Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pope Francis will canonize two of the children who saw Our Lady of Fatima


Pope Francis prays in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 13. The statue, which was present for the May 13 feast of Our Lady of Fatima, is a copy of the original in Fatima, Portugal. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, pool) 
Pope Francis prays in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 13. The statue, which was present for the May 13 feast of Our Lady of Fatima, is a copy of the original in Fatima, Portugal. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, pool) 


 Pope Francis will canonize two of the three Portuguese shepherd children—Jacinta Marto and her brother Francisco—to whom Our Lady appeared at the famous shrine in Fatima 100 years ago. Though the Vatican has not said so yet, it is likely that he will do so during his upcoming visit to that shrine on May 12 to13.
The Vatican announced today, March 23, that the pope has opened the door to the canonization of the two children when he formally recognized the second miracle attributed to their intercession at a meeting with the Prefect of the Congregation for Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato.
The two children died young, as Our Lady had told them. The third, Lucia, wrote down the three secrets of Fatima. She was the only one to reach adult life, and became a Carmelite nun. Lucia was born in 1907 and died in 2005, and the cause for her beatification is now well under way. The first two secrets were a call for prayer and penance to save the world from even greater disaster and an end to World War I. The third secret, which attracted the most attention, spoke about the sufferings of the church and the assassination of a pope.

 St. John Paul II, who understood this vision as referring to himself, beatified the two children at the Fatima shrine on May 13, 2000, after recognizing a miracle to their intercession. On that day, the Vatican also announced that the third secret would be revealed soon after by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
When Pope Francis canonizes them, they will become the youngest children (apart from martyrs) ever to be recognized as saints by the church. Jacinta died at age 9, on Feb. 20, 1920, while her brother Francisco died at age 10, on April 4, 1919.
Our Lady appeared to the three poor children several times between May 13, 1917, and Oct. 13, 1917. During the final apparition, “the miracle of the sun” took place and was witnessed by the children and as many as 100,000 people, media reports of the time state.

 ....
Taken from: http://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2017/03/23/pope-francis-will-canonize-two-children-who-saw-our-lady-fatima

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Pope Francis celebrates Ash Wednesday Mass: Full Text

Pope Francis leads the Ash Wednesday Mass at Santa Sabina Basilica in Rome - REUTERS
Pope Francis leads the Ash Wednesday Mass at Santa Sabina Basilica in Rome - REUTERS


01/03/2017 17:30
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass for Ash Wednesday at the Basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine hill in Rome.


In his homily, the Holy Father said Lent is a path that "leads to the triumph of mercy over all that would crush us or reduce us to something unworthy of our dignity as God's children."
Click here to see a report on the Pope's Mass.


Please find below the official English translation of the Pope's homily:


“Return to me with all your heart… return to the Lord” (Jl 2:12, 13).  The prophet Joel makes this plea to the people in the Lord’s name.  No one should feel excluded: “Assemble the aged, gather the children, even infants at the breast, the bridegroom… and the bride” (v. 16).  All the faithful people are summoned to come and worship their God, “for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (v. 13).


We too want to take up this appeal; we want to return to the merciful heart of the Father.  In this season of grace that begins today, we once again turn our eyes to his mercy.  Lent is a path: it leads to the triumph of mercy over all that would crush us or reduce us to something unworthy of our dignity as God’s children.  Lent is the road leading from slavery to freedom, from suffering to joy, from death to life.  The mark of the ashes with which we set out reminds us of our origin: we were taken from the earth, we are made of dust.  True, yet we are dust in the loving hands of God, who has breathed his spirit of life upon each one of us, and still wants to do so.  He wants to keep giving us that breath of life that saves us from every other type of breath: the stifling asphyxia brought on by our selfishness, the stifling asphyxia generated by petty ambition and silent indifference – an asphyxia that smothers the spirit, narrows our horizons and slows the beating of our hearts.  The breath of God’s life saves us from this asphyxia that dampens our faith, cools our charity and strangles every hope. To experience Lent is to yearn for this breath of life that our Father unceasingly offers us amid the mire of our history.


The breath of God’s life sets us free from the asphyxia that so often we fail to notice, or become so used to that it seems normal, even when its effects are felt.  We think it is normal because we have grown so accustomed to breathing air in which hope has dissipated, the air of glumness and resignation, the stifling air of panic and hostility.


