Wednesday, June 19, 2013

'St. Joseph' added to Eucharistic prayers

(Romereports.com) The Pope has approved a new addition to the Latin Rite Mass. The name of St. Joseph, will be included after the usual prayer to the Virgin Mary.

The change in the text was also approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship. The modification itself was in the works under the Pontificate of Benedict XVI. Now, Pope Francis confirmed the decision. 


Up to now, the only reference to St. Joseph was in the so-called Roman Canon, and was introduced by the blessed John XXIII during the Second Vatican Council. 

Currently, the decree has only been published in Latin. So after the reference to the Virgin Mary, the phrase reads, 'cum beáto Ioseph, eius Sponso,' which translates to St. Joseph, her husband. But the Vatican is working on various translations in other languages. Since the change is simple, priests are allowed to put it into practice immediately.

FULL TEXT OF THE DECREE:
Exercising his paternal care over Jesus, Saint Joseph of Nazareth, set over the Lord’s family, marvelously fulfilled the office he received by grace. Adhering firmly to the mystery of God’s design of salvation in its very beginnings, he stands as an exemplary model of the kindness and humility that the Christian faith raises to a great destiny, and demonstrates the ordinary and simple virtues necessary for men to be good and genuine followers of Christ. Through these virtues, this Just man, caring most lovingly for the Mother of God and happily dedicating himself to the upbringing of Jesus Christ, was placed as guardian over God the Father’s most precious treasures. Therefore he has been the subject of assiduous devotion on the part of the People of God throughout the centuries, as the support of that mystical body, which is the Church.

The faithful in the Catholic Church have shown continuous devotion to Saint Joseph and have solemnly and constantly honored his memory as the most chaste spouse of the Mother of God and as the heavenly Patron of the universal Church. For this reason Blessed Pope John XXIII, in the days of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, decreed that Saint Joseph’s name be added to the ancient Roman Canon. 

In response to petitions received from places throughout the world, the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI deemed them worthy of implementation and graciously approved them. The Supreme Pontiff Francis likewise has recently confirmed them. In this the Pontiffs had before their eyes the full communion of the Saints who, once pilgrims in this world, now lead us to Christ and unite us with him.

Accordingly, mature consideration having been given to all the matters mentioned here above, this Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, by virtue of the faculties granted by the Supreme Pontiff Francis, is pleased to decree that the name of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary is henceforth to be added to Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV, as they appear in the third typical edition of the Roman Missal, after the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as follows: 

- in Eucharistic Prayer II: “ut cum beáta Dei Genetríce Vírgine María, beáto Ioseph, eius Sponso, beátis Apóstolis”; 

- in Eucharistic Prayer III: “cum beatíssima Vírgine, Dei Genetríce, María, cum beáto Ioseph, eius Sponso, cum beátis Apóstolis”;

- in Eucharistic Prayer IV: “cum beáta Vírgine, Dei Genetríce, María, cum beáto Ioseph, eius Sponso, cum Apóstolis ”.

As regards the Latin text, these formulas are hereby declared typical. The Congregation itself will soon provide vernacular translations in the more widespread western languages; as for other languages, translations are to be prepared by the Bishops’ Conferences, according to the norm of law, to be confirmed by the Holy See through this Dicastery.
All things to the contrary notwithstanding.

From the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 1 May 2013, on the Memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker.

Papa Francis and the kids at today's General Audience - June 19, 2013












Pope gives baseball cap to boy to protect him from Rome's intense heat



Before starting his weekly general audience, the Pope made his way to St. Peter's Square in the popemobile, blessing several children along the way. Given Rome's intense summer heat, Pope Francis asked several mothers to protect their children from the heat with a hat or baseball cap. He even reached into his popemobile, grabbed a baseball cap and gave it to a child.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pope's Evangelium Vitae Mass : Life is a Gift. Say yes to life, no to death!



