Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Saint October 18 : St. Luke - Evangelist - Patron of Artists

APOSTLE
Feast: October 18
Information:
Feast Day:
October 18
Born:
Antioch, Turkey
Died:
Greece
Major Shrine:
Padua, Italy
Patron of:
Artists, Physicians, Surgeons

The great apostle of the Gentiles, or rather the Holy Ghost by his pen, is the panegyrist of this glorious evangelist, and his own inspired writings are the highest standing and most authentic commendation of his sanctity, and of those eminent graces which are a just subject of our admiration, but which human praises can only extenuate. St. Luke was a native of Antioch, the metropolis of Syria, a city famous for the agreeableness of its situation, the riches of its traffic, its extent, the number of its inhabitants, the politeness of their manners, and their learning and wisdom. Its schools were the most renowned in all Asia, and produced the ablest masters in all arts and sciences. St. Luke acquired a stock of learning in his younger years, which we are told he improved by his travels in some parts of Greece and Egypt. St. Jerome assures us he was very eminent in his profession, and St. Paul, by calling him his most dear physician, seems to indicate that he had not laid it aside. Besides his abilities in physic, he is said to have been very skillful in painting. The Menology of the Emperor Basil, compiled in 980, Nicephorus, Metaphrastes, and other modern Greeks quoted by Gretzer in his dissertation on this subject, speak much of his excelling in this art, and of his leaving many pictures of Christ and the Blessed Virgin. Though neither the antiquity nor the credit of these authors is of great weight, it must be acknowledged, with a very judicious critic, that some curious anecdotes are found in their writings. In this particular, what they tell us is supported by the authority of Theodorus Lector, who lived in 518, and relates that a picture of the Blessed Virgin painted by St. Luke was sent from Jerusalem to the Empress Pulcheria, who placed it in the church of Hodegorum which she built in her honour at Constantinople. Moreover, a very ancient inscription was found in a vault near the Church of St. Mary in via lata in Rome, in which it is said of a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary discovered there, "One of the seven painted by St. Luke." Three or four such pictures are still in being; the principal is that placed by Paul V in the Barghesian chapel in St. Mary Major.
St. Luke was a proselyte to the Christian religion, but whether from Paganism or rather from Judaism is uncertain; for many Jews were settled in Antioch, but chiefly such as were called Hellenists, who read the Bible in the Greek translation of the Septuagint. St. Jerome observes from his writings that he was more skilled in Greek than in Hebrew, and that therefore he not only always makes use of the Septuagint translation, as the other authors of the New Testament who wrote in Greek do, but he refrains sometimes from translating words when the propriety of the Greek tongue would not bear it. Some think he was converted to the faith by St. Paul at Antioch; others judge this improbable, because that apostle nowhere calls him his son, as he frequently does his converts. St. Epiphanius makes him to have been a disciple of our Lord; which might be for some short time before the death of Christ, though this evangelist says he wrote his gospel from the relations of those "who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word." Nevertheless, from these words many conclude that he became a Christian at Antioch only after Christ's ascension. Tertullian positively affirms that he never was a disciple of Christ whilst he lived on earth. No sooner was he enlightened by the Holy Ghost and initiated in the school of Christ but he set himself heartily to learn the spirit of his faith and to practice its lessons. For this purpose he studied perfectly to die to himself, and, as the church says of him, "He always carried about in his body the mortification of the cross for the honour of the divine name." He was already a great proficient in the habits of a perfect mastery of himself, and of all virtues, when he became St. Paul's companion in his travels and fellow-labourer in the ministry of the gospel. The first time that in his history of the missions of St. Paul he speaks in his own name in the first person is when that apostle sailed from Troas into Macedon in the year 51, soon after St. Barnabas had left him, and St. Irenaeus begins from that time the voyages which St. Luke made with St. Paul. Before this he had doubtless been for some time an assiduous disciple of that great apostle; but from the time he seems never to have left him unless by his order upon commissions for the service of the churches he had planted. It was the height of his ambition to share with that great apostle all his toils, fatigues, dangers, and sufferings. In his company he made some stay at Philippi in Macedon; then he travelled with him through all the cities of Greece, where the harvest every day grew upon their hands. St. Paul mentions him more than once as the companion of his travels, he calls him "Luke the beloved physician," his "fellow labourer." Interpreters usually take Lucius, whom St. Paul calls his kinsman, to be St. Luke, as the same apostle sometimes gives a Latin termination to Silas, calling him Sylvanus. Many with Origen, Eusebius, and St. Jerome say that when St. Paul speaks of his own gospel he means that of St. Luke, though the passage may be understood simply of the gospel which St. Paul preached. He wrote this epistle in the year 57, four years before his first arrival at Rome.
