Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Historic encounter with Pope and Patriarch of Moscow: We are not competitors but brothers
News story from RomeReports.com
As is customary in Russian tradition, Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis greeting each other with three kisses on the cheek. It is an embrace that has taken nearly a thousand years to occur.
"I am delighted to see you.”
Once seated, the Patriarch initiated the conversation with the help of translators.
"How was your flight your Holiness?”
"Very good, thank God, very good.”
They spent a few minutes chatting in front of journalists and the cameras were able to capture his first words.
"Nevertheless, we have the opportunity to talk heart to heart.”
"That's what I want to do. We are brothers, we have the same baptism, we are bishops.”
They signed this historic joint statement, two hours after their closed-door meeting.
Once again, with this embrace, both churches are much closer today than they were yesterday.
"The result of the conversation allows me to ensure that currently the two Churches can cooperate together to defend Christians around the world, with full responsibility, work together so that there is no war, that human life is respected worldwide.”
"We speak clearly without mumbling and I confess that I felt the consolation of the Spirit in this dialogue.”
The Pope thanked everyone involved in making this meeting with the Patriarch a possibility. Among them, their hosts, the people of Cuba and Raul Castro.
"I appreciate your active availability, if it continues, Cuba will be the capital of unity.”
In their joint statement, the two leaders demand the protection for persecuted Christians, especially in Syria and Iraq; They highlight the importance of the family based on marriage; Call to Protect the life of the unborn and even made an appeal for peace in the Ukraine. In addition, they stress that Catholics and Orthodox are not
"competitors but brothers.”
And with just one signature by Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, they seal the end of a feud that lasted almost a thousand years ago.
Tuesday, December 08, 2015
News from RomeReports.com: Discover the mercy and tenderness of God. That was the message Pope Francis sent from St. Peter's Square while shielded by heavy security.
As he has said since the early days of his pontificate, the Pope explained that those who believe God is a judge who punishes are mistaken. Rather, he elaborated, God waits ardently for his children to return to Him.
"To pass through the Holy Door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father who welcomes everyone and goes out personally to encounter each of them...How much wrong we do to God and his grace when we speak of sins being punished by his judgment before we speak of their being forgiven by his mercy.”
The Pope also wanted to commemorate 50 years since the closing the Second Vatican Council. He said it should be remembered as a time when the Church ceased to seclude itself and rediscovered its missionary spirit.
"Before all else, the Council was an encounter. A genuine encounter between the Church and the men and women of our time.”
As he has for other special occasions, Pope Francis invited Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to be present during the opening of the Holy Door. It was perhaps the most important moment of the ceremony.
With this grand gesture, the Jubilee of Mercy was opened. The Pope passed through the door first. He was then followed by his predecessor to much applause. The ceremony was concluded in the basilica, together with cardinals, bishops, and other concelebrants.
Read more: Jubilee of Mercy
Read more: Jubilee of Mercy
Sunday, September 27, 2015
News excerpt from ChurchPOP.com
Pope Francis is releasing a pop rock album featuring snippets of his preaching mixed with music. It’s called “Pope Francis: Wake Up!” and will be released on November 27, 2015.
If you have doubts, this is being reported by the Associated Press and Rolling Stone, among others, and you can already pre-order it on iTunes.
You can even listen to the first single from the album, “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!”
Apparently with full approval of the Vatican, the album is being released by the label Believe Digital, which has a website for the album. Some of the proceeds of the album will be donated to efforts to help refugees.
Read more: Pope Francis Album
Friday, September 25, 2015
Pope's Mass in Madison Square Garden: Go out and evangelize without fear or hesitation
News from RomeReports.com:
This was the warm welcome Pope Francis received as he arrived to a packed Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Before celebrating Mass, he made his way through the crowds, blessing some of them along the way. In an emotional moment, a couple shed tears as Pope Francis blessed their ill child, as thousands looked on.
Referencing the hustle and bustle of New York City, the Pope reminded Christians that God and the Church are also present and alive amid the chaos of big cities. He asked that foreigners, the sick, poor, vulnerable, homeless and the elderly not be overlooked.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
|Courtesy of CNA|
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news, photos and video from Catholic News Agency about Pope Francis' visit to the United States of America, September 22-27, 2015.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
National Geographic Magazine - August 2015
News Release: For the August 2015 cover story, National Geographic was given special access to the pope and permission to document his daily life inside the Vatican. The United States is preparing for its first papal visit since 2008.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Excerpt and photo from Catholic News Agency (CNA)
In a world marked by suffering and fierce persecution – especially of Christians – now “is the time for mercy,” Pope Francis said, speaking at the vigil for the Feast of Divine Mercy.
