Pope who turned his back on Hitler

Image result for pope pius xi

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

 

“The children of Fatima warned us that Our Lady foretold if the people did not repent, a greater war than World War I would follow, under the reign of Pope Pius XI, after a strange light in the night sky over Europe”.

  

 

Introduction

 

Moses’s invitations and warnings to the Israelites – indeed, to all of us – were conditional, preceded by, respectively, “If …” (Hebrew: אִם), and: “If not …” (Hebrew:אִם-לֹא ).

Thus, for instance, Deuteronomy 28:1-2: “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God …”.

The manifold blessings consequent to this obedience are then listed (vv. 3-14).

“However” (28:15), “if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you …”.

There then follows a long list of the most horrifying curses (vv. 16-68).

 

But a hard-hearted Pharaoh and his minions, and the ‘iron furnace’ of Egyptian oppression (Deuteronomy 4:20): “But as for you, the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are”, were only pale foreshadowings of the terrible eschatological reality of a miserific Devil and his demons, and eternal servitude in the fires of Hell (one of the Fatima visions).

 

 

Pius XI and the ‘Strange Light’

 

The modern message of Fatima (which is, in its essence, an ancient biblical one) is structured along Mosaïc lines, “If” and “If not”. It is very much to the point (July 13, 1917):

 

‘If my requests are heard, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, fomenting wars and persecution of the Church. The good will suffer martyrdom; the Holy Father will suffer much; different nations will be annihilated’.

 

‘If only you knew the things that make for peace’ (Luke 19:42).

Well, for we who live in the Fatima Era (which will turn 100 next year: 2017), it has been spelled out for us. The bottom line is Obedience to the Will of God!

Either that, or, for instance, the terrible Second World War. By then, according to the following piece, “the Fatima prophecies cease to be conditional”.

http://catholicknight.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/chastisement-now.html

 

…. The children of Fatima warned us that Our Lady foretold if the people did not repent, a greater war than World War I would follow, under the reign of Pope Pius XI, after a strange light in the night sky over Europe.

On January 25th 1938, during the reign of Pope Pius XI, a solar storm produced an Aurora Borealis that was seen all over Europe and North America — as far south as California in the United States.

These lights were seen by Hitler himself and he took it as a “sign” to begin his war plans.

On February 4th 1938, less than two weeks after the aurora was seen by the world, Hitler promoted himself to military chief in Germany.

A month later he marched his army into Austria.

This was one of the early aggressions that started World War II. At that point the Fatima prophecies cease to be conditional. ….

[End of quote]

 

http://www.bibleprobe.com/fatimavisionsofhell.htm

 

Of interest in this regard, “on January 25, 1938, a remarkable display of aurora borealis was visible across Europe, the year before World War II began.” The book, The Secrets of Fatima elaborates: “This aurora appeared as far south as Galicia, Spain, where Sister Lucy was then cloistered, and she, the only survivor of the three Fatima shepherds, recognized it immediately as the sign. Visible even to Pius XI in Rome, the unprecedented aurora was accompanied by a ‘crackling’ sound, possibly attributable to discharges of atmospheric energy. Indeed, in many areas of Europe, panic broke out, as the populace concluded that the world was on fire and that the End had come.”

 [End of quote]

 

Pius XI and Hitler

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“Spiritually”, the pope said, “we are all Semites”.

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This next piece has been taken from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-eisner/popes-last-crusade_b_3071556.html

 

Pope Pius XI’s Last Crusade

….

 

When people think of the Vatican and World War II, they think immediately of Pius XII, the controversial pontiff between 1939 and 1958. But before him, there was a little-remembered pope, Pope Pius XI, who was loudly outspoken against the Nazis and was determined to call the world’s attention to their atrocities. “The Pope’s Last Crusade” tells that story, along with that of the pope’s partnership with an American Jesuit, which breaks new ground about war-time conspiracies within the Vatican.

Pope Pius XI had left the Vatican in late April 1938, earlier than usual for his summer retreat at Castel Gandolfo. He intended it to be an obvious snub directed at Adolf Hitler who was meeting the first week in May with Italian leader Benito Mussolini.

The pope rejected being present while the “crooked cross of neo-paganism” flew over Rome. Hitler’s anti-Semitic campaign had become the pope’s great preoccupation.

Many scholars think that Pius XI’s crusade against Hitler, which took place in the last months of his life, could have changed course of events, possibly even the severity of later atrocities against the Jews.

As the Nazis increased their threats in their march toward war, the pope realized that it might at that moment be the Jews, but then it would be the Catholics and finally the world. He could see that the Nazis would stop at nothing less than world domination.

Pius had few allies at the Vatican, where many even believed that Communism was a greater danger than Fascism. Therefore, many prelates thought, the enemy of their Communist enemy must be their friend.

But Pius saw Hitler as an insane presence in the world and had been searching for a means of applying pressure and rallying international leaders against Nazism. It would not be easy. He was 82 years old and increasingly ill. At the same time, powerful cardinals and bishops around him feared the pope’s activism against Hitler. In particular, the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, counseled caution in challenging Hitler and Mussolini. Pacelli eventually would … succeed Pius XI.