St. Luke mainly insists in his gospel upon what relates to Christ's priestly office; for which reason the ancients, in accommodating the four symbolical representations, mentioned in Ezekiel, to the four evangelists, assigned the ox or calf as an emblem of sacrifices to St. Luke. It is only in the Gospel of St. Luke that we have a full account of several particulate relating to the Annunciation of the mystery of the Incarnation to the Blessed Virgin, her visit to St. Elizabeth, the parable of the prodigal son, and many other most remarkable points. The whole is written with great variety, elegance, and perspicuity. An incomparable sublimity of thought and diction is accompanied with that genuine simplicity which is the characteristic of the sacred penman; and by which the divine actions and doctrine of our Blessed Redeemer are set off in a manner which in every word conveys his holy spirit, and unfolds in every tittle the hidden mysteries and inexhausted riches of the divine love and of all virtues to those who, with a humble and teachable disposition of mind, make these sacred oracles the subject of their assiduous devout meditation. The dignity with which the most sublime mysteries, which transcend all the power of words and even the conception and comprehension of all created beings, ate set off without any pomp of expression has in it something divine; and the energy with which the patience, meekness, charity, and beneficence of a God made man for us are described, his divine lessons laid down, and the narrative of his life given, but especially the dispassionate manner in which his adorable sufferings and death are related, without the least exclamation or bestowing the least harsh epithet on his enemies, is a grander and more noble eloquence on such a theme, and a more affecting and tender manner of writing' than the highest strains or the finest ornaments of speech could be. This simplicity makes the great actions speak themselves, which all borrowed eloquence must extenuate. The sacred penmen in these writings were only the instruments or organs of the Holy Ghost; but their style alone suffices to evince how perfectly free their souls were from the reign or influence of human passions, and in how perfect a degree they were replenished with all those divine virtues and that heavenly spirit which their words breathe.
About the year 56 St. Paul sent St. Luke with St. Titus to Corinth with this high commendation, that his praise in the gospel resounded throughout all the churches. St. Luke attended him to Rome, whither he was sent prisoner from Jerusalem in 61. The apostle remained there two years in chains; but was permitted to live in a house which he hired, though under the custody of a constant guard; and there he preached to those who daily resorted to hear him. St. Luke was the apostle's faithful assistant and attendant during his confinement, and had the comfort to see him set at liberty in 63, the year in which this evangelist finished his Acts of the Apostles. This sacred history he compiled at Rome, by divine inspiration, as an appendix to his gospel, to prevent the false relations of those transactions which some published, and to leave an authentic account of the wonderful works of God in planting his church, and some of the miracles by which he confirmed it, and which were an invincible proof of the truth of Christ's resurrection and of his holy religion. Having in the first twelve chapters related the chief general transactions of the principal apostles in the first establishment of the church, beginning at our Lord's ascension, he from the thirteenth chapter almost confines himself to the actions and miracles of St. Paul, to most of which he had been privy and an eye-witness, and concerning which false reports were spread.
St. Luke did not forsake his master after he was released from his confinement. That apostle in his last imprisonment at Rome writes that the rest had all left him, and that St. Luke alone was with him. St. Epiphanius says that after the martyrdom of St. Paul, St. Luke preached in Italy, Gaul, Dalmatia, and Macedon. By Gaul some understand Cisalpine Gaul, others Galatia. Fortunatus and Metaphrastus say he passed into Egypt and preached in Thebais. Nicephorus says he died at Thebes in Boeotia, and that his tomb was shown near that place in his time; but seems to confound the evangelist with St. Luke Stiriote, a hermit of that country. St. Hippolytus says St. Luke was crucified at Elaea in Peloponnesus near Achaia. The modern Greeks tell us he was crucified on an olive tree. The ancient African Martyrology of the fifth age gives him the titles of Evangelist and Martyr. St. Gregory Nazianzen,St. Paulinus, and St. Gaudentius of Brescia assure us that he went to God by martyrdom. Bede, Ado, Usuard, and Baronius in the Martyrologies only say he suffered much for the faith, and died very old in Bithynia. That he crossed the straits to preach in Bithynia is most probable, but then he returned and finished his course in Achaia; under which name Peloponnesus was then comprised. The modern Greeks say he lived fourscore and four years; which assertion has crept into St. Jerome's account of St. Luke, but is expunged by Martianay, who found those words wanting in all old manuscripts. The bones of St. Luke were translated from Patras in Achaia in 357 by order of the Emperor Constantius, and deposited in the Church of the Apostles at Constantinople, together with those of St. Andrew and St. Timothy. On the occasion of this translation some distribution was made of the relics of St. Luke; St. Gaudentius procured a part for his church at Brescia.St. Paulinus possessed a portion in St. Felix's Church at Nola, and with a part enriched a church which he built at Fondi. The magnificent Church of the Apostles at Constantinople was built by Constantine the Great, whose body was deposited in the porch in a chest of gold, the twelve apostles standing round his tomb. When this church was repaired by an order of Justinian, the masons found three wooden chests or coffins in which, as the inscriptions proved, the bodies of St. Luke, St. Andrew, and St. Timothy were interred. Baronius mentions that the head of St. Luke was brought by St. Gregory from Constantinople to Rome, and laid in the church of his monastery of St. Andrew. Some of his relics are kept in the great Grecian monastery on Mount Athos in Greece.
SOURCE The Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis "..let us look on the Lord who is always at the door,” he knocks and waits." #Homily

