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)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday July 19, 2017 - #Eucharist


Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 391


Reading 1EX 3:1-6, 9-12

Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian.
Leading the flock across the desert, he came to Horeb,
the mountain of God.
There an angel of the LORD appeared to him in fire
flaming out of a bush.
As he looked on, he was surprised to see that the bush,
though on fire, was not consumed.
So Moses decided,
"I must go over to look at this remarkable sight,
and see why the bush is not burned."

When the LORD saw him coming over to look at it more closely,
God called out to him from the bush, "Moses! Moses!"
He answered, "Here I am."
God said, "Come no nearer!
Remove the sandals from your feet,
for the place where you stand is holy ground.
I am the God of your father," he continued,
"the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.
The cry of the children of Israel has reached me,
and I have truly noted that the Egyptians are oppressing them.
Come, now! I will send you to Pharaoh to lead my people,
the children of Israel, out of Egypt."

But Moses said to God,
"Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh
and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?"
He answered, "I will be with you;
and this shall be your proof that it is I who have sent you:
when you bring my people out of Egypt,
you will worship God on this very mountain."

Responsorial PsalmPS 103:1B-2, 3-4, 6-7

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
The LORD secures justice
and the rights of all the oppressed.
He has made known his ways to Moses,
and his deeds to the children of Israel.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

AlleluiaSEE MT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 11:25-27

At that time Jesus exclaimed:
"I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."

Saint July 19 : St. Arsenius the Great : #Hermit - #Anchorite

 

Anchorite; born 354, at Rome; died 450, at Troe, in Egypt. Theodosius the Great having requested the Emperor Gratian and Pope Damasus to find him in the West a tutor for his son Arcadius, they made choice of Arsenius, a man well read in Greek literature, member of a noble Roman family, and said to have been a deacon of the Roman Church. He reached Constantinople in 383, and continued as tutor in the imperial family for eleven years, during the last three of which he also had charge of his pupil's brother Honorius. Coming one day to see his children at their studies, Theodosius found them sitting while Arsenius talked to them standing. This he would not tolerate, and caused the teacher to sit and the pupils to stand. On his arrival at court Arsenius had been given a splendid establishment, and probably because the Emperor so desired, he lived in great pomp, but all the time felt a growing inclination to renounce the world. After praying long to be enlightened as to what he should do, he heard a voice saying "Arsenius, flee the company of men, and thou shalt be saved." Thereupon he embarked secretly for Alexandria, and hastening to the desert of Scetis, asked to be admitted among the solitaries who dwelt there. St. John the Dwarf, to whose cell he was conducted, though previously warned of the quality of his visitor, took no notice of him and left him standing by himself while he invited the rest to sit down at table. When the repast was half finished he threw down some bread before him, bidding him with an air of indifference eat if he would. Arsenius meekly picked up the bread and ate, sitting on the ground. Satisfied with this proof of humility, St. John kept him under his direction. The new solitary was from the first most exemplary yet unwittingly retained certain of his old habits, such as sitting cross-legged or laying one foot over the other. Noticing this, the abbot requested some one to imitate Arsenius's posture at the next gathering of the brethren, and upon his doing so, forthwith rebuked him publicly. Arsenius took the hint and corrected himself. During the fifty-five years of his solitary life he was always the most meanly clad of all, thus punishing himself for his former seeming vanity in the world. In like manner, to atone for having used perfumes at court, he never changed the water in which he moistened the palm leaves of which he made mats, but only poured in fresh water upon it as it wasted, thus letting it become stenchy in the extreme. Even while engaged in manual labour he never relaxed in his application to prayer. At all times copious tears of devotion fell from his eyes. But what distinguished him most was his disinclination to all that might interrupt his union with God. When, after long search, his place of retreat was discovered, he not only refused to return to court and act as adviser to his former pupil the Emperor Arcadius, but he would not even be his almoner to the poor and the monasteries of the neighbourhood. He invariably denied himself to visitors, no matter what their rank and condition and left to his disciples the care of entertaining them. His contemporaries so admired him as to surname him "the Great". Shared from The Catholic Encyclopedia

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday July 18, 2017 - #Eucharist


Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 390


Reading 1EX 2:1-15A
















A certain man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman,
who conceived and bore a son.
Seeing that he was a goodly child, she hid him for three months.
When she could hide him no longer, she took a papyrus basket,
daubed it with bitumen and pitch,
and putting the child in it,
placed it among the reeds on the river bank.
His sister stationed herself at a distance
to find out what would happen to him.

Pharaoh's daughter came down to the river to bathe,
while her maids walked along the river bank.
Noticing the basket among the reeds, she sent her handmaid to fetch it.
On opening it, she looked, and lo, there was a baby boy, crying!
She was moved with pity for him and said,
"It is one of the Hebrews' children."
Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter,
"Shall I go and call one of the Hebrew women
to nurse the child for you?"
"Yes, do so," she answered.
So the maiden went and called the child's own mother.
Pharaoh's daughter said to her,
"Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will repay you."
The woman therefore took the child and nursed it.
When the child grew, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter,
who adopted him as her son and called him Moses;
for she said, "I drew him out of the water."

On one occasion, after Moses had grown up,
when he visited his kinsmen and witnessed their forced labor,
he saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his own kinsmen.
Looking about and seeing no one,
he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
The next day he went out again, and now two Hebrews were fighting!
So he asked the culprit,
"Why are you striking your fellow Hebrew?"
But the culprit replied,
"Who has appointed you ruler and judge over us?
Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?"
Then Moses became afraid and thought,
"The affair must certainly be known."

Pharaoh, too, heard of the affair and sought to put Moses to death.
But Moses fled from him and stayed in the land of Midian.

Responsorial PsalmPS 69:3, 14, 30-31, 33-34

R. (see 33) Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I am sunk in the abysmal swamp
where there is no foothold;
I have reached the watery depths;
the flood overwhelms me.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
But I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me;
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
"See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not."
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.

AlleluiaPS 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 11:20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.


For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."

Monday, July 17, 2017

Saint July 18 : St. Frederick : Patron of #Deaf : Bishop - #FeastDay

365 RosariesBlog: Today, July 18, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Frederick (died 838), bishop of Utrecht and Martyr of the faith. What we know of Saint Frederick was recorded by his contemporaries, who praised his wisdom, prudence, piety, and virtues. Poems and hymns were written in his honor. Saint Frederick composed a prayer to the Holy Trinity, which was used in the Netherlands for centuries.  While little is known of Saint Frederick’s early life, his Acts record that he was trained among the clergy of the Church of Utrecht, where he excelled in piety and sacred learning. Having been ordained, he was charged by Bishop Ricfried with the care and instruction of the newly converted to the faith, and in 825, was selected to assume the bishopric. With great zeal, Frederick worked for reform and order throughout the diocese, and expanded the faith by sending Saint Odulf and other acclaimed preachers into the northern parts of Holland to work against the paganism that had taken root there.
Given his reach and reputation, Saint Frederick was soon embroiled in the political matters of the times. Saint Frederick found himself in the position to admonish the Empress Judith, after her sons raised charges against her, citing immorality. While Frederick spoke to her with patience, prudence, and charity, she became irate, and worked to undermine him. Similarly, he raised the ire of many of those throughout the land who did not ascribe to the Christian faith, enforcing marriages, and spreading the Gospel. Through his labors, he found himself greatly disliked by many dangerous and powerful individuals. Saint Frederick refused to be intimidated, however, certain in the power of the Lord.
On July 18, 838, following celebration of the Mass, Saint Frederick was stabbed by two assassins. He died only minutes later, reciting Psalm 144, “I will praise the Lord in the land of the living.” It is unclear as to who had ordered the assassination, but historians agree it was due to his preaching and enforcing of the tenets of the faith. As such, the Church considers Saint Frederick a holy Martyr, having given his life to the faith, and suffered death as a consequence. 
Grant, we beseech You, Almighty God, that poor in spirit after the example of Your abbot Saint Frederick, we may imitate Him who handed Himself over for the salvation of the world: Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
Shared from 365 Rosaries Blog

Here's to Marriage - A Sacrament of Love - Personal Witness to SHARE!

