Vatican News

Pope's message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees is released

Vatican News - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 07:14
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis' message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees was released by the Vatican on Monday. In the message the Holy Father says that providing aid to migrants and refugees is a "great responsibility, which the Church intends to share with all believers and men and women of good will, who are called to respond to the many challenges of contemporary migration with generosity, promptness, wisdom and foresight, each according to their own abilities." Please find below the Message of  Pope Francis for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees: “Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees” Dear brothers and sisters! “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34). Throughout the first years of my pontificate, I have repeatedly expressed my particular concern for the lamentable situation of many migrants and refugees fleeing from war, persecution, natural disasters and poverty.  This situation is undoubtedly a “sign of the times” which I have tried to interpret, with the help of the Holy Spirit, ever since my visit to Lampedusa on 8 July 2013.  When I instituted the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, I wanted a particular section – under my personal direction for the time being – to express the Church’s concern for migrants, displaced people, refugees and victims of human trafficking. Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age (Matthew 25:35-43).  The Lord entrusts to the Church’s motherly love every person forced to leave their homeland in search of a better future.[1] This solidarity must be concretely expressed at every stage of the migratory experience – from departure through journey to arrival and return.  This is a great responsibility, which the Church intends to share with all believers and men and women of good will, who are called to respond to the many challenges of contemporary migration with generosity, promptness, wisdom and foresight, each according to their own abilities. In this regard, I wish to reaffirm that “our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate”.[2] Considering the current situation, welcoming means, above all, offering broader options for migrants and refugees to enter destination countries safely and legally.  This calls for a concrete commitment to increase and simplify the process for granting humanitarian visas and for reunifying families.  At the same time, I hope that a greater number of countries will adopt private and community sponsorship programmes, and open humanitarian corridors for particularly vulnerable refugees.  Furthermore, special temporary visas should be granted to people fleeing conflicts in neighbouring countries.  Collective and arbitrary expulsions of migrants and refugees are not suitable solutions, particularly where people are returned to countries which cannot guarantee respect for human dignity and fundamental rights.[3]  Once again, I want to emphasise the importance of offering migrants and refugees adequate and dignified initial accommodation.  “More widespread programmes of welcome, already initiated in different places, seem to favour a personal encounter and allow for greater quality of service and increased guarantees of success”.[4]  The principle of the centrality of the human person, firmly stated by my beloved Predecessor, Benedict XVI,[5] obliges us to always prioritise personal safety over national security.  It is necessary, therefore, to ensure that agents in charge of border control are properly trained.  The situation of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees requires that they be guaranteed personal safety and access to basic services.  For the sake of the fundamental dignity of every human person, we must strive to find alternative solutions to detention for those who enter a country without authorisation.[6] The second verb – protecting – may be understood as a series of steps intended to defend the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees, independent of their legal status.[7]  Such protection begins in the country of origin, and consists in offering reliable and verified information before departure, and in providing safety from illegal recruitment practices.[8]  This must be ongoing, as far as possible, in the country of migration, guaranteeing them adequate consular assistance, the right to personally retain their documents of identification at all times, fair access to justice, the possibility of opening a personal bank account, and a minimum sufficient to live on.  When duly recognised and valued, the potential and skills of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are a true resource for the communities that welcome them.[9]  This is why I hope that, in countries of arrival, migrants may be offered freedom of movement, work opportunities, and access to means of communication, out of respect for their dignity.  For those who decide to return to their homeland, I want to emphasise the need to develop social and professional reintegration programmes.  The International Convention on the Rights of the Child provides a universal legal basis for the protection of underage migrants.  They must be spared any form of detention related to migratory status, and must be guaranteed regular access to primary and secondary education.  Equally, when they come of age they must be guaranteed the right to remain and to enjoy the possibility of continuing their studies.  Temporary custody or foster programmes should be provided for unaccompanied minors and minors separated from their families.[10]  The universal right to a nationality should be recognised and duly certified for all children at birth.  The statelessness which migrants and refugees sometimes fall into can easily be avoided with the adoption of “nationality legislation that is in conformity with the fundamental principles of international law”.[11]  Migratory status should not limit access to national healthcare and pension plans, nor affect the transfer of their contributions if repatriated. Promoting essentially means a determined effort to ensure that all migrants and refugees – as well as the communities which welcome them – are empowered to achieve their potential as human beings, in all the dimensions which constitute the humanity intended by the Creator.[12]  Among these, we must recognize the true value of the religious dimension, ensuring to all foreigners in any country the freedom of religious belief and practice.   Many migrants and refugees have abilities which must be appropriately recognised and valued.  Since “work, by its nature, is meant to unite peoples”,[13] I encourage a determined effort to promote the social and professional inclusion of migrants and refugees, guaranteeing for all – including those seeking asylum – the possibility of employment, language instruction and active citizenship, together with sufficient information provided in their mother tongue.  In the case of underage migrants, their involvement in labour must be regulated to prevent exploitation and risks to their normal growth and development.  In 2006, Benedict XVI highlighted how, in the context of migration, the family is “a place and resource of the culture of life and a factor for the integration of values”.[14]  The family’s integrity must always be promoted, supporting family reunifications – including grandparents, grandchildren and siblings – independent of financial requirements.  Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees with disabilities must be granted greater assistance and support.  While I recognize the praiseworthy efforts, thus far, of many countries, in terms of international cooperation and humanitarian aid, I hope that the offering of this assistance will take into account the needs (such as medical and social assistance, as well as education) of developing countries which receive a significant influx of migrants and refugees.  I also hope that local communities which are vulnerable and facing material hardship, will be included among aid beneficiaries.[15] The final verb – integrating – concerns the opportunities for intercultural enrichment brought about by the presence of migrants and refugees.  Integration is not “an assimilation that leads migrants to suppress or to forget their own cultural identity. Rather, contact with others leads to discovering their ‘secret’, to being open to them in order to welcome their valid aspects and thus contribute to knowing each one better.  This is a lengthy process that aims to shape societies and cultures, making them more and more a reflection of the multi-faceted gifts of God to human beings”.[16]  This process can be accelerated by granting citizenship free of financial or linguistic requirements, and by offering the possibility of special legalisation to migrants who can claim a long period of residence in the country of arrival.  I reiterate the need to foster a culture of encounter in every way possible – by increasing opportunities for intercultural exchange, documenting and disseminating best practices of integration, and developing programmes to prepare local communities for integration processes.   I wish to stress the special case of people forced to abandon their country of arrival due to a humanitarian crisis.  These people must be ensured adequate assistance for repatriation and effective reintegration programmes in their home countries. In line with her pastoral tradition, the Church is ready to commit herself to realising all the initiatives proposed above.  Yet in order to achieve the desired outcome, the contribution of political communities and civil societies is indispensable, each according to their own responsibilities. At the United Nations Summit held in New York on 29 September 2016, world leaders clearly expressed their desire to take decisive action in support of migrants and refugees to save their lives and protect their rights, sharing this responsibility on a global level.  To this end, the states committed themselves to drafting and approving, before the end of 2018, two Global Compacts, one for refugees and the other for migrants. Dear brothers and sisters, in light of these processes currently underway, the coming months offer a unique opportunity to advocate and support the concrete actions which I have described with four verbs.  I invite you, therefore, to use every occasion to share this message with all political and social actors involved (or who seek to be involved) in the process which will lead to the approval of the two Global Compacts. Today, 15 August, we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.  The Holy Mother of God herself experienced the hardship of exile (Matthew 2:13-15), lovingly accompanied her Son’s journey to Calvary, and now shares eternally his glory.  To her maternal intercession we entrust the hopes of all the world’s migrants and refugees and the aspirations of the communities which welcome them, so that, responding to the Lord’s supreme commandment, we may all learn to love the other, the stranger, as ourselves. Vatican City, 15 August 2017 Solemnity of the Assumption of the B.V. Mary [1] Cf. Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution Exsul Familia, Titulus Primus, I. [2] Address to Participants in the International Forum on “Migration and Peace”, 21 February 2017. [3] Cf. Statement of the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the 103rd Session of the Council of the IOM, 26 November 2013. [4] Address to Participants in the International Forum on “Migration and Peace”, 21 February 2017. [5] Cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, 47. [6] Cf.  Statement of the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the 20th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, 22 June 2012. [7] Cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, 62. [8] Cf. Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Instruction Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi, 6. [9] Cf. Benedict XVI, Address to the Participants in the 6th World Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, 9 November 2009. [10] Cf. Benedict XVI, Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (2010) and Statement of the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the 26th Ordinary Session of the Human Rights Council on the Human Rights of Migrants, 13 June 2014. [11] Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People and Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Welcoming Christ in Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Persons, 2013, 70. [12] Cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 14. [13] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 27. [14] Benedict XVI, Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (2007). [15] Cf. Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People and Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Welcoming Christ in Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Persons, 2013, 30-31. [16] John Paul II, Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (2005). (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope condemns “inhuman violence” of recent terror attacks

