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Showing posts from June, 2012

Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Martyrs and Co-Founders of the Church

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Sts. Peter and Paul are the co-founders of the Church - the solid rock on which it was founded. 

St. Peter 

Peter's original name was Simon. He was a fisherman and the brother of Saint Andrew, the apostle who led him to Christ. As an apostle of Christ, Simon was renamed "Peter" (in Hebrew Kephas) or "rock" by Jesus to indicate that Peter would be the rock-like foundation on which the Church would be built.

Peter's house often became the scene of miracles, since Jesus would stay there whenever He was teaching in that locality. Together with his brothers John and Andrew, Peter belonged to the first of Jesus' disciples.

After the Ascension, Peter took the leading role that Christ had assigned to him and became the first Pope. He served as the first Bishop of Rome and died there as a martyr in 64 a.d. crucified with his head downward, as he was not worthy to die in the same manner as Christ.

Peter is the author of two letters, the first encyclicals. St. Pe…

Fortnight For Freedom Prayer

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HLI VP Fr. Peter West at SCOTUS for Obamacare Decision

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National Catholic Bioethics Center Response to the June 28 Ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court Upholding the Affordable Care Act

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The National Catholic Bioethics Center is deeply disappointed to learn that virtually the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains standing in the wake of the June 28, 2012 U. S. Supreme Court ruling.  The ACA includes provisions that violate respect for human life and dignity and the rights of conscience, and that undermine the principle of subsidiarity.  Of course, the Court did not rule that the law is good in its entirety or even that it can be effectively implemented and sustained.  It merely ruled that it does not violate the Federal Constitution.
We find it odd that the Supreme Court, having found an insufficient basis to judge in favor of the ACA on Commerce Clause grounds, chose to accept the secondary justification offered by the administration, namely, that the mandate is a tax on the American people.  As noted in the minority’s dissent, it is dangerous to ignore the legislative intent of the Congress in a case such as this.
The National Catholic Bioeth…

A Sad Day For Americans

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This is a sad day for Americans -- particularly for authentic Catholics who uphold the dignity of human life. Here is the statement from Michael Warsaw, President and Executive Officer of EWTN Global Network, regarding today's U.S. Supreme Court Decision on the Affordable Care Act:


Irondale, AL – “The decision by the United States Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act is certainly a disappointment for EWTN.  It was our hope that the Court’s decision would stop the implementation of the HHS mandate that requires employee health plans to provide coverage for morally objectionable services like contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.  Because the Court has upheld the law, the rules which empower the government to issue its unjust mandate appear to remain in effect.  As a result, the EWTN lawsuit seeking relief from the mandate will continue to move forward.”


H/T: A Catholic Mom in Hawaii

Archbishop Fulton Sheen Becomes "Venerable"

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Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is now “Venerable” after the Vatican announced today that Benedict XVI had signed a decree recognising that the archbishop heroically lived Christian virtues.

The announcement of the decree marks a significant step in the canonization cause of Peoria, Ill.-born Archbishop Sheen (1895-1979), the Emmy award-winning televangelist whose program, "Life is Worth Living," was broadcast from 1951 to 1957.


 Read more

St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Father of the Church

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The saint of the day for June 28th is St. Irenaeus (c.130 - c.200), Bishop of Lyons and Father of the Church.

Irenaeus was born in Smyrna (modern-day Turkey), although he later settled in Rome. He was well educated and was influenced by men who knew the Apostles, especially St. Polycarp, who had been a pupil of St. John the evangelist He became Bishop of Lyons (France) in 178. As bishop, he divided his activities between the duties of a pastor and of a missionary. A prolific writer, he is known for his vigorous defense of the faith against Gnosticism, the prevalent heresy of the time. He was the first great Catholic theologian and his most significant work is Against Heresies(Adversus Haereses).

For a more detailed biography, go here.

Quotes

"For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."

"Baptism gives us the grace of new …

Polish musicians compose song dedicated to Pope

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It's our 20th Wedding Anniversary!

