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Day: April 5, 2016

Vatican Radio’s Alberto Gasbarri honoured for service

Monday afternoon at the Casa Santa Marta, Dr. Alberto Gasbarri, the administrative director of Vatican Radio and co-ordinator of papal travel, was honoured by Pope Francis with the Medal of the Knight’s Cross of the Pius Order in recognition of his 34 years of loyal service to the Holy See.
During the presentation of the award, the Deputy Secretariat of the State, Monsignor Angelo Bacciu, thanked Dr. Gasbarri for his professionalism in a demanding and engaging job, whilst always continuing to serve the Church and the Holy Father. Dr. Gasbarri took the opportunity to thank his family and his colleagues who had become almost a ‘second family’ during the long time they had spent together. 
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis prayer intentions for April focus on small farmers

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis’ video for April’s prayer intentions focuses on the plight of the small farmer. The Pope Video is a global initiative developed by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer) to assist in the dissemination of the Holy Father’s monthly intentions related to the challenges the humanity faces.

The full text of the videomessage is below:
I thank you, small farmer. What you do is essential for the life of all. As a person, as a child of God, you deserve a decent life.
But I wonder: how is your work compensated?
This earth is a gift from God. It is not right to exploit it for the benefit of just a few, depriving the great majority of their rights and benefits.
Please consider adding your voice to mine in this prayer: that small farmers may receive just compensation for their invaluable work. 
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis: Christian harmony vs contrived tranquility

(Vatican Radio)   A Christian community that lives in “harmony” is fruit of the Holy Spirit and should not be confused with “tranquility” that often is a hypocritical whitewashing of its contrasts and divisions. That’s the message conveyed by Pope Francis during his homily at Tuesday’s morning Mass celebrated in the Casa Santa Marta. A community united in Christ, the Pope said, is also a courageous community.
Listen to Tracey McClure’s report:

Reflecting on the day’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Pope Francis points to the  one word that sums up the sentiments and lifestyle of the very first Christian community: harmony.  Theirs is a life in communion, based on shared values and shared wealth for the benefit of all.
Harmony vs contrived coexistence
But, Pope Francis is careful to point out that the harmony which bound together the Church’s first Christians came as a gift of the Holy Spirit.  It was not a man-made or contrived form of tranquil coexistence.
“We can negotiate some sort of peace … but harmony is an inner grace that only the Holy Spirit can grant. And these communities lived in harmony. And there are two signs of harmony: there is no one wanting, that is, everything was shared. In what sense? They had one heart, one soul, and no one considered as his own any property that belonged to him, but everything was shared in common amongst them. None of them was ever in need.  The true ‘harmony’ of the Holy Spirit has a very strong relationship with money: money is the enemy of harmony; money is selfish.”  
Proof of the first Christian community’s harmony, the Pope says, was shown in the fact that they freely gave of their own goods “so that others would not be in need.”
God and money: two “irreconcilable” masters
The Pope draws from the day’s reading the virtuous example of Barnabas who sells his field and gives the proceeds to the Apostles. And in contrast, Francis cites another passage from Acts: that of Ananias and Sapphira, a couple who sell their field and pretend to give the entire proceeds to the Apostles but who in fact, keep part of the money for themselves.  That lie costs them dearly; both die on the spot. 
God and money are two “irreconcilable” masters, Francis stresses. And, he warns against confusing “harmony” with “tranquility:”
“A community can be very tranquil…things are fine … But it is not harmonious. I once heard a wise thing from a bishop: ‘There is tranquility in the diocese. But if you touch on a certain problem – this problem or that problem – war breaks out.’  This is negotiated harmony, and this is not of the Spirit. Let’s say that it’s a hypocritical harmony like that of Ananias and Saphira and what they did.”
The Spirit, generosity and courage
Francis concludes, encouraging a re-reading of the Acts of the Apostles and their portrayal of the first Christians and their life together. “We will do well,” he says, to understand the importance of their fraternal generosity and how to bear witness to such a lifestyle in our daily lives.
“The harmony of the Holy Spirit grants us the generosity to possess nothing as our own, while there is someone in need.”
The harmony of the Holy Spirit, he adds, also fortifies us with courage. “‘With great power the Apostles bore witness to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all:’ namely, courage. When there is harmony in the Church, in the community, there is courage, the courage to bear witness to the Risen Lord.”
(from Vatican Radio)…

Rome’s Papal Basilicas coming to the big screen

(Vatican Radio) The Papal Basilica’s are coming to a cinema near you. For three days next week they will be the protagonists in a 3D film boasting previously unpublished images and hidden details in their art treasures
Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s report

For the first time, Rome’s four Papal Basilica’s are literally coming to the big screen.
For three days only from April 11 th to 13 th cinema audiences will be guided on a 3D tour of St Peter’s, St John Lateran, St Mary Major and St Paul’s Outside the Walls.
During the 90 minute film entitled “St. Peter’s and the Papal Basilicas of Rome” experts will explain how these famous places of prayer have evolved over the centuries, illustrating the works of art they contain and the celebrated artists associated with them including, Giotto, Michelangelo and Bernini.
Thanks to the vast arsenal of technology employed, audiences will be able to see and appreciate the hidden details of the art treasures, such as Michelangelo’s signature on the Pietà.
In addition, cinema goers will be able to view unpublished images, thanks to the use of helicopters. And to complete this visual feast for the eye the power of 3D will put the viewer in the middle of the scene and in direct contact with the works of art.
One those featured in the film is the Director of the Vatican Museums Antonio Paolucci.
He says, “the production that SKY is doing is precious for people who think they know these monuments but in reality they don’t know them and they don’t see them, so it’s a kind of visual help.”
The film which will be distributed in over fifty countries including Italy, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Canada, UK, Ireland, and Spain, is produced by the Vatican Television Center, and SKY 3D  in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of heritage and culture.
(from Vatican Radio)…