Tag Archives: Pope

Pope Francis: Beware the ‘false peace’ that comes from the devil


Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peters Square before the Wed. general audience April 16, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peters Square before the Wed. general audience April 16, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Vatican City, Aug 7, 2015 / 07:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Friday told a group of youth that the greatest challenge in his vocation so far has been finding true peace, and encouraged them to learn how to discern between this peace and the one offered by the devil.

“I would say finding peace in the Lord. That peace that only Jesus can give, in work and chores,” the Pope said Aug. 7. in response to the question, posed by one of the youth he met with in audience that day.

“The key is finding that peace which means that the Lord is with you and helps you,” he said.

Francis then stressed the importance of knowing how to tell the difference between peace from God, and the false peace offered by the devil.

True peace, he said, always comes from Jesus, and is sometimes “wrapped” in the cross, while the other, false peace that only makes you “kind of happy” comes from the devil.

“We have to ask for this grace to distinguish, to know true peace,” the Pope said, explaining that while on the outside we might think everything is ok and that we’re doing good, “way down inside is the devil.”

“The devil always destroys. He tells you this is the way and then leaves you alone,” he continued, adding that the devil is “a poor payer; he always rips you off.”

A sign of this peace, Francis said, is joy, because true joy is something that only Jesus can give.

The challenge for both them and himself “is to find the peace of Jesus, also in difficult moments, to find Jesus’ peace and to recognize that peace which has make-up on it,” the Pope said.

He made his comments during an audience with more than 1500 members of the International Eucharistic Youth Movement. They are meeting in Rome from Aug. 4-10 in honor of the 100th anniversary of their founding in 1915. The theme for the gathering is “Joy be with you.”

Six of the youth present, from Italy, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, Taiwan, and France got to meet the Pope personally and ask him questions on things that affect their daily life.

Among the topics discussed were tensions and conflicts within families and society, the discernment between true and false peace, signs of hope in the world and deepening one’s relationship with Jesus in the Eucharist.

In his response to the question on conflict, Pope Francis noted how there are many conflicts present in the world, and said that we should neither be afraid of them nor seek them out. Some conflicts, he said, can be good and help us to understand differences.

One problem with the world’s current conflicts is that “one culture doesn’t tolerate another,” he said, and pointed to the Rohingya as an example.

Rohingya people are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group largely from the Rakhine state of Burma, in west Myanmar. Since clashes began in 2012 between the state’s Buddhist community and the long-oppressed Rohingya Muslim minority, more than 100,000 Rohingya’s have fled Myanmar by sea, according to the U.N.

In order to escape forced segregation from the rest of the population inside rural ghettos, many of the Rohingya – who are not recognized by the government as a legitimate ethnic group or as citizens or Myanmar – have made the perilous journey at sea in hopes of evading persecution.

In May Pope Francis spoke out after a number of Rohingya people – estimated to be in the thousands – were stranded at sea in boats with dwindling supplies while Southeastern nations such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia refused to take them in.

This, he told the youth, “is called killing. It’s true. If I have a conflict with you and I kill you, its war.”

Conflict is normal when so many different cultures exist in one country, the Pope observed, but emphasized that there must be mutual respect in order for these conflicts to be resolved.

He said that dialogue is the best resolution to the great social problems of today, and pointed to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East as an example of when one culture doesn’t respect the identity or faith of another.

Yesterday Pope Francis wrote a letter to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem S.B. Fouwad Toual for the Aug. 8 anniversary of the first arrival of Iraqi refugees in Jordan.

In his letter, the Pope thanked Jordan for welcoming the refugees, saying their actions bear witness to Christ’s resurrection.

He also noted how these refugees are “victims of fanaticism and intolerance, often under the eyes and silence of all,” and called on the international community to step up their efforts in putting an end to the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities.

In his speech to the youth, Francis said that even if you disagree with another culture’s practice, “Respect. Look for the good in it. Respect. In this way, conflicts are resolved with respect for the identity of others. Conflicts are resolved with dialogue.”

Another question posed to the Pope was if he sees true signs of joy in amid the problems of the 21st century.

Pope Francis responded by saying that the signs are there, and that one of them is seeing so many youth gathered together who believe that Jesus is truly in the Eucharist.

He also pointed to the family, noting that right now there are many strong tensions between generations.

Often when we speak of generations, parents and children come to mind, but grandparents are frequently left out, Francis observed.

“Grandparents are the great forgotten of this time,” he said, and encouraged the youth to speak to their grandparents, who are sources of wisdom due to the memory they have of life, tensions, conflicts and faith.

“Always when you meet your grandparents you find a surprise. They are patient, they know how to listen…don’t forget grandparents, understand?”

The last question the Pope answered, posed by a youth named Maradona, was what he would say to young people so that they might discover the depth of the Eucharist.

Francis immediately turned to the Last Supper, where Jesus gave us his body and blood for our salvation.

“The memory of Jesus…is there. The memory of the gesture of Jesus who then went to the Mount of Olives to start his Passion,” which is a personal act of love for each individual, he said.

The Pope stressed that Mass is not a ritual or a ceremony like what we see in the military or cultural celebration. Instead, going to Mass means going to Calvary with Jesus, where he gave his life for us, the Pope said.

In order to deepen in the mystery of the Eucharist, Francis suggested remembering St. Paul’s invitation to “remember Jesus Christ. When they are there at the table, he is giving his life for me. And so you deepen in the mystery.”

Pope Francis concluded by saying that although “we are at war” and there are so many conflicts, there are also many good and beautiful things, such as the hidden everyday saints among the people of God.

