VATICAN INSIDER GOES TO THE UNITED NATIONS – PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR MAY: CHRISTIANS IN AFRICA – POPE TO ROMANIAN SEMINARY: PRESERVE MEMORY, CULTIVATE HOPE – POPE TO WELCOME PRESIDENT TRUMP ON MAY 24

As is traditional on May 6, the newest Swiss Guards will be sworn in tomorrow in the Vatican in what is always a colorful and memorable ceremony. Say a pray for these young men from Switzerland as they take the oath to defend the person of the Supreme Pontiff:

“I swear I will faithfully, loyally and honourably serve the Supreme Pontiff Francis and his legitimate successors, and also dedicate myself to them with all my strength, sacrificing if necessary also my life to defend them. I assume this same commitment with regard to the Sacred College of Cardinals whenever the See is vacant.

Furthermore I promise to the Commanding Captain and my other superiors, respect, fidelity and obedience. This I swear! May God and our Holy Patrons assist me!”

VATICAN INSIDER GOES TO THE UNITED NATIONS

Join me on “Vatican Insider” this weekend where my special guest is Archbishop Bernadito Auza, apostolic nuncio and Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations. We spoke when I was in New York recently and attended an event at his residence for the Bethlehem University Foundation.

Listen to Abp. Auza as he explains Holy See diplomacy and his work at the U.N.. Our conversation, by the way, follows my double Q&A this weekend in which I explain what an apostolic nuncio is and also talk about the work of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State.

The archbishop’s limestone residence in the Upper East side of New York was a delightful setting for the reception for the BU Foundation. The archbishop, in opening remarks to the assembled guests, explained that his five-story residence was once home to New York’s youngest mayor, Hugh J. Grant, but noted with a smile that he was no relation to the actor by the same name! Mayor Grant and his wife hired the same firm of architects that had worked on St. Patrick’s Cathedral and they asked that a small private chapel be installed.

We also saw the bedroom in which Pope Francis slept during his NYC visit. Interestingly enough, we learned that he asked that the flat screen TV be removed from the room.

The crucifix facing the bed –

The residence foyer –

In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (there is a list of U.S. stations at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio. Outside the U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” Vatican Insider airs Saturday mornings at 9:00am (ET). On the SKY satellite feed to the UK and parts of Europe, VI airs on audio channel 0147 at 11:30 am CET on Saturdays, and 5:30am and 10pm CET on Sundays. It’s also available on demand on the EWTN app and on the website. CHECK YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: http://www.ewtn.com/se/pg/DatService.svc/feed/~LE.xml   For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR MAY: CHRISTIANS IN AFRICA

Pope Francis’ prayer intention for May is: That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.

The Apostleship of Prayer produced the Pope’s Video on this intention. http://www.apostleshipofprayer.org/

Here is the English text of that video:

When we look at Africa, we see much more than its great natural richness. We see its joie de vivre, and above all, we see grounds for hope in Africa’s rich intellectual, cultural and religious heritage. But we cannot fail to see the fratricidal wars decimating peoples and destroying these natural and cultural resources. Let us join with our brothers and sisters of this great continent, and pray together that Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.

POPE TO ROMANIAN SEMINARY: PRESERVE MEMORY, CULTIVATE HOPE

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday greeted members of the Pontifical Romanian College or Collegio Pio Romeno on the occasion of its 80th anniversary.

This Roman Pontifical College has been training seminarians from all over the world for eight decades in the Eternal City and on Friday the Pope on this auspicious occasion had two wishes for those present.

The first was to preserve memory and the second, to cultivate hope.

Speaking about the former, the Holy Father said that by tuning into ones ecclesial memory which he added, lives through the events that each era presents us with, “you will be helped to overcome dangerous temptations that may arise, such as settling for mediocrity, settling for a normal life; where one jealously guards their own time and their own well-being.

The Pope described their College as a place where seminarians train as if they were “in a gym” in order to give their lives for the good of others.

On the theme of cultivating hope, Pope Francis said that there was, “so much need to nourish Christian hope, that hope that gives a new outlook, capable of discovering and seeing good, even when it is obscured by evil”.

Concluding his address the Pope had a special greeting for those present from the Pontifical College of St. Ephrem, which provides lodgings for those student priests of the Arabic language from all of the Oriental Catholic Churches and who are welcomed by the Pontifical Romanian College (Pio Romeno).

