Saturday, October 21, 2017

Saint October 22 : St. Pope John Paul II - SHARE - #JPII #PopeJohnPaulII




 Saint Pope John Paul II was born and named Karol Jozef Wojtyla on May 18, 1920. He died on April 2, 2005 at the age of 84 years. John Paul II reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from October 16, 1978 until his death. He was the only Polish Pontiff to reign.


The Pontiff was influencial in the downfall of Communism. He traveled more than any other Pope in history, visiting 129 countries. The Holy Father spoke many languages including: Polish, Italian, Spanish, German, English, Portuguese, Russian, French, Croatian and Latin. He beatified 1, 340 people and canonised 483 Saints.



John Paul II was beatified on May 1, 2011 and his memorial is celebrated on Oct. 22.

Karol Wojtyla was born in Poland in Wadowice. He was the youngest of 3 children to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. When Karol was 8 years old his mother(April 13, 1929) died. Olga, Karol's elder sister died in infancy. His only remaining sibling, a brother Edmund, was a physician. Edmund, 14 years older than Karol, died from scarlet fever. (image source:


In 1938, Karol and his father moved to Krakow. He then studied at Jagiellonian University. Here Karol engaged in theatrical works and hard labour. His father died of a heart attack in 1941. Wojtyla began priestly studies in 1942 at an underground seminary. He was ordained a priest on November 1, 1946 by Archbishop Cardinal Sapieha.
Karol then went to Rome to study at the Pontifical International Athenaeum Angelicum. Here he received a licentiate and a doctorate in Sacred Theology. In 1948, he returned to Poland and was head of a local Parish.
Fr. Wojtyla began to teach ethics at the Jagiellonian University. In 1954, he received another doctorate in philosophy. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Krakow in 1958.
Bishop Wojtyla was an active participant of the Second Vatican Council, which occurred in 1962-1965. In 1964, Karol was appointed Archbishop of Krakow. In 1967, Karol was promoted to Cardinal. He was inaugurated Pontiff on October, 22, 1978. Karol took the name John Paul II after the preceding Pope John Paul I who died early in his reign.
He became the 264th Pope to reign at the age of 58. He wrote 14 Papal Encyclicals. He took the motto Totus Tuus in reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He had a special devotion to the Mother of God.
As Pope, John Paul established "World Youth Days", these gathered young Catholics from around the world for a week of prayer and activities. The largest gathering of people, in history, occurred in Manila, Phillipines at the World Youth Day with JPII. Here around 5 million gathered to celebrate the Catholic Faith.



On May 13, 1981 JPII was shot and wounded by Mehmet Ali Agca. This was an assassination attempt by this Turkish man as a member of a fascist group. He underwent extensive surgery and narrowly survived. He thanked Our Lady of Fatima for his survival. In 1983, JPII visited his assassin in prison. (image sources: google)

Pope John Paul II was very influential in ecumenism and met with many religious and political leaders. He is thought to have aided in the fall of Communism.
"True holiness does not mean a flight from the world; rather, it lies in the effort to incarnate the Gospel in everyday life, in the family, at school and at work, and in social and political involvement." Blessed Pope John Paul II..


#PopeFrancis " No physical or psychic limit may ever be an obstacle...the face of Christ shines in the intimacy of every person." FULL TEXT on Disabilities


Audience with the participants in the Conference organised by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, 21.10.2017

At 11.30 today, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the participants in the Conference Catechesis and Persons with Disabilities: A Necessary Engagement in the Daily Pastoral Life of the Church, organised by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, taking place at the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome, from 20 to 22 October 2017.
The following is the Pope’s address to those present:

VATICAN.VA - FULL TEXT - Address of the Holy Father
Dear brothers and sisters,
I rejoice at meeting you, especially because in these days you have considered a theme of great importance for the life of the Church in her work of evangelisation and Christian formation: Catechesis and Persons with Disabilities. I thank H.E. Msgr. Fisichella for his introduction, the dicastery over which he presides for its service, and all of you for your work in this field.
We know the great development that throughout recent decades has taken place in relation to disability. The growth in awareness of the dignity of every person, especially the weakest, has led to courageous positions being taken for the inclusion of those who live with various forms of handicap, so that no-one need feel like an outsider in their own home. However, at cultural level there persist expressions that harm the dignity of these people through the prevalence of a false concept of life. A vision that is often narcissistic and utilitarian unfortunately leads many to consider as marginal people with disabilities, without recognising in them the multiform human and spiritual wealth. An attitude of denying this condition, as if it prevented happiness and the realisation of the self, is still too strong in the common mentality. This is shown by the eugenic tendency to suppress unborn children when they are shown to have some form of imperfection. In reality, we all know many people who, with their fragility, even in serious cases, have found the path of a good life rich in meaning, if with some hardship. Just as, on the other hand, we know people who are apparently perfect and desperate! Besides, it is a dangerous deceit to think we are invulnerable. Just as a girl I met on my recent trip to Colombia said to me, vulnerability is part of the essence of man.
The answer is love: not the false kind, overly sentimental and pietistic, but the true kind, concrete and respectful. To the extent in which we are welcomed and loved, included in the community and accompanied to look to the future with trust, the true path of life is developed and we experience lasting happiness. This, we know, is valid to all, but the most fragile are the proof. Faith is a great life companion when it permits us to touch with our hand the presence of a Father who never leaves His creatures alone, in no condition of their life. The Church cannot be aphonic or tone-deaf in the defence and promotion of people with disability. Her closeness to families helps her overcome the solitude in which they often risk closing themselves up due to a lack of attention and support. This is even more valid for the responsibility she possesses in the generation and formation of Christian life. There can be no lack in communities of the words and, above all, the gestures to encounter and welcome people with disabilities. The Sunday liturgy in particular must be able to include, so that the encounter with the Risen Lord and with the same community can be a source of hope and courage in the not always easy path of life.
Catechesis, in a special way, is called to discover and experiment with coherent forms so that every person, with his or her gifts, limits and disabilities, even serious, may encounter Jesus on the way and abandon himself to Him with faith. No physical or psychic limit may ever be an obstacle to this encounter, because the face of Christ shines in the intimacy of every person. In addition, let us be careful, especially us, as ministers in Christ’s grace, not to fall into the neo-Pelagian trap of not recognising the need for the strength of the grace that comes from the Sacraments of Christian initiation. Let us learn to overcome discomfort and fear that at times can be felt with regard to people with disabilities. Let us learn to seek and also to “invent”, with intelligence, suitable tools so that no-one lacks the support of grace. Let us form – first of all by example! – catechists who are increasingly capable of accompanying these people so that they may grow in faith and make their genuine and original contribution to the life of the Church. Finally, I hope that in communities, people with disabilities may too be catechists, also by their witness, to transmit faith in a more effective way.
I thank you for your work in these days, and for your service in the Church. May Our Lady accompany you. I heartily bless you and I ask you, please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you.

Free Catholic Movie : The Staircase : Based on a True Story - Stars Barbara Hershey


The Staircase (1998) TV Movie | 96 min | Drama, Western | 12 April 1998 (USA)  A small chapel's choir loft survives incomplete with no staircase, until one day a mysterious drifter, with a background in carpentry, arrives in town. Director: Karen Arthur Writer: Christopher Lofton Stars: Barbara Hershey, William Petersen, Diane Ladd

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Sat. October 21, 2017 - #Eucharist


Saturday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 472


Reading 1ROM 4:13, 16-18

Brothers and sisters:
It was not through the law
that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants
that he would inherit the world,
but through the righteousness that comes from faith.
For this reason, it depends on faith,
so that it may be a gift,
and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants,
not to those who only adhere to the law
but to those who follow the faith of Abraham,
who is the father of all of us, as it is written,
I have made you father of many nations.
He is our father in the sight of God,
in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead
and calls into being what does not exist.
He believed, hoping against hope,
that he would become the father of many nations,
according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be.

Responsorial Psalm PS 105:6-7, 8-9, 42-43

R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
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.
For he remembered his holy word
to his servant Abraham.
And he led forth his people with joy;
with shouts of joy, his chosen ones.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Alleluia JN 15:26B, 27A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord,
and you also will testify.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:8-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I tell you,
everyone who acknowledges me before others
the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.
But whoever denies me before others
will be denied before the angels of God.

"Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven,
but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will not be forgiven.
When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities,
do not worry about how or what your defense will be
or about what you are to say.
For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say."

