Friday, July 21, 2017

Saint July 22 : St. Mary Magdalene : Patron of #Prostitutes , #Hairdressers , #Converts and Temptation

FOLLOWER OF JESUS, MODEL OF PENITENCE
Feast: July 22
Feast Day:
July 22
Born:
1st century AD, Magdala
Died:
1st century AD, Ephesus, Asia Minor or Marseilles, France
Patron of:
apothecaries; contemplative life; converts; glove makers; hairdressers; penitent sinners; people ridiculed for their piety; perfumeries; pharmacists; reformed prostitutes; sexual temptation; tanners; 
Mary Magdalen was so called either from Magdala near Tiberias, on the west shore of Galilee, or possibly from a Talmudic expression meaning "curling women's hair," which the Talmud explains as of an adulteress.
In the New Testament she is mentioned among the women who accompanied Christ and ministered to Him (Luke 8:2-3), where it is also said that seven devils had been cast out of her (Mark 16:9). She is next named as standing at the foot of the cross (Mark 15:40; Matthew 27:56; John 19:25; Luke 23:49). She saw Christ laid in the tomb, and she was the first recorded witness of the Resurrection.
The Greek Fathers, as a whole, distinguish the three persons:
the "sinner" of Luke 7:36-50;
the sister of Martha and Lazarus, Luke 10:38-42 and John 11; and
Mary Magdalen.
On the other hand most of the Latins hold that these three were one and the same. Protestant critics, however, believe there were two, if not three, distinct persons. It is impossible to demonstrate the identity of the three; but those commentators undoubtedly go too far who assert, as does Westcott (on John 11:1), "that the identity of Mary with Mary Magdalene is a mere conjecture supported by no direct evidence, and opposed to the general tenour of the gospels." It is the identification of Mary of Bethany with the "sinner" of Luke 7:37, which is most combatted by Protestants. It almost seems as if this reluctance to identify the "sinner" with the sister of Martha were due to a failure to grasp the full significance of the forgiveness of sin. The harmonizing tendencies of so many modern critics, too, are responsible for much of the existing confusion.
The first fact, mentioned in the Gospel relating to the question under discussion is the anointing of Christ's feet by a woman, a "sinner" in the city (Luke 7:37-50). This belongs to the Galilean ministry, it precedes the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand and the third Passover. Immediately afterwards St. Luke describes a missionary circuit in Galilee and tells us of the women who ministered to Christ, among them being "Mary who is called Magdalen, out of whom seven devils were gone forth" (Luke 8:2); but he does not tell us that she is to be identified with the "sinner" of the previous chapter. In 10:38-42, he tells us of Christ's visit to Martha and Mary "in a certain town"; it is impossible to identify this town, but it is clear from 9:53, that Christ had definitively left Galilee, and it is quite possible that this "town" was Bethany. This seems confirmed by the preceding parable of the good Samaritan, which must almost certainly have been spoken on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem. But here again we note that there is no suggestion of an identification of the three persons (the "sinner", Mary Magdalen, and Mary of Bethany), and if we had only St. Luke to guide us we should certainly have no grounds for so identifying them. St. John, however, clearly identifies Mary of Bethany with the woman who anointed Christ's feet (12; cf. Matthew 26 and Mark 14). It is remarkable that already in 11:2, St. John has spoken of Mary as "she that anointed the Lord's feet", he aleipsasa; It is commonly said that he refers to the subsequent anointing which he himself describes in 12:3-8; but it may be questioned whether he would have used he aleipsasa if another woman, and she a "sinner" in the city, had done the same. It is conceivable that St. John, just because he is writing so long after the event and at a time when Mary was dead, wishes to point out to us that she was really the same as the "sinner." In the same way St. Luke may have veiled her identity precisely because he did not wish to defame one who was yet living; he certainly does something similar in the case of St. Matthew whose identity with Levi the publican (5:7) he conceals.
If the foregoing argument holds good, Mary of Bethany and the "sinner" are one and the same. But an examination of St. John's Gospel makes it almost impossible to deny the identity of Mary of Bethany with Mary Magdalen. From St. John we learn the name of the "woman" who anointed Christ's feet previous to the last supper. We may remark here that it seems unnecessary to hold that because St. Matthew and St. Mark say "two days before the Passover", while St. John says "six days" there were, therefore, two distinct anointings following one another. St. John does not necessarily mean that the supper and the anointing took place six days before, but only that Christ came to Bethany six days before the Passover. At that supper, then, Mary received the glorious encomium, "she hath wrought a good work upon Me . . . in pouring this ointment upon My body she hath done it for My burial . . . wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached . . . that also which she hath done shall be told for a memory of her." Is it credible, in view of all this, that this Mary should have no place at the foot of the cross, nor at the tomb of Christ? Yet it is Mary Magdalen who, according to all the Evangelists, stood at the foot of the cross and assisted at the entombment and was the first recorded witness of the Resurrection. And while St. John calls her "Mary Magdalen" in 19:25, 20:1, and 20:18, he calls her simply "Mary" in 20:11 and 20:16.
In the view we have advocated the series of events forms a consistent whole; the "sinner" comes early in the ministry to seek for pardon; she is described immediately afterwards as Mary Magdalen "out of whom seven devils were gone forth"; shortly after, we find her "sitting at the Lord's feet and hearing His words." To the Catholic mind it all seems fitting and natural. At a later period Mary and Martha turn to "the Christ, the Son of the Living God", and He restores to them their brother Lazarus; a short time afterwards they make Him a supper and Mary once more repeats the act she had performed when a penitent. At the Passion she stands near by; she sees Him laid in the tomb; and she is the first witness of His Resurrection--excepting always His Mother, to whom He must needs have appeared first, though the New Testament is silent on this point. In our view, then, there were two anointings of Christ's feet--it should surely be no difficulty that St. Matthew and St. Mark speak of His head--the first (Luke 7) took place at a comparatively early date; the second, two days before the last Passover. But it was one and the same woman who performed this pious act on each occasion.
Subsequent history of St. Mary Magdalen
The Greek Church maintains that the saint retired to Ephesus with the Blessed Virgin and there died, that her relics were transferred to Constantinople in 886 and are there preserved. Gregory of Tours (De miraculis, I, xxx) supports the statement that she went to Ephesus. However, according to a French tradition (see SAINT LAZARUS OF BETHANY), Mary, Lazarus, and some companions came to Marseilles and converted the whole of Provence. Magdalen is said to have retired to a hill, La Sainte-Baume, near by, where she gave herself up to a life of penance for thirty years. When the time of her death arrived she was carried by angels to Aix and into the oratory of St. Maximinus, where she received the viaticum; her body was then laid in an oratory constructed by St. Maximinus at Villa Lata, afterwards called St. Maximin. History is silent about these relics till 745, when according to the chronicler Sigebert, they were removed to Vézelay through fear of the Saracens. No record is preserved of their return, but in 1279, when Charles II, King of Naples, erected a convent at La Sainte-Baume for the Dominicans, the shrine was found intact, with an inscription stating why they were hidden. In 1600 the relics were placed in a sarcophagus sent by Clement VIII, the head being placed in a separate vessel. In 1814 the church of La Sainte-Baume, wrecked during the Revolution, was restored, and in 1822 the grotto was consecrated afresh. The head of the saint now lies there, where it has lain so long, and where it has been the centre of so many pilgrimages.
Source : The Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis creates New category of Sainthood "Oblatio Vitae" - FULL TEXT Motu Proprio "Maiorem hac dilectionem"