The Pope said that, “by meeting you I think of the situation in which there are so many faithful in your lands, many families who are forced to leave their homes in the face of waves of violence and suffering. I want to embrace these brothers and sisters in a special way, together with their Patriarchs and Bishops.”

POPE TO WELCOME PRESIDENT TRUMP ON MAY 24

(Vatican Radio) The Holy See press office announced on Thursday that Pope Francis will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump at the Vatican on the morning of May 24th. The U.S. leader will also meet with Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and with Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Holy See foreign minister.

A senior White House official said Donald Trump’s first foreign trip as U.S. president will also include visits to Belgium, Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well as Italy and the Vatican.

On May 25th Trump will attend a NATO meeting in Brussels and the following day he will take part in the G7 summit meeting in Sicily.

 

POPE TO CONSECRATED RELIGIOUS: “BE WITH JESUS IN THE MIDST OF HIS PEOPLE” – PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR FEBRUARY: COMFORT THE AFFLICTED – VATICAN SUPERMARKET TO HELP EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS

Today is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple and the day on which the Church traditionally celebrates the World Day of Consecrated Life. His homily for Mass appears below.

To mark this day, Pope Francis tweeted: Consecrated life is a great gift of God: a gift of God to the Church, a gift of God to His People.

POPE TO CONSECRATED RELIGIOUS: “BE WITH JESUS IN THE MIDST OF HIS PEOPLE”

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis Thursday afternoon celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the feast of the Presentation of the Child jesus in the Temple and the World Day for Consecrated Life in the presence of members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and of Societies of Apostolic Life.

The World Day for Consecrated Life, now in its 21st edition, was established in 1997 by Pope Saint John Paul II. This day is also known as “Candlemas” due to the blessing of candles and the procession that takes place at the beginning of the Mass. The candles symbolize both Christ, the Light of the World, and the lives of consecrated women and men who are called to reflect the light of Christ for all peoples.

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In his homily, Pope Francis spoke of the “hymn of hope” pronounced by Simeon and Anna when they saw the Savior appearing in the Temple. We, too, the Pope said, “have inherited this hymn of hope from our elders… We would do well to take up the dreams of our elders, so that we can prophesy in our day, and once more encounter what originally set our hearts on fire.”

But he also warned of a “temptation” that can make the consecrated life barren: the temptation of “survival,” which urges us to protect ourselves at the expense of our dreams. “The temptation of survival makes us forget grace.”

The Holy Father reminded consecrated women and men, that they are called to put themselves “with Jesus in the midst of His people.”

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Pope Francis concluded his homily with the exhortation: “Let us accompany Jesus as He goes forth to meet His people, to be in the midst of His people.”

This year’s celebration of the World Day for Consecrated Life has a particular significance, being devoted to thanksgiving and prayer for the give of vocations, especially in view of the upcoming Synod of Bishops, which will be dedicated to the theme: “Youth, faith and vocational discernment.” The Synod is expected to meet in October 2018.

For the complete papal homily, click here: http://www.news.va/en/news/homily-for-feast-of-the-presentation-of-the-lord-f

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR FEBRUARY: COMFORT THE AFFLICTED

Pope Francis’ prayer intention for February is COMFORT FOR THE AFFLICTED: That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.

The Apostleship of Prayer produced the Pope’s video on this prayer intention. The text of his remarks follows:

Welcome the Needy

We live in cities that throw up skyscrapers and shopping centers and strike big real estate deals … but they abandon a part of themselves to marginal settlements on the periphery.

The result of this situation is that great sections of the population are excluded and marginalized: without a job, without options, without a way out.

Don’t abandon them. Pray with me for all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.

VATICAN SUPERMARKET TO HELP EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS

The Vatican has anounced that its supermarket, known by shoppers as l’annona, is supporting those affected by the earthquakes in central Italy by offering goods for sale made by local farmers in the region, especially the small town of Amatrice, which was hit hardest by the quake on August 24, 2016.

Special ID passes with the individual’s name and photo are given to Vatican and Roman Curia employees, retirees, and others associated with the Vatican to shop here.

The brief anouncement noted that immediately after the earthquake, in which nearly 300 people died, Pope Francis sent members of the Vatican fire department to aid in rescue efforts. Medical personnel working at the Vatican also volunteered to help.