The pope, undeterred, reached out for help beyond the walls of the Vatican, seeking out an American Jesuit journalist, John LaFarge, who had just come to Italy. LaFarge had just written a book, “Interracial Justice,” which portrayed the lives of American blacks who lived in the poorest strata of society. While LaFarge defended African Americans against the myth of racial superiority, the concept applies, he wrote, “to all races and conditions of men … all tribes and races, Jew and Gentile alike…” (Twenty-five years later, in 1963, LaFarge stood with his friend Martin Luther King at the March on Washington.)

The pope summoned LaFarge to Castel Gandolfo on June 25, 1938. The American priest was shocked that the pope even knew his name. Pius told LaFarge he was to write an encyclical that would use the same reasoning he employed when discussing racism in the United States. It was to be the strongest statement ever made by the Vatican, in defense of the Jews and rejecting the Nazi doctrine of anti-Semitism.

Sworn to silence, LaFarge took up the papal assignment clandestinely in Paris. The pope’s directive, however, had thrown LaFarge into the hazy realm of Vatican politics. The leader of the Jesuit order worldwide, Wlodimir Ledochowski, promised the pope and LaFarge that he would facilitate production of the encyclical. Privately, Ledochowski, an anti-Semite, conspired to block LaFarge at every turn.

In late September 1938, after about three months of work, LaFarge traveled to Rome with his papal mission complete. His superior, Ledochowski, welcomed him and promised to deliver the encyclical right away to the pope. He dismissed LaFarge and directed him to return home to the United States. Ledochowski did take care of the speech — by burying it for months in Vatican bureaucracy.

The pontiff, unaware of these machinations, was stepping up his criticism of … Hitler, and Mussolini. He criticized Mussolini’s imitation of systematic attacks on Jews in Germany and Austria. As in Germany, Jews in Italy were banned from attending school, from holding public positions or serving as doctors, lawyers and in other professional functions. Pius XI condemned these actions.

“Spiritually,” the pope said, “we are all Semites.”

In the fall of 1938, LaFarge realized finally that the pope still had not received the encyclical. He wrote a letter directly to the pope, implying that Ledochowski had the document in hand for months already. Pius XI demanded delivery, but did not receive it until Jan. 21, 1939 with a note from Ledochowski, who warned that the language of the document appeared to be excessive. He advised caution.

The pope, finally with LaFarge’s text, planned immediately to issue the encyclical after a meeting with bishops on Feb. 11, in which he would condemn fascism. He worked on that speech on his own, jotting down ideas, rewriting and editing it by hand. Rumors, meanwhile, had reached Mussolini that the pope might be planning to excommunicate him or even Hitler, also a Catholic, a blow that could actually damage their popular power base.

Pius XI died on Feb. 10, 1939, a day before his planned speech. Vatican doctors said he had suffered complications of a heart attack, and despite administering stimulants, they had been unable to revive him.

Bishops in some quarters grumbled about the circumstances of his death and questioned the kind of stimulants he had been given in an attempt to revive him. Cardinal Eugene Tisserant of France, the pope’s best friend and a former French intelligence officer, wrote in his diary that the pope had been murdered.

Pacelli, the secretary of state, became Pius XII, and the Vatican immediately toned down its vocal protests against Hitler and Mussolini. One historian, Conor Cruise O’Brien, the noted Irish writer and politician, in 1989 said that those months in 1938 were crucial as Hitler measured how the world would react to his campaign against the Jews.

“Had Pius XI been able to deliver the encyclical he planned, the green light would have changed to red. The Catholic Church in Germany would have been obliged to speak out against the persecution of the Jews. Many Protestants, inside and outside Germany, would have likely to follow its example.”

How effective Pius XI’s efforts might have been can never be known. It was only clear that he took a stance in favor of absolute morality and defended to his last breath his principles of decency and humanity, nothing more, nothing less. ….

 

 

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Sacred Heart of Jesus

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This divine heart is an abyss filled with all blessings, and into the poor should submerge all their needs.
It is an abyss of joy in which all of us can immerse our sorrows.
It is an abyss of lowliness to counteract our foolishness.
An abyss of mercy for the wretched.
An abyss of love to meet our every need.
 
– St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
 
 

Church Undergoing Test of Prophet Job

ST MICHAEL FEAST DAY SEPT 29

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

 

Satan, permitted by God to test holy Job to the limit, and almost beyond it, for a greater good, has been allowed by the Almighty again, in the case of the Church, that same terrifying liberty.

 

Introduction

 

Job was a much older contemporary of the prophet Jeremiah, with whom he shares many noble characteristics.

The Book of Jeremiah (and Lamentations) is regarded by scholars as being the scriptural book most close in style to the Book of Job. For example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Jeremiah “Jeremiah’s “confessions” are a type of individual lament. Such laments are found elsewhere in the psalms and the Book of Job. Like Job, Jeremiah curses the day of his birth (Jer. 20:14–18 and Job 3:3–10)”.

And, https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-major-prophets/lamentations “Like the book of Job, Lamentations pictures a man of God puzzling over the results of evil and suffering in the world. However, while Job dealt with unexplained evil, Jeremiah lamented a tragedy entirely of Jerusalem’s making”.

