Thursday, April 27, 2017

#PopeFrancis “Father, Lord Jesus, send me your Spirit so that I may become a witness of obedience, that is, a Christian.” Homily


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday reflected on the fact that being Christian is not a social status.Speaking during the homily at the Mass in the Casa Santa Marta the Pope said Christians must be witnesses of obedience to God, like Jesus was.
Recalling the reading of the day Pope Francis quoted Peter’s words before the Sanhedrin when he  said “You must obey God rather than men." 
Peter and the Apostles had been freed from prison by an Angel, and forbidden to teach in Jesus’s name 
And yet the high priest said “You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man's blood upon us”.
In order to better understand this event the Pope also referred to the Book of Acts regarding the early months of the Church  which describes a growing Christian community and many miracles. 
There was the faith of the people, he said, but there were also “wily” people trying to take advantage of the situation and “wanting to make a career for themselves” like Hananiah and Sapphira.  
The same kind of dynamics take place today, the Pope noted, and there are those who despise “God’s faithful people.”
Turning back to the reading of today, the Pope said that Peter, who out of fear had betrayed Jesus on Holy Thursday, this time courageously answered  the high priest saying that “we must obey God rather than men." 
This answer, he said, makes it clear that "a Christian is a witness of obedience" as Jesus was, when in the garden of Gethsemane, he addressed these words to the Father: “not my will but yours be done”.
"The Christian is a witness of obedience; if we are not on this path and growing in our witness we are not Christians. We must at least walk this way” he said.
The Pope pointed out that “Jesus is not the testimonial of an idea, of a philosophy, of a company, of a bank or of power: he is a testimonial of obedience”.
However, Francis explained, to become a “witness of obedience” we need the "grace of the Holy Spirit".
"Only the Spirit can make us witnesses of obedience. It’s not enough to listen to spiritual guides or to read books…. all that is fine but only the Spirit can change our heart and make us witnesses of obedience” he said.
The Pope said it is a grace we must ask for: “Father,  Lord Jesus, send me your Spirit so that I may become a witness of obedience, that is, a Christian.”
Francis also said that to be witnesses of obedience implies consequences, as narrated by the First reading; in fact, after Peter's response, the high priests wanted to put him to death:
"Persecutions were the consequences of this witness of obedience. When Jesus lists the Beatitudes he ends with the words ‘Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you’” he said.
And pointing out that the cross cannot be taken away from the life of a Christian, the Pope said “being a Christian has nothing to do with social status, it is not a lifestyle that makes one feel good; being a Christian means being a witness of obedience and the life of a Christian is full of insults and persecutions”.
Pope Francis concluded his homily saying that in order to be witnesses of obedience like Jesus, it is necessary to pray, to recognize that we are sinners with much “worldliness” in our hearts and to ask God for the grace of becoming witnesses of obedience" and to not be afraid when we are insulted and persecuted "because as the Lord said: the Spirit will tell us what to answer."

Saint April 28 St. Peter Chanel - Patron of #Oceania


St. Peter Chanel
PROTOMARTYR OF OCEANIA
Feast: April 28

Feast Day:
April 28
Born:
July 12, 1803, Cuet, near Belley, France
Died:
April 28, 1841, Futuna Island
Canonized:
12 June 1954, Rome by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:
Futuna
Patron of:
Oceania
On April 18, 1841, a band of native warriors entered the hut of Father Peter Chanel on the island of Futuna in the New Hebrides islands near New Zealand. They clubbed the missionary to death and cut up his body with hatchets. Two years later, the whole island was Catholic.
St. Peter Chanel's death bears witness to the ancient axiom that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians." He is the first martyr from Oceania, that part of the world spread over the south Pacific, and he came there as the fulfillment of a dream he had had as a boy.
Peter was born in 1803 in the diocese of Belley, France. At the age of seven, he was a shepherd boy, but the local parish priest, recognizing something unusual in the boy, convinced his parents to let him study, in a little school the priest had started. From there Peter went on to the seminary, where it was said of him: "He had a heart of gold with the simple faith of a child, and he led the life of an angel."
He was ordained a priest and assigned to a parish at Crozet. In three years he had transformed the parish. In 1831, he joined the newly founded Society of Mary, since he had long dreamed of being a missionary; but for five years he was assigned to teach at the seminary in Belley. Finally, in 1836, his dream was realized, and he was sent with other Marists to the islands of the Pacific. He had to suffer great hardships, disappointments, frustration, and almost complete failure as well as the opposition of the local chieftain. The work seemed hopeless: only a few had been baptized, and the chieftain continued to be suspicious and hostile. Then, when the chief's son asked for baptism, the chief was so angry that he sent warriors to kill the missionary.
Peter's violent death brought about the conversion of the island, and the people of Futuna remain Catholic to this day. Peter Chanel was beatified in 1889 and canonized in 1954.
Thought for the Day: Success or failure is often not completely in our hands, and sometimes we have to face what seems almost certain failure. But success is not required of us, only fidelity. St. Peter Chanel's work ended in his own death in the face of what seemed total failure. Out of  that failure, God brought about the success Peter was seeking.
From 'The Catholic One Year Bible': . .