Lent is the time for saying no.  No to the spiritual asphyxia born of the pollution caused by indifference, by thinking that other people’s lives are not my concern, and by every attempt to trivialize life, especially the lives of those whose flesh is burdened by so much superficiality.  Lent means saying no to the toxic pollution of empty and meaningless words, of harsh and hasty criticism, of simplistic analyses that fail to grasp the complexity of problems, especially the problems of those who suffer the most.  Lent is the time to say no to the asphyxia of a prayer that soothes our conscience, of an almsgiving that leaves us self-satisfied, of a fasting that makes us feel good.  Lent is the time to say no to the asphyxia born of relationships that exclude, that try to find God while avoiding the wounds of Christ present in the wounds of his brothers and sisters: in a word, all those forms of spirituality that reduce the faith to a ghetto culture, a culture of exclusion.


Lent is a time for remembering.  It is the time to reflect and ask ourselves what we would be if God had closed his doors to us.  What would we be without his mercy that never tires of forgiving us and always gives us the chance to begin anew?  Lent is the time to ask ourselves where we would be without the help of so many people who in a thousand quiet ways have stretched out their hands and in very concrete ways given us hope and enabled us to make a new beginning.


Lent is the time to start breathing again.  It is the time to open our hearts to the breath of the One capable of turning our dust into humanity.  It is not the time to rend our garments before the evil all around us, but instead to make room in our life for all the good we are able to do.  It is a time to set aside everything that isolates us, encloses us and paralyzes us.  Lent is a time of compassion, when, with the Psalmist, we can say: “Restore to us the joy of your salvation, sustain in us a willing spirit”, so that by our lives we may declare your praise (cf. Ps 51:12.15), and our dust – by the power of your breath of life - may become a “dust of love”.


....
Taken from: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/03/01/pope_francis_celebrates_ash_wednesday_mass_full_text/1295847

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Treat each person as a gift: Pope Francis






Pope Francis greets a family at the Vatican.
Pope Francis greets a family at the Vatican. (L'Osservatore Romano via CNA)


.- In his message for Lent 2017, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that they should heed the Scriptures and treat each human person they encounter as a gift.
“Lent is the favorable season for renewing our encounter with Christ, living in his word, in the sacraments and in our neighbor,” he said. “May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s word, be purified of the sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need.”
Scripture is also a gift, the Pope said in his message, which was released last October to help Catholics across the globe prepare for the 2017 Lenten season.
In his message, Pope Francis reflected on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. In that story, a poor man named Lazarus lives on the doorstep of a wealthy man who ignores him. When they die, Lazarus rests in paradise, while the rich man suffers.

Although Lazarus is “practically invisible to the rich man,” Pope Francis said, we should see him as a concrete person, whom God views as a priceless treasure.
“Lazarus teaches us that other persons are a gift,” the pontiff said. “A right relationship with people consists in gratefully recognizing their value. Even the poor person at the door of the rich is not a nuisance, but a summons to conversion and to change.”
In this way, the parable invites us to see each person as a blessing, he said, and Lent is a particularly fitting time to open our door to all those in need and the face of Christ in them.
“Each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and love. The word of God helps us to open our eyes to welcome and love life, especially when it is weak and vulnerable.”
Another important lesson from the parable is how sin can blind us, Pope Francis said. He pointed to the rich man’s ostentatious displays of wealth, saying, “In him we can catch a dramatic glimpse of the corruption of sin, which progresses in three successive stages: love of money, vanity and pride.”
“Money can come to dominate us, even to the point of becoming a tyrannical idol,” the Pope warned. “Instead of being an instrument at our service for doing good and showing solidarity towards others, money can chain us and the entire world to a selfish logic that leaves no room for love and hinders peace.”
“For those corrupted by love of riches, nothing exists beyond their own ego,” the Holy Father warned.
“The result of attachment to money is a sort of blindness. The rich man does not see the poor man who is starving, hurting, lying at his door.”

The end of the parable offers an additional lesson, the Pope continued. In the afterlife, the rich man calls out to Abraham from his place of torment. This is the first mention of the fact that he belongs to the people of God, for during his life, “his only God was himself.”
When the rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his brothers, who are still living, Abraham responds, “They have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them…If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.”
Thus, we ultimately see that the problem of the rich man is a “failure to heed God’s word,” Pope Francis said. “As a result, he no longer loved God and grew to despise his neighbor.”
“The word of God is alive and powerful, capable of converting hearts and leading them back to God. When we close our heart to the gift of God’s word, we end up closing our heart to the gift of our brothers and sisters.”
As we start the journey of Lent, with its emphasis on fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, we have a chance at a new beginning in our own lives, the Pope noted.
“This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God with all their hearts, to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord,” he said, adding that Christ waits for us patiently, ready to forgive us when we fall short.
“Let us pray for one another so that, by sharing in the victory of Christ, we may open our doors to the weak and poor,” he concluded. “Then we will be able to experience and share to the full the joy of Easter.”