June 17, 2013. (Romereports.com) It was a Mass to celebrate life. As usual, the Pope greeted the faithful who lined the streets near St. Peter's Square. In the background, one could hear the roaring noise of Harley Davidson motorcycles, since thousands of bike owners also attended the Mass. 

The celebration, titled 'Evangelium Vitae Day, translates to the Gospel of Life. 

POPE FRANCIS
“Let us say “Yes” to life and not death. Let us say “Yes” to freedom and not enslavement to the many idols of our time. In a word, let us say “Yes” to the God who is love, life and freedom, and who never disappoints.”

The Pope explained that the Gospel itself leads to life. The notion that rejecting God, will lead to freedom, is mistaken, he said. On the contrary, following the Gospel leads one to a full life.

POPE FRANCIS
“But all too often, people do not choose life, they do not accept the “Gospel of Life” but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure, and not by love, by concern for the good of others.”

When it comes to truth, the Pope said the Bible shows all the dimensions of human drama. Everything from good and evil to passion, sin and its consequences. He said, selfishness leads to lies and although we may try to deceive ourselves, God cannot be deceived.

POPE FRANCIS
“Christians are“spiritual.” This does not mean that we are people who live “in the clouds,” far removed from real life, as if it were some kind of mirage. No! The Christian is someone who thinks and acts in everyday life according to God’s will, someone who allows his or her life to be guided and nourished by the Holy Spirit, to be a full life.”

The Mass was a way to echo John Paul II's encyclical titled 'Evangelium Vitae,' which outlines the Church's stance on the defense of life in all its stages. At the end of the Mass, the Pope blessed the sick, who attended the celebration in St. Peter's Square.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day, dads. And a special prayerful wish for my own dad and all the fathers who have passed - Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.

 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Quote of the Day - Fathers


“There are many different kinds of bravery. There’s the bravery of thinking of others before one’s self. Now, your father has never brandished a sword nor fired a pistol, thank heavens. But he has made many sacrifices for his family, and put away many dreams.”

“Where did he put them?”

“He put them in a drawer. And sometimes, late at night, we take them out and admire them. But it gets harder and harder to close the drawer… He does. And that is why he is brave.”

(Conversation between Mrs. Darling and Michael, from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie)

Happy Father's Day to all fathers.

Harley-Davidson Club makes its way to the Vatican


The atmosphere in the streets surrounding the Vatican is normally quiet and relaxing. But this week, an unmistakeable loud chopping sound filled the air around St. Peter's. Rome was chosen to host celebrations for the 110th anniversary of American manufacturer Harley-Davidson. Thousands of motorbikes have gathered in the Eternal City for a chance to meet with fellow enthusiasts, but most of all, to receive a very special blessing. 

“We're from Belgium; we are part of a Harley Davidson club. We've traveled for less than 2,000 miles. It took us four days. We are celebrating the manufacturer's 110th anniversary and we want to see the Pope. Our base is near Rome. It's going to be three days long, all to celebrate Harley-Davidson.”

To see the Pope, some riders have made the journey alone, some have traveled in groups. And distance is certainly not a problem for them. This group came all the way from St. Petersburg, Russia. 

“Our travel was very long. We are going from St. Petersburg to Germany, Germany to Milan and from Milan, from Genoa to Rome. It was two days.” 

To kick off the celebration Harley-Davidson gave two motorcycles to Pope Francis. But it didn't stop there. He was also given a leather biker jacket, that represents freedom. Among the gifts, there was also a painting of priests admiring a motorcycle, right before St. Peter's Square. Pope Francis is scheduled to bless more than one thousand motorcycles just before Sunday's Angelus Prayer.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pope Francis: When the goal is to have a rich Church, it becomes old, lifeless



During his morning Mass at the Vatican's Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis reflected on how the Apostles went about their preaching. He said they didn't worry about material wealth. Instead, they had faith that God would grant them His gifts.