Vatican News - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 07:39
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday expressed his sorrow for a series of deadly terror attacks in recent days and condemned the “inhuman violence” that spawned them. His remarks came after his Angelus address to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.  Please see below a translation into English of the Pope’s remarks after the Angelus prayer: “We carry in our hearts the pain over the terroristic attacks in recent days that have claimed numerous victims in Burkina Faso, in Spain and in Finland.” Let us pray for those who died, for the wounded and for their families and let us implore the Lord, the God of mercy and of peace, to free the world from this inhuman violence.”   Earlier before the recitation of the Marian prayer, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel reading where Jesus healed the daughter of the Canaanite woman, describing the mother as an example of perseverance and having a “courageous and unshakable faith.” The Pope said this Gospel reading from Matthew gives us an unusual example of faith in Jesus coming from a Canaanite woman who begs Jesus to heal her daughter saying she is “tormented by a devil.” The (initial) apparent lack of response from Jesus, said the Pope, “does not discourage this courageous woman who persists in her plea.” He went on to explain that “the inner strength of this woman which enables her to overcome every obstacle” springs from “her maternal love and her faith that Jesus can grant her request.” This account, the Pope continued, “makes me think about the strength of women” who “with their strength are able to obtain great things.” Faced with her persistence, in the end Jesus is struck “by the faith of this pagan woman” said the Pope, and tells the mother her desire is granted and so her daughter is healed. This Gospel reading, he continued, “helps us to understand that all of us need to grow in our faith and strengthen our faith in Jesus.” “He can help us to rediscover the way when we have lost our bearings”, when the road forward appears uphill and "arduous" and when “it is difficult to remain faithful to our duties.” Pope Francis concluded his reflections by stressing the importance of “nourishing our faith each day by listening carefully to the Word of God, with the celebration of the Sacraments and with “our personal prayer like a ‘cry’ towards Him, and with concrete acts of charity towards our neighbour.” (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Apostolic Nuncio: 'Card Parolin to build bridges and dialogue in Russia'

Vatican News - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 14:01
(Vatican Radio)  Cardinal Pietro Parolin travels to Russia for a state visit on 21-24 August out of a desire to "build bridges and increase mutual understanding and dialogue" and to "multiply opportunities of encounter" with the Russian Orthodox Church. The Vatican's Apostolic Nuncio to the Russian Federation, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, made that assessment of the Secretary of State's trip in an interview with Susy Hodges. Listen to the full interview: Archbishop Migliore said the Holy See "is following with attention and concern the various crises underway throughout the world." Cardinal Parolin's four-day visit to Russia, he said, offers a way "to contribute to a peaceful resolution" to those crises, as he will call "for goodwill, opportunities, and understanding among the main actors on the international scene." Turning to the relationship between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, Archbishop Migliore said Pope Francis' meeting with Patriarch Kirill in Havana in February 2016 "led to an important new stage in the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church". "It is now a question of walking together in the Gospel footsteps, multiplying opportunities for fraternal encounter, exchange of views and experiences, proclamation of the Gospel, and cooperation in the service to human society." Archbishop Migliore said Cardinal Parolin was invited by "top Russian authorities" and that he would meet President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov. He will also meet with Patriarch Kirill and the Catholic bishops and community. Cardinal Pietro Parolin's visit to Russia is seen as a completion of the tour he has made of the region over the past few years. Since his appointment as Secretary of State in 2013, Cardinal Parolin has visited Belarus, the Caucasus nations, the Baltic countries, and Ukraine. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Vatican releases logo, motto of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Peru

Vatican News - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 13:55
(Vatican Radio)  The Vatican has released the official logo and motto for Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Peru, which takes place on 18-21 January 2018. Listen to Devin Watkins' report: “United for Hope” (Unidos por la esperanza) is the official motto for the Journey, signifying that the encounter will be “a great feast of hope to be received in unity”. Logo The logo expresses the Pope’s closeness to the Peruvian people and his accompaniment of their journey of faith. Two outstretched hands under the motto and date of the visit evoke the colors of the Peruvian and Vatican flags: red and yellow, respectively. They form the shape of wings as a sign of prayer, praise, and joy for the arrival of Pope Francis in Peru. To the left, Pope Francis joyfully reaches out of a map of Peru in a sign of closeness to the country and of unity with it. Third papal visit to Peru Pope Francis becomes the second Pope to visit Peru, following Pope St. John Paul II’s two visits in 1985 and 1988. Thirty years then since the last papal visit, Peru requested that Pope Francis journey there, in order to strengthen the bond between God and his Peruvian people and to aid in “a new missionary awakening” in the country. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis sends letter to special envoy to Jubilee of Lima in Peru

Vatican News - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 10:09
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent a letter to Cardinal Raúl Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, Archbishop Emeritus of Quito, Ecuador, whom he appointed as his special envoy at the concluding celebration of the Archdiocesan Jubilee of Lima in Peru. The event takes place on 30 August 2017, on the occasion of the four-hundredth anniversary of the death of St. Rose of Lima. The papal mission accompanying Cardinal Vela Chiriboga will be composed of: - Don Alberto Jesús Maraví Petrozzi, spiritual director of the Conciliar Seminary of “Santo Toribio”; - Don Jaime Jesús Calvo Zárate, chancellor of the Archdiocesan Curia and spiritual director of the Hermandad del Señor de Los Milagros de Las Nazarenas. The full Latin text of the Pope's letter is below: Venerabili Fratri Nostro RADULFO EDUARDO S.R.E. Cardinali VELA CHIRIBOGA Archiepiscopo Emerito Quitensi Clarissima sancta Rosa de Lima, quae sicut lilium inter spinas (Ct 2,2) crevit, Domini amica facta est ab infantia, eo quod iam puellula Ipsi virginitatem suam vovit et virtutes colere coepit. Inde Beatissimae Virginis Mariae et sanctae Catharinae Senensis exemplo et intercessione concitata, plane vitam suam Deo obtulit, habitu Sororum Tertii Ordinis regularis Praedicatorum assumpto, paenitentiae ac orationi dedita atque zelo ardens peccatores et indigenas cunctos Christo in aeternum lucrifacere. Sed etiam omnis creationis amore inflammata, uti sancti Dominici spiritalis filia, animalia, flores, herbas cunctaque viventia ad Creatori laudem tribuendam saepe invitabat. Haud casu igitur ea caelestis Patrona utriusque Americae, Philippinarum et Indiarum occidentalium a Decessore Nostro Clemente X est declarata. Cum autem proximo mense Augusto quadringentos elapsos annos recordabimur ab illa die iucundissima qua haec Sancta felix ad caelestes nuptias cum divino Sponso pervenit, Venerabilis Frater Noster Ioannes Aloisius S.R.E. Cardinalis Cipriani Thorne, Archiepiscopus Metropolita Limanus, Nos certiores fecit de Anno Iubilari, quo illius in feliciorem vitam transitus a Christifidelibus una cum Pastoribus Peruviae et Americae celebratur, simul postulans ut quidam Legatus Noster adforet qui huius fausti eventus exitum Nostra salutatione et benedictione iuvaret. Permoti quidem petitione eiusdem sacri Pastoris, sed etiam Peruviani populi magni aestimantes fidem et devotionem erga sanctam Rosam ceterosque plurimos sanctos et beatos, qui ista in regione quinque per saecula Evangelium annuntiabant et copiosos fructus spiritales colligebant, decernimus Purpuratum Patrem illuc mittere, qui die XXX proximi mensis Augusti Archidioecesis Limanae Annum Iubilarem sollemniore ritu concludet. Ad te verum fidentes nunc recurrimus, Venerabilis Frater Noster, qui sexaginta annos sacerdotalis comples ministerii et quadraginta quinque per annos Episcopi digne fers onera, et Patronam hanc devotione prosequens et populum fidelem sincere diligens. His proinde Litteris te, benemeritum Praesulem, Nostrum Missum Extraordinarium ad memoratam celebrationem libenter destinamus. Die igitur XXX mensis Augusti dictis liturgicis celebrationibus Nostro nomine praesidebis Nostramque benignam Pastoribus et Christifidelibus congrue significabis salutationem. Populum congregatum hortaberis ad ferventem erga sanctam Rosam de Lima devotionem, ut ipsa a Deo plurimas impetret gratias in bonum tum universae archidioecesis Limanae tum etiam aliorum hominum sive in Peruviae regionibus sive in toto terrarum orbe. Cuius patrocinium et Nostro summo Petrino ministerio exposcatis humiliter rogamus. Denique Benedictionem Nostram Apostolicam imo ex corde tibi imprimis, Venerabilis Frater Noster, faustam sexagesimam anniversariam presbyteralis ordinationis memoriam hodie laetanti animo celebranti, deinde dilectis Pastoribus ac filiis et filiabus illic congregatis omnibusque faustum hunc eventum participantibus amanter dilargimur. Ex Aedibus Vaticanis, die XXVIII mensis Iulii, anno MMXVII, Pontificatus Nostri quinto. FRANCISCUS (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