Jeremiah, in his many sufferings, deprivations and life-threatening circumstances – and perhaps Job as well – seems to have unwittingly pantomimed, in his own person, the variety of horrors that the kingdom of Judah was shortly destined to experience.

In the case of Job, the archetypal man of affliction, he would foreshadow a modern drama of such cosmic proportions that the ancient holy man himself could not have anticipated it. On the eve of the C20th AD, Satan, once chained so that “he could not fool the nations anymore” (Revelation 20:1-3), but now “free for a while”, was right back in the mix again as in Job 1:6-7: “One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the Lord, ‘From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it’.”

We are now in the year 1884, and Pope Leo XIII is the head of the Catholic Church. And this time it is the Church, the ‘Bride of Christ’ (Ephesians 5:25–27), and not the righteous Job, that the Lord will hold up as a model of holy excellence before Satan.

 

The Prophecy of Pope Leo XIII

 

Since an article of this same title covers most of what I want to say about this dramatic incident, I shall reproduce the main part of it below. Before that, however, I should like briefly to mention a recent and well-researched book on the subject, written by Kevin J. Symonds, as a useful supplement to this article. The book is entitled, Pope Leo XIII and the Prayer to St. Michael (2015), and is here reviewed by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, Professor, Wyoming Catholic College

https://www.amazon.com/Pope-Leo-XIII-Prayer-Michael/dp/0984013962

 

This book is not another pious exhortation to recite the Leonine prayers, although the author certainly agrees that they ought to be prayed, as do I. Rather, it is a detailed look at the history of the composition of the well-known Prayer to St. Michael and the exorcism connected with it, and especially the legends that surround these texts. Depending on the period or the author, these legends have been either too uncritically accepted (and embellished), or too hastily dismissed as sensational fabrications. With the care of an historian and the determination of a detective, Symonds shows that the reality is quite a bit more complex. It’s an intriguing book that brings the reader close to Leo XIII and his age, while equipping us better for “wrestling against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places” (Eph 6:12). The appendices offer an array of unusual and valuable texts. All in all, a definitive work on the Prayer to St. Michael.

 

 

 

Now, according to “The Prophecy of Pope Leo XIII”, which has not missed out on the Job-ian parallel, as we shall read further on

http://unveilingtheapocalypse.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/prophecy-of-pope-leo-xiii.html

 

The St. Michael Prayer, which was said after Low Mass until the liturgical changes in 1965, was instituted by Pope Leo XIII after he received a prophetic vision. The most widely known element of this vision is that the Holy Father overheard a debate between Our Lord and Satan, during which the Devil was granted more power and authority for a period of 75 to 100 years. According to the most widespread accounts, the events behind the prophecy of Pope Leo XIII run as following:

On October 13, 1884, after Pope Leo XIII had finished celebrating Mass in the Vatican Chapel, attended by a few Cardinals and members of the Vatican staff, he suddenly stopped at the foot of the altar. He stood there for about 10 minutes, as if in a trance, his face ashen white. Then, going immediately from the Chapel to his office, he composed the prayer to St. Michael, with instructions it be said after all Low Masses everywhere. When asked what had happened, he explained that, as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he suddenly heard voices – two voices, one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh. They seemed to come from near the tabernacle. As he listened, he heard the following conversation:

The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasting to Our Lord: “I can destroy your Church” The gentle voice of Our Lord: “You can? Then go ahead and do so.”

Satan: “To do so, I need more time and more power.”

Our Lord: “How much time? How much power?

Satan: “75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service.” Our Lord: “You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will.”

Current research suggests that the earliest version of this story to appear in print was in 1933, in a German Sunday newspaper. The way in which this prophecy first surfaced suggests that it originally circulated in oral form amongst the Vatican staff and hierarchy who were with the pope during this encounter. As such, it is impossible to trace back to an original documented source. After its initial publication in 1933, a German writer, Fr. Bers, attempted to find the origins of this prophecy for a 1934 article titled “Die Gebete nach der hl. Messe” (Theol-Prakt. Quartalschrift 87, 162-163). During his investigation, Fr. Bers failed to find any concrete source, leaving him to conclude that the prophecy was a later invention that was “spreading like a virus”. However, 13 years after Fr. Bers had initially failed to find the original source of this prophecy, an eyewitness to the events behind the institution of the St. Michael Prayer eventually came forward. Writing in 1947, Fr. Domenico Pechenino, a priest who worked at the Vatican during the time of Leo XIII, provides a first-hand account of these events:

 

I do not remember the exact year. One morning the great Pope Leo XIII had celebrated a Mass and, as usual, was attending a Mass of thanksgiving. Suddenly, we saw him raise his head and stare at something above the celebrant’s head. He was staring motionlessly, without batting an eye. His expression was one of horror and awe; the colour and look on his face changing rapidly. Something unusual and grave was happening in him.