Thirty years ago today, we said, "I do" and accepted each other in the Sacrament of Matrimony. I've heard some use the term "wild ride" to describe the joys and sufferings of marriage and family. I don't know if I would call it a wild ride, but I certainly would call it eventful. I can't even begin to tell you the struggles we've gone through -- struggles seem the most vivid, I guess. But, the fact of the matter is that they always have some element of humor, and certainly joy, attached to them in the retelling.

For instance, Eddie (our child with significant special needs) suffered a terrible accident when he was 15 yrs. old. He was thrown from a horse and suffered a broken jaw and many contusions and lacerations as a result of the fall. It was horrible and it was the result of a freak incident involving a baby calf (it's too strange to explain). Anyway, that was a trying time for our family -- so many unknowns involved with trying to feed a boy who doesn't suck through a straw when he has a broken jaw. The story of how we managed through it all is very complicated and long, but suffice it to say that God managed to work good through the suffering:

1. Eddie needed a feeding tube. When we were getting ready for the procedure, the doctor mentioned that they might not be able to easily place the tube because of Eddie's scoliosis. "What scoliosis?" we asked. Unbeknownst to us, Eddie was developing a severe and rapidly progressing scoliosis, which without immediate attention would have been inoperable had we not acted upon it very early. This accident brought it to our attention with enough time to get appointments and a surgery scheduled -- and even then, his curvature progressed so quickly that we almost weren't able to have the surgery. It was a blessing that came from a terrible suffering.

2. But, that's not all. Eddie broke his jaw which itself needed special medical attention. A wonderful oral surgeon from Georgetown Hospital took Eddie into the OR to examine the break and decide whether it would be best to wire his jaw shut or leave the break to heal on it own. It all depended on how the bone was broken and whether articulation at the joint would be diminished if left alone. Well, the doctor decided it was in Eddie's best interest to leave it alone and allow the head of the mandible to reshape naturally. After about 4 weeks, Eddie was doing something he had never done before. HE COULD CHEW! Now, how about that! Apparently, his jaw muscles were spastic and frozen until the break which relieved the joint and allowed it to move. Who knew being thrown from a galloping horse could produce such wonders?

I guess some might just call this event something of a "wild ride" (pun completely intended)! But truly, it comes down to looking beyond the joys and the sorrows to see how God is moving, working, loving and shaping your life. It's easy to get stuck in being happy only during the high moments and bitter and angry during the lows. The challenge is to be joyful during it all.

How does one achieve such a thing?

Surrender.

We were meant to give ourselves entirely to God and entirely to our spouse; to be good stewards of creation and relationship and to be fruitful and multiply. Well, we screwed that up pretty much in the beginning, but thankfully, Our Lord and Savior has redeemed us and restored our relationship with the Father through His Passion, Death and Resurrection. If we can see this good and be joyful in His sacrifice, we should be able to manage any struggle or difficulty with joy through His grace. We just have to let Him be a part of it all. That's where the joy lies in recognizing that fact: He moves through it all.

Thirty years has passed so quickly. But it hasn't gone by without the gathering of a host of amazing stories of sacrifice, suffering, elation, awe, each of which has brought with it an abundance of love, joy and thanksgiving. Each special moment has offered one more opportunity to grow closer to God and family and to share the wonder of it all through our encounters with others.

Here's to marriage -- here's to thirty more years of wonder and joy.

By: Kathy Vestermark - Professor at CDU and Home-schooling Mother
US Correspondent at Catholic News World 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday July 17, 2017 - #Eucharist


Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 389


Reading 1EX 1:8-14, 22

A new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, came to power in Egypt.
He said to his subjects, "Look how numerous and powerful
the people of the children of Israel are growing, more so than we ourselves!
Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase;
otherwise, in time of war they too may join our enemies
to fight against us, and so leave our country."