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This one's for you, Bill! ♥

Fortnight for Freedom: Great Moral Issues

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Our Lady of Perpetual Help

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Today we commemorate Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I have had a long-time devotion to Our Blessed Mother under many titles, but began praying to Our Lady of Perpetual Help early in my childhood and continue to pray for her intercession today. She is such a sweet and generous mother who always asks Jesus to grant me that which will draw me closest to Him.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a Byzantine icon from the middle ages that has resided in Rome since the late 1400s. It was brought to Rome near the end of the fifteenth century by a holy merchant, who, dying there, ordered by his will that the picture be exposed in a church for public veneration. It was exposed in the church of San Matteo, Via Merulana, between Saint Mary Major and Saint John Lateran. Crowds flocked to this church, and for nearly three hundred years many graces were obtained through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Eastern Catholics refer to the icon as the "Holy Theotokos of the Passion."

The Me…

Fortnight for Freedom: Grave Threats

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St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer

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St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer (1902 - 1975) 
St. Josemaría Escrivá was born in 1902 at Barbastro Spain. He was ordained in Saragossa in 1925 and by divine inspiration founded Opus Dei which opened a new way for the faithful to sanctify themselves in the midst of the world. He died on June 26, 1975 and was canonized a saint on October 6, 2002.
You can read his complete biography here and a longer, more detailed biography here.
A Few of My Favorite Quotes
"You go to pray; to become a bonfire, a living flame, giving light and heat."

"We are children of God, bearers of the only flame that can light up the paths of the earth for souls, of the only brightness which can never be darkened, dimmed or overshadowed. The Lord uses us as torches, to make that light shine out. Much depends on us; if we respond many people will remain in darkness no longer, but will walk instead along paths that lead to eternal life."

 "No Christian married couple can want to block the w…

Fortnight for Freedom Prayer

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Vatican hires American journalist as its new communications adviser

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June 25, 2012. (Romereports.com) The Vatican has hired an American journalist as its new media adviser. His name is Greg Burke. A 52 year old who, up until a few days ago worked as a FOX news network correspondent. Before that he worked as a reporter for TIME Magazine.

He has been based in Rome for over a decade covering everything from politics in Europe, to the Middle East and the Vatican.

The last lay person to be hired to a senior communication position was Joaquin Navarro-Valls, a Spanish journalist who was hired under John Paul II.

Burke, who is originally from St. Louis Missouri will directly report to Archbishop Angelo Becciu, who serves as the deputy secretary of state, and is the third ranking person in the Vatican.

Burke will be an adviser on several different levels, including the Holy See's Press Office and the Vatican's Secretariat of State. But Father Federico Lombardi will continue to be the Vatican's spokesperson.

St. William the Confessor Prayer

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Here is a special prayer for today's saint, St. William of Vercelli, also known as William of Monte Vergine.

St. William,  You were a father to your monks and a shepherd to your people. Pray for us that we might have our sight restored -- that we might see with the eyes of our hearts and souls, God's presence in and around us. Teach us to nourish our spiritual  journeys with prayer so that we too might be instruments of God's light and love to others. In the spirit of St. Benedict help us to be people of hospitality who let our work become prayer. Let us find God in each other. Amen.

Part I: A Vatican scientist

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An interview with Jesuit Brother Guy J. Consolmagno, a research astronomer at the Vatican Observatory. Brother Consolmagno speaks on the relationship between science and faith.

Our First, Most Cherished Liberty

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St. William of Vercelli

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Today's saint is William of Vercelli. Saint William was born to noble and wealthy parents in Vercelli, Italy in 1085. He lost his father and mother in his infancy and was raised by a relative. At age fifteen, he made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. When he returned, he became a hermit in Naples and lived there on an uninhabited mountain in solitude. However, he became famous after he worked a miracle, curing a blind man. His desire to live a contemplative life and to focus on God was interrupted; consequently, he moved to another mountain.

On this mountain, he built a beautiful church in honor of Our Lady. His holiness attracted  many followers and, in 1119, he established the Congregation of Monte Vergine, or Mount of the Virgin. These sons of Our Lady lived in great poverty. Some of the monks began to complain that the rule was too strict and the lifestyle was too austere. They desired better food and a less strenuous schedule. To resolve the problem, William  ass…

Pope: John the Baptist proclaims Jesus with humilty and love

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Pope Benedict XVI asked the faithful to accompany him in prayer during a visit on Tuesday to the areas affected by a recent earthquake in Northern Italy.

The Pope dedicated his thoughts before the recitation of the Marian prayer to the figure of St. John the Baptist, whose feast day is celebrated on the 24th June.