POPE FRANCIS -“These are the two signs that mark an apostle who lives this gratuity: poverty and the ability to praise the Lord. And when we find apostles who want to build a rich Church and a Church without the gratuitousness of praise, the Church becomes old, the Church becomes an NGO, the Church becomes lifeless. Today we ask the Lord for the grace to acknowledge this generosity: 'Freely you have received, freely give'.' It's about recognizing this gratuity, this gift of God . Let us keep preaching the Gospel this way.”

Despite the challenges, Pope Francis explained that Christians must carry on with the work of the Church. He said the best way to make this happen is through a spirit of poverty.

PARTIAL HOMILY -(Source: Vatican Radio)

“Evangelical preaching flows from gratuitousness, from the wonder of the coming salvation: that which I have freely received I must freely give. This is what they were like at the beginning. St. Peter did not have a bank account, and when he had to pay taxes, the Lord sent him to the sea to catch a fish and find a coin inside it, so that he could pay. Philip, when he met Queen Candace’s finance minister, did not think, 'Ah, good, let’s set up an organization to support the Gospel ...' No! He did not strike a ‘deal’ with him: he preached, baptized and left.”

“Everything is grace. Everything. And what are the signs of when an apostle lives this gratuity? There are so many, but I will underline only two: First, poverty. The proclamation of the Gospel must follow the path of poverty. The testimony of this poverty: I have no wealth, my wealth is the gift I received, God: this gratuity is our wealth! And this poverty saves us from becoming managers, entrepreneurs ... The works of the Church must be brought forward, and some are a little complex, but with a heart of poverty, not with the heart of an investment broker or an entrepreneur…

“These are the two signs that mark an apostle who lives this gratuity: poverty and the ability to praise the Lord. And when we find apostles who want to build a rich Church and a Church without the gratuitousness of praise, the Church becomes old, the Church becomes an NGO, the Church becomes lifeless. Today we ask the Lord for the grace to acknowledge this generosity: 'Freely you have received, freely give'. It's about recognizing this gratuity, this gift of God . Let us keep preaching the Gospel in this way.”

Monday, June 10, 2013

Want to go to World Youth Day 2013? Learn how to sign up



With World Youth Day 2013 only less than two months away, planning your trip well ahead is key to a pleasant stay in Rio. To officially become part of the event, registration is mandatory and there is no limit to vacancies for both individuals and groups. 

Registration itself is an easy process: log on to the official website www.rio2013.com and fill in the form with your personal data. Individuals can either choose to join an existing group or book singularly. 

Accommodation and meals are provided and included in different packages, with prices ranging from around 50 to 300$, depending on the length of your stay and your country of origin. All packages are payable directly online by credit card or bank transfer.

If you or your group need a visa for Brazil, plan well ahead: the process might take a few days! Free visas are available: visit the Brazil Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, complete an online form and take it to the Brazilian embassy in your country, together with your passport and proof of registration to World Youth Day. 

When you're done and ready to go, why not check out the special so called 'pack peregrino', available on the online shop. It contains everything the pilgrim needs, from caps and waterproofs to backpacks and the essential water bottles.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Frozen Mango, Kiwi, Raspberry Pops

Summer is on the way, and we must prepare properly … with fresh fruit, of course. What we have here is a cool recipe for the hot summer days. You can get from using fresh fruit all you need and more .. vibrant colors and fresh flavors. You can use any fruit you wish.

Ingredients:

9 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
5 oz kiwi, peeled
6 oz mango, peeled
6 oz fresh raspberries

Servings: 4
Make a simple syrup by combining water and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil; boil for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Set aside.

Puree fruit separately in the blender. Set aside in 3 small bowls.

Divide the simple syrup between the fruit purees and mix in.

Equally fill four small 5 oz cups with the kiwi puree and place in the freezer; freeze one hour.

Add mango puree and freeze 20 minutes. Insert sticks and freeze at least 2 hours. Add raspberry puree and freeze overnight.



Official Prayer - World Youth Day 2013 Rio


Oh Father, You sent Your Eternal Son to save the world, and You chose men and women, so that through Him, with Him and in Him, they might proclaim the Good News of the Gospel to all nations. Grant us the necessary graces, so that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the joy of being the evangelists that the Church needs in the Third Millennium may shine in the faces of all young people.