Accordingly, taskmasters were set over the children of Israel
to oppress them with forced labor.
Thus they had to build for Pharaoh
the supply cities of Pithom and Raamses.
Yet the more they were oppressed,
the more they multiplied and spread.
The Egyptians, then, dreaded the children of Israel
and reduced them to cruel slavery,
making life bitter for them with hard work in mortar and brick
and all kinds of field work—the whole cruel fate of slaves.

Pharaoh then commanded all his subjects,
"Throw into the river every boy that is born to the Hebrews,
but you may let all the girls live."

Responsorial PsalmPS 124:1B-3, 4-6, 7-8

R. (8a) Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Had not the LORD been with us–
let Israel say, had not the LORD been with us–
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept
the raging waters.
Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us
a prey to their teeth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
We were rescued like a bird
from the fowlers' snare;
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

AlleluiaMT 5:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 10:34—11:1

Jesus said to his Apostles:
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one's enemies will be those of his household.

"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

"Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet's reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is righteous
will receive a righteous man's reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because he is a disciple–
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward."

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples,
he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.

Saint July 17 : St. Alexis : Man of God - #Rome - Patron of Beggars and Travelers

Today, July 17, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Alexis (also known as Saint Alexius, died 404), “Man of God.” Saint Alexis lived in poverty and service to the poor, despite wealthy upbringing and worldly opportunity. His faith and piety was attested to by the Blessed Virgin, who spoke through a holy painting, revealing him to be a “Man of God” to those who regarded him as a beggar. The life of Saint Alexis reminds us that appearances are not what is important to the Lord, but rather the holy fire burning within the heart and soul of the faithful.
Alexis was born in Rome, into a holy and pious family. His parents, Euphemianus and Aglais, wealthy and noble, had for some time taken great pity on the poor, and distributed both food and clothing to those in need on a daily basis. From a young age, Alexis imitated his parents, spending hours reading the Holy Scriptures, fasting strictly, distributing alms, and engaging in acts of penance and mortification (such as wearing a hair shirt beneath his fine clothing). He recognized and reported to his parents his calling to serve the Lord, but they had already arranged a marriage to a beautiful and virtuous young woman. Obediently, he agreed to marry, but upon his wedding night, left his bride after giving her his ring and belt, saying, “Keep these things, Beloved, and may the Lord be with us until His grace provides us with something better.”
Alexis disguised himself, leaving his homeland, and sailing East. He arrived in the city of Edessa in Syria, where he sold his remaining belongings (distributing them to the poor) and took up residence beside the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos (Mary, Mother of God). There, he begged for alms, which in turn he bought bread with to feed the aged and infirm. On Sundays he spent the day in the church, receiving the Eucharist, and praying in earnest. His parents sought him everywhere, dispatching servants throughout Europe and the East, but none could find him. Those sent to Edessa could not recognize him without his fine clothing. Plus, he had aged considerably, his body shrunken from fasting, and his former youth and vigor erased by long days and nights of begging. Alexis was thankful, and raised a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord, that his own servants had given him alms, saying "I thank Thee, O Lord, who hast called me and granted that I should receive for Thy name's sake an alms from my own slaves. Deign to fulfill in me the work Thou hast begun."
Saint Alexis lived in Edessa for seventeen years, during which time Our Blessed Mother revealed his true holiness. One morning, in the church, an icon of the Theotokos spoke to the sacristan as he readied the altar for Mass. She said, “Lead into My church that Man of God, worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. His prayer rises up to God like fragrant incense, and the Holy Spirit rests upon him.” The sacristan searched, but could not find any many that fit the description of the Holy Mother. Confused and frustrated, he prayed to Mary, begging clarity. Again, a voice from the icon spoke, proclaiming the beggar who sat in the church portico to be the Man of God. The sacristan, despite his misgivings, brought Saint Alexis into the church, and many began to recognize him and praise him thereafter.