....
Taken from: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-has-a-message-for-lent-47880/

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Could Mary be getting a new title this year?

Image result for mary co-redemptrix

By Mary Rezac

Detroit, Mich., Jan 29, 2017 / 03:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Earlier this month, the International Marian Association submitted a request to Pope Francis, asking for the public recognition of the title of Mary as “Co-Redemptrix with Jesus the Redeemer.”
The 10 page document was submitted by the Theological Commission of the International Marian Association, a group of more than 100 theologians, bishops, priests, religious, and lay leaders from over 20 countries dedicated to the “full truth and love of Mary, Mother of Jesus.” It comes during the 100th year anniversary of the Marian apparitions at Fatima, Portugal.
The significance of the request, if it were to receive approval, is that the faithful would be given further clarity on Mary’s unique role in cooperation with Christ in the work of redemption, Dr. Robert Fastiggi, Professor of Mariology at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, told EWTN News.
“I think many people sense the spread of evil in the world and see the importance of highlighting Mary’s role as spiritual Mother,” Dr. Fastiggi said in e-mail comments.
“A papal statement on Marian coredemption would deepen our understanding of Mary’s role as the New Eve who collaborates with her Son, the New Adam, ‘in giving back supernatural life to souls,’” he added, referring to the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium.
The title can be traced back to the 10th century, when some Marian litanies included the title of Mary as Redemptrix, along with her son. It was a development of the idea of Mary as the “New Eve,” a Marian title that has been used since the 2nd century. The prefix of “co-” was added by the 15th century, to clarify that Mary was not the Redeemer, but rather someone who uniquely cooperated in the work of redemption.
“The Co-Redemptrix title never places Mary on a level of equality with Jesus Christ, the only divine Redeemer, as to do so would constitute both heresy and blasphemy,” the Association stated in a press release announcing the request.
“The Co-Redemptrix title is meaningless without Jesus the Redeemer, and in itself focuses upon the Cross of Jesus Christ. Mary Co-Redemptrix proclaims to the world that suffering is redemptive when united to the sufferings of Christ.”
After the prefix was added, title continued to catch on, so much so that the 17th century considered the “golden age” of the title of Mary as Co-Redemptrix. Still, it didn’t receive magisterial recognition until 1908, when the Sacred Congregation for Rites used it in a decree elevating the rank of the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Mary.
Since then, it has been referenced multiple times by the Magisterium, including during the second Vatican council, which ultimately decided against any formal recognition of the title in the document Lumen Gentium.
“The term, however was not rejected because it was false. In the praenotanda or explanatory note that accompanied the first Marian schema of 1962, we are told that, ‘Certain terms and expressions used by Roman Pontiffs have been omitted, which, although most true in themselves (in se verissima), may be difficult for the separated brethren (as in the case of the Protestants) to understand,’” Dr. Fastiggi explained.
“The Council, therefore, recognized the importance of further development and clarification on certain points of Marian doctrine. A papal statement on Marian co-redemption would provide greater clarity on Mary’s unique cooperation with Christ in the work of redemption and the mediation of grace.  It would also open the way for many graces in the life of the Church.”
Popes often grant formal papal recognition to help deepen the theological understanding of the faithful, such as when Bl. Pope Paul VI proclaimed Mary as “Mother of the Church” in 1964.
“The invocation of Mary under various titles like ‘Mother of God’ and ‘Help of Christians’ reinforces Mary’s role in the mystery of salvation,” Dr. Fastiggi noted.
Unfortunately, Dr. Fastiggi said, many Catholics are unaware of the recognition that the title “Co-Redemptrix” has already received so much informal recognition from the magisterium.
“Some are even under the impression that we are not allowed to call Mary ‘Co-Redemptrix’—even though two popes, namely Pius XI (3 times) and St. John Paul II (at least 6 times), have publicly referred to Mary as ‘Co-Redemptrix,’” he said.
And while there are concerns that the title could further confuse Protestants and others who disagree with Catholic teaching on Mary, Dr. Fastiggi believes a formal recognition of the title would actually help with further clarification.
“A formal papal statement would also serve the cause of ecumenism because it would help other Christians know that the Catholic Church clearly distinguishes between the saving work of Christ as the one Savior and Mediator (1 Tim 2: 5–6) and the Blessed Mother’s secondary, dependent but utterly unique cooperation with Christ in the work of redemption and the mediation of grace,” he said.
In a press release announcing the request, the International Marian Association said: “We believe that a public acknowledgement of Mary’s true and continuous role with Jesus in the saving work of Redemption would justly celebrate the role of humanity in God's saving plan; foster greater devotion to the Mother of God; and lead to the release of historic graces through an even more powerful exercise of Our Lady’s maternal roles of intercession for the Church and for all humanity today.”
While the request could lead to a new Marian dogma, Dr. Fastiggi said the Association would likely be happy with any form of formal papal recognition of the title.
“The members of Association realize that it’s up to the Holy Spirit to guide the Holy Father with regard to this petition. In this regard, prayer and trust are essential,” he said.
“We trust in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Father, and the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is our spiritual Mother. May God’s will be done.”