“God is present and there are so many reasons to be joyful. Take courage and go forward!” he finished.
via
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/whats-pope-francis-biggest-challenge-finding-true-peace-25749/

 

Advertisements

Pope to Paraguay’s poor: faith without solidarity is dead|CNA (“SOLIDARITY IS THE MESSAGE OF THE ENTIRE CITY”)


Pope Francis waves to the crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Wednesday General Audience on May 27, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/Catholic News Agency

Pope to Paraguay’s poor: faith without solidarity is dead

.- On his final day in South America Pope Francis visited the poorest neighborhood in Paraguay’s capitol, encouraging residents to practice solidarity, because without it one’s faith is either hypocritical or dead.

“Jesus didn’t have any problem with lowering, humbling himself unto death for each one of us out of this solidarity among brothers, this love that his Father had for each one of us,” the Pope said in off-the-cuff remarks July 12.

“Remember; when a faith doesn’t have solidarity, it’s weak, it’s ill or it’s dead. It’s not the faith of Jesus.”

He said that faith makes us aware of our commitment and solidarity, with others, which he said is “a human and Christian virtue that many, many, including ourselves, need to understand. A faith which does not draw us into solidarity is a faith which is dead, or which lies.”

The strongest witness their community can give is one of solidarity, he said, explaining that the devil will try to cause division, and if that happens “he breaks you and steals your faith. Solidarity among brothers and sisters. This solidarity is the message for the whole city.”

On the final day of his July 5-13 tour of South America Pope Francis stopped to visit the Bañado Norte neighborhood in Paraguay’s capital Asunciòn, where roughly 100,000 of the poorest of the poor live. Before coming to Paraguay, the Pope visited the nations of Ecuador and Bolivia.

Before giving his speech, the Pope heard testimonies from two residents, who spoke out against the abuse of human rights, the low economy and poor living conditions in the neighborhood.

Angélica Viveros, a member of Bañado Norte’s Saint Philip and James parish, told the Pope that “in the sickness, death, uncertainty, hunger and now the floods forcing thousands of families to abandon our home, we feel the strength, the protection and the closeness of God our Father and Mary our Mother.”

For them to be a part of the Church, she said, means “to feel and touch the suffering flesh of Jesus in the poor who live excluded, in the child on the street, in the Father of the family without work, in the women who are victims of violence, in the youth without horizons due to a lack of opportunity to study and work.”

She said that this is part of their prayers, as well as for residents to participate in fostering unity and solidarity so that everyone lives a dignified live, and they “stop being manipulated by political opportunists who exploit our needs.”

María García, another resident and coordinator of the “Organizations of the Bañados,” lamented how high land and housing prices, low incomes and destruction of indigenous habitats cause the forced displacement of many people and the shantytowns to grow.

The state, she said, “isn’t concerned about us and doesn’t look at us with good eyes. We are not see as subjects with rights, but we are, as we often say, their ‘social liability.’ We are a problem to be solved.”

For the state, she said, the problem is not their needs and wants, but it is “us, our very existence.”

She demanded a “genuine recognition” of being an inseparable part of humanity as a whole, and called for regularized land tenure at affordable costs, that they have the means to improve the land that they already have, and for the possibility of health care and a dignified education.

In his speech, Pope Francis told the residents of Bañado Norte to think about how Mary and Joseph were also left with nothing when they were forced to leave their homes, family and friends in order to a place where they had nothing and knew no one.

“That was when that young couple had Jesus. That was how they gave us Jesus. They were alone, in a strange land, just the three of them,” he said.

However, soon shepherds began to arrive, people just like them who had to leave their homes to find better opportunities for their families, the Pope observed, noting that their lives were also affected by both harsh weather many other hardships.

(But) when they heard that Jesus had been born, they went to see him. They became neighbors. In an instant, they became a family to Mary and Joseph. The family of Jesus.”

This is what happens when Jesus enters into our lives, Francis continued, explaining that faith brings us closer and makes us neighbors to each other. It also awakens a commitment of solidarity, he said.

“A faith which does not draw us into solidarity is a faith which is dead. It is a faith without Christ, a faith without God, a faith without brothers and sisters.”

The first to show this solidarity was Jesus Christ, he said, explaining that “God came in the midst of this people that he elected to accompany them, and he sent his son to this people to save them, to help them…Jesus had solidarity with this people.”

“When faith doesn’t have solidarity, it’s weak, it’s ill or it’s dead. It’s not the faith of Jesus.”

Pope Francis told residents that he, like the shepherds, wants to be their neighbor and to bless their faith and communities. He said that the faith which Jesus awakens in us is what allows us to dream about the future, and to work for it even in the present moment.

He encouraged them to be missionaries, and “to keep spreading the faith in these streets and alleys. Be neighbors above all to the young and the elderly. Be a support for young families and all families which are experiencing difficulty.”

Francis concluded his speech by commending each of the residents and their families to the care of the Holy Family, praying that the witness of Jesus, Mary and Joseph would be light for their path and an encouragement in times of difficulty.

“May the Holy Family always help us to be shepherds who can accompany, support and encourage our families,” he said, and asked the residents to keep him in their prayers.

Tags: Pope Francis, Serving the poor, Pope in South America, Pope in Paraguay

Via Pope to Paraguay’s poor: faith without solidarity is dead|CNA

From Radio Vatican: 01/07/2015 15:25: The Pope expresses his closeness to Greece in time of crisis


Pope Francis \ Activities

Pope Francis: Christians and Jews, brothers and friends

 

Pope Francis \ Activities

Pope Francis: Christians and Jews, brothers and friends

Pope Francis on Tuesday met with members of the International Council of Christians and Jews. – OSS_ROM

30/06/2015 12:34
 
(Vatican Radio) This week members of the International Council of Christians and Jews have been meeting to discuss “The 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate: The Past, Present, and Future of the Christian-Jewish Relationship”, and it was on this theme that Pope Francis addressed the participants on Tuesday in the Clementine Hall in the Vatican.