#PopeFrancis "...our witness to the Gospel message of hope in the redemptive and reconciling power of God’s love." FULL TEXT to Papal Foundation

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received members of the Papal Foundation on Thursday who are on their annual visit to the Vatican. The Holy Father thanked them for supporting many religious and charitable causes and encouraged them, as a vital part of their "commitment to the work of the Papal Foundation, to pray for the needs of the poor, the conversion of hearts, the spread of the Gospel, and the Church’s growth in holiness and missionary zeal."
Below please find the English translation of the Pope's address to members of the Papal Foundation.
I am pleased to greet the members of The Papal Foundation on this, your annual visit to Rome.  Our meeting today is pervaded by the joy of the Easter season, as the Church celebrates the Lord’s victory over death and his gift of new life in the Holy Spirit.  It is my hope that your pilgrimage to the Eternal City will strengthen you in faith and hope, and in your commitment to promote the Church’s mission by supporting so many religious and charitable causes close to the heart of the Pope.
            Today’s world, so often torn by violence, greed and indifference, greatly needs our witness to the Gospel message of hope in the redemptive and reconciling power of God’s love.  I am grateful for your desire to assist the Church’s efforts to proclaim that message of hope to the ends of the earth and to work for the spiritual and material advancement of our brothers and sisters throughout the world, especially in developing countries.  Each of us, as a living member of Christ’s body, is called to foster the unity and peace that is the Father’s will, in Christ, for our human family and all its members.  I ask you, as a vital part of your commitment to the work of the Papal Foundation, to pray for the needs of the poor, the conversion of hearts, the spread of the Gospel, and the Church’s growth in holiness and missionary zeal.  And I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me!
            Dear friends, with these words of encouragement, and with great affection, I commend you and your families to the loving intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church.  To all of you I impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of abiding joy and peace in the Lord.

#BreakingNews Capuchin Friar, Fr. Lucien Njiva killed by Bandits in Madagascar - RIP


Antananarivo (Agenzia Fides) - Malagasy Capuchin Friar, aged 46, Fr. Lucien Njiva, was killed during the night of 22 April at the Friary in Ambendrana Antsohihy.
Fides was told by Rev. Eric Franck Randriamiandrinirinarivo, Director of Radio Don Bosco Madagascar, “around one in the morning at least five bandits broke into the friary, attacking and wounding 26 year old deacon Jeremy. On hearing the cries of the deacon, Fr. Lucien ran to the spot brandishing a shotgun, but the bandits shot him dead with a Kalashnikov rifle”.
“The deacon was taken to a hospital in the capital Antananarivo, and in the meantime the police announced the arrest of some suspects” says Fr Franck.
The bandits wanted to steal the friary bell. The Friars had thwarted an earlier burglary attempt during Holy Week, when the bandits broke into the friary during the night but the brothers managed to frighten them away. The bell had been hidden, but this did not deter the evildoers.
The Director of Radio Don Bosco Madagascar says “ for some time now we have seen an increase in thefts of church bells to extract the metals of which they are made and sell it on the black market. This activity is very profitable”.
The assault on the friary of Ambendrana Antsohihy is the latest in a series of robberies in Catholic convents and churches. Before the murder of Fr. Lucien, the most serious incident was an attack during the night of April 1 at the convent of the Sisters de Notre Dame de la Salette in Antsahatanteraka Antsirabe, when some of the sisters and postulants suffered sexual violence (see Fides 8/4/2017). According to the local press in five weeks there were as many as four reports of assaults and sacking of four different convents . (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 26/4/2017)

