From the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida to the “shrine of human suffering” that is the St Francis of Assisi hospital, located in the run-down Tijuca district of northern Rio de Janeiro. That was how Pope Francis himself described his visit on Wednesday afternoon to the hospital, run by young Franciscan friars and sisters who care for the poorest and most marginalized slum dwellers. During the visit, the Pope blessed a new wing of the hospital dedicated to the rehabilitation of drug users, saying he embraced every single person struggling with drug addiction. Read More
Thursday, July 25, 2013
After Mass at the Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, the Pope Francisco transferred to Bom Jesus Seminary, where he met the seminarians of Propedeutics, Philosophy and Theology, Archdiocese of Aparecida, residing locally. Francisco also blessed a picture of Frei Galvão and a change of Pau Brazil planted next to the image.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Pope Francis celebrated his first World Youth Day Mass, at the Marian Shrine of Aparecida. In his homily, he called on Christians to embrace a positive life, based on hopefulness, openness to God and joy.
Pope Francis also said that every youth must 'knock at the door of Mary's house' to look for help and guidance.
My Brother Bishops and Priests,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
What joy I feel as I come to the house of the Mother of every Brazilian, the Shrine of our Lady of Aparecida! The day after my election as Bishop of Rome, I visited the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, in order to entrust my ministry as the Successor of Peter to Our Lady. Today I have come here to ask Mary our Mother for the success of World Youth Day and to place at her feet the life of the people of Latin America. There is something that I would like to say first of all. Six years ago the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean was held in this Shrine. Something beautiful took place here, which I witnessed at first hand. I saw how the Bishops – who were discussing the theme of encountering Christ, discipleship and mission – felt encouraged, supported and in some way inspired by the thousands of pilgrims who came here day after day to entrust their lives to Our Lady. That Conference was a great moment of Church. It can truly be said that the Aparecida Document was born of this interplay between the labours of the Bishops and the simple faith of the pilgrims, under Mary’s maternal protection.
When the Church looks for Jesus, she always knocks at his Mother’s door and asks: "Show us Jesus". It is from Mary that the Church learns true discipleship. That is why the Church always goes out on mission in the footsteps of Mary.
When the Church looks for Jesus, she always knocks at his Mother’s door and asks: "Show us Jesus". It is from Mary that the Church learns true discipleship. That is why the Church always goes out on mission in the footsteps of Mary.
Today, looking forward to the World Youth Day which has brought me to Brazil, I too come to knock on the door of the house of Mary – who loved and raised Jesus – that she may help all of us, pastors of God’s people, parents and educators, to pass on to our young people the values that can help them build a nation and a world which are more just, united and fraternal. For this reason I would like to speak of three simple attitudes: hopefulness, openness to being surprised by God, and living in joy.
1. Hopefulness. The second reading of the Mass presents a dramatic scene: a woman – an image of Mary and the Church – is being pursued by a Dragon – the devil – who wants to devour her child. But the scene is not one of death but of life, because God intervenes and saves the child (cf. Rev 12:13a, 15-16a). How many difficulties are present in the life of every individual, among our people, in our communities; yet as great as these may seem, God never allows us to be overwhelmed by them. In the face of those moments of discouragement we experience in life, in our efforts to evangelize or to embody our faith as parents within the family, I would like to say forcefully: Always know in your heart that God is by your side; he never abandons you! Let us never lose hope! Let us never allow it to die in our hearts! The "dragon", evil, is present in our history, but it does not have the upper hand. The one with the upper hand is God, and God is our hope! It is true that nowadays, to some extent, everyone, including our young people, feels attracted by the many idols which take the place of God and appear to offer hope: money, success, power, pleasure. Often a growing sense of loneliness and emptiness in the hearts of many people leads them to seek satisfaction in these ephemeral idols. Dear brothers and sisters, let us be lights of hope! Let us maintain a positive outlook on reality. Let us encourage the generosity which is typical of the young and help them to work actively in building a better world. Young people are a powerful engine for the Church and for society. They do not need material things alone; also and above all, they need to have held up to them those non-material values which are the spiritual heart of a people, the memory of a people. In this Shrine, which is part of the memory of Brazil, we can almost read those values: spirituality, generosity, solidarity, perseverance, fraternity, joy; they are values whose deepest root is in the Christian faith.