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday – the Feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr. Following the Readings of the Day, the Holy Father reflected on the “foolishness” of those, who are unable to hear the Word of God, preferring appearances, idols, or ideologies – like the people of Jerusalem, whose faithlessness caused Our Lord to weep nostalgic tears.
The folly of those who hear not the Word
Francis’ reflection took  the word “fools”, which appears twice in the Readings, as his starting point: Jesus says it to the Pharisees (Lk 11: 37-41), while St. Paul refers to the Pagans (Rm 1: 16-25). St. Paul had also deployed the term to refer to the Christians of Galatia, whom he called “fools” because they let themselves be duped by “new ideas”. This word, “more than a condemnation,” explained Pope Francis, “is a signal,” for it shows the way of foolishness leading to corruption. “These three groups of fools are corrupt,” Pope Francis said.
Jesus told the Doctors of the Law that they resembled whitewashed sepulchres: they became corrupt because they worried only about the “outside of things” being beautiful, but not what is inside, where corruption exists. They were, therefore, “corrupted by vanity, by appearance, by external beauty, by outward justice.” The Pagans, on the other hand, have the corruption of idolatry: they became corrupt because they exchanged the glory of God – which they could have known through reason – for idols.
The folly of Christians today
There are also idolatries today, such as consumerism – the Pope noted – or such as practiced by those, who look for a comfortable god. Finally, those Christians who sell themselves to ideologies, and have ceased to be Christians, often having rather become, “ideologues of Christianity.” All three of these groups, because of their foolishness, “end up in corruption.” Francis then explains what this foolishness consists of:
“Folly is a form of ‘not listening’, one might literally say a nescio, ‘I do not know’, I do not listen. The inability to hearken to the Word: when the Word does not enter, I do not let it in because I do not listen. The fool does not listen. He believes he is listening, but he does not listen. He does his own thing, always – and for this reason the Word of God cannot enter into his heart, and there is no place for love. And if it enters, it enters distilled, transformed by my own conception of reality. The fools do not know how to listen, and this deafness leads to this corruption. The Word of God does not enter, there is no place for love and in the end there is no place for freedom.”
Thus, they become slaves, because they exchange “the truth of God with lies,” and worship creatures instead of the Creator:
“They are not free and do not listen: this deafness leaves room neither for love, nor for freedom; it always leads us to slavery. Do I listen to the Word of God? Do I let it in? This Word, of which we have heard in the singing of the Alleluia – the Word of God is alive, effective, revealing the feelings and thoughts of the heart. It cuts, it gets inside. Do I let this Word in, or am I deaf to it? Do I transform it into appearance, transform it into idolatry, into idolatrous habits, or into ideology? Thus, it does not enter: this is the folly of Christians.”
Concluding exhortation: do not be foolish
Pope Francis concludes with an exhortation: to look at the “icons of today's fools,” adding, “there are foolish Christians and even foolish shepherds,” in this day. “Saint Augustine,” he recalled, “takes the stick to them, with gusto,” because “the folly of the shepherds hurts the flock.”
“Let us look at the icon of foolish Christians,” urged Pope Francis, “and beside this folly let us look on the Lord who is always at the door,” he knocks and waits. His concluding invitation is therefore that we should consider the Lord’s nostalgia for us: “of the love He had for us first”:
“And if we fall into this stupidity, we move away from Him and He feels this nostalgia – nostalgia  for us – and Jesus wept with this longing cry, weeping over Jerusalem: it was nostalgia for a people He had chosen, a people He loved, but who had gone away for foolishness, who preferred appearances, idols, or ideologies.”

#BreakingNews Apparitions of Mary to Catholic and Hindu Children in Kerala, India draws Flocks to Church

Alleged Marian apparitions draw hundreds to Kerala church 


By Cyriac Sebastian

Kochi: Hundreds of people are flocking to a church in Kerala after a group of children claimed to have had Marian apparitions while praying there.
The children are students of St Ambrose Lower Primary School at Edavanakkad adjacent to a parish church with the same name under the archdiocese of Verapoly.
According to an explanatory note posted on the parish billboard, it all began on September 23 when a Hindu girl student, Krishnaveda, went to the church to pray for her ear problem and applied some holy water.
The girl later told her companions that she felt immediate relief as she applied the holy water on her ear.
As the children came out to pray in the church, they saw in the sky a vision of Jesus being scourged to pray and when they looked up, the church note signed by parish priest Father Mathew D’Cunha says.
Reciting the name of “Jesus” they went inside the church to thank God for curing Krishnaveda’s ear problem. Ambrosiya, the only Catholic girl among them, volunteered to lead them in reciting the rosary.
Since she did not know the “Mysteries of Light” recited on Thursdays, she had requested her class teacher’s help. The children were already praying when the teacher reached the church around 1:45 pm.
As they were praying one of the girls, Anusree, told the teacher that the Blessed Virgin was standing under the altar table. They also felt the smell of jasmine flower. The children said the apparition called them to come closer. All this frightened another girl, Sivanya, who said she wanted to go from there.
As the teacher led the children out of the church, the girls saw the apparition coming after them pleading not to go away. As the teacher went to inform other teachers, the children went to call Father Merton D’Silva, the assistant pastor.
The priest took the children back to the church to pray. The children claimed they could see Mother Mary standing under the altar table. But the elders, including Father D’Silva could not see anything.

