Thursday, October 19, 2017

#PopeFrancis "to understand God's heart, to understand God's salvation - the key to knowledge" Homily

Radio Vaticana Report -The Lord gives us the memory of  God's salvation which is “a gift” and close to the concreteness of the works of mercy he wants us to do, whether they are "material or spiritual": so we will become people who help to "open the door" to ourselves and others. That was Pope Francis’ prayer at morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. Recalling the passage from Luke's Gospel in which the Scribes and Pharisees considered themselves righteous, and Jesus makes known to them that God alone is just, the Pope explained why law practitioners had "taken knowledge away" with "the consequence of not being able to enter the Kingdom nor let others enter either".
"This leads us to understand the revelation of God, to understand God's heart, to understand God's salvation - the key to knowledge - we can say it is very neglected. One forgets the freedom of salvation; forgetting the closeness of God and forgetting God's mercy. And those who forget the gift of salvation, the closeness of God, and the mercy of God, have taken away the key to knowledge. "
Therefore, this gift was "forgotten". It is "God's initiative to save us and instead stand on the side of the law": Salvation - said the Pope - "is there for them", thus arriving in "a bunch of prescriptions" which in fact become salvation. So, "they do not receive the power of God's righteousness." The law, however, is always "an answer to God's generous love", which has taken "the initiative" to save us. And, continued Pope Francis, "when you forget the gift of salvation you fall, you lose the key to the intelligence of the history of salvation", losing "the sense of God's closeness":
"For them, God is the one who has made the law. But this is not the God of revelation. The God of revelation is a God who has begun to walk with us from Abraham to Jesus Christ, God walking with His people. And when you lose this close relationship with the Lord, you fall into this dull mindset that believes in the self-sufficiency of salvation with the fulfillment of the law. The closeness of God ".
When the closeness of God is lacking, when prayer is lacking, the Pope emphasized "doctrine cannot be taught" and not even by "studying theology", much less "moral theology": The Pope reiterated that theology "kneels down, always close to God ". And the closeness of the Lord comes "to the highest point of the crucified Jesus Christ," being "justified" for the blood of Christ, as Saint Paul said. For this reason, the Pontiff explained, the works of mercy "are the stone of the fulfillment of the law," because they touch the flesh of Christ, "touch Christ’s suffering in a person, both corporally and spiritually." Also, when the key to knowledge is lost, one also becomes "corrupt". The Pope finally noted the "responsibilities" of shepherds, now in the Church commenting that  when they lose or take away the "key of intelligence", they close  "the door on themselves and on others":
In my country, said the Pope,  "I have heard several times of parish priests who did not baptize the children of the mothers because they were not born in  canonical marriage. They closed the door, why? Because the heart of these parish priests had lost the key to knowledge.
Three months ago, in a country, in a city, a mother wanted to baptize her newly born son, but she was married civilly with a divorced man. The priest said, 'Yes, yes. Baptize the baby. But your husband is divorced. So he cannot be present at the ceremony. ' This is happening today. The Pharisees, doctors of the law are not people of the past, even today there are many of them. That is why we need prayers for us shepherds. To pray that we do not lose the key to knowledge and do not close the door to ourselves and the people who want to enter. "

Saint October 19 : North American Martyrs : St. John Brebeuf and Companions

JOURNEY OF A BISHOP REPORT: French Jesuits were among the first missionaries to go to Canada and North America after J. Cartier discovered Canada in 1534. Their mission region extended from Nova Scotia to Maryland.
John de Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, Noel Chabanel, Charles Garnier, Anthony Daniel, Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil and John de Lalande (the first six Jesuits, the last two laymen) preached the gospel to the Iroquois and Huron Indians, and after being tortured, they were martyred.

The martyrdoms took place between 1642 and 1649: Goupil in 1642, Jogues and Lalande on October 18 and 19, 1646 in the area of what is now Auriesville, New York; Daniel on July 4, 1648, Brebeuf and Lalemant in March 1649, Garnier and Chabanel in December 1649--all of these five in Huronia, near present-day Midland, Ontario. Ten years after the martyrdom of St. Isaac Jogues, Kateri Tekakwitha was born in the same village in which he died. These martyrs are co-patrons of Canada.
The missionaries arrived in Canada less than a century after its discovery by Cartier in 1534, in the hope of converting the Indians and setting up "New France." Their opponents were often the English and Dutch colonists. When Isaac Jogues returned to Paris after his first capture and torture, he said to his superior: "Yes, Father, I want whatever our Lord wants, even if it costs a thousand lives." He had written in his mission report: "These tortures are very great, but God is still greater, and immense."



