Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD, WYD - World Youth Day

Thought for the Day – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, B

Thought for the Day – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, B

John challenges us Christians to the fundamental attitude of Christianity—total dependence on the Father, in Christ.   Except for the Mother of God, no one had a higher function in the unfolding of salvation.   Yet the least in the kingdom, Jesus said, is greater than he, for the pure gift that the Father gives.   The attractiveness as well as the austerity of John, his fierce courage in denouncing evil—all stem from his fundamental and total placing of his life within the will of God.

The Benedictus, below, is prayed every morning in the Breviary and so, the Church remembers this “forerunner of Jesus” at the beginning of every day.   The opening words of this Canticle are the source of its Latin title, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel”.

What does it mean for Catholics, that we sing this song about John the Baptists at the start of every new day?   After having been “silenced” by sleep throughout the night, God opens our mouths and one of the first things we do, is to sing this blessing of God, whose dawn breaks forth to shine on us and guide our way to peace.

In the Benedictus, we join ourselves to the mission of St John the Baptist, who came to prepare a way for the Lord by being a witness of God’s salvation, living a simple and penitential life and calling others to do the same.   Our work each day, then, is to use our voice – like Zechariah and his son – and the witness of our lives, to make God’s presence known wherever we go and to whom whomever we encounter.

Ant. The mouth of Zechariah was opened and he spoke this prophecy:  Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel.

The Benedictus – Canticle of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79
The Messiah and His forerunner

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
He has visited His people and redeemed them.

He has raised up for us a mighty saviour,
in the house of David, His servant,
as He promised by the lips of holy men,
those who were His prophets of old.

A Saviour who would free us from our foes,
from the hands of all who us.
So His love for our fathers is fulfilled
and His holy covenant remembered.

He swore to our father Abraham, our father, to grant us,
that free from fear and saved from the hands of our foes.
we might worship Him in justice and holiness
all the days of our lives, in His Presence.

As for you, little child,
you shall be called the prophet of God, the Most High.
You shall go ahead of the Lord
to prepare His ways before Him,

to make known to His people their salvation,
through forgiveness of all their sins,
the loving kindness of the heart of our God,
who visits us like the dawn from on high.

He will give light to those in darkness,
those who dwell in the shadow of death,
and to guide us into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen

Ant. The mouth of Zechariah was opened and he spoke this prophecy:  Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel.the benedictus - the birth of john the baptist - 24 june 2018 - from my lit of the hours

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Posted in Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, WYD - World Youth Day

Saint of the Day – 22 October – St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Saint of the Day – 22 October – St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) Pope, Philosopher, Theologian, Writer, Preacher, Professor and Teacher, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist, Eucharistic Adoration, Charity and Mercy.   Patronages – Archdiocese of Kraków, World Youth Day (Co-Patron). World Meeting of Families 2015 (Co-Patron), Young Catholics, Families, Świdnica.   St John Paul was the second longest-serving pope in modern history after Pope Pius IX, who served for nearly 32 years from 1846 to 1878.   Born in Poland, John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope since the Dutch Pope Adrian VI, who served from 1522 to 1523.   John Paul II’s cause for canonisation commenced in 2005 one month after his death with the traditional five-year waiting period waived.   On 19 December 2009, John Paul II was proclaimed Venerable by his successor Pope Benedict XVI and was beatified on 1 May 2011 (Divine Mercy Sunday) after the Congregation for the Causes of Saints attributed one miracle to his intercession, the healing of a French nun from Parkinson’s disease.   A second miracle attributed to John Paul II’s intercession was approved on 2 July 2013 and confirmed by Pope Francis two days later (two miracles must be attributed to a person’s intercession to be declared a saint).   John Paul II was canonised on 27 April 2014 (again Divine Mercy Sunday), together with Pope John XXIII.   On 11 September 2014, Pope Francis added John Paul II’s optional memorial feast day to the worldwide General Roman Calendar of saints, in response to worldwide requests.   It is traditional to celebrate saints’ feast days on the anniversary of their deaths but that of John Paul II (22 October) is celebrated on the anniversary of his papal inauguration.

KAROL JÓZEF WOJTYŁA, elected Pope on 16 October 1978, was
born in Wadowice, Poland, on 18 May 1920.

He was the third of three children born to Karol Wojtyła and Emilia
Kaczorowska, who died in 1929. His elder brother Edmund, a
physician, died in 1932, and his father, Karol, a non-commissioned
officer in the army, died in 1941.