Oh Christ, Redeemer of humanity, the image of Your open arms on the top of Corcovado, welcomes all people. In Your paschal offering, You led us, by the Holy Spirit, to encounter the Father as His children. Young people, who are nourished by Eucharist, who hear You in Your Word and meet You as their brother, need your infinite mercy to walk along the paths of this world as disciples and missionaries of the New Evangelization.

Oh Holy Spirit, Love of the Father and of the Son, with the splendor of Your Truth and the fire of Your Love, shed Your Light upon all young people so that, inspired by their experience at World Youth Day, they may bring faith, hope and charity to the four corners of the earth, becoming great builders of a culture of life and peace and catalysts of a new world.

Amen !

Pope at Mass: Learning from Mary to keep the Word of God

(Vatican Radio) Like Mary, we must learn to receive and keep the Word of God safe in our hearts. Marking the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary at morning Mass Saturday, Pope Francis pointed out that Mary assimilated the Word of God into her life, by meditating it and pondering what message the Lord had for her through His Word and that this is what safekeeping means. 

Astonishment and safekeeping: Pope Francis developed his homily around these two themes starting from the Gospel of the day, which recounts the astonishment of the teachers in the Temple listening to Jesus and Mary’s keeping the Word of God safe in her heart. Astonishment, the Pope observed, "is more than joy: it is a moment in which the Word of God comes, is sown in our hearts. " But, he warned, "we cannot always live in wonder", this should be “kept in our hearts” throughout our lives. And this is precisely what Mary does, when she is "astonished" and keeps the "Word of God" in her heart:

"Keeping the Word of God: what does this mean? I receive the Word, and then I take a bottle, I put the word in the bottle and I keep it? No. Keeping the Word of God means that our heart opens, it is open to that Word just like the earth opens to receive the seed. The Word of God is a seed and is sown. And Jesus told us what happens with the seeds: some fall along the path, and the birds come and eat them; this word is not kept, these hearts do not know how to receive it”.

Others, he said, fall into a stony soil and the seed dies. Jesus says that they "do not know how to keep the Word of God because they are not constant: When a tribulation comes they forget." The Pope repeated that the Word of God falls into a soil that is unprepared, not kept, full of thorns. And what are the thorns? Jesus pointed them out, when He speaks of '"attachment to riches, vices”. Pope Francis said “keeping the Word of God means constantly meditating on what this Word says to us and what happens in our life." And this “is what Mary did”, she “pondered and questioned” it. This, said Pope Francis, "is a truly great spiritual work":

“John Paul II said that, because of this work, Mary had a particular heaviness in her heart, she had a fatigued heart. But this is not the same as tired, it is fatigue, this comes from effort. This is the effort of keeping the Word of God : the work of trying to find what this means at this moment, what the Lord wants to say to me at this time, this situation of questioning the [meaning of ]the Word of God is how we understand. This is reading our life with the Word of God and this it means to keep".

Pope Francis added that memory also safeguards God's Word. “It helps us to preserve it, to remember everything the Lord has done in my life". He continued : “it reminds us of all the wonders of salvation in His people and in my heart. Memory safeguards the Word of God. " The Pope concluded his homily urging everyone to think "about how to keep the Word of God in our hearts, how to safeguard this astonishment, so that it is not eaten by the birds, suffocated by vices":

"We would do well to ask ourselves: 'With the things that happen in life, I ask myself the question: what is the Lord saying to me with His Word, right now?'. This is called keeping the Word of God, because the Word of God is precisely the message that the Lord gives us in every moment. Let us safeguard it with this: safeguard it with our memory. And safeguard it with our hope. We ask the Lord for the grace to receive the Word of God and keep it, and also the grace to have a heart that is fatigued in this effort. So be it. "

Saturday morning Mass was attended by staff from Caritas Internationalis, accompanied by the secretary general, Michel Roy. 

of the Vatican Radio website

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fun meeting between Pope and students: 'I didn't want to be Pope'



(Vatican Radio) In a style that seems to have almost become signature of the current pontificate, Pope Francis stepped out of yet another scripted session to engage in a spontaneous question-and-answer period with hundreds of children and teens. 