....
Taken from: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/could-mary-be-getting-a-new-title-this-year-44675/

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pope Francis at Angelus: Church called to proclaim Christ

Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Angelus noon prayer he delivered from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan.15, 2017 - AP
Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Angelus noon prayer he delivered from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan.15, 2017 - AP
15/01/2017 14:38

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday. In remarks ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father focused on the witness borne by John the Baptist to Jesus Christ.
“The Church,” said Pope Francis, “is in every age called to do that, which John the Baptist did: to show Jesus to the people, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Click below to hear our report

 
Departing from his prepared text, Pope Francis added, “There’s always trouble when the Church proclaims herself: she loses her way, and knows not where she goes.” Rather, “The Church proclaims Christ – she does not carry herself, she carries Christ, for He and He alone is the one who saves His people from sin: he frees them and leads them to the land of true liberty.”
 
....
Taken from: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/01/15/pope_francis_at_angelus_church_called_to_proclaim_christ/1285892

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Magi embody all those who long for God, says Pope Francis

The magi and the Star of Bethlehem (Dreamstime)
Pope Francis leaves in procession after celebrating Mass marking the feast of the Epiphany in St Peter's Basilica (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
On the feast of the Epiphany Francis said the Wise Men were 'guided by an inner restlessness'
The Magi had the courage to set out on a journey in the hope of finding something new, unlike Herod who was full of himself and unwilling to change his ways, Pope Francis has said.
The Wise Men who set out from the East in search of Jesus personify all those who long for God and reflect “all those who in their lives have let their hearts be anaesthetised”, the Pope said on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany.
“The Magi experienced longing; they were tired of the usual fare. They were all too familiar with, and weary of, the Herods of their own day. But there, in Bethlehem, was a promise of newness, of gratuity,” he said.
Thousands of people were gathered in St Peter’s Basilica as the Pope entered to the sounds of the choir singing “Angels we have heard on high” in Latin. Before taking his place in front of the altar, the Pope stood in front of a statue of baby Jesus, spending several minutes in veneration before kissing it.
The Pope said that the Magi adoring the newborn king highlight two specific actions: seeing and worshipping.
Seeing the star of Bethlehem did not prompt them to embark on their journey but rather, “they saw the star because they had already set out,” he said.
“Their hearts were open to the horizon and they could see what the heavens were showing them, for they were guided by an inner restlessness. They were open to something new,” the Pope said.
This restlessness, he continued, awakens a longing for God that exists in the hearts of all believers who know “that the Gospel is not an event of the past but of the present.”
It is holy longing for God “that helps us keep alert in the face of every attempt to reduce and impoverish our life. A holy longing for God is the memory of faith, which rebels before all prophets of doom,” the Pope said.
Recalling the biblical figures of Simeon, the prodigal son, and Mary Magdalene, the Pope said this longing for God “draws us out of our iron-clad isolation, which makes us think that nothing can change”, and helps us seek Christ.
However, the figure of King Herod presents a different attitude of bewilderment and fear that, when confronted with something new, “closes in on itself and its own achievements, its knowledge, its successes”.
The quest of the Magi led them first to Herod’s palace that, although it befits the birth of king, is only a sign of “power, outward appearances and superiority. Idols that promise only sorrow and enslavement,” he said.
“There, in the palace, they did not see the star guiding them to discover a God who wants to be loved. For only under the banner of freedom, not tyranny, is it possible to realise that the gaze of this unknown but desired king does not abase, enslave, or imprison us,” the Pope said.