He was nine years old when he received his First Communion and
eighteen when he received the Sacrament of Confirmation.   After
completing high school in Wadowice, he enrolled in the Jagellonian
University of Krakow in 1938.

When the occupying Nazi forces closed the University in 1939,
Karol worked (1940-1944) in a quarry and then in the Solvay
chemical factory to earn a living and to avoid deportation to Germany.

Feeling called to the priesthood, he began his studies in 1942 in
the clandestine major seminary of Krakow, directed by the Archbishop
Adam Stefan Sapieha.   During that time, he was one of the organisers
of the “Rhapsodic Theatre”, which was also clandestine.

After the war, Karol continued his studies in the major seminary,
newly reopened and in the school of theology at the Jagellonian
University, until his priestly ordination in Krakow on 1 November
1946.   Father Wojtyła was then sent by Cardinal Sapieha to Rome,
where he attained a doctorate in theology (1948).   He wrote his
dissertation on faith as understood in the works of Saint John of
the Cross.   While a student in Rome, he spent his vacations
exercising pastoral ministry among Polish emigrants in France,
Belgium and Holland.

In 1948, Father Wojtyła returned to Poland and was appointed a
curate in the parish church of Niegowić, near Krakow, and later at
Saint Florian in the city.   He was a university chaplain until 1951,
when he again undertook studies in philosophy and theology.   In
1953, Father Wojtyła presented a dissertation at the Jagellonian
University of Krakow on the possibility of grounding a Christian
ethic on the ethical system developed by Max Scheler.   Later he
became professor of moral theology and ethics in the major
seminary of Krakow and in the theology faculty of Lublin.

On 4 July 1958, Pope Pius XII appointed Father Wojtyła auxiliary
bishop of Krakow, with the titular see of Ombi.   Archbishop
Eugeniusz Baziak ordained him in Wawel Cathedral (Krakow)
on 28 September 1958.

On 13 January 1964, Pope Paul VI appointed Bishop Wojtyła as
Archbishop of Krakow and subsequently, on 26 June 1967, created
him a Cardinal.

Bishop Wojtyła took part in the Second Vatican Council (1962-
1965) and made a significant contribution to the drafting of the
Constitution Gaudium et Spes.   He also took part in the five assemblies
of the Synod of Bishops prior to the start of his Pontificate.

On 16 October 1978, Cardinal Wojtyła was elected Pope and on 22
October he began his ministry as universal Pastor of the Church.

Pope John Paul II made 146 pastoral visits in Italy and, as the Bishop
of Rome, he visited 317 of the current 322 Roman parishes.   His
international apostolic journeys numbered 104 and were expressions
of the constant pastoral solicitude of the Successor of Peter for
all the Churches.

His principal documents include 14 Encyclicals, 15 Apostolic
Exhortations, 11 Apostolic Constitutions and 45 Apostolic Letters.
He also wrote five books:   Crossing the Threshold of Hope (October
1994); Gift and Mystery:   On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Priestly
Ordination 
(November 1996);   Roman Triptych, meditations in
poetry 
(March 2003);   Rise, Let Us Be on Our Way (May 2004)
and Memory and Identity (February 2005).

Pope John Paul II celebrated 147 beatifications, during which he
proclaimed 1,338 blesseds and 51 canonisations, for a total of 482
saints.   He called 9 consistories, in which he created 231 Cardinals
(plus one in pectore).   He also presided at 6 plenary meetings of the
College of Cardinals.

From 1978, Pope John Paul II convoked 15 assemblies of the Synod
of Bishops: 6 ordinary general sessions (1980, 1983, 1987, 1990,
1994 and 2001), 1 extraordinary general session (1985) and 8
special sessions (1980, 1991,1994,1995,1997,1998 (2) and 1999).

On 3 May 1981, an attempt was made on Pope John Paul II’s life
in Saint Peter’s Square.   Saved by the maternal hand of the Mother
of God, following a lengthy stay in the hospital, he forgave the
attempted assassin and, aware of having received a great gift,
intensified his pastoral commitments with heroic generosity.