Saint October 21 : St. Hilarion of Gaza - #Abbot


St. Hilarion
ABBOT
Feast: October 21
Information:
Feast Day:
October 21
Born:
291 at Gaza, Palestine
Died:
371 at Cyprus

Hilarion was born in a little town called Tabatha, five miles to the south of Gaza; he sprang like a rose out of thorns, his parents being idolaters. He was sent by them very young to Alexandria to study grammar, when, by his progress in learning, he gave great proofs of his wit, for which, and his good temper and dispositions, he was exceedingly beloved by all that knew him. Being brought to the knowledge of the Christian faith, he was baptized and became immediately a new man, renouncing all the mad sports of the circus and the entertainments of the theatre, and taking no delight but in the churches and assemblies of the faithful. Having heard of St. Antony, whose name was famous in Egypt, he went into the desert to see him. Moved by the example of his virtue he changed his habit and stayed with him two months, observing his manner of life, his fervour in prayer, his humility in receiving the brethren, his severity in reproving them, his earnestness in exhorting them, and his perseverance in austerities. But not being able to bear the frequent concourse of those who resorted to St. Antony to be healed of diseases or delivered from devils, and being desirous to begin to serve God like St. Antony in perfect solitude, he returned with certain monks into his own country. Upon his arrival there, finding his father and mother both dead, he gave part of his goods to his brethren and the rest to the poor, reserving nothing for himself.
He was then but fifteen years of age, this happening about the year 307. He retired into a desert seven miles from Majuma, toward Egypt, between the seashore on one side and certain fens on the other. His friends forewarned him that the place was notorious for murders and robberies, but his answer was that he feared nothing but eternal death. Everybody admired his fervour and extraordinary manner of life. In the beginning of his retirement certain robbers who lurked in those deserts asked him what he would do if thieves and assassins came to him? He answered, "The poor and naked fear no thieves." "But they may kill you," said they. "It is true," said the holy man, "and for this very reason I am not afraid of them, because it is my endeavour to be always prepared for death." So great fervour and resolution in one so young and so tender as our saint was both surprising and edifying to all who knew him. His constitution was so weak and delicate that the least excess of heat or cold affected him very sensibly; yet his whole clothing consisted only of a piece of sackcloth, a leather coat, which St. Antony gave him, and an ordinary short cloak. Living in solitude, he thought himself at liberty to practice certain mortifications which the respect we owe to our neighbour makes unseasonable in the world. He cut his hair only once a year, against Easter; never changed any coat till it was worn out, and never washed the sackcloth which he had once put on, saying, "It is idle to look for neatness in a hair shirt."
At his first entering on this penitential life he renounced the use of bread; and for six years together his whole diet was fifteen figs a day, which he never took till sunset. When he felt the attacks of any temptation of the flesh, being angry with himself and beating his breast, he would say to his body, "I will take order, thou little ass, that thou shalt not kick; I will feed thee with straw instead of corn; and will load and weary thee, that so thou mayest think rather how to get a little bit to eat than of pleasure." He then retrenched part of his scanty meal, and sometimes fasted three or four days without eating; and when after this he was fainting, he sustained his body only with a few dried figs and the juice of herbs. At the same time, praying and singing, he would be breaking the ground with a rake, that his labour might add to the trouble of his fasting. His employment was digging or tilling the earth, or, in imitation of the Egyptian monks, weaving small twigs together with great rushes in making baskets whereby he provided himself with the frugal necessaries of life. During the first four years of his penance he had no other shelter from the inclemencies of the weather than a little hovel or arbour which he made himself of reeds and rushes which he found in a neighbouring marsh, and which he had woven together. Afterwards he built himself a little cell, which was still to be seen in St. Jerome's time; it was but four feet broad and five feet in height, and was a little longer than the extent of his body, so that a person would have rather taken it for a grave than a house. During the course of his penance he made some alteration in his diet, but never in favour of his appetites. From the age of twenty-one he for three years lived on a measure which was little more than half a pint of pulse steeped in cold water a-day; and for the next three years his whole food was dry bread with salt and water. From his twenty-seventh year to his thirty-first he ate only wild herbs and raw roots; and from thirty-one to thirty-five he took for his daily food six ounces of barley bread a day, to which he added a few kitchen herbs, but half boiled and without oil. But perceiving his sight to grow dim and his body to be subject to an itching with an unnatural kind of scurf and roughness, he added a little oil to this diet. Thus he went on till his sixty-fourth year when, conceiving by the decay of his strength that his death was drawing near, he retrenched even his bread, and from that time to his eightieth year his whole meal never exceeded five ounces. When he was fourscore years of age there were made for him little weak broths or gruels of flour and herbs, the whole quantity of his meat and drink scarce amounting to the weight of four ounces. Thus he passed his whole life; and he never broke his fast till sunset, not even upon the highest feasts or in his greatest sickness.