2. The second attitude: openness to being surprised by God. Anyone who is a man or a woman of hope – the great hope which faith gives us – knows that even in the midst of difficulties God acts and he surprises us. The history of this Shrine is a good example: three fishermen, after a day of catching no fish, found something unexpected in the waters of the Parnaíba River: an image of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Whoever would have thought that the site of a fruitless fishing expedition would become the place where all Brazilians can feel that they are children of one Mother? God always surprises us, like the new wine in the Gospel we have just heard. God always saves the best for us. But he asks us to let ourselves be surprised by his love, to accept his surprises. Let us trust God! Cut off from him, the wine of joy, the wine of hope, runs out. If we draw near to him, if we stay with him, what seems to be cold water, difficulty, sin, is changed into the new wine of friendship with him.
3. The third attitude: living in joy. Dear friends, if we walk in hope, allowing ourselves to be surprised by the new wine which Jesus offers us, we have joy in our hearts and we cannot fail to be witnesses of this joy. Christians are joyful, they are never gloomy. God is at our side. We have a Mother who always intercedes for the life of her children, for us, as Queen Esther did in the first reading (cf Est 5:3). Jesus has shown us that the face of God is that of a loving Father. Sin and death have been defeated. Christians cannot be pessimists! They do not look like someone in constant mourning. If we are truly in love with Christ and if we sense how much he loves us, our heart will "light up" with a joy that spreads to everyone around us. As Benedict XVI said: "the disciple knows that without Christ, there is no light, no hope, no love, no future" (Inaugural Address, Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, Aparecida, 13 May 2007, 3).
Dear friends, we have come to knock at the door of Mary’s house. She has opened it for us, she has let us in and she shows us her Son. Now she asks us to "do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5). Yes, dear Mother, we are committed to doing whatever Jesus tells us! And we will do it with hope, trusting in God’s surprises and full of joy. Amen.
[01082-02.01] [Original text: Portuguese]
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
The Brazilian Post Office is issuing a stamp to commemorate Pope Francis' visit to Rio de Janeiro for the WYD2013!
The stamp will be available from this Tuesday. (Brazilian Post/AFP)
(Vatican Radio) Sean-Patrick Lovett who heads the English Programme of Vatican Radio is currently in Rio de Janeiro reporting on the Apostolic visit of Pope Francis to the Brazilian nation on the occasion of the XXVIII World Youth Day. He, and others, watched in amazement at the pictures of the Holy Father's car trying to make it to the official opening ceremony. He ended up taking a helicopter instead. Here is Sean's report:
Heads were shaking in disbelief – and other heads will surely roll – after the Pope’s unscheduled drive-about through the centre of Rio on Monday afternoon. It’s true that the 40-minute trip from the airport to the Cathedral was unplanned, but it’s also true that the motorcade mistakenly took the wrong route and ended up being blocked by congested traffic. People quickly swarmed around the car and moments of high tension followed as security agents tried to control the swelling masses that, at times, looked like they might engulf the vehicle completely.
Only after he transferred to an open jeep, did his drive through the city regain the tone of dignity and celebration that allowed Pope Francis himself to relax and greet the enthusiastic crowds with his characteristic warmth and spontaneity. By the time he reached the Cathedral, hundreds of thousands of people had poured out into the streets, determined to give him an authentic Latin American welcome.
That welcome took on stately tones when the Pope reached the Governor’s Palace at Guanabara for the official ceremonial greeting. This time he travelled by helicopter – which solved the traffic issue and allowed him a spectacular view of Rio-by-night. It also helped the organizers pick up some time as the Holy Father’s program was already running one hour behind schedule.
A side-effect of that papal delay was that the Vatican Press Office Director’s press conference also started an hour late – to the consternation of some very travel-weary, jet-lagged journalists who were hoping he would give them the headlines they so desperately needed to trump the story of the royal baby.
Responding to journalist’s questions, Fr Lombardi began by down-playing the motorcade escapade, adding that it was the Pope’s secretary who was upset while Pope Francis appeared to be enjoying himself.
He also revealed two other pieces of behind-the-scenes information. Firstly that, during their private conversation at Guanabara Palace, the Brazilian President had expressed her admiration for Pope Francis’ speech on the island of Lampedusa two weeks ago.
Secondly that, during the flight from Rome to Rio, the Pope spent 15 minutes chatting to the pilots in the cockpit – long enough for journalists to begin wondering who was actually flying the plane. I wonder what the royal baby would have to say about that…
Monday, July 22, 2013
Pope in Brazil: I don't have silver or gold, but I bring with me the most precious gift: Jesus Christ!