Having attracted unwanted attention, and wishing to return to his life of humility and poverty, Alexis left Edessa, boarding a ship for Cilcia, his intended destination the Church of Saint Paul in Tarsus. However, the plan of the Lord is mighty, and a storm forced the ship to dock in Italy. So close to the home of his parents, Alexis traveled by foot to Rome, and took up residence in his own home, beneath the stairs of the grand house he had grown up in. Euphemianus, not recognizing his own son, provided the beggar with a cell in which to live, and ordered that he be given daily rations from the dinner table. Alexis, for his part, lived in humility and prayer, fasting and contemplating the Word of God, enduring the constant jeering and insults at the hands of the servants. He also endured the constant weeping of his wife, whose pain tormented him each day. The only times he left his cell were to attend Mass and teach the local children about the Lord and the faith.
Saint Alexis lived in his family home for seventeen more years, until his death, which the Lord revealed to him in advance. On the day of his death, he took pen and paper, writing a note of apology and begging for forgiveness for the earthly pain he had caused his wife and parents. That day, the day of his death, heavenly voices spoke at Masses offered throughout the city—one to Archbishop Innocent saying, “On Friday morning, the Man of God comes forth from the body. Have him pray for the city, that you may remain untroubled.” Those present were terrified, falling to the ground upon hearing the heavenly voice. Upon recovering, they searched the city, but were unable to locate humble Alexis, living under the stairs in his father’s courtyard. A second voice was heard by the Pope, while serving Mass in the Church of Saint Peter. The voice spoke, “Seek the Man of God in the house of Euphemianus.” Many traveled to the house, including the Pope and Emperor, but Alexis was found to be dead. His face was transformed into that of a angel, his youth and vigor restored and enhanced. In his hand, he clasped his final note, but it was unable to be pried free until the Pope and Emperor—addressing him as if he were alive—asked to read it.
Upon hearing the request, the hand of Alexis opened, and the letter was read. His wife and parents tearfully venerated his body, praising the Lord for returning their lost son and husband to them, and for giving him the strength of will to live a life of penance from the day of his marriage to the day of his death. Carried by the Pope and Emperor, the body of Saint Alexis was displayed for the citizens of Rome to venerate, and then interred in a marble crypt within the Church of Saint Boniface. Many miracles were reported at his tomb side, and a sweet myrrh was noted to flow from the crypt, healing the sick.
The life of Saint Alexis is one of humility and obedience. This Man of God is also remarkable for his daily struggle against the vice of pride. On many occasions—while enduring the jeers of his servants, while starving, while becoming invisible to society—Alexis could have asserted his position by stating his identity, embracing his pride and putting aside his penance and suffering. Rather, he asserted his love for the Lord, himself diminishing. We all struggle with pride, in this modern age. We are judged by others by our worldly accomplishments, wealth, status, position, successes—all of which foster a sense of individual responsibility for the course of our lives. We might look to Saint Alexis on this, his feast day, as a reminder that all we have—all we are graced with—is given to us by Our Heavenly Father. We do not achieve, rather we accept. And in that acceptance, we recognize our weakness. We recognize that we are undeserving. And we give thanks and praise to the Lord for allowing us to “succeed”—not for our personal glory, but for His.
I give thanks to You, heavenly Father, for protecting me through the night and granting me another day. I ask You to fortify me with the grace of Your Holy Spirit, and give Your peace to my soul, that I may be free from all needless anxiety and worry. Help me to desire always that which is pleasing and acceptable to You, so that Your will may be my will.
Today, make known to me, and take from my heart, every kind, form and degree of pride.
Today, empty me of self, and awaken in me the deepest depth and truth of that humility which can make me capable of your revealing light.
Today, do not allow attribution to me, for the good that you perform in me and through me, but rather, that all honor be to you.
Today, may your presence in me, and your work through me, testify of your holiness and saving grace.
Help me to die to self each day, and continuously seek your glorification in all that I think or do.
This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the exemplar of humility.
Amen.