Pope John Paul II also demonstrated his pastoral concern by
erecting numerous dioceses and ecclesiastical circumscriptions,
and by promulgating Codes of Canon Law for the Latin and the
Oriental Churches, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
He proclaimed the Year of Redemption, the Marian Year and the
Year of the Eucharist as well as the Great Jubilee Year of 2000,
in order to provide the People of God with particularly intense spiritual
experiences. He also attracted young people by beginning the
celebration of World Youth Day.WYD 2YOUTH GATHER IN CZESTOCHOWA FOR WORLD YOUTH DAY

No other Pope met as many people as Pope John Paul II. More
than 17.6 million pilgrims attended his Wednesday General Audiences
(which numbered over 1,160). This does not include any of
the other special audiences and religious ceremonies (more than 8
million pilgrims in the Great Jubilee Year of 2000 alone). He met
millions of the faithful in the course of his pastoral visits in Italy
and throughout the world. He also received numerous government
officials in audience, including 38 official visits and 738 audiences
and meetings with Heads of State, as well as 246 audiences and
meetings with Prime Ministers.

Pope John Paul II died in the Apostolic Palace at 9:37 p.m. on
Saturday, 2 April 2005, the vigil of Sunday in albis or Divine Mercy
Sunday, which he had instituted. On 8 April, his solemn funeral
was celebrated in Saint Peter’s Square and he was buried in the
crypt of Saint Peter’s Basilica.

 

John Paul II was beatified in Saint Peter’s Square on 1 May 2011 by
Pope Benedict XVI, his immediate successor and for many years
his valued collaborator as Prefect for the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith and canonised on 27 April 2014, together
with Pope John XXIII, by Pope Francis.0005260_tu-es-petrus-le-chiavi-del-regno-da-giovanni-paolo-ii-a-benedetto-xvi-1-x-60-minpope benedict holds a new portraitCanonisation 1.canonisation 2.canonisation 3.

Booklet for the Celebration of the Canonization of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II, 27 April 2014 from the Vatican

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY CROSS, WYD - World Youth Day

Thought for the Day – 6 September

Thought for the Day – 6 September

In 1984, at the close of the 1983 Holy Year of the Redemption at the Vatican, St Pope John Paul II entrusted to the young people of the world a simple, 12-foot wooden Cross, asking them to carry it across the world.   This is now the heart of every World Youth Day this  very simple, powerful, ancient Christian symbol:  two large planks of wood, known as the World Youth Day Cross, that many have called the “Olympic Torch” of the huge Catholic festival of young people.Cross-Icon-Brazilian-Pilgrims

The World Youth Day cross has many names:  the Jubilee Cross, the Pilgrim Cross, the Youth Cross.   In 1984, at the close of the 1983 Holy Year of the Redemption at the Vatican, St Pope John Paul II entrusted to the young people of the world a simple, twelve-foot wooden Cross, asking them to carry it across the world as a sign of the love which the Lord Jesus has for humankind and “to proclaim to everyone that only in Christ who died and is risen is there salvation and redemption.”   Since that day, carried by generous hands and loving hearts, the Cross has made a long, uninterrupted pilgrimage across the continents, to demonstrate, as Pope John Paul II had said, “the Cross walks with young people and young people walk with the Cross.”

The cross does not journey alone.   Since 2003 it has been accompanied by an icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary. a copy of the Icon of our Lady known as the ‘Salus Populi Romani’. The original from which this Icon has been copied is considered by some to be from the eighth century and is housed in a chapel in the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome.   St Pope John Paul II entrusted to the youth an icon of the Blessed Mother that would accompany the cross.   “It will be a sign of Mary’s motherly presence close to young people who are called, like the Apostle John, to welcome her into their lives.”wyd symbols

The World Youth Day Cross and Icon speak to us of the two focal points of the message of Christianity:   of the Cradle and of the Cross;  of Christ who was born of Mary and of Christ who was crucified for us;   of Christmas and Good Friday;  of the Incarnation and the Paschal Mystery.   The Icon and Cross, therefore, are potent symbols of the joy and suffering that we experience in our Christian pilgrimage.

Because we follow a crucified Christ, we enter into solidarity with the world’s suffering masses.   We experience the power and love of God through the vulnerable and suffering.   The Cross teaches us that what could have remained hideous and beyond remembrance is transformed into beauty, hope and a continuous call to heroic goodness.

To celebrate the Triumph of the Cross is to acknowledge the full, cruciform achievement of Jesus’ career.   Jesus asks us to courageously choose a life similar to his own.   Suffering cannot be avoided nor ignored by those who follow Christ.   Following Jesus implies suffering and a cross.   The mark of the Messiah is to become the mark of his disciples. (Fr Rosica)

only in christ - st john paul wyd 1984