“Finally, as though coming to his senses, he lightly but firmly tapped his hand and rose to his feet. He headed for his private office. His retinue followed anxiously and solicitously, whispering: ‘Holy Father, are you not feeling well? Do you need anything?’ He answered: ‘Nothing, nothing.’ About half an hour later, he called for the Secretary of the Congregation of Rites and, handing him a sheet of paper, requested that it be printed and sent to all the ordinaries around the world. What was that paper? It was the prayer that we recite with the people at the end of every Mass. It is the plea to Mary and the passionate request to the Prince of the heavenly host, (St. Michael: Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle) beseeching God to send Satan back to hell.”

(Fr. Domenico Pechenino, quoted in the 1955 Roman journal Ephemerides Liturgicae V. LXIX, pp 54–60)

Although he leaves out any mention of Pope Leo hearing a conversation between God and the Devil, and the prophecy of the 100 years of Satan’s greater power, the fact that it was written 14 years after the original version of this prophecy first appeared in print would suggest that Fr Pechenino presumes that readers are already aware of the contents of the prophecy, and is merely writing to confirm what he saw that day. Fr. Bers had noted in 1934 that this prophecy was already in wide circulation, and was “spreading like a virus”, so it was certainly well-known by the time Fr. Pechenino was providing his eyewitness testimony, and we can be sure that he was aware of it. It seems that the real reason Fr. Pechenino leaves out any mention of the 100 years element of this vision is due to the simple fact that he did not actually hear or see the vision himself, but was rather relating how he witnessed Pope Leo experiencing this event. Given that Fr. Pechenino is recalling these events solely as an observer, he could not have possibly known the content of the vision at this time, since by his own admission, the Holy Father did not reveal to him exactly what he saw or heard. He only knew that the Pope had composed the St. Michael Prayer immediately after this episode ….

 

Mackey’s comment: I insert the following here:

The fact that Fr. Pechenino’s account confirms the later 1933 version, can be used to establish that the prophecy of the 100 years of Satan’s greater power is in fact genuine. If we compare both texts above, we can see that Fr Pechenino’s testimony concurs almost exactly with the original version of the story behind the prophecy. The only difference is that Fr. Pechenino was not told exactly what Pope Leo experienced during this vision, which suggests that the Holy Father confided what he saw to someone else – the retinue who Fr. Pechenino saw following the pope afterwards and was questioning him. Being a member of his personal entourage, the retinue would have been a close confidant of the pope, and the details of the vision were probably given to him. This would make the retinue the most likely source of this prophecy, and how it was circulated in the Vatican.

But when should this 100 year period be calculated from? Most interpreters think that the hundred years referred to the 20th century, and some later versions of this prophecy explicitly state this view. While the original version doesn’t mention a specific starting point, there are only two real options – either the year the vision was first received, which according to the first account was 1884, or the turn of the century. It seems the latter position is the most likely, since in what he himself described as the “greatest act of my pontificate”, Pope Leo XIII consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 11th 1899, as requested by Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart (see here). Since this was obviously a date of utmost importance to the pontiff, and it commenced at a symbolically significant turning point (the end of the century), it would be logical to assume that the dawn of the 20th century was the beginning of the 100 years allotted to Satan.

 

…. In Matt 12:29, Christ tells us that in order for Him to plunder the worldly realm of Satan and open the eyes of unbelievers to the Gospel, He would first have to “bind the strong man”. Although evil still exists during this period, and Satan can still interfere with human affairs, his power would be limited in order to facilitate the growth of the Gospel. As the Catechism teaches, even though Satan was definitively defeated by Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, the reign of Christ’s kingdom on earth in the Church will always be subject to the attacks of evil powers until the creation of the new heaven and the new earth after the Last Judgement:

Though already present in his Church, Christ’s reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled “with power and great glory” by the King’s return to earth. This reign is still under attack by the evil powers, even though they have been defeated definitively by Christ’s Passover. Until everything is subject to him, “until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church, in her sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God.” (CCC 671)

The Book of Revelation tells us that this “millennium” or age of the Church will come to a close towards the end of the world, when Satan would once again be set loose for “a little while” to deceive the inhabitants of the earth, and gather the nations together for war. During this age of apostasy, Satan would once again have the power to blind the minds of unbelievers from the light of the Gospel, and would be able to inhibit its growth. And given that this is exactly the situation we are faced with today in the fulfilment of the prophecies of the Great Apostasy, we can only be left to conclude that the “millennium”, or age of the Church has already came to end, and that the forces of Satan have already been unbound. The Apocalypse tells us that once the forces of hell have been unleashed at the end of the “thousand years”, they will gather the nations together for war, and surround the Heavenly Jerusalem, which represents the Church:

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city… (Rev 20:7-9)

As St. Augustine elaborates:

The words, And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and encompassed the camp of the saints and the beloved city, do not mean that they have come, or shall come, to one place, as if the camp of the saints and the beloved city should be in some one place; for this camp is nothing else than the Church of Christ extending over the whole world. And consequently wherever the Church shall be—and it shall be in all nations, as is signified by the breadth of the earth,— there also shall be the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and there it shall be encompassed by the savage persecution of all its enemies…

(City of God, XX:11)

Mackey’s comment: At this point, the article introduces the Book of Job connection:

 

During this “little while” at the end of the “thousand years”, Satan would be granted a period of greater power, much like in the Book of Job.  Indeed the prophetic vision of Pope Leo XIII directly bases itself on the story of Job in the Old Testament. Here, Satan is granted greater power over Job, God’s faithful servant, in order to test his level of faith. While Satan believes that he will be able to make Job turn his back on God by heaping atrocities upon him, the Heavenly Father is certain that Job will remain faithful in patient suffering. Job then has to endure a series of trials inflicted upon him at the hand of Satan, in order to prove his faithfulness to God. But in the vision of Leo XIII, the Church itself takes the place of Job.

During this new “trial of Job”, Satan uses the increase in lawlessness (in the horrors of war and genocide) in an attempt to destroy peoples’ faith in God, making the love of many grow cold. And in the light of the general apostasy which followed the horrors of the two World Wars and the genocides of the 20th century, it seems that this tactic has paid off spectacularly. Which isn’t at all surprising, given the fact that the exposition of the philosophical problem of evil is one of the primary weapons of modern atheism. Once the “thousand years” were over, the forces of evil really did surround the City of God, and the Church is still being besieged by the modern secular values espoused in the principles of Freemasonry.

So if the “millennium” or age of the Church really did end at the turn of the 20th century, as is suggested by the prophecy of Pope Leo XIII, and indeed the actual unfolding of world events, we are left with the inescapable conclusion that the unbinding of Satan described in the Apocalypse is directly related to the two world wars. Turning back to the Book of Revelation, we find an earlier parallel reference to Satan being unbound from his prison in Rev 20, which is to be directly equated with the opening of the abyss in Rev 9. These two passages undoubtedly refer to the exact same event ….

 

….

 

Mary didn’t just listen, she acted, Pope Francis says

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Two Mothers Rejoice!

Through Mary, “we learn to open our hearts to obey God; in her self-denial, we see the importance of tending to the needs of others; in her tears, we find the strength to console those experiencing pain,” Pope Francis said Saturday, during a special jubilee weekend dedicated to Mary.

ROME – During a special Jubilee weekend dedicated to Mary, Pope Francis said Mary was not only Christ’s mother, but also his obedient disciple and a model of concrete service to others.

Mary didn’t just listen, she acted, Pope Francis says

Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square during the Wednesday general audience on June 4, 2014. (Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.)

With her faith, “we learn to open our hearts to obey God; in her self-denial, we see the importance of tending to the needs of others; in her tears, we find the strength to console those experiencing pain.”

In each of these moments, Mary “expresses the wealth of divine mercy that reaches out to all in their daily need.”

Pope Francis spoke to thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to celebrate a special Oct. 7-9 Marian Jubilee, which is part of the Pope’s larger Jubilee of Mercy.

The Marian Jubilee opened Oct. 7 with Mass in the Roman Basilica of Saint Mary Major. The Mass was followed by the recitation of the rosary in Saint Peter’s Square and the Prayer to the Queen of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii.

Adoration and confessions were then available until midnight in the parishes of Santa Maria in Valicella, also called “Chiesa Nuova,” and San Salvatore in Lauro.

Jubilee activities continued Saturday morning with a pilgrimage to the Holy Doors of the four Major Basilicas in Rome: St. Mary Major, St. Paul Outside the Wall, St. John Lateran and St. Peter’s.

Groups of various Marian delegations from national communities and shrines then participated in a special procession to St. Peter’s Square, where Pope Francis led pilgrims in praying the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary before delivering his address.

In his speech, the Pope noted how from the earliest centuries of the Church Mary has been invoked as the “Mother of Mercy,” explaining that the prayer of the rosary in many ways is a “synthesis of the history of God’s mercy, which becomes a history of salvation for all who let themselves be shaped by grace.”

By reflecting on the important moments in Jesus’ life, we see how his mercy is shown to everyone from all walks and stages of life, he said, adding that Mary always accompanies us on this journey, pointing us in the direction of her Son, “who radiates the very mercy of the Father.”

Mary guides us toward the path we are called to take “in order to be true disciples of Jesus,” he said, adding that in praying the rosary, we feel her closeness in each mystery and contemplate her role as “the first disciple of her Son, for she does the Father’s will.

Francis stressed that Mary can help teach us what it means to be a disciple of Christ, because while she was “eternally chosen to be his Mother,” she also learned how to be his disciple.

“Her first act was to listen to God,” he said, noting how she then obeyed the angel’s message and followed Jesus closely, “listening to every word that issued from his lips” and keeping them in her heart.

However, the Pope stressed, “it’s not enough simply to listen.” While this is the first step, it must be followed by concrete action.

“The disciple truly puts his life at the service of the Gospel,” he said, and, recalling Mary’s own actions, pointed to how after the Annunciation, Mary immediately went to her cousin Elizabeth to help her during her pregnancy.

Not only did she then give birth to the Son of God, but she also showed her concern for the young spouses in Cana by interceding for them. When Jesus was crucified on Golgotha, Mary “did not flee pain but stood beneath the cross of Jesus and, by his will, became the Mother of the Church.”

After Jesus rose from the dead, she then “encouraged the apostles assembled in the upper room as they awaited the Holy Spirit, who would make them fearless heralds of the Gospel,” Pope Francis said.

Francis closed his homily invoking Mary’s intercession, praying that she would be “a protection, help and blessing for us all the days of our life.”

