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Day: October 14, 2017

Pope sends video-message to pilgrims in Fatima for end of Centenary celebrations

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis sent a video-message to pilgrims gathered in Fatima to mark the closing of the Centenary of the Fatima Apparitions .
“ Never be afraid, God is infinitely greater than all of our problems. He loves us very much. Go forward in your journey without losing sight of the Mother, like a child who feels safe when close to his mother, we too are safe when close to Our Lady ” he said.   
In his message which was broadcast on giant screens at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima on 13 October , the Pope recalled his own pilgrimage to Fatima in May and the blessings received and he urged the faithful “never to put the Rosary aside, but to continue to recite it as She asked”.  

(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope to declare 35 new saints on Sunday

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis will declare 33 martyrs and 2 others from Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Italy, as the Catholic Church’s new saints on Sunday at a Canonization Mass in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square.  
They include 30 so-called  “ Matryrs of Natal ”, including priests and lay people, who were killed in 1645 in a wave of anti-Catholic persecution by Dutch Calvinists in Natal, Brazil.
Another group of 3 indigenous martyrs from Mexico – Cristobal, Antonio and Juan – known as the ” Child Martyrs of Tlaxcala ” will also be canonized.  Aged between 12 and 13, the children were among the first indigenous Catholics of Mexico who were ‎killed between 1527 and 1529 for refusing to renounce their faith and return to their ancient ‎traditions.‎ 
Among the new saints will also be two European priests.  One of them is Spanish Piarist Father, Manuel Míguez González , the founder of the Daughters of the Divine Shepherdess, or the Calasanzian Institute.  He died in 1925.  The other  is Italian Cappuchin priest, Fr. Angelo da Acri , who died in 1739. 
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope to attend high-level forum on 60 years of EU

(Vatican Radio)  A high-level forum of dialogue to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the “Treaty of Rome”, that established the European Community, will take place in the Vatican end of October, in which Pope Francis will participate.  Organized by the Holy See and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), the October 27-29 congress on the theme, “(Re)thinking Europe” will see hundreds of high-level Church and European Union political representatives join other grassroots actors to contribute to a constructive reflection on the fundamental challenges facing the European project.  Organizers said the meeting will be in the form of a dialogue, with workshops and debates, to facilitate a frank and open discussion between stakeholders of different geographic, cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds, putting in practice the motto of the EU: “unity in diversity”.  “Willing to work for the common good and to put human dignity at the center of public policies, the participants will be called to look for new ways to involve all actors in the society in their respective religious or political responsibilities,” organizers said. Pope Francis will address the participants on 28 October to reiterate his sincere engagement to a common reflection on the future of the EU and recall the commitment of the Church to this Peace project.  What is the European Community today was born as the European Economic Community (EEC) with the signing of the “Treaty of Rome” on 25 March 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany.  It came into force on 1 January 1958.   The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 established the European Community and introduced the European citizenship.  The 2009 Treaty of Lisbon renamed it the “Treaty on the functioning of the European Union”.  Since its inception, the EU has expanded to include new members.  Today it has 28 member states with an estimated population of over 510 million. (from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis receives Vincentian Family

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received members of the Vincentian Family in St. Peter’s Square on Saturday, in occasion of the 4 th centenary of the origin of their charism of service on behalf of the poor.
Vincentians then and now
2017 is a year charged with particular significance for the Vincentians , for it marks the 400 th anniversary of  a pair of decisive events in the life of the man we know today as St. Vincent de Paul: on January 25th, the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, St. Vincent preached “the first sermon of the mission” in Folleville (France), a few days after the confession of a dying man him acutely aware of the spiritual abandonment of the poor country people; and later that year, in August, St.Vincent experienced the material poverty and misery of his parishioners in in Châtillon, because of which he decided to dedicate himself to the work of charity that made him an exemplar of holiness.
Click below to hear our report…