Anyone who considers the condition of man in this state of trial and the malice of the enemy of our salvation will easily conceive that our saint did not pass all these years, nor arrive at so eminent a degree of virtue and sanctity, without violent temptations and assaults from the infernal spirit; in all which he was victorious by the assistance of omnipotent grace. Sometimes his soul was covered with a dark cloud, and his heart was dry and oppressed with bitter anguish; but the deafer heaven seemed to his cries on such occasions, the louder and the more earnestly he persevered knocking. To have dropped the shield of prayer under these temptations would have been to perish. At other times his mind was haunted and his imagination filled with impure images, or with the vanities of the theatre and circus. The phantoms of the enemy St. Hilarion dissipated by casting himself upon his knees and signing his forehead with the cross of Christ; and, being enlightened and strengthened by a supernatural grace, he discovered his snares, and never suffered himself to be imposed upon by the artifices by which that subtle fiend strove to withdraw him from holy prayer, in which the saint spent the days and great part of the nights.
St. Hilarion had spent above twenty years in his desert when he wrought his first miracle. A certain married woman of Eleutheropolis, who was the scorn of her husband for her barrenness, sought him out in his solitude, and by her tears and importunities prevailed upon him to pray that God would bless her with fruitfulness; and before the year's end she brought forth a son, A second miracle much enhanced the saint's reputation. Elpidius, who was afterwards prefect of the praetorium, and his wife Aristeneta, returning from a visit of devotion they had made to St. Antony to receive his blessing and instructions, arrived at Gaza, where their three children fell sick, and their fever proving superior to the power of medicines they were brought to the last extremity, and their recovery despaired of by the physicians. The mother, like one distracted, addressed herself to Hilarion, who, moved by her tears, went to Gaza to visit them. Upon his invoking the holy name of Jesus by their bedside, the children fell into a violent sweat, by which they were so refreshed as to be able to eat, to know their mother, and kiss the saint's hand. Upon the report of this miracle many flocked to the saint, desiring to embrace a monastic life under his direction. Till that time neither Syria nor Palestine were acquainted with that penitential state; so that St. Hilarion was the first founder of it in those countries, as Antony had been in Egypt. Among other miraculous cures, several persons possessed by devils were delivered by our saint. The most remarkable were Marisitas, a young man of the territory about Jerusalem, so strong that he boasted he could carry seven bushels of corn; and Orion, a rich man of the city of Aila, who, after his cure, pressed the saint to accept many great presents, at least for the poor. But the holy hermit persisted obstinately to refuse touching any of them, bidding him bestow them himself. St. Hilarion restored sight to a woman of Facidia, a town near Rinocorura, in Egypt, who had been blind ten years. A citizen of Majuma, called Italicus, who was a Christian, kept horses to run in the circus against a Duumvir of Gaza, who adored Mamas, which was the great idol of Gaza, that word signifying in Syriac, Lord of men. Italicus, knowing that his adversary had recourse to spells to stop his horses, came to St. Hilarion, by whose blessing his horses seemed to fly while the others seemed fettered; upon seeing which the people cried out that Mamas was vanquished by Christ. From the model which our saint set, a great number of monasteries were founded all over Palestine. St. Hilarion visited them all on certain days before the vintage.
St. Hilarion was informed by revelation in Palestine, where he then was, of the death of St. Antony. He was then about sixty-five years old, and had been for two years much afflicted at the great number of bishops, priests, and people that were continually resorting to him, by which his contemplation was interrupted. At length, regretting the loss of that sweet solitude and obscurity which he formerly enjoyed, he resolved to leave that country, to prevent which the people assembled to the number of ten thousand to watch him. He told them he would neither eat nor drink till they let him go; and seeing him pass seven days without taking anything they left him. He then chose forty monks who were able to walk without breaking their fast (that is, without eating till after sunset), and with them he travelled into Egypt. On the fifth day he