."
Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain,
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,
and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you,
if you will prostrate yourself and worship me."
At this, Jesus said to him,
"Get away, Satan!
It is written:
The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve."

Then the devil left him and, behold,
angels came and ministered to him.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Saint March 5 : St. John Joseph of the Cross : #Confessor

St. John Joseph of the Cross
Feast: March 5
August 15, 1654, Ischia
March 5, 1739
1839, Rome by Pope Gregory XVI
Patron of:
Born on the Island of Ischia, Southern Italy, 1654; d. 5 March, 1739. From his earliest years he was given to prayer and virtue. So great was his love of poverty that he would always wear the dress of the poor, though he was of noble birth. At the age of sixteen years he entered the Order of St. Francis at naples, amongst the Friars of the Alcantarine Reform, being the first Italian to join this reform which had been instituted in Spain by St. Peter of Alcantara. Throughout his life he was given to the greatest austerity: he fasted constantly, never drank wine, and slept but three hours each night. In 1674 he was sent to found a friary at Afila, in Piedmont; and he assisted with his own hands in the building. Much against his will, he was raised to the priesthood. As superior, he always insisted upon performing the lowliest offices in the community. In 1702 he was appointed Vicar Provincial of the Alcantarine Reform in Italy. He was favoured in a high degree with the gift of miracles, people of every condition being brought to him in sickness. His zeal for souls was such that even in sickness he would not spare any labour for them. His great devotion was to our Blessed Lady, and he was urgent with his penitents that they also should cultivate this. He was beatified in 1789, and canonized in 1839.
(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

#PopeFrancis “The Mass is my life and my life is a prolonged Mass.” FULL TEXT to #Priests + Video