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter motu proprio on Tuesday, by which he created a new category, distinct from martyrdom, under which a Servant of God may be declared Blessed: oblatio vitae, or “the free offering (i.e. “oblation”) of [one’s] life”.
The Letter, Maiorem hac dilectionem, takes its title from the words of Our Lord as recorded in the Holy Gospel according to St. John, “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends, (Jn 15:13)”.

The Letter creates a new category - a facti species in technical language - called, oblatio vitae, and distinguishes it from the facti species of martyrdom, by five (5) criteria:
a) The free and voluntary offering of one’s life, and heroic acceptance propter caritatem of a certain and soon-to-come death;
b) A nexus – i.e. close relation – between the offering of one’s life and the premature death of the one who offers it;
c) The exercise, at least in ordinary degree, of the Christian virtues before the subject’s offering of his or her life and, afterward, perseverance in those virtues unto death;
d) The existence of fama sanctitatis – i.e. the reputation for holiness – on the part of the subject, and of signs [in confirmation thereof], at least after death;
e) The necessity, for beatification, of a miracle, one that occurred after the death of the Servant of God, and by said Servant’s intercession.
The oblatio vitae of the Servant of God, in order that it be valid and efficacious for beatification, must respond to all of the aforementioned criteria.
The positio prepared by the diocesan inquest into the Cause of the Servant of God must respond to the following question: An constet de heroica oblatione vitae usque ad mortem propter caritatem necnon de virtutibus christianis, saltem in gradu ordinario, in casu et ad effectum de quo agitur, which is, “Does [the case of the Servant of God] consist of [an] heroic offering of his/her life up to death for the sake of supernatural love of God (propter caritatem) and also of the Christian virtues, at least in the ordinary degree, on the occasion and to the effect for which [the subject’s offering of his/her life] was made?”
Below, please find the full text of the Apostolic Letter motu proprio, Maiorem hac dilectionem, in the original Latin…
*******************************     
LITTERAE APOSTOLICAE MOTU PROPRIO DATAE
DE OBLATIONE VITAE
«Maiorem hac dilectionem nemo habet, ut animam suam quis ponat pro amicis suis» (Io 15,13).
Singulari existimatione et honore digni sunt illi christifideles, qui Iesu Christi vestigia ac placita proxime sequentes, vitam suam pro aliis voluntarie ac libere praebuerunt et hoc in proposito usque ad mortem perseveraverunt.
Omnibus compertum habetur heroicam vitae oblationem, caritate monitam ac fultam, Christi veram, plenam ac praestantissimam imitationem exprimere, quapropter ea digna est illa admiratione, quae fidelium communitas reservare illis solet, qui voluntarie vitam immolaverunt sanguinis martyrio occumbentes vel heroico in gradu christianas virtutes exercuerunt.
Faventi consilio a Congregatione de Causis Sanctorum edito, quae Plenaria in Sessione diei 27 mensis Septembris anno 2016 diligenter perscrutata est an huiusmodi christifideles beatificationis sint digni, has quae sequuntur statuimus normas servandas:
ARTICULUS I
Vitae oblatio nova facti species est itineris ad beatificationem et canonizationem, quae a specie super martyrio et super heroicitatem virtutumdiffert.
ARTICULUS II
Vitae oblatio, ut sit apta atque efficax ad Servi Dei beatificationem haec requirit:
a)   libera ac voluntaria sui vitae oblatio et heroica propter caritatem certae ac tempore proximae mortis acceptio;
b)   nexus inter vitae oblationem et praematuram mortem;
c)   exercitium, saltem ordinario gradu, christianarum virtutum ante vitae oblationem et, deinceps, usque ad mortem;
d)   exsistentia famae sanctitatis et signorum saltem post mortem;
e)   necessitas miraculi, beatificationis intuitu, quod post Servi Dei mortem et per eiusdem intercessionem eveniat.
ARTICULUS III
Dioecesanae vel Eparchialis Inquisitionis celebratio una cum pertinentiPositione ad normam Apostolicae Constitutionis Divinus perfectionis Magisterdiei 25 mensis Ianuarii anno 1983 in Actis Apostolicae Sedis, volumine 75 (1983), 349-355 editae, et secundum Normas Servandas in inquisitionibus ab Episcopis faciendis in Causis Sanctorum diei 7 mensis Februarii eiusdem anni promulgatas in Actis Apostolicae Sedis, volumine 75 (1983), 396-403 editas, praeter sequentia, temperata est.