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The children said the alleged apparition promised them help in studies and send them the Holy Spirit. They were also promised to be taken to heaven. As the news spread people began to gather and the parents took their children home.
A similar phenomenon occurred on October 3 when a large crowd prayed the rosary in the church with the children. After some time, everyone experienced the smell of jasmine flowers. The children saw the vision again. The priest asked the children for the exact spot where his head and prayed with tears. The gathering saw a bright light and the priest said he felt someone patting his head.
The note said many in the crowd received the gift of contrition as they prayed in the church. Since then, the church has witnessed a steady flow of visitors.
Father D’Silva said the archdiocesan authorities have decided to wait and watch before intervening.

Meanwhile the church plans to hold a night vigil on October 12.
Text from MattersIndia

Join World-wide #Rosary Prayer to Change the World - on October 18th at 9am - SHARE

World-Wide recitation of the rosary in homes and schools for world peace and unity on Wednesday, October 18. Annual event organized by the international pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (CAN) to foster peace and understanding. “October is the month of the Holy Rosary in the Catholic Church. This year, the prayer campaign is dedicated to the children in Syria, the innocent victims of a never-ending war,” it said. “In many areas of the world, lessons will even be interrupted for half an hour so that the children can participate,” ACN added. ACN Philippines started the “One Million Children Praying the Rosary” campaign after it began its operation, as one of only two national offices in Asia, last year. Organizers asked Catholics to do their part in the global prayer campaign by joining children in every part of the world in praying. This year marks the 100th anniversary since the Blessed Mother appeared to three children – Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta – at Fatima in Portugal asking them to pray the rosary for world peace. ACN President Cardinal Mauro Piacenza said that “the best thing ACN can do for peace in this world is to take the message from heaven seriously.” “Shouldn’t we be doing so much more to teach children and support them in playing a part in this peace plan, a plan that is more topical than ever today?” Piacenza said. Last year, children in 69 countries took part in the prayer campaign, which was first initiated in Venezuela in 2005. Materials for the prayer campaign ACN be downloaded here: http://www.millionkidspraying.org.

#BreakingNews Callista Gingrich confirmed New US Ambassador to Vatican - Senate approved


(Vatican Radio) Callista L. Gingrich is the new United States Ambassador-Designate to the Holy See. She was confirmed in a vote on Monday by the  United States Senate.
Her main responsibility as Ambassador with be to serve as the liason between the Holy See and the US Government.
A communiqué released by the US Embassy to the Holy See provides a brief biography:
Ambassador-Designate Gingrich is the former President and CEO of Gingrich Productions, a multimedia production and consulting company in Arlington, Virginia. She is the author of the “Ellis the Elephant” children’s American history series and co-author of “Rediscovering God in America.”  Ms. Gingrich is also the producer of several historical documentary films.  She has sung for two decades with the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.  Previously, Ms. Gingrich served as a congressional aide in the U.S. House of Representatives and as the President of The Gingrich Foundation, which supports charitable causes.  

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday October 17, 2017 - #Eucharist


Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 468


Reading 1ROM 1:16-25

Brothers and sisters:
I am not ashamed of the Gospel.
It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
for Jew first, and then Greek.
For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith;
as it is written, "The one who is righteous by faith will live."

The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven
against every impiety and wickedness
of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
For what can be known about God is evident to them,
because God made it evident to them.
Ever since the creation of the world,
his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity
have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.
As a result, they have no excuse;
for although they knew God
they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks.
Instead, they became vain in their reasoning,
and their senseless minds were darkened.
While claiming to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God
for the likeness of an image of mortal man
or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.

Therefore, God handed them over to impurity
through the lusts of their hearts
for the mutual degradation of their bodies.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie
and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator,
who is blessed forever. Amen. 

Responsorial PsalmPS 19:2-3, 4-5

R. (2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

AlleluiaHEB 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 11:37-41

After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
The Lord said to him, "Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you."

Monday, October 16, 2017

Saint October 17 : St. Ignatius of #Antioch : Patron of Throat diseases


 


St. Ignatius of Antioch
BISHOP, MARTYR
Feast: October 17
Information:
Feast Day:
October 17
Born:
50 in Syria
Died:
between 98-117, Rome
Major Shrine:
Relics are in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome
Patron of:
against throat diseases, Church in eastern Mediterranean; Church in North Africa

Also called Theophorus (ho Theophoros); born in Syria, around the year 50; died at Rome between 98 and 117.
More than one of the earliest ecclesiastical writers have given credence, though apparently without good reason, to the legend that Ignatius was the child whom the Savior took up in His arms, as described in Mark, ix, 35. It is also believed, and with great probability, that, with his friend Polycarp, he was among the auditors of the Apostle St. John. If we include St. Peter, Ignatius was the third Bishop of Antioch and the immediate successor of Evodius (Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl.", II, iii, 22). Theodoret ("Dial. Immutab.", I, iv, 33a, Paris, 1642) is the authority for the statement that St. Peter appointed Ignatius to the See of Antioch. St. John Chrysostom lays special emphasis on the honor conferred upon the martyr in receiving his episcopal consecration at the hands of the Apostles themselves ("Hom. in St. Ig.", IV. 587). Natalis Alexander quotes Theodoret to the same effect (III, xii, art. xvi, p. 53).
All the sterling qualities of ideal pastor and a true soldier of Christ were possessed by the Bishop of Antioch in a preeminent degree. Accordingly, when the storm of the persecution of Domitian broke in its full fury upon the Christians of Syria, it found their faithful leader prepared and watchful. He was unremitting in his vigilance and tireless in his efforts to inspire hope and to strengthen the weaklings of his flock against the terrors of the persecution. The restoration of peace, though it was short-lived, greatly comforted him. But it was not for himself that he rejoiced, as the one great and ever-present wish of his chivalrous soul was that he might receive the fullness of Christian discipleship through the medium of martyrdom. His desire was not to remain long unsatisfied. Associated with the writings of St. Ignatius is a work called "Martyrium Ignatii ", which purports to be an account by eyewitnesses of the martyrdom of St. Ignatius and the acts leading up to it. In this work, which such competent Protestant critics as Pearson and Ussher regard as genuine, the full history of that eventful journey from Syria to Rome is faithfully recorded for the edification of the Church of Antioch. It is certainly very ancient and is reputed to have been written by Philo, deacon of Tarsus, and Rheus Agathopus, a Syrian, who accompanied Ignatius to Rome. It is generally admitted, even by those who regarded it as authentic, that this work has been greatly interpolated. Its most reliable form is that found in the "Martyrium Colbertinum" which closes the mixed recension and is so called because its oldest witness is the tenth-century Codex Colbertinus (Paris).
According to these Acts, in the ninth year of his reign, Trajan, flushed with victory over the Scythians and Dacians, sought to perfect the universality of his dominion by a species of religious conquest. He decreed, therefore, that the Christians should unite with their pagan neighbors in the worship of the gods. A general persecution was threatened, and death was named as the penalty for all who refused to offer the prescribed sacrifice. Instantly alert to the danger that threatened, Ignatius availed himself of all the means within his reach to thwart the purpose of the emperor. The success of his zealous efforts did not long remain hidden from the Church's persecutors. He was soon arrested and led before Trajan, who was then sojourning in Antioch. Accused by the emperor himself of violating the imperial edict, and of inciting others to like transgressions, Ignatius valiantly bore witness to the faith of Christ. If we may believe the account given in the "Martyrium", his bearing before Trajan was characterized by inspired eloquence, sublime courage, and even a spirit of exultation. Incapable of appreciating the motives that animated him, the emperor ordered him to be put in chains and taken to Rome, there to become the food of wild beasts and a spectacle for the people.
That the trials of this journey to Rome were great we gather from his letter to the Romans (par. 5): "From Syria even to Rome I fight with wild beasts, by land and sea, by night and by day, being bound amidst ten leopards, even a company of soldiers, who only grow worse when they are kindly treated." Despite all this, his journey was a kind of triumph. News of his fate, his destination, and his probable itinerary had gone swiftly before. At several places along the road his fellow-Christians greeted him with words of comfort and reverential homage. It is probable that he embarked on his way to Rome at Seleucia, in Syria, the nearest port to Antioch, for either Tarsus in Cilicia, or Attalia in Pamphylia, and thence, as we gather from his letters, he journeyed overland through Asia Minor. At Laodicea, on the River Lycus, where a choice of routes presented itself, his guards selected the more northerly, which brought the prospective martyr through Philadelphia and Sardis, and finally to Smyrna, where Polycarp, his fellow-disciple in the school of St. John, was bishop. The stay at Smyrna, which was a protracted one, gave the representatives of the various Christian communities in Asia Minor an opportunity of greeting the illustrious prisoner, and offering him the homage of the Churches they represented. From the congregations of Ephesus, Magnesia, and Tralles, deputations came to comfort him. To each of these Christian communities he addressed letters from Smyrna, exhorting them to obedience to their respective bishops, and warning them to avoid the contamination of heresy. These, letters are redolent with the spirit of Christian charity, apostolic zeal, and pastoral solicitude. While still there he wrote also to the Christians of Rome, begging them to do nothing to deprive him of the opportunity of martyrdom.
From Smyrna his captors took him to Troas, from which place he dispatched letters to the Christians of Philadelphia and Smyrna, and to Polycarp. Besides these letters, Ignatius had intended to address others to the Christian communities of Asia Minor, inviting them to give public expression to their sympathy with the brethren in Antioch, but the altered plans of his guards, necessitating a hurried departure, from Troas, defeated his purpose, and he was obliged to content himself with delegating this office to his friend Polycarp. At Troas they took ship for Neapolis. From this place their journey led them overland through Macedonia and Illyria. The next port of embarkation was probably Dyrrhachium (Durazzo). Whether having arrived at the shores of the Adriatic, he completed his journey by land or sea, it is impossible to determine. Not long after his arrival in Rome he won his long-coveted crown of martyrdom in the Flavian amphitheater. The relics of the holy martyr were borne back to Antioch by the deacon Philo of Cilicia, and Rheus Agathopus, a Syrian, and were interred outside the gates not far from the beautiful suburb of Daphne. They were afterwards removed by the Emperor Theodosius II to the Tychaeum, or Temple of Fortune which was then converted into a Christian church under the patronage of the martyr whose relics it sheltered. In 637 they were translated to St. Clement's at Rome, where they now rest. The Church celebrates the feast of St. Ignatius on 1 February.
The character of St. Ignatius, as deduced from his own and the extant writings of his contemporaries, is that of a true athlete of Christ. The triple honor of apostle, bishop, and martyr was well merited by this energetic soldier of the Faith. An enthusiastic devotion to duty, a passionate love of sacrifice, and an utter fearlessness in the defense of Christian truth, were his chief characteristics. Zeal for the spiritual well-being of those under his charge breathes from every line of his writings. Ever vigilant lest they be infected by the rampant heresies of those early days; praying for them, that their faith and courage may not be wanting in the hour of persecution; constantly exhorting them to unfailing obedience to their bishops; teaching them all Catholic truth ; eagerly sighing for the crown of martyrdom, that his own blood may fructify in added graces in the souls of his flock, he proves himself in every sense a true, pastor of souls, the good shepherd that lays down his life for his sheep.
The Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis "To love means not continuing to divide the human family into those who more than they need..." FULL TEXT + Video

