Tag Archives: pope benedict xvi

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, July 14th, 2015: St. Kateri Tekakwitha


Image of St. Kateri Tekakwitha

St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin, was canonized on 10/21/2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. Kateri was born near the town of Auriesville, New York, in the year 1656, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior. She … continue reading

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Pope Francis Is Making Saints Out Of Two Palestinian Nuns


VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis will bestow sainthood on two Palestinian nuns on Sunday (May 17), a move that’s being seen as giving hope to the conflict-wracked Middle East and shining the spotlight on the plight of Christians in the region.

Sisters Maria Baouardy and Mary Alphonsine Danil Ghattas are due to be canonized by the pontiff along with two other 19th-century nuns, Sister Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve, from France, and Italian Sister Maria Cristina dell’Immacolata.

The coming canonizations have been described by the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, as a “sign of hope” for the region.

“The canonization of these two Palestinian saints is a spiritual highpoint for the inhabitants of the Holy Land,” he told Vatican Insider.

“The fact that Mariam (Maria) and Marie (Mary) Alphonsine, the first modern Palestinian saints, are both Arabs is a sign of hope for Palestine, for the entire Holy Land and the Middle East: holiness is always possible, even in a war-torn region. May a generation of saints follow them!”

Twal will travel to the Vatican for the canonizations and has invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the ceremony.

Palestinians have waited more than 30 years for the sainthood of Baouardy, following her beatification by St. John Paul II in 1983.

Born into the Melchite Greek Catholic Church in 1846, in a village near Nazareth, Baouardy went on to join the Carmel of Pau in France. Despite being illiterate, she was sent to India where she founded other convents, before moving to Bethlehem where she died in 1878.

Announcing the canonization in February, the Vatican said Baouardy “experienced many sufferings together with extraordinary mystic phenomena” from an early age.

Ghattas, who was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, lived a distinctly less international life. Born in Jerusalem in 1843, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition at the age of 15. She went on to found the Congregation of Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem and “worked tirelessly to help young people and Christian mothers,” the Vatican said.

The canonization of the two nuns will inevitably draw attention to Palestine and the Middle East, a region that Francis has repeatedly highlighted in recent months.

In his Easter address, the pope said: “We pray for peace for all the peoples of the Holy Land. May the culture of encounter grow between Israelis and Palestinians and the peace process be resumed, in order to end years of suffering and division.”

He additionally called for an end to “the roar of arms” in Syria and Iraq, while also pushing for a stop to “barbarous acts of violence” in Libya and peace in Yemen.

Twal had no doubt that the approaching sainthoods would have a positive impact on the entire region.

“I am sure that it will rekindle the hope of our faithful in the Middle East and encourage them to remain firm in the faith and keep their eyes fixed on heaven,” he said, “especially in these difficult times that Christians are experiencing there.”

via Pope Francis Is Making Saints Out Of Two Palestinian Nuns.

Most read stories: Death with dignity: A friend recalls last minutes of John Paul II’s life :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


By Ann Schneible

Credit: Dennis Jarvis via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

By Ann Schneible

Rome, Italy, Apr 27, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A once avid outdoors-man whose final years were marked by disability and suffering, Saint John Paul II witnessed to what it truly means to die with dignity, says a close friend who was with him until the end.

“He gave us tranquility and peace even up to the last day,” Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was present at the Polish pope’s death ten years ago, told CNA in an interview.

“He restored dignity to death.”

Cardinal Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, who at the time was serving as an aide to John Paul II, recalls singing the Te Deum – a hymn of praise to God – moments after the pope died, because those in the room “were convinced that he had died a holy man.”

“A man prepares for a lifetime for this important moment, this passage from one life to another for the encounter with God,” he said.

John Paul II died at 9:37 p.m. on April 2, 2005, the day before Divine Mercy Sunday – a feast he established during his pontificate – after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Throughout his pontificate, the Polish pope spoke out against what he referred to as the “culture of death” which promotes ideologies such as abortion and euthanasia, and in turn championed for the promotion of human life and dignity.

Cardinal Dziwisz recalled the Pope’s last words to him before he died. “I kissed his hands and he told me ‘Thank you’ and gave me his blessing,” he recounted.

He also remembered how John Paul II, while on his deathbed, asked those who had come to say their farewells to read the Gospel to him.

“Priests read nine chapters of the Gospel of John for the love of God, and so he prepared for his encounter,” the Polish prelate said.

Karol Jozef Wojtyla, who would later choose the name John Paul II upon his election to the papacy, was born the youngest of three children in the Polish town of Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometers from Krakow, on May 18, 1920.

In 1942, at the height of World War II, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Krakow, and was eventually ordained in 1946.

