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Day: August 13, 2015

Official logo of Pope Francis in Cuba revealed

(Vatican Radio) The official logo of Pope Francis’s apostolic voyage to Cuba has been released.  The Holy Father will visit the nation from September 19-22, 2015.  The organizing committee also has a website for the visit, a Facebook Page , and a Twitter account .
On September 21, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in Havana’s Revolution Square, and visit the city’s Cathedral.  On September 22, the Pope will travel to eastern Cuba, and celebrate Mass in the city of Holguin. On September 23, he will be in Santiago de Cuba, and celebrate Mass at the Shrine of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre.
Pope Francis is the third pope to visit Cuba.  Pope St. John Paul II visited in 1998, and Pope Benedict XVI visited in 2012.
(from Vatican Radio)…

The Angelus on the Assumption for the first time in St Peter’s Square

is full of grace. She is a sure refuge
for us in times of temptation”. With this Tweet posted on @Pontifexon Thursday, 13 August, Pope
Francis called for a climate of reflection on Mary, on the vigil of the
Solemnity of the Assumption. On the occasion of the Marian feast,
at midday on Saturday, 15 August, the Pontiff will guide the recitation of the
Angelus in St Peter’s Square. It marks a first: during the occasion in 2014, Francis
was on a pastoral visit to Korea, while in 2013 he was at Castel Gandolfo to celebrate Mass and meet
with employees of the Papal Villas. The appointment to pray with the faithful
in St Peter’s Square will take place on Sunday the 16th noon as customary. For live video…

The dormition of Mary in Syro-Oriental iconography – Today the heaven of heavens proclaims her sister