ARTICULUS IV
Positio super oblatione vitae ad dubium respondeat “An constet de heroica oblatione vitae usque ad mortem propter caritatem necnon de virtutibus christianis, saltem in gradu ordinario, in casu et ad effectum de quo agitur”.
ARTICULUS V
In articulis subscriptae Apostolicae Constitutionis haec sequentia innoventur:
        Ad art. 1:
«Episcopis dioecesanis vel Hierarchis ceterisque in iure aequiparatis, intra fines suae iurisdictionis, sive ex officio, sive ad instantiam singulorum fidelium vel legitimorum coetuum eorumque procuratorum, ius competit inquirendi circa vitam, virtutes, vitae oblationem vel martyrium ac famam sanctitatis vel vitae oblationis vel martyrii, asserta miracula, necnon, si casus ferat, antiquum cultum Servi Dei, cuius canonizatio petitur».
Ad art. 2,5:
«Inquisitio de assertis miraculis ab inquisitione de virtutibus vel de vitae oblatione vel de martyrio separatim fiat».
Ad art. 7,1:
«Una cum externis cooperatoribus causis sibi commissis studere atque Positiones super virtutibus vel super vitae oblatione vel super martyrio parare».

Ad art. 13,2:
«Si Congressus iudicaverit causam instructam fuisse ad legis normas, statuet cuinam ex Relatoribus committenda sit; Relator vero una cum cooperatore externo Positionem super virtutibus vel super vitae oblatione vel super martyrio conficiet iuxta regulas artis criticae in hagiographia servandas».
ARTICULUS VI
In articulis supradictarum Normarum servandarum in inquisitionibus ab Episcopis faciendis in Causis Sanctorum haec innoventur:
Ad art. 7:
«Causa potest esse recentior aut antiqua; recentior dicitur, si martyrium vel virtutes vel vitae oblatio Servi Dei per orales depositiones testium de visu probari possunt; antiqua vero, cum probationes de martyrio vel de virtutibus vel de vitae oblatione dumtaxat ex fontibus scriptis erui possunt».
Ad art. 10,1°:
«In causis tam recentioribus quam antiquis, biographiam alicuius historici momenti de Servo Dei, si extat, vel, ea deficiente, accuratam relationem chronologice digestam de vita et gestis ipsius Servi Dei, de eius virtutibus vel vitae oblatione vel martyrio, de sanctitatis et signorum fama, non omissis iis quae ipsi causae contraria vel minus favorabilia videntur».
Ad art. 10,3°:
        «In causis recentioribus tantum, elenchum personarum quae ad eruendam veritatem circa virtutes vel vitae oblationem vel martyrium Servi Dei, necnon circa sanctitatis vel signorum famam conferre possunt vel adversari».
Ad art. 15,a:
«Relatione accepta, Episcopus omnia usque ad illud tempus acquisita promotori iustitiae vel alii viro perito tradat, ut interrogatoria conficiat quae apta sint ad verum indagandum et inveniendum de Servi Dei vita, virtutibus vel vitae oblatione vel martyrio, fama sanctitatis vel vitae oblationis vel martyrii».
Ad art. 15,b:
«In causis antiquis vero interrogatoria dumtaxat famam sanctitatis vel vitae oblationis vel martyrii adhuc vigentem necnon, si casus ferat, cultum recentioribus temporibus Servo Dei praestitum respiciant».
Ad art. 19:
«Ad probandum martyrium vel virtutum exercitium vel vitae oblationem et signorum famam Servi Dei qui pertinuerit ad aliquod Institutum vitae consecratae, notabilis pars testium inductorum debent esse extranei, nisi, ob peculiarem Servi Dei vitam, id impossibile evadat».
Ad art. 32:
«Inquisitio super miraculis separatim instruenda est ab inquisitione super virtutibus vel vitae oblatione vel martyrio et fiat iuxta normas quae sequuntur».
Ad art. 36:
«De Servis Dei, quorum sanctitas vitae adhuc legitimo examini subiecta est, quaelibet sollemnia vel panegyricae orationes in ecclesiis prohibentur. Sed etiam extra ecclesiam abstinendum est ab iis actis quibus fideles induci possint ad falso putandum inquisitionem ab Episcopo factam de Servi Dei vita et virtutibus vel vitae oblatione vel martyrio certitudinem secum ferre futurae eiusdem Servi Dei canonizationis»
Haec omnia, quae his Apostolicis Litteris motu proprio statuimus, mandamus ut rite funditusque serventur, contrariis quibuscumque etiam speciali mentione dignis minime obstantibus et publici iuris fiant per editionem super actis diurnis scilicet “L’Osservatore Romano” et ab hoc ipso die vigere incipiant et deinceps in Actis Apostolicae Sedis referri mandamus.
Datum apud Sanctum Petrum, die XI mensis Iulii, anno Domini MMXVII, Pontificatus Nostri quinto.

Prayer to St. Christopher for Safe #Travels and #Motorists - SHARE #StChristopher 's Prayer!

Saint Christopher Prayer"Motorist's Prayer:" Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye, that no one shall be hurt as I pass by. Thou gavest life, I pray no act of mine may take away or mar that gift of Thine. Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear my company from the evils of fire and all calamity.Teach me to use my car for others need; Nor miss through love of undue speed. The beauty of the world; that thus I may with joy and courtesy go on my way. St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me, and lead me safely to my destiny.
Saint Christopher's Protection Prayer
 Dear Saint Christopher, protect me today in all my travels along the road's way. Give your warning sign if danger is near so that I may stop while the path is clear. Be at my window and direct me through when the vision blurs From out of the blue. Carry me safely to my destined place, like you carried Christ in your close embrace. Amen.

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 St. Christopher's Prayer
O Glorious St. Christopher you have inherited a beautiful name, Christbearer, as a result of the wonderful legend that while carrying people across a raging stream you also carried the Child Jesus. Teach us to be true Christbearers to those who do not know Him. Protect all of us that travel both near and far and petition Jesus to be with us always. Amen. Join us on

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday July 21, 2017 - #Eucharist

Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 393


Reading 1EX 11:10—12:14

Although Moses and Aaron performed various wonders
in Pharaoh's presence,
the LORD made Pharaoh obstinate,
and he would not let the children of Israel leave his land.

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
"This month shall stand at the head of your calendar;
you shall reckon it the first month of the year.
Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month
every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb,
one apiece for each household.
If a family is too small for a whole lamb,
it shall join the nearest household in procuring one
and shall share in the lamb
in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.
The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish.
You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.
You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then,
with the whole assembly of Israel present,
it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight.
They shall take some of its blood
and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel
of every house in which they partake of the lamb.
That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh
with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
It shall not be eaten raw or boiled, but roasted whole,
with its head and shanks and inner organs.
None of it must be kept beyond the next morning;
whatever is left over in the morning shall be burned up.

"This is how you are to eat it:
with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand,
you shall eat like those who are in flight.
It is the Passover of the LORD.
For on this same night I will go through Egypt,
striking down every first born of the land, both man and beast,
and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the LORD!
But the blood will mark the houses where you are.
Seeing the blood, I will pass over you;
thus, when I strike the land of Egypt,
no destructive blow will come upon you.

"This day shall be a memorial feast for you,
which all your generations shall celebrate
with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution."

Responsorial PsalmPS 116:12-13, 15 AND 16BC, 17-18

R. (13) I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.

AlleluiaJN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord,
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 12:1-8

Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath.
His disciples were hungry
and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him,
"See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath."
He said to the them, "Have you not read what David did
when he and his companions were hungry,
how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering,
which neither he nor his companions
but only the priests could lawfully eat?
Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath
the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath
and are innocent?
I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.
If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
you would not have condemned these innocent men.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath."