The Holy Father’s Meditation
The Progress of Faith in the Life of a Priest
“Lord, increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5). This question arose spontaneously in the disciples when the Lord was speaking to them of mercy and said that we must forgive seventy times seven. “Increase our faith,” we also ask, at the beginning of this conversation. We ask it with the simplicity of the Catechism, which says: “To live, grow and persevere in the faith until the end, we must nourish it with the Word of God; we must ask the Lord to make it grow.” It is a faith that “must work through love” (Galatians 5:6; cf. James 2:14-26), be sustained by hope (cf. Romans 15:13) and be rooted in the faith of the Church” (n. 162).
It helps me to lean on three firm points: memory, hope and discernment of the moment. As the Catechism says, memory is rooted in the faith of the Church, in the faith of our fathers; hope is what sustains us in the faith; and I have discernment of the moment at the moment of acting, of putting into practice that “faith that works through love.” I formulate it thus:
-I have a promise – it is always important to remember the promise of the Lord who has put me on the way –.
-I am on the way – I have hope –: hope points out the horizon, it guides me: it is the star and also what sustains me; it is the anchor, anchored in Christ.
– And, in the specific moment, at every crossroads of the road I must discern a concrete good, the step forward in love that I can take, and also the way in which the Lord wants me to do it.
To remember past graces confers on our faith the solidity of the Incarnation; it places it within a history, the history of the faith of our fathers, who “died in faith, not having received what was promised, but having seen it and greeted it from afar” (Hebrews11:13). [1] We, surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, looking where they looked, have our gaze “fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
For its part, hope is what opens faith to God’s surprises. Our God is always greater than all that we can think and imagine of Him, of what belongs to Him and of His way of acting in history. Openness to hope confers freshness and a horizon on our faith. It is not the openness of an unrealistic imagination that would project one’s fantasies and desires, but the openness that makes us see the spoliation of Jesus, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Paradoxically, the hope that attracts is not generated by the image of the transfigured Lord, but by His ignominious image. “I will draw all men to myself” (John12:32). It is the Lord’s total giving of Himself that attracts us, because it reveals the possibility of being more authentic. It is the spoliation of Him who does not seize God’s promise but, as a true testator, passes the torch of inheritance to His children: “For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established” (Hebrews 9:16).
Finally, discernment is what concretizes faith, what makes it “work through love” (Galatians 5:6), what enables us to give credible witness: “I by my faith will show you my works” (James 2:18). Discernment looks in the first place at that which pleases our Father, “who sees in secret” (Matthew 6:4.6), it does not look at models of perfection of cultural paradigms. Discernment is “of the moment” because it is attentive, as Our Lady at Cana, to the good of the neighbor, which can make the Lord anticipate “His hour,” or “skip” over a Saturday to put one who was paralyzed back on his feet. Discernment of the opportune moment (kairos) is fundamentally rich in memory and hope: remembering with love, it points the gaze with lucidity to what leads best to the Promise.
And what leads best is always in relation with the cross. With the dispossessing of my will, with that interior drama of “not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39) that puts me in the Father’s hands and makes it so that He guides my life.  
To Grow in Faith
I turn for a moment to the topic of “growing.” If you reread attentively Evangelii gaudium – which is a programmatic document – you will see that it always speaks of “growth” and of “maturation,” be it in faith be it in love, in solidarity as in understanding of the Word.[2]Evangelii gaudium has a dynamic perspective. The Lord’s missionary mandate includes the appeal to growth in faith when He indicates: “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:20). Thus it seems clear that the first proclamation must give place also to a path of formation and maturation” (n. 160). I underscore this: path of formation and maturation in the faith. And to take this seriously implies that “it would not be correct to interpret this appeal to growth exclusively or primarily as (merely) doctrinal formation” (n. 161). Growth in the faith happens through encounters with the Lord in the course of life. These encounters are guarded as a treasure in the memory and they are our living faith, in a history of personal salvation.
In these encounters the experience is that of an unfulfilled fullness. Unfulfilled, because we must continue to walk; fullness, because, as in all human and divine things, the whole is found in every part[3] This constant maturation is true for the disciple as well as the missionary, for the seminarian as well as the priest and the Bishop. At bottom, it is that virtuous circle to which the Aparecida Document refers, which coined the formula “missionary disciples.”
The Key Point of the Cross
When I speak of key points or of “being a pivot,” the image I have in mind is that of the basket or basketball player, who nails his foot as a “pivot” on the ground and does movements to protect the ball or to find a space to pass it, or to take courage and go to the basket. For us that foot nailed to the ground, around which we pivot is the cross of Christ. A phrase written on the wall of the chapel of the House of Exercises of San Miguel (Buenos Aires) said: While the world turns, the Cross is fixed” [“Stat crux dum volvitur orbis,” motto of Saint Bruno and the Carthusians]. The one moves, protecting the ball, with the hope of putting it in the basket and tries to understand to whom to pass it.
Faith – progress and growth in the faith – is always founded on the Cross: “It pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” for “we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:21.234). As the Letter to the Hebrews says, “looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,” we move and exercise ourselves in the memory – remembering the “great cloud of witnesses” – and run with hope “in the race that is set,” discerning the temptations against the faith before us,” without growing weary or fainthearted” (cf. Hebrews 12:1-3).
Deuteronomic Memory
In Evangelii gaudium I wished to highlight that dimension of the faith which I call Deuteronomic, in analogy with Israel’s memory: “The evangelizing joy always shines in the background of a grateful memory: it is a grace we are in need of requesting. The Apostles never forgot the moment in which Jesus touched their heart: “it was about the tenth hour” (John 1:39)” (n. 13).
Distinguished in the “great cloud of witnesses” [. . .] are some persons who impacted us in a special way so as to have our believing joy sprout: “Remember your leaders , those who spoke to you the word of God (Hebrews 13:7). Sometimes it is simple and close persons who initiated us in the life of faith: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice” (2 Timothy 1:5). A believer is fundamentally ‘one who remembers’” (Ibid.).
Faith is nourished and fed by the memory. The memory of the Covenant that the Lord made with us: He is the God of our fathers and grandfathers. He is not the god of the last moment, a God without a family history, a God who to respond to every new paradigm must reject the previous as old and ridiculous. The family history is “never unfashionable.” The clothes and hair of grandparents will seem old, the photos will have a brownish color, but the affection and the audacity of our fathers, who spent themselves so that we could be here and have what we have, are a lit flame in every noble heart.
Let us keep well present that to progress in the faith is not only a voluntary resolution to believe more henceforth: it is also an exercise to return with the memory to the fundamental graces. One can “progress by going back,” going to seek again treasures and experiences that were forgotten or that many times contain the keys to understand the present. This is the truly “revolutionary” thing: to go to the roots. The more lucid the memory of the past is, the clearer the future opens, because one can see the really new way and distinguish it from ways that were followed that led nowhere. The faith grows remembering, connecting things with the real history lived by our fathers and by the whole people of God, by the whole Church.
Therefore, the Eucharist is the Memorial of our faith, that which is always situated again daily in the fundamental event of our salvation, in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord, center and pivot of history. To return always to this Memorial – actualizing it in a Sacrament which is prolonged in life – this is to progress in the faith. As Saint Albert Hurtado said: “The Mass is my life and my life is a prolonged Mass.” [4]
To go back to the sources of memory, it always helps me to reread a passage from the prophet Jeremiah and another from the prophet Hosea, in which they speak of what the Lord remembers of His People. For Jeremiah, the memory of the Lord is that of the beloved bride of his youth, who was then unfaithful to him. “I remember the devotion of your youth – he says to Israel –, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, [. . . ] Israel was holy to the Lord” (2:2-3). The Lord will reproach His people for their infidelity, which revealed itself an evil choice: “for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. [. . .] But you said, ‘It is hopeless, for I have loved strangers, and after them I will go” (2:13.25).
For Hosea, the memory of the Lord is that of the coddled and ungrateful child: “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the more they went from me; [. . .] burning incense to idols. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took him up in my arms, but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of compassion, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them. [. . .] My people are bent on turning away from me (11:1-4.7) Today as then, the infidelity and ingratitude of Pastors has repercussions on the poorest of the faithful people, who remain at the mercy of strangers and idolaters.
Hope Not only in the Future
Faith is sustained and progresses thanks to hope. Hope is the anchor anchored in Heaven, in the transcendent future, of which the temporal future – considered in a linear way – is only an expression. Hope is that which dynamizes the look behind faith, which leads to find new things in the past – in the treasures of the memory – because it encounters God Himself, whom he hopes to see in the future. Moreover, hope extends itself to the limits, in all the width and thickness of the daily and immediate present, and sees new possibilities in one’s neighbor and in what can be done here, today. Hope is to know how to see, in the face of the poor I encounter today, the same Lord who will come one day to judge us according to the protocol of Matthew 25: “All that you did to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (v. 40).
Thus the faith progresses existentially in this transcendent “impulse,” which moves, which is active and operating – toward the future, but also toward the past and in all the breadth of the present moment. Thus we can understand Paul’s phrase to the Galatians, when he says that what has worth is “faith working through love” (5:6): a love that, when remembering, is activated confessing, in praise and in joy, that love was already given to it; a love that, when it looks ahead and towards on high, confesses its desire to dilate the heart in the fullness of the greatest Good; these two confessions of a faith rich in gratitude and in hope, are translated in present action: faith is confessed in practice, going out of itself, transcending itself in adoration and in service.
Discernment of the Moment
Thus we see how faith, dynamized by the hope of discovering Christ in the thickness of the present, is linked to discernment.
It is proper of discernment to first take a step backwards, as one who reverses a bit to see the scenery better. There is always a temptation in the first impulse, which leads to wanting to resolve something immediately. In this connection, I believe that there is a first discernment, great sand foundational, that is, which does not let itself be deceived by the force of evil, but which is able to see the victory of Christ’s Cross in every human situation. At this point I would like to reread with you an entire passage of Evangelii gaudium,because it helps to discern that insidious temptation that I call sterile pessimism: “One of the most serious temptations that suffocate fervor and audacity is the sense of defeat, which is transformed into the discontented and disenchanted pessimisms of the dark face. No on can undertake a battle if beforehand he does not trust fully in the triumph. One who begins without trust has lost beforehand half of the battle and buries his talents. Even with the painful awareness of one’s frailties, it is necessary to go forward without considering oneself defeated, and to remember what the Lord said to Saint Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The Christian triumph is always a cross, but a cross that at the same time is ensign of victory, which is carried with a combative tenderness against the assaults of evil. The evil spirit of defeat is brother of the temptation to separate before the time the grain from the darnel, product of an anxious and egocentric mistrust. [. . . ]In any case, in those circumstances we are called to be amphora-persons to give drink to others. At times the amphora is transformed into a heavy cross, but it is precisely on the Cross where, pierced, the Lord gave Himself to us as source of living water. Let us not allow ourselves to be robed of hope!” (85-86).
These formulations, “let us not allow ourselves to be robbed . . .,” come to me from Saint Ignatius’ rules of discernment, which usually represents the devil as a thief. He behaves like a captain – says Ignatius – who to win and rob what he desires fights us in our weakest part (cf. Spiritual Exercises, 327). And in our case, at present, I believe he seeks to rob us of joy – which is like robbing us of the present [5] – and hope –the going out, the walking –, are the graces that I asked for most and that I ask for the Church in this time.
It is important at this point to take a step forward and to say that faith progresses when, in the present moment, we discern how to concretize love in the possible good, commensurate with the good of the other. The first good of the other is to be able to grow in faith. The communal supplication of the disciples “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:6) subtends the awareness that the faith is a communal good. Moreover, we must consider that to seek the good of the other makes us risk. As Evangelii gaudium says: “A missionary heart is aware [. . .] that it must grow in the understanding of the Gospel and in the discernment of the paths of the Spirit, and then it does not give up the possible good, rather, it runs the risk of getting soiled with the mud of the street” (45).