Shared from 365Rosaries Blogspot

Saint July 17 : Blessed Martyrs of Compiegne : #France - #FeastDay

Guillotined at the Place du Trône Renversé (now called Place de la Nation), Paris, 17 July, 1794. They are the first sufferers under the French Revolution on whom the Holy See has passed judgment, and were solemnly beatified 27 May, 1906. Before their execution they knelt and chanted the "Veni Creator", as at a profession, after which they all renewed aloud their baptismal and religious vows. The novice was executed first and the prioress last. Absolute silence prevailed the whole time that the executions were proceeding. The heads and bodies of the martyrs were interred in a deep sand-pit about thirty feet square in a cemetery at Picpus. As this sand-pit was the receptacle of the bodies of 1298 victims of the Revolution, there seems to be no hope of their relics being recovered. Their names are as follows:
Madeleine-Claudine Ledoine (Mother Teresa of St. Augustine), prioress, b. in Paris, 22 Sept., 1752, professed 16 or 17 May, 1775;
Marie-Anne (or Antoinette) Brideau (Mother St. Louis), sub-prioress, b. at Belfort, 7 Dec., 1752, professed 3 Sept, 1771;
Marie-Anne Piedcourt (Sister of Jesus Crucified), choir-nun, b. 1715, professed 1737; on mounting the scaffold she said "I forgive you as heartily as I wish God to forgive me";
Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret (Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection), sacristan, b. at Mouy, 16 Sept., 1715, professed 19 Aug., 1740, twice sub-prioress in 1764 and 1778. Her portrait is reproduced opposite p. 2 of Miss Willson's work cited below;
Marie-Antoniette or Anne Hanisset (Sister Teresa of the Holy Heart of Mary), b. at Rheims in 1740 or 1742, professed in 1764; Marie-Françoise Gabrielle de Croissy (Mother Henriette of Jesus), b. in Paris, 18 June, 1745, professed 22 Feb., 1764, prioress from 1779 to 1785;
Marie-Gabrielle Trézel (Sister Teresa of St. Ignatius), choir-nun, b. at Compiègne, 4 April, 1743, professed 12 Dec., 1771;
Rose-Chrétien de la Neuville, widow, choir-nun (Sister Julia Louisa of Jesus), b. at Loreau (or Evreux), in 1741, professed probably in 1777; Anne Petras (Sister Mary Henrietta of Providence), choir-nun, b. at Cajarc (Lot), 17 June, 1760, professed 22 Oct., 1786.
Concerning Sister Euphrasia of the Immaculate Conception accounts vary. Miss Willson says that her name was Marie Claude Cyprienne Brard, and that she was born 12 May, 1736; Pierre, that her name was Catherine Charlotte Brard, and that she was born 7 Sept., 1736. She was born at Bourth, and professed in 1757; Marie-Geneviève Meunier (Sister Constance), novice, b. 28 May, 1765, or 1766, at St. Denis, received the habit 16 Dec., 1788. She mounted the scaffold singing "Laudate Dominum". In addition to the above, three lay sisters suffered and two tourières. The lay sisters are:
Angélique Roussel (Sister Mary of the Holy Ghost), lay sister, b. at Fresnes, 4 August, 1742, professed 14 May, 1769;
Marie Dufour (Sister St. Martha), lay sister, b. at Beaune, 1 or 2 Oct., 1742, entered the community in 1772;
Julie or Juliette Vérolot (Sister St. Francis Xavier), lay sister, b. at Laignes or Lignières, 11 Jan., 1764, professed 12 Jan., 1789.
The two tourières, who were not Carmelites at all, but merely servants of the nunnery were: Catherine and Teresa Soiron, b. respectively on 2 Feb., 1742 and 23 Jan., 1748 at Compiègne, both of whom had been in the service of the community since 1772.
The miracles proved during the process of beatification were:
The cure of Sister Clare of St. Joseph, a Carmelite lay sister of New Orleans, when on the point of death from cancer, in June, 1897;
The cure of the Abbé Roussarie, of the seminary at Brive, when at the point of death, 7 March, 1897;
The cure of Sister St. Martha of St. Joseph, a Carmelite lay Sister of Vans, of tuberculosis and an abcess in the right leg, 1 Dec., 1897;
The cure of Sister St. Michael, a Franciscan of Montmorillon, 9 April, 1898.
Five secondary relics are in the possession of the Benedictines of Stanbrook, Worcestershire.
Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Sunday, July 16, 2017