XX Sunday - August 20, 2017

Vatican News - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 10:19
Is 56: 1, 6-7 : Rom 11: 13-15, 29-32:  Mt 15: 21-28 Anecdote: “ Never give up !” :   Many y ears ago in Illinois, a young man with six months schooling to his credit ran for an office in the legislature. As might have been expected, he was beaten. Next, he entered business but failed in that too, and spent the next seventeen years paying the debts of his worthless partner. He fell in love with a charming lady, they became engaged – and she died. He had a nervous breakdown. He ran for Congress and was defeated. He then tried to obtain an appointment to the U.S. Land Office but didn’t succeed. He became a candidate for the Vice-Presidency and lost. Two years later he was defeated in a race for the Senate. He ran for President and finally was elected. That man was Abraham Lincoln.     Today’s Gospel episode of healing gives us the same message in a more powerful way.   Introduction: All three readings today speak of the expansive and universal nature of the “Kingdom of God,” although salvation was offered first to the Jews Although God set the Hebrew people apart as His chosen race, He included all nations in His plan for salvation and blessed all families of the earth in Abraham (Gn 12:1-3). By declaring through the prophet Isaiah ( the first reading ), “ My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples,” God reveals the truth that in His eyes there is no distinction among human beings on the basis of race, caste or color.  Today’s Responsorial Psalm  (Ps 67) rejects all types of religious exclusivity: "Let all the peoples praise You, O God; …For You judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon the earth, so that Your saving power may be known among all the nations." In the second reading , Paul explains that, although the Jews were the chosen people, God turned to the Gentiles who received mercy through their Faith in Jesus. In the Gospel story, Jesus demonstrates that salvation was meant for the Gentiles as well as for the Jews by healing the daughter of a Gentile woman as a reward for her strong Faith. Thus, Jesus shows that God's mercy and love are available to all who call out to Him in Faith. The first reading explained, (Is 56: 1, 6-7 ): The third part of the book of the prophet Isaiah (chapters 56-66), was written mainly for the Jews who were returning from the Babylonian exile to join their relatives who had been left behind in Judea. But today’s lesson is primarily addressed to those Jews who, after the Exile had officially ended, still chose to remain in Babylon as Jews among the Gentiles. In this passage, the Lord God not only pleaded with these people who preferred exile to the labor of returning to the Promised Land to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple, but also tried to make them understand the role the Gentiles would have in their restored kingdom. Though in the past all who came to the God of Israel were required to accept the Law and the Covenant, God’s concern for those outside that Covenant led Him to a new and radical solution. “The foreigners,” the Lord God declared through Isaiah , “who join themselves to Yahweh, ministering to Him, loving the name of Yahweh and becoming His servants . . . them I will bring to My holy mountain and make joyful in My house of prayer . . . for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Thus Isaiah's prophecy consoled those Jews who had married Gentiles by assuring them that their God was equally interested in the people of other nations and in the descendants of Abraham. In short, the prophet reports, everyone has a part to play in God’s plan — even those who don’t belong to the “true religion.” In the Responsorial Psalm (Ps 67) the Psalmist sings God’s blessing on the people of Israel and calls on all nations and peoples to praise God. The Psalm is a response to Yahweh’s declaration in the first reading that the Gentiles will be accepted at the altar of Yahweh. Second Reading (Rom 11: 13-15, 29-32) explained: In Romans 9 – 11, Paul asks how God could apparently go back on His promise  to Abraham that Abraham's descendants would always be God's chosen people. Paul answers his own question by explaining that it had been God's plan he should turn to the Gentiles and bring them into the Covenant. Frustrated by the slow pace of Jewish conversions, Paul devoted his preaching mission to the Gentiles.  Thus, God’s secret plan to invite all people into the Covenant would be revealed and completed. Paul was convinced that the Jewish nation would eventually accept Christ because God's ”irrevocable” call, given to them through Abraham, was a call to eternal salvation. Paul's failure to convert his fellow-Jews serves as a model for us who must accept failure in our own lives, especially when it concerns our loved ones who refuse what we judge to be to their advantage.  Gospel exegesis : The significance of the miracle: The Gospels describe only two miraculous healings Jesus performed for Gentiles:  the healing of the centurion’s servant (Mt 8:10-12) in Capernaum, and the healing of the daughter of the Canaanite woman which we hear today. The encounter with the Canaanite woman took place outside Jewish territory in Tyre and Sidon, two coastal cities, twenty-five and fifty miles north of Galilee in present-day Lebanon.  The story of this miracle is told by Mark (7:24-30) as well as by Matthew (15:21-23).  Both miracles foreshadow the extension of the Gospel, the Good News, to the whole world.   The woman in the today’s miracle belonged to the old Canaanite stock of the Syro-Phoenician race.  The Canaanites were regarded as pagans and idolaters and, hence, as ritually unclean.  But this woman showed “a gallant and an audacious love which grew until it worshipped at the feet of the Divine, an indomitable persistence springing from an unconquerable hope, a cheerfulness which would not be dismayed” (Fr. James Rowland).  By granting the persistent request of the pagan woman, Jesus demonstrates that his mission is to break down the barriers and to remove the long-standing walls of division and mutual prejudice between the Jews and the Gentiles. God does not discriminate but welcomes all who believe in Him, who ask for His mercy and who try to do His will. Trustful persistence rewarded.   Jesus first ignores both the persistent cry of the woman and the impatience of his disciples to send the woman away. He then tries to awaken true Faith in the heart of this woman by an indirect refusal, telling her, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."   But the woman is persistent in her request. She kneels before him and begs , "Lord, help me."   Now Jesus makes a seemingly harsh statement, "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." The term " dogs " was a derogatory Jewish word for the Gentiles. Dogs were regarded by the Jews as unclean, because they would eat anything given to them, including pork. The woman noticed , however, that Jesus had used the word kunariois-- the word for household pets – rather than the   ordinary Greek word for dogs - kuon.   She also observed that Jesus had used the word for dogs in a joking way – a sort of test of the woman's Faith.  So she immediately matched wits with Jesus. Her argument runs like this:  Pets are not outsiders but insiders.  They not only belong to the family, but are part of the family. While they do not have a seat at the table, they enjoy intimacy at the family's feet.  Hence, the woman replied: "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table" (v. 27), expressing her Faith that Jesus could and would heal her daughter.  Jesus was completely won over by the depth of her Faith, her confidence and her wit and responded exuberantly, "Woman, great is your Faith!  Let it be done for you as you wish." We notice that the woman was refused three times by Jesus before he granted her request and finally, the fourth time, her persistence was rewarded and her plea was answered.  This Gospel episode is an account of a woman who got more from the Kingdom of God than she hoped for. The woman came to Jesus asking for one miracle and she got two. This is really a double miracle, for the daughter was exorcised of her demonic possession and received a new life, and the mother, through her experience with Christ, found a new life as well. The greatness of this woman's Faith consists in: a) her willingness to cross the barrier of racism; b) her refusal to be put off or ignored because of her position in life and c) her humility in admitting that she did not deserve the Master’s attention and time. Life messages: #1) We need to persist in prayer with trustful confidence .  Although the essential parts of prayer are adoration and thanksgiving, the prayer of petition plays a big part in most people’s daily life. We cannot provide, by our unaided selves, for our spiritual and temporal needs. Christ himself has told us to ask him for these needs: "Ask and you shall receive." Asking with fervor and perseverance proves that we have the "great Faith” we need to be able to receive all that Christ wants to grant us in response to our requests. We must realize and remember that we do not always get exactly what we ask for, but rather what God knows we need, what He wants for us and what is really best for us.  What we need most is to receive the peace and security that come from being in harmony with God's will for us.  As Christians, we also know that our particular requests may not always be for our good, or for the final good of the person for whom we are praying. In that case, the good God will not grant what would be to our, or their, eternal harm. But if the prayer is sincere and persevering, we will always get an answer – one which is better than what we asked for. Hence let us trust that every time we pray for something, the answer is already on its way before we even asked God. We just need to trust God’s timetable and infinite wisdom that he will answer us according to His will and purpose. #2) We need to pull down our walls of separation and share in the universality of God’s love: Very often we set up walls which separate us from God and from one another. Today's Gospel reminds us that God's love and mercy are extended to all who call on him in Faith and trust, no matter who they are. In other words, God’s care extends beyond the boundaries of race and nation to the hearts of all who live, and God’s House should become a House of prayer for all peoples. It is therefore fitting that we should pray that the walls which our pride, intolerance and prejudice have raised, may crumble. Next, we have to be grateful to God for all the blessings we enjoy. As baptized members of the Christian community, we have been given special privileges and easy access to God's love.  But we also have serious responsibilities arising from these gifts. One of these responsibilities is to make clear to others, with true humility and compassion, that God's love, mercy and healing are for them also because they too are the children of God.(Fr. Antony Kadavil) (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis sends condolences for ‘cruel’ Barcelona terror attack