Implicit in this discernment is the act of faith in Christ present in the poorest, in the littlest, in the lost sheep, in the insistent friend. Christ present in one who encounters us – making himself seen, as Zacchaeus or the sinner who enters with her perfume vase, and almost not making herself noted, as the woman with the haemorrhage –; or Christ present in the one we ourselves approach, feeling compassion when we see him from afar, lying on the side of the street. To believe that Christ is there, to discern the best way to take a small step toward Him, for the good of that person, is progress in the faith. As praise is also progress in the faith, and to desire more is progress in the faith.
It might do us good to pause a while on this progress in the faith, which occurs thanks to the discernment of the moment. The progress of the faith in memory and in hope is more developed; instead, this key point of discernment, perhaps, not so much. It might seem perhaps that where there is faith there is no need of discernment: one believes and that’s it. But this is dangerous, especially if the renewed acts of faith are substituted in a Person – in Christ our Lord – which have all the dynamism that we just saw, with merely intellectual acts of faith, whose dynamism is exhausted in making reflections and elaborating abstract formulations. Conceptual formulation is a necessary moment of thought, as choosing a means of transport is necessary to reach an end. However, faith is not exhausted in an abstract formulation or charity in a particular good, but what is proper of the faith and of charity is to grow and progress, opening oneself to greater trust and to a greater common good. What is proper to faith is to be “operative,” active, and it is so for charity. And the paragon stone is discernment. In fact, faith can fossilize, in keeping the love received, transforming it into an object to close in a museum; and faith can also volatize, in the projection of the desired love, transforming it into a virtual object that exists only in the island of utopias. Discernment of real, concrete and possible love in the present moment, in favor of the most dramatically needy neighbor, makes faith become active, creative and effective.
[Original Text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT, by Virginia Forrester]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : #1stSaturday March 4, 2017 - #Eucharist

Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Lectionary: 222

Reading 1IS 58:9B-14

Thus says the LORD:
If you remove from your midst oppression,
false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
Then the LORD will guide you always
and give you plenty even on the parched land.
He will renew your strength,
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring whose water never fails.
The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake,
and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up;
"Repairer of the breach," they shall call you,
"Restorer of ruined homesteads."