The papal audience in the Paul VI Hall with students, teachers and staff of Jesuit grade schools and high schools on Friday became a friendly dialogue between the 76-year-old pontiff and the young people. 

The students, who had come from six Italian cities and one school in Albania, were passing the time singing a Christian rap song, when the Pope entered the hall unannounced. At his sighting, they immediately erupted into cheers and applause. 

In response, it seems, Pope Francis decided to put his five-page written message aside.

“I prepared a text, but it’s five pages! A little boring,” he said to the young people, who responded with laughter.

He proposed to give short summary and then take questions from the students instead.

With sensitivity and humour, the Pope answered 10 frank questions, that ranged from his priestly vocation to his decision to forego the usual papal apartment. 

When asked if it was a difficult to leave his family and friends and become a priest, the pope said it was. “It is not easy but there are beautiful moments and Jesus helps you and gives you some joy.” 

When asked why he wanted to join the Jesuits, he said he wanted to be a missionary and he was attracted by the religious order’s missionary zeal and activity. 

When asked why he decided to renounce the usual papal apartment, he said it was a question of personality, not of luxury. 

“I have a need to live among people.” he said. “If I were to live alone, perhaps a little isolate, it would not be good for me. … It is my personality. … It is not an issue of personal virtue, it is only that I cannot live alone.”

He added that the poverty in the world today is a scandal. “All of us today must think about how we can become a little poorer,” he said, so as to resemble Jesus. 

The Pope addressed more serious concerns as well. 

When a student doubting his faith asked for words of encouragement, he likened the faith a long walk. “To walk is an art,” he said, “To walk is the art of looking at the horizon, thinking about where I want to go but also enduring the fatigue. And many times, the walk is difficult, it is not easy… There is darkness… even days of failure… one falls… 

"But always think this: do not be afraid of failure. Do not be afraid of falling. In the art of walking, what is important is not avoiding the fall but not remaining fallen," he said. "Get up quickly, continue on, and go. … But it is also terrible to walk alone, terrible and boring. Walking in community with friends, with those who love us, this helps us and helps us get to the end.”

Three students from different grades also read letters to the Pope. They complemented him on his pontificate to date and expressed appreciation for his simplicity and his ability to reach out to young people with his poignant messages. 

“You’re like a child,” said young Gugliemo in his letter. “You smile a lot, you are very good and kind.”

“If you have difficult moments, remember that god gave you this responsibility and he believes in you,” he encouraged. 

“We know the work of a pope is difficult, but you’re getting on okay," the grade schooler joked. 

Earlier, in the summary of his text, the Pope told the students that the purpose of education is to learn magnanimity. 

“We need to be magnanimous, with big hearts and without fear,” he said. “Always bet on great ideals. But also magnanimity in small things and daily things.... Magnanimity means walking with Jesus, attentive to that which Jesus tells us.” 

In his message to educators, he said education requires an equilibrium between security and risk. He also urged educators to find new non-conventional forms of education, according to the needs of the context. 

The Pope concluded the meeting with a blessing. 

Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=699446of the Vatican Radio website

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

"Let us remember that the Heart of Jesus has called us not only for our own sanctification, but also for that of other souls. He wants to be helped in the salvation of souls" (St. Padre Pio)

It is vitally important to not only meditate on the Sacred Heart of Jesus during June, the Month of the Sacred Heart, but throughout the whole year.

When did devotion to the Sacred Heart begin?

Devotion to the Sacred Heart was approved for specified dioceses by Pope Clement XIII in 1765 and extended to the whole Church by Pope Pius IX in 1856. Pope Leo XIII dedicated the whole world to the Sacred Heart in 1899.

