Thiruvananthapuram (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Vatican is about to open up the process of canonization of Blessed Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Church authorities have asked the Indian Church to prepare the official biography of the nun from Kerala. Meanwhile, Msgr. Salvatore Pennacchio, apostolic nuncio to India, is visiting Ollur (birthplace of the blessed in the district of Thrissur) as part of the procedures.
Last year the Bishop of Irinjalakuda (Thrissur, Kerala) presented Benedict XVI with documents relating to the complete healing of an Indian child of 6, suffering from a thyroglossal cyst, through the intercession of religious
If Euphrasia is proclaimed a saint, she would be the second nun originally from Kerala, two years after the canonization of Sister Alphonsa from Bharananganam. The religious sister was beatified just two years ago, in 2009.Known as the "mother who prays, " Blessed Euphrasia was born 1877 in Edathuruthy in the district of Thrissur. The nun entered the Congregation of Our Lady of Mount Caramel and took vows in 1900. She spent almost her entire life in the convent of S. Mary in Ollur.
|His Excellency Guiseppe Lazzarotto, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, reads the proclamation of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop as Patron of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta during the Silver Jubilee Mass of Thanksgiving.|
Photo: Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu
DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA REPORT: PROCLAMATION: PATRON OF THE DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA
Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Read by His Excellency Guiseppe Lazzarotto, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, during the Mass of Thanksgiving for the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Parramatta on Thursday 19 May 2011 in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta
The faithful people of the Diocese of Parramatta remember and continue to honour Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Virgin. She was born of Scottish parents who were immigrants to Australia. Although she lacked especially distinguished schooling, yet from her earliest youth she carried out a teaching task and at the same time cared for her family.
In performing her own special role she recognised the dire needs which were the lot of Catholic children, especially those children of country parents, without real benefit of religious or human formation.
So she began the Institute of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, which has become so widely spread.
Wherefore His Lordship, the Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, Bishop of Parramatta, has approved of those people recording the wishes of the community, in consultation with priests and people, to choose Saint Mary of the Cross, Virgin, as heavenly Patroness of the above-mentioned Diocese. Thus in a letter dated 4 February 2011, he earnestly asked that this choice and approval be confirmed according to the norms for appointing Patrons.
Henceforth the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, by the power of the faculty granted by His Holiness Benedict XVI, having considered the proposal, being convinced that the choice and approval have been carried out according to the canonical requirements, with great pleasure gives its consent to the wishes expressed, and confirm that they are in accord with all rubrical and liturgical laws. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary.
From the Office of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, 18 February 2011.
Antonius Card. Canizares Llovera, PrefectJosephus Augustinus Di Noia OP Archbishop
WASHINGTON (May 20, 2011)—In a letter to President Obama the day after his speech affirming peace is possible and declaring U.S. support for a two-state solution based on 1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps, leaders of more than 25 Jewish, Christian and Muslim national religious organizations urged strong U.S. leadership for Israeli-Palestinian peace before it is too late.
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, and Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, New York, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), were among the signers.
The leaders urged the President “to visit Jerusalem and the region soon to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to restart negotiations focused on the principles and ideas in the recent Israeli Peace Initiative, the earlier Arab Peace Initiative and the Geneva Accord.”
They stated “the United States, in coordination with the Quartet, should continue to respond carefully to the new Palestinian unity agreement and not act precipitously to cut off aid to the Palestinians,” but said the Palestinian “unity government must commit itself to rejecting violence and negotiating a peace agreement with Israel.”
The leaders pledged their “prayers and public support for active, fair and firm U.S. leadership for peace” and they urged “Congress to support this effort.” The religious leaders also plan to place an advertisement with Politico, a Washington-based media outlet.
Texts of the letter and advertisement follow.
May 20, 2011
Dear Mr. President,
We are leaders of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim national religious organizations who supported your commitment to make Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace a high priority from the start of your presidency.
Following our April 14 letter and Secretary of State Clinton’s response on your behalf, reiterating your Administration’s commitment to seek peace, and your strong reaffirmation in yesterday’s speech that peace is possible, we write again to offer our united support for urgently needed strong, sustained U.S. leadership, in coordination with the Quartet, to press for agreement on a two-state peace agreement before it is too late. If the opportunity for a two-state solution is missed, there almost inevitably will be renewed violent conflict with more suffering for Israelis and Palestinians, and increased dangers of extremism.
The recent Israeli Peace Initiative presented by former Israeli government, intelligence and security officials, the earlier Arab Peace Initiative, and the Geneva Accord, taken together, offer key principles and ideas for achieving comprehensive Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace. We urge you to visit Jerusalem and the region soon to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to restart negotiations focused on the principles and ideas in these initiatives.
We believe the United States, in coordination with the Quartet, should continue to respond carefully to the new Palestinian unity agreement and not act precipitously to cut off aid that is essential for humanitarian purposes and for building the capacity of a future Palestinian state. The agreement is helpful in forming a government capable of representing the West Bank and Gaza together. The unity government must commit itself to rejecting violence and negotiating a two-state peace agreement with Israel. We believe the United States should insist on these commitments.