He told them that Nostra Aetate represented a definitive “yes” to the Jewish roots of Christianity and an irrevocable “no” to anti-Semitism adding, that both faith traditions were no longer strangers, but friends and brothers.

Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s report

The Holy Father said that in celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of this document,  “we are able to see the rich fruits which it has brought about and to gratefully appraise Jewish-Catholic dialogue.  He then added, “ in this way, we can express our thanks to God for all the good which has been realized in terms of friendship and mutual understanding these past fifty years.”

The Pope underlined that despite different perspectives, both Christians and Jews confess one God, Creator of the Universe and Lord of history.  And he, Pope Francis continued, “in his infinite goodness and wisdom, always blesses our commitment to dialogue.”

Elaborating further, the Holy Father explained that both faith traditions, “find their foundation in the One God, the God of the Covenant, who reveals himself through his Word.”  “In seeking a right attitude towards God”, he Pope said, “Christians turn to Christ as the fount of new life, and Jews to the teaching of the Torah.  This pattern of theological reflection on the relationship between Judaism and Christianity arises precisely from Nostra Aetate and upon this solid basis, he noted, can be developed yet further.  

In conclusion, Pope Francis stressed the importance the Holy See places on relations with the Jewish community and praised the International Council of Christians and Jews’ annual meetings, which he said, offer a notable contribution to Jewish-Christian dialogue.  

The Eucharist teaches us to care for the weakest of society, Pope Francis says :: Catholic News (The Eucharist is a “school of charity and solidarity,” the Pope said. “Whoever is nourished by the Bread of Christ cannot remain indifferent to those who do not have bread daily.”)Agency (CNA)


Vatican City, Jun 7, 2015 / 08:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis focused on the recent feast of Corpus Christi, saying the Eucharist is a “school of solidarity and charity,” which inspires us to care for the most vulnerable.

This feast, the Roman Pontiff said June 7 at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican, “evokes this message of solidarity, and pushes us to welcome the intimate invitation to conversion and to service, to love and to forgiveness.”

In our daily lives, we encounter Christ, who nourishes us in the Eucharist, in the poor, the suffering, our brothers, and “in every human being, even the smallest and most defenseless.”

The roman Pontiff reflected on the feast’s Gospel, which recounts the institution of the Eucharist during Christ’s Last Supper before his crucifixion.

That night, Christ said that whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood will “remain in me and I in him,” and will have eternal life.

“With this gesture and with these words, he gives bread a function that is no longer simply physical nourishment, but that which makes present his Person amid the community of believers.”

The Pope added that the Last Supper marks the end of Christ’s life, looking ahead to his death on the Cross, but also to the synthesis of “a life offered for the salvation of humanity.”

For this reason, it is not enough to affirm Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, the Pope said, but recognize it as “the presence of a life given, and take part.”

By receiving Christ in the Eucharist, taking part in his life and entering into communion with him, we in turn are called to promote unity among ourselves, transforming “our life into a gift,” especially to a poor.

The Eucharist is a “school of charity and solidarity,” the Pope said. “Whoever is nourished by the Bread of Christ cannot remain indifferent to those who do not have bread daily.”

Despite efforts by the international community, this is an increasing problem, and requires proposals to resolve its causes, he said.

The Pope concluded his address by invoking the intercession of Mary, that she may “awaken in everyone the joy in participating in the Mass, especially on Sunday, and the joyful courage to give witness to the charity of Christ.”

After leading the crowds in the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis spoke of his apostolic visit to Sarajevo the previous day.

Once described as the “Jerusalem of the West” owing to the coexistence of various peoples and religious, the recent past has made it into a “symbol of destruction and war,” he said.

Acknowledging the efforts toward reconciliation, Pope Francis encouraged “this journey toward of peaceful coexistence between diverse peoples; a hard, difficult, yet possible journey!”

Pope Francis’ visit on Saturday marked the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the signing of the Dayton Agreement which brought an end to the Bosnian War.

After the breakup of Yugoslavia, some 100,000 combatants and civilians were killed and a million more displaced during the war, which lasted between 1992-1995. The fighting split largely along ethnic lines, among the predominantly Orthodox Serbs, the predominantly Catholic Croats, and the predominantly Muslim Bosniaks.

“May the Lord bless Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina.”

Tags: Corpus Christi

via The Eucharist teaches us to care for the weakest of society, Pope Francis says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Mass for the Solemn Feast of Corpus Christi – 2015.06.04


Mass for the Solemn Feast of Corpus Christi – 2015.06.04

War is the mother of poverty, Pope Francis says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


By Ann Schneible

Vatican City, Jun 3, 2015 / 03:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In his weekly general audience, Pope Francis lamented the suffering inflicted on families already struggling from poverty in countries torn by the “great predator” of war.

“Truly, war is the ‘mother of all poverty,’ the pontiff said Wednesday, addressing the crowds in Saint Peter’s Square.

“War impoverishes the family,” he said. It is “a great predator of lives, of souls, and of the most sacred and precious loved ones.”

Since late last year, Pope Francis has been centering his Wednesday catechesis on the theme of family as part of the lead-up to the World Day of Families in September, as well as October’s Synod of Bishops on the Family.

Continuing with his June 3 catechesis, the Pope centered his address around the particular difficulties which many families face, especially with regard to poverty.

He lamented the “misery” and “degradation” experienced by poor families inflicted by war, as well as those living in the peripheries.

via War is the mother of poverty, Pope Francis says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Pope Francis: Fear and joylessness are signs of bad spiritual health :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


By Ann Schneible

PHOTO:  Pope Francis at the papal ordination of priests in St. Peter’s Basilica on April 26, 2015. Credit: Bohumil Petrik/CNA.

Vatican City, May 15, 2015 / 11:40 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily homily on Friday Pope Francis said that Christian communities become “sick” when they live in fear and fail to be joyful – even when times are difficult.

“When the Church is fearful and when the Church does not receive the joy of the Holy Spirit, the Church is sick, the communities are sick, the faithful are sick,” the Pope said during Mass at the Santa Marta residence May 15.

He added that the Christian community grows “sick with worldliness” when “it does not have the joy of Christ.”

“A Christian without joy is not Christian. A Christian who continually lives in sadness is not Christian. And a Christian who, in the moment of trial, of illness, of so many difficulties, loses peace – something is lacking in him.”

These two words – “fear” and “joy” – and what each means for the Christian community, were at the center of the Holy Father’s homily.

Speaking first on fear, Pope Francis explained: “A fearful Christian is a person who has not understood the message of Jesus.”

This kind of fear provokes a self-centered selfishness which leads to a sort of paralysis. It “harms us. It weakens us, it diminishes us. It even paralyzes us,” the Pope said.

Recalling how Jesus told Saint Paul to speak and not be afraid, he said: Fear is not a Christian attitude.”

Rather, it is an attitude of a “caged animal” who lacks the freedom to look forward, create, and do good, being prevented by a sense of danger.

“This fear is a vice,” he added.

Pope Francis said this fear and lack of courage jeopardizes the health of those communities which to forbid everything in an effort to always be safe.

“It seems they have written on the gateway: ‘Forbidden,’” he said. “And you enter into this community and the air is stale, because it is a sick community.”

MORE: via Pope Francis: Fear and joylessness are signs of bad spiritual health :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

New at the #Vatican: Palestinian Liberation Organization –> State of Palestine.— Religion NewsService (@RNS) May 13, 2015


Vatican decision to recognize Palestine upsets Israeli government, Jewish advocacy groups – Religion News Service


JERUSALEM (RNS) The Vatican’s decision to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state on Wednesday (May 13) angered Israeli officials.

The move comes four days before the first-ever canonization of two Palestinian nuns and it solidifies the standing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel that the government is “disappointed by the decision. We believe that such a decision is not conducive to bringing the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.”

Israel insists that for the Palestinians to achieve statehood, they must first end their armed struggle against Israel and recognize its right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people.

Although the treaty codifies the Holy See’s relations with the Palestinian Authority, the Vatican has already referred to the “State of Palestine” in some official documents, including the official program handed out during Pope Francis’ Holy Land pilgrimage last year.

In recent years, the Vatican has stepped up its efforts to support Palestinian Christians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza as their numbers have dwindled due to emigration spurred by wars and economic hardships.

A majority of Christians in the Holy Land — including Israel — are either ethnic Palestinians or live alongside them in the same towns and villages. Sisters Maria Baouardy and Mary Alphonsine Danil Ghattas, who were both Christian Arabs, are due to be canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday.

William Shomali, the auxiliary bishop of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said the Vatican’s announcement “was not a surprise” because “the pope called President Abbas the president of the State of Palestine” during his 2014 pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

But David Harris, executive director of the AJC, the leading global Jewish advocacy organization, said the decision was “regrettable“ and “counterproductive to all who seek true peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

“We are fully cognizant of the pope’s goodwill and desire to be a voice for peaceful coexistence, which is best served, we believe, by encouraging a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, rather than unilateral gestures outside the framework of the negotiating table,” Harris concluded.

Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the action was “premature” and would “undermine the only real solution to the decades-old conflict, which is engaging in direct negotiations.”

YS/MG END CHABIN

Categories: Institutions, Politics

Tags: AJC, Foreign Ministry, Israel, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Palestine, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Vatican

via Vatican decision to recognize Palestine upsets Israeli government, Jewish advocacy groups – Religion News Service.

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.

When was the last time you said ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry?’ Pope asks :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

 

By Elise Harris

By Elise Harris

Vatican City, May 13, 2015 / 09:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his general audience Pope Francis focused on the concrete challenges families face in daily life, and said that simply remembering to be grateful and to apologize can go a long way in avoiding conflict.

“Dear brothers and sisters, today’s catechesis is the opening of the door to a series of reflections on family life, real life, daily life,” the Pope told pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square May 13.

“Above this door are written three words that we have already used other times: May I, thank you, and I’m sorry. They are words linked to good manners, (and) in their genuine sense of respect and desire for good, (they are) far away from any hypocrisy and duplicity,” he said.

Francis’ address was a continuation of his ongoing catechesis on the family, which he began at the end of last year as part of the lead-up to the World Day of Families in September, as well as October’s Synod of Bishops on the Family.

Although the words ’May I,’ ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ can be hard to say or put into practice, their absence “can cause cracks in the foundation of the family, which can lead to its collapse,” the Pope said.

However, if families make a habit of including the phrases in their daily lives as a sign of love for one another rather than just a formal expression of good manners, they can strengthen a happy family life, he continued.

The word ‘May I’ is a reminder that we should be “delicate, respectful and patient with others,” he said. Even if we feel like we have the right to something, “when we speak to our spouse or family member with kindness we create space for a true spirit of marital and familial common life.”

Kindness helps to renew trust and respect, and reveals the love we have for others, the Pope noted, saying that we should always imitate Jesus, who stands at the door of our hearts and knocks, waiting for us to open it to him.

He then turned to the second word, noting that to say ‘thank you’ can seem like a contradiction in a distrustful society, which tends to view this attitude as weakness.

Despite this perception, it is through an “education in gratitude” that that social justice and the dignity of persons are upheld, he said.