If you hold back your foot on the sabbath
from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
and the LORD's holy day honorable;
If you honor it by not following your ways,
seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice—
Then you shall delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Responsorial PsalmPS 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (11ab) Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Incline your ear, O LORD; answer me,
for I am afflicted and poor.
Keep my life, for I am devoted to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.

Verse Before The GospelEZ 33:11

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord,
but rather in his conversion, that he may live.

GospelLK 5:27-32

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, "Follow me."
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
"Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?"
Jesus said to them in reply,
"Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners."

Friday, March 3, 2017

Saint March 4 : St. Casimir : Patron of Poland and Lithuania

October 3, 1458(1458-10-03), Wawel, Kraków
March 4, 1484, Hrodna, Belarus
1522, Rome by Pope Adrian VI
Major Shrine:
Vilnius Cathedral
Patron of:
patron saint of Poland and Lithuania
St Casimir was the third among the thirteen children of Casimir III, King of Poland, and of Elizabeth of Austria, daughter to the Emperor Albert II, a most virtuous woman, who died in 1505. He was born in 1458, on the 3rd of October. From his childhood he was remarkably pious and devout. His preceptor was John Dugloss, called Longinus, canon of Cracow, a man of extraordinary learning and piety, who constantly refused all bishoprics and other dignities of the church and state which were pressed upon him. Uladislas, the eldest son, was elected King of Bohemia in 1471, and became King of Hungary in 1490. Our saint was the second son; John Albert the third son, succeeded the father in the kingdom of Poland in 1492; and Alexander, the fourth son, was called to the same in 1501. Casimir and the other princes were so affectionately attached to the holy man, who was their preceptor, that they could not bear to be separated from him. But Casimir profited most by his pious maxims and example. He consecrated the flower of his age to the exercises of devotion and penance, and had a horror of that softness and magnificence which reign in courts His clothes were very plain, and under them he wore a hair shirt. His bed was frequently the ground, and he spent a considerable part of the night in prayer and meditation, chiefly on the passion of our Saviour. He often went out in the night to pray before the church-doors; and in the morning waited before them till they were opened to assist at matins. By living always under a sense of the divine presence he remained perpetually united to, and absorbed in, his Creator, maintained an uninterrupted cheerfulness of temper, and was mild and affable to all. He respected the least ceremonies of the church: everything that tended to promote piety was dear to him. He was particularly devout to the passion of our blessed Saviour, the very thought of which excited him to tears, and threw him into transports of love. He was no less piously affected towards the sacrifice of the altar, at which he always assisted with such reverence and attention that he seemed in raptures. And as a mark of his singular devotion to the Blessed Virgin, he composed, or at least frequently recited, the long hymn that bears his name, a copy of which was, by his desire, buried with him. His love for Jesus Christ showed itself in his regard for the poor, who are his members, to whose relief he applied whatever he had, and employed his credit with his father, and his brother Uladislas, King of Bohemia, to procure them succour. His compassion made him feel in himself the afflictions of every one.
Prince of Poland, born in the royal palace at Cracow, 3 October, 1458; died at the court of Grodno, 4 March, 1484. He was the grandson of Wladislaus II Jagiello, King of Poland, who introduced Christianity into Lithuania, and the second son of King Casimir IV and Queen Elizabeth, an Austrian princess, the daughter of Albert II, Emperor of Germany and King of Bohemia and Hungary. Casimir's uncle, Wladislaus III, King of Poland and Hungary, perished at Varna in 1444, defending Christianity against the Turks. Casimir's elder brother, Wladislaus, became King of Bohemia in 1471, and King of Hungary in 1490. Of his four younger brothers, John I, Albert, Alexander, and Sigismund in turn occupied the Polish throne, while Frederick, the youngest, became Archbishop of Gnesen, Bishop of Cracow, and finally cardinal, in 1493. The early training of the young princes was entrusted to Father Dlugosz, the Polish historian, a canon at Cracow, and later Archbishop of Lwów (Lemberg), and to Filippo Buonaccorsi, called Callimachus. Father Dlugosz was a deeply religious man, a loyal patriot, and like Callimachus, well versed in statecraft. Casimir was placed in the care of this scholar at the age nine, and even then he was remarkable for his ardent piety. When Casimir was thirteen he was offered the throne of Hungary by a Hungarian faction who were discontented under King Matthias Corvinus. Eager to defend the Cross against the Turks, he accepted the call and went to Hungary to receive the crown. He was unsuccessful, however, and returned a fugitive to Poland. The young prince again became a pupil of Father Dlugosz, under whom he remained until 1475. He was later associated with his father who initiated him so well into public affairs that after his elder brother, Wladislaus, ascended to the Bohemian throne, Casimir became heir-apparent to the throne of Poland. When in 1479 the king went to Lithuania to spend five years arranging affairs there, Casimir was placed in charge of Poland, and from 1481 to 1483 administered the State with great prudence and justice. About this time his father tried to arrange for him a marriage with the daughter of Frederick III, Emperor of Germany, but Casimir preferred to remain single. Shortly afterwards he fell victim to a severe attack of lung trouble, which, weak as he was from fastings and mortifications, he could not withstand. While on a journey to Lithuania, he died at the court of Grodno, 4 March 1484. His remains were interred in the chapel of the Blessed Virgin in the cathedral of Vilna.  St. Casimir was possessed of great charms of person and character, and was noted particularly for his justice and chastity. Often at night he would kneel for hours before the locked doors of churches, regardless of the hour or the inclemency of the weather. He had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and the hymn of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, "Omni die dic Maria mea laudes anima", was long attributed to him. After his death he was venerated as a saint, because of the miracles wrought by him. Sigismund I, King of Poland, petitioned the pope for Casimir's canonization, and Pope Leo X appointed the papal legate Zaccaria Ferreri, Bishop of Guardalfiera, the Archbishop of Gnesen, and the Bishop of Przemysl to investigate the life and miracles of Casimir. This inquiry was completed at Turn in 1520, and in 1522 Casimir was canonized by Adrian VI. Pope Clement VIII named 4 March as his feast. St. Casimir is the patron of Poland Lithuania, though he is honoured as far as Belgium and Naples. In Poland and Lithuania churches and chapels are dedicated to him, as at Rozana and on the River Dzwina near Potocka, where he is said to have contributed miraculously to a victory of the Polish army over the Russians. In the beginning of the seventeenth century King Sigismund III began at Vilna the erection of a chapel in honour of St. Casimir, which was finished under King Wladislaus IV. The building was designed by Peter Danckerts, of the Netherlands, who also adorned the walls with paintings illustrating the life of the saint. In this chapel is found an old painting renovated in 1594, representing the saint with a lily in his hand. Two other pictures of the saint are preserved, one in his life by Ferreri, and the other in the church at Krosno in Galicia. SOURCE: The Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis Prayer Intention for March "That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church." with Powerful Video