The Pope noted that John's name means, "the Lord gives grace," . John called the Baptist performed baptisms in the Jordan River, and announced the imminent coming of the Messiah. He also invited everyone to convert, demonstrating his commitment to martyrdom. For John, "was beheaded in the prison of King Herod, and so bore full witness to the Lamb of God, and first recognized and made Jesus known publicly. We follow his example", said Pope Benedict, "making visible the joy and mercy of God for mankind."

Vatican presents the major events for the Year of Faith

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 (Romereports.com) The Vatican has presented its plans for one of its most important events of 2012. It with the Year of Faith which begins on October 11, 2012 and ends on November 23, 2013.

October also marks the beginning of the Synod for the New Evangelization and the canonization of seven new saints. Throughout the 13 months of the Year of Faith, events will involve every aspect of the Church, from the young people receiving confirmation, to catechists, seminarians and devoted Marians.
MSGR. RINO FISICHELLA
President, Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization

“It's hard to choose what will be the most important event of this year because there are many events that will be very important because they touch different aspects of faith and different categories of people.”
To order the new evangelization, the Congregation for Divine Worship approved a special Mass, but as of now it's only in Latin and Italian, but by October translations will be available in English, Spanish a…

Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher

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Today is the optional memorial of Sts.Thomas More, martyr and St. John Fisher, bishop and martyr.

St. Thomas More was born in London, England and was Chancellor of King Henry VIII. As a family man and a public servant, his life was a rare synthesis of human sensitivity and Christian wisdom.

St. John Fisher studied Theology in Cambridge (England) and became Bishop of Rochester. His friend, Thomas More, wrote of him, 'I reckon in this realm no one man, in wisdom, learning and long approved virtue together, meet to be matched and compared with him.' He and his friend St. Thomas More gave up their lives in testimony to the unity of the Church and to the indissolubility of Marriage.

~ Excerpted from Catholic Culture.



St. Thomas More

Thomas More was born in 1478, son of the lawyer and judge John More and his wife Agnes. He received a classical education from the age of six, and at age 13 became the protege of Archbishop John Morton, who also served an important civic role as the Lor…

A Fortnight For Freedom: Everything You Need to Know

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Fortnight For Freedom begins today on the vigil of the feasts of Sts. Thomas More and John Fischer, two men who strongly opposed Henry VIII's break with the Catholic Church. We’re beginning two weeks of prayer and events to create greater awareness regarding the current threats to religious freedom here in the United States.

Take a look at the listing of dioceses at the USCCB web page or the EWTN resource page to find out what is happening near you, and make plans for you and your family to attend. Here are some daily reflections on religious liberty.

As part of a national effort to educate, the USCCB announced this morning a text campaign to create a network so that people of goodwill can stay informed on the latest news and projects concerning efforts to promote and defend our religious freedom. Here’s how it works: Send a text to 377377 with either the word “freedom” or “libertad,” depending on whether you want your updates in English or Spanish. You’ll get an automatic respons…

St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Patron Saint of Teenagers

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Today is the memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga.
The people who mass-produce statues and holy cards have done St. Aloysius Gonzaga no favors. The standard image of the saint as a frail, doe-eyed novice has given us the wrong impression. It may even be responsible for the decline in devotion to St. Aloysius. Yet Aloysius deserves a revival, especially as the patron saint of teenagers.
The time and place where he grew up — 16th-century Italy — is not very different from 21st century America. It was a lax, morally careless, self-indulgent age. Aloysius saw the decadence around him and vowed not to be part of it. He did not, however, become a kill-joy. Like any teenage boy, he wanted to have a good time, and as a member of an aristocratic family he had plenty of opportunities for amusement. He enjoyed horse races, banquets and the elaborate parties held in palace gardens. But if Aloysius found himself at a social function that took a turn to the lascivious, he left.
Aloysius did not just wan…

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

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O God our Creator,
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome— for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us— this great land will always be "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Threat Against Religious Freedom Under the Obama Healthcare Mandate

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Judie Brown, President of American Life League, explains the problems with the Obama healthcare mandate and the response by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops --the Fortnight for Freedom.

Stop The HHS Mandate

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This is a powerful video!