Gratitude Francis continued, “is a virtue that for believers is born from the same heart of their faith… (it) is also the language of God, to whom above all we must express our gratitude.”

via When was the last time you said ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry?’ Pope asks :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Pope Francis: Spare no effort in defending life, family :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

General audience with Pope Francis on March 18, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibanez / CNA.

Vatican City, May 12, 2015 / 03:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his meeting on Saturday with the bishops from Mozambique, a southeast African nation, Pope Francis urged support for public policies that promote the family and protect human life.

“Spare no efforts in supporting the family and in the defense of life from conception to natural death,” he said May 9 in the Vatican. “In this sense, remember the options appropriate to one of Christ‘s disciples and the beauty of being a mother, accompanied by the support of the family and the local community.”

“The family must always be defended as the main source of fraternity, respect for others and the primary path of peace.”

The Mozambican bishops – whose country borders Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, South Africa, and the Indian Ocean – were in Rome for their five-yearly ad limina visit, a meeting with the Pope.

The Bishop of Rome cautioned his brother bishops against a worldly sense of success, saying, “the fecundity of our mission … is not measured by the number of collaborators, nor by the prestige of the institution, nor even by the quantity of available resources.”

“What counts is being permeated with Christ’s love, allowing oneself to be led by the Holy Spirit, and grafting one’s own existence onto the tree of life, which is the Cross of the Lord,” he said, adding that “from St. Paul, the insuperable model of the Christian missionary, we know that this means trying to conform to Jesus in his death so as to participate in his resurrection … the paschal mystery is the beating heart of the mission of the Church.”

“If you abide in this mystery, you will be protected both from a worldly and triumphalist vision of the mission, and the disappointment that may arise when faced with trials and failures.”

Pope Francis encouraged the bishops to be particularly solicitous for their priests as well as for the religious communities in their dioceses, and to live among their faithful in the “’existential peripheries’ where there is suffering, loneliness, and human degradation.”

Reflecting on the nature and role of a bishop, he said: “you are spouses of your diocesan community, profoundly tied to it.”

The Pope stated that “the pastors and the faithful of Mozambique need to further develop a culture of encounter,” saying Christ’s only request is “that you go out in search of the neediest.” He mentioned those who suffer from natural disasters, as well as displaced persons and refugees.

“These people need us to share in their suffering, their worries, their problems,” he told the bishops. “They need us to look upon them with love and you must reach out to them, as did Jesus.”

Turning to the challenges facing Mozambique, Pope Francis encouraged investment in education, so as to oppose inequality and social division. He said education “teaches the young to think critically, and offers a path towards maturity in values. In this sense, it is appropriate to raise awareness among leaders in society and to revive pastoral ministry in universities and schools, combining the task of education with the proclamation of the Gospel.”

“The needs are so great that they cannot be satisfied simply through individual initiatives or by a union of individuals educated in individualism. Community networks are needed to respond to social problems.”

He concluded by encouraging the bishops in going to the peripheries, saying, “When we go out to take the Gospel with true apostolic spirit, [Jesus] walks with us. He precedes us, and for us this is fundamental: God always goes before us.”

Tags: Pope Francis, Family, Pro-life, Abortion

via Pope Francis: Spare no effort in defending life, family :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Pope Francis sends a hug to moms worldwide for Mother’s Day :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

Pope Francis greets pilgrims at St. Peter’s Square, Jan. 8, 2014. Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA.

Vatican City, May 10, 2015 / 09:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Sunday, Pope Francis extended a special greeting to all those around the world who are celebrating Mother’s Day, after offering advice on loving to the point of laying down one’s life.

“We remember all mothers with gratitude and affection,” the Pope said to the crowds gathered in Saint Peter’s Square under the hot sun for the recitation of the Regina Caeli prayer May 10.

Speaking to the mothers after granting the apostolic blessing to those present, he noted that the applause from the crowd embraced all mothers: “those who live with us physically, but also those who live with us spiritually.”

The Pope also greeted those who were beginning to gather around the Vatican to take part in the March for Life. “It is important to collaborate together in order to defend and promote life,” he said.

In his address before the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis recounted Christ‘s words during the Last Supper: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Christ says he loves us even though we have not merited this love, the Pope said. “In this way, Jesus shows us the path for following him, the path of love.”

Pope Francis explained that Christ’s command to love and to lay down one’s life for friends is new, insofar as it was he who first fulfilled it.

“The law of love is written once and for all in the heart of man” he said, “written with the fire of the Holy Spirit.”

“And with this same Spirit, which Jesus gives us, we too can walk along this path!”

Pope Francis’ reflection comes two weeks before Pentecost, on which the Church celebrates the Holy Spirit coming down upon the Apostles 50 days after Christ’s resurrection.

The path which leads us out of ourselves toward others is concrete, the Pope said.

“Jesus showed us that love for God puts into effect the love for others,” he added, explaining that these two loves go together.

There are many examples of this love throughout the Gospels: “adults and children, educated and ignorant, rich and poor, righteous and sinners, were welcomed in the heart of Christ.”

Pope Francis stressed this call to love one another, even when we don’t understand each other, or when we don’t get along: “It is here that one sees Christian love.”

This love is greater than differences of opinion or disposition, the Roman Pontiff said.

A love which has been “freed from selfishness,” it gives joy to our hearts.

Pope Francis spoke of the small gestures of closeness shown every day: given to an elderly person, a child, one who is sick, a person alone and in difficulty, without home or job, an immigrant, a refugee.

“The love which Christ has taught us is made manifest in these gestures,” he said.