Reflecting on the ongoing persecution faced by Christians, the Pope said, “our prayer is all the more intense and becomes a cry for help to the Father, who is rich in mercy, that he may sustain the faith of our many brothers and sisters who are in pain.”
For our part, we are to seek the grace of “conversion of our own hearts,” whereby we are moved “from indifference to compassion,” he added.
The pontiff made these remarks during his homily for Evening Vespers in St. Peter’s Basilica, minutes after a public proclamation of the Jubilee for Mercy in front of the Holy Door.
The Jubilee is an Extraordinary Holy Year that will open this year on Dec. 8 – the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – and will close Nov. 20, 2016 with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Read more: CNA
Saturday, March 21, 2015
News excerpt and photo from CatholicHerald.co.uk
The blood of St Januarius liquified in the presence of a pope for the first time since 1848 on Saturday.
The blood of the patron saint of Naples, which is normally solid, partially liquified after Pope Francis kissed the relic during his day trip to the southern Italian city.
According to AFP, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples showed the vial to the congregation in the city’s cathedral, saying: “The blood has half liquified, which shows that St Januarius loves our Pope and Naples.”
Pope Francis responded: “The bishop just announced that the blood half-liquified. We can see the saint only half loves us. We must all spread the word, so that he loves us more!”
The blood last liquified for a pope in the presence of Pius IX. The phenomenon did not occur when St John Paul II visited Naples in 1979 and Benedict XVI visited the city in 2007.
Read more: Saint Januarius Miracle
Friday, February 27, 2015
By Loci B. Lenar
On February 26, 2015, I received a locution/message from Our Blessed Mother regarding the violence being seen and reported by news services throughout the world, especially in the Middle East.
Through prayerful discernment, Our Lady is requesting that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, Consecrate the World to Saint Michael the Archangel's Protection. Through prayer and the intercession of Our Lady and St. Michael the Archangel - Our Lord Jesus will mitigate lawlessness and violence in nations.
On July 5, 2013, Pope Francis consecrated Vatican City to St. Michael the Archangel's protection and to St. Joseph. Pope Francis said, "In consecrating Vatican City State to St. Michael the Archangel, I ask him to defend us from the evil one and banish him."
Added note: On March 25, 1984, in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Pope John Paul II consecrated the world and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in accord with Our Lady of Fatima's request for world peace.
However, through prayerful discernment, I believe consecrating the world to Saint Michael's protection will help to move forward and hasten the era of peace as promised by Our Lady of Fatima.
Furthermore, the "period of peace" is clearly connected to Revelation 20:1-3. Moreover, I believe this is correct and should not be misconstrued.
Scripture says the following regarding God's reign of peace: Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be let out for a little while. Revelation 20:1-3
In addition, I believe it's important for all church parishes to begin reciting the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel either before or after mass. Recite the prayer with your families and for our world. God will answer our prayers with his perfect timing.
For more information regarding this matter, please read my testimony: Miraculous Signs of Archangel Michael
I've shared this locution with my spiritual director, Fr. Richard Tartaglia of Saint Mary's Catholic Church, Denville, NJ, USA.
More News: www.Christian-Miracles.com
Thursday, November 06, 2014
|Photograph by Loci B. Lenar - St. Michael's Church|
Catholic Weekly Newspaper of the Fall River Diocese - AnchorNews.org
By Linda Andrade Rodrigues, Anchor Correspondent
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Guardian angels are the servants and messengers of God.
“How great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from his birth an angel commissioned to guard it,” St. Jerome said.
The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” teaches that as purely Spiritual creatures, angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.
“The Holy Spirit advises me,” and “there’s the angel who advises me,” said Pope Francis. “Nobody walks alone, and none of us can believe we are alone.”
Nine years ago I interviewed a devout Catholic who believes she had an encounter with an angel. She works in marketing and lives in Rhode Island. She shared her story on the condition of anonymity.
Sitting in the front passenger seat of her boyfriend’s car, the woman, along with her two girlfriends, was riding around town late one night.
Out of the blue, a car cut them off running them off the road. Spinning out of control, they crashed into a telephone pole.