Today' Mass Readings and Video : Thursday April 27, 2017 - #Eucharist


Thursday of the Second Week of Easter
Lectionary: 270


Reading 1ACTS 5:27-33

When the court officers had brought the Apostles in
and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,
the high priest questioned them,
"We gave you strict orders did we not,
to stop teaching in that name.
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man's blood upon us."
But Peter and the Apostles said in reply,
"We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,
though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior
to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."

When they heard this,
they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.

Responsorial PsalmPS 34:2 AND 9, 17-18, 19-20

R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 20:29

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;
blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe?
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 3:31-36

The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Saint April 27 : St. Zita : Patron of Patron of Servants, #Homemakers , #Rape victims, Waitresses


St. Zita
VIRGIN
Feast: April 27

Information:
Feast Day:April 27
Born:1218 at Monsagrati near Lucca, Italy
Died:27 April 1272 at Lucca, Italy
Canonized:5 September 1696 by Pope Leo X and Pope Innocent XII
Major Shrine:Basilica di San Frediano, Lucca
Patron of:Domestic servants, homemakers, lost keys, people ridiculed for their piety, rape victims, single laywomen, waiters, waitresses

She was born in the beginning of the thirteenth century at Montsegradi, a village near Lucca in Italy. She was brought up with the greatest care, in the fear of God, by her poor virtuous mother, whose early and constant attention to inspire the tender heart of her daughter with religious sentiments seemed to find no obstacles, either from private passions or the general corruption of nature, so easily were they prevented or overcome. Zita had no sooner attained the use of reason, and was capable of knowing and loving God, than her heart was no longer able to relish any other object, and she seemed never to lose sight of him in her actions. Her mother reduced all her instructions to two short heads, and never had occasion to use any further remonstrance to enforce her lessons than to say, "This is most pleasing to God; this is the divine will"; or, "That would displease God."