arrived at Peleusium; and in six days more at Babylon, in Egypt. Two days after he came to the city of Aphroditon, where he applied himself to the deacon Baisanes, who used to let dromedaries to those who had desired to visit St. Antony, for carrying water which they had occasion for in that desert. The saint desired to celebrate the anniversary of St. Antony's death by watching all night in the place where he died. After travelling three days in a horrible desert they came to St. Antony's mountain, where they found two monks, Isaac and Pelusius, who had been his disciples, and the first his interpreter. It was a very high steep rock of a mile in circuit, at the foot of which was a rivulet, with abundance of palm-trees on the borders. St. Hilarion walked all over the place with the disciples of St. Antony. Here it was, said they, that he sang, here he prayed; there he laboured, and there he reposed himself when he was weary. He himself planted these vines and these little trees; he tilled this piece of ground with his own hands; he dug this basin with abundance of labour, to water his garden, and he used this hoe to work with several years together. St. Hilarion laid himself upon his bed and kissed it as if it had been still warm. The cell contained no more space in length and breadth than what was necessary for a man to stretch himself in to sleep. On the top of the mountain (to which the ascent was very difficult, turning like a vine) they found two cells of the same size, to which he often retired to avoid a number of visitors and even the conversation of his own disciples: they were hewn in a rock, nothing but doors being added to them. When they came to the garden, "Do you see," said Isaac, "this little garden planted with trees and pot-herbs? About three years since a herd of wild asses coming to destroy it, he stopped one of the first of them and, striking him on the sides with his staff, said, 'Why do you eat what you did not sow?' From that time forward they only came hither to drink, without meddling with the trees or herbs." St. Hilarion asked to see the place where he was buried. They carried him to a bye place; but it is uncertain whether they showed it him or no; for they showed no grave, and only said that St. Antony had given the strictest charge that his grave should be concealed, fearing lest Pergamius, who was a very rich man in that country, should carry the body home and cause a church to be built for it.
St. Hilarion returned from this place to Aphroditon, and, retiring with only two disciples into a neighbouring desert, exercised himself with more earnestness than ever in abstinence and silence; saying, according to his custom, that he then only began to serve Jesus Christ. It had not rained in the country for three years, that is, ever since the death of St. Antony, when the people in deep affliction and misery addressed themselves to St. Hilarion, whom they looked upon as St. Antony's successor, imploring his compassion and prayers. The saint, sensibly affected with their distress, lifted up his hands and eyes to heaven, and immediately obtained a plentiful rain. Also many labourers and herdsmen who were stung by serpents and venomous beasts were perfectly cured by anointing their wounds with oil which he had blessed and given them. Though oil be the natural and sovereign antidote against poison, these cures by his blessing were esteemed miraculous. The saint, seeing the extraordinary honours which were paid him in that place, departed privately towards Alexandria, in order to proceed to the desert of Oasis. It not being his custom to stop in great cities, he turned from Alexandria into Brutium, a remote suburb of that city, where several monks dwelt. He left this place the same evening, and when these monks very importunately pressed his stay he told them that it was necessary for their security that he should leave them. The sequel showed that he had the spirit of prophecy; for that very night armed men arrived there in pursuit of him, with an order to put him to death. When Julian the Apostate ascended the throne, the pagans of Gaza obtained an order from that prince to kill him, in revenge of the affront he had put upon their god Mamas, and of the many conversions he had made; and they had sent this party into Egypt to execute the sentence. The soldiers, finding themselves disappointed at Brutium, said he well deserved the character of a magician which he had at Gaza. The saint spent about a year in the desert of Oasis, and, finding that he was too well known in that country ever to lie concealed there, determined to seek shelter in some remote island, and, going to Paretonium in Lybia, embarked there with one companion for Sicily. He landed at Pachynus, a famous promontory on the eastern side of the island, now called Capo di Passaro. Upon landing he offered to pay for his passage and that of his companion with a copy of the gospels which he had written in his youth with his own hand; but the master, seeing their whole stock consisted in that manuscript and the clothes on their backs, would not accept of it; he even esteemed himself indebted to this passenger, who by his prayers had delivered his son, who was possessed by a devil, on board the vessel. St. Hilarion, fearing lest he should be discovered by some oriental merchants if he settled near the coast, travelled twenty miles up the country and stopped in an unfrequented wild place; where, by gathering sticks, he made every day a fagot, which he sent his disciple, whose name was Zanan, to sell at the next village, in order to buy a little bread. Hesychius, the saint's beloved disciple, had sought him in the East and through Greece when, at Methone, now called Modon, in Peloponnesus, he heard that a prophet had appeared in Sicily who wrought many miracles. He embarked and arrived at Pachynus; and inquiring for the holy man at the first village, found that everybody knew him; he was not more distinguished by his miracles than by his disinterestedness; for he could never be prevailed upon to take anything, not so much as a morsel of bread, from anyone.