Genercide at Planned Parenthood Continues in North Carolina

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Live Action undercover video released today again catches Planned Parenthood contradicting its public statements claiming opposition to sex-selective abortion -- this time, in North Carolina.

 The film actually depicts two abortion facilities: the National Abortion Federation (NAF) affiliated “Women’s Choice of Raleigh,” along with Planned Parenthood’s Chapel Hill location. Both willingly and without any discernible hesitation schedule late-term, sex-selective abortions of baby girls -- just because the woman brazenly claims she is "unlucky" to be pregnant with a daughter, not a son.



“Yet again we have caught Planned Parenthood saying one thing in public and doing the opposite behind closed doors,” stated Live Action President Lila Rose.

“The fact is that, contrary to its public claims, the world’s largest abortion chain has no problem with targeted violence against girls. It willingly profits from any abortion, at any time, for any reason," Rose continued. "How i…

Saint Romuald, Abbot

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Today is the optional memorial of Saint Romuald, abbot and founder of the Camaldolese Benedictines-- one of the Italian branches of the Benedictines. He was born around 950 in Ravenna, Italy of a noble family and died on June 19, 1027 in Val-di-Castro, Italy.

Horrified, after his father killed a relative in a duel, at which he was forced to be present, Romuald retired to the Benedictine monastery of St. Apollinare, near Ravenna, where he became abbot from 996 to 999. For almost thirty years he traveled about Italy, reforming monasteries and establishing hermitages.

Romuald's own father eventually became a monk in one of his monasteries; when he later wavered in his vows, his son's encouragement helped him remain faithful. The last fourteen years of Romuald's life were spent in seclusion at Mount Sitria, Bifolco, and Val di Castro. St. Romuald died in 1027, and was canonized in 1595.

Like all the saints, Romuald fought a lifelong battle against the assaults of devils and m…

Fortnight of Freedom on EWTN

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Pope recognizes first Italian martyr for helping Jews during the Holocaust

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(Romereports.com) Odoardo Focherini was an Italian newspaper editor and a father of seven. During World War II, he helped hundreds of Jews escape Nazi persecution by giving them false documents to cross the Swiss border to safety.

He was eventually arrested and deported to the camp of Hersbruck where he died of an infection in December 1944.  
His life is a story that has been retold by historians such as Anna Foa, an expert in European Jewish history. She says the letters he wrote to his family from the concentration camp shows his resolve to help those being persecuted.

Anna Foa
Professor of History, La Sapienza University 
“There is a sentence that he writes 'if you could see how they treat the Jews here in the camp, we would have done much more than what we did.”
On May 10, Benedict XVI announced that Focherini would become a Blessed in recognition of his martyrdom. The act will make him the first Italian to be beatified for helping the Jewish people during the holocaust. 

Anna Foa
P…

St. Elizabeth of Schönau, Benedictine Mystic

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St. Elisabeth of Schönau, a friend and correspondent of St. Hildegard of Bingen, became a candid critic of corrupt clergy and joined her in a battle against heresy.

Born in Germany in 1129 of a prominent and pious family, she entered the Black Benedictine double monastery at Schönau, at age 12, made her profession in 1147, and became abbess in 1157.

At the age of 23, she began experiencing ecstasies and visions, which helped to provide answers to theological questions. In addition, she uttered prophecies, as well as denunciations of abuses in the Church and of the Cathari heretics. These revelations usually occurred on Sundays and Holy Days at Mass or Divine Office or after hearing about or reading the lives of saints. Christ, His Blessed Mother, an angel, or the special saint of the day would appear to her and instruct her; or she would see quite realistic representations of the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension, or other scenes of the Old and New Testaments.

Elisabeth left behind…

A Prayer for Father's Day

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God our Father, We give you thanks and praise for fathers young and old.

We pray for young fathers, newly embracing their vocation; May they find courage and perseverance to balance work, family and faith in joy and sacrifice.

We pray for our own Fathers around the world whose children are lost or suffering; May they know that the God of compassion walks with them in their sorrow.

We pray for men who are not fathers but still mentor and guide us with fatherly love and advice.

Cardinal Burke on SSPX

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Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, speaks about the ongoing reconciliation talks with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary

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The Church celebrates the liturgical memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary the day after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The contiguity of both celebrations is in itself a liturgical sign of their close connection: the mysterium of the Heart of Jesus is projected onto and reverberates in the Heart of His Mother, who is also one of his followers and a disciple.