He took part in Vatican Council II (1962-1965), being appointed archbishop of Krakow in 1964, and contributed to drafting the Constitution Gaudium et spes.

On Oct. 16, 1978, Cardinal Wojtyla was elected pope at the age of 58.

Over the course of his 27 year pontificate – one of the longest in Church history – he traveled to 129 countries, and was instrumental in the fall of Communism in Europe in the 1980s.

“He did not create resentment, but instead knocked down the walls between people,” Cardinal Dziwisz said, observing he had close friends who were Jews, Muslims, and other religions. “Everyone was important for him because everyone was created in the image of God.”

The archbishop of Krakow also spoke of John Paul II’s strong sense of discipline throughout his life, which was always centered on prayer.

“He was a very disciplined man from the point of view of moral ethics,” he said. “Even at work, he never wasted time. He always had time for prayer.”

In fact, for John Paul II, prayer was never separated from work, Cardinal Dziwisz said. “He was immersed in God and in everything he did, he always walked with God and in prayer.”

“He always kept this intimate relationship with God, of contemplation, of contact with God, and here was his strength: peace of mind. God exists, God commands, God, we must follow him. If you follow God, you see peace, even in difficult times, which as Pope, he had many.”

John Paul II was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday, at a ceremony which saw an estimated two million pilgrims flock to Rome. He was canonized April 27, 2014 in Saint Peter’s Square by Pope Francis on the same feast day.

Cardinal Dziwisz touched on the impact that John Paul II being declared a saint had upon the faithful.

“I think people were convinced of his sanctity, that the supreme authority had approved the road of holiness, because we are sure that we could imitate his holiness.”

Tags: John Paul II

via Death with dignity: A friend recalls last minutes of John Paul II’s life :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

#Pope Francis has just arrived at the Sultan Ahmet (Blue) Mosque in Istanbul in a Renault Symbol. — Alexander Marquardt (@MarquardtA)


Pope to open conference on importance of marriage between a man and a woman


Just a month after the Pope concluded the Synod on the Family, the Vatican is hosting an inter-religious conference on the importance of marriage. It’s a way to engage in a deeper conversation about the compatibility between a man and a woman.  
HELEN ALVARÉ
HUMANUM Vatican Conference 
“People talk about the failure of this relationship, they talk a lot about sex, but they don’t really talk about its absolutely fundamental essence.”
The conference is titled ‘Humanum.’ From November 17th to the 19th, it will bring in more than 350 people representing 14 religions. Among the 40 speakers is Pope Francis. It will be a platform to look at how marriage ties into a healthy society, anthropology, and religion. 
HELEN ALVARÉ
HUMANUM Vatican Conference 
“Some of the major aspects of marriage. It’s beauty. It’s difficulties. It’s openness to children, it’s importance to civil society.” “What is God trying to tell us about God, about ourselves, about the meaning of our lives that humanity comes in two sexes that are drawn to one another. Deeper conversation about marriage.”
While the highs of marriage will be touched on, organizers say, the conference will also look at the realistic challenges that often rise between a husband and wife. Even further, it will delve into the increasingly blurred lines between genders.  
 Pope to open conference on importance of marriage between a man and a woman


Pope to open conference on importance of marriage between a man and a woman (click to access video here)

 

This Day in the Yesteryear: MERCURIUS BECOMES POPE JOHN II (533 CE)


Mercurius becomes Pope John II (533 CE)

Though Catholics today are accustomed to the pope taking a new name once elected, Mercurius was the first to do so. As his birth name honored the pagan god Mercury, he chose to become John II upon elevation to the papacy. Though he died just two years later, he served at a time when sacred artifacts were regularly being sold and simony—the purchase or sale of church offices or preferment—was rampant in the selection of church officials. What other scandals did John face in his brief tenure? More… Discuss

 

Christmas Message and Urbi et Orbi Blessing



Christmas Message and Urbi et Orbi Blessing
Messaggio di Natale e Benedizione Urbi et Orbi
Message de Noël et Bènediction Urbi et Orbi
Mensaje navideño y Bendiciòn Urbi et Orbi

 

POPE GETS ELECTRIC CAR


Pope Gets Electric Car

Pope Benedict XVI, who has focused on several environmental issues throughout his papacy, is now even greener thanks to an electric car presented by automaker Renault. During Benedict’s tenure, the Vatican has installed photovoltaic cells on some buildings and has attempted to offset some of its carbon emissions. The pope will now be able to further reduce his carbon footprint by using the car within the grounds of the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. The vehicle is not considered a Popemobile, however, and is not customized with bulletproof windows or other security features. More… Discuss