VATICAN.VA Press Release
Visit of the Holy Father Francis to the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome for World Food Day, 16.10.2017



This morning, the Holy Father Francis visited the headquarters of the FAO in Rome for the celebration of World Food Day, this year on the theme: Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development.
Upon arrival, at 8.50, the Pope was welcomed by the Director General of the FAO, Dr. José Graziano da Silva, and the Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations Organisations and Organs for Food and Agriculture (FAO, IFAD, WFP), the Rev. Msgr. Fernando Chica Arellano.
In the entrance hall, the sculpture donated by the Holy Father to the FAO was unveiled.
The Pope then attended a brief meeting, in the China Hall, with the Director General, the adjunct Director General Daniel Gustafson, and the Head of the Cabinet, Mario Lubetkin. The signing of the Book of Honour took place at the end.
The Pope proceeded to the second floor of the building, where in the Caribbean Hall he greeted the President of Madagascar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Madagascar, the Minister of Agriculture of Madagascar, the Minister of Agriculture of Italy, Minister of Agriculture of Canada, Minister of Agriculture of France, Minister of Agriculture of the United States of America, the Under-Secretary for the Environment of Great Britain, the Secretary for Agriculture of Germany, the European Commissioner for Agriculture, the Commissioner for Agriculture of the African Union, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, the Ambassador of Japan to the FAO, the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Executive Director of the World Food Program.
At 9.15, in the Plenary Hall, after the opening of the Meeting by Mr. Enrique Yeves, the screening of a video on the theme of World Food Day and the introductory words by the Director General, Dr. José Graziano da Silva, the Pope gave his address. At the end, the Moderator declared the suspension of the meeting and the Holy Father Francis left the room. He then took leave of the FAO headquarters and at 10.15, returned to the Vatican.
The following is the Holy Father Francis’ address during the opening of the meeting in the Plenary Hall:

FULL TEXT Address of the Holy Father
Mr. Director General,
Distinguished Authorities,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