As the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart celebrates the salvific mysteries of Christ in a synthetic manner by reducing them to their fount-the Heart of Jesus, so too the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a celebration of the complex visceral relationship of Mary with her Son’s work of salvation: from the Incarnation, to his death and resurrection, to the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Following the apparitions at Fatima in 1917, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary became very widespread. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the apparitions (1942) Pius XII consecrated the Church and the human race to the Immacu…

Vatican document aims to bring morality back into the business sphere

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June 15, 2012. (Romereports.com) In light of the economic crisis, for the first time the Vatican has given very specific recommendations in the document “Vocation of the Business Leader”. Those who helped to write it say the recent economic turmoil was the turning point that made them want to publish their “reflections” on the subject. 
SR. HELEN ALFORD
Editor, “Vocation of the Business Leader”
“People were lying, they were cheating, they were selling products which had a huge amount of risk in them which other people didn't recognize so these are basic ethical problems that were polluting the economical environment and at the end of the day they had their final result, a major crash.”
Helen Alford is a Dominican nun at Rome's Angelicum University. She is also one of the editors that helped to create this document from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
They made sure to note that business is often working toward the common good, but it also can lose sight of right and…

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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 "I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment" (Jesus to St. Margaret Mary).

Today is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On this feast, we focus our attention on Jesus truly present in the Holy Eucharist and reflect on God’s unconditional love and boundless mercy as symbolized by his heart.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has as its dogmatic foundation the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. On account of the hypostatic union, every part of our Lord's Human Nature is worthy of adoration. Hence, therefore, we adore His bodily Heart, beating in His Bosom. We also honor the Heart of Jesus as a reminder, or symbol, of His love for us, and we ar…

Sex-Selection in America: Part 4 - Undercover in Hawaii

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The fourth installment in Live Action's “Gendercide” series continues to expose Planned Parenthood’s serial callousness when it comes to the deliberate destruction of unborn baby girls – this time, paid for 100% by public funds.

Pontifical Council for Culture celebrates 30 years with new website and a documentary

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Fr. Barron: Why Its Ok to be Against Heresy

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Pope reflects on power of prayer during difficult times

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June 13, 2012. (Romereports.com) During the general audience, Benedict XVI continued his catechesis on the series of prayer with the writings of St. Paul.

 The selected passages focused on the apostle’s testimony to his own experience of contemplative prayer.

Benedict XVI “Paul teaches us the need for daily perseverance in prayer, even at times of dryness and difficulty, for it is there that we experience the life-changing power of God’s love.”

 The pope also recognized the participants in the International Eucharistic Congress that is currently taking place in Ireland's capital of Dublin.

 Benedict XVI “I invite all of you to join me in praying that the Congress will bear rich spiritual fruit in a greater appreciation of our Lord’s gift of himself to us in the Eucharist and a deeper love of the mystery of the Church.”

 At the end of the encounter the pope was greeted by the different groups in attendance like this group of German military officers, and this group of musicians fro…

St. Elisha, Prophet

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The saint of the day for June 14 is St. Elisha the Prophet, 9th century B.C.

Elisha, whose name in Hebrew means "God is Salvation," was the son of Shaphat. He was called by the prophet Elijah while plowing his father's fields. Elijah came and cast his mantle upon him, indicating thereby that Elisha was to succeed him. Before Elijah was taken up in a fiery chariot and into the whirlwind, Elisha asked to "inherit a double-portion" of Elijah's spirit. Throughout the whole course of his life the prophet Elisha accomplished a significant number of miracles.

He won the gratitude of the people of Jericho for healing its barren ground by adding salt to its waters.

When the armies of Judah, Israel and Edom, then allied against Mesa, the Moabite king, were being tortured by drought in the Idumæan desert, Elisha consented to intervene. His double prediction regarding relief from drought and victory over the Moabites was fulfilled on the following morning (2 Kgs 3:4-…

St. Anthony of Padua

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Today is the memorial of my one of my favorite saints -- St. Anthony of Padua, a Doctor of the Church, a Franciscan priest known as the "Hammer of the Heretics", the "Wonder Worker", and the "Ark of the Covenant." (Pope Gregory IX, who heard St. Anthony preach, in his canonization decree gave him the title "Ark of the Covenant," for just as the original Ark held the sacred Scriptures, so did St. Anthony in his person.)

He was born Fernando (Ferdinand) Martin de Bulhom in 1195 in Lisbon, Portugal, the son of a knight of the court of King Alfonso II. At the age of 15, he joined the Augustinian order and at 17, transferred to the priory of St. Cross, a more secluded monastery of the same order, where he devoted himself to prayer and study for eight years.

Ferdinand learned the news about five Franciscan friars who had recently died for their faith in Morocco. When their bodies were brought to Portugal for veneration, he developed a strong desir…

50th International Eucharistic Congress: Reflection and Prayer

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108 Martyrs of World War II

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Today we remember 108 martyrs of World War II -- a group of  Roman Catholics from Poland murdered for their faith by the Nazis during World War II. The groups consists of: 3 bishops, 52 priests, 26 members of male religious orders, 3 seminarians, 8 religious sisters, and 9 lay people. They were beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 13, 1999 in Warsaw, Poland.

St. Barnabas

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Today is the memorial of St. Barnabas, apostle.

Barnabas was not one of the original apostles, but was a Levite from Cyprus, originally named Joseph but renamed Barnabas, which means "Son of Encouragement" by them. It was Barnabas who presented St. Paul to the other Apostles when, after his long retreat in Arabia, he came to Jerusalem for the first time after his conversion to submit for Peter's approval the mission to the Gentiles entrusted to him by the Master Himself. He was present with Paul at the Council of Jerusalem (ca. 50). Barnabas was Paul's companion and helper on his first missionary journey and returned with him to Jerusalem, but left him when he set out on his second journey and went to Cyprus. After having converted many souls to Christ, Barnabas died in Cyprus during Nero's reign; tradition has it that he was stoned to death in the year 61. The name of St. Barnabas is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass.

St. Luke described Barnabas as 'a good …

Feast of Corpus Christi -- The Body and Blood of Christ

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St. Ephrem of Syria, Deacon and Doctor

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Today is the optional memorial of St. Ephrem of Syria, deacon and doctor.

 St. Ephrem was born around 306 A.D. in Nisibis, Mesopotamia. He is the only Syrian Father who is honored as a Doctor of the Universal Church.

Ephrem was baptized at the age of eighteen and became a disciple of the famous bishop of Nisibis, St. Jacob. He also accompanied St. Jacob to the Council of Nicaea in 325. Due to his great knowledge of the Church and doctrine, Ephrem was put in charge of a school of theology in Nisibis. He lived through three sieges laid to Nisibis by the Persians. Although the Persians failed to capture the town by direct attack, they obtained it in 363 as part of the price of a peace settlement following the defeat and death of the Emperor Julian. The Christians then abandoned the city and Ephrem retired to a cave in a rocky height overlooking Edessa.

 In Edessa, Ephrem led an austere life, sustained only by a little barley bread and a few vegetables. It was here that he wrote the great…

Pope leads procession through streets of Rome, to celebrate feast of "Corpus Domini"

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Convents and monasteries survive on their online stores

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Lila Rose Reveals Growing Trend of Sex-Selective Abortions on The O'Reilly Factor

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Blessed Anne of Saint Bartholomew

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The saint of the day is Blessed Anne of Saint Bartholomew. 

Anne was born at Almendral (Avila) on Oct. 10, 1549, and died at Anvers in Belgium on June 7, 1626. In her youth she was a shepherdess, hut already graced by deep mystical experiences. In 1570 she joined the Discalced Carmelite nuns of the first monastery of St. Joseph in Avila as the first lay sister of the reform. Anne was very dear to St. Teresa of Avila, who admitted her to profession on Aug. 15, 1572. She soon became the assistant and travel-companion of the reformer, who ordered Anne to learn to write, which she did almost miraculously. The saint also wished to die in the arms of Anne, at Alba de Tonnes on Oct. 4, 1582. Anne was a member of the communities of Avila, Madrid (1591) and Ocaña (1595); in 1604 she went into France with Anne of Jesus and four other nuns to initiate the reform there.

Shortly after her arrival in Paris, she was obliged to accept, under obedience, the black veil of a choir nun; she was then ele…