(Vatican Radio) On Saturday, August 29 th , the venerable Servant of God, Flavyānus Mikhayil Melkī is to be beatified. Melkī was an Eastern Catholic prelate of the Brothers of Saint Ephrem, who became the Syrian Catholic eparch of Gazarta – or what is Cizre in modern-day Turkey, and was was killed in Gazarta during the sayfo or “putting to the sword” of Syrians in 1915, after he refused to convert to Islam.
Earlier in August, Pope Francis approved Melkī’s beatification after he determined that Melkī was killed in hatred of the faith. Thus, the beatification date of August 29 th has been set to coincide with the centenary of his martyrdom.
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In an exclusive interview with Vatican Radio, the Prefect of the Congregations for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, said that the soon-to-be Blessed Flavyānus Mikhayil Melkī is a model of holiness for our time, in which once again the Christian communities of very ancient standing face the threat of extinction. “Today, as it was one hundred years ago,” said Cardinal Amato, “darkness has fallen in many countries of ancient Christian civilization: the faithful are discriminated against, persecuted, expelled, killed; their houses are not marked with the blood of the Passover lamb to be saved, but with the red ‘Nu’,” for Nasrani or ‘One belonging to the Nazarene,’ “meaning Christians, as the mark of their sentence.” Cardinal Amato went on to say, “As it was one hundred years ago, at the time of the martyrdom of bishop Melkī, Christians are denied every liberty, they are forced to leave their homeland, or to convert or die.”
“In fact,” the Cardinal-Prefect explained, “death reigns supreme in the persecutors’ minds and hearts of stone, who cannot stand the Christian civilization of liberty, respect for others, fraternity justice, charity.”
The Beatification ceremony is to be celebrated by the Syrian Catholic Patriarch, His Beatitude Ignatius Youssef III, in Harissa, in the presence of Cardinal Amato and with the participation of Patriarchs and other Church leaders from many rites.
(from Vatican Radio)…
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has published a proposal to
encourage the faithful to organize in their particular Churches an hour of
Eucharistic Adoration on the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on 1
September. The proposal, which opens with a 5-minute audio-visual welcome, is
offered on the Dicastery’s website, www.iustitiaetpax.va , under the special
section dedicated to the Laudato Si’ . It is available for download in
English. The proposed programme
for the hour of Eucharistic Adoration offers an introductory Collect from the
Orthodox tradition, to be followed by selected passages of the Word of God.
First and foremost are passages from Genesis (1:26-2:3 and 2:15), which provide
the narrative of Creation and of God’s will to take man “and put him in the
garden of Eden to till it and keep it”. This reading is followed by Psalm 148,
in which all creatures are called to give praise for the wonders created on the
earth: “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the
heights!”. Also proposed is a passage from the Gospel according to Matthew
(6:25-33), in which Jesus says that our life is worth more than food, and our body more than clothing:
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”. Three passages from the
Laudato Si’ then follow: in the first (nn. 8-9), the Pope recalls
that Patriarch Bartholomew “has spoken in particular of the need for each of us to
repent of the ways we have harmed the planet, … ‘inasmuch as we all generate
small ecological damage’”. In the second (n. 236), the Pontiff highlights that
in the Eucharist “all that has been created finds its greatest exaltation”. In
the third (nn. 241-242), the Pope refers to Mary and Joseph, pointing out of
the Virgin in particular, that: “Just as her pierced heart mourned the death of
Jesus, so now she grieves for the sufferings of the crucified poor and for the
creatures of this world laid waste by human power”. The
Intercessions call for prayer that Christians seek first God’s kingdom, strive
to grow in spirit, to bear much fruit, to work for the good of the Church, and
that all generations may share in the goods of creation. The proposed programme
concludes with the recitation of the Our Father, the concluding blessing, and a
passage from the Pope’s letter of 6 August to Cardinal Turkson and Cardinal
Koch for the establishment of the World Day ….