Vatican News - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 09:00
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Friday sent a telegram expressing his condolences for the victims of the terrorist attack on Barcelona, in which at least 13 people died and more than a hundred were injured. Listen to our report: Pope Francis expressed his “deepest sympathy” for the victims of Thursday’s terrorist attack on Barcelona “Las Ramblas Boulevard” with a telegram to the city’s Archbishop, Cardinal Juan José Omella. The telegram was signed by Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin. Pope Francis condemned the “blind violence” manifested in the attack, saying it is “a grave offense to the Creator”. He prayed for those who “lost their lives to such an inhuman act”. “In these moments of sorrow and pain,” the Pope “wishes also to offer his support and closeness to the many injured, to their families, and to all Catalan and Spanish society,” it read. Turning to the future, Pope Francis said he raises his “prayers to the Most High that He help us continue to work with determination for peace and harmony in the world.” Finally, the Holy Father imparted his Apostolic Blessing “upon all the victims, their families, and the beloved Spanish people”. Please find below the official English translation of the telegram: CARDINAL JUAN JOSÉ OMELLA Y OMELLA ARCHBISHOP OF BARCELONA FOLLOWING THE NEWS OF THE CRUEL TERRORIST ATTACK THAT HAS SOWN DEATH AND PAIN IN LAS RAMBLAS IN BARCELONA, POPE FRANCIS WISHES TO EXPRESS HIS DEEPEST SYMPATHY FOR THE VICTIMS WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES TO SUCH AN INHUMAN ACT, AND OFFERS PRAYERS FOR THEIR ETERNAL REPOSE. IN THESE MOMENTS OF SORROW AND PAIN, HE WISHES ALSO TO OFFER HIS SUPPORT AND CLOSENESS TO THE MANY INJURED, TO THEIR FAMILIES, AND TO ALL CATALAN AND SPANISH SOCIETY. THE HOLY FATHER ONCE AGAIN CONDEMNS BLIND VIOLENCE, WHICH IS A GRAVE OFFENCE TO THE CREATOR, AND RAISES PRAYERS TO THE MOST HIGH THAT HE HELP US CONTINUE TO WORK WITH DETERMINATION FOR PEACE AND HARMONY IN THE WORLD. WITH THESE WISHES, HIS HOLINESS INVOKES UPON ALL THE VICTIMS, THEIR FAMILIES AND THE BELOVED SPANISH PEOPLE HIS APOSTOLIC BLESSING. CARDINAL PIETRO PAROLIN SECRETARY OF STATE OF HIS HOLINESS (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis prays for victims of Sierra Leone mudslide

Vatican News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 07:59
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has expressed his “closeness” to those who have loved ones in the tragic mudslide that struck Sierra Leone . A telegram signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin says the Holy Father is praying for all those who have died; and that he invokes “divine blessings of strength and consolation” on their grieving family and friends. The telegram assures rescue workers of Pope Francis’ solidarity and support. The full text of the telegram, addressed to Archbishop Charles Edward Tamba of Freetown, can be read below: Deeply saddened by the devastating consequences of the mudslide on the outskirts of Freetown, His Holiness Pope Francis assures those who have lost loved ones of his closeness at this difficult time.  He prays for all who have died, and upon their grieving families and friends he invokes the divine blessings of strength and consolation.  His Holiness likewise expresses his prayerful solidarity with the rescue workers and all involved in providing the much needed relief and support to the victims of this disaster. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis prays Angelus for Solemnity of the Assumption

Vatican News - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 09:04
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis reflected on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Angelus on Tuesday. The feast of the Assumption, also known as Ferragosto , is an important religious and civil holiday in Italy, and thousands of faithful were present in St Peter’s Square to celebrate with the Holy Father. In his remarks, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel reading, which relates the meeting of Mary with Elizabeth, and records Mary’s triumphant song of praise, the Magnificat . “The greatest gift that Mary brings to Elizabeth,” the Pope said, “is Jesus, who already lives within her – not in faith and hope, as in so many women in the Old Testament: Jesus has taken human flesh from the Virgin, for His mission of salvation.” Elizabeth, the Pope said, had already received the joy of pregnancy, after having felt for so long the sorrow of not having a baby. Now, at the arrival of Mary, her joy “overflows and bursts from her heart, because the invisible but real presence of Jesus fills her senses.” That joy is echoed by Mary in the Magnificat, a song of praise for God, who accomplished His plan of salvation through the poor and humble. God is able to do great things through the humble because, the Pope said, “ humility is like an emptiness that leaves room for God.” The humble person “is powerful because he is humble, not because he is strong.” He challenged the faithful to reflect on their own efforts to foster the virtue of humility. In the house of Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah, the Pope continued, “the coming of Jesus through Mary creates not only a climate of joy and fraternal communion, but also a climate of faith that leads to hope, to prayer, to praise.” And we too, Pope Francis continued, desire these things for our homes. “Celebrating Mary Most Holy, Assumed into Heaven,” he said, “we would like her, once more, to bring to us, to our families, to our communities, that immense Gift, that unique Grace that we must always seek first and above all other graces that we have at heart: the grace that is Jesus Christ!” Mary, the Pope said in conclusion, “is the model of virtue and of faith. In contemplating her today assumed into heaven, at the final completion of her earthly journey, we give thanks that she always goes before us in the pilgrimage of life and of faith.” And, he said, “we ask that she protect and sustain us; that we might have a strong, joyful, and merciful faith; that she might help us to be saints, to meet together with her, one day, in Paradise.” Following the Angelus, Pope Francis entrusted to Mary, as Queen of Peace , “the anxieties and sorrows of peoples who, in many parts of the world, are suffering on account of natural calamities, of social tensions or of conflicts.” He prayed, “May our heavenly Mother obtain consolation for all, and a future of serenity and of concord.” (from Vatican Radio) ...
Categories: Vatican News

Angelus: Listen to the Lord not horoscopes or fortune tellers

Vatican News - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 08:07
(Vatican Radio)"When you do not cling to the word of the Lord, but have more security in consulting horoscopes and fortune tellers you sink”. Those were Pope Francis’ words during his Angelus address on Sunday in St Peter’s Square. He was referring to the Gospel of the day where Jesus walks on the waters of Lake Galilee to save Peter and the disciples from sinking in their boat due to the heavy waves of the sea. Listen to Lydia O'Kane's report: The Pope recounted how this story is rich in symbolism. The boat, he continued, “is the life of each of us, but it is also the life of the Church; The wind represents difficulties and trials.” Peter's invocation: "Lord, command me to come to you!" And his cry, "Lord, save me", the Holy Father noted  “are so much like our desire to feel the closeness of the Lord, but also the fear and anguish that accompany the toughest moments of our lives and our communities, marked by internal fragility and external difficulties.” Pope Francis explained, that at that moment, Peter was not sure of the word of Jesus, which was like a rope to cling to in hostile and turbulent waters. This is what can happen to us as well, he said,   “when you do not cling to the word of the Lord, but to have more security in consulting  horoscopes and fortune tellers you sink”. The Gospel of today, the Pope underlined, “reminds us that faith in the Lord and in his word does not open a path where everything is easy and quiet for us; It does not take away the storms of life. But faith, the Holy Father went on to say, “gives us the assurance of a Presence, that is Christ, which pushes us to overcome the existential buffs; Faith, in short, is not a loophole from the problems of life, but it sustains our journey and gives it meaning.       (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Centenary of Romero's birth celebrated in Southwark

Vatican News - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 11:05
(Vatican Radio) August 15th 2017 marks the centenary of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador who was assassinated for speaking out on behalf of the poor and oppressed during his country’s military dictatorship. There are many events planned to mark the anniversary year , both in his native El Salvador but also in countries around the world, where his life and legacy continue to motivate those working for justice and peace today. In the London diocese of Southwark a Mass will be celebrated at St George's Cathedral on August 12th, while an ecumenical evensong will be held in Westminster Abbey on September 23rd. The Archbishop of Southwark Peter Smith will preside at the Mass on Saturday, while Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia will travel from Rome to preach the homily. Archbishop Paglia currently serves as head of the Pontifical Academy for Life and the St John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. He is also the postulator of the cause for canonisation of Archbishop Romero. Philippa Hitchen talked to Archbishop Paglia about why the murdered Salvadoran Church leader continues to inspire so many people of all faiths and none. Listen to the full interview:   Archbishop Paglia says the example of Romero is “a universal example” and “a clear evangelical witness of love” in a world of difficulties, injustices, war and terror attacks. His voice and his testimony, he says, is clear and understandable for all people, above all for the poor and voiceless. 'Providential link' between Pope and Romero Archbishop Paglia says there is “an interesting alliance between the first Latin American pope and the first martyr of Vatican II” . He describes the “providential link between Romero’s witness and Pope Francis’ engagement” as “a sort of good link between heaven and earth in this current moment”.  In a certain sense, he adds, Pope Francis needs the witness of Romero to continue to preach the Gospel of love for the poor as a strategic pastoral initiative. Hopes for canonisation   After attending the beatification of Romero in San Salvador in May 2015, Archbishop Paglia says he hopes that during the next year the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints may approve a miracle and make its final decision for his canonisation. After the difficulties of those who opposed Romero’s beatification, Archbishop Paglia says “even those who were against him have to accept the decision of the pope”.  The magisterium of Pope Francis is now linked to the witness of Romero, he says, as “a clear sign of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration in the Church”. Building a globalisation of solidarity Archbishop Paglia notes how many people are struck by the example of Romero, not just in the Catholic and Anglican Churches, but followers of other religions “and also a lot of non-believers” Romero continues “to show, to push all of us”, Archbishop Paglia says, “to trust in the Gospel, to accept the Word of God and put into practice the word of the Gospel”.  If we follow this example, he concludes, “we can not only testify to the Gospel” but we can change the world by helping to “construct a better globalization” of solidarity. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope at Audience: ‘Divine mercy is foundation of Christian hope’

Vatican News - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 09:08
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis continued his catechesis on Christian hope with pilgrims gathered in the Paul VI Hall for the Wednesday General Audience, saying that God’s mercy as embodied by Jesus both transforms us and renews our hope. Listen to Devin Watkins’ report: In his address to pilgrims at the Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis spoke about God’s mercy and forgiveness as the driving force or the “motor” of Christian hope. He reflected on the passage in Luke’s Gospel (Lk 7:44-50) in which Jesus forgives the sins of the woman who bathed his feet with her tears and a precious ointment. Pope Francis said that Jesus’ merciful action causes scandal, because it overturns the dominant attitude of his time. Jesus, he said, embraced sinners and the “untouchables” of his day, rather than rejecting them as was commonplace. “Jesus, faced with human pain, feels mercy; Jesus’ heart is merciful. Jesus feels compassion. Literally: Jesus feels a tremor within.” The Pope said Jesus’ astonishing attitude to those in desperate situations, even those who have made many mistakes in life, marks our Christian identity with the stamp of mercy. And this gives a sure foundation to our hope. Pope Francis then invited all present to reflect on the cost of sin. “Jesus does not go to the cross because He heals the sick, preaches charity, or proclaims the beatitudes. The Son of God goes to the cross above all because He forgives sins, and because He wants the total and definitive liberation of the human heart.” Finally, Pope Francis said God’s mercy both transforms us and renews our hope. “[W]e are all poor sinners, in need of the mercy of God Who has the strength to transform us and to restore our hope every day.” (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis decries attack on Nigerian churchgoers, violence in CAR

Vatican News - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 06:36
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis appealed on Wednesday for an end to “every form of hatred and violence”, especially those “perpetrated in places of worship, where the faithful gather to pray”. He was referring to an attack on Catholics attending Sunday Mass in southern Nigeria and to recent violence against Christians in the Central African Republic. Listen to our report: At his General Audience, Pope Francis said he “remains deeply saddened by the massacre, which took place last Sunday in Nigeria inside a church, where innocent people were killed.” At least 13 people were killed and 26 others were wounded when gunmen opened fire on worshippers at St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Ozubulu near the city of Onitsha. The Pope also decried an incident which occurred on Wednesday in the Central African Republic. “And, unfortunately, news has arrived this morning of violent homicides in the Central African Republic against the Christian community.” He expressed his desire that attacks on places of worship should cease. “I hope that all forms of hatred and violence cease, and may such shameful crimes not be repeated, especially those perpetrated in places of worship, where the faithful gather to pray.” After a brief pause, the Holy Father invited all present to think about “our brothers and sisters in Nigeria and in the Central African Republic” and to pray for them. He then led the crowd in the recitation of the Hail Mary. Pope Francis already on Monday sent a telegramme of condolences to Bishop Hilary Paul Odili Okeke of Nnewi following the attack on the church in his diocese. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis' catechesis at General Audience: English Summary

Vatican News - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 05:28
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis continued his catechesis on Christian hope at the Wednesday General Audience in the Paul VI Hall, reflecting on divine forgiveness as the "driving force of hope". Please find below the official English summary of the Pope's catechesis: In our continuing catechesis, we now consider God’s mercy as the driving force of Christian hope.  When Jesus forgives the sinful woman, his action causes scandal, because it overturns the dominant attitude of the time.  Instead of rejecting sinners, Jesus embraces them, those who are outcast, “untouchable”.  With a compassion that literally causes him to tremble in his depths, he reveals the merciful heart of God.  This astonishing attitude to those in desperate situations, even those who have made many mistakes in life, marks our Christian identity with the stamp of mercy, and gives a sure foundation to our hope.  We who have experienced God’s forgiveness should avoid the danger of forgetting that this mercy was purchased at a great price: Christ’s death on the Cross.  Our Lord died not because he healed the sick, but because he did what only God can do: forgive sins.  This divine mercy both transforms us and renews our hope.  Our Lord, who rejects no one, graciously bestows upon us the mission to proclaim his mercy to the world. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis sends condolences for Nigeria church attack

Vatican News - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 12:12
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday sent a message of condolences following an attack at a Church in southeastern Nigeria. At least 11 people were killed and 18 others were wounded when gunmen opened fire on worshippers who had gathered early on Sunday at St Philip’s Catholic church in Ozubulu near the city of Onitsha. In the message, signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the pope says he is “deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and injury”. He extends his “heartfelt condolences” to the local bishop and to “all the faithful of the diocese of Nnewi, in particular the families of the deceased and all those affected by this tragedy.” Police said they believe the attack may have been linked to drug trafficking and was carried out following a feud between local residents and member of the community living outside Nigeria. Please see below the full text of the message from Pope Francis to the bishop of the diocese of Nnewi in Nigeria The Right Reverend Hilary Paul Odili Okeke Bishop of Nnewi Deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and injury following the violent attack in Saint Philip’s Catholic Church, Ozubulu, His Holiness Pope Francis extends heartfelt condolences to you and to all the faithful of the Diocese of Nnewi, in particular the families of the deceased and all those affected by this tragedy. Upon the entire Diocese, His Holiness willingly invokes the divine blessings of consolation and strength.                                                                  Cardinal Pietro Parolin                                                                 Secretary of State (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope sends video message to Church in Peru

Vatican News - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 07:55
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a video message to Catholics in Peru, ahead of his planned pastoral visit there next January . The short video message was published on the website of the archdiocese of Lima by Archbishop Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne. Listen to our report:  In the message Pope Francis talks about the wealth of human resources that characterize the past and present of the Church in the South American nation. Peru has many great saints, he says, who have contributed to the building up of the Church, helping it to move from fragmentation to unity. Saints work for unity A saint, the pope continues, is someone who always work to create unity, just as Jesus did, and a saint must always follow in his footsteps. In the video the pope invites all Peruvians to follow on this path and to work for unity, looking to the future with hope, rather than with bitterness or skepticism. A Christian always looks ahead with hope, he concludes, because he or she always hopes to see the realization of what the Lord has promised. Pope to visit Chile and Peru Pope Francis is scheduled to travel to Chile and Peru from January 15th to 21st, visiting the Peruvian cities of Puerto Maldonado and Trujillo, as well as the capital Lima. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis prays at tomb of Pope Paul VI

Vatican News - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 05:12
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Sunday prayed at the tomb of Blessed Pope Paul VI on the 39th anniversary of his death. Blessed Paul VI is buried in the Vatican in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica. He was beatified by Pope Francis on 19 October 2014, and his liturgical feast is celebrated on the day of his birth (26 September). Born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini in 1897, he became Pope on 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978.  Upon succeeding Pope St. John XXIII, he reigned over the Second Vatican Council until its close in 1965 and implemented its reforms, also fostering improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Christians. Click here to find out more about the papacy of Paul VI in our feature programme on his life and legacy. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis sends message to Asian Youth Day 2017 in Indonesia

Vatican News - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 04:53
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent a message to the 7th Asian Youth Day which took place in Indonesia, saying he prays that the young people of Asia "respond with faith and courage to their vocation". In the message, signed by the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the Pope greeted the young people of Asia gathered in Yogyakarta with "prayerful best wishes" as the event came to a close on Sunday. Pope Francis invited them "to look to the Mother of the Lord as a model of missionary discipleship, to speak to her as they would to a mother, and to trust always in her loving intercession." "In this way, as they seek to follow Christ Jesus more closely, they too, like the young woman of Nazareth, can truly 'improve the world and leave an imprint that makes a mark on history'". Finally, the Holy Father imparted his Apostolic Blessing "as a pledge of peace and joy in the Lord." Please find below the full message: His Holiness Pope Francis sends warm greetings and prayerful best wishes to all gathered in Yogyakarta for the seventh Asian Youth Day.  He prays that young people from across Asia will listen ever more attentively to God’s call and respond with faith and courage to their vocation.  As they prepare for the next World Youth Day, His Holiness invites them to look to the Mother of the Lord as a model of missionary discipleship, to speak to her as they would to a mother, and to trust always in her loving intercession.  In this way, as they seek to follow Christ Jesus more closely, they too, like the young woman of Nazareth, can truly “improve the world and leave an imprint that makes a mark on history” (Message to Young People, 21 March 2017).  Entrusting all the youth and their families to the maternal intercession of Our Lady, Pope Francis gladly imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace and joy in the Lord. Cardinal Pietro Parolin Secretary of State (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope reflects on Transfiguration, summer vacation at Angelus

Vatican News - Sun, 08/06/2017 - 07:54
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis focused his Angelus reflection on the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord , which is celebrated each year on 6 August. “The event of the Transfiguration of the Lord,” he said, “offers us a message of hope: it invites us to encounter Jesus, to be at the service of our brothers.” The disciples’ journey to Mount Tabor, he continued, helps us “to reflect on the importance of detaching ourselves from worldly things, in order to complete our journey to the heights and to contemplate Jesus.” This involves conforming ourselves to Christ’s attitude of "attentive listening and prayer,” which allows us to welcome the Word of God into our lives. Summer time, the Pope said, can be a providential moment to grow in our commitment to seek after and encounter the Lord. “In this period, students are free from their scholastic commitments, and many families take their vacations; it is important that in the period of rest and of detachment from daily occupations, the strength of the body and of the spirit can be restored, deepening the spiritual journey.” These spiritual heights, though, are not an end in themselves. Following the experience of the Transfiguration, the disciples came down from the mountain with “eyes and hearts transfigured by the experience of the Lord." Pope Francis said that we too can “come down from the mountain, recharged by the power of the divine Spirit, to decide on new steps of authentic conversion, and to constantly bear witness to charity as the law of daily life.” This transfiguration will allow us to be “signs of the life-giving love of God” for all, especially those who suffer. In the Transfiguration, the Pope said, we hear the voice of the Father saying, “This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him!” Pope Francis encouraged us to look to Mary, “the Virgin of Listening ,” and pray that she might help us “to enter into symphony with the Word of God, that Christ might become the light and the guide of our lives.” He concluded his reflection by entrusting everyone’s vacations to God, and by praying for all those who are unable to take vacations, that summer may be for them, too, a time of relaxation, “gladdened by the presence of friends and joyful moments.”     (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis sends condolences on death of Card. Tettamanzi

Vatican News - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 10:30
(Vatican Radio) Following the death of Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi , Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolence to A rchbishop Mario Delpini , Archbishop-elect of Milan. “I think with affection and remember with gratitude the intense cultural and pastoral work accomplished by this praiseworthy brother, who in his fruitful life has borne witness with joy to the Gospel, and docilely served the Church,” the Pope said. He remembered Cardinal Tettamanzi’s service “first as a priest of the Archdiocese of Milan, then as Bishop of Ancona-Osimo, secretary of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, and Archbishop of Genoa, later as Archbishop of the beloved Ambrosian Church, and finally as Apostolic Administrator of Vigevano.” Cardinal Tettamanzi, Pope Francis said, “always distinguished himself as a caring pastor, totally dedicated to the needs and well-being” of his priests and people. In particular, he noted the Cardinal’s expertise in the fields of family , marriage , and bioethics . Concluding the telegram, Pope Francis prayed “that, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” the Lord “might welcome this His faithful servant, whom I loved so much, into joy and eternal peace.”  (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

© Copyright 2008 - 2017. Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy. All rights reserved.