The sweetness and modesty of the young child charmed everyone who saw her. She spoke little, and was most assiduous at her work; but her business never seemed to interrupt her prayers. At twelve years of age she was put to service in the family of a citizen of Lucca, called Fatinelli, whose house was contiguous to the church of St. Frigidian. She was thoroughly persuaded that labour is enjoined all men as a punishment of sin, and as a remedy for the spiritual disorders of their souls; and far from ever harbouring in her breast the least uneasiness, or expressing any sort of complaint under contradictions, poverty, and hardships, and still more from ever entertaining the least idle, inordinate, or worldly desire, she blessed God for placing her in a station in which she was supplied with the most effectual means to promote her sanctification, by the necessity of employing herself in penitential labour, and of living in a perpetual conformity and submission of her will to others. She was also very sensible of the advantages of her state, which afforded all necessaries of life, without engaging her in the anxious cares and violent passions by which worldly persons, who enjoy most plentifully the goods of fortune, are often disturbed; whereby their souls resemble a troubled sea, always agitated by impetuous storms, without knowing the sweetness of a true calm. She considered her work as an employment assigned her by God, and as part of her penance; and obeyed her master and mistress in all things as being placed over her by God. She always rose several hours before the rest of the family and employed in prayer a considerable part of the time which others gave to sleep. She took care to hear mass every morning with great devotion before she was called upon by the duties of her station, in which she employed the whole day with such diligence and fidelity that she seemed to be carried to them on wings, and studied when possible to anticipate them.
Notwithstanding her extreme attention to her exterior employments, she acquired a wonderful facility of joining with them almost continual mental prayer and of keeping her soul constantly attentive to the divine presence. Who would not imagine that such a person should have been esteemed and beloved by all who knew her?
Nevertheless, by the appointment of divine providence, for her great spiritual advantage, it fell out quite otherwise and for several years she suffered the harshest trials. Her modesty was called by her fellow-servants simplicity, and want of spirit and sense; and her diligence was judged to have no other spring than affectation and secret pride. Her mistress was a long time extremely prepossessed against her, and her passionate master could not bear her in his sight without transports of rage.
It is not to be conceived how much the saint had continually to suffer in this situation. So unjustly despised, overburdened, reviled, and often beaten, she never repined nor lost her patience; but always preserved the same sweetness in her countenance, and the same meekness and charity in her heart and words, and abated nothing of her application to her duties. A virtue so constant and so admirable at length overcame jealousy, antipathy, prepossession, and malice.
Her master and mistress discovered the treasure which their family possessed in the fidelity and example of the humble saint, and the other servants gave due praise to her virtue. Zita feared this prosperity more than adversity, and trembled lest it should be a snare to her soul. But sincere humility preserved her from its dangers; and her behaviour, amidst the caresses and respect shown her, continued the same as when she was ill-treated and held in derision; she was no less affable, meek, and modest; no less devout, nor less diligent or ready to serve everyone. Being made housekeeper, and seeing her master and mistress commit to her with an entire confidence the government of their family and management of all their affairs, she was most scrupulously careful in point of economy, remembering that she was to give to God an account of the least farthing of what was intrusted as a depositum in her .hands; and, though head-servant, she never allowed herself the least privilege or exemption in her work on that account.
She used often to say to others that devotion is false if slothful. Hearing a man-servant speak one immodest word, she was filled with horror, and procured him to be immediately discharged from the family. With David, she desired to see it composed only of such whose approved piety might draw down a benediction of God upon the whole house and be a security to the master for their fidelity and good example. She kept fast the whole year, and often on bread and water; and took her rest on the bare floor or on a board. Whenever business allowed her a little leisure, she spent it in holy prayer and contemplation in a little retired room in the garret; and at her work repeated frequently ardent ejaculations of divine love, with which her soul appeared always inflamed. She respected her fellow-servants as her superiors. If she was sent on commissions a mile or two in the greatest storms, she set out without delay, executed them punctually, and returned often almost drowned, without showing any sign of reluctance or murmuring.
By her virtue she gained so great an ascendant over her master that a single word would often suffice to check the greatest transports of his rage; and she would sometimes cast herself at his feet to appease him in favour of others. She never kept anything for herself but the poor garments which she wore: everything else she gave to the poor. Her master, seeing his goods multiply, as it were, in her hands, gave her ample leave to bestow liberal alms on the poor, which she made use of with discretion, but was scrupulous to do nothing without his express authority. If she heard others spoken ill of, she zealously took upon her their defence and excused their faults.
Always when she communicated, and often when she heard mass, and on other occasions, she melted in sweet tears of divine love: she was often favoured with ecstasies during her prayers. In her last sickness she clearly foretold her death, and having prepared herself for her passage by receiving the last sacraments, and by ardent signs of love, she happily expired on the 27th of April, in 1272, being sixty years old: one hundred and fifty miracles wrought in the behalf of such as had recourse to her intercession have been juridically proved. Her body was found entire in 1580 and is kept with great respect in St. Frigidian's church, richly enshrined; her face and hands are exposed naked to view through a crystal glass. Pope Leo X granted an office in her honour. The city of Lucca pays a singular veneration to her memory.
The solemn decree of her beatification was published by Innocent XII in 1696, with the confirmation of her immemorial veneration. See her life, compiled by a contemporary writer, and published by Papebroke, the Bollandist, on the 27th of April, p. 497, and Benedict XIV De Canoniz. lib. ii. c. 24, p. 245.
Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler

#PopeFrancis "..God does not abandon us, that God loves us and this world tenderly.." FULL TEXT - Audience + Video


The Holy Father’s Catechesis
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:20). The last words of Matthew’s Gospel recall the prophetic proclamation that we find at the beginning: “His name shall be called Emmanuel, which means, God with us” (Matthew 1:23; cf. Isaiah 7:14). God will be with us, every day, to the close of the age. The whole Gospel is enclosed in these two quotations, words that communicate the mystery of a God whose name, whose identity is to be-with: He is not an isolated God; He is a God-with, in particular, with us, namely, with the human creature. Our God is not an absent God, sequestered in a very distant heaven; instead, He is a God “passionate” for man, so tenderly loving as to be incapable of separating Himself from him. We humans are clever in cutting off bonds and bridges. He, instead, is not. If our heart becomes cold, His remains always incandescent; our God accompanies us always, even if, unfortunately, we were to forget Him. Decisive on the ridge that divides incredulity from faith is the discovery of being loved and accompanied by our Father, of never being left alone by Him.
Our existence is a pilgrimage, a journey. Even all those who are moved by a simply human hope perceive the seduction of the horizon, which drives them to explore worlds they still do not know. Our spirit is a migrant spirit. The Bible is full of stories of pilgrims and travelers. Abraham’s vocation began with this command: “Go from your country” (Genesis12:1). And the Patriarch left that piece of the world that he knew well and that was one of the cradles of the civilization of his time. Everything conspired against the good sense of that trip. Yet Abraham left. We do not become mature men and women if we do not perceive the attraction of the horizon: that limit between heaven and earth, which calls to be reached by a people of walkers.
In his journey on earth, man is never alone. The Christian especially never feels abandoned, because Jesus assures us that He does not only wait for us at the end of our long journey, but that He accompanies us in every one of our days.
Until when will God’s care continue in His dealings with man? Until when will the Lord Jesus, who walks with us, until when will He care for us? The Gospel’s answer leaves no room for doubt: to the close of the age! The heavens will pass away, the earth will pass away, human hopes will be cancelled, but the Word of God is greater than all and will not pass away. And He will be the God with us, the God Jesus who walks with us. There will be no day in our life in which we will cease to be of concern for God’s heart. But someone might say: “But what are you saying?” I say this: there will be no day in our life in which we will cease to be of concern for God’s heart. He is concerned about us, and walks with us. And why does He do this? — Simply because He loves us. Is this understood? He loves us! And God will surely provide for all our needs; He will not abandon us in the time of trial and of darkness. This certainty calls for being nested in our spirit to never be extinguished. Some call it with the name “Providence,” that is, God’s closeness, God’s love, God’s walking with us is also called “God’s Providence”: He provides for our life.
It is no accident that among the Christian symbols of hope there is one that I like so much: the anchor. It expresses that our hope is not vague; it is not confused with the changing sentiment of one who wishes to improve the things of this world in an unrealistic way, relying only on his will power. Christian hope finds its root in fact not in the attraction of the future but in the certainty of what God has promised us and realized in Jesus Christ. If He has guaranteed that He will never abandon us, if the beginning of every vocation is a “Follow Me,” with which He assures us that He will always stay ahead us, then why fear? With this promise, Christians can walk everywhere, also going across portions of the wounded world, where things are not going well, we are among those that even there continue to hope. The Psalm says: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4). It is precisely where the darkness increases that it is necessary to have a light lit. Let us return to the anchor. Our faith is the anchor in heaven. We have our life anchored in heaven. What must we do? <We must> grip the cord: it is always there. And we go ahead because we are sure that our life has as an anchor in heaven, on that shore where we will arrive.
If we entrusted ourselves only to our strength, we would certainly have reason to feel disappointed and defeated, because the world often shows itself refractory to the laws of love. So often it prefers the laws of egoism. However, if the certainty survives in us that God does not abandon us, that God loves us and this world tenderly, then the perspective changes immediately. “Homo viator, spe erectus,” said the ancients. Along the way, Jesus’ promise “I am with you” makes us stand, erect, with hope, confident that the good God is already working to bring about what humanly seems impossible, because the anchor is on heaven’s beach.
The holy faithful people of God are people that stand – “homo viator” — and walk, but stand, “erectus,” and walk in hope. And, wherever they go, they know that God’s love has preceded them: there is no part of the world that escapes the victory of the Risen Christ. And what is the victory of the Risen Christ? <It is> the victory of love. Thank you
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester] 
In Italian
A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I am happy to receive the youngsters of the Profession of Faith of Treviso and the couples of the Archdiocese of Ancona-Osimo, who are observing their 50th wedding anniversary: I hope that this pilgrimage will arouse in each one the rediscovery of the Sacraments received, efficacious signs of God’s grace in our life. And you, who observe your 50th wedding anniversary, say to young people that it is beautiful: beautiful is the life of Christian marriage!
I greet the participants in the congress on the anti-earthquake building industry in Latin America at the Italo-Latin American Institute promoted by the European University; the third-age Divine Word Fathers; the Blue Telephone Association; the Choir of Clusone; the faithful of Cardito, Belvedere and Pellezzano, as well as the “Soccer Priests” sports society and those of Andria and Oriolo. May the visit to the tombs of the Apostles foster in all the sense of belonging to the ecclesial family.
A special greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Yesterday we celebrated the feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist. May his discipleship in following Saint Paul be an example for you, dear young people, to put yourselves in the following of the Savior; may his intercession support you, dear sick, in the difficulty and trial of sickness; and may his brief and incisive Gospel remind you, dear newlyweds, of the importance of prayer in the matrimonial course you have undertaken.
[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT - Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Feast April 26 : Our Lady of Good Counsel : History and Novena #Prayer to SHARE


NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL
FEAST APRIL 26
Holy Virgin, moved by the painful uncertainty we experience in seeking and acquiring the true and the good, we cast ourselves at thy feet and invoke thee under the sweet title of Mother of Good Counsel. We beseech thee: come to our aid at this moment in our worldly sojourn when the twin darknesses of error and of evil that plots our ruin by leading minds and hearts astray.

Seat of Wisdom and Star of the Sea, enlighten the victims of doubt and of error so that they may not be seduced by evil masquerading as good; strengthen them against the hostile and corrupting forces of passion and of sin.

Mother of Good Counsel, obtain for us from thy Divine Son the love of virtue and the strength to choose, in doubtful and difficult situations, the course agreeable to our salvation. Supported by thy hand we shall thus journey without harm along the paths taught us by the word and example of Jesus our Savior, following the Sun of Truth and Justice in freedom and safety across the battlefield of life under the guidance of thy maternal Star, until we come at length to the harbor of salvation to enjoy with thee unalloyed and everlasting peace. Amen.

(By Pope Pius XII, 23 January 1953)


 
HISTORY OF OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL 
Records dating from the reign of Paul II (1464-71) relate that the picture of Our Lady, at first called "La Madonna del Paradiso" and now better known as "Madonna del Buon Consiglio", appeared at Genazzano, a town about twenty-five miles southeast of Rome, on St. Mark's Day, 25 April, 1467, in the old church of Santa Maria, which had been under the care of Augustinians since 1356. The venerated icon itself, which is drawn on a thin scale of wall-plaster little thicker than a visiting-card, was observed to hang suspended in the air without the slightest apparent support; thus early tradition, which furthermore tells how one might have passed a thread around the image without touching it. At once devotion to Our Lady inSanta Maria sprang up; pilgrim-bands began to resort thither; while miracles in ever-increasing numbers, of which a register was opened two days after the event, were wrought, as they still continue to be, at the shrine. In July following, Pope Paul deputed two bishops to investigate the alleged wonder-working image. Their report, however, is not known to be extant. The cult of Our Lady increased. In 1630 Urban VIII himself went to Genazzano on a pilgrimage, as didPius IX in 1864. On 17 November, 1682, Innocent XI had the picture crowned with gold by theVatican Basilica. In 1727 Benedict XIII granted the clergy of Genazzano an Office and Mass ofOur Lady for 25 April, anniversary of the apparition, elsewhere the feast being kept a day later so as not to conflict with that of St. Mark the Evangelist. On 2 July, 1753, Benedict XIVapproved of the Pious Union of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful at large, and was himself enrolled therein as its pioneer member; Pius IX was a member, and also Leo XIII. On 18 December, 1779, Pius VI, while re-approving the cult of Our Lady, granted all Augustinians anOffice with hymns, lessons, prayer and Mass proper of double-major rite; with a plenary indulgence also for the faithful, to which Pius VIII added another for visitors to the shrine. On 18 December, 1884, Leo XIII approved of a new Office and Mass of second-class rite for allAugustinians, while on 17 March, 1903, he elevated the church of Santa Maria — one of the four parish churches at Genazzano — to the rank of minor basilica; and, on 22 April following, authorized the insertion in the Litany of Loreto of the invocation "Mater Boni Consillii" to follow that of "Mater Admirabilis". The same pontiff, ten years earlier (21 December, 1893) hadsanctioned the use of the White Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful. In theUnited States there are many churches and institutions in honour of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
SHARED FROM CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA 

Wow #PopeFrancis makes History giving the 1st ever Papal TED Talk - FULL TEXT + Video "Hope is the door..."