Feast of the Sacred Heart


Documents on the Sacred Heart:

Annum sacrum (1889) - Pope Leo XIII
Caritate Christi Compulsi (On The Sacred Heart) - Pope Pius XI
Miserentissimus Redemptor (On Reparation To The Sacred Heart) - Pope Pius XI
Haurietis aquas - Pope Pius XII

Devotions:


"Behold this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth." - Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary

Our Lord also made 12 promises to St. Margaret Mary for those that are devoted to His Sacred Heart. 

I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
I will give peace in their families.
I will console them in all their troubles.
They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
Tepid souls shall become fervent.
Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: 'I'm fine. I live like a monk'



German journalist, Manfred Lütz visited Benedict XVI at the Vatican for about 30 minutes. In an article published in the 'Bild Zeitung' newspaper, he wrote that the former Pope told him: “I live like a monk and I'm fine. I pray and I read". 

The journalist said Benedict XVI is still thin and his posture seems to be even more curved. But he did add that he is 'lucid, fun and has a good sense of humor.'

In his report, the journalist also said that from a theological point of view, Benedict XVI has completely agreed with the magisterium of Pope Francis.

Pope’s summer agenda released

The Prefecture of the Papal Household has released Pope Francis' agenda for the summer period, from July through to the end of August. Briefing journalists, Holy See Press Office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Pope will remain 'based ' at the Casa Santa Marta residence in Vatican City State for the duration of the summer.

As per tradition, all private and special audiences are suspended for the duration of the summer. The Holy Father's private Masses with employees will end July 7 and resume in September. The Wednesday general audiences are suspended for the month of July to resume August 7 at the Vatican.

On Sunday July 14th , Pope Francis will lead the Angelus prayer from the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.

Pope Francis will travel to Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro from Monday July 22 to Monday July 29. 

Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=698850 of the Vatican Radio website

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

In Pictures - Great Pictures of Pope Francis at today's General Audience

Pope Francis accepts a rosary from the faithful at the General Audience on June 5th 2013

Pope Francis at today's General Audience with is also World Environment Day

Pope Francis at today's General Audience giving a thumbs up.

Pope Francis speaking to the driver at today's General Audience. 


Pope Francis catches a rosary at today's general audience.







Pope Francis - We are losing the attitude of wonder, contemplation, listening to creation

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today I want to focus on the issue of the environment, which I have already spoken of on several occasions. Today we also mark World Environment Day, sponsored by the United Nations, which sends a strong reminder of the need to eliminate the waste and disposal of food.

When we talk about the environment, about creation, my thoughts turn to the first pages of the Bible, the Book of Genesis, which states that God placed man and woman on earth to cultivate and care for it (cf. 2:15). And the question comes to my mind: What does cultivating and caring for the earth mean? Are we truly cultivating and caring for creation? Or are we exploiting and neglecting it? The verb "to cultivate" reminds me of the care that the farmer has for his land so that it bear fruit, and it is shared: how much attention, passion and dedication! Cultivating and caring for creation is God’s indication given to each one of us not only at the beginning of history; it is part of His project; it means nurturing the world with responsibility and transforming it into a garden, a habitable place for everyone. Benedict XVI recalled several times that this task entrusted to us by God the Creator requires us to grasp the rhythm and logic of creation. But we are often driven by pride of domination, of possessions, manipulation, of exploitation; we do not “care” for it, we do not respect it, we do not consider it as a free gift that we must care for. We are losing the attitude of wonder, contemplation, listening to creation; thus we are no longer able to read what Benedict XVI calls "the rhythm of the love story of God and man." Why does this happen? Why do we think and live in a horizontal manner, we have moved away from God, we no longer read His signs.