#PopeFrancis "Let us find the courage to make ...a good remediation of our heart, bringing to the Lord in Confession and prayer our stones..." Angelus - FULL TEXT + Video


Before the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
When Jesus spoke He used simple language and also made use of images, which were examples drawn from daily life, to be able to be easily understood by all. Therefore, they listened to Him willingly and appreciated His message, which went straight to their heart: and it was not complicated language to understand, as that which Doctors of the Law used at that time, which was not well understood but was full of rigidity and distanced the people. And with this language Jesus made the mystery of the Kingdom of God understood, it was not a complicated theology. And an example is that which today’s Gospel brings: the parable of the sower.
.Jesus is the sower. We note that, with this image, He presents Himself as one who does not impose Himself, but who proposes; He does not draw us by conquering us, but by giving Himself: He throws the seed. He strews His Word with patience and generosity, which is not a cage or a trap, but a seed that can bear fruit. And how can it bear fruit? If we receive it. Therefore, the parable concerns us especially: in fact it speaks more of the soil than of the sower. Jesus effects, so to speak, a “spiritual x-ray” of our heart, which is the soil on which the seed of His Word falls. Our heart, like the soil, can be good and then the Word bears fruit – and so much — but it can also be hard, impermeable. This happens when we hear the Word, but it bounces off, in fact as on a road: it does not enter us.
Between the good soil and the road, asphalt – if we throw a seed on “cobblestones” nothing grows; however, there are two intermediate soils that, in different measure, we can have in ourselves. The first, says Jesus, is the rocky one. Let us try to imagine it: a rocky ground is ground “where there is not much soil” (Cf. v.5) so that the seed sprouts but is unable to put down deep roots. So is the superficial heart, which receives the Lord, wants to pray, love and witness, but does not persevere, gets tired and never “takes off.”  It is a heart without thickness, where the stones of laziness prevail over the good earth, where love is inconstant and passing. But he who receives the Lord only when it suits him, does not bear fruit. There is, then, the last soil, the thorny one, full of brambles that choke the good plants. What do these brambles represent? “The cares of the world and the delight in riches” (v. 22), says Jesus explicitly. The brambles are the vices that are at odds with God, which choke His presence: first of all, the idols of worldly wealth, living avidly, for oneself, to have and for power. If we cultivate these brambles, we suffocate God’s growth in us. Each one can recognize his small and large brambles, the vices that dwell in his heart, those more or less rooted bushes that do not please God and impede having a clean heart. They must be torn out, otherwise the Word cannot bear fruit; the seed will not develop.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Jesus invites us today to look within ourselves: to be grateful for our good soil and to work on the soil that is not yet good. Let us ask ourselves if our heart is open to receive the seed of the Word of God with faith. Let us ask ourselves if the stones of laziness are still numerous and large in us; let us identify and call by name the brambles of vices. Let us find the courage to make a good soil remediation, a good remediation of our heart, bringing to the Lord in Confession and prayer our stones and our brambles. Thus Jesus, the good sower, will be happy to carry out an additional work: to purify our heart, removing the stones and thorns that choke the Word.
May the Mother of God, who today we remember with the title Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel, unsurpassable in receiving the Word of God and putting it into practice (Cf. Luke8:21), help us to purify our heart and to keep the presence of the Lord.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
*
After the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My heartfelt greeting to all, faithful of Rome and pilgrims from various parts of the world: the families, parish groups and Associations.
In particular, I greet the Sisters Daughters of the Virgin of Sorrows, on the 50th anniversary of the pontifical approval of their Institute; the Franciscan Sisters of Saint Joseph, on the 150th anniversary of their foundation; the directors and guests of the “Domus Croata” of Rome, on the 30th anniversary of their institution.
I would like to greet especially the Carmelite Sisters and Friars on their feast day. I hope that they can continue decidedly on the way of contemplation.
A special greeting goes to the Venezuelan Catholic community in Italy, renewing my prayer for your beloved country.
I wish you all a good Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

What is the Brown Scapular - 5 Points on the #BrownScapular to SHARE - Protection against the Devil!