I wish to thank the Director General, Professor José Graziano da Silva, for the invitation and for his words of welcome, and I greet with affection the authorities who accompany us, as well as the Representatives of the Member States and those who have the possibility of following along from the offices of the FAO around the world.
I address a special greeting to the Ministers of Agriculture of the G7 present here, following their summit in which they discussed issues which demand responsibility not only in relation to development and production, but also with respect to the international Community as a whole.
1. The celebration of this World Food Day unites us in memory of that 16 October of the year 1945, when governments, with the intention of eliminating hunger in the world through development of the agricultural sector, instituted the FAO. It was a period of grave food insecurity and major displacements of the population, with millions of people seeking a place to survive the miseries and adversity caused by the war.
In the light of this, reflecting on the effects of food security on human mobility means returning to the commitment that gave rise to the FAO, in order to renew it. The current situation demands greater responsibility on all levels, not only to guarantee the necessary production or equitable distribution of the fruits of the earth – this duty is taken for granted – but above all to guarantee the right of all human beings to be nourished according to their own needs, also participating in decisions that effect them and in the realisation of their own aspirations, without having to part from their loved ones.
Faced with an aim of such significance, the credibility of the entire international system is at stake. We know that cooperation is increasingly conditioned by partial commitments, which still now limit aid in emergencies. Even death by hunger or the abandonment of one’s own land is daily news, which risks being met with indifference. It is therefore urgent to find new paths, to transform the possibilities available to us into a guarantee that permits each person to look to the future with well-founded trust and not only with desire.
The scenario of international relations shows a growing capacity for giving answers to the expectations of the human family, also with the contribution of science and technology which, studying the problems, propose appropriate solutions. Yet even these new developments do not succeed in eliminating the exclusion of much of the world’s population: how many are the victims of malnutrition, wars, climate change? How many people lack work and essential items, and are forced to leave their land, exposing themselves to many and terrible forms of exploitation? Valorising technology in the service of development is certainly a path to take, provided it leads to concrete actions to reduce the number of those who suffer from hunger or to govern the phenomenon of forced migration.
2. The relationship between hunger and migration can only be tackled if we go to the root of problem. In this regard, studies conducted by the United Nations, as well as many other civil society organisations, agree that there are two main obstacles to overcome: conflicts and climate change.
How can conflicts be overcome? International law gives us the means to prevent them or to resolve them quickly, avoiding their prolongation and the production of famines and destruction of the social fabric. Let us think of the people afflicted by wars that have lasted for decades, which could have been avoided or at least stopped, and which instead propagate their disastrous effects including food insecurity and the forced displacement of people. Good will and dialogue are needed to curb conflicts, and it is necessary to make a firm commitment to gradual and systematic disarmament, as provided for by the United Nations Charter, and to remedy the scourge of arms trafficking. Of what value is it to denounce the fact that millions of people are victims of hunger and malnutrition as a result of conflicts, if we do not work effectively for peace and disarmament?
As for climate change, we see the consequences every day. Thanks to scientific knowledge, we know how the problems are to be faced; and the international community has drawn up the necessary legal instruments, such as the Paris Agreement, from which however some are withdrawing. There is a re-emergence of the nonchalance towards the delicate balances of ecosystems, the presumption of being able to manipulate and control the planet’s limited resources, and greed for profit. It is therefore necessary to make an effort for a concrete and active consensus if we wish to avoid more tragic effects, which will continue to impact upon the poorest and most helpless. We are called to propose a change in lifestyles, in the use of resources, in production criteria, including consumption that, with regard to food, involves growing losses and waste. We cannot resign ourselves to saying “someone else will take care of it”.
I think that these are the preconditions for any serious discussion of food security linked to the phenomenon of migration. Certainly wars and climate change cause hunger, so let us therefore avoid presenting it as if it were an incurable disease. The recent estimates provided by your experts foresee an increase in global production of cereals to levels that enable greater consistency to be given to global reserves. This gives hope, and demonstrates that if we work paying attention to needs and countering speculation, results will not be lacking. Indeed, food resources are not infrequently left at the mercy of speculation, which measures them solely with regard to the economic prosperity of the big producers or in relation to the potential for consumption and not the real needs of the people. This leads to conflicts and waste, and increases the numbers of the poorest on earth who seek a future outside their countries of origin.
3. In view of all this, we can and must change direction (cf. Encyclical Laudato si’, 53; 61; 163; 202). Faced with the increased demand for food it is indispensable that the fruits of the land be available to all. For some it would be enough to reduce the number of mouths to feed and in this way solve the problem; but it is a false solution if we think of the levels of food waste and models of consumption that squander many resources. Reducing is easy; sharing instead demands conversion, and this is imperative.
Therefore I pose – and I pose to you – this question: is it too much to think of introducing into the language of international cooperation the category of love, understood as gratuitousness, parity in negotiation, solidarity, the culture of giving, fraternity, mercy? In effect, these words express the practical content of the term “humanitarian”, widely used at international level. To love one’s brothers and to do so first, without waiting for it to be reciprocated; this is a Gospel principal that is found in many cultures and religions, and becomes the principle of humanity in the language of international relations. It is to be hoped that diplomacy and multilateral Institutions nurture and organise this capacity to love, so that it may become the primary way to guarantee not only food security, but human security in a global sense. We cannot work only if others do so, nor can we limit ourselves to having pity, because pity stops at emergency aid, whereas love inspires justice and is essential for realising a just social order among diverse realities that wish to run the risk of the mutual encounter. To love means to contribute so that every country increases its production and reaches food self-sufficiency. To love translates into thinking of new models of development and consumption, and adopting policies that do not aggravate the situation of the less advanced populations, or their external dependency. To love means not continuing to divide the human family into those who more than they need, and those who lack the essential.
The efforts of diplomacy have shown us, also in recent events, that it is possible to stop the recourse to the use of weapons of mass destruction. We are all aware of the capacity of destruction of these instruments. But are we equally aware of the effects of poverty and exclusion? How can we stop people willing to risk everything, entire generations that may disappear because they lack their daily bread, or are victims of violence or climate changes? They head where they see a light or perceive the hope of life. They cannot be stopped by physical, economic, legislative or ideological barriers: only a consistent application of the principle of humanity can do so. On the other hand, we see that public development aid is reduced and the activity of the multilateral institutions is limited, while bilateral agreements are used which subordinate cooperation to the fulfilment of particular agendas and alliances or, simply, to a momentary tranquillity. On the contrary, the management of human mobility requires coordinated and systematic intergovernmental action in accordance with existing international norms, and permeated with love and intelligence. Its objective is a meeting of peoples that enriches all and generates union and dialogue, not exclusion or vulnerability.
Here, allow me join the debate on vulnerability, which causes division at the international level when it comes to immigrants. A vulnerable person is one who is in an inferior situation and cannot defend himself, who has no means, or rather, experiences exclusion. This is because he is compelled by violence, by natural situations or, even worse, by indifference, intolerance and even hatred. In this condition, it is right to identify the causes so as to act with the necessary competence. But it is not acceptable that, in order to avoid commitment, one entrenches oneself behind linguistic sophisms that do not honour diplomacy, but rather reduce it from the “art of the possible” to a sterile exercise to justify selfishness and inactivity.
It is to be hoped that all this will be taken into account in the development of the Global Pact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration, currently underway in the United Nations.
4. Let us listen to the cry of so many of our marginalised and excluded brothers: “I am hungry, I am a stranger, I am naked, sick, confined in a refugee camp”. It is a request for justice, not a plea or an emergency call. There is a need for broad and sincere dialogue at all levels, so that the best solutions can be found and a new relationship be nurtured between the various actors on the international scene, characterised by mutual responsibility, solidarity and communion.
The yoke of misery generated by the often tragic displacement of migrants can be eliminated through prevention in the form of development projects that create work and the capacity to respond to environmental crises. Prevention costs far less than the effects of land degradation or water pollution, scourges that plague the nerve centres of the planet, where poverty is the only law, diseases are on the increase and life expectancy is decreasing.
The initiatives that are being implemented are many, and praiseworthy. However, they are not enough: it is urgent to continue to promote new efforts and to finance programs to combat hunger and structural poverty in a more effective and promising way. But while the aim is to promote a diversified and productive agriculture, taking into account the real demands of a country, it is not however lawful to remove arable land from the population, enabling land grabbing (acaparamiento de tierras) to continue to be profitable, sometimes with the complicity of those who should defend the interests of the people. The temptation to work to the advantage of small groups of the population, as well as to use external aid inappropriately, favouring corruption, or in an illegal way, must be removed.
The Catholic Church, with her institutions, and having a direct and concrete knowledge of the situations to be faced or of the needs to be met, wishes to participate directly in this effort by virtue of her mission, which leads her to love everyone and also compels her to remind those who bear national or international responsibility of the overriding duty to meet the needs of the poorest.
I hope that each person may discover, in the silence of his or her own faith or convictions, the motivations, principles and contributions to give the FAO and other intergovernmental institutions the courage to improve and work tirelessly for the good of the human family.
Thank you.