Isaac Jogues' declaration on leaving France to return to the mission in Canada is heroic:

"My heart tells me that if I have the blessing of being used for this mission, I shall go and I shall not  return; but I would be glad if our Lord should fulfil the sacrifice where he began it, and that the small amount of blood I shed in that land should turn out to be an advance payment for that which I would give from all the veins of my body and heart."

In the Office of Readings we have an excerpt from the mission journal of St. John de Brébeuf, who had been a student of the great Jesuit spiritual writer, Louis Lallemant. He wrote:
For two days now I have experienced a great desire to be a martyr and to endure all the torments the martyrs suffered.... I vow to you, Jesus my Savior, that as far as I have the strength I will never fail to accept the grace of martyrdom, if some day you in your infinite mercy should offer it to me, your most unworthy servant.... On receiving the blow of death, I shall accept it from your hands with the fullest delight and joy of spirit.... My God, it grieves me greatly that you are not known, that in this savage wilderness all have not been converted to you, that sin has not been driven from it.

[Excerpted and adapted from Enzo Lodi, Saints of the Roman Calendar
In 1999, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops published a pastoral letter on the Canadian Martyrs to mark the 350th anniversary of the final deaths of these heroic priests in 1649. It may be accessed at: http://www.cccb.ca/site/Files/martyrse.pdf.
SHARED FROM JOURNEY OF A BISHOP

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. October 19, 2017 - #Eucharist


Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 470


Reading 1ROM 3:21-30

Brothers and sisters:
Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law,
though testified to by the law and the prophets,
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ
for all who believe.
For there is no distinction;
all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.
They are justified freely by his grace
through the redemption in Christ Jesus,
whom God set forth as an expiation,
through faith, by his Blood, to prove his righteousness
because of the forgiveness of sins previously committed,
through the forbearance of God–
to prove his righteousness in the present time,
that he might be righteous
and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.

What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out.
On what principle, that of works?
No, rather on the principle of faith.
For we consider that a person is justified by faith
apart from works of the law.
Does God belong to Jews alone?
Does he not belong to Gentiles, too?
Yes, also to Gentiles, for God is one
and will justify the circumcised on the basis of faith
and the uncircumcised through faith.

Responsorial PsalmPS 130:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6AB

R. (7) With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
Lord, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.
R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

AlleluiaJN 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 11:47-54

The Lord said:
"Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
'I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute'
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter."
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

Saint October 19 : St. Peter Alcantara - #Franciscan

October 19.—ST. PETER OF ALCANTARA.

PETER, while still a youth, left his home at Alcantara in Spain, and entered a convent of Discalced Franciscans. He rose quickly to high posts in the Order, but his thirst for penance was still unappeased, and in 1539, being then forty years old, he founded the first convent of the "Strict Observance." The cells of the friars resembled graves rather than dwelling-places. That of St. Peter himself was four feet and a half in length, so that he could never lie down; he ate but once in three days; his sack-cloth habit and a cloak were his only garments, and he never covered his head or feet. In the bitter winter he would open the door and window of his cell that, by closing them again, he might experience some sensation of warmth. Amongst those whom he trained to perfection was St. Teresa. He read her soul, approved of her spirit of prayer, and strengthened her to carry out her reforms. St. Peter died, with great joy, kneeling in prayer, October 18, 1562, at the age of sixty-three.
Reflection.—If men do not go about barefoot now, nor undergo sharp penances, as St. Peter did, there are many ways of trampling on the world; and Our Lord teaches them when He finds the necessary courage.
Butler's Lives of the Saints

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Novena to St. Luke Evangelist - Patron of #Doctors and #Artists - #Prayer to SHARE

SHARE - ST. LUKE - OCT. 18. FEAST - DIED C. 74 AD
EVANGELIST & PHYSICIAN - PATRON OF DOCTORS
Novena to St. Luke
Dear St. Luke, I love God with all my heart. Inflame my heart with an ardent love of God and worship of the Trinity. 
Please intercede for me and help me in this necessity: 
St. Luke, please help me to grow in grace and holiness, but above all, that I may rest with thee in eternity, help me to do God's will each and every day to the best of my ability.Help me to hear my Father's voice and love all with all my heart.Dear St. Luke, I love you. Thank you for your help. Be with me as I pray: Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be... (one each) Amen Say for 9 days in petition and 9 days in thanksgiving

#PopeFrancis "God, who is peace and the source of peace, and has left in human beings a reflection of his wisdom..." FULL TEXT