A few hours after arriving to Rio de Janeiro's airport, Pope Francis made his way to the city's Guanabara Palace, where he gave his first World Youth Day speech. The Pope thanked Brazil for its hospitality, highlighting that providence led him toLatin America for his first international trip.
The Pope emphasized that through World Youth Day he intends to not only reach out to the youth, but also to the elderly and entire families. He added that he is anxious to meet with young people who are drawn to the open arm embrace of 'Christ the Redeemer.' READ MORE
Pope Francis has left Rome for his 12 hour flight to Rio de Janeiro, where he will attend the XXVIII World Youth Day.
The Holy Father carried his own bag onto the plane. Pope Francis will spend all but one day of his week-long journey in the Brazilian city hosting the event.
The one exception is on Wednesday, when he will visit the Marian shrine in Aparecida.
Safe trip Holy Father.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
(Romereports.com) The exact date when World Youth Daystarted is not very clear. But one though is quite clear. It all started thanks toJohn Paul II. The Polish Pope was convinced that youths don't just needgood advice; rather, they also need someone to accompany them and teach them how to express themselves in the best way.
John Paul II - “Like I said since the first day of my pontificate, you are the Pope's hope, you are the Church's hope.”
This Mass was the founding base of WYD. In 1984, the Pope ended the Holy Year of Redemption with this meeting. He gave them a wooden cross as a reminder of their encounter
John Paul II - Rome, April 22, 1984 -“My dear young people, at the conclusion of the Holy Year, I entrust to you the sign of this Jubilee Year: the Cross of Christ! Carry it throughout the world as a symbol of Christ’s love for humanity, and announce to everyone that only in the death and resurrection of Christ we can find salvation and redemption.”
A year later, the United Nations celebrated the International Youth Year, and thousands of youths flocked to Rome once again to celebrate it with the Pope. A few months later, on December 20th, 1985, Pope John Paul II summoned the very first WYD, which was to be held in Rome in 1986. The second meeting was in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1987.
Since then, WYD became a distinctive feature of John Paul II's pontificate. Every two or three years, the Pope met with thousands of youths in cities such as Santiago de Compostela, Czestochowa, Denver, Manila, Paris and Toronto.
John Paul II -World Youth Day, Rome 2000 -“You will not resign yourselves to a world where other human beings die of hunger, remain illiterate or have no work. You will defend life at every moment of its development; you will strive with all your strength to make this earth ever more livable for all people.”
Pope Benedict XVI followed in his predecessor's footsteps, and the response he had was always great. Thousands of pilgrims reached Cologne, Germany, for WYD in 2005; Sidney in 2008 and Madrid in 2011.
Benedict XVI -Marienfeld (Germany), 2005 -“I know that you as young people have great aspirations, that you want to pledge for a better world. Demonstrate this to mankind, demonstrate this to the world.”
A new generation of youths, and most of all a new Pope await WYD 2013 in Rio. But since there seems to be a strong chemistry between Pope Francis and the youth, the event will surely be a success.
Labels: World Youth Day 2013
July 26 was formerly only the feast of St. Anne. Now the feast includes both parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joachim and St. Anne.
O glorious St. Ann, you are filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer! Heavily burdened with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present intention which I recommend to you in your special care.
Please recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and place it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Continue to intercede for me until my request is granted. But, above all, obtain for me the grace one day to see my God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the saints to praise and bless Him for all eternity. Amen.
Our Father, . . . Hail Mary . . .
O Jesus, Holy Mary, St. Ann, help me now and at the hour of my death.
Good St. Ann, intercede for me.
Monday, July 15, 2013
(Romereports.com) For his forthcoming trip to Rio, PopeFrancis has decided to make a few adjustments to suit his own style. His final schedule is full with of appointments, and will feature landmark moments such as a visit to a Marian shrine and meetings with ill or needy people.
The Pope will leave Rome's Fiumicino airport at 8,45 AM on Monday, July 22nd. After a roughly 12 hour flight he will land in Rio de Janeiro at 4:00 p.m. However, the official welcoming ceremony with president Dilma Rousseff won't be held at the airport, but at the Guanabara palace out in the city.
Then, the Pope will take some time to rest at the residence of Rio's Archbishop. During his first day in Brazil no public meetings are planned, so that Pope Francis can recover from jet-lag.
On Wednesday, the Pope will travel by helicopter to the Nuestra Señora de Aparecida shrine, which is about 120 miles from Rio. There he will celebrate Mass and have lunch with a group of young seminarians.
On his way back, the Pope will also visit the San Francisco de Asis hospital, where AIDS patients are treated.