Tags: Regina Caeli

via Pope Francis sends a hug to moms worldwide for Mother’s Day :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Pope Pope Beedict XVI receives Yerba Mate cup from ambassador of Uruguay to Vatican


Pope Beedict XVI receives Yerba Mate cup from ambassador of Uruguay to Vatican

Pope John Paul II Visits Mosque (2001)


Pope John Paul II Visits Mosque (2001)

When Pope John Paul II visited Syria’s Umayyad Mosque, where the head of John the Baptist—a holy figure in both Christianity and Islam—is said to be interred, he became the first Catholic Pope to enter and pray in an Islamic mosque. The address he delivered there, promoting peace between Muslims and Christians, reflected his ongoing ecumenical efforts, which included meeting with religious leaders from other faiths and denominations. While in Syria, the pope aroused controversy by kissing what? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Blessing of the Shrimp Fleet


 

Blessing of the Shrimp Fleet

In the coastal town of Bayou La Bartre, Alabama, the shrimp blessing has been celebrated since 1950. The fleet blessing began simply: a priest went up and down the bayou blessing the boats tied to the docks. Now some 25,000 people come for the blessing ceremony by the priest of St. Margaret Roman Catholic Church, and a parade of boats decorated with pennants, bunting, and papier-mâché figures. Other events include contests in oyster shucking, shrimp heading, and crab picking; seafood and gumbo dinners; a fiddler-crab race for children; and the crowning of the Fleet Queen. More… Discuss

Saint of the Day for Thursday, April 30th, 2015: St. Pius V, Pope


schism


 

English: Steeple of St. James Catholic Church ...

English: Steeple of St. James Catholic Church in Chicago, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

schism

 

Definition: (noun) A separation or division into factions.
Synonyms: discord, split
Usage: Heretics were burned for attempting to create a schism in the Catholic Church. Discuss.

 

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).

Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 : St. Paschal


Image of St. Paschal

St. Paschal

Paschal was the son of Bonosus, a Roman. He studied at the Lateran, was named head of St. Stephen’s monastery, which housed pilgrims to Rome, and was elected Pope to succeed Pope Stephen IV (V) on … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

If you care about God’s handiwork you’ll protect nature, Pope says


If you care about God‘s handiwork you’ll protect nature, Pope says
Lake Mountain Mist Nature (CC0 1.0).

By Ann Schneible

.- Set to finish his encyclical on the environment next month, Pope Francis said during his daily Mass at the Vatican on Monday that Christians who fail to safeguard nature do not care about God’s handiwork.

“A Christian who does not protect creation, who does not allow it to grow, is a Christian who does not care about God’s labors” which are borne out of God’s love for us, the Pope said Feb. 9.

His remarks were based in part on the day’s first reading from Genesis 1:1-19, comparing God’s creation of the universe with the Jesus’ “re-creation” of that which “had been ruined by sin.”

Pope Francis announced to journalists on his way to the Philippines last month that plans to have his much-anticipated encyclical on man’s relationship with creation finished in March. 

More here

Holy See to UN: stop ignoring attacks on Christian women, girls


via Holy See to UN: stop ignoring attacks on Christian women, girls

Young women walk along a street in Bangalore, India. Credit: Hillary Mast/CNA.

from CNA: Holy See to UN: stop ignoring attacks on Christian women, girls (click to access article)

 

Pope says his concern for poor comes from Gospel | bt24News We all know that Marx was born some 19 centuries after the birth of Christianity)


XAbWHSGB

A seagull flies near the window as Pope Francis reads out his Sunday Angelus prayer in the Vatican on Sunday.— AP

Pope Francis is insisting that his concern for the poor and critique of the global economic system isn’t some novel, communist-inspired ideology but rather the original and core “touchstone” of the Christian faith.

Some US conservatives have branded the first Latin American pope a Marxist for his frequent critiques of consumerism and focus on a church “that is poor and for the poor.” But in an interview contained in a new book, Pope Francis explains that his message is rooted in the Gospel and has been echoed by church fathers since Christianity’s first centuries.

via Pope says his concern for poor comes from Gospel | bt24News.

#PopeFrancis leads a #Candlemas procession in the Vatican — Catholic News Agency


CNA – Catholic News Agency January 31 -2015 (for the “lukewarm Christians everywhere”)


CNA - Catholic News Agency January 31 -2015 (click to access Reports of  interest to Christians at CNA)

CNA – Catholic News Agency January 31 -2015 (click to access Reports of interest to Christians at CNA)

Saint of the Day for Saturday, January 31st, 2015, St. John Bosco


Image of St. John Bosco

St. John Bosco

What do dreams have to with prayer? Aren’t they just random images of our mind? In 1867 Pope Pius IX was upset with John Bosco because he wouldn’t take his dreams seriously enough. Nine years … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, January 27th, 2015: St. Angela Merici


today’s holiday: Sinulog Festival (2015)


Sinulog Festival (2015)

The Sinulog Festival takes place on the island of Cebu in the Philippines, held at the same time as the frenzied Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo and the more sedate Dinagyang in Iloilo City. The festival celebrates both early Cebuano culture and the history of the Christianization of Cebu, combining the pageantry of early years with today’s Christian ritual. An image of Cebu’s patron saint, the Santo Niño (“the Holy Child,” Jesus), is carried in a procession along the streets, while drums beat in the ritual for a bountiful harvest and revelers dance in the streets. More… Discuss

Saint of the Day for Saturday, January 17th, 2015: St. Anthony the Abbot


Image of St. Anthony the Abbot

St. Anthony the Abbot

Two Greek philosophers ventured out into the Egyptian desert to the mountain where Anthony lived. When they got there, Anthony asked them why they had come to talk to such a foolish man? He had … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

today’s birthday: Pope Pius V 225th Pontiff (1566 – 1572): January 17, 1566


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pope Saint Pius V (17 January 1504 – 1 May 1572), born Antonio Ghislieri (from 1518 called Michele Ghislieri, O.P.), was Pope from 8 January 1566 to his death in 1572. He is venerated as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.[2] He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman rite within the Latin Church. Pius V declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church[3][4] and patronized prominent sacred music composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.[citation needed]