“I remember the point of impact,” she said. “I was holding onto the door with a death grip to brace myself as we hit the pole.”
Her boyfriend and friends managed to crawl out of the crushed car, but she was trapped inside.
“I remember not being able to feel my legs,” she said. “I panicked because I couldn’t catch my breath.”
The telephone pole was inside the car; her feet were in the engine compartment.
“I actually saw my life flash before my eyes at the moment of impact,” she said. “I remember seeing family members who had passed on.”
She heard their voices calling to her.
Then she saw a hand coming through the twisted metal. She reached for it.
“I’m a nurse,” the person said.
She told the nurse about the voices.
“Don’t listen to them,” the nurse said. “You’re going to be fine. It’s not your time yet.”
It would take more than an hour for emergency personnel to cut her out of the car with the Jaws of Life. All the while, she kept asking for the nurse who had promised not to leave her.
But the paramedics told her, “There’s nobody here. We’re going to take care of you.”
Her injuries were grave. Her legs and pelvis were shattered, she had massive internal injuries and bleeding, as well as a blood clot. She received Last Rites.
She spent three months in the hospital’s trauma unit, and it would take a year of intensive physical therapy for her to walk again.
A short time after her discharge from the hospital, she arranged to meet the paramedics who had saved her life.
“They couldn’t believe I was there,” she said. “They assumed I wasn’t going to make it.”
Once again, she asked them about the nurse. They told her there was a witness walking his dog in the woods, but there was no nurse.
“It may have been your mind playing games with you,” the paramedic said. “Your body was in shock.”
Today she bears few scars from the accident that nearly took her life. She is married to her boyfriend, the driver of the car, and is convinced a guardian angel came to her on the night of the accident.
“I still feel she’s watching over me,” she said. “I always feel protected.”
A resident of Mine Hill, N.J., Loci Lenar reports news of Christian signs and wonders on his blog and website — “Angels, Wonders and Miracles of Faith” (http://lenarpoetry.blogspot.com) and “Signs, Wonders and Miracles” (www.Christian-Miracles.com) — which have recorded over a million page views.
Lenar also documents his own spiritual encounters, following instructions from his spiritual advisor, Father Richard Tartaglia of St. Mary’s Church in Denville, N.J.
Sharing his experiences, he has been interviewed several times for the program “Sacred Treasures” on the international Catholic station Radio Maria, which is broadcast locally by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate of Our Lady’s Chapel in New Bedford at 88.5 FM (WPMW).
Lenar often visits churches to photograph stained glass windows and statues to use on his website and blog.
Five years ago he stopped to pray at The Church of St. Michael in Netcong, N.J., and photographed a statue of St. Michael the Archangel.
“Without the flash, you see the striking rainbow beyond the statue and around the arms,” he told me. “I gave the small memory card to Father Richard.”
Catholics invoke St. Michael the Archangel in prayer for physical protection.
Lenar said that Jesus is calling people to pray for divine protection, not just for their families but for the world.
“We are living in difficult times, but through prayer we could change things,” he said. “The message is now more important than ever before to invoke the powerful name of Jesus and to pray for the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel to protect our families and nation, especially in light of the violence surrounding our world and the Middle East.”
Two years ago thieves broke into the basement of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Assonet, causing massive damage to the property, pilfering church offerings and leaving behind a feeling of unease that this sacred ground had been violated.
Consequently, Father Michael Racine inserted the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel in the front cover of church missals.
Just before the closing rites at every Mass, the congregation invokes the saint’s protection:
“St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.”
(Reprinted with permission by Linda Andrade Rodrigues, Anchor News Correspondent.)
Saturday, September 27, 2014
|Credit: Fr. Sunil De Silva|
Excerpt and photo from Catholic News Agency (CNA)
In an effort for religious reconciliation, the Sri Lankan government has commissioned a symphony from a Buddhist composer to commemorate Pope Francis' voyage to the nation which will take place in January.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo presided over a Sept. 17 performance of the Soul of Christ Symphony, composed and directed by the nation's renowed composer Vajira Indika Karunasena, who is a Buddhist.
“The visit of the Holy Father is a landmark occasion for Sri Lanka,” Cardinal Ranjith said. “We warmly welcome Pope Francis to our country, which is rich in religious and cultural values.”
“We must use this occasion to demonstrate to the world our values.”