Saint July 21 : St. Lawrence of Brindisi : Doctor : #Capuchin #Franciscan


 Born at Brindisi in 1559; died at Lisbon on 22 July, 1619. In baptism he received the names of Julius Caesar. Guglielmo de Rossi — or Guglielmo Russi, according to a contemporary writer — was his father's name; his mother was Elisabetta Masella. Both were excellent Christians. Of a precocious piety, Lorenzo gave early evidence of a religious vocation. The Conventuals of Brindisi were entrusted with his education. His progress in his studies was very rapid, and, when barely six, he had already given indication of his future success in oratory. Consequently, he was always the one chosen to address, in accordance with the Italian custom, a short sermon to his compatriots on the Infant Jesus during the Christmas festivities. When he was twelve years of age his father died. He then pursued his studies at Venice with the clerics of St. Mark's and under the supervision of one of his uncles. In 1575 he was received into the Order of Capuchins under the name of Brother Lorenzo, and, after his profession, made his philosophical and theological studies at the University of Padua. Owing to his wonderful memory he mastered not only the principal European languages, but also most of the Semitic tongues. It was said he knew the entire original text of the Bible. Such a knowledge, in the eyes of many, could be accounted for only by supernatural assistance, and, during the process of beatification, the examiners of the saint's writings rendered the following judgment: "Vere inter sanctos Ecclesiae doctores adnumerari potest." Such unusual talents, added to a rare virtue, fitted Brother Lorenzo for the most diverse missions. When still a deacon he preached the Lenten sermons in Venice, and his success was so great that he was called successively to all the principal cities of the peninsula. Subsequently, thanks to his numerous journeys, he was enabled to evangelize at different periods most of the countries of Europe. The sermons he left fill no less than eight folio volumes.

He adopted the method of preaching in favour with the great Franciscan missionaries, or rather with apostolic workers of all times, who, aiming primarily to reach men's hearts and convert them, always adapt their style of discourse to the spiritual needs of their hearers. Brother Lorenzo held successively all the offices of his order. From 1596 to 1602 he had, as general definitor, to fix his residence in Rome. Clement VIII assigned him the task of instructing the Jews; thanks to his knowledge of Hebrew and his powerful reasoning, he brought a great number of them to recognize the truth of the Christian religion. His saintliness, combined with his great kindliness, completed the preparing of the way for the grace of conversion. His success in Rome caused him to be called to several other cities, where he also baptized numerous Jews. At the same time he was commissioned to establish houses of his order in Germany and Austria. Amid the great difficulties created by the heretics he founded the convents of Vienna, Prague, and Graz, the nuclei of three provinces.
At the chapter of 1602 he was elected vicar-general. (At that time the Order of Capuchins, which had broken away from the Observants in 1528 and had an independent constitution, gave its first superior the title of vicar-general only. It was not until 1618 that Pope Paul V changed it to that of minister general). The very year of his election the new superior began the visitation of the provinces. Milan, Paris, Marseilles, Spain, received him in turn. As his coming was preceded by a great reputation for holiness, the people flocked to hear him preach and to receive his blessing. His administration characterized by wise firmness and fatherly tenderness, was of great benefit to the order. At the Chapter of 1605 he refused to undertake for a second term the government of his brethren, but until his death he was the best adviser of his successors. It was on the occasion of the foundation of the convent of Prague (1601) that St. Lorenzo was named chaplain of the Imperial army, then about to march against the Turks. The victory of Lepanto (1571) had only temporarily checked the Moslem invasion, and several battles were still necessary to secure the final triumph of the Christian armies. Mohammed III had, since his accession (1595), conquered a large part of Hungary. The emperor, determined to prevent a further advance, sent Lorenzo of Brindisi as deputy to the German princes to obtain their cooperation. They responded to his appeal, and moreover the Duke of Mercœur, Governor of Brittany, joined the imperial army, of which he received the effective command. The attack on Albe-Royal (now Stulweissenburg) was then contemplated. To pit 18,000 men against 80,000 Turks was a daring undertaking and the generals, hesitating to attempt it, appealed to Lorenzo for advice. Holding himself responsible for victory, he communicated to the entire army in a glowing speech the ardour and confidence with which he was himself animated. As his feebleness prevented him from marching, he mounted on horseback and, crucifix in hand, took the lead of the army, which he drew irresistibly after him. Three other Capuchins were also in the ranks of the army. Although the most exposed to danger, Lorenzo was not wounded, which was universally regarded as due to a miraculous protection. The city was finally taken, and the Turks lost 30,000 men. As however they still exceeded in numbers the Christian army, they formed their lines anew, and a few days later another battle was fought. It always the chaplain who was at the head of the army. "Forward!" he cried, showing them the crucifix, "Victory is ours." The Turks were again defeated, and the honour of this double victory was attributed by the general and the entire army to Lorenzo. Having resigned his office of vicar-general in 1605, he was sent by the pope to evangelize Germany. He here confirmed the faith of the Catholics, brought back a great number to the practice of virtue, and converted many heretics. In controversies his vast learning always gave him the advantage, and, once he had won the minds of his hearers, his saintliness and numerous miracles completed their conversion. To protect the Faith more efficaciously in their states, the Catholic princes of Germany formed the alliance called the "Catholic League". Emperor Rudolph sent Lorenzo to Philip III of Spain to persuade him to join the League. Having discharged this mission successfully, the saintly ambassador received a double mandate by virtue of which he was to represent the interests of the pope and of Madrid at the court of Maximilian of Bavaria, head of the League. He was thus, much against his wishes, compelled to settle in Munich near Maximilian. Besides being nuncio and ambassador, Lorenzo was also commissary general of his order for the provinces of Tyrol and Bavaria, and spiritual director of the Bavarian army. He was also chosen as arbitrator in the dispute which arose between the princes, and it was in fulfillment of this role that, at the request of the emperor, he restored harmony between the Duke of Mantua and a German nobleman. In addition to all these occupations he undertook, with the assistance of several Capuchins, a missionary campaign throughout Germany, and for eight months travelled in Bavaria, Saxony, and the Palatinate.
 Amid so many various undertakings Lorenzo found time for the practices of personal sanctification. And it is perhaps the greatest marvel of his life to have combined with duties so manifold an unusually intense inner life. In the practice of the religious virtues St. Lorenzo equals the greatest saints. He had to a high degree the gift of contemplation, and very rarely celebrated Holy Mass without falling into ecstasies. After the Holy Sacrifice, his great devotion was the Rosary and the Office of the Blessed Virgin. As in the case of St. Francis of Assisi, there was something poetical about his piety, which often burst forth into canticles to the Blessed Virgin. It was in Mary's name that he worked his miracles, and his favourite blessing was: "Nos cum prole pia benedicat Virgo Maria." Having withdrawn to the monastery of Caserta in 1618, Lorenzo was hoping to enjoy a few days of seclusion, when he was requested by the leading men of Naples to go to Spain and apprise Philip III of the conduct of Viceroy Ossuna. In spite of many obstacles raised by the latter, the saint sailed from Genoa and carried out his mission successfully. But the fatigues of the journey exhausted his feeble strength. He was unable to travel homeward, and after a few days of great suffering died at Lisbon in the native land of St. Anthony (22 July, 1619), as he had predicted when he set out on his journey. He was buried in the cemetery of the Poor Clares of Villafranca. The process of beatification, several times interrupted by various circumstances, was concluded in 1783. The canonization took place on 8 December, 1881. With St. Anthony, St. Bonaventure, and Blessed John Duns Scotus, he is a Doctor of the Franciscan Order. The known writings of St. Lorenzo of Brindisi comprise eight volumes of sermons, two didactic treatises on oratory, a commentary on Genesis, another on Ezechiel, and three volumes of religious polemics. Most of his sermons are written in Italian, the other works being in Latin. The three volumes of controversies have notes in Greek and Hebrew. Note: In 1959 Pope John XXIII proclaimed St. Lorenzo da Brindisi a Doctor of the Universal Church. His feast is kept on 6 July. Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Thursday, July 20, 2017