Pope Francis gave the first-ever papal TED Talk went on e.
TED is a non-profit organization that began in 1984 as a conference covering Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED). It provides talks by various knowledgeable figures but never a Pontiff. 
TED’s annual Conference in Vancouver were promised a surprise “world figure” who would deliver his 18-minute message on the conference theme, “The Future You”, alongside tennis superstar, Serena Williams, entrepreneur, Elon Musk, and chess champion, Garry Kasparov.
FULL TEXT of Pope Francis' TED Talk: 

Good evening, or, good morning, I am not sure what time it is there. Regardless of the hour, I am thrilled to be participating in your conference. I very much like its title—”The Future You”—because, while looking at tomorrow, it invites us to open a dialogue today, to look at the future through a “you.”
“The Future You:” the future is made of you’s, it is made of encounters, because life flows through our relations with others.
Quite a few years of life have strengthened my conviction that each and everyone’s existence is deeply tied to that of others: life is not time merely passing by, life is about interactions.
As I meet, or lend an ear to those who are sick, to the migrants who face terrible hardships in search of a brighter future, to prison inmates who carry a hell of pain inside their hearts, and to those, many of them young, who cannot find a job, I often find myself wondering: “Why them and not me?”
I, myself, was born in a family of migrants; my father, my grandparents, like many other Italians, left for Argentina and met the fate of those who are left with nothing. I could have very well ended up among today’s “discarded” people.
And that’s why I always ask myself, deep in my heart: “Why them and not me?”
First and foremost, I would love it if this meeting could help to remind us that we all need each other, none of us is an island, an autonomous and independent “I,” separated from the other, and we can only build the future by standing together, including everyone.
We don’t think about it often, but everything is connected, and we need to restore our connections to a healthy state. Even the harsh judgment I hold in my heart against my brother or my sister, the open wound that was never cured, the offense that was never forgiven, the rancor that is only going to hurt me, are all instances of a fight that I carry within me, a flare deep in my heart that needs to be extinguished before it goes up in flames, leaving only ashes behind.
Many of us, nowadays, seem to believe that a happy future is something impossible to achieve. While such concerns must be taken very seriously, they are not invincible. They can be overcome when we don’t lock our door to the outside world.
Happiness can only be discovered as a gift of harmony between the whole and each single component. Even science—and you know it better than I do – points to an understanding of reality as a place where every element connects and interacts with everything else.
And this brings me to my second message. How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion. How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us.
How wonderful would it be if solidarity, this beautiful and, at times, inconvenient word, were not simply reduced to social work, and became, instead, the default attitude in political, economic and scientific choices, as well as in the relationships among individuals, peoples and countries.
Only by educating people to a true solidarity will we be able to overcome the “culture of waste,” which doesn’t concern only food and goods but, first and foremost, the people who are cast aside by our techno-economic systems which, without even realizing it, are now putting products at their core, instead of people.
Solidarity is a term that many wish to erase from the dictionary. Solidarity, however, is not an automatic mechanism. It cannot be programmed or controlled. It is a free response born from the heart of each and everyone. Yes, a free response!
When one realizes that life, even in the middle of so many contradictions, is a gift, that love is the source and the meaning of life, how can they withhold their urge to do good to another fellow being?
In order to do good, we need memory, we need courage and we need creativity. And I know that TED gathers many creative minds. Yes, love does require a creative, concrete and ingenious attitude. Good intentions and conventional formulas, so often used to appease our conscience, are not enough. Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the other is not a statistic or a number. The other has a face. The “you” is always a real presence, a person to take care of.
There is a parable Jesus told to help us understand the difference between those who’d rather not be bothered and those who take care of the other. I am sure you have heard it before. It is the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