People in traditional attire endure cold weather during the annual parade marking the feast of the Epiphany in St Peter's Square (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
People in traditional attire endure cold weather during the annual parade marking the feast of the Epiphany in St Peter’s Square (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Unlike the Magi, the Pope added, Herod is unable to worship the newborn king because he was unwilling to change his way of thinking and “did not want to stop worshipping himself, believing that everything revolved around him”.
Christians are called to imitate the wise men who, “weary of the Herods of their own day,” set out in search of the promise of something new.
“The Magi were able to worship, because they had the courage to set out. And as they fell to their knees before the small, poor and vulnerable infant, the unexpected and unknown child of Bethlehem, they discovered the glory of God,” the Pope said.
After the Mass, Pope Francis greeted tens of thousands of people gathered in St Peter’s Square to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany.
A colourful parade led by the sounds of trumpets and drums, people dressed in traditional and festive clothing contributed to the cheerful atmosphere despite the chilly weather.
Explaining the significance of the Wise Men who presented their gifts to Christ after adoring him, the Pope gave the crowds a gift: a small booklet of reflections on mercy.
The book, entitled “Icons of Mercy”, presents “six Gospel episodes that recall the experience of people transformed by Jesus’s love: the sinful woman, Zacchaeus, Matthew, the publican, the Samaritan, the good thief and the apostle Peter. Six icons of mercy,” the papal almoner’s office said.
Together with the homeless, poor men and women and refugees, religious men and women distributed the books to the crowd. As a thank you, Pope also offered more than 300 homeless men and women sandwiches and drinks.

....
Taken from: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/01/06/the-magi-embody-all-those-who-long-for-god-says-pope-francis/

Friday, January 6, 2017

Join the Prayer Crusade of Reparation!

Header Picture
Select a language




... people praying worldwide ! Goal: 1 million

Come, My Mother, Come!

  • Wars, Islamic terrorism, civil unrest, economic crises, unemployment...
  • Violent persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan, Vietnam, and in China...
  • “Legal” persecution of Christians in the West and Christianophobia in the name of secularism and “human rights” contrary to the Law of God…
  • Blasphemies, profanations, ridicule of the Catholic Faith in films, stage performances, art, radio and TV programmes...
  • Gradual destruction of the traditional family and indissoluble marriage between one man and one woman, promotion of homosexuality and abortion…
  • Corruption of children by means of the infamous “gender ideology”, as well as corruption of youth through fashions, pornography and drugs…
  • Grave crisis of the Faith within the bosom of Holy Mother Church where prelates in high offices promote the auto-demolition of the Church, doctrinal confusion, and the desacralisation of the Eucharist and of Matrimony...
In light of these calamities, a cry of anguish arises from the depths of many hearts:
Will God not have pity on our world?
Is it doomed to be punished and to disappear?
100 years ago Our Lady came to the Earth to warn mankind that it was bordering the abyss, but also came to say that She brought the solution.
To the three shepherd children of Fatima, She presented a simple, threefold solution full of hope:
Prayer, penance and amendment of life!
Nonetheless, one century later, after two world wars, and after the most atrocious terrorist attacks in the history of mankind, where is the conversion, penance and prayer?
Will we present ourselves empty-handed to Our Lady on the occasion of the centenary of the apparitions in which She asked for conversion, penance and prayer as the means to avoid God punishing the world?
1,000,000 people praying the Rosary by the 13th October 2017
This is the bold goal of the Prayer Crusade of Reparation: by the 13th October 2017, 1,000,000 people praying for the conversion of mankind, thus bringing about the promised triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
Join thousands of people on 5 continents who are already part of our
Prayer Crusade of Reparation!
Map Data
Map data ©2017
Map DataMap data ©2017
Map data ©2017
Map

Satellite

Our Lady said at Fatima:

“Pray the rosary every day to obtain peace
for the world and the end of the war .”

* * *

Join the Prayer Crusade of Reparation!

* * *

Your prayer commitment will be taken to
Fatima along with thousands of others!

Rosary

Free Rosary! Free Rosary!

Fill-in your complete address, with house no. and street, to receive FREE a beautiful commemorative Centenary rosary with lapis lazuli blue glass beads !!

Yes! I want to join the Prayer Crusade of Reparation. I will pray:

captcha

Your personal information is kept confidential and is intended for the Association Fatima2017.world and for all associations approved by it, unless you object in writing

Intentions of the Prayer Crusade of Reparation

  1. Increase in devotion to Our Lady;
  2. The establishment of the Reign of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in both the spiritual and temporal spheres;
  3. The restoration of good customs both in the family and society as an indispensable condition to bring peace to the world (2nd part of the Secret of Fatima);
  4. To obtain the special protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for all those who are being persecuted, expelled from their homes, abused and martyred for their Catholic Faith in many parts of the world;
  5. The conversion of sinners for the salvation of their souls.