But to "cultivate and care" encompasses not only the relationship between us and the environment, between man and creation, it also regards human relationships. The Popes have spoken of human ecology, closely linked to environmental ecology. We are living in a time of crisis: we see this in the environment, but above all we see this in mankind. The human person is in danger: this is certain, the human person is in danger today, here is the urgency of human ecology! And it is a serious danger because the cause of the problem is not superficial but profound: it is not just a matter of economics, but of ethics and anthropology. The Church has stressed this several times, and many say, yes, that's right, it's true ... but the system continues as before, because it is dominated by the dynamics of an economy and finance that lack ethics. Man is not in charge today, money is in charge, money rules. God our Father did not give the task of caring for the earth to money, but to us, to men and women: we have this task! Instead, men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the "culture of waste." If you break a computer it is a tragedy, but poverty, the needs, the dramas of so many people end up becoming the norm. If on a winter’s night, here nearby in Via Ottaviano, for example, a person dies, that is not news. If in so many parts of the world there are children who have nothing to eat, that's not news, it seems normal. It cannot be this way! Yet these things become the norm: that some homeless people die of cold on the streets is not news. In contrast, a ten point drop on the stock markets of some cities, is a tragedy. A person dying is not news, but if the stock markets drop ten points it is a tragedy! Thus people are disposed of, as if they were trash.

This "culture of waste" tends to become the common mentality that infects everyone. Human life, the person is no longer perceived as a primary value to be respected and protected, especially if poor or disabled, if not yet useful - such as the unborn child - or no longer needed - such as the elderly. This culture of waste has made us insensitive even to the waste and disposal of food, which is even more despicable when all over the world, unfortunately, many individuals and families are suffering from hunger and malnutrition. Once our grandparents were very careful not to throw away any leftover food. Consumerism has led us to become used to an excess and daily waste of food, to which, at times, we are no longer able to give a just value, which goes well beyond mere economic parameters. We should all remember, however, that the food we throw away is as if stolen from the table of the poor, the hungry! I encourage everyone to reflect on the problem of thrown away and wasted food to identify ways and means that, by seriously addressing this issue, are a vehicle of solidarity and sharing with the needy.

A few days ago, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, we read the story of the miracle of the loaves: Jesus feeds the crowd with five loaves and two fishes. And the conclusion of the piece is important: " They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets" (Lk 9:17). Jesus asks his disciples not to throw anything away: no waste! There is this fact of twelve baskets: Why twelve? What does this mean? Twelve is the number of the tribes of Israel, which symbolically represent all people. And this tells us that when food is shared in a fair way, with solidarity, when no one is deprived, every community can meet the needs of the poorest. Human ecology and environmental ecology walk together.

So I would like us all to make a serious commitment to respect and protect creation, to be attentive to every person, to counter the culture of waste and disposable, to promote a culture of solidarity and of encounter. Thank you. 

Summary in English


Dear Brothers and Sisters: Our Audience today coincides with World Environment Day, and so it is fitting to reflect on our responsibility to cultivate and care for the earth in accordance with God’s command (cf. Gen 2:15). We are called not only to respect the natural environment, but also to show respect for, and solidarity with, all the members of our human family. These two dimensions are closely related; today we are suffering from a crisis which is not only about the just management of economic resources, but also about concern for human resources, for the needs of our brothers and sisters living in extreme poverty, and especially for the many children in our world lacking adequate education, health care and nutrition. Consumerism and a “culture of waste” have led some of us to tolerate the waste of precious resources, including food, while others are literally wasting away from hunger. I ask all of you to reflect on this grave ethical problem in a spirit of solidarity grounded in our common responsibility for the earth and for all our brothers and sisters in the human family.

Greeting:

I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore and the United States. God bless you all!

Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=698604 of the Vatican Radio website

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The “world’s poorest president” had an usual audience with Pope Francis


It's a common grumble that politicians' lifestyles are far removed from those of their electorate. Not so in Uruguay. Meet the president - who lives on a ramshackle farm and gives away most of his pay.

Laundry is strung outside the house. The water comes from a well in a yard, overgrown with weeds. Only two police officers and Manuela, a three-legged dog, keep watch outside. Read more

Pope Francis welcomed the so called “world's poorest president”, Uruguayan José Mújica, at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace. 