“We fly to your protection, holy Mother of God. Scorn not our petitions in the hour of need. O glorious and blessed Virgin, deliver us always from every peril.

Celebrations for the Marian Jubilee will conclude Sunday with a special Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square.

….

Taken from: https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2016/10/08/mary-didnt-just-listen-acted-pope-francis-says/

Common Declaration by Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

pope-francis-archbishop-of-canterbury-justin-welby

Statement issued as 19 pairs of Anglican, Roman Catholic bishops sent out on mission

Pope Francis, right, smiles with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at the end of Vespers at the monastery church of San Gregorio al Celio in Rome, Italy, Oct. 5. Photo: REUTERS/Tony Gentile - RTSQWZU

[Anglican Communion News Service] Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby have said that they are “undeterred” by the “serious obstacles” to full unity between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.

In a Common Declaration, issued in Rome Oct. 5, the two say that the differences “cannot prevent us from recognizing one another as brothers and sisters in Christ by reason of our common baptism. Nor should they ever hold us back from discovering and rejoicing in the deep Christian faith and holiness we find within each other’s traditions.”
The Common Declaration was made at a service of Vespers in the Church of Saint Gregory on the Caelian Hill in Rome, from where, in 595AD, Pope Gregory sent Augustine to evangelise the Anglo-Saxon people. Augustine became the first archbishop of Canterbury in 597.
During the service, 19 pairs of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops from across the world were commissioned by the pope and the archbishop before being “sent out” in mission together. Among the 19 pairings are Episcopal Bishop of Tennessee John Bauerschmidt and Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore Dennis Madden.
Pope Francis told them: “Fourteen centuries ago Pope Gregory sent the servant of God, Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, and his companions, from this holy place, to preach the joyful message of the Word of God. Today we send you, dear brothers, servants of God, with this same joyful message of his everlasting kingdom.”
And Welby said: “Our Savior commissioned his disciples saying, ‘Peace be with you’. We too, send you out with his peace, a peace only he can give. May his peace bring freedom to those who are captive and oppressed, and may his peace bind into greater unity the people he has chosen as his own.”


Common Declaration
of HIS HOLINESS Pope Francis
and HIS GRACE Justin Welby ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

Fifty years ago our predecessors, Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey met in this city hallowed by the ministry and blood of the Apostles Peter and Paul. Subsequently, Pope John Paul II with Archbishop Robert Runcie, and later with Archbishop George Carey, and Pope Benedict XVI with Archbishop Rowan Williams, prayed together here in this Church of Saint Gregory on the Caelian Hill from where Pope Gregory sent Augustine to evangelise the Anglo-Saxon people. On pilgrimage to the tombs of these apostles and holy forebears, Catholics and Anglicans recognize that we are heirs of the treasure of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the call to share that treasure with the whole world. We have received the Good News of Jesus Christ through the holy lives of men and women who preached the Gospel in word and deed and we have been commissioned, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, to be Christ’s witnesses “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1: 8). We are united in the conviction that “the ends of the earth” today, is not only a geographical term, but a summons to take the saving message of the Gospel particularly to those on the margins and the peripheries of our societies.
In their historic meeting in 1966, Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Ramsey established the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission to pursue a serious theological dialogue which, “founded on the Gospels and on the ancient common traditions, may lead to that unity in truth, for which Christ prayed”. Fifty years later we give thanks for the achievements of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, which has examined historically divisive doctrines from a fresh perspective of mutual respect and charity. Today we give thanks in particular for the documents of ARCIC II which will be appraised by us, and we await the findings of ARCIC III as it navigates new contexts and new challenges to our unity.
Fifty years ago our predecessors recognized the “serious obstacles” that stood in the way of a restoration of complete faith and sacramental life between us. Nevertheless, they set out undeterred, not knowing what steps could be taken along the way, but in fidelity to the Lord’s prayer that his disciples be one. Much progress has been made concerning many areas that have kept us apart. Yet new circumstances have presented new disagreements among us, particularly regarding the ordination of women and more recent questions regarding human sexuality. Behind these differences lies a perennial question about how authority is exercised in the Christian community. These are today some of the concerns that constitute serious obstacles to our full unity. While, like our predecessors, we ourselves do not yet see solutions to the obstacles before us, we are undeterred. In our trust and joy in the Holy Spirit we are confident that dialogue and engagement with one another will deepen our understanding and help us to discern the mind of Christ for his Church. We trust in God’s grace and providence, knowing that the Holy Spirit will open new doors and lead us into all truth (cf. John 16: 13).
These differences we have named cannot prevent us from recognizing one another as brothers and sisters in Christ by reason of our common baptism. Nor should they ever hold us back from discovering and rejoicing in the deep Christian faith and holiness we find within each other’s traditions. These differences must not lead to a lessening of our ecumenical endeavours. Christ’s prayer at the Last Supper that all might be one (cf. John 17: 20-23) is as imperative for his disciples today as it was at that moment of his impending passion, death and resurrection, and consequent birth of his Church. Nor should our differences come in the way of our common prayer: not only can we pray together, we must pray together, giving voice to our shared faith and joy in the Gospel of Christ, the ancient Creeds, and the power of God’s love, made present in the Holy Spirit, to overcome all sin and division. And so, with our predecessors, we urge our clergy and faithful not to neglect or undervalue that certain yet imperfect communion that we already share.
Wider and deeper than our differences are the faith that we share and our common joy in the Gospel. Christ prayed that his disciples may all be one, “so that the world might believe” (John 17: 21). The longing for unity that we express in this Common Declaration is closely tied to the desire we share that men and women come to believe that God sent his Son, Jesus, into the world to save the world from the evil that oppresses and diminishes the entire creation. Jesus gave his life in love, and rising from the dead overcame even death itself. Christians who have come to this faith, have encountered Jesus and the victory of his love in their own lives, and are impelled to share the joy of this Good News with others. Our ability to come together in praise and prayer to God and witness to the world rests on the confidence that we share a common faith and a substantial measure of agreement in faith.
The world must see us witnessing to this common faith in Jesus by acting together. We can, and must, work together to protect and preserve our common home: living, teaching and acting in ways that favour a speedy end to the environmental destruction that offends the Creator and degrades his creatures, and building individual and collective patterns of behaviour that foster a sustainable and integral development for the good of all. We can, and must, be united in a common cause to uphold and defend the dignity of all people. The human person is demeaned by personal and societal sin. In a culture of indifference, walls of estrangement isolate us from others, their struggles and their suffering, which also many of our brothers and sisters in Christ today endure. In a culture of waste, the lives of the most vulnerable in society are often marginalised and discarded. In a culture of hate we see unspeakable acts of violence, often justified by a distorted understanding of religious belief. Our Christian faith leads us to recognise the inestimable worth of every human life, and to honour it in acts of mercy by bringing education, healthcare, food, clean water and shelter and always seeking to resolve conflict and build peace. As disciples of Christ we hold human persons to be sacred, and as apostles of Christ we must be their advocates.
Fifty years ago Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Ramsey took as their inspiration the words of the apostle: “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3: 13-14). Today, “those things which are behind” –  the painful centuries of separation –have been partially healed by fifty years of friendship. We give thanks for the fifty years of the Anglican Centre in Rome dedicated to being a place of encounter and friendship. We have become partners and companions on our pilgrim journey, facing the same difficulties, and strengthening each other by learning to value the gifts which God has given to the other, and to receive them as our own in humility and gratitude.
We are impatient for progress that we might be fully united in proclaiming, in word and deed, the saving and healing gospel of Christ to all people. For this reason we take great encouragement from the meeting during these days of so many Catholic and Anglican bishops of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) who, on the basis of all that they have in common, which generations of ARCIC scholars have painstakingly unveiled, are eager to go forward in collaborative mission and witness to the “ends of the earth”. Today we rejoice to commission them and send them forth in pairs as the Lord sent out the seventy-two disciples. Let their ecumenical mission to those on the margins of society be a witness to all of us, and let the message go out from this holy place, as the Good News was sent out so many centuries ago, that Catholics and Anglicans will work together to give voice to our common faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, to bring relief to the suffering, to bring peace where there is conflict, to bring dignity where it is denied and trampled upon.
In this Church of Saint Gregory the Great, we earnestly invoke the blessings of the Most Holy Trinity on the continuing work of ARCIC and IARCCUM, and on all those who pray for and contribute to the restoration of unity between us.
Rome, 5 October 2016
HIS GRACE JUSTIN WELBY                                   HIS HOLINESS FRANCIS

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Taken from: http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2016/10/05/common-declaration-by-pope-francis-and-archbishop-of-canterbury-justin-welby/

Pope Francis smooths sainthood path for ISIS-slain Normandy priest

French CRS police secure a street near the church after a hostage-taking in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen in Normandy, France, July 26, 2016 © Pascal Rossignol

Pope Francis is looking into elevating Reverend Jean Hamel, who was murdered in the name of Islamic State, to sainthood. The pontiff has authorized the French Church to start looking into the matter. Witness testimony will now be gathered.

Francis told reporters on Sunday he had spoken with the French authority, according to the AP.
Reverend Hamel, 85, was killed on July 26 in his parish in Normandy, while celebrating mass. The murder was carried out by two 19-year-old Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL)-inspired radicals, who slit his throat. IS then claimed responsibility for the assault, which also saw two nuns and an elderly couple held hostage.

After slitting priest’s throat, France church attackers smiled & talked peace and God – witnesses

The pope gave a press conference on his flight back from Azerbaijan to Rome, where he told reporters he has sped up the canonization process. The pontiff had spoken to Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, and authorized the skipping of the usual five-year wait that must normally pass after a potential saint’s death.
This means the next stage will now begin: the gathering of witness testimony to back Hamel’s beatification.
“It is very important not to lose the testimonies,” he told attendees. “With time, someone may die, another forgets something,” he was quoted by the Catholic Herald as saying.

Beatification in Roman Catholicism is the declaration by the Pope that a deceased person has attained a state of bliss. This is considered the first step to canonization, and leads to the possibility of public veneration.
The five-year rule ensures that a person continues to keep their good reputation among the faithful, earning them the right to be beatified. However, it can be waived by the Supreme Pontiff. A series of formal steps are included before beatification takes place.
The most important steps concern proving that the deceased had accomplished a miracle. A scientific commission must also rule that the miracle has no natural scientific explanation. A theological commission must then rule if the miracle is a miracle in the strict sense of the word, i.e. that it could only have come from God.