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis’ prayer intention for March is Support for Persecuted Christians: That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.
The full text of the Pope’s Video is below:
How many people are being persecuted because of their faith, forced to abandon their homes, their places of worship, their lands, their loved ones! 
They are persecuted and killed because they are Christians. Those who persecute them make no distinction between the religious communities to which they belong.
I ask you: how many of you pray for persecuted Christians? 
Do it with me, that they may be supported by the prayers and material help of all the Churches and communities.

#PopeFrancis “‘This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke..." Lenten Homily

(Vatican Radio) True fasting is helping your neighbour; while false fasting mixes religiosity with dirty deals and the bribes of vanity. That was the message of Pope Francis at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Friday.
The readings of the day speak about fasting; that is, the Pope explained, “about the penance that we are called to do in this time of Lent,” in order to draw closer to the Lord. God delights in the “contrite heart,” the Psalm says, “the heart of one who feels himself a sinner, who knows he is a sinner.” In the first Reading, taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, God rebukes the false religiosity of the hypocrites who fast, while at the same time carrying out their own pursuits, oppressing their workers, “striking with wicked claw”: on the one hand, doing penance, while on the other being unjust, making “dirty deals.” The Lord calls us, instead, to a true fast, where we are attentive to our neighbour:
“On the other hand there is a fasting that is ‘hypocritical’ – it’s the word that Jesus uses so often – a fast that makes you see yourself as just, or makes you feel just, but in the meantime I have practiced iniquities, I am not just, I exploit the people.
“‘But,’ [someone might say,] ‘I am generous, I give a good offering to the Church.’
“‘But tell me,’ [one might answer,] ‘do you pay a just wage to your help? Do you pay your employees under the table? Or, as the law demands, [enough] so that they are able to feed their children?’”
Pope Francis told the story of an event that happened immediately after the second World War to Jesuit Father Pedro Arrupe, when he was a missionary in Japan. A rich businessman gave him a donation for his evangelical activities, but brought with him a photographer and a journalist. The envelope contained just ten dollars:
“This is the same as what we do when we do not pay a just wage to our people. We take from our penances, from our acts of prayer, of fasting, of almsgiving… we take a bribe: the bribe of vanity, the bribe of being seen. And that is not authentic, that is hypocrisy. So when Jesus says, ‘When you pray, do it in secret; when you give alms, don’t sound a trumpet; when you fast do not be sad,” it is the same as if He had said: ‘Please, when you do a good work, don’t take the bribe of this good work, it is only for the Father.’”
He quoted the passage from Isaiah where the Lord tells the hypocrites about true fasting – words, the Pope said, that seem to be spoken to us today:
“‘This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.’
“Let us think on these words, let us think in our own hearts, how do we fast, pray, give alms? And it would help us to think about how we would feel about a man who, after a meal that cost 200 euros, for example, returns home and sees someone hungry, and doesn’t look at him and keeps walking. It would do us good to think about that.”