Pope Francis met on Wednesday with a delegation of 80 members of “Religions for Peace”, in the Vatican. 
Religions for Peace is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition that advances common action among the world’s religious communities to transform violent conflict, advance human development, promote just and harmonious societies, and protect the earth. (Vatican Radio)
VATICAN.VA FULL TEXT talk of Pope Francis
Dear Friends,
I offer you a warm welcome and I am grateful for your visit.  I thank Cardinal Tauran for his kind presentation.
Peace remains an urgent task in today’s world, where so many peoples are scarred by war and conflict.  Peace is both a divine gift and a human achievement.  This is why believers of all religions are called to implore peace and to intercede for it.  All men and women of good will, particularly those in positions of responsibility, are summoned to work for peace with their hearts, minds and hands.  For peace has to be “crafted”.  In this effort, peacemaking and the pursuit of justice go together.
The religions, with their spiritual and moral resources, have a specific and unique role to play in building peace.  They cannot be neutral, much less ambiguous, where peace is concerned.
Those who engage in acts of violence, or try to justify them in the name of religion, gravely offend God, who is peace and the source of peace, and has left in human beings a reflection of his wisdom, power and beauty.
I express my esteem and appreciation for the work of “Religions for Peace”.  You provide a valuable service to both religion and peace, for the religions are bound by their very nature to promote peace through justice, fraternity, disarmament and care for creation.
There is a need for a common and cooperative effort on the part of the religions in promoting an integral ecology.  The Bible helps us in this regard by reminding us of the Creator, who “saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gen 1:31).  The religions have the wherewithal to further a moral covenant that can promote respect for the dignity of the human person and care for creation.
Thanks be to God, in various parts of the world we have any number of good examples of the power of interreligious cooperation to oppose violent conflicts, to advance sustainable development and to protect the earth.  Let us continue along this path!  We trust in the Almighty’s help and in the goodwill of believers and so many others.
May God bless you and make your commitment to peace bear rich fruit!

#BreakingNews Philippine's Oldest Cardinal Dies - RIP Card. Ricardo Vidal - age 86



Bishop's Conference of Philippine's Release: 
Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Cardinal Ricardo Vidal
MANILA— Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, the former Catholic archbishop of Cebu and the oldest among the four Philippine cardinals, has died at the age of 86, a church spokesman said.
In a message, Cebu archdiocese’s spokesman Msgr. Joseph Tan said the prelate died earlier today, Wednesday, at 7:26 a.m. “due to infection leading to septic shock”.
Requesting prayers for the prelate’s soul, Tan said the wake will be at the Cebu Cathedral. Details of funeral rites will be made available as soon as possible.
Vidal became seriously ill and was admitted to the city’s Perpetual Succour Hospital on Oct. 11.
In a statement released shortly after Vidal’s death, CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas stressed Vidal’s legacy will live on despite his passing.
“Cardinal Vidal cannot die. He who has always shared in the dying and rising of the Lord daily in his priestly life cannot die. He now joins the immortal ones who served the Lord faithfully here on earth. His wisdom and his humility, his love for priests and his devotion to the Virgin Mary must live on in us whom he has left behind,” he said.
Villegas also expressed hope in Vidal’s intercession for the faithful. “Rest well Eminence. Pray for us in the Father’s House.”
Meanwhile Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo praised Vidal for being a “true servant-leader rather than a ‘prince.’”
“For me his legacy is his own outstanding character. Some of these are: Humility, low profile style; Simplicity and Approachability; Ability to listen even to opposing views; Prudence in political issues; Courage in presenting and defending the CBCP position leading to the 1986 People Power; Charity for those considered as ‘enemies,’” he said in a message to CBCPNews.
A native of Mogpog, Marinduque, Vidal was ordained a priest in 1956 by Bishop and Servant of God Alfredo Maria Aranda Obviar.
Then Pope John Paul II appointed Vidal head of the Cebu archdiocese in 1982. He retired in 2011. With reports from Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews
Please find below the text of the Pope’s condolence telegram: 
The Most Reverend Jose S. Palma
Archbishop of Cebu
Deeply saddened to learn of the death of Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, I extend my sincere condolences to you, and to the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Cebu.  Joining with you in expressing profound gratitude for the late Cardinal’s untiring and devoted service to the Church, and for his constant advocacy of dialogue and peace for all the people in the Philippines, I commend his soul to the infinite love and mercy of our heavenly Father.  As a pledge of consolation and hope in the Lord, to all who mourn his passing in the certain hope of the Resurrection, I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing

                                                                       FRANCISCUS PP.