On Thursday July 25th, the Pope will receive the 'golden keys' to Rio and will bless the Olympic flags. Then he will visit the Manguinhos slum, where over 50,000 people live. At 6:00p.m. the Pope will attend his first massive gathering with young pilgrims in the Copacabana beach.
On Friday 26th, he will confess some of the youths and will later meet with a group of young Rio prison inmates. In the evening, he will lead a moving Way of the Cross ceremony along the streets of Rio, where he will pray for the youth and all the challenges they face.
On Saturday, July 27th, the Pope will attend a meeting with politicians and entrepreneurs at Rio's Municipal Theater. In the evening, he will celebrate a prayer vigil with more than one million youths.
On Sunday, Pope Francis will end the meeting with an open-air Mass. It's there that he will announce where the next WYD will take place.
Finally, before taking a flight back home, the Pope will meet with Latin American bishops or their representatives.
The Pope's plane will land in Rome on Monday July 29th at 11,30 a.m. With such a tight schedule, Pope Francis and his entourage are expected to take a few days off to recover from the long trip.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Joking with his enthusiastic audience, Pope Francis said there are clearly many young people here today, but he congratulated everyone present for feeling 'young at heart!'
Thursday, July 11, 2013
He once said of his confinement that he was happy there, as it was God’s turn to speak and for him to listen.
He also devised the following “10 Rules of Life”:
“I will live the present moment to the fullest.”
“I will discern between God and God’s works.”
“I will hold firmly to one secret: prayer.”
“I will see in the holy Eucharist my only power.”
“I will have only one wisdom: the science of the cross.”
“I will remain faithful to my mission in the Church and for the Church as a witness of Jesus Christ.”
“I will seek the peace the world cannot give.”
“I will carry out a revolution by renewal in the Holy Spirit.”
“I will speak one language and wear one uniform: charity.”
“I will have one very special love: the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
The cause for the beatification of Cardinal Văn Thuận opened in 2007. Benedict XVI expressed his “profound joy” at the announcement, as did Catholics in Vietnam, who consider him “an example of holiness for the Catholics of Vietnam and the entire world.”
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Monday, July 8, 2013
The Pope's arrival to the Italian island ofLampedusa was quite symbolic. He arrived in this police boat which has carried over 30,000 rescued immigrants in the last eight years. The Pope visited the island to remember the roughly 20,000 immigrants, mostly fromNorth Africa, who died while trying to make it across.
Many shared their experiences with the Pope.
Migrant - “We're here because we've fled our countries due to political or economic reasons. We overcome many obstacles to get here. We were kidnapped by the human traffickers. We have suffered a lot. We need your help Holy Father. We need other countries to help us.”
This marks the Pope's first trip out of Rome. It's a trip that highlights solidarity and prayer to console the migrants.
Pope -“We need to pray for them a lot.”
The Pope decided to travel to Lampedusa, when he read that seven North Africans died near the Canal of Sicily. The migrants were clinging on to fishing nets, but when the fishermen saw them, they cut the nets and left them to their death.
Read full homily here
Read full homily here
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Pope Francis playing the National Instrument of Trinidad and Tobago, The Steelpan, while President Anthony Carmona looks on! Truly an amazing moment!
Truly a great day for our nation and our national instrument!
The pope is a Trini now!
Friday, July 5, 2013
Pope Francis has cleared John Paul II for sainthood. On Friday morning, he signed a decree that attributes a miracle to the intercession of the late Polish Pope. This gives the green light for the Polish Pope to be declared a saint of the Catholic Church.
The Pope also approved the canonization of Blessed John XXIII, who is remembered for calling the Second Vatican Council. A special consistory has been called by the Pope, to set a date for his canonization, even without the required miracle.
FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI - Vatican Spokesperson
“The road is open for the canonization of John XXIII, but a decree on a miracle has not yet been approved by the Pope. The Vatican's Causes for Saints has presented the situation to the Pope, so that a canonization can take place even without the second miracle.”
A decree approving a miracle by Alvaro del Portillo, former prelate of Opus Dei, has also been approved, paving the way towards his future beatification.
The Pope also approved additional beatifications and over 40 martyrs who will be recognized for their heroic virtues.
SEE FULL LIST OF DECREES:
MIRACLES, attributable to the intercession of:
-Blessed John Paul II, Polish (ne Karol Josef Wojtyla), Supreme Pontiff, (1920-2005);
-Venerable Servant of God Alvaro del Portillo y Diez de Sollano, Spanish, bishop and prelate of the personal prelature of Santa Cruz and Opus Dei, (1914-1994);
-Venerable Servant of God Esperanza de Jesus (nee Maria Josefa Alhama Valera), Spanish, foundress of the Congregations of the Handmaids of Merciful Love and the Sons of Merciful Love, (1893-1983).