As a cardinal, Ghislieri gained a reputation for putting orthodoxy before personalities, prosecuting eight French bishops for heresy. He also stood firm against nepotism, rebuking his predecessor Pope Pius IV to his face when he wanted to make a 13-year old member of his family a cardinal and subsidise a nephew from the papal treasury.[5]

In affairs of the state, Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth I of England for schism and persecution of English Catholics during her reign. He also arranged the formation of the Holy League, an alliance of Catholic states. Although outnumbered, the Holy League famously defeated the Ottoman Empire, which had threatened to overrun Europe, at the Battle of Lepanto. Pius V attributed the victory to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory.[6]

Pope Saint
Pius V
El Greco 050.jpg
Papacy began 7 January 1566
Papacy ended 1 May 1572
Predecessor Pius IV
Successor Gregory XIII
Orders
Ordination 1528
Consecration 14 September 1556
by Giovanni Michele Saraceni
Created Cardinal 15 March 1557
by Paul IV
Personal details
Birth name Antonio Ghislieri
Born 17 January 1504
Bosco, Duchy of Milan
Died 1 May 1572 (aged 68)
Rome, Papal States
Previous post
Motto Utinam dirigantur viæ meæ ad custodiendas (It binds us to keep)[1]
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Sainthood
Feast day
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 1 May 1672
by Pope Clement X
Canonized 22 May 1712
by Pope Clement XI
Patronage
Other popes named Pius

Pope Saint Pius V (17 January 1504 – 1 May 1572), born Antonio Ghislieri (from 1518 called Michele Ghislieri, O.P.), was Pope from 8 January 1566 to his death in 1572. He is venerated as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.[2] He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman rite within the Latin Church. Pius V declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church[3][4] and patronized prominent sacred music composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.[citation needed]

As a cardinal, Ghislieri gained a reputation for putting orthodoxy before personalities, prosecuting eight French bishops for heresy. He also stood firm against nepotism, rebuking his predecessor Pope Pius IV to his face when he wanted to make a 13-year old member of his family a cardinal and subsidise a nephew from the papal treasury.[5]

In affairs of the state, Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth I of England for schism and persecution of English Catholics during her reign. He also arranged the formation of the Holy League, an alliance of Catholic states. Although outnumbered, the Holy League famously defeated the Ottoman Empire, which had threatened to overrun Europe, at the Battle of Lepanto. Pius V attributed the victory to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory.[6]

Early Life

Antonio Ghislieri was born in Bosco in the Duchy of Milan (now Bosco Marengo in the province of Alessandria,[7] Piedmont), Italy. At the age of fourteen he entered the Dominican Order, taking the name Michele, passing from the monastery of Voghera to that of Vigevano, and thence to Bologna. Ordained priest at Genoa in 1528, he was sent by his order to Pavia, where he lectured for sixteen years. At Parma he advanced thirty propositions in support of the papal chair and against the Protestant Reformation.

As prior of more than one Dominican priory during a time of great moral laxity, he insisted on discipline, and, in accordance with his own wishes, was appointed inquisitor at Como. As his reformist zeal provoked resentment, he was compelled to return to Rome in 1550, where, after having been employed in several inquisitorial missions, he was elected to the commissariat of the Holy Office. Pope Paul IV (1555–59), who, as Cardinal Carafa, had shown him special favor, conferred upon him the bishopric of Sutri and Nepi, the cardinalate with the title of Alessandrino, and the unique honor of the supreme inquisitorship. Under Pope Pius IV (1559–65) he became bishop of Mondovi in Piedmont, but his opposition to that pontiff procured his dismissal from the palace and the abridgment of his authority as inquisitor.[8]

Pontificate

Papal styles of
Pope Pius V
C o a Pio V.svg
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father
Posthumous style Saint

 

this pressed: Pope doesn’t shy away from hot-button issues in Manila|Info 24.us


MANILA, PhilippinesPope Francis issued his strongest defense yet of church teaching opposing artificial contraception on Friday, using a rally in Asia’s largest Catholic nation to urge families to be “sanctuaries of respect for life.”

Francis also denounced the corruption that has plagued the Philippines for decades and urged officials to instead work to end its “scandalous” poverty and social inequalities during his first full day in Manila, where he received a rock star’s welcome at every turn.

Security was tighter than it has ever been for this pope, who relishes plunging into crowds. Cellphone service around the city was intentionally jammed for a second day on orders of the National Telecommunications Commission and roadblocks along Francis’ motorcade route snarled traffic for miles.

via Pope doesn’t shy away from hot-button issues in Manila.

Pope Encourages Breastfeeding in Sistine Chapel


Pope Encourages Breastfeeding in Sistine Chapel

During a baptism ceremony for 33 fussy infants in the Sistine Chapel last weekend, Pope Francis broke from his prepared homily to encourage mothers to breastfeed their children in the chapel if necessary. Addressing the mothers directly, he used the Italian term for “breastfeed,” which was not part of his prepared remarks. The pope used the occasion to remind the congregation of the many children around the world who do not have enough food. More… Discuss

CRUX: 2014: The year in review in Catholicism


2014 snapshot

 

Pope Francis Leads Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican: from NBC News (they are not afraid of Christmas like other news agencies are: I’d say good for them!)


Pope Francis Leads Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican

Pope Francis celebrated Christmas Eve with a late-night Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Wednesday, after placing a phone call to Iraqi refugees forced to flee their homes by Muslim militants. Francis told refugees at the tent camp in Ankawa, a suburb of Irbil in northern Iraq, that they were like Jesus, forced to flee because there was no place for them. For Christians, Christmas marks the birth of Jesus in a Bethlehem barn manger, chosen because there was no room for his parents at an inn.