St. Hilarion was desirous to go into some strange country, where not even his language should be understood. Hesychius therefore carried him to Epidaurus in Dalmatia, now Old Ragusa, the ruins of which city are seen near the present capital of the republic of that name. Miracles here again defeated the saint's design of living unknown. St. Hilarion, seeing it impossible to live there unknown, fled away in the night in a small vessel to the island of Cyprus. Being arrived there, he retired to a place two miles from Paphos. He had not been there three weeks when such as were possessed with devils in any part of the island began to cry out that Hilarion, the servant of Jesus Christ, was come. He expelled the evil spirits, but, sighing after the tranquillity of closer retirement, considered how he could make his escape to some other country; but the inhabitants watched him that he might not leave them. After two years Hesychius persuaded him to lay aside that design and retire to a solitary place which he had found twelve miles from the shore, not unpleasantly situated among very rough and craggy mountains, where there was water with fruit-trees, which advice the saint followed, but he never tasted the fruit. St. Jerome mentions that though he lived so many years in Palestine, he never went up to visit the holy places at Jerusalem but once; and then stayed only one day in that city. He went once that he might not seem to despise that devotion; but did not go oftener, lest he should seem persuaded that God or his religious worship is confined to any particular place. His chief reason, doubtless, was to shun the distractions of populous places that as much as possible nothing might interrupt the close union of his soul to God. The saint, in the eightieth year of his age, whilst Hesychius was absent, wrote him a short letter with his own hand in the nature of a last will and testament, in which he bequeathed to him all his riches, namely, his book of the gospels, his sackcloth, hood, and little cloak. Many pious persons came from Paphos to see him in his last sickness, hearing he had foretold that he was to go to our Lord. With them there came a holy woman named Constantia, whose son-in-law and daughter he had freed from death by anointing them with oil. He caused them to swear that as soon as he should have expired, they would immediately commit his corpse to the earth, apparelled as he was, with his hair-cloth, hood, and cloak. His distemper increasing upon him, very little heat appeared to remain in his body, nor did anything seem to remain in him of a living man besides his understanding, only his eyes were still open. He expressed his sense of the divine judgments, but encouraged his soul to an humble confidence in the mercy of his Judge and Redeemer, saying to himself, "Go forth, what cost thou fear? go forth, my soul, what cost thou apprehend? Behold, it is now threescore and ten years that thou hast served Christ; and art thou afraid of death?" He had scarcely spoken these words but he gave up the ghost, and was immediately buried as he had ordered.
St. Hilarion died in 371, or the following year, being about eighty years of age; for he was sixty-five years old at the death of St. Antony. Hesychius, who was in Palestine, made haste to Cyprus upon hearing this news and, pretending to take up his dwelling in the same garden, after ten months found an opportunity of secretly carrying off the saint's body into Palestine, where he interred it in his monastery, near Majuma. It was as entire as it was when alive, and the cloths were untouched. Many miracles were wrought, both in Cyprus and Palestine, through his intercession, as St. Jerome assures us. Sozomen mentions his festival to have been kept with great solemnity in the fifth age. See his life written by St. Jerome before the year 392.
If this saint trembled after an innocent, penitential, and holy life, because he considered how perfect the purity and sanctity of a soul must be to stand before him who is infinite purity and infinite justice, how much ought tepid, slothful, and sinful Christians to fear? Whilst love inflames the saints with an ardent desire of being united to their God in the kingdom of pure love and security, a holy fear of his justice checks and humbles in them all presumption. This fear must never sink into despondency, abjection, or despair; but quicken our sloth, animate our fervour, and raise our courage; it must be solicitous, not anxious. Love and hope must fill our souls with sweet peace and joy, and with an entire confidence in the infinite mercy and goodness of God, and the merits of our divine Redeemer. SOURCE The Catholic Encyclopedia