When Jesus was asked: “Who is my neighbor?” namely, “Who should I take care of?” He told this story, the story of a man who had been assaulted, robbed, beaten and abandoned along a dirt road. Upon seeing him, a priest and a Levite, two very influential people of the time, walked past him without stopping to help. After a while, a Samaritan, a very much despised ethnicity at the time, walked by. Seeing the injured man lying on the ground, he did not ignore him as if he weren’t even there.
Instead, he felt compassion for this man, which compelled him to act in a very concrete manner. He poured oil and wine on the wounds of the helpless man, brought him to a hostel and paid out of his pocket for him to be assisted.
The story of the Good Samaritan is the story of today’s humanity. People’s paths are riddled with suffering, as everything is centered around money, and things, instead of people. And often there is this habit, by people who call themselves “respectable,” of not taking care of the others, thus leaving behind thousands of human beings, or entire populations, on the side of the road.
Fortunately, there are also those who are creating a new world by taking care of the other, even out of their own pockets. Mother Teresa actually said: “One cannot love, unless it is at their own expense.”
We have so much to do, and we must do it together. But how can we do that with all the evil we breathe every day?
Thank God, no system can nullify our desire to open up to the good, to compassion and to our capacity to react against evil, all of which stem from deep within our hearts.
Now you might tell me, “Sure, these are beautiful words, but I am not the Good Samaritan, nor Mother Teresa of Calcutta.” On the contrary: we are precious, each and every one of us. Each and every one of us is irreplaceable in the eyes of God. Through the darkness of today’s conflicts, each and every one of us can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness, and never the other way around.
To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is Hope. Feeling hopeful does not mean to be optimistically na├»ve and ignore the tragedy humanity is facing. Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn’t lock itself into darkness, that doesn’t dwell on the past, does not simply get by in the present, but is able to see a tomorrow.
Hope is the door that opens onto the future. Hope is a humble, hidden seed of life that, with time, will develop into a large tree. It is like some invisible yeast that allows the whole dough to grow, that brings flavor to all aspects of life.
And it can do so much, because a tiny flicker of light that feeds on hope is enough to shatter the shield of darkness. A single individual is enough for hope to exist.
And that individual can be you. And then there will be another “you,” and another “you,” and it turns into an “us.” And so, does hope begin when we have an “us?” No. Hope began with one “you.” When there is an “us,” there begins a revolution.
The third message I would like to share today is, indeed, about revolution: the revolution of tenderness.
What is tenderness? It is the love that comes close and becomes real. It is a movement that starts from our heart and reaches the eyes, the ears and the hands. Tenderness means to use our eyes to see the other, our ears to hear the other, to listen to the children, the poor, those who are afraid of the future. To listen also to the silent cry of our common home, of our sick and polluted earth. Tenderness means to use our hands and our heart to comfort the other, to take care of those in need.
Tenderness is the language of the young children, of those who need the other. A child’s love for mom and dad grows through their touch, their gaze, their voice, their tenderness. I like when I hear parents talk to their babies, adapting to the little child, sharing the same level of communication. This is tenderness: being on the same level as the other.
God himself descended into Jesus to be on our level. This is the same path the Good Samaritan took. This is the path that Jesus himself took. He lowered himself, he lived his entire human existence practicing the real, concrete language of love.
Yes, tenderness is the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women. Tenderness is not weakness; it is fortitude. It is the path of solidarity, the path of humility.
Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.
There is a saying in Argentina: “Power is like drinking gin on an empty stomach.” You feel dizzy, you get drunk, you lose your balance, and you will end up hurting yourself and those around you, if you don’t connect your power with humility and tenderness.
Through humility and concrete love, on the other hand, power – the highest, the strongest one – becomes a service, a force for good.
The future of humankind isn’t exclusively in the hands of politicians, of great leaders, of big companies. Yes, they do hold an enormous responsibility. But the future is, most of all, in the hands of those people who recognize the other as a “you” and themselves as part of an “us.”
We all need each other.
And so, please, think of me as well with tenderness, so that I can fulfill the task I have been given for the good of the other, of each and every one, of all of you, of all of us.
Thank you.