#BreakingNews Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI did not Criticize Pope Francis - Statement by Mons. G. Ganswein


Some news agencies are reporting that Pope Emeritus Benedict criticized the Papacy of Pope Francis.
The Curia's Archbishop explained that  Benedict XVI had written a message about Cardinal Meisner at the request of Cardinal Woelki. .Archbishop Georg Gänswein has rejected speculations, that Benedict XVI had wanted to criticize Pope Francis in his greeting to the funeral of Cardinal Meisner. "The emeritus pope has been arbitrarily instrumentalized, with this sentence which does not refer to anything concrete," said the private secretary of Benedict XVI. (The Italian daily "Il Giornale" (Tuesday).
Benedict XVI (2005-2013) had written in his message that, in his last phase of life, Meisner had lived more and more out of the deep certainty "that the Lord does not leave his church, even if the boat is almost filled." This had been interpreted by some commentators as criticism of Pope Francis.The image of the endangered boat, which he had already used in 2005, once again attracted a large audience, suggests that the position of the Church in 2017 is not more stable than under his leadership.

Gänswein had read Benedict's message in Cologne on Saturday. Benedict XVI Had talked about the situation of the church today and in the past and compared it with a boat that does not drive in still waters, said Gänswein.

Archbishop Gänswein, at the funeral of Cardinal Meisner, read the memorial of Benedict XVI.
FULL TEXT greeting from Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus, on the occasion of the funeral Mass of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, on 15th July 2017
In this hour, when the Church of Cologne and believers further afield take their leave of Cardinal Joachim Meissner, I am with them in my heart and thoughts and am pleased to accede to Cardinal Woelki’s wish and address a word of reflection to them. When I heard last Wednesday by telephone of the death of Cardinal Meissner, I could not believe it at first. We had spoken to each other the previous day. From the way he spoke he was grateful to be on holiday now, after he had taken part the Sunday before (25th June) in the beatification of Bishop Teofilius Maturlionis in Vilnius. His love for the neighbouring Churches in the East, which had suffered persecution under Communism, as well as gratitude for endurance in suffering during that time left a lifelong mark on him. So it was certainly no accident that the last visit of his life was made to a confessor of the faith. What struck me particularly in the last conversations with the Cardinal, now gone home, was the natural cheerfulness, the inner peace and the assurance he had found. We know that it was hard for him, the passionate shepherd and pastor of souls, to leave his office, and this precisely at a time when the Church had a pressing need for shepherds who would oppose the dictatorship of the zeitgeist, fully resolved to act and think from a faith standpoint. Yet I have been all the more impressed that in this last period of his life he learned to let go, and live increasingly from the conviction that the Lord does not leave his Church, even if at times the ship is almost filled to the point of shipwreck. There were two things which in this final period allowed him to be increasingly happy and assured: - The first was that he often related to me that what filled him with deep joy was to experience, in the Sacrament of Penance, how young people, above all young men, came to experience the mercy of forgiveness, the gift, in effect to have found life, which only God can give them. - The second, which again and again touched and made him happy, was the perceptible increase in Eucharistic adoration. This was the central theme for him at World Youth Day in Cologne – that there was adoration, a silence, in which the Lord alone speaks to hearts. Some pastoral and liturgical authorities were of the opinion that such a silence in contemplation of the Lord with such a huge number of people could achieve nothing. A few were also of the opinion that Eucharistic adoration as such has been overtaken, because the Lord wanted to be received in the Eucharistic bread and not be looked at. Yet the fact that a person cannot eat this bread as just some sort of nourishment, and that to “receive” the Lord in the Eucharistic Sacrament includes all the dimensions of our existence – that receiving has to be worship, something which has in the meantime become increasingly clearer. So the period of Eucharistic adoration at the Cologne World Youth Day became an interior event that has remained unforgettable, and not only to the Cardinal. This moment for him was subsequently always present internally and a great light for him. When on the last morning Cardinal Meissner did not appear for Mass, he was found dead in his room. The breviary had slipped from his hands: he died while praying, his face on the Lord, in conversation with the Lord. The art of dying, which was given to him, again demonstrated how he had lived: with his face towards the Lord and in conversation with him. So we may confidently entrust his soul to the goodness of God. Lord, we thank you for the witness of this your servant, Joachim. Let him now intercede for the Church of Cologne and for the whole world! May he rest in peace! (Translated by Rt Rev Michael G Campbell OSA, Bishop of Lancaster, UK)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday July 20, 2017 - #Eucharist


Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 392


Reading 1EX 3:13-20

Moses, hearing the voice of the LORD from the burning bush, said to him,
"When I go to the children of Israel and say to them,
'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,'
if they ask me, 'What is his name?' what am I to tell them?"
God replied, "I am who am."
Then he added, "This is what you shall tell the children of Israel:
I AM sent me to you."

God spoke further to Moses, "Thus shall you say to the children of Israel:
The LORD, the God of your fathers,
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob,
has sent me to you.

"This is my name forever;
this my title for all generations.

"Go and assemble the elders of Israel, and tell them:
The LORD, the God of your fathers,
the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
has appeared to me and said:
I am concerned about you
and about the way you are being treated in Egypt;
so I have decided to lead you up out of the misery of Egypt
into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites,
Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites,
a land flowing with milk and honey.

"Thus they will heed your message.
Then you and the elders of Israel
shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him:
"The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent us word.
Permit us, then, to go a three-days' journey in the desert,
that we may offer sacrifice to the LORD, our God.

"Yet I know that the king of Egypt will not allow you to go
unless he is forced.
I will stretch out my hand, therefore,
and smite Egypt by doing all kinds of wondrous deeds there.
After that he will send you away."

Responsorial PsalmPS 105:1 AND 5, 8-9, 24-25, 26-27

R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations—
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He greatly increased his people
and made them stronger than their foes,
Whose hearts he changed, so that they hated his people,
and dealt deceitfully with his servants.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He sent Moses his servant;
Aaron, whom he had chosen.
They wrought his signs among them,
and wonders in the land of Ham.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaMT 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 11:28-30

Jesus said:
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

Saint July 20 : St. Apollinaris of Ravenna : Bishop - Miracle Worker

One of the first great martyrs of the church. He was made Bishop of Ravenna by St. Peter himself. The miracles he wrought there soon attracted official attention, for they and his preaching won many converts to the Faith, while at the same time bringing upon him the fury of the idolaters, who beat him cruelly and drove him from the city. He was found half dead on the seashore, and kept in concealment by the Christians, but was captured again and compelled to walk on burning coals and a second time expelled. But he remained in the vicinity, and continued his work of evangelization. We find him then journeying in the province of Aemilia. A third time he returned to Ravenna. Again he was captured, hacked with knives, had scalding water poured over his wounds, was beaten in the mouth with stones because he persisted in preaching, and then, loaded with chains, was flung into a horrible dungeon to starve to death; but after four days he was put on board ship and sent to Greece. There the same course of preachings, and miracles, and sufferings continued; and when his very presence caused the oracles to be silent, he was, after a cruel beating, sent back to Italy. All this continued for three years, and a fourth time he returned to Ravenna. By this time Vespasian was Emperor, and he, in answer to the complaints of the pagans, issued a decree of banishment against the Christians. Apollinaris was kept concealed for some time, but as he was passing out of the gates of the city, was set upon and savagely beaten, probably at Classis, a suburb, but he lived for seven days, foretelling meantime that the persecutions would increase, but that the Church would ultimately triumph. It is not certain what was his native place, though it was probably Antioch. Nor is it sure that he was one of the seventy-two disciples of Christ, as has been suggested. The precise date of his consecration cannot be ascertained, but he was Bishop of Ravenna for twenty-six years. Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Saint July 20 : St. Margaret of Antioch : Patron of #Pregnant , Child #Birth and #Nurses