#PopeFrancis "Think about it: Jesus Himself will come to each one of us and will take us by the hand, with His tenderness, His meekness, His love." FULL TEXT + Video

The Holy Father’s Catechesis
Dearest Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Today I would like to compare Christian hope with the reality of death, a reality that our modern civilization tends increasingly to efface. Thus, when death comes, for one who is close to us or for ourselves, we find ourselves unprepared, deprived even of an appropriate “alphabet” to articulate meaningful words about its mystery, which in any case remains. Yet the first signs of human civilization transited in fact through this enigma. We can say that man is born with the cult of the dead.
Other civilizations, before ours, had the courage to look at it in the face. It was an event recounted by the elderly to the new generations, as an inescapable reality that obliged man to live for something absolute. Psalm 90 states: “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (v. 12).  To number our days so that our heart becomes wise! — words that lead us to a healthy realism, dispelling the delusion of omnipotence. What are we? We are “almost nothing,” says another Psalm (Cf. 88:48); our days run off fast: even if we lived a hundred years, at the end it will all seem as if it was a flash. Many times I’ve heard elderly people say: “Life passed for me as a flash . . .”
Thus death strips our life. It makes us discover that our acts of pride, of wrath, of hatred were vanity, pure vanity. We realize with regret that we didn’t love enough and that we didn’t seek what was essential. And, on the contrary, we see what we sowed that was truly good: the affections for which we sacrificed ourselves, and that now hold our hand.
Jesus illumined the mystery of our death. With His conduct, He permits us to feel sorrowful when a dear person goes. He was “profoundly” upset before the tomb of His friend Lazarus, and He “wept” (John 11:35). In this attitude of His, we feel Jesus very close — our brother. He wept for His friend Lazarus.
And then Jesus prays to the Father, source of life, and orders Lazarus to come out of the sepulcher. And so it happens. Christian hope draws from this attitude, which Jesus assumes against human death: if it is present in Creation, it is, however, a scar that spoils God’s design of love, and the Savior wants to heal it.
Elsewhere the Gospels talk about a father whose daughter is very sick, and he turns to Jesus with faith so that He will save her (Cf. Mark 5:21-24.35-543). There is no more moving figure than that of a father or a mother with a sick child. And Jesus goes immediately with that man, who was called Jairus. At a certain point someone arrives from Jairus’ house to say that the girl is dead, and there’s no longer need to trouble the Teacher. However, Jesus says to Jairus: “Do not fear, only believe!” (Mark 5:36). Jesus knows that that man is tempted to react with anger and despair, because the little girl is dead, and he recommends to him to cherish the small flame burning in his heart: faith. “Do not fear, only have faith.” “Do not fear, continue to have that flame burning!” And then, arriving at the house, He awakes the little girl from death and restores her alive to her dear ones.
Jesus puts us on this “ridge” of faith. To Martha weeping for the death of her brother Lazarus He opposes the light of a dogma: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11: 25-26). It’s what Jesus repeats to each one of us every time that death comes to tear the fabric of life and of affections.  Our whole existence is played out here, between the slope of faith and the precipice of fear. Jesus says: I am not death, I am the resurrection and the life; do you believe this? Do you believe this?” Do we, who are in the Square today, believe this?

We are all small and vulnerable before the mystery of death. However, what a grace if in that moment we cherish in our heart the little flame of faith! Jesus will take us by the hand, as He took the hand of Jairus’ daughter, and repeat once again: “Talita kum,” “Little girl, arise!” (Mark 5:41). He will say it to us, to each one of us: “Get up, arise!” I now invite you to close your eyes and to think of that moment of our death. Each one of us think of his death and imagine that moment that will come, when Jesus will take us by the hand and say to us: Come, come with me, arise.” Hope will end there and it will be the reality, the reality of life. Think about it: Jesus Himself will come to each one of us and will take us by the hand, with His tenderness, His meekness, His love. And each one repeat in his heart Jesus’ word: “Get up, come. Get up, come. Get up, arise!”
This is our hope in face of death. For one who believes, it’s a door that opens completely; for one who doubts it’s a chink of light that filters from a doorway that was not altogether closed. However, for all of us it will be a grace, when this light, of the encounter with Jesus, will illuminate us.
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Audience Pope Francis prayed for the victims of the terrorist attack that killed over 300 people, including children, in the Somali capital Mogadishu.
“This terrorist act , he said, deserves to be most strongly deplored, also because it falls on a population that is already suffering deeply”.
“I implore the conversion of those who are violent and send my encouragement to those, who with enormous difficulties, are working for peace in that tortured land” he said.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. October 18, 2017 - #Eucharist


Feast of Saint Luke, evangelist
Lectionary: 661


Reading 12 TM 4:10-17B

Beloved:
Demas, enamored of the present world,
deserted me and went to Thessalonica,
Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
Luke is the only one with me.
Get Mark and bring him with you,
for he is helpful to me in the ministry.
I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas,
the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments.

Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm;
the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.
You too be on guard against him,
for he has strongly resisted our preaching.

At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf,
but everyone deserted me.
May it not be held against them!
But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.

Responsorial PsalmPS 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18

R. (12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

AlleluiaSEE JN 15:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 10:1-9

The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter,
first say, 'Peace to this household.'
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'"

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