1. The scapular must consist of two pieces of brown cloth with one segment hanging on the wearer's chest, and the other hanging on his/her back. These pieces are joined by two straps or strings which overlap each shoulder—hence the word "scapular" (shoulder blade). 
2. Images sewn onto the Brown Scapular are unnecessary. In the past the scapular was required to be 100% wool but this is no longer required.
3.“Take this Scapular, it shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger and a pledge of peace. Whosoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.” This is Mary’s promise made July 16, 1251 to Saint Simon Stock.  Our Lady further says: “Wear the Scapular devoutly and perseveringly. It is my garment. To be clothed in it means you are continually thinking of me, and I in turn, am always thinking of you and helping you to secure eternal life.”
 5. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that sacramentals such as the Brown Scapular "do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church's prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it."
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According to the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship, the Brown Scapular is "an external sign of the filial relationship established between the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Mount Carmel, and the faithful who entrust themselves totally to her protection, who have recourse to her maternal intercession, who are mindful of the primacy of the spiritual life and the need for prayer."
Wear to Get a Real Brown Scapular
http://www.divinemercygiftshop.org/marian/dept.asp?s_id=0&dept_id=3069


HISTORY
 Old Testament History Mount Carmel is on the northwestern coast of Palestine. The Hebrew word for Carmel means 'Beautiful Garden Land'. The Origin of Carmel goes back to about 860 B.C. to the time of the prophet Elijah and his victory over the pagan prophets and their god, Baal. The account of this event is given in 1 Kings 18:19-40. Elijah stood firm and challenged the prophets of Baal to gather on Mount Carmel to determine which God, Baal or the Lord was the true God.



Later a community of prophets joined him. They dwelt in caves, praying to God, living in peace. Before coming into Europe, the Carmelites were hermits living on Mount Carmel in Palestine. St. Simon Stock, became the Vicar General of the Carmelite Order. Origianlly, the Scapular was two pieces of cloth joined at the shoulders and hanging down the back and breast had deep spiritual meaning. Our Lord said in the gospels, 'My yoke is sweet and my burden is light.' The monks by putting on this garment realized that the sweet burden of Divine service was upon him and the whole day was dedicated to God. Faith and actual living were one in the middle ages. The monk presented himself to God, His Divine Master.' Our Lady appears to St Simon Stock while praying, giving him the Brown Scapular and making this promise: "Take this Scapular, it shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger and a pledge of peace. Whosoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire." There are those today who say this apparition doesn't have the documentation to prove its validity. After Our Lady appeared to Saint Simon, almost immediately a miraculous change took place in the Order.  In the beginning only the Carmelites wore the scapular. But by the 14th century the privilege of wearing the scapular extended outside the order. Lay groups and third orders were formed. Some of these groups were called confraternities. Still Our Lady continued to favor the Carmelite Order and her scapular with further blessings and promises. In 1321, St. Peter Thomas was told by Our Heavenly Mother that 'the Order of  Carmel is destined to exist until the end of the world'. 
Enrollment in the Brown Scapular
Any Catholic priest may invest a baptised Catholic with the Brown Scapular. Lay people are unable to bless a Scapular. The most recent Rite for the Blessing of and Enrollment in the Scapular, approved in 1996 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, is available in booklet form, the "Catechesis and Ritual for the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel". 
The short form of the investiture is as follows: 
 Receive this Scapular, a sign of your special relationship with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, whom you pledge to imitate. May it be a reminder to you of your dignity as a Christian, in serving others and imitating Mary. Wear it as a sign of her protection and of belonging to the Family of Carmel, voluntarily doing the will of God and devoting yourself to building a world true to his plan of community, justice and peace.
Longer Formulahttp://freebrownscapular.com/brown_scapular_enrollment.html 
 According to a 1996 doctrinal statement approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, "Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is bound to the history and spiritual values of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and is expressed through the scapular. Thus, whoever receives the scapular becomes a member of the order and pledges him/herself to live according to its spirituality in accordance with the characteristics of his/her state in life." Faithful Anglicans who wish to wear the Brown Scapular are likewise invested by an Anglican priest.