The events that took place in 1617, therefore, mark the origin of the Vincentian charism, which has animated St. Vincent de Paul ’s spiritual sons and daughters – the members of the Vincentian Family – through the course of four centuries.
Today, the Vincentian Family has 225 members and affiliate groups, including religious communities and lay associations, which work in more than 80 countries on 5 continents in health care ministry, education and faith formation, and general human promotion and development. They care for the homeless, refugees and displaced persons, orphaned and abandoned children, and single mothers.
Pope Francis to Vincentians: adore, welcome, go forward to serve
In remarks prepared for the 11 thousand members of the  Vincentian Family gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Saturday, Pope Francis said, “St. Vincent gave rise to a charitable élan that has endured for centuries.” “Today,” he continued, “I would like to encourage you to continue this journey.”
The Holy Father focused on three forms of action, which he said epitomize the Vincentian charism and are of the essence to Christian life in general: adoration, welcome, and being on the way as pilgrims in the world.
To adore the Lord, “is to place oneself before [Him], with respect, with calm and in silence, giving to Him the first place, and abandoning oneself to Him in faith and trust,” Pope Francis said.
Pope Francis went on to say, “To be welcoming means to resize one’s self, to straighten out one’s  way of thinking, to understand that life is not one’s private property, and that time does not belong to any one of us.”
“Love,” Pope Francis continued, “is dynamic: it goes out of itself; one who loves does not sit in his chair and watch, waiting for the advent of a better world; rather, with enthusiasm and simplicity, he rises and is on his way.”
Vincentians in the Jubilee Year
This year, the leadership of the Vincentian Family are encouraging members to participate in four special activities to celebrate this Jubilee year:

The pilgrimage of the relic of the heart of St. Vincent – which began on January 25 th in Folleville, was present at the audience on Saturday in St. Peter’s Square and venerated by Pope Francis, and is being received in each of the 80 countries where Vincentian Family has a presence;
Projects to end homelessness throughout the world in all its forms;
An International Symposium – underway in Rome this weekend – to reflect on the Vincentian mission and charism;
An International Film Festival focusing on the life of St. Vincent de Paul.

You can read and learn more about the Vincentian Family and their common projects for this 400 th Jubilee Year here .
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope addresses Emperor Karl League of Prayer

(Vatican Radio)  The challenges of our times demand the collaboration of all people of good will, especially with prayer and sacrifice.  Pope Francis made the exhortation in a brief address to some 130 members of the Emperor Karl League of Prayer , who are in Rome for their annual general assembly. 
The League promotes the cause of canonization of  Karl I (1887-1922), the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire , the last Emperor of Austria, the last King of Hungary, and the last monarch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.  Church leaders have praised Karl for adopting Christian faith in making political decisions and for his peace efforts during World War I.  The Catholic Church has recognized Karl’s heroic virtues and a miracle through his intercession, following which St. Pope John Paul II declared him Blessed on 3 October 2004. 
Peace initiatives
Pope Francis noted that the general assembly of Emperor Karl League of Prayer was taking place in Rome in the context of the centenary of the peace initiatives of Pope Benedict XV, a contemporary of the Austrian Emperor , in trying to avert the disaster of WWI .   
The Holy Father drew attention to the three objectives of the League – namely, seeking and observing God’s will, committing oneself to peace and justice and expiating for the injustice of history, saying they were, so to say, a recurring feature of the life of Blessed Karl as a statesman, as a husband and father of a family, and as a son of the Church.  “By giving himself to the will of God,” the Pope said, “he accepted the suffering and offered his life as a sacrifice for peace, always sustained by the love and faith of his wife, the Servant of God Zita.” 
Pope Francis invited the Emperor Karl League of Prayer to maintain their promise of participating in the numerous efforts of the Pope on behalf of peace with their prayers and personal sacrifices .   He said he counted on them, as the Successor of Peter cannot carry out his mission in the world without the support of the prayers of the faithful.  
(from Vatican Radio)…