1 Blessed feasts of blessed martyrs,
Holy women, holy men,
With our love and admiration,
Greet we your return again.
Worthy deeds are theirs, and wonders,
Worthy of the name they bore;
We, with joyful praise and singing,
Honor them for evermore.
2 Faith prevailing, hope unfailing,
Loving Christ with single heart,
Thus they, glorious and victorious
Bravely bore the martyr’s part
By contempt of every anguish,
By unyielding battle done;
Victors at the last, they triumph
With the host of angels one.
3 Therefore, all that reign in glory,
Strong and sure with Christ on high,
Join to ours your supplication
When before him we draw nigh,
Praying that, this life completed,
All its fleeting moments past,
By his grace we may be worthy
Of eternal bliss at last.
*Read More »
Beijing (AsiaNews) – The Communist Party of China has unveiled its new top leadership a day after with the closing of the weeklong 19th National Congress that ended on Oct 24. Several Catholics and opinion leaders are skeptical of the possibilities for an improvement for the life of the Church. And Wang Zuoan, the director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, ruled out that Pope Francis could visit China any time soon.
As for religious affairs, some Chinese Catholics who are active on social media think Wang, as shown from his career path, does not seem to be familiar with religion, an issue that the Communist Party regards as sensitive, with former President Jiang Zemin once described as “no small matters” in 1993.
Though media outside China labeled Wang Yang as a liberal, they said the thinking of an official would be affected by the position he or she held and thus Wang may not be as liberal on religious affairs like when he was a vice premier dealing with economic affairs. “After all, things are not decided by him alone. The new leadership is unlikely to bring change to the current situation of the church,” said Joseph, a lay Catholic who only gives his baptismal name.
Marawi (Agenzia Fides) – “Today we have mixed feelings. We are happy for the end of the conflict in Marawi, because a new era of hope opens up. We are mourning for the deaths of two Catholic students who were taken hostage and died while being held prisoners, in airborne bombings on the city. Other three Catholic women, captured with Fr. Chito Soganub while they were in the cathedral, have been released and are safe.We will now think of the reconstruction of the cathedral but above all of the physical, psychological and spiritual reconstruction of our Catholic community: the lives of the faithful have been devastated, families are displaced and must rebuild houses and recover the livelihoods.
We will search for our 2,000 Catholic faithful in Marawi to help them organize their return to the city in order to resume their lives”: is what Bishop Edwin de la Pena, who heads the Apostolic Prelature of Marawi says to Agenzia Fides in the aftermath of the siege where the Philippine army fought against 800 militant jihadists who on May 23 invaded the city, causing the escape and displacement of more than 200,000 people.
(Vatican Radio) “Jesus calls us to change our lives, to change paths, calls us to conversion.” And this means fighting against evil, even in our own hearts, “a struggle that does not give you ease, but gives you peace.” That was the message of Pope Francis in his reflection during the morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta. Inspired by the day’s Gospel, Pope Francis explained that this is the “fire” that Jesus sets on earth – a fire, he said, that calls for change:
“Changing our way of thinking, changing our way of feeling. Your heart, which was worldly, pagan, now becomes Christian with the strength of Christ: to change, this is conversion. And changing your manner of acting: your works must change.”
“It is,” he continued, a conversion that “involves everything, body and soul, everything.” “Easy-going Christians, who don’t fight, don’t exist,” the Pope added. “Those are not Christians, they are lukewarm.”
In the Gospel passage (Luke 10:21-24), Jesus tells his disciples: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.” It would seem that today we are not so blessed, because we were born two thousand years too late to see Jesus in the flesh, face to face. But let’s consider what we have seen with our own eyes.
Every day, if we’re able to celebrate Mass, we see Jesus in the Eucharist. Well, no, we don’t see him with our physical vision. It requires faith — and belief in the supernatural power of God — to recognize that the bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus during the consecration prayers. The eyes of our souls see him.
Every day, we see Jesus in others if we look past the garbage of sinfulness and unhealthy behaviors that they carry around like prized possessions. Jesus is not plainly visible; true vision requires faith. True faith opens the eyes of our souls to find the presence of Christ within each person.Read More »
Isidore was literally born into a family of saints in sixth century Spain. Two of his brothers, Leander and Fulgentius, and one of his sisters, Florentina, are revered as saints in Spain. It was also a family of leaders and strong minds with Leander and Fulgentius serving as bishops and Florentina as abbess.
This didn’t make life easier for Isidore. To the contrary, Leander may have been holy in many ways, but his treatment of his little brother shocked many even at the time. Leander, who was much older than Isidore, took over Isidore’s education and his pedagogical theory involved force and punishment. We know from Isidore’s later accomplishments that he was intelligent and hard-working so it is hard to understand why Leander thought abuse would work instead of patience.
One day, the young boy couldn’t take any more. Frustrated by his inability to learn as fast as his brother wanted and hurt by his brother’s treatment, Isidore ran away. But though he could escape his brother’s hand and words, he couldn’t escape his own feeling of failure and rejection. When he finally let the outside world catch his attention, he noticed water dripping on the rock near where he sat. The drops of water that fell repeatedly carried no force and seemed to have no effect on the solid stone. And yet he saw that over time, the water drops had worn holes in the rock. Isidore realized that if he kept working at his studies, his seemingly small efforts would eventually pay off in great learning. He also may have hoped that his efforts would also wear down the rock of his brother’s heart.Read More »
“No matter what storm you face, you need to know that God loves you. He has not abandoned you.” ~ Franklin Graham