We pledge our prayers and public support for active, fair and firm U.S. leadership in pursuing peace. We will urge Congress to be constructive. We believe that, in exercising strong U.S. leadership for peace, you can count on substantial support from members of churches, synagogues, and mosques across the country.
(List of Endorsers follows, organizations for identification only)
Cc: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
National Security Advisor Tom Donilon
Members of Congress
List of Endorsers
His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington *
Bishop Howard Hubbard, Chairman, International Committee, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops*
Archbishop Vicken Aykasian, Director, Ecumenical Affairs, Armenia Orthodox Church in America*
Fr. Mark Arey, Director, Ecumenical Officer, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America*
The Reverend Peg Chemberlin, President, National Council of Churches of Christ USA*
The Reverend Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Christ USA*
Bishop Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America*
The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate, Episcopal Church*
The Reverend Geoffrey Black, General Minister & President, United Church of Christ*
The Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister, President, Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ)*
The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church (USA)*
Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader, Council of Bishops, United Methodist Church*
The Reverend Leighton Ford, President, Leighton Ford Ministries, Board Member, World Vision US*
Richard J. Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary*
David Neff, Editor in Chief and Vice-President, Christianity Today*
The Reverend John M. Buchanan, Editor and Publisher, Christian Century*
Rabbi Peter Knobel, Past President, Central Conference of American Rabbis*
Rabbi Paul Menitoff, Executive Vice President Emeritus, Central Conference of American Rabbis*
Rabbi Alvin Sugarman, Vice President, A Different Future*
Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Rector, American Jewish University*
Rabbi Burton Visotzky, Professor of Midrash & Interreligious Studies, Jewish Theological Seminary*
Rabbi Freddi Cooper, President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Assembly*
Rabbi Shawn Zevit, Director of Congregational Services, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation*
Dr. Carl Sheingold, Former Executive Vice President, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation*
Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed, National Director, Islamic Society of North America*
Imam Mohammed ibn Hagmagid, Vice President, Islamic Society of North America*
Naeem Baig, Executive Director, Islamic Circle of North America*
Dawud Assad, President Emeritus, Council of Mosques, USA*
Eide Alawan, Interfaith Office for Outreach, Islamic Center of America*
*Organizations for Identification Only
Israeli-Palestinian Peace Before It’s Too Late:
Strong U.S. Leadership Needed Now.
We are Jewish, Christian and Muslim national religious leaders united in support of strong U.S. leadership for a two-state solution before it is too late.
We urge you to visit Jerusalem and the region soon to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to restart negotiations focused on the principles and ideas in the Israeli Peace Initiative, the earlier Arab Peace Initiative and the Geneva Accord.
We believe the United States, in coordination with the Quartet, should continue to respond carefully to the new Palestinian unity agreement and not act precipitously to cut off aid to the Palestinians. The unity government must commit itself to rejecting violence and negotiating a two-state peace agreement with Israel.
We pledge our prayers and public support for active, fair and firm U.S. leadership for peace and we will urge Congress to support this effort
(See above for list of endorsers, titles for identification only)
(See the full text of the Letter at the website of the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East: www.nili-mideastpeace.org.)
Fr. Obrou explains that he is in Yamoussoukro also to participate in an interfaith prayer to be held tonight at 7pm at the Basilica of Yamoussoukro. All religions, Christians and Muslims, join to ask for peace in the country.
Ouattara takes office 6 months after the presidential elections on 28 November 2010, lost by the outgoing Head of State, Laurent Gbagbo, who had refused to leave the country, provoking a political crisis which led to military clashes between the two factions, and caused 3,000 deaths and at least one million displaced. After the arrest of Laurent Gbagbo, on 11 April, Ouattara was officially proclaimed President of the country on May 5.
St. Rita of Cascia
Feast: May 22
If St. Rita belongs to that wonderful band of elect who were holy from their cradles, it must be said that she required every available help that sanctity gives, to have enabled her to endure the trials and difficulties with which most of her life was filled! She was the daughter of parents, both nearing middle age at the time of her birth, and the author of the Latin memoir of the Saint says that shortly after this event (1386), a swarm of bees was seen to come and go several times to and from the cradle a portent which was taken as indicating that the career of the child was to be marked by industry, virtue and devotion. The father and mother of Rita were themselves very pious, and from their laudable habit of composing the quarrels and differences among their neighbours, they were known as the "Peacemakers of Jesus Christ." Little Rita as she grew up, seems to have acquired a great deal of this spirit of the supernatural, for she showed little if any inclination for games, seeking her recreation chiefly in prayer and visits to sacred shrines-an exercise, by the way, which-granted the proper disposition-brings with it a wealth of real enjoyment and satisfaction quite wanting to other arid more secular amusements. This being so, it is not surprising to learn that Rita, as she neared womanhood, felt that her vocation lay in the convent rather than in that of domestic life. We are not aware of the circumstances that led her parents to oppose this apparently obvious course, but oppose it they did, and Rita submitted, even so far as to please them by marrying a man whom all accounts describe as exceedingly bad-tempered and something worse! It is the teaching of the Church that the grace of the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony, if corresponded with by a good life, works miracles, almost, in the way of establishing and perpetuating conjugal happiness. Acerbities of temper, temperamental differences, and all the other difficulties arising out of the necessary variations of human nature, are, under God's influence, toned down and adjusted, provided always Holy Mass, prayer and the sacraments are not forgotten—for "wheresoever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." So Rita tamed her rough spouse, and for two-and-twenty years lived harmoniously (concorditer) with a husband who, like most quarrelsome individuals in the days when sword and stiletto ever sharp, hung from every Italian gentleman's belt, perished in a feud. Such a death in the Italy of the Decamerone and the Republics, and, indeed, till well into our own time, usually meant a prolonged vendetta, and, of course, the two sons of the dead man at once took up the quarrel. Meantime, poor Rita was in despair, and finding her expostulations useless to prevent further effusion of blood, she had recourse to prayer, earnestly beseeching God to take her boys from this world rather than permit them to live on stained by homicide. The mother's prayer was heard, and the two youths shortly afterwards died edifying deaths, forgiving their father's slayers and resigned to God.
