Saints and Fathers

Video of Pre-Canonization Rome

by Steve Ray on April 23, 2014

The two men of the hour!

Janet and I arrived a few days early in Rome before our group. There will be 63 pilgrims arriving on Friday. We like to make sure everything is in order and ready for their arrival. And it is!

We decided to take a walk around the walls of the Vatican and get a feel for what’s happening in the city a few days before the canonization. So I thought I’d share with you so you could get a feel for being here in Rome. Hope you enjoy it :-)

Zenit.org

ROME, April 23, 2014 (Zenit.org) – Up to a million pilgrims will be attending the canonisation Mass of Blessed Popes John XXIII and John Paul II on Sunday, the city and Vicariate of Rome predict.

Maurizio Pucci, chief coordinator of special projects for the Mayor of Rome, told reporters Wednesday that the city estimates a minimum of 500,000 pilgrims and a maximum of a million to join the canonisation celebrations. However, some foresee a far higher number, possibly even seven million.

Pucci said 1,700 coaches, 58 chartered planes and five trains are bringing pilgrims from Poland alone. He said a problem is that the number of reservations is difficult to predict because unlike previous times, many groups are coming independent of their dioceses.

Both the city of Rome and event sponsors are sharing the costs of the event and an enormous amount of manpower will be on hand.

This will include 2,500 civil protection volunteers, 4,400 police and security personnel from the city of Rome and the Italian state, and several hundred medical staff. 5,000 priests, several hundred seminarians and deacons will help administer holy communion, and hundreds of volunteers will act as welcomers.

The Vicariate of Rome has prepared a number of prayer vigils in different churches on the night of April 26th, some geared to particular language groups.

All of Rome’s churches will stay open on the night of 26th and 27th April for pilgrims to pray and go to confession

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A bit goofey but fun. Nice to see young people in Rome happy and excited about the canonization of two popes.

Reflecting the festive mood in Rome ahead of the imminent canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, the official website on the event, 2popesaints, has released this upbeat video with the soundtrack of the recent hit single ‘Happy’ by singer and producer Pharrell Williams.

The video is made by young Romans and was mostly filmed in the parish of San Giovanni Battista de Rossi in the Appio-Latino suburb of southeast Rome. It’s directed by Maila Paone, edited by Raffaele Pannozzo and is the idea of Chiara Romanzