Friday, September 30, 2016

#PopeFrancis "Truly, the love of the Lord raises us up,” meets #Orthodox FULL Video - Text

(Vatican Radio) One of the highlights of the Holy Father’s first day in Georgia was his meeting with the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II, and with the Members of the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
In his address during the meeting, Pope Francis focused on the love of Christ as a basis for building up the bonds of unity between the Catholic Church and the Georgian Orthodox Church.
In his address to the leaders of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Pope Francis recalled Patriarch Ilia’s visit to Rome in 1980, the first visit ever of a Georgian Patriarch to the Vatican. He also recalled the visit of Pope John Paul II to Georgia on the eve of the Jubilee Year of 2000.
Pope Francis’ visit to Georgia likewise comes during the celebration of a Jubilee, the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.
On the occasion of this new meeting, the Pope noted the ties that exist between the Georgian Church, founded on the preaching of St Andrew; and the Church of Rome, built on the foundation of the St Peter, Andrew’s brother. Addressing Ilia as “Dear Brother,” Pope Francis said, “let us allow the Lord Jesus to look upon us anew, let us once again experience the attraction of his call to leave everything that prevents us from proclaiming together his presence.”
The love of Christ as the basis of unity among Christians was the focus of the Pope’s reflection. “Truly, the love of the Lord raises us up,” Pope Francis said, “because it enables us to rise above the misunderstandings of the past, above the calculations of the present and fears for the future.”
The people of Georgia, he continued, have witnessed to “the greatness of this love” through the centuries – a love that has inspired “the immortal beauty” of Georgia’s cultural patrimony.
“I want to be a genuine friend to this land and its beloved people,” Pope Francis said, a people “who do not forget the good they have received and whose unique hospitality is intimately united to a way of living that is full of true hope, even though there is no shortage of difficulties.”
Pope Francis concluded his remarks by with an appeal to the “courageous heroes” of Georgia’s history, “who like St George, knew how to defeat evil.” May their intercession, he prayed, “May their intercession bring relief to the many Christians who even today suffer persecution and slander, and may they strengthen in us the noble aspiration to be fraternally united in proclaiming the Gospel of peace.”

#PopeFrancis "The Catholic Church, which has been present for centuries..." FULL TEXT + Video in Georgia to Authorities

Pope Francis met with national authorities and members of the diplomatic corps in Tbilisi, Georgia Friday. The Pope spoke at the Presidential palace after his arrival in the Georgian capital.  He met in the Vatican last year with President Giorgi Margvelashvili and thanked him for the invitation to visit his country.
Below, please find the official English translation of Pope Francis’ discourse to Georgian authorities and members of the diplomatic corps:
Mr President,
Distinguished Authorities and Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
            I thank Almighty God for granting me the opportunity to visit this blessed land, a place of encounter and vital exchange among cultures and civilizations, which, since the preaching of Saint Nino at the beginning of the fourth century, discovered in Christianity its deepest identity and the solid foundation of its values.  As Saint John Paul II observed when visiting your country: “Christianity became the seed of successive flowerings of Georgian culture” (Address at the Arrival Ceremony, 8 November 1999), and this seed continues to bear fruit.  Recalling with gratitude our meeting in the Vatican last year and the good relations which Georgia has always maintained with the Holy See, I sincerely thank you, Mr President, for your gracious invitation and for your cordial words of welcome in the name of the Authorities of the State and all the Georgian people.
            The centuries-old history of your country shows that it is rooted in the values expressed in its culture, language and traditions.  This places your country fully and in a particular way within the bedrock of European civilization; at the same time, as is evident from your geographical location, Georgia is to a great extent a natural bridge between Europe and Asia, a link that facilitates communication and relations between peoples.  Through the centuries this has facilitated commercial ties as well as dialogue and the exchange of ideas and experiences between diverse cultures. As your national anthem proudly proclaims: “My icon is my homeland… bright mountains and valleys are shared with God”.  The country is an icon expressing its identity and tracing its features and history; its mountains, rising freely towards heaven, far from being insurmountable walls, give splendour to the valleys; they distinguish them, connect them, make each one unique yet all open to the one sky, which covers them and offers them protection.
            Mr President, twenty-five years have passed since Georgia’s independence was proclaimed.  During this period when Georgia regained its full liberty, it built and strengthened its democratic institutions and sought ways to guarantee the most inclusive and authentic development possible.  All of this was not without great sacrifice, which the people faced courageously in order to ensure their longed-for freedom.  I hope that the path of peace and development will advance with the consolidated commitment of all sectors of society, so as to create conditions for stability, justice and respect for the rule of law, hence promoting growth and greater opportunities for all.
The peaceful coexistence among all peoples and states in the region is the indispensable and prior condition for such authentic and enduring progress.  This requires increasing mutual esteem and consideration, which can never lay aside respect for the sovereign rights of every country within the framework of international law.  So as to forge paths leading to lasting peace and true cooperation, we must recall that the relevant principles for a just and stable relationship between states are at the service of a practical, ordered and peaceful coexistence among nations. 
Indeed, in far too many areas of the world, there seems to be a dominant way of thinking which hinders keeping legitimate differences and disagreements – which can always arise – within a climate of civilized dialogue where reason, moderation and responsibility can prevail.  This is all the more necessary in the present historical moment, with no shortage of violent extremism that manipulates and distorts civic and religious principles, and subjugates them to the dark designs of domination and death.
We should wholeheartedly give priority to human beings in their actual circumstances and pursue every attempt to prevent differences from giving rise to violence that can cause ruinous calamity for people and for society.  Far from being exploited as grounds for turning discord into conflict and conflict into interminable tragedy, distinctions along ethnic, linguistic, political or religious lines can and must be for everyone a source of mutual enrichment in favour of the common good.  This requires that everyone make full use of their particular identity, having the possibility, above all else, to coexist peacefully in their homeland, or freely to return to that land, if for some reason they have been forced to leave it.  I hope that civil authorities will continue to show concern for the situation of these persons, and that they will fully commit themselves to seeking tangible solutions, in spite of any unresolved political questions.  It takes far-sightedness and courage to recognize the authentic good of peoples, and to pursue this good with determination and prudence.  In this regard, it is essential to keep before our eyes the suffering of others, in order to proceed with conviction along the path which, though slow and laborious, is also captivating and freeing, and leads us towards peace. 
The Catholic Church, which has been present for centuries in this country and has distinguished itself in a particular way for its commitment to human promotion and to charitable works, shares the joys and concerns of the Georgian people, and is resolved to offer its contribution for the well-being and peace of the nation, by actively cooperating with the authorities and civil society.  It is my ardent desire that the Catholic Church may continue to make its own authentic contribution to the growth of Georgian society, thanks to the common witness to the Christian tradition which unites us, its commitment to those most in need, and the renewed and strengthened dialogue with the ancient Georgian Orthodox Church and the other religious communities of the country.
May God bless Georgia and give her peace and prosperity! 

#PopeFrancis arrives in Georgia - FULL Video Ceremony

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has arrived in Georgia at the start of a three day trip to the Caucasus which will also take him Sunday for a brief visit to Azerbaijan.  On Friday, Georgian government, civil and religious leaders and members of the Catholic community turned out at Tbilisi’s international airport to greet the pontiff, whose plane touched down shortly before 3:00 pm local time. 
On Pope Francis’ schedule for the afternoon:  a private visit to the President of the Republic, Giorgi Margvelashvili, at the presidential palace in Tbilisi followed by a meeting with national authorities, civil leaders and the diplomatic corps.  The Holy Father will then pay a visit to Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II of all Georgia at the Patriarchal Palace in the capital.  He will conclude the afternoon with a meeting with members of the Syro-Chaldean community in the Catholic Church of Saint Simon the Tanner in Tbilisi.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Fri. September 30, 2016


Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 459


Reading 1JB 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5

The LORD addressed Job out of the storm and said:

Have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning
and shown the dawn its place
For taking hold of the ends of the earth,
till the wicked are shaken from its surface?
The earth is changed as is clay by the seal,
and dyed as though it were a garment;
But from the wicked the light is withheld,
and the arm of pride is shattered.

Have you entered into the sources of the sea,
or walked about in the depths of the abyss?
Have the gates of death been shown to you,
or have you seen the gates of darkness?
Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all:
Which is the way to the dwelling place of light,
and where is the abode of darkness,
That you may take them to their boundaries
and set them on their homeward paths?
You know, because you were born before them,
and the number of your years is great!

Then Job answered the LORD and said:

Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again;
though twice, I will do so no more.

Responsorial PsalmPS 139:1-3, 7-8, 9-10, 13-14AB

R. (24b) Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
O LORD, you have probed me and you know me;
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall guide me,
and your right hand hold me fast.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.

AlleluiaPS 95:8

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

GospelLK 10:13-16

Jesus said to them,
“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,
sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon
at the judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum, ‘Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.’
Whoever listens to you listens to me.
Whoever rejects you rejects me.
And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Saint September 30 : St. Jerome : Patron of #Librarians, #Translators, #Archeologists and #Bible Scholars





































DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: September 30
Information:
Feast Day:
September 30
Born:
340-342, Stridon, on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia
Died:
420, Bethlehem, Judea
Major Shrine:
Basilica of Saint Mary Major, Rome, Italy
Patron of:
archeologists; archivists; Bible scholars; librarians; libraries; schoolchildren; students; translators
Born at Stridon, a town on the confines of Dalmatia and Pannonia, about the year 340-2; died at Bethlehem, 30 September, 420. He went to Rome, probably about 360, where he was baptized, and became interested in ecclesiastical matters. From Rome he went to Trier, famous for its schools, and there began his theological studies. Later he went to Aquileia, and towards 373 he set out on a journey to the East. He settled first in Antioch, where he heard Apollinaris of Laodicea, one of the first exegetes of that time and not yet separated from the Church. From 374-9 Jerome led an ascetical life in the desert of Chalcis, southwest of Antioch. Ordained priest at Antioch, he went to Constantinople (380-81), where a friendship sprang up between him and St. Gregory of Nazianzus. From 382 to August 385 he made another sojourn in Rome, not far from Pope Damasus. When the latter died (11 December, 384) his position became a very difficult one. His harsh criticisms had made him bitter enemies, who tried to ruin him. After a few months he was compelled to leave Rome. By way of Antioch and Alexandria he reached Bethlehem, in 386. He settled there in a monastery near a convent founded by two Roman ladies, Paula and Eustochium, who followed him to Palestine. Henceforth he led a life of asceticism and study; but even then he was troubled by controversies which will be mentioned later, one with Rufinus and the other with the Pelagians.
Chronology
The literary activity of St. Jerome, although very prolific, may be summed up under a few principal heads: works on the Bible; theological controversies; historical works; various letters; translations. But perhaps the chronology of his more important writings will enable us to follow more easily the development of his studies.
A first period extends to his sojourn in Rome (382), a period of preparation. From this period we have the translation of the homilies of Origen on Jeremias, Ezechiel, and Isaias (379-81), and about the same time the translation of the Chronicle of Eusebius; then the "Vita S. Pauli, prima eremitae" (374-379).
A second period extends from his sojourn in Rome to the beginning of the translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew (382-390). During this period the exegetical vocation of St. Jerome asserted itself under the influence of Pope Damasus, and took definite shape when the opposition of the ecclesiastics of Rome compelled the caustic Dalmatian to renounce ecclesiastical advancement and retire to Bethlehem. In 384 we have the correction of the Latin version of the Four Gospels; in 385, the Epistles of St. Paul; in 384, a first revision of the Latin Psalms according to the accepted text of the Septuagint (Roman Psalter); in 384, the revision of the Latin version of the Book of Job, after the accepted version of the Septuagint; between 386 and 391 a second revision of the Latin Psalter, this time according to the text of the "Hexapla" of Origen (Gallican Psalter, embodied in the Vulgate). It is doubtful whether he revised the entire version of the Old Testament according to the Greek of the Septuagint. In 382-383 "Altercatio Luciferiani et Orthodoxi" and "De perpetua Virginitate B. Mariae; adversus Helvidium". In 387-388, commentaries on the Epistles to Philemon, to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to Titus; and in 389-390, on Ecclesiastes.
Between 390 and 405, St. Jerome gave all his attention to the translation of the Old Testament according to the Hebrew, but this work alternated with many others. Between 390-394 he translated the Books of Samuel and of Kings, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Canticle of Canticles, Esdras, and Paralipomena. In 390 he translated the treatise "De Spiritu Sancto" of Didymus of Alexandria; in 389-90, he drew up his "Quaestiones hebraicae in Genesim" and "De interpretatione nominum hebraicorum." In 391-92 he wrote the "Vita S. Hilarionis", the "Vita Malchi, monachi captivi", and commentaries on Nahum, Micheas, Sophonias, Aggeus, Habacuc. In 392-93, "De viris illustribus", and "Adversus Jovinianum"; in 395, commentaries on Jonas and Abdias; in 398, revision of the remainder of the Latin version of the New Testament, and about that time commentaries on chapters 13-23 of Isaias; in 398, an unfinished work "Contra Joannem Hierosolymitanum"; in 401, "Apologeticum adversus Rufinum"; between 403-406, "Contra Vigilantium"; finally from 398 to 405, completion of the version of the Old Testament according to the Hebrew.
In the last period of his life, from 405 to 420, St. Jerome took up the series of his commentaries interrupted for seven years. In 406, he commented on Osee, Joel, Amos, Zacharias, Malachias; in 408, on Daniel; from 408 to 410, on the remainder of Isaias; from 410 to 415, on Ezechiel; from 415-420, on Jeremias. From 401 to 410 date what is left of his sermons; treatises on St. Mark, homilies on the Psalms, on various subjects, and on the Gospels; in 415, "Dialogi contra Pelagianos".
Text shared from The Catholic Encyclopedia

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Saint September 29 : #Archangels : St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael : Patrons of Protection, Travel and Art




The term archangel occurs only in St. Jude and 1 Thessalonians 4:15; but St. Paul has furnished us with two other lists of names of the heavenly cohorts. He tells us (Ephesians 1:21) that Christ is raised up "above all principality, and power, and virtue, and dominion"; and, writing to the Colossians (1:16), he says: "In Him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominations, or principalities or powers." It is to be noted that he uses two of these names of the powers of darkness when (2:15) he talks of Christ as "despoiling the principalities and powers . . . triumphing over them in Himself". And it is not a little remarkable that only two verses later he warns his readers not to be seduced into any "religion of angels". He seems to put his seal upon a certain lawful angelology, and at the same time to warn them against indulging superstition on the subject. We have a hint of such excesses in the Book of Enoch, wherein, as already stated, the angels play a quite disproportionate part. Similarly Josephus tells us (Bel. Jud., II, viii, 7) that the Essenes had to take a vow to preserve the names of the angels.
 The following passages from St. Gregory the Great (Hom. 34, In Evang.) will give us a clear idea of the view of the Church's doctors on the point:
 We know on the authority of Scripture that there are nine orders of angels, viz., Angels, Archangels, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Dominations, Throne, Cherubim and Seraphim. That there are Angels and Archangels nearly every page of the Bible tell us, and the books of the Prophets talk of Cherubim and Seraphim. St. Paul, too, writing to the Ephesians enumerates four orders when he says: 'above all Principality, and Power, and Virtue, and Domination'; and again, writing to the Colossians he says: 'whether Thrones, or Dominations, or Principalities, or Powers'. If we now join these two lists together we have five Orders, and adding Angels and Archangels, Cherubim and Seraphim, we find nine Orders of Angels.
ST. MICHAEL 
(Hebrew "Who is like God?"). St. Michael is one of the principal angels; his name was the war-cry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against the enemy and his followers. Four times his name is recorded in Scripture:
(1) Daniel 10:13 sqq., Gabriel says to Daniel, when he asks God to permit the Jews to return to Jerusalem: "The Angel [D.V. prince] of the kingdom of the Persians resisted me . . . and, behold Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me . . . and none is my helper in all these things, but Michael your prince."
(2) Daniel 12, the Angel speaking of the end of the world and the Antichrist says: "At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people."
(3) In the Catholic Epistle of St. Jude: "When Michael the Archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses", etc. St. Jude alludes to an ancient Jewish tradition of a dispute between Michael and Satan over the body of Moses, an account of which is also found in the apocryphal book on the assumption of Moses (Origen, De Principiis III.2.2). St. Michael concealed the tomb of Moses; Satan, however, by disclosing it, tried to seduce the Jewish people to the sin of hero-worship. St. Michael also guards the body of Eve, according to the "Revelation of Moses" ("Apocryphal Gospels", etc., ed. A. Walker, Edinburgh, p. 647).
(4) Apocalypse 12:7, "And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon." St. John speaks of the great conflict at the end of time, which reflects also the battle in heaven at the beginning of time. According to the Fathers there is often question of St. Michael in Scripture where his name is not mentioned. They say he was the cherub who stood at the gate of paradise, "to keep the way of the tree of life" (Genesis 3:24), the angel through whom God published the Decalogue to his chosen people, the angel who stood in the way against Balaam (Numbers 22:22 sqq.), the angel who routed the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:35).
Following these Scriptural passages, Christian tradition gives to St. Michael four offices:
To fight against Satan.
To rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy, especially at the hour of death.
To be the champion of God's people, the Jews in the Old Law, the Christians in the New Testament; therefore he was the patron of the Church, and of the orders of knights during the Middle Ages.
To call away from earth and bring men's souls to judgment ("signifer S. Michael repraesentet eas in lucam sanctam", Offert. Miss Defunct. "Constituit eum principem super animas suscipiendas", Antiph. off. Cf. The Shepherd of Hermas, Book III, Similitude 8, Chapter 3).
ST. GABRIEL
"Fortitudo Dei", one of the three archangels mentioned in the Bible.
Only four appearances of Gabriel are recorded: In Daniel 8, he explains the vision of the horned ram as portending the destruction of the Persian Empire by the Macedonian Alexander the Great, after whose death the kingdom will be divided up among his generals, from one of whom will spring Antiochus Epiphanes. In chapter 9, after Daniel had prayed for Israel, we read that "the man Gabriel . . . . flying swiftly touched me" and he communicated to him the mysterious prophecy of the "seventy weeks" of years which should elapse before the coming of Christ. In chapter 10, it is not clear whether the angel is Gabriel or not, but at any rate we may apply to him the marvellous description in verses 5 and 6. In the New Testament he foretells to Zachary the birth of the Precursor, and to Mary that of the Saviour.
Thus he is throughout the angel of the Incarnation and of Consolation, and so in Christian tradition Gabriel is ever the angel of mercy while Michael is rather the angel of judgment. At the same time, even in the Bible, Gabriel is, in accordance with his name, the angel of the Power of God, and it is worth while noting the frequency with which such words as "great", "might", "power", and "strength" occur in the passages referred to above. The Jews indeed seem to have dwelt particularly upon this feature in Gabriel's character, and he is regarded by them as the angel of judgment, while Michael is called the angel of mercy. Thus they attribute to Gabriel the destruction of Sodom and of the host of Sennacherib, though they also regard him as the angel who buried Moses, and as the man deputed to mark the figure Tau on the foreheads of the elect (Ezekiel 9:4). In later Jewish literature the names of angels were considered to have a peculiar efficacy, and the British Museum possesses some magic bowls inscribed with Hebrew, Aramaic, and Syriac incantations in which the names of Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel occur. These bowls were found at Hillah, the site of Babylon, and constitute an interesting relic of the Jewish captivity. In apocryphal Christian literature the same names occur, cf. Enoch, ix, and the Apocalypse of the Blessed Virgin.
As remarked above, Gabriel is mentioned only twice in the New Testament, but it is not unreasonable to suppose with Christian tradition that it is he who appeared to St. Joseph and to the shepherds, and also that it was he who "strengthened" Our Lord in the garden (cf. the Hymn for Lauds on 24 March). Gabriel is generally termed only an archangel, but the expression used by St. Raphael, "I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord" (Tobit 12:15) and St. Gabriel's own words, "I am Gabriel, who stand before God" (Luke 1:19), have led some to think that these angels must belong to the highest rank; but this is generally explained as referring to their rank as the highest of God's messengers, and not as placing them among the Seraphim and Cherubim (cf. St. Thomas, I.112.3; III.30.2 ad 4um).
ST. RAPHAEL 
The name of this archangel (Raphael = "God has healed") does not appear in the Hebrew Scriptures, and in the Septuagint only in the Book of Tobias. Here he first appears disguised in human form as the travelling companion of the younger Tobias, calling himself "Azarias the son of the great Ananias". The story of the adventurous journey during which the protective influence of the angel is shown in many ways including the binding "in the desert of upper Egypt" of the demon who had previously slain seven husbands of Sara, daughter of Raguel, is picturesquely related in Tobit 5-11, to which the reader is referred. After the return and the healing of the blindness of the elder Tobias, Azarias makes himself known as "the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord" (Tobit 12:15. Cf. Revelation 8:2). Of these seven "archangels" which appear in the angelology of post-Exilic Judaism, only three, Gabriel, Michael and Raphael, are mentioned in the canonical Scriptures. The others, according to the Book of Enoch (cf. xxi) are Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, and Jerahmeel, while from other apocryphal sources we get the variant names Izidkiel, Hanael, and Kepharel instead of the last three in the other list.
Regarding the functions attributed to Raphael we have little more than his declaration to Tobias (Tobit 12) that when the latter was occupied in his works of mercy and charity, he (Raphael) offered his prayer to the Lord, that he was sent by the Lord to heal him of his blindness and to deliver Sara, his son's wife, from the devil. The Jewish category of the archangels is recognized in the New Testament (1 Thessalonians 4:15; Jude 9), but only Gabriel and Michael are mentioned by name. Many commentators, however, identify Raphael with the "angel of the Lord" mentioned in John 5. This conjecture is based both on the significance of the name and on the healing role attributed to Raphael in the Book of Tobias. The Church assigns the feast of St. Raphael to 24 October. The hymns of the Office recall the healing power of the archangel and his victory over the demon. The lessons of the first Nocturn and the Antiphons of the entire Office are taken from the Book of Tobias, and the lessons of the second and third Nocturns from the works of St. Augustine, viz. for the second Nocturn a sermon on Tobias (sermon I on the fifteenth Sunday), and for the third, a homily on the opening verse of John 5. The Epistle of the Mass is taken from the twelfth chapter of Tobias, and the Gospel from John 5:1-4, referring to the pool called Probatica, where the multitude of the infirm lay awaiting the moving of the water, for "an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond; and the water was moved.And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water was made whole of whatsoever infirmity he lay under". Thus the conjecture of the commentators referred to above is confirmed by the official Liturgy of the Church.
Text is shortened from The Catholic Encyclopedia

#Novena #Feast of #Archangels : SHARE Miracle Prayer - St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

September 29th is the Feast of the Archangels. Here are three novenas to the archangels St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and ST. Raphael.Novena to St. Michael the Archangel


Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

St. Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and His people, I turn to you with confidence and seek your powerful intercession. For the love of God, Who made you so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer. You know the value on my soul in the eyes of God. May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty. Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me. I desire to imitate your loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and your great love for God and people. And since you are God's messenger for the care of his people, I entrust to you this special request: (Mention your request).

St. Michael, since you are, by the Will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God's holy Will, my petition will be granted.

Pray for me, St. Michael, and also for those I love. Protect us in all dangers of body and soul. Help us in our daily needs. Through your powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death, and reach heaven where we may praise and love God with you forever. Amen.


Novena to St. Gabriel the Archangel
Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

St. Gabriel the Archangel, I venerate you as the "Angel of the Incarnation," because God has specially appointed you to bear the messages concerning the God-Man to Daniel, Zechariah, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Give me a tender and devoted Mother, more like your own.

I venerate you also as the "strength from God," because you are the giver of God's strength, consoler and comforter chosen to strengthen God's faithful and to teach them important truths. I ask for the grace of a special power of the will to strive for holiness of life. Steady my resolutions, renew my courage, comfort and console me in the problems, trials, and sufferings of daily living, as you consoled our Savior in His agony and Mary in her sorrows and Joseph in his trials. I put my confidence in you.

St. Gabriel, I ask you especially for this favor: (Mention your request). Through your earnest love for the Son of God-Made-Man and for His blessed Mother, I beg of you, intercede for me that my request may be granted, if it be God's holy Will.

Pray for us, St. Gabriel the Archangel. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. Almighty and ever-living God, since You chose the Archangel Gabriel from among all the Angels to announce the mystery of Your Son's Incarnation, mercifully grant that we who honor him on earth may feel the benefit of his patronage in heaven. You live and reign for ever. Amen.



Novena to St. Raphael the Archangel
Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

Holy Archangel Raphael, standing so close to the throne of God and offering Him our prayers, I venerate you as God's special Friend and Messenger. I choose you as my Patron and wish to love and obey you as young Tobiah did. I consecrate to you my body and soul,all my work, and my whole life. I want you to be my Guide and Counselor in all the dangerous and difficult problems and decisions of my life.

Remember, dearest, St. Raphael, that the grace of God preserved you with the good Angels in heaven when the proud ones were cast into hell. I entreat you, therefore, to help me in my struggle against the world, the spirit of impurity, and the devil. Defend me from all dangers and every occasion of sin. Direct me always in the way of peace, safety, and salvation. Offer my prayers to God as you offered those of Tobiah, so that through your intercession I may obtain the graces necessary for the salvation of my soul. I ask you to pray that God grant me this favor if it be His holy Will: (Mention your request).

St. Raphael, help me to love and serve my God faithfully, to die in His grace, and finally to merit to join you in seeing and praising God forever in heaven. Amen.

Today's Mass Readings and Video - Wed. September 29, 2016


Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels
Lectionary: 647


Reading 1DN 7:9-10, 13-14

As I watched:

Thrones were set up
and the Ancient One took his throne.
His clothing was bright as snow,
and the hair on his head as white as wool;
His throne was flames of fire,
with wheels of burning fire.
A surging stream of fire
flowed out from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
and myriads upon myriads attended him.

The court was convened, and the books were opened.
As the visions during the night continued, I saw

One like a son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
When he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
He received dominion, glory, and kingship;
nations and peoples of every language serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.

OrREV 12:7-12AB

War broke out in heaven;
Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.
The dragon and its angels fought back,
but they did not prevail
and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
The huge dragon, the ancient serpent,
who is called the Devil and Satan,
who deceived the whole world,
was thrown down to earth,
and its angels were thrown down with it.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.
For the accuser of our brothers is cast out,
who accuses them before our God day and night.
They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
love for life did not deter them from death.
Therefore, rejoice, you heavens,
and you who dwell in them.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 4-5

R. (1) In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you, O LORD,
when they hear the words of your mouth;
And they shall sing of the ways of the LORD:
“Great is the glory of the LORD.”
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

AlleluiaPS 103:21

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Bless the LORD, all you angels,
you ministers, who do his will.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 1:47-51

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
“Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him.”
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
Nathanael answered him,
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Do you believe
because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?
You will see greater things than this.”
And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see heaven opened
and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

#PopeFrancis "God has loved me to such a point that He died on the cross for me" #Audience FULL TEXT - Video

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
The words that Jesus pronounces during His Passion find their culmination in forgiveness:
Jesus forgives: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). They are not just words, because they become a concrete act of forgiveness offered to the “good thief,” who was beside Him. Saint Luke talks about two evildoers crucified with Jesus, who turn to Him with opposite attitudes.
The first insults Him, as all the people insulted Him, as the leaders of the people did, but this poor man, driven by despair, says: “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” (Luke23:39). This cry testifies to the anguish of man in face of the mystery of death and the tragic awareness that only God can be the liberating answer: therefore, it is unthinkable that the Messiah, the one sent by God, can be on the cross without doing anything to save Himself. And they did not understand this. They did not understand the mystery of Jesus’ sacrifice.And, instead, Jesus has saved us by staying on the cross. All of us know that it is not easy to “stay on the cross,” on our small crosses of every day. He stayed on this great cross, in this great suffering, and He saved us there; He showed us His omnipotence there and He forgave us there. Fulfilled there was His self-giving of love; from it flows forever our salvation. By dying on the cross, innocent between two criminals, He attests that God’s salvation can reach any man in any condition, even the most negative and painful. God’s salvation is for all; no one is excluded. It is offered to all.
Hence, the Jubilee is a time of grace and mercy for all, good and evil, those who are healthy and those who suffer. Remember that parable that Jesus tells on the celebration of the marriage of the son of a powerful man of the earth: when those invited did not want to go, he said to his servants: “Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find” (Matthew 22:9). We are all called: the good and the evil. The Church is not just for the good and for those who seem to be good or believe they are good; the Church is for all, and even preferably for the evil, because the Church is mercy. And this time of grace and mercy reminds us that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ! (cf. Romans 8:39). To those who are nailed on a hospital bed, to those living closed in a prison, to those who are trapped by wars, I say: look at the Crucified One; God is with you, He stays with you on the cross and offers Himself to all of us as Savior. To you who suffer so much I say, Jesus is crucified for you, for us, for all. Allow the strength of the Gospel to penetrate your heart and to console you; may it give you hope and the profound certainty that no one is excluded from His forgiveness. But you can ask me: “But tell me, Father, does one who has done the worst things in life have the possibility of being forgiven?” Yes! Yes, no one is excluded from God’s forgiveness. He must only approach Jesus repentant and with the desire to be embraced by Him.
This was the first evildoer. The other is the so-called “good thief.” His words are a wonderful model of repentance, a concentrated catechesis to learn to ask Jesus for forgiveness. First, he turns to his companion: “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?” (Luke 23:40). Thus he highlights the point of departure of repentance: fearof God, no: filial fear of God. It is not fear but that respect that is due to God because He is God. It is a filial respect because He is Father. The good thief recalls the fundamental attitude that opens to trust in God: the awareness of His omnipotence and His infinite goodness. It is this confident respect that helps to make room for God and to entrust oneself to His mercy.
Then, the good thief declares Jesus’ innocence and confesses his guilt openly: “We indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:41). Therefore Jesus is there, on the cross, to be with the guilty: through this closeness He offers them salvation. What is a scandal for the leaders and for the first thief, for those who were there, who made a mockery of Jesus, this is, instead, the foundation of the latter’s faith. And thus the good thief becomes a witness of Grace; the unthinkable has happened: God has loved me to such a point that He died on the cross for me. The faith itself of this man is the fruit of Christ’s grace: his eyes contemplate in the Crucified One God’s love for him, poor sinner. It is true, he was a thief, he was a robber, he robbed all his life. But at the end, repentant of what he had done, looking at Jesus so good and merciful, he succeeded in stealing Heaven for himself: this was <indeed> a good thief!
Finally, the good thief turns directly to Jesus, invoking His help: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom” (Luke 23:42). He calls Him by His name, “Jesus,” with confidence, and so he confesses what that name indicates: “the Lord saves”: this is what the name “Jesus” means. That man asks Jesus to remember him. How much tenderness there is in this expression, how much humanity! It is the human being’s need not to be abandoned, that God be always close to him. Thus, a man sentenced to death becomes a model of the Christian who entrusts himself to Jesus. A man sentenced to death is a model for us, a model for a man, for a Christian who entrusts himself to Jesus; and also a model of the Church that so often in the liturgy invokes the Lord saying: “Remember … Remember your love …”
While the good thief speaks of the future: “when you enter into your Kingdom,” Jesus’ answer is not long in coming; he speaks of the present: “today you will be with me in Paradise” (v. 43). In the hour of the cross, Jesus’ salvation reaches its culmination, and His promise to the good thief reveals the fulfilment of His mission: that is to save sinners. At the beginning of His ministry, in the synagogue of Nazareth, Jesus proclaimed “release to the captives” (Luke 4:18); at Jericho, in the house of the public sinner Zacchaeus, He declared that “the Son of man – namely He —  came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:9). On the cross, His last act confirms the realization of this salvific plan. From the beginning to the end He revealed Himself Mercy, He revealed Himself the definitive and unrepeatable incarnation of the Father’s love. Jesus is truly the face of the Father’s mercy. And the good thief called Him by name: “Jesus.” It is a brief invocation, and we can all do it many times during the day: “Jesus,” simply “Jesus.” And do so during the whole day.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]
In Italian
A warm welcome to Italian-speaking pilgrims!
I am happy to receive the faithful of the Dioceses of Ascoli Piceno, — you have also suffered! –, with the Bishop, Monsignor Giovanni D’Ercole, and of Otranto with the Archbishop, Monsignor Donato Negro, and those of Modena-Nonantola. Dear brothers and sisters, may your pilgrimage for the Holy Year express the significance of communion with the universal Church and make you witnesses of mercy in your local churches.
I greet the delegation of the Diocese of Rome that has prepared the Week of the Family, which will be held from October 2-8. Shortly, I will light a torch for them, symbol of the love of the families of Rome and of the whole world.
A special thought goes to the Archbishop of Potenza and to the group of laid off workers of Basilicata, and I hope that their grave occupational circumstance will find a positive solution through an incisive commitment on the part of all to open ways of hope. The percentage of unemployment cannot go up more!
I greet the participants in the General Chapter of the Tertiary Capuchin Sisters of the Holy Family; the Elderly Association with the cyclists of the Generals Group; the participants in the “Italian Wonder Ways” initiative with the Bishop, Monsignor Paolo Giulietti; and the faithful of Pieve di Soligo, here present to observe the anniversary of John Paul I’s death.
Finally, I greet young people, the sick and newlyweds. May the example of charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, whom we remembered yesterday as Patron of charitable associations, lead you, dear young people, to carry out the plans of your future with a joyful and selfless service to your neighbor. May it help you, dear sick, to face suffering with your gaze turned to Christ. And may it solicit you, dear newlyweds, to build a family that is always open to the poor and to the gift of life.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]
The Holy Father’s Appeal
My thought goes once again to beloved and martyred Syria. Tragic news continues to reach me on the fate of the populations of Aleppo, to whom I feel united in their suffering, through prayer and spiritual closeness. In expressing profound grief and intense concern for all that is happening in this already martyred city, where children, elderly, the sick, young people, old people, so many die … I renew to all the appeal to commit themselves with all their strength to the protection of civilians as an imperative and urgent obligation. I appeal to the conscience of those responsible for the bombardments, who will have to render account before God!
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]