Saint March 3 : St. Katharine Drexel : Patron of Philanthropists, #Racial justice

November 26, 1858, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
March 3, 1955, Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania
2000 by Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine:
Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania
Patron of:
philanthropists, racial justice
 Saint Katharine Drexel was born in Philadelphia on November 26, 1858, the second child of Hannah and Francis Anthony Drexel. Hannah died five weeks after her baby’s birth. For two years Katharine and her sister, Elizabeth, were cared for by their aunt and uncle, Ellen and Anthony Drexel. When Francis married Emma Bouvier in 1860 he brought his two daughters home. A third daughter, Louise, was born in 1863. The children grew up in a loving family atmosphere permeated by deep faith. The girls were educated at home by tutors. They had the added advantage of touring parts of the United States and Europe with their parents. By word and example Emma and Francis taught their daughters that wealth was meant to be shared with those in need. Three afternoons a week Emma opened the doors of their home to serve the needs of the poor. When the girls were old enough, they assisted their mother.  When Francis purchased a summer home in Torresdale, Pa., Katharine and Elizabeth taught Sunday school classes for the children of employees and neighbors. The local pastor, Rev. James O’Connor (who later became bishop of Omaha), became a family friend and Katharine’s spiritual director.
She inherited a vast fortune from her father and step-mother, and spent her wealth to helping these disadvantaged people.  In audience with Pope Leo XIII, she asked him to recommend a religious congregation to staff the institutions which she was financing. 
In 1891, with a few companions, Mother Katharine founded the  Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People. In 1935 Mother Katharine suffered a heart attack. She spent her last years to Eucharistic adoration. She died at the age of 96 at Cornwell Heights, Pennsylvania, on 3 March 1955. 

#PopeFrancis "Lent is a path: it leads to the triumph of mercy...of our dignity as God’s children. #Homily for Ash Wednesday with Mass Video - FULL TEXT

Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass for Ash Wednesday at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome.
Please find below the official English translation of the Pope's homily:
“Return to me with all your heart… return to the Lord” (Jl 2:12, 13).  The prophet Joel makes this plea to the people in the Lord’s name.  No one should feel excluded: “Assemble the aged, gather the children, even infants at the breast, the bridegroom… and the bride” (v. 16).  All the faithful people are summoned to come and worship their God, “for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (v. 13).
We too want to take up this appeal; we want to return to the merciful heart of the Father.  In this season of grace that begins today, we once again turn our eyes to his mercy.  Lent is a path: it leads to the triumph of mercy over all that would crush us or reduce us to something unworthy of our dignity as God’s children.  Lent is the road leading from slavery to freedom, from suffering to joy, from death to life.  The mark of the ashes with which we set out reminds us of our origin: we were taken from the earth, we are made of dust.  True, yet we are dust in the loving hands of God, who has breathed his spirit of life upon each one of us, and still wants to do so.  He wants to keep giving us that breath of life that saves us from every other type of breath: the stifling asphyxia brought on by our selfishness, the stifling asphyxia generated by petty ambition and silent indifference – an asphyxia that smothers the spirit, narrows our horizons and slows the beating of our hearts.  The breath of God’s life saves us from this asphyxia that dampens our faith, cools our charity and strangles every hope. To experience Lent is to yearn for this breath of life that our Father unceasingly offers us amid the mire of our history.
The breath of God’s life sets us free from the asphyxia that so often we fail to notice, or become so used to that it seems normal, even when its effects are felt.  We think it is normal because we have grown so accustomed to breathing air in which hope has dissipated, the air of glumness and resignation, the stifling air of panic and hostility.
Lent is the time for saying no.  No to the spiritual asphyxia born of the pollution caused by indifference, by thinking that other people’s lives are not my concern, and by every attempt to trivialize life, especially the lives of those whose flesh is burdened by so much superficiality.  Lent means saying no to the toxic pollution of empty and meaningless words, of harsh and hasty criticism, of simplistic analyses that fail to grasp the complexity of problems, especially the problems of those who suffer the most.  Lent is the time to say no to the asphyxia of a prayer that soothes our conscience, of an almsgiving that leaves us self-satisfied, of a fasting that makes us feel good.  Lent is the time to say no to the asphyxia born of relationships that exclude, that try to find God while avoiding the wounds of Christ present in the wounds of his brothers and sisters: in a word, all those forms of spirituality that reduce the faith to a ghetto culture, a culture of exclusion.
Lent is a time for remembering.  It is the time to reflect and ask ourselves what we would be if God had closed his doors to us.  What would we be without his mercy that never tires of forgiving us and always gives us the chance to begin anew?  Lent is the time to ask ourselves where we would be without the help of so many people who in a thousand quiet ways have stretched out their hands and in very concrete ways given us hope and enabled us to make a new beginning.
Lent is the time to start breathing again.  It is the time to open our hearts to the breath of the One capable of turning our dust into humanity.  It is not the time to rend our garments before the evil all around us, but instead to make room in our life for all the good we are able to do.  It is a time to set aside everything that isolates us, encloses us and paralyzes us.  Lent is a time of compassion, when, with the Psalmist, we can say: “Restore to us the joy of your salvation, sustain in us a willing spirit”, so that by our lives we may declare your praise (cf. Ps 51:12.15), and our dust – by the power of your breath of life - may become a “dust of love”. 