tradition, to which the Assyrian Church and the Chaldean Church belong, has
outstanding hymnographic texts for celebrations of the Most Holy Virgin Mary.
Many of these texts are included in our liturgical books for various
celebrations, and particularly notable are the hymns of George Warda, a writer
who lived during the 12 th and 13 th centuries in Arbela,
now Iraq. The name Warda, which means ‘rose’ in Syrian, is a
nickname tied to his poetic compositions in Syro-Oriental liturgical books. His
writings included theological poems and metrical homilies for the feasts of the
Lord, the Virgin Mary and saints. In two of his hymns dedicated to Mary, we
find deeply embedded the them of her passage to heaven. There are texts in
which the writer meditates on the mystery of Mary, virgin and mother of Christ,
redeemer of man. These lines, inspired by texts of one of the theological and
liturgical traditions of the Christian Near East, seek also to be a form of
prayer and closeness to many Christians of the Syro-Oriental tradition and of
the other Christian traditions which today are suffering and persecuted. Warda begins both of his hymns attaching to Mary a long
series of Christological and Mariological titles taken from Old Testament texts
and facts: “Were I to call her (Mary) earth, it would be senseless, for I know
that no one on earth bears her likeness. I could compare her to a garden, her
four corners separated by four rivers. But the spring which flowed from
paradise saved no one. From Mary, however, gushed a wellspring, which four
mouths dispelled, inebriating all the earth”. Warda continues his exegetical
comparison with the use of figures and characters taken from the Book of
Genesis, for example, the tree, the ark, the rock, the bush: “She is the
splendid tree which produced the marvellous fruit. She is the ark of flesh in
which the true Noah rested. She is the daughter of Abraham for whose figure
Adam provided. She bore the son and Lord of Abraham. She is the rock from
whence the well has sprung. She is the extraordinary burning bush, in which
dwelled for nine months the incandescent flame”. In the central portion of both hymns, the poet sings the
mystery of the death of Mary. Following apocryphal tradition, George Warda
describes, one might say, all the liturgy celebrated in full communion between
heaven and earth. He describes in the first place – practically seeing and
contemplating the iconographic representation of the feast – the presence of
all personages that come from heaven to celebrate Mary in her passage: “On the
day her body separated from her glorious soul, angels solemnly hastened from
heaven to pay homage to her, the womb from which life poured out for all
mankind. The angels came from on high, the prophets rose again, the four winds
brought the apostles to celebrate her glory”. Almost drawing a parallel between
the death and resurrection of Christ and that of his mother, Warda sings the
passover of Mary by making present even the figure of Adam and his descendants:
“There came Adam, who was killed by his wife, to see his daughter exalted.
There came Israel and his forefathers, Isaiah and his companions. Prophets
along with patriarchs, apostles with the shepherds. In life she lived a worldly
death and, in dying, called the dead back to life. The prophets came out of
their sepulchres, the patriarchs from their tombs”. Then, following an
iconographic description, he continues: “She was carried on the clouds and
exalted among the spirits, to receive immortal praise for all eternity”. The
writer continues to describe in every detail the liturgy which is at once both
heavenly and earthly, around Mary’s passing; a liturgy celebrated by angels and
by men, by the prophets and apostles, by the whole of Creation, in praise of
Mary and of Christ himself. There are verses in which George Warda adopts such beautiful
and touching images as that of the rain which envies Mary’s womb: “The firmament
and clouds bend their knees, and lightening joins with thunder to radiate her
splendour and disperse the glory of her Son. Rain and dew covet her womb for,
while theirs nourish only the seeds of the earth, hers had the honour of
nourishing the seeds’ Creator. The stars adore her, the sun and moon kneel
before her. Heaven proclaims her holy, the heaven of heavens proclaims her
sister”. Thus, to digress from the description made in the
apocryphal tradition of the feast, the poet positions even the terrestrial next
to the celestial liturgy, with the presence of the Twelve next to the funeral
bed of Mary: “Several of the apostles were already dead, the others were still
living but far away. The dead came back to life, and those far away gathered,
at her death”. The celestial and terrestrial liturgy celebrated by angels and
the apostles who become, with Mary, intercessors for all mankind: “The
apostles, in procession, bore her body, the prophets and priests escorted her
casket. Angels wove crowns and igneous mouths paid her homage. In the moment of
her passing, her intercession came to the aid of the afflicted. The sick and
the suffering souls were soothed upon the invocation of her great name”. George Warda concludes the second of his hymns with a
long series of beatitudes to Mary, which are a song of the Word of God
incarnate in her: “Blessed are you, o Virgin betrothed, o woman who engendered
a son. Blessed are you, o fatherless mother, whose Son had no father among
mortal men. Blessed are you, o earth, in whom was formed and in whom abided,
becoming flesh, the God of Abraham. Blessed are you, o city of the Most High
and tabernacle of the Son of the Creator. Blessed are you, o earthly heaven
whom the waters above heaven envied. Blessed are you, through whom eternal
salvation was restored for Adam and his offspring”. And as we often find among
Christian hymnal texts, Warda too requests at the end of his hymns for Mary’s
intercession and prayer: “Ask for me, the worst sinner of all men, and for all
people who celebrate your feast, the pardon and forgiveness of sins, you, whose
Son reigns in eternal glory. Amen”. Manuel Nin…

Abp Auza: interest in Laudato si’ high ahead of Pope’s UN visit

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis’ recent encyclical letter, Laudato si’ , on the care of our common home, continues to generate interest and discussion at all levels of government and society – even and especially at the United Nations in New York, where the Holy Father will be speaking in September.
Vatican Radio’s Alessandro Gisotti spoke with the Permanent Observer to the UN in New York, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, who told us that interest in the encyclical has continued and even increased with respect to the intense media buzz that preceded its release. “I can say with certainty that the reception of the encyclical in the UN context was great,” said Archbishop Auza. “There was so much speculation, and we might even say, so much publicity done by the international press and also here at the UN, with lots of talk before the publication of the encyclical and also after,” he added. “But,” he continued, “I would say that some of the people to whom I have talked could cite passages from the encyclical, which is an indication not only that they have talked about it, but that many have read it and have enjoyed reading it.”
Pope Francis is scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly’s summit on the adoption of sustainable development goals, on September 25 th , ahead of a climate summit in Paris in November.
Click below to hear Alessandro Gisotti’s extended conversation with the Permanent Observer to the UN in New York, Archbishop Bernardito Auza

(from Vatican Radio)…

?L’Osservatore Romano’s weekly edition in Malayalam 14-21 August 2015

Thanks to Carmel International Publishing House in Kerala, the weekly English Edition, now available online in Malayalam for our readers in India. Edition in Malayalam …