Papal tweet for December 13: Today I would like each of us to reflect on his and her own past and the gifts received from the Lord.
POPE APPEALS TO SYRIAN PRESIDENT TO RESPECT HUMANITARIAN LAW
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a letter to the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, through Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio to Syria, appealing for “an end to the violence and the peaceful resolution of hostilities” in the country.
A communiqué from the Holy See Press Office released on Monday read as follows:
“In naming Archbishop Mario Zenari to the College of Cardinals, the Holy Father sought to show a particular sign of affection for the beloved Syrian people, so sorely tried in recent years.
“In a letter sent through the new Cardinal, Pope Francis expressed again his appeal to President Bashar al-Assad and to the international community for an end to the violence, and the peaceful resolution of hostilities, condemning all forms of extremism and terrorism from whatever quarter they may come, and appealing to the President to ensure that international humanitarian law is fully respected with regard to the protection of the civilians and access to humanitarian aid.”
I wonder if Pope Francis has seen this and similar stories appearing in news media today:
ALEPPO CIVILIANS KILLED IN ‘COMPLETE MELTDOWN OF HUMANITY’: U.N.
Dozens of civilians were killed by Syrian forces in “a complete meltdown of humanity” during the final battle for Aleppo, the U.N. said Tuesday amid separate reports that women and children were burned alive while some families chose suicide over surrender.
The U.N. human rights office said it received reports of pro-government forces killing at least 82 people as they tightened their grip on the shrinking rebel districts in the east of the city.
Rupert Colville, spokesman of the U.N. human rights office, said he feared retribution against thousands of civilians holed up in a “hellish corner” smaller than one square mile.
POPE FRANCIS TURNS 80 ON DECEMBER 17
On Saturday, December 17, when he turns 80, Pope Francis will preside at a concelebrated Mass in the Pauline Chapel with the cardinals resident in Rome. The rest of the day will be a “normal” one for the Holy Father, a day filled with commitments and appointments, including receiving the president of the Republic of Malta, the cardinal prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, the bishop of Chur, Switzerland, and the Nomadelfia Community.
Those wishing to send birthday wishes to the Holy Father, can email him at the following addresses:
PapaFrancisco80@vatican.va (Spanish / Portuguese)
A special hashtag has been created on Social media for the Pope’s birthday: #Pontifex80
WHO IS THE PATRON SAINT OF TELEVISION … AND WHY?
There’s a patron saint for practically everything in the Catholic Church, whether it’s gravediggers, stress relief, or protection against pirate attacks. But did you know there’s a patron saint for television – and she’s from the 13th century?
By the end of the 1950s, it was clear that television was becoming one of the most important new forms of media in modern society. And Pope Pius XII wanted to offer both the Church’s blessing and protection for the new technology. So, in 1958, he issued the document Apostolic Letter Proclaiming St. Clare Patron Saint of Television.
In it, the Pope proclaims that the Church supports technological innovation and advancement, and recommends the use of modern technology for the proclamation of the Gospel. He acknowledges that television is capable of both good and evil, which is why he wants it to have a patron saint for spiritual protection.
So he chose the 13th century St. Clare of Assisi, associate of the famous St. Francis of Assisi, and for a fascinating reason.
He tells the story that on one Christmas, St. Clare was sick and unable to leave her bed to attend Mass. Yet, miraculously, God gave her a vision of the Mass in her convent in real-time – sort of like a spiritual television. So she’s the perfect patron!
St. Clare of Assisi, please pray for the holy use of television and all media!