#PopeFrancis “Every step, every effort, every test, every fall and every recovery has a sense within God’s..." #Lent message at Ash Wednesday Audience

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis marked Ash Wednesday inviting the faithful to renew their hope in Christ’s promises and their commitment to follow Him ever more closely.
He was addressing the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly General Audience.
Pointing out that on Ash Wednesday we enter the liturgical time of Lent, Pope Francis said this time of penitence  and mortification is actually a journey of hope as it is directs us on the path towards Resurrection, and help us renew our Baptismal identity. 
To better understand what this means, he said, we must refer to the fundamental experience of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, in which the Chosen People journeyed towards the Promised Land and, through spiritual discipline and the gift of the Law, learned the love of God and neighbor.  
The Scriptures, the Pope said, tell of a tormented journey that symbolically lasted forty years, the time span of a generation, and that difficulties and obstacles represented continuous temptations to regret Egypt and to turn back. But, he said, the Lord stayed close to the people who finally arrived in the Promised Land guided by Moses.
Their journey, he explained, was undertaken ‘in hope’, and in this sense “it is an ‘exodus’ out of slavery and into freedom.
“Every step, every effort, every test, every fall and every recovery has a sense within God’s design for salvation, as He wants life – not death – and joy – not pain – for His people” he said.       
The Pope said Easter is Jesus’ own exodus, his passover from death to life, in which we participate through our rebirth in Baptism. 
He said that by following Christ along the way of the Cross, we share in his victory over sin and death;  he explained that in order to open this passage for us, Jesus had to cast off his glory, he had to humble himself, he had to be obedient until death on the cross.
“This doesn’t mean that he did everything and we don’t have to do anything” he said.
The Pope went on to highlight that it doesn’t mean “he went through the cross and we will go to heaven in a carriage.” That is not how it works.
He explained that our salvation is Jesus’ gift, but it is part of a love story and requires our ‘yes’ and our participation.
With a heart open to this horizon, the Pope concluded, let us enter into Lent feeling that we belong to the holy people of God: “may we begin our journey of hope with joy.”

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What is Lent and Ash Wednesday - #Lent #Biblical Roots and Rules to SHARE - #Lent

Ash Wednesday a moveable feast that begins the liturgical season of Lent. It does not have a specific date but depends on when Easter is celebrated. On Ash Wednesday Christians begin the period of the fast. Healthy people between the ages of 18 and 59 are required to fast or perform some act of penance. Abstinence from meat is required on Ash Wednesday and Fridays. Fasting requires the consumption of 1 full meal and only 2 smaller meals. Ash Wednesday starts the commemoration of Jesus' 40 days in the desert. Lent is actually 46 days as the Sundays do not count for the fasting period. When people attend Church services on this day they are commonly blessed with ashes in the form of a cross on their foreheads. 
Is Ash Wednesday Mass a day of obligation to attend Mass and receive ashes? No, it is not required for the faithful to attend Mass nor receive ashes. It is encouraged and visible sign to pray, do penance, and be humble. 
Where do the ashes come from?
The ashes are usually derived from the burning of the palms used on Palm Sunday. They are to remind people of their sins and call them to repentence. Usually a priest, deacon or lay person marks the person's forehead. The biblical verse is said:
Remember thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return.
Genesis 3: 19
Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.
Mark 1 : 15
This marking is called a sacramental. Churches are decorated with purple during the season of Lent. Statues and crosses are covered with purple cloth. Lent ends with the celebration of Easter, when Jesus rose from the dead.The Church encourages the faithful to go to Confession or Reconciliation on this day. Confession involves the telling of one's sins to a priest who then provides forgiveness according to the commission of Christ.
John 20:21-23:
He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

There are many biblical roots to repentence for sin with ashes, here are a few sources:
Judith 7: 14
But the children of Israel, when they saw the multitude of them, prostrated themselves upon the ground, putting ashes upon their heads, praying with one accord, that the God of Israel would shew his mercy upon his people.
Esther 4:3
And in all provinces, towns, and places, to which the king's cruel edict was come, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, wailing, and weeping, many using sackcloth and ashes for their bed.
Jeremiah 6:26
Gird thee with sackcloth, O daughter of my people, and sprinkle thee with ashes: make thee mourning as for an only son, a bitter lamentation, because the destroyer shall suddenly come upon us.
Images shared from Google Images