#Consecration to the #SacredHeart of Jesus - #1stFriday Promises and Instructions - Prayers - Share!

PRAYER OF CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART 
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
 "O Sacred Heart of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee. "I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. . . I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope for all from Thine infinite goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee. I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite goodness, grant that my name be engraved on Thy Heart for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants. Amen.
PROMISES OF THE HEART OF JESUS FOR NINE FIRST FRIDAYS To Those that Live the Devotion to His Sacred Heart By SCTJM The First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is based on a promise made by Our Lord Jesus Christ during an Apparition to St. Margaret Mary. This promise was implicitly approved by the Church in the 1920 canonization of St. Margaret Mary. The promise reads: "I promise you in the excessive Mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful Love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the Grace of Final Penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."
 Purpose of the Devotion: Reparation to the Heart of Jesus
 In order to receive these graces we should: 
 1-Recieve without interruption Holy Communion for nine consecutive first Fridays.
 2-Have the intention of honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus persevering in our faith until the end.
3-Offer each Holy Communion as an act of expiation for the offenses committed against this Holy Sacrament.
 4-Pray: "O Lord, who in the Heart of Your Son, wounded by our sins, has deposited infinite treasures of grace - we pray, that upon receiving the homage of our love, we have offered you a sufficient reparation.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Heart of Jesus, I trust in You."
 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus 
 1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless those places wherein the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
 11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.