-Servant of God Jose Guardiet y Pujol, Spanish, diocesan priest; born in 1879 and killed in hatred of the faith in Spain on 3 August 1936;
-Servant of God Mauricio Iniguez de Heredia, Spanish, and 23 companions from the Order of Hospitallers of St John of God, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 1936 and 1937;
-Servant of God Fortunato Velasco Tobar, Spanish, and 13 companions from the Congregation of the Mission, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 1934 and 1936;
-Servant of God Maria Asuncion (nee Juliana Gonzalez Trujillano) and 2 companions, Spanish, professed nuns of the Congregation of Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936.
-Servant of God Nicola D'Onofrio, Italian, professed priest of the Order of the Clerks Regular Ministers to the Sick (Camillians), (1943-1964);
-Servant of God Bernard Philippe, French (ne Jean Fromental Cayroche), professed monk of the Institute of Christian Schools, founder of the Hermanas Guadalupanas de La Salle, (1895-1978);
-Servant of God Maria Isabel da Santissima Trinidade, Portuguese, (nee Maria Isabel Picao Caldeira viuda de Carneiro), foundress of the Congregation of Conceptionist Nuns, (1889-1962).
-Servant of God Maria del Carmen Rendiles Martinez, Venezuelan, foundress of the Servants of Jesus, Venezuala, (1903-1977);
-Servant of God Giuseppe Lazzati, Italian, consecrated layperson, (1909-1986).
Finally, the Holy Father approved the votes in favour the canonisation of Blessed John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli) from the Ordinary Session of the Cardinal Fathers and bishops, and decided that a consistory would be convoked, to consider also the canonisation of Blessed John Paul II (Karol Jozef Wojtyla).
Monday, July 1, 2013
2 bless Yahweh, my soul, never forget all his acts of kindness.
3 He forgives all your offences, cures all your diseases,
4 he redeems your life from the abyss, crowns you with faithful love and tenderness;
5 he contents you with good things all your life, renews your youth like an eagle's.
6 Yahweh acts with uprightness, with justice to all who are oppressed;
7 he revealed to Moses his ways, his great deeds to the children of Israel.
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger and rich in faithful love;
9 his indignation does not last for ever, nor his resentment remain for all time;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor repay us as befits our offences.
11 As the height of heaven above earth, so strong is his faithful love for those who fear him.
12 As the distance of east from west, so far from us does he put our faults.
13 As tenderly as a father treats his children, so Yahweh treats those who fear him;
14 he knows of what we are made, he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for a human person -- his days are like grass, he blooms like the wild flowers;
16 as soon as the wind blows he is gone, never to be seen there again.
17 But Yahweh's faithful love for those who fear him is from eternity and for ever; and his saving justice to their children's children;
18 as long as they keep his covenant, and carefully obey his precepts.
19 Yahweh has fixed his throne in heaven, his sovereign power rules over all.
20 Bless Yahweh, all his angels, mighty warriors who fulfil his commands, attentive to the sound of his words.
21 Bless Yahweh, all his armies, servants who fulfil his wishes.
22 Bless Yahweh, all his works, in every place where he rules. Bless Yahweh, my soul.
The month of July is dedicated to The Precious Blood 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.
1. Bl. Junipero Serra (USA); St. Oliver Plunket, Opt. Mem.
3. Thomas the Apostle, Feast
4. Independence Day (USA), Opt. Mem.
5. Anthony Mary of Zaccaria; Elizabeth of Portugal, Opt. Mem.
6. Maria Goretti, Opt. Mem.
7. Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
9. Augustine Zhao Rong and companions, Opt. Mem.
11. Benedict, Memorial
13. Henry, Opt. Mem.
14. Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
15. Bonaventure, Memorial
16. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Opt. Mem.
18. Camillus de Lellis (USA), Opt. Mem.
20. Apollinaris, Opt. Mem.
21. Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
22. Mary Magdalene, Memorial
23. Bridget, Opt. Mem.
24. Sharbel (Charbel) Makhloof, Opt. Mem.
25. James, Feast
26. Joachim and Anne, Memorial
28. Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
29. Martha, Memorial
30. Peter Chrysologus, Opt. Mem.
31. Ignatius of Loyola, Memorial
Labels: Feasts for July