Saint March 1 : St. David : #Bishop : Patron of #Wales

(DEGUI, DEWI). Bishop and Confessor, patron of Wales. He is usually represented standing on a little hill, with a dove on his shoulder. From time immemorial the Welsh have worn a leek on St. David's day, in memory of a battle against the Saxons, at which it is said they wore leeks in their hats, by St. David's advice, to distinguish them from their enemies. He is commemorated on 1 March. The earliest mention of St. David is found in a tenth-century manuscript Of the "Annales Cambriae", which assigns his death to A.D. 601. Many other writers, from Geoffrey of Monmouth down to Father Richard Stanton, hold that he died about 544, but their opinion is based solely on data given in various late "lives" of St. David, and there seems no good reason for setting aside the definite statement of the "Annales Cambriae", which is now generally accepted. Little else that can claim to be historical is known about St. David. The tradition that he was born at Henvynyw (Vetus-Menevia) in Cardiganshire is not improbable. He was prominent at the Synod of Brevi (Llandewi Brefi in Cardiganshire), which has been identified with the important Roman military station, Loventium. Shortly afterwards, in 569, he presided over another synod held at a place called Lucus Victoriae. He was Bishop (probably not Archbishop) of Menevia, the Roman port Menapia in Pembrokeshire, later known as St. David's, then the chief point of departure for Ireland. St. David was canonized by Pope Callistus II in the year 1120.
The first biography that has come down to us was written near the end of the eleventh century, about 500 years after the saint's death, by Rhygyfarch (Ricemarchus). According to these other writers St. David was the son of Sant or Sandde ab Ceredig ab Cunnedda, The saint's mother was Nonna, or Nonnita (sometimes called Melaria), a daughter of Gynyr of Caergawch. She was a nun who had been violated by Sant. St. David's birth  took place at "Old Menevia" somewhere about A.D. 454. Afterwards he spent ten years studying the Holy Scripture at Whitland in Carmarthenshire, under St. Paulinus (Pawl Hen), whom he cured of blindness by the sign of the cross. At the end of this period St. Paulinus, warned by an angel, sent out the young saint to evangelize the British. St. David journeyed throughout the West, founding or restoring twelve monasteries (among which occur the great names of Glastonbury, Bath, and Leominster), and finally settled in the Vale of Ross, where he and his monks lived a life of extreme austerity.  Here also his monks tried to poison him, but St. David, warned by St. Scuthyn, who crossed from Ireland in one night on the back of a sea-monster, blessed the poisoned bread and ate it without harm. From thence, with St. Teilo and St. Padarn, he set out for Jerusalem, where he was made bishop by the patriarch. Here too St. Dubric and St. Daniel found him, when they came to call him to the Synod of Brevi "against the Pelagians". St. David was with difficulty persuaded to accompany them; on his way he raised a widow's son to life, and at the synod preached so loudly, from the hill that miraculously rose under him, that all could hear him, and so eloquently that all the heretics were confounded. St. Dubric resigned the "Archbishopric of Caerleon", and St. David was appointed in his stead. One of his first acts was to hold, in the year 569, yet another synod called "Victory", against the Pelagians, of which the decrees were confirmed by the pope. With the permission of King Arthur he removed his see from Caerleon to Menevia, whence he governed the British Church for many years with great holiness and wisdom. He died at the great age of 147, on the day predicted by himself a week earlier. His body is said to have been translated to Glastonbury in the year 966. (Edited from Catholic Encyclopedia)

#BreakingNews Coptic Christians families flee after 7 killings in Sinai, Egypt - Please PRAY

Al Arish (Agenzia Fides) - The announced series of murders against Coptic Christians in northern Sinai in recent weeks, has caused the flight of more than 100 Christian families, who moved from the capital al Arish to the city of Ismailia, 120 km east Cairo. The precipitous transfer of Christian families began after a Copt was killed last Thursday by a terrorist commando, while he was in his house. Since then, the position of Islamic institutions on the new spiral of violence that has hit the Egyptian Copts have multiplied. 
The House of Fatwa (Dar al Ifta al Misryah), the Egyptian body chaired by the Grand Mufti of Egypt and responsible for disseminating guidance pronouncements and dissolve doubts and disputes regarding the application of the precepts of the Koran, has issued a statement to condemn the series of murders, stressing that the orchestrated campaign by jihadist groups against the indigenous Christians of Egypt aims at explicitly sabotaging national unity. Even the spokesman of al-Nur, the ultra-conservative Salafi Party, have publicly expressed its condemnation of targeted killings against Coptic Christians that took place in northern Sinai, stressing that they "go against the teachings of Islam". Even Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II and Prime Minister of Egypt, Sherif Ismail spoke, during a telephone conversation, about the displaced Christians and the urgency to protect Christians in the region from new attacks.
The North of Sinai has long been the epicenter of violent actions perpetrated by jihadist groups against military, police and civilians.
When the sequence of killings of Christians in Sinai had already begun, the Islamic State (Daesh) released a video message in which they claim a new campaign of targeted violence against the Copts, defined by jihadists as "their favorite prey". The video message shows the young suicide bomber who on December 11 blew himself up in Botrosiya church, adjacent to the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, killing 29 persons. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 27/02/2017)

Saint March 1 : St. Suitbert : Pa

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