The symphony was commissioned by the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, the nation's public radio network. The idea for the symphony was that of the SLBC's chairman, Hudson Samarasinghe.
The symphony has also been released as a CD in Sri Lanka in preparation for Pope Francis' Jan. 13-14 visit, which will be the third time a Roman Pontiff has made an apostolic voyage to the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean.”
Cardinal Ranjith cited the importance of religious reconciliation in his address, and emphasized that the Pope's visit “is an honor for Sri Lanka.”
“Pope Francis is rich with inner, spiritual strength, and that is visible daily in the way he desires to visit and meet the people, the way he talks, and how he treats everyone alike,” he said.
“He shows a great vocation in discipleship, that is, to show God's love to all, to embrace everyone in that love, and show respect and dignity to everyone equally," Cardinal Ranjith added.
The cardinal thanked the SLBC, as well as Samarasinghe and Karunasena for helping to make the Pope's visit a fruitful one.
Read more: Pope Francis to visit Sri Lanka
Saturday, June 07, 2014
|Photo Credit: Elise Harris/CNA|
Vatican: prayer with Abbas, Peres opening 'road to peace' : (CNA)
News excerpt and photo from CNA:
The Vatican has released the details for Sunday’s prayer between Pope Francis and the Israeli and Palestinian presidents, stating that although peace will not be immediate, it’s a starting point.
“The intent of this encounter is to open the road to peace,” Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa O.F.M., Guardian of the Holy Land, revealed to journalists in a June 6 press conference, telling CNA that “My hope is that this event will help to bring a new atmosphere in the Middle East.”
The prayer, the spokesman noted, will be divided into three parts following the chronological order of the three faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Beginning around 7 p.m., the first part of the prayer will be recited in Hebrew, honoring the Jewish faith. It will include an initial prayer, a brief musical interlude, a prayer of forgiveness, a second musical interlude, a prayer invoking peace, and finally a Jewish musical meditation.
The second part of the prayer, dedicated to Christianity, will follow the same structure, and will be recited in English, Italian and Arabic. The third part, honoring the Muslim community, will only be said in Arabic.
Following the three parts of the prayer, Pope Francis will give a discourse invoking peace, and then invite the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to give their own, beginning with Shimon Peres, who will be followed by Mahmoud Abbas.
After giving the speeches, the Pope and the presidents, along with Patriarch Bartolomeo I, will exchange a sign of peace in shaking hands. Pope Francis and the two presidents will then plant an olive tree together as a symbol of peace.
Read more: Pray for Peace
Saturday, May 24, 2014
|Photo by Andreas Solaro/AFP|
News excerpt from Aleteia.org
Born in May 2002 in Milan, little Pietro is the fifth child of Walter and Adele. At his birth, the doctors found that he was suffering from a lung malformation. The infant was doomed. The parents then asked Father Antonio Sangalli, a Carmelite, to baptize him right away. At this critical moment, the priest slid over a picture of Thérèse de Lisieux's parents, the Martins, who had lost four of their own children.
Walter and Adele decided to trust in the Lord and confide in Louis and Zélie Martin. And the incredible happened. (Full story here.) Although the doctors predicted he had only a few hours to live, a month later the small Pietro began to show signs of improvement. After a few weeks, he was officially cured.
The Alençon Shrine is dedicated to the Martins. Every year on July 12, it organizes a pilgrimage around this exemplary couple. The family of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus lived in Orne until Zélie's death in 1877. It was then that Louis Martin decided to move to Lisieux with his daughters, near his beautiful family. In Alençon, for obvious reasons, people are interested in news related to the Martins and Thérèse.
And, after the healing of little Pietro Schilirò which made it possible to beatify the couple on October 19, 2008, this is another story that brought joy in recent weeks: Pietro's meeting with Pope Francis on March 29 at the Vatican, at the audience with the deaf and blind. (Pietro has been deaf since age 3.) And the meeting was not trivial. While we know about Francis' attachment to the saint of Lisieux, the meeting also overwhelmed the little boy who had received the miracle from Thérèse's parents.
Read more: Miracle Boy
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Friday, January 17, 2014
News from RomeReports.com
In his Friday morning Mass, Pope Francis said that Catholics who try to be blend into a "worldly uniformity,” are in fact rejecting their role as children of God.
Citing a reading from the Old Testament, he described how the Jewish people asked an elderly Samuel to choose a king for them, so they could be like other nations. The Pope said they chose the path of worldliness, effectively rejecting God.
"A normal life for Christians demands loyalty to their choices, and to not exchange it for the path of worldly uniformity. That is the temptation of the people, and also ours. Many times, we forget about the Word of God, what the Lord tells us, and we take up fashionable words, right? Even those from soap operas are fashionable, and we use them, they're more enjoyable.”
The Pope added that worldliness makes the heart soft, but opening their heart to God makes it stronger.
SUMMARY FROM THE POPE'S HOMILY
Source: Vatican Radio
We must not sell out the gift of being God’s children for a distorted sense of normality. These were the words of Pope Francis at Mass on Friday morning in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta. As Christians, Pope Francis said, we must actively strive against the normality of our everyday lives to remain faithful to God’s choosing. We must not sell out to the temptation of worldliness, of living as if God didn’t exist.
We often forget the Word of God, Pope Francis continued, we forget what the Lord says, and we listen instead to whatever word is more fashionable, more fun. This temptation, the Pope said, is more dangerous than an outright renouncing of faith, because it is more subtle, and less clear. It is true, he recognised, that Christians must be normal people, but they must also bear in mind the Word of God which says to them ‘you are my people, I have chosen you, I am by your side’.
We must resist the temptation of feeling inferior to normality, Pope Francis explained, because this temptation hardens the heart, and when the heart is hardened, the Word of God cannot enter. This was the temptation of the Jewish people in the Old Testament, he added, referring to the daily reading taken from the First Book of Samuel. Neither must we allow our hearts to be softened by worldliness, the Pope said: our hearts must simply be open to the Word of God, open to receiving it, in order not to move away from being chosen by God.
Let us ask, Pope Francis concluded, for the grace to overcome our own selfishness, our own desire to do as we please: let us listen instead to the Word of God, which will lead us on the path of truth.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
News story and excerpt from TODAY.com
By Eun Kyung Kim
Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pontiff who won hearts and headlines with his humility and common touch, was named Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2013, the magazine revealed Wednesday on TODAY.
Pope Francis stood out "as someone who has changed the tone and perception and focus of one of the world's largest institutions in an extraordinary way," Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs said Wednesday.
The magazine staff makes the ultimate decision, Gibbs said, but they poll readers and take public opinion into account. This was the third time Time named a pope as its Person of the Year.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told TODAY in a statement that "the Holy Father is not looking to become famous or to receive honors. But if the choice of Person of Year helps spread the message of the gospel — a message of God's love for everyone — he will certainly be happy about that."
Read more: Pope Francis
Monday, November 25, 2013
News excerpt from Catholic Online
By Deacon Keith Fournier
The return of Christianity to Russia should give us hope for our own Nation as we face the effects of moral relativism, secularism and the growing hostility toward Christianity. I want to suggest something which will raise many eyebrows. Is what is happening today in Russia today a partial fulfillment of the promised conversion of that Nation? President Putin exchanging icons of Mary with Pope Francis today was not simply a mere nicety. Accounts which have surfaced indicate that it was done with reverence and genuine Christian piety. Could this be a part of the promise of Fatima being fulfilled?
Read more: Fatima and the Conversion of Russia
Thursday, October 31, 2013
News from RomeReports.com
Who are the most powerful people in the world? According to Forbes magazine, first on the list is Russia's president, then the United States followed by China. Fourth on the list is Pope Francis.
So Vladimir Putin takes the number one slot, then Barack Obama, followed by the Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping.
Forbes magazine explains that since Pope Francis was elected in March, a new wave of energy was given to Catholicism, the world's largest religion with over 1.2 billion people. The magazine notes that Pope Francis also has a presence in social media. On Twitter alone, he already has over 10 million followers. He's also the first Pope to have taken a picture of himself with a cell phone.
The ranking places the Latin American pope above others political and financial leaders like Angela Merkel and Bill Gates.
Saturday, September 07, 2013
News from RomeReports.com
“Leave behind the self-interest that hardens your heart, overcome the indifference that makes your heart insensitive towards others, conquer your deadly reasoning, and open yourself to dialogue and reconciliation. Look upon your brother’s sorrow and do not add to it, stay your hand, rebuild the harmony that has been shattered; and all this achieved not by conflict but by encounter!”, asserted Pope Francis during this Saturday's peace vigil.
Read More: Peace Vigil