Friday, October 20, 2017

Saint October 21 : St. Ursula and Companions - #Virgin #Martyrs


The experiences of Ursula and her eleven thousand companions became the subject of a pious romance which acquired considerable celebrity.  This legendary account is well known: Ursula, the daughter of a Christian king of Great Britain, was asked in marriage by the son of a great pagan king. Desiring to remain a virgin, she obtained a delay of three years. At her request she was given as companions ten young women of noble birth, and she and each of the ten were accompanied by a thousand virgins, and the whole company, embarking in eleven ships sailed for three years. When the appointed time was come, and Ursula's betrothed was about to claim her, a gale of wind carried the eleven thousand virgins far from the shores of England, and they went first by water to Cologne and thence to Basle, then by land from Basle to Rome. They finally returned to Cologne, where they were slain by the Huns in hatred of the Faith. The literary origin of this romance is not easy to determine. Apart from the inscription of Clematius, transcribed in the Passion "Fuit tempore" and paraphrased in the "Regnante Domino" Passion and the "Sermo in natali", the writers seem to have been aware of a Gallic legend of which a late version is found in Geoffrey of Monmouth: the usurper Maximus (as Geoffrey calls the Emperor Maximian), having conquered British Armorica, sent there from Great Britain 100,000 colonists and 30,000 soldiers, and committed the government of Armorica to his former enemy, now his friend, the Breton prince, Conanus Meriadocus. The latter decided to bring women from Great Britain to marry them to his subjects, to which end he appealed to Dionotus, King of Cornwall, who sent him his daughter Ursula, accompanied by 11,000 noble virgins and 60,000 other young women. As the fleet which carried them sailed towards Armorica, a violent storm destroyed some of the ships and drove the rest of them to barbarian islands in Germany, where the virgins were slain by the Huns and the Picts. However, this account has been regarded by several writers since Baronius as containing a summary of the true history of the holy martyrs. Like the Passions of Cologne, it has been subjected to the anti-scientific method, which consists in setting aside as false the improbabilities, impossibilities, and manifest fables, and regarding the rest as authentic history. As a consequence two essential traits remain: the English origin of the saints and their massacre by the Huns; and then, according as adherence is given to the "Sermo in natali", Geoffrey of Monmouth, or the Passion "Regnante Domino", the martyrdom of St. Ursula is placed in the third, fourth, or fifth century. In order to account for all the details, two massacres of virgins at Cologne have been accepted, one in the third century, the other in the fifth. The different solutions with their variations suggested by scholars, sometimes with levity, sometimes with considerable learning, all share the important defect of being based on relatively late documents, unauthoritative and disfigured by manifest fables.As they are now unhesitatingly rejected by everyone, it suffices to treat them briefly. In the twelfth century there were discovered in the Ager Ursulanus at Cologne, some distance from the Church of St. Ursula, skeletons not only of women, but of little children, and even of men, and with them inscriptions which it is impossible not to recognize as gross forgeries.  Although the history of these saints of Cologne is obscure and very short, their cult was very widespread, and it would require a volume to relate in detail its many and remarkable manifestations. To mention only two characteristics, since the twelfth century a large number of relics have been sent from Cologne, not only to neighbouring countries but throughout Western Christendom, and even India and China. The legend of the Eleven Thousand Virgins has inspired a host of works of art, several of them of the highest merit, the most famous being the paintings of the old masters of Cologne, those of Memling at Bruges, and of Carpaccio at Venice. The Order of Ursulines, founded in 1535 by St. Angela de Merici, and especially devoted to the education of young girls, has also helped to spread throughout the world the name and the cult of St. Ursula. Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis "Jesus always asks us to be truthful, but truthful inside the heart."- #Homily


(Vatican Radio) May God grant us the grace of interior truth, rather than living a life of hypocrisy and trickery. That was Pope Francis’ message on Friday to those gathered for morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta chapel.
Reflecting on the first reading of the day from St Paul’s letter to the Romans, the pope explained that God’s pardon is always freely given and not earned by what we do.
The work we do, he continued, is our response to this gratuitous love and forgiveness of God, who took away original sin and who pardons our sins every time we turn to Him.
Hypocrities try to appear virtuous
In the passage from St Luke’s Gospel, Pope Francis said, we read about another way that people seek justification, by trying to appear righteous and saintly. They are the hypocrites, he said, whose lives are filthy inside, but on the outside they try to appear virtuous and holy by showing how they fast and pray or give to charity.
Jesus asks us to be truthful
In their hearts, the pope said, there is no substance, but they live by deception and theirs is a life of trickery. Jesus always asks us to be truthful in our hearts: that’s why he tells us to pray out of sight, to hide the weakness we feel when we fast, and to conceal our almsgiving, so that the left hand does not know what the right one is doing.
Falsehood is very bad for us
Jesus asks us to live coherently, Pope Francis insisted, because falsehood and hypocrisy are very bad for us. In today’s psalm, he said, we ask the Lord for the grace of truth, saying “Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I covered not”. We confess our faults to the Lord  and He takes away the our sin and guilt.
Truth is always before God
We must always be truthful with God, the pope concluded, so let us learn not to accuse others, but rather to accuse ourselves, without trying to hide our sins from the Lord.

SHARE - Novena to St. Jude Thaddeus Apostle : #Patron of #Impossible - #Prayer Begins