Born:
Antioch (in Pisidia)
Died:
304
Patron of:
childbirth, pregnant women, dying people, kidney disease, peasants, exiles, falsely accused people; nurses
Virgin and martyr; also called MARINA; belonged to Pisidian Antioch in Asia Minor, where her father was a pagan priest. Her mother dying soon after her birth, Margaret was nursed by a pious woman five or six leagues from Antioch. Having embraced Christianity and consecrated her virginity to God, she was disowned by her father and adopted by her nurse.
 While she was one day engaged in watching the flocks of her mistress, a lustful Roman prefect named Olybrius caught sight of her, and attracted by her great beauty sought to make her his concubine or wife. When neither cajolery nor threats of punishment could succeed in moving her to yield to his desires, he had her brought before him in public trial at Antioch. Threatened with death unless she renounced the Christian faith, the holy virgin refused to adore the gods of the empire and an attempt was made to burn her, but the flames, we are told in her Acts, left her unhurt. She was then bound hand and foot and thrown into a cauldron of boiling water, but at her prayer her bonds were broken and she stood up uninjured. Finally the prefect ordered her to be beheaded. The Greek Church honors her under the name Marine on 13 July; the Latin, as Margaret on 20 July. Her Acts place her death in the persecution of Diocletian (A.D. 303-5), but in fact even the century to which she belonged is uncertain. St. Margaret is represented in art sometimes as a shepherdess, or as leading a chained dragon, again carrying a little cross or a girdle in her hand, or standing by a large vessel which recalls the cauldron into which she was plunged. Relics said to belong to the saint are venerated in very many parts of Europe; at Rome, Montefiascone, Brusels, Bruges, Paris, Froidmont, Troyes, and various other places. Curiously enough this virgin has been widely venerated for many centuries as a special patron of women who are pregnant.

BREAKING Scientists say Blood from Shroud of Turin is that of a Torture Victim supporting its Authenticity


Experts claim there is blood on the Shroud which is not typical of healthy person. They say it contains creatinine and ferritin, found in those who suffered trauma. The findings contradict claims that the shroud was a medieval creation. Experts have claimed the Shroud of Turin is stained with the blood of a torture victim, supporting claims it was used to bury Jesus. They say the linen cloth, believed to have been used to wrap Christ's body after crucifixion, contains 'nanoparticles'. Elvio Carlino, a researcher at the Institute of Crystallography in Bari, Italy, says the tiny particles reveal 'great suffering' of a victim ' wrapped up in the funeral cloth'. These particles had a 'peculiar structure, size and distribution,' added University of Padua professor Giulio Fanti. He says the blood contained high levels of substances called creatinine and ferritin, found in patients who suffer forceful traumas like torture. Professor Fanti said: 'Hence, the presence of these biological nanoparticles found during our experiments point to a violent death for the man wrapped in the Turin Shroud.' The Shroud of Turin measures around three metres by one metre and contains a faintly stained image of a man which Christians believe depicts Jesus.  The new findings were published in the US scientific journal, PlosOne, in an article titled 'New Biological Evidence from Atomic Resolution Studies on the Turin Shroud.' The Shroud of Turin, which measures around three metres by one metre and contains a faintly stained image believed to be Christ  Researchers drew on experimental evidence of atomic resolution studies and recent medical studies on patients who suffered multiple acts of trauma and torture. Elvio added: 'These findings could only be revealed by the methods recently developed in the field of electron microscopy.' He said the research marked the first study of 'the nanoscale properties of a pristine fiber taken from the Turin Shroud.' The research was carried out by the Instituo Officia dei Materiali in Trieste and the Institute of Crystallography in Bari, both under Italy's National Research Council, as well as the University of Padua's Department of Industrial Engineering.
Edited from Daily Mail

#BreakingNews 2 Priests Kidnapped at night in Dem. Rep. of Congo - Please PRAY

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Two Congolese Catholic priests were kidnapped during the night between Sunday 16 and Monday, July 17. Don Pierre Akilimali and Don Charles Kipasa were kidnapped by strangers in the Notre-Dame des Anges parish of Bunyuka, in the diocese of Beni-Butembo, in the province of North-Kivu, northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The kidnapping of the two priests was condemned by the Congolese National Bishops' Conference (CENCO), which in a statement denounced the climate of insecurity in the area and reminded the Congolese authorities of their "duty to ensure the security of people and their goods". CENCO has asked the security forces "to do everything possible to free the two priests from the hands of kidnappers and dismantle the criminal network that destabilizes peace in the region of Beni".
The statement also highlights that since October 2012 there has been no news about the fate of the three Assumptionist fathers, Jean-Pierre Ndulani, Anselme Wasikundi and Edmond Bamutute, abducted in their parish of Notre-Dame des Pauvres in Mbau, 22 km from Beni (See Fides 22/10/2012).
"Priests are God's men who consecrate their lives for the good of the population, without having a political agenda. Hurting them means harming the whole community they serve", underlines the statement signed by His Exc. Mgr. Marcel Utembi, Archbishop of Kisangani and President of CENCO.
According to a note sent to Agenzia Fides by CEPADHO, a local NGO for the protection of human rights, the two priests were kidnapped by about ten armed camouflaged men who attacked the parish. The assailants hit some seminarians who were serving in the parish and stole two cars and two motorcycles used by the priests. The two off-road vehicles were later found near Virunga National Park. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 18/7/2017)