Vatican-Christmas Mass - 2014

Vatican-Christmas Mass – 2014 (Click to access the Mass at NBC News)

today’s holiday: St. Modesto’s Day (2014)


St. Modesto’s Day (2014)

St. Modesto is the patron saint of farmers in Greece. His feast day is celebrated with various rituals in honor of farm animals. In Lemnos, kollyva (cooked wheat berries) and holy water are mixed with their fodder, while in Lesbos, the holy water is sprinkled on the fields to ward off locusts and disease. For horses and oxen, December 18 is a day of rest. The Eastern Orthodox Church reserves this day to commemorate St. Modestus, who was patriarch of Jerusalem from 631 to 634. He is known for a sermon he preached on the bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven. More… Discuss

word: ecumenical


ecumenical 

Definition: (adjective) Of worldwide scope or applicability.
Synonyms: universal
Usage: The movement against violence is intended to be an ecumenical one, applicable to all nations. Discuss.

Saint of the Day for Wednesday, December 10th, 2014: Saint Gregory III


this day in the yesteryear: Pope Pius IX Defines Immaculate Conception as Dogma (1854)


Pope Pius IX Defines Immaculate Conception as Dogma (1854)

The Immaculate Conception is the Roman Catholic dogma that asserts that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was preserved from the stain of original sin—the condition of sin that marks all humans as a result of Adam’s first act of disobedience—at the moment of her conception. In 1709, Pope Clement XI made the feast of the Immaculate Conception a holy day of obligation—145 years before it became official church dogma. The Immaculate Conception is often confused with what other church doctrine? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598)


Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598)

Bernini, a 17th-century artist and architect, was a leading figure in the development of the Italian baroque style. Among his best-known sculptures, which often combine white and colored marble with bronze and stucco, are the Cornaro Chapel‘s Ecstasy of St. Teresa and the David displayed at the Borghese Gallery. Bernini also designed the magnificent baldachin, or canopy, inside St. Peter’s Basilica. Bernini’s designs for the façade of what famed museum were rejected? More… Discuss

this pressed: The Church is about Christ – not an NGO, Pope tells Swiss bishops :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


Pope Francis celebrates Mass for the Feast of Pentecost in St. Peter’s Basilica on June 8, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

Vatican City, Dec 2, 2014 / 03:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In an address to the Swiss bishops on Monday, Pope Francis urged them maintain a lively faith, lest their country’s religious buildings become nothing more than dust-filled museums.

The Holy Father also used the opportunity to encourage the bishops to live their episcopal fatherhood; to uphold the ministerial priesthood; to engage in frank ecumenism; and to maintain the Church’s witness to the Gospel.

“Your country has a long Christian tradition,” he said in a text delivered to the bishops of Switzerland Dec. 1 at the Vatican, adding, “you have a great and beautiful responsibility to maintain a living faith in your land.”

“Without a living faith in the risen Christ, your beautiful churches and monasteries will gradually become museums; all the commendable works and institutions will lose their soul, leaving behind only empty spaces and abandoned people.”

He continued, “the mission that has been entrusted to you is to nurture your flock, proceeding in accordance with current circumstances … the People of God cannot exist without their pastors, bishops and priests; the Lord has given the Church the gift of the apostolic succession in the service of the unity of faith and its full transmission.”

Through this complete transmission, Pope Francis said, the Swiss, especially the youth, “can more easily find reasons to believe and to hope.”

via The Church is about Christ – not an NGO, Pope tells Swiss bishops :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

this pressed: Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to Turkey (28-30 November 2014)


Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to Turkey (28-30 November 2014).

This pressed for our Faith: PopeinTurkey beginning mass now in Istanbul’s Holy Spirit Cathedral – it’s packed!


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


Happy Thanksgiving! – this pressed: Pope condemns Islamic State violence against Christians in interview


Pope condemns Islamic State violence against Christians in interview

JERUSALEM – On the eve of a trip to the Middle East, Pope Francis is urging religious and political leaders to speak out against attacks on Christians by Islamic State extremists.

In an interview published Thursday, Francis was quoted as saying that the persecution of Christians today is “the worst” it has been since Christianity‘s earliest days. “In Iraq, for example, barbaric, criminal indescribable things are being committed,” he was quoted as telling the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot.

Francis told the newspaper that the persecution of Christians, Yazidis and other ethnic communities requires both political and religious leaders, especially Muslims, to “take a clear and brave stand.”

Francis is set to travel to Turkey on Friday for a three-day visit.

Yediot said it would publish the full interview on Friday.

via Pope condemns Islamic State violence against Christians in interview.

Saint of the Day for Sunday, November 23rd, 2014: Bl. Miguel Pro


Image of Bl. Miguel Pro

Bl. Miguel Pro

Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez was the eldest son of Miguel Pro and Josefa Juarez. Miguelito, as his doting family called him, was, from an early age, … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

Saint of the Day for Friday, November 21st, 2014: St. Gelasius


Image of St. Gelasius

St. Gelasius

St. Gelasius I, Pope (Feast day – November 21) Gelasius was born in Rome, in the fifth century, the son of an African named Valerius. Later, ordained a priest, he was elected Pope on March 1st, … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

today’s holidady: Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary was first celebrated by the Greeks in about the 8th century and was not adopted by the Roman Catholic Church until the later Middle Ages; no one is quite sure when this festival was first introduced. As related in the apocryphal Book of James, it commemorates the presentation of the three-year-old Mary in the Temple to consecrate her to the service of God. More… Discuss

this Pressed: Pope Francis: People and not money create development §RV— Vatican – news (@news_va_en)


Pope to G20 Summit: “Many lives are at stake behind your political discussions”


Pope to G20 Summit: Many lives are at stake behind your political discussions