The way was now clear for our Saint to satisfy her long yearning for a conventual life. After due consideration, she applied to be "accepted" by the Augustinian nuns at Cascia, but was informed that the custom was only for women who had never been married, to be received as postulants. The time was to come when not only widows were to enter religious orders of their own sex as a matter of course, but even occasionally to found them, as in the case of St. Jane Francis de Chantal and the Nuns of the Visitation. Again did Rita have recourse to prayer, and it is related that the night following her second great "storming of Heaven," St. John the Baptist, to whom she had a great devotion, appeared to her, accompanied by St. Augustine and St. Nicholas of Tolentino, and these three Saints conducted her to the convent, where the Superiors who had been similarly warned, received her with great kindness. The new postulant entered upon her life in religion with characteristic zeal and thoroughness. She disposed of her family property as alms to the poor, and in addition to the ordinary mortifications prescribed or permitted by the rule, she added others of great severity, wearing a hair shirt, fasting rigorously on bread and water and taking the discipline at intervals. The Passion of Our Lord was her constant meditation, and while recalling the manifold sufferings of the Man of Sorrows, she often seemed to be carried away by mingled grief and devotion.
In the midst of such wonderful progress on the road to perfection, this pattern to the community was afflicted by God after the following mysterious manner. She was meditating one day on the Passion before the crucifix, when she apparently, accidentally, wounded her forehead by striking it against some of the no doubt very realistic thorns in Our Lord's crown. The injury caused by the hurt developed into a serious ulcer, one most painful and unsightly, so unsightly, in fact, that for many years Sister Rita had to make her devotions alone! She accepted this great trial in the light of an additional penance sent her by God, and it was about this time that many spiritual and temporal favours are said to have been granted to various persons as the direct result of the prayers of this wonderful religious, the fame of whose sanctity had already extended far beyond the convent walls. The extraordinary fact, too, that her garden—which, in common with the rest of the nuns, she had allotted to her—produced beautiful roses and ripe figs in the depths of an abnormally severe winter, was taken as an additional sign that the unceasing prayers and heroic virtues of Sister Rita were blessed beyond measure, even in this world. The last years of the Saint were marked by a most painful and lingering illness—cancer doubtless—which as in the case of all her other seeming misfortunes she employed as another means of forwarding her greater sanctification. At the approach of death, she received with wonderful fervour the last rites of the Church, and then, as it is piously believed, at the call of Our Lady, she breathed forth her spotless soul to God on 20th May, 1456.1
The sacred remains long after death yielded a most sweet and refreshing odour, and many miracles have been recorded as the fruit of her powerful intercession. The cultus of the wonderful nun of Cascia spread far and wide, notably in Spain, where she has since been known as "La Santa de los impossibiles!" She was Beatified by Clement XII, though as far back as 1637, a Mass and office were granted in her honour by Urban VIII. Finally, on 24th May, 1900, Pope Leo XIII enrolled her name among the Saints-the Saints it may be added, whose virtues shone as stars both in the world and in the cloister.
|Acts 6: 1 - 7|
|1||Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.|
|2||And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, "It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.|
|3||Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty.|
|4||But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word."|
|5||And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Proch'orus, and Nica'nor, and Ti'mon, and Par'menas, and Nicola'us, a proselyte of Antioch.|
|6||These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them.|
|7||And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.|
Psalms 33: 1 - 2, 4 - 5, 18 - 19
1Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.2Praise the LORD with the lyre, make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!4For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness.5He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.18Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,19that he may deliver their soul from death, and keep them alive in famine.
1 Peter 2: 4 - 9
4Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God's sight chosen and precious;5and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.6For it stands in scripture: "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and he who believes in him will not be put to shame."7To you therefore who believe, he is precious, but for those who do not believe, "The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner,"8and "A stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall"; for they stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
John 14: 1 - 12
1"Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.2In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?3And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.4And you know the way where I am going."5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?"6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.7If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him."8Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied."9Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father'?10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.12"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.