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O glorious apostle, SAINT JUDE THADDEUS, true relative of Jesus and Mary, I salute you through the most Sacred Heart of Jesus! Through this Heart I praise and thank God for all the graces He has bestowed upon you. Humbly prostrate before you, I implore you through this Heart to look down upon me with compassion. Oh, despise not my poor prayer; let not my trust be confounded! To you God has granted the privilege of aiding mankind in the most desperate cases. Oh, come to my aid that I may praise the mercies of God! All my life I will be grateful to you and will be your faithful client until I can thank you in heaven. Amen.
 "Blessed Apostle, with confidence we invoke you!"
"Blessed Apostle, with confidence we invoke you!"
 "St. Jude, help of the hopeless, aid me in my distress."
 "St. Jude, help of the hopeless, aid me in my distress."
PRAY FOR US that we before death may expiate all our sins by sincere repentance and the worthy reception of the holy Sacraments.
Pray for us that we may appease the Divine Justice and obtain a favorable judgment.
Pray for us that we may be admitted into the company of the blessed to rejoice in the presence of our God forever.
Prayer to be recited 
Saint Jude, glorious apostle, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor has caused you to be forgotten by many. But the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of difficult and desperate cases. Pray for me who am so miserable. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege accorded to you to bring visible and speedy help where help was almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly — (here make your request) — and that I may bless God with you and all the elect throughout all eternity.
I promise you, O blessed JUDE, to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor you as my special and powerful patron and do all in my power to encourage devotion to you. Amen.
Saint Jude, pray for us and for all who honor you and invoke your aid.
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father, 3 times.)

#PopeFrancis "It is necessary for political action to be placed truly at the service of the human person..." FULL TEXT

Pope Francis on Friday  was speaking to participants in a workshop organized in the Vatican by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in collaboration with the Organization of Catholic Universities in Latin America and the Caribbean (ODUCAL). The Oct. 19-21 workshop is discussing “Changing relations among market, state and civil society.”
Official Vatican FULL TEXT Address of the Holy Father
Illustrious Ladies and Gentlemen,
I cordially greet the Members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and those who are participating in these study days, as well as the institutions that support the initiative. This draws attention to a need of great current relevance, such as that of developing new models of cooperation between the market, the State and civil society, in relation to the challenges of our time. In this occasion, I would like to focus briefly on two specific causes that increase exclusion and the existence of existential peripheries.
The first is the endemic and systemic increase of inequality and the exploitation of the planet, which is greater than the increase in income and wealth. However inequality and exploitation are not inevitable, nor are they an historic constant. They are not inevitable because they depend not only on different individual forms of behavior, but also the economic rules that a society decides to adopt. We can think of energy production, the job market, the banking system, welfare, the tax system, the schools sector. According to how these sectors are planned, there are different consequences on the way in which income and wealth are distributed among those who have participated in their production. If the aim of profit prevails, democracy tends to become a plutocracy in which inequalities grow, as does the exploitation of the planet. I repeat: this is not a necessity; there are periods in which, in some countries, inequalities diminish and the environment is better protected.
The other cause of exclusion is work that is not worthy of the human person. Yesteryear, in the age of Rerum novarum (1891), …. Today, beyond this sacrosanct demand, we also ask ourselves why we still have not succeeded in putting into practice the content of the Constitution Gaudium et spes: “The entire process of productive work … must be adapted to the needs of the person and to his way of life” (no. 67) and, we can add with the Encyclical Laudato si’, with respect for creation, our common home.
The creation of new work needs, especially in this time, people who are open and enterprising, fraternal relations, and research and investment in the development of clean energy to face the challenges of climate change. This is concretely possible today. It is necessary to divest ourselves of the pressures of public and private lobbies which defend sectorial interests, and also to overcome forms of spiritual sloth. It is necessary for political action to be placed truly at the service of the human person, of the common good and of respect for nature.
The challenge to meet is therefore that of endeavoring courageously to go beyond the model of social order currently prevalent, transforming it from within. We must ask the market not only to be efficient in the production of wealth and in ensuring sustainable growth, but also of placing itself in the service of integral human development. We cannot sacrifice the “golden calf” of our times – fundamental values such as democracy, justice, freedom, the family, creation – on the altar of efficiency. Substantially, we must aim at “civilizing” the market, with a view to an ethics that is friendly to man and his environment.
A similar issue is the rethinking of the figure and role of the nation-State in a new context such as that of globalization, which has profoundly altered the previous international order. The State cannot be conceived of as the only and exclusive holder of the common good, without permitting intermediary bodies in civil society to freely express all their potential. This would be a violation of the principle of subsidiarity which, combined with that of solidarity, constitutes a fundamental pillar of the social doctrine of the Church. Here the challenge is how to reconcile individual rights with the common good.
In this sense, the specific role of civil society may be compared to that which Charles Péguy attributed to the virtue of hope: like a younger sister in the middle of another two virtues – faith and charity – holding them by the hand and pulling them ahead. This is how the position of civil society seems to me: “pulling” ahead the State and the market so that they rethink their reason for being and their way of working.
Dear friends, I thank you for your attention to these reflections. I invoke the Lord’s blessing upon you, your loved ones and your work.