President -“This is so impressive, I feel overwhelmed.”

The meeting was longer than usual and lasted 45 minutes. According to the Vatican, various issues were addressed, such as “the integral development of persons, respect for human rights justice and social peace.”

The president also asked that the Church 'do everything possible so that the peace process in Colombia continues and comes to fruition.'

Mújica reminded the Pope that they shared a mutual friend, theologian and writer Alberto Methol Ferrè, who died in 2009. The Pope admitted the author's writing was thought provoking.

So, as a gift, the president gave the Pope a book authored by Ferre. Pope Francis presented Mújica with the final resolutions of the 2007 Latin American bishops conference in Aparecida, Brazil, and a lithograph.

The fun continued when Pope Francis had a chance to meet with the president's staff.

The Pope described Mujica's visit as a meeting with “a wise man,” and the president did not hide his emotions.

As usual, the delegation also met with the Secretary of State and the Vatican foreign minister.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Feasts for June


The month of June is dedicated to The Sacred Heart of Jesus. The entire month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time. The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward.

The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of June are:

1. Justin, Memorial
2. Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Solemnity
3. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Memorial
5. Boniface, Memorial
6. Norbert, Opt. Mem.
7. Sacred Heart of Jesus, Solemnity
8. Immaculate Heart of Mary, Memorial
9. Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
11. Barnabas, Memorial
13. Anthony of Padua, Memorial
16. Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
19. Romuald, Opt. Mem.
21. Aloysius Gonzaga, Memorial
22. Paulinus of Nola; John Fisher and Thomas More, Opt. Mem.
23. Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
24. Nativity of John the Baptist, Solemnity
26. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, Opt. Mem.
27. Cyril of Alexandria, Opt. Mem.
28. Irenaeus, Memorial
29. Peter and Paul, Solemnity
30. Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Sunday

Saint Charles Lwanga and his companions

Many Christians, Catholic and Protestant, were killed by the Ugandan king Mwanga. Some of them were servants in the king’s palace or even his personal attendants. Charles Lwanga and his twenty-one companions (the youngest, Kitizo, was only 13) were executed for being Christians, for rebuking the king for his debauchery and for murdering an Anglican missionary, for “praying from a book,” and for refusing to allow themselves to be ritually sodomised by the king. They died between 1885 and 1887. Most of them were burned alive in a group after being tortured.

Within a year of their deaths, the number of catechumens in the country quadrupled. St Charles Lwanga is the patron of Catholic Action and of black African youth, and the Ugandan martyrs’ feast day is a public holiday in Uganda.

Prayers

Martyrs of Uganda, pray for the faith where it is in danger and for Christians who must suffer because of their faith. Give them the same courage, zeal, and joy you showed. And help those of us who live in places where Christianity is accepted to remain aware of the persecution in other parts of the world. Amen.

Dear Lord, the Uganda Martyrs were willing to give their lives as witness of their faith in You. Help us to have the same courage and bestow upon us the faith of these martyrs - that we too may live our lives as witness to Your Love for us, and our love of You.

Pope Francis meets with sick children and their families



Pope Francis was visited by a group of young cancer patients who are being treated at Rome's Agostino Gemelli hospital. They all prayed together, and a young girl read the Pope a very moving letter. 

“I am happy I can see you in person, and not as I usually do in television. At Lourdes, we prayed for you: we made you a sketch of the grotto, as a present. We promise we will pray for you and we ask you to pray for all the sick children at the hospital and all over the world. Please bless all the mothers and fathers, so that they will have a wonderful smile, just like yours!”

Pope Francis blessed the audience, which also included the hospital's medical staff and several volunteers. Then, the Pope made a special request to the children. 

Pope Francis -“At this moment, Jesus comes to you and gives you a big hug. And I ask you one last favor: pray for me! Will you do that? Are you sure? Great!”

At the end of the meeting, the Pope took the time to individually greet the 22 children and their families.