The proven miracle requirement can also be waived at the beatification step, if the person is ruled to have died a martyr in service of the faith, which will likely be the case with Rev. Hamel.
The next step to canonization, however, requires proof of a second miracle.

Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Reverend Hamel’s native Rouen had earlier on Sunday begun an investigation into Hamel’s beatification following consultations with the pope.
The archbishop spoke at a Mass marking the reopening of the church where Hamel was murdered.

Mayor Hubert Wulfrance said the priest’s memory “prevails over this so special moment, split between endless emotion and hope in the future.”
“We bear the tragedy of this July 26th, 2016, as an indelible scar on our common history, our national history,” he added.

The gathered crowd included a sizeable proportion of Muslims.

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Taken from: https://www.rt.com/news/361444-pope-francis-isis-saint/

Pope Francis in Georgia: prayer for peace

Pope Francis releases a dove as symbol of peace - AFP

Pope Francis releases a dove as symbol of peace – AFP

30/09/2016 16:30

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is currently on an Apostolic journey to Georgia. He flew into the  nation’s capital Tbilisi on Friday 30th of September and his third and last appointment of the day took place at  the Chaldean Catholic Church of Simon ‘Bar Sabbae’, dedicated to a tenth century Coptic Saint. There he met with representatives of the Assyrian Chaldean community.

Listen to a report by Veronica Scarisbrick: 
Mp3
Upon his arrival at the Church the Pope was greeted by the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans and the local parish priest. Together they entered the Church in procession, making their  way towards the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament therein. .
Among those present were around three hundred faithful from the Assyrian Chaldean ‘Diaspora’. Not just from the nation’s capital but also from nearby towns and villages. For the record the Catholic Assyrian Chaldean mission in Georgia was instituted in 1995 under Vatican jurisdiction and from that year on the Chaldean rite was celebrated in the nation. But it was only in 2004 that the growing number of Chaldean parishioners prompted the construction of the Church of Saint Simon. 
So it was in this Church on Friday that celebrations took place, beginning with sacred music and prayers in Aramaic. That’s before Pope Francis himself prayed for peace in the world.
Speaking in Italian he implored  the Lord to save the victims of injustice and maltreatment from their suffering, to confound the culture of death and make the triumph of life shine forth, to unite to His Cross the sufferings of the many innocent victims: the children, the elderly, and the persecuted Christians. Envelop in Paschal light, he went on to implore, those who are deeply wounded, those who are abused and deprived of freedom and dignity. May those who live in uncertainty experience the enduring constancy of Your kingdom, be they exiles, refugees or those who have lost the joy of living.  Lord Jesus, he continued,  cast forth the shadow of Your Cross over peoples at war, may they learn the way of reconciliation, dialogue and forgiveness. May peoples, so wearied by bombing, experience the joy of Your Resurrection and raise up Iraq and Syria from devastation, reunite your dispersed children under Your gentle kingship. 
Finally before asking Our Lady to intercede in faith and hope Pope Francis asked the Lord to sustain Christians in the ‘Diaspora’ and grant them unity of faith and love. Only then at the end of his first day in Georgia after praying for peace, in a symbolic gesture he released a dove into the evening air.


Please find below a translation of the Prayer for Peace of His Holiness Pope Francis delivered at the Catholic Chaldean Church of Saint Simon Bar Sabbae
(Tbilisi,  30 September 2016)
Lord Jesus,
we adore your cross
which frees us from sin, the origin of every division and evil;
we proclaim your resurrection,
which ransoms man from the slavery of failure and death;
we await your coming in glory,
which will bring to fulfilment your kingdom of justice, joy and peace.
 
Lord Jesus,
by your glorious passion,
conquer the hardness of our hearts, imprisoned by hatred and selfishness;
by the power of your resurrection,
save the victims of injustice and maltreatment from their suffering;
by the fidelity of your coming,
confound the culture of death and make the triumph of life shine forth.
 
Lord Jesus,
unite to your cross the sufferings of the many innocent victims:
the children, the elderly, and the persecuted Christians;
envelop in paschal light those who are deeply wounded:
abused persons, deprived of freedom and dignity;
let those who live in uncertainty experience the enduring constancy of your kingdom: the exiles, refugees, and those who have lost the joy of living. 
 
Lord Jesus,
cast forth the shadow of your cross over peoples at war;
may they learn the way of reconciliation, dialogue and forgiveness;
let the peoples so wearied by bombing experience the joy of your resurrection:
raise up Iraq and Syria from devastation;
reunite your dispersed children under your gentle kingship:
sustain Christians in the Diaspora and grant them the unity of faith and love.
 
O Virgin Mary, Queen of peace,
you who stood at the foot of the cross,
obtain from your Son pardon for our sins;
you who never doubted the victory of his resurrection,
sustain our faith and our hope;
you who are enthroned as Queen in glory,
teach us the royal road of service and the glory of love.