Sunday, May 31, 2015

#BreakingNews US Vice-President son Beau Biden dies of Cancer at age 46 - RIP

The son of Joe Biden, the US Vice-President, has died. Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III (February 3, 1969 – May 30, 2015) was an American attorney, an officer in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG), and politician from Wilmington, Delaware. He died of brain cancer, at age 46 on 30 May 2015. Beau Biden was a rising star of US politics but suffered health problems in recent years. He had intended to run for Delaware state governor in 2016. "The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words", the vice-president said. In a statement, President Barack Obama said: "Michelle and I are grieving tonight." "Beau was a good, big-hearted, devoutly Catholic and deeply faithful man, who made a difference in the lives of all he touched - and he lives on in their hearts." Beau Biden was diagnosed with brain cancer in August 2013 and underwent treatment. However, the cancer returned earlier this year. Announcing the death in a statement, the vice-president said: "It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life." Beau served in Iraq in 2009. He was in office January 2, 2007 – January 6, 2015. His wife was Hallie Biden and they had two children Natalie and Hunter.
Beau's parents were Joseph Biden, Jr. and Neilia Hunter.  He served the United States Army from 2002–2015 Rank Army-USA.
He was a member of the Democratic Party and the older son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and older step-son of Second Lady of the United States Jill Biden. In his early life his mother and younger sister, Naomi Christina Biden, (pictured below) were killed in an automobile accident in 1972.
Beau and his brother Hunter were seriously injured. He and his brother encouraged his father to marry again, and Jill Jacobs became their stepmother in 1977. His half-sister Ashley was born in 1981. Joe Biden took oath of office as senator for Delaware by his son Beau's hospital bed in 1973. Joe Biden has said, "Beau embodied my father's saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did," he said, adding: "We know that Beau's spirit will live on in all of us." "Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known," the statement ended.
Please pray for the repose of his soul and his family.

#PopeFrancis “capable of reflecting the splendor of the Trinity and of evangelizing, not with words alone, but with the strength of God’s love...


Pope Francis during Angelus prayer - AP
31/05/2015 13:41


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says that Holy Trinity Sunday exhorts us to live “one with the other”, to “welcome the beauty of the Gospel message” and to learn to ask forgiveness.
Speaking on Sunday morning during the Angelus to some 50,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope also spoke of the need of ecclesial communities to become ever more “family”.Marking the liturgical feast of Holy Trinity Sunday, the Pope reminded those present that it is celebrated in honor of the most fundamental of Christian beliefs, the mystery of the three Persons of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, — who are all equally God, and cannot be divided, the Pope said this solemnity renews in us “our own mission to live in communion with God and with each other”.
He said: “We are not called to live without the other, above or against the other, but with the other, for the other and in the other”.
This – the Pope said - means welcoming and bearing witness to the beauty of the Gospel; loving each other, sharing joy and suffering, learning how to forgive”.
And referring specifically to ecclesial communities, he said they are called to be ever more family, “capable of reflecting the splendor of the Trinity and of evangelizing, not with words alone, but with the strength of God’s love that lives within us”.
Explaining to those present that the Holy Spirit “guides us towards full knowledge of Christ’s teachings”, and that Jesus “came to the world to acquaint us with the Father”, everything in Christian life – he said – revolves around the mystery of the Trinity”:
“So let’s pitch our lives high, remembering for which glory we exist, we work, we fight, we suffer; and in which immense prize we are called to participate in”.
And the Pope invited all those present to make the sign of the cross together saying out loud: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.
Concluding, Pope Francis prayed to Our Lady to help the Church “to always be a hospitable community where every person, especially the poor and the marginalized, may find a warm welcome”.
After the Angelus Prayer the Pope recalled that the traditional Corpus Domini procession will be held in Rome this coming week.
He invited everyone to join in this “solemn act of public faith and love for Jesus” on Thursday, when the procession will take place between the Rome Basilicas of St. John Lateran and Saint Mary Major.

Free Catholic Movie - "Mary, Mother of Jesus" - Stars Christian Bale

Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999) TV Movie - 88 min - Drama - 14 November 1999 (USA) Director: Kevin Connor Writer: Albert Ross Stars: Christian Bale, Pernilla August, Melinda Kinnaman

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. May 31, 2015 - Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Lectionary: 165


Reading 1DT 4:32-34, 39-40

Moses said to the people:
"Ask now of the days of old, before your time,
ever since God created man upon the earth;
ask from one end of the sky to the other:
Did anything so great ever happen before?
Was it ever heard of?
Did a people ever hear the voice of God
speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live?
Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself
from the midst of another nation,
by testings, by signs and wonders, by war,
with strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors,
all of which the LORD, your God,
did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
This is why you must now know,
and fix in your heart, that the LORD is God
in the heavens above and on earth below,
and that there is no other.
You must keep his statutes and commandments that I enjoin on you today,
that you and your children after you may prosper,
and that you may have long life on the land
which the LORD, your God, is giving you forever."

Responsorial PsalmPS 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22

R. (12b) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made;
by the breath of his mouth all their host.
For he spoke, and it was made;
he commanded, and it stood forth.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Reading 2ROM 8:14-17

Brothers and sisters:
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you received a Spirit of adoption,
through whom we cry, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if only we suffer with him
so that we may also be glorified with him.

AlleluiaREV 1:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit;
to God who is, who was, and who is to come.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."

Feast May 31 Visitation of Mary to her Cousin Elizabeth #BlessedVirgin

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin
Feast: May 31
Information:Feast Day:
May 31
Assuming that the Annunciation and the Incarnation took place about the vernal equinox, Mary left Nazareth at the end of March and went over the mountains to Hebron, south of Jerusalem, to wait upon her cousin Elizabeth, because her presence and much more the presence of the Divine Child in her womb, according to the will of God, was to be the source of very great graces to the Blessed John, Christ's Forerunner. The event is related in Luke 1:39-57. Feeling the presence of his Divine Saviour, John, upon the arrival of Mary, leaped in the womb of his mother; he was then cleansed from original sin and filled with the grace of God. Our Lady now for the first time exercised the office which belonged to the Mother of God made man, that He might by her mediation sanctify and glorify us. St. Joseph probably accompanied Mary, returned to Nazareth, and when, after three months, he came again to Hebron to take his wife home, the apparition of the angel, mentioned in Matthew 1:19-25, may have taken place to end the tormenting doubts of Joseph regarding Mary's maternity.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Saint May 31 St. Mechtildis of Edelstetten : #Miracle Worker : Died 1160

St. Mechtildis was born around 1125 in Bavaria. Here parents were Count Berthold of Andechs and Sophia. When Mechtildis was five, her parents placed her in the Monastery they had founded on their estate at Diessen, Bavaria. The Nuns brought her up, and Mechtildis grew up to be a devout and prayerful young lady.
 She grew in piety and eventually became a Benedictine Nun. She was elected Abbess at a young age after her Superior died. Although her parents founded the Monastery, she felt God chose her calling to become a Nun. Her holiness and reputation spread, and when she was twenty eight, the Bishop of Augsburg appointed her Abbess of Edelstetten and told her to reform the Convent. Despite her protests that she was not old enough for the task and could be unable to cope with the problems of the Convent, she accepted the appointment.
 She received instructions from Pope Anastasius IV about the reform that he desired. She received a warm welcome at first, but soon into her new position she was met with a great deal of resistance. When she began to enforce discipline, they were not cooperative with her. The measures that she took were that the Nuns start observing the Benedictine Rule, that the enclosure of the Convent be followed, especially the rule denying admission to visitors who came to spread gossip. She was only able to succeed after the Bishop expelled the main troublemakers. Soon she won over the other Sisters. In addition to her reputation for holiness, she had strong administration skills. She became well know for her miracles of healing, restoring speech and vision, and her mystical trances and ecstasies that would often last for hours. She was considered a model of Religious life. Shortly before her death in 1160,
St. Mechtildis resigned as Abbess and returned to Diessen, where she died on May 31. Her life is an example that reminds us, whether we are Religious, Married or Single, we are all called to enter into the holiness and love of God, and to be of service to others. Shared from Newman Connection

#BreakingNews Thousands of Parents in #Canada Protest Gov. Sex Ed. of Ontario - SHARE

Parents of many faiths including Christians and Muslims, and others have united to protest the graphic sexual education program which was written by a child pornography producer. It is being forced on students from elementary school to highschool. In fact, this issue has touched the hearts of so many parents across so many religions that many have pulled out their children from school.
SHARE this article to Inform and Invite others!
Parents have organized rallies in various parts of the province of Ontario with thousands in attendance. In fact, parents and students have even organized strikes against this new program.
JOIN http://parentsstrike.com/join/
In a massive initiative by Parents, students and educators 2 Facebook Pages have been created:
LIKE https://www.facebook.com/parentsstrike
LIKE https://www.facebook.com/pages/Parents-Against-Ontario-Sex-Ed-Curriculum/1620174608211662
There will be 2 upcoming events in Ottawa on Fri. June 5 from 10am-12pm in front of MPPs offices and from 1pm-3pm at Parliament Hill in Ottawa with parents and students from many faiths.
One event in Toronto on June 7 from 2pm -7pm in Queen's Park:

#PopeFrancis “The scourge of abortion is an attack on life." #ProLife


Pope Francis meets with members of the Science and Life Association. - OSS_ROM
30/05/2015 13:25


“The degree of progress of a civilization is measured by its ability to protect life, especially in its most fragile stages.”
These were the words of Pope Francis during an audience with the Science and Life Association, who are celebrating their 10th anniversary.The Holy Father began by thanking them for their service in promoting the protection of human life in a society marked by the negative logic of discarding.”
“The love of Christ urges us to become servants of the small ones and the elderly, of every man and every woman, through which the primordial right to life is recognized and protected,” he said.
The Pope encouraged the association to keep their gaze fixed on the sacredness of life and the human person, “so that science may truly be at the service of man, and not man at the service of science.”
Continuing his address, Pope Francis stressed that society’s progress is measured by its ability to protect life rather than technological advances. Attacks against life, he said, must never be forgotten.
“The scourge of abortion is an attack on life. Leaving our brothers on the boats in the Sicilian channel is an attack on life. Death at work is an attack on life because it does not respect the minimal security conditions,” the Pope said.
The 78 year old Pontiff also cited malnutrition, terrorism, war, violence and euthanasia as attacks on human life.
Concluding his address, Pope Francis urged the association to continue their work in promoting a culture of life. He also called on them to embark in fruitful dialogue with the world of science, even with those who profess as non-believers but “remain open to the mystery of human life.”
(Junno Arocho Esteves)

Free Recipe in honor of #StJoanofArc - #FrenchToast and Cotignac (Pears)

To make this dish more commemorative, the toast should be served with cotignac, a French quince marmalade paste that is an Orleans specialty. This extraordinary preserve was once flavored with musk and presented as a gift to visiting royalty. When Joan came to lift the siege of Orleans, cotignac was the first gift presented to her. Quinces or winter pears were one of the most popular fruits of the middle ages. The fruit is extremely sour and was primarily used in jams and marmalades.  The best quinces come from Portugal and the Portuguese for quince is marmalo. Marmalade is based on the word marmalo since the first marmalade was made with quinces.
 
Pain Perdu (French Toast)
Ingredients
 
2 eggs
3 TB sugar
1 cup milk
dash of nutmeg
 
3  TB butter
2 medium slices of bread
powdered sugar for dusting toast

 
Instructions
 
  1. Beat together egg and sugar; add milk and nutmeg.
  2. Dip slices of bread in the egg mixture then fry in hot butter until browned on each side
  3. Dust toast with powdered sugar
Cotignac
Ingredients
 

10 quinces or Pears
4 oranges, pealed, and pips removed
 
1 to 2 cups sugar
water
 
Instructions
  1. Wash the quinces to remove the 'bloom', then chop and place in a pot. Add the lemon juice and apple pips. Add enough water to barely float the fruit - at most, barely cover the quinces.
  2. Peel, core and slice quinces.
  3. Put 4  peeled, sliced and cored quinces  into a pan with water not quite covering them. Bring them to the boil and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Strain through a colander, then the resulting juice through 2 thicknesses of muslin to extract as much juice as possible.
  5. In the quince juice cook another 6  peeled, sliced and cored quinces, prepared oranges, skinned and  Simmer for 1 hour, and put the mixture through a sieve, so as to obtain a thick puree; weigh the puree, add an equal quantity of sugar, return to the pan and cook until the mixture begins to come away from the sides.
  6. Allow to cool and store in jars and refrigerate.
Shared from medadvocates

Free Catholic Movie : Joan of Arc : Star Ingrid Bergman

Joan of Arc (1948) Unrated | 145 min | Biography, Drama, History | 15 April 1949 (Ireland) In the Fifteenth Century, France is a defeated and ruined nation after the One Hundred Years War against England. The fourteen years old farm girl Joan of Arc claims to hear voices from Heaven asking her to lead God's Army against Orleans and crowning the weak Dauphin Charles VII as King of France. Joan gathers the people with her faith, forms an army and conquerors Orleans. When her army is ready to attack Paris, the corrupt Charles sells his country to England and dismiss the army. Joan is arrested, sold to the Burgundians England and submitted to a shameful political trial in Rouen castle. - Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Director: Victor Fleming Writers: Maxwell Anderson (play), Maxwell Anderson (screenplay), 1 more credit » Stars: Ingrid Bergman, José Ferrer, Francis L. Sullivan |

Novena to St. Joan of Arc and #Litany #Prayers to SHARE - Video Biography

Saint Joan of Arc Novena
(say once a day for nine days) St. Joan of Arc,
Filled with compassion,
For those who invoke you,
Filled with love for those who suffer,
Heavily laden with the weight of my troubles,
I kneel at your feet and humbly beg you,
To take my present need,
Under your special protection.
(Mention your request here). Grant to recommend it,
To the Blessed Virgin Mary,
And lay it before the throne of Jesus.
Cease not to intercede for me,
Until my request is granted.

Above all, obtain for me,
The grace to one day,
Meet God face to face,
And with you and Mary,
And all the angels and saints,
Praise Him through all eternity.
O most powerful Saint Joan,
Do not let me lose my soul,
But obtain for me the grace
Of winning my way to heaven,
Forever and ever. Amen. Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be… (Repeat the prayer nine times.)
The Litany of St. Joan of Arc Lord, have mercy on us! Jesus Christ, have mercy on us! Lord, have mercy on us!
Jesus Christ, hear us! Jesus Christ, graciously hear us! Our Heavenly Father, Who art God, have mercy on us!
Son, Savior of the world, Who art God, have mercy on us!
Holy Spirit, Who art God, have mercy on us!
Holy Trinity, Who art God, have mercy on us! Holy Mary, virgin Mother of God, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Assumption, principal patron of France, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, patron and special protector of France, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria, virgin and Martyr, pray for us.
Saint Margaret of Antioch, virgin and Martyr, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, chosen by God at Domremy, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, informed [of her mission] by Saint Michael, the Archangel and his Angels,
pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, compliant to the call of God, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, confidant and submissive to her voices, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, model of family life and labor, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, faithfully devoted to Our Lady, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, who delighted in the Holy Eucharist, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, model of generosity in the service to God, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, example of faithfulness to the Divine vocation, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, model of union with God in action, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, virgin and soldier, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, model of courage and purity in the field [of battle], pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, compassionate towards all who suffer, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, the pride of Orleans, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, glory of Reims, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, liberator of the Country, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, abandoned and imprisoned at Compiegne, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, pure and patient in thy prison, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, heroic and valiant before thy judges, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, alone with God at the hour of torment, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, Martyr of Rouen, pray for us. Saint Joan or Arc and Saint Therese of Lisieux patronesses of France, pray for us.
All the Saints of France, intercede for us. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, ave mercy on us, Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, Lord.
Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us,
that we may become worthy of the promises of Our Savior Jesus Christ. Let us pray: Oh God, Who hast raised up in an admirable manner, the virgin of Domremy, Saint Joan of Arc, for the defense of the faith and country, by her intercession, we ask Thee that the Church [may] triumph against the assaults of her enemies and rejoice in lasting peace; through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen. ~~by Louis, Bishop of Saint Dié

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Sat. May 30, 2015


Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 352


Reading 1SIR 51:12 CD-20

I thank the LORD and I praise him;
I bless the name of the LORD.
When I was young and innocent,
I sought wisdom openly in my prayer
I prayed for her before the temple,
and I will seek her until the end,
and she flourished as a grape soon ripe.
My heart delighted in her,
My feet kept to the level path
because from earliest youth I was familiar with her.
In the short time I paid heed,
I met with great instruction.
Since in this way I have profited,
I will give my teacher grateful praise.
I became resolutely devoted to her—
the good I persistently strove for.
My soul was tormented in seeking her,
My hand opened her gate
and I came to know her secrets.
I directed my soul to her,
and in cleanness I attained to her.

Responsorial PsalmPS 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R. (9ab) The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart.
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

AlleluiaSEE COL 3:16A, 17C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly;
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 11:27-33

Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem.
As he was walking in the temple area,
the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders
approached him and said to him,
“By what authority are you doing these things?
Or who gave you this authority to do them?”
Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question.
Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”
They discussed this among themselves and said,
“If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say,
‘Then why did you not believe him?’
But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”–
they feared the crowd,
for they all thought John really was a prophet.
So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”
Then Jesus said to them,
“Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Friday, May 29, 2015

Latest #News from #Vatican and #PopeFrancis at #HolySee


29-05-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 100 

Summary
- Audience with the prime minister of Slovenia: continue constructive dialogue and the process of national reconciliation
- Plenary session of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation: people expect the Church to walk with them and bear witness to faith
- Pope Francis' prayer intentions for June
- The Financial Intelligence Authority strengthens the system of international cooperation
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
Audience with the prime minister of Slovenia: continue constructive dialogue and the process of national reconciliation
Vatican City, 29 May 2015 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father Francis received in audience the prime minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Miro Cerar, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.
In the cordial discussions the good relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Slovenia were highlighted, and the Parties confirmed their common will to continue constructive dialogue on bilateral themes regarding the relations between Church and State, with particular reference to the process of national reconciliation, human and religious values, and joint collaboration to promote the common good of society and of the poorest.
Plenary session of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation: people expect the Church to walk with them and bear witness to faith
Vatican City, 29 May 2015 (VIS) – “New evangelisation means becoming aware of the Father's merciful love so that we too may become instruments of salvation for our brothers”, said the Pope this morning, as he received in audience the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, dedicated to the relationship between evangelisation and catechesis. Francis has entrusted the preparation of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy to this dicastery, so that it “is made clearer that the gift of mercy is the announcement that the Church is called to transmit in her work of evangelisation in this time of great change”.
These changes represent a “happy provocation” to respond to “the signs of the times that the Lord offers to the Church, so that she is able – as she has been for two thousand years – to bring Jesus Christ to humanity in our times. The mission is always identical”, the Pope observed, “but the language used to proclaim the Gospel asks to be renewed, with pastoral wisdom. This is essential both for it to be understood by our peers and to enable Catholic tradition to speak to cultures in today's world and to help them open up to the perennial fruitfulness of Christ's message. These are times of great challenges, which we must not be afraid of making our own. Indeed, only to the extent to which we are able to take them on will we be able to offer answers which are coherent by virtue of being elaborated in the light of the Gospel. This is what people expect of the Church today: that she knows how to walk with them, offering the company of witness of faith, creating solidarity between us all, and especially the loneliest and most marginalised”.
This awareness, which is sown into the heart of every Christian from the day of his or her baptism, “wishes to grow, along with a life of grace … and it is here that we find the great theme of catechesis as a space within which the life of Christians matures as it experiences God's mercy. This is not an abstract idea of mercy, but rather a concrete experience by which we understand our weakness and the strength that comes from above. … The help we invoke is already the first step of God's mercy towards us. … The Holy Spirit, the agent of evangelisation … opens the mind of the disciples of Christ to understand more deeply the commitment required and the forms by which substance and credibility can be given to witness”.
Therefore the question of how to educate in faith “is not rhetorical, but essential. The answer requires courage, creativity and decisiveness, to follow at times unexplored paths. Catechesis, as a component of the evangelisation process, needs to go beyond the merely scholastic sphere in order to educate believers, since childhood, in encountering Christ, living and working in His Church. It is the encounter with Him that inspires the desire to know Him better and thus to follow Him so as to become His disciples. The challenge of new evangelisation and catechesis therefore hinges on this cardinal point: how to encounter Christ, and the most coherent place to find Him and follow Him”.
Pope Francis' prayer intentions for June
Vatican City, 29 May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for June is: “That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come”.
His intention for evangelisation is: “That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life”.
The Financial Intelligence Authority strengthens the system of international cooperation
Vatican City, 29 May 2015 (VIS) – The Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria (AIF) – Financial Intelligence Authority – of the Holy See and the Vatican City State has presented its Annual Report for 2014. The report reviews the activities and statistics of the AIF for the year 2014.
2014 has seen a continuous strengthening of the legal and institutional framework of the Holy See and the Vatican City State to regulate supervised entities, fostering international cooperation of the Vatican competent authority with its foreign counterparts and to consolidate the prevention and countering of potential illicit financial activities.
“With the introduction of Regulation No. 1, we have completed the prudential supervisory framework of the Holy See and Vatican City State,” said Rene Bruelhart, President of AIF. “By signing Memoranda of Understandings (MOUs) with other Financial Intelligence Units of 13 countries, including Australia, France and the UK as well as with the Regulators of Germany, Luxembourg and the United States of America, we have also massively strengthened international cooperation.”
The reporting system has been consolidated after having received 6 suspicious transaction reports (STR) in 2012, 202 in 2013 and 147 in 2014. Such development is a consequence both of the full implementation of the legal framework and of the substantial improvement in the operational performance of the supervised entities with regard to the prevention of financial crime. 7 reports have been passed on to the Vatican Promoter of Justice for further investigation by judicial authorities. The number of cases of bilateral cooperation between AIF and foreign competent authorities has increased from 4 in 2012 to 81 in 2013 and 113 in 2014. “This continuous increase is a result of the systematic efforts undertaken by AIF as well as the strong commitment of the Holy See and the Vatican City State to cooperate actively with other jurisdictions to prevent and combat potential illicit financial activities globally,” said Tommaso di Ruzza, Director of AIF.
Since 2012, the number of declarations of outgoing cash above the amount of EUR 10,000 has steadily decreased from 1,782 (2012) to 1,557 (2013) and 1,111 in 2014. Declarations for incoming cash have also decreased from 598 (2012) to 550 (2013) and 429 in 2014. This is due to an increased monitoring by the competent authorities and the introduction of reinforced procedures at the supervised entities.
In the initial trimester of 2014, AIF conducted the first ordinary on-site inspection of the IOR to verify the implementation of the measures taken to prevent and counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism pursuant to Law No. XVIII of 8 October 2013. “The first on-site inspection of the IOR is an important consequence and a concrete sign of the effectiveness of the AML/CFT system adopted by the Holy See and the Vatican City State”, said Tommaso Di Ruzza. “To follow closely the implementation of and compliance with the new prudential regulatory framework by the supervised entities will be one of the key tasks of AIF in the near future”.
The inspection has shown no fundamental shortcomings at the IOR. As a result of the inspection, AIF has developed an action plan for the full and systematic adjustment of existing procedures to the required standards in accordance with Law No. XVIII.
Information on the AIF
The Financial Intelligence Authority is the competent authority of the Holy See and the Vatican City State for supervision and financial intelligence for the prevention and countering of money-laundering and financing of terrorism.
Established by Pope Benedict XVI with the Apostolic Letter in form of Motu Proprio of 30 December 2010, AIF carries out its institutional activity according to the Statute adopted by Pope Francis on 15 November 2013 and to Vatican City State Law No. XVIII, of 8 October 2013, on transparency, supervision and financial intelligence.
In 2014, AIF signed MOUs with Argentina, Australia, Cyprus, France, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Peru, Poland, United Kingdom, Romania, San Marino and Switzerland. In previous years, AIF had already signed MOUs with Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and the United States of America. AIF is a member of the Egmont Group since 2013.
Audiences
Vatican City, May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father received in audience:
- King Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II of the Ashanti in Ghana, and entourage;
- Archbishop Roberto Luckert Leon of Coro, Venezuela.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Fr. Benny Mario Travas as bishop of Multan (area 98,705, population 38,400,000, Catholics 198,000, priests 16, religious 36), Pakistan. The bishop-elect was born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds a licentiate in canon law from Pontifical Urbanian University of Rome and has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles in the archdiocese of Karakchi, including vicar general, rector of the St. Pius X minor seminary, lecturer at the National Catholic Institute of Theology, judge of the ecclesiastical tribunal, and member of the college of consultors and presbyteral council. He is currently apostolic administrator of the diocese of Multan.

Saint May 30 : St. Joan of Arc : Patron of #Soldiers , #Martyrs , #Prisoners and France

St. Joan of Arc
PATRON SAINT OF FRANCE
Feast: May 30


Information:
Feast Day:May 30
Born:6 January c. 1412, Domrémy, France
Died:May 30, 1431, Rouen, France
Canonized:May 16, 1920, St. Peter's Basilica, Rome by Pope Benedict XV
Patron of:France; martyrs; captives; militants; people ridiculed for their piety; prisoners; soldiers; Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service; Women's Army Corps
Savior of France and the national heroine of that country, Joan of Arc lives on in the imagination of the world as a symbol of that integrity of purpose that makes one die for what one believes. Jeanne la Pucelle, the Maid, is the shining example of what a brave spirit can accomplish in the world of men and events. The saint was born on the feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 1412, at Domremy, a village in the rich province of Champagne, on the Meuse River in northeast France. She came of sound peasant stock. Her father, Jacques d'Arc, was a good man, though rather morose; his wife was a gentle, affectionate mother to their five children. From her the two daughters of the family received careful training in all household duties. "In sewing and spinning," Joan declared towards the end of her short life, "I fear no woman." She whose destiny it was to save France was a well-brought-up country girl who, in common with most people of the time, never had an opportunity to learn to read or write. The little we know of her childhood is contained in the impressive and often touching testimony to her piety and dutiful conduct in the depositions presented during the process for her rehabilitation in I456, twenty-five years after her death. Priests and former playmates then recalled her love of prayer and faithful attendance at church, her frequent use of the Sacraments, kindness to sick people, and sympathy for poor wayfarers, to whom she sometimes gave up her own bed. "She was so good," the neighbors said, "that all the village loved her."

Joan's early life, however, must have been disturbed by the confusion of the period and the disasters befalling her beloved land. The Hundred Years War between England and France was still running its dismal course. Whole provinces were being lost to the English and the Burgundians, while the weak and irresolute government of France offered no real resistance. A frontier village like Domremy, bordering on Lorraine, was especially exposed to the invaders. On one occasion, at least, Joan fled with her parents to Neufchatel, eight miles distant, to escape a raid of Burgundians who sacked Domremy and set fire to the church, which was near Joan's home.

The child had been three years old when in 1415 King Henry V of England had started the latest chain of troubles by invading Normandy and claiming the crown of the insane king, Charles VI. France, already in the throes of civil war between the supporters of the Dukes of Burgundy and Orleans, had been in no condition to resist, and when the Duke of Burgundy was treacherously killed by the Dauphin's servants, most of his faction joined the British forces. King Henry and King Charles both died in 1422, but the war continued. The Duke of Bedford, as regent for the infant king of England, pushed the campaign vigorously, one town after another falling to him or to his Burgundian allies. Most of the country north of the Loire was in English hands. Charles VII, the Dauphin, as he was still called, considered his position hopeless, for the enemy even occupied the city of Rheims, where he should have been crowned. He spent his time away from the fighting lines in frivolous pastimes with his court.

Joan was in her fourteenth year when she heard the first of the unearthly voices, which, she felt sure, brought her messages from God. One day while she was at work in the garden, she heard a voice, accompanied by a blaze of light; after this, she vowed to remain a virgin and to lead a godly life. Afterwards, for a period of two years, the voices increased in number, and she was able to see her heavenly visitors, whom she identified as St. Michael, St. Catherine of  Alexandria, and St. Margaret, the three saints whose ages stood in the church at Domremy. Gradually they revealed to her the purpose of their visits: she, an ignorant peasant girl, was given the high mission of saving her country; she was to take Charles to Rheims to be crowned, and then drive out the English! We do not know just when Joan decided to obey the voices; she spoke little of them at home, fearing her stern father's disapproval. But by May, 1428, the voices had become insistent and explicit. Joan, now sixteen, must first go quickly to Robert de Baudricourt, who commanded the Dauphin's forces in the neighboring town of Vaucouleurs and say that she was appointed to lead the Dauphin to his crowning. An uncle accompanied Joan, but the errand proved fruitless; Baudricourt laughed and said that her father should give her a whipping. Thus rebuffed, Joan went back to Domremy, but the voices gave her no rest. When she protested that she was a poor girl who could neither ride nor fight, they answered, "It is God who commands it."

At last, she was impelled to return secretly to Baudricourt, whose skepticism was shaken, for news had reached him of just the sort of serious French defeat that Joan had predicted. The military position was now desperate, for Orleans, the last remaining French stronghold on the Loire, was invested by the English and seemed likely to fall. Baudricourt now agreed to send Joan to the Dauphin, and gave her an escort of three soldiers. It was her own idea to put on male attire, as a protection. On March 6, 1429, the party reached Chinon, where the Dauphin was staying, and two days later Joan was admitted to the royal presence. To test her, Charles had disguised himself as one of his courtiers, but she identified him without hesitation and, by a sign which only she and he understood, convinced him that her mission was authentic.
The ministers were less easy to convince. When Joan asked for soldiers to lead to the relief of Orleans, she was opposed by La Tremouille, one of Charles' favorites, and by others, who regarded the girl either as a crazy visionary or a scheming impostor. To settle the question, they sent her to Poitiers, to be questioned by a commission of theologians. After an exhaustive examination lasting for three weeks, the learned ecclesiastics pronounced Joan honest, good, and virtuous; they counseled Charles to make prudent use of her services. Thus vindicated, Joan returned full of courage of Chinon, and plans went forward to equip her with a small force, A banner was made, bearing at her request, the words, "Jesus Maria," along with a figure of God the Father, to whom two kneeling angels were presenting a fleur-de-lis, the royal emblem of France. On April 27 the army left Blois with Joan, now known to her troops as "La Pucelle," the Maid, clad in dazzling white armor Joan was a handsome, healthy, well-built girl, with a smiling face, and dark hair which had been cut short. She had now learned to ride well, but, naturally, she had no knowledge of military tactics. Yet her gallantry and valor kindled the soldiers and with them she broke through the English line and entered Orleans on April 29. Her presence in the city greatly heartened the French garrison. By May 8 the English fort outside Orleans had been captured and the siege raised. Conspicuous in her white armor, Joan had led the attack and had been slightly wounded in the shoulder by an arrow.

Her desire was to follow up these first successes with even more daring assaults, for the voices had told her that she would not live long, but La Tremouille and the archbishop of Rheims were in favor of negotiating. However, the Maid was allowed to join in a short campaign along the Loire with the Duc d'Alencon, one of her devoted supporters. It ended with a victory at Patay, in which the English forces under Sir John Falstolf suffered a crushing defeat. She now urged the immediate coronation of the Dauphin, since the road to Rheims had been practically cleared. The French leaders argued and dallied, and finally consented to follow her to Rheims. There, on July 17, 1429, Charles VII was duly crowned, Joan standing proudly behind him with her banner.

The mission entrusted to her by the heavenly voices was now only half fulfilled, for the English were still in France. Charles, weak and irresolute, did not follow up these auspicious happenings, and an attack on Paris failed, mainly for lack of his promised support and presence. During the action Joan was again wounded and had to be dragged to safety by the Duc d'Alencon. There followed winter's truce, which Joan spent for the most part in the company of the court, where she was regarded with ill-concealed suspicion. When hostilities were renewed in the spring, she hurried off to the relief of Compiegne, which was besieged by the Burgundians. Entering the city at sunrise on May 23, 1430, she led against the enemy later in the day. It failed, and through miscalculation on the part of the governor, the drawbridge over which her forces were retiring was lifted too soon, leaving her and a number of soldiers outside, at the mercy of the enemy. Joan was dragged from her horse and led to the quarters of John of Luxembourg, one of whose soldiers had been her captor. From then until the late autumn she remained the prisoner of the Duke of Burgundy, incarcerated in a high tower of the castle of the Luxembourgs. In a desperate attempt to escape, the girl leapt from the tower, landing on soft turf, stunned and bruised. It was thought a miracle that she had not been killed.

Never, during that period or afterwards, was any effort made to secure Joan's release by King Charles or his ministers. She had been a strange and disturbing ally, and they seemed content to leave her to her fate. But the English were to have her, and on November 21, the Burgundians accepted a large indemnity and gave her into English hands. They could not take her life for defeating them in war, but they could have her condemned as a sorceress and a heretic. Had she not been able to inspire the French with the Devil's own courage? In an age when belief in witchcraft and demons was general, the charge did not seem too preposterous. Already the English and Burgundian soldiers had been attributing their reverses to her spells.
In a cell in the castle of Rouen to which Joan was moved two days before Christmas, she was chained to a plank bed, and watched over night and day. On February 21, 1431, she appeared for the first time before a court of the Inquisition. It was presided over by Pierre Cauchon, bishop of Beauvais, a ruthless, ambitious man who apparently hoped through English influence to become archbishop of Rouen. The other judges were lawyers and theologians who had been carefully selected by Cauchon. In the course of six public and nine private sessions, covering a period of ten weeks, the prisoner was cross-examined as to her visions and voices, her assumption of male attire, her faith, and her willingness to submit to the Church. Alone and undefended, the nineteen-year-old girl bore herself fearlessly, her shrewd answers, honesty, piety, and accurate memory often proving embarrassing to these severe inquisitors. Through her ignorance of theological terms, on a few occasions she was betrayed into making damaging statements. At the end of the hearings, a set of articles was drawn up by the clerks and submitted to the judges, who thereupon pronounced her revelations the work of the Devil and Joan herself a heretic. The theological faculty of the University of Paris approved the court's verdict.

In final deliberations the tribunal voted to hand Joan over to the secular arm for burning if she still refused to confess she had been a witch and had lied about hearing voices. This she steadfastly refused to do, though physically exhausted and threatened with torture. Only when she was led out into the churchyard of St. Ouen before a great crowd, to hear the sentence committing her to the flames, did she kneel down and admit she had testified falsely. She was then taken back to prison. Under pressure from her jailers, she had some time  earlier put off the male attire, which her accusers seemed to find particularly objectionable. Now, either by her own choice or as the result of a trick played upon her by those who wanted her death, she resumed it. When Bishop Cauchon, with some witnesses, visited her in her cell to question her further, she had recovered from her weakness, and once more she claimed that God had truly sent her and that the voices had come from Him. Cauchon was well pleased with this turn of events.

On Tuesday, May 29, 1431, the judges, after hearing Cauchon's report, condemned Joan as a relapsed heretic and delivered her to the English. The next morning at eight o'clock she was led out into the market place of Rouen to be burned at the stake. As the faggots were lighted, a Dominican friar, at her request, held up a cross before her eyes and, while the flames leapt higher and higher, she was heard to call on the name of Jesus. John Tressart, one of King Henry's secretaries, viewed the scene with horror and was probably joined in spirit by others when he exclaimed remorsefully, "We are lost! We have burned a saint!" Joan's ashes were cast into the Seine.

Twenty-five years later, when the English had been driven out, the Pope at Avignon ordered a rehearing of the case. By that time Joan was being hailed as the savior of France. Witnesses were heard and depositions made, and in consequence the trial was pronounced irregular. She was formally rehabilitated as a true and faithful daughter of the Church. From a short time after her death up to the French Revolution, a local festival in honor of the Maid was held at Orleans on May 8, commemorating the day the siege was raised. The festival was reestablished by Napoleon I. In 1920 the French Republic declared May 8 a day of national celebration. Joan was beatified in 1909 and canonized by Benedict XV in 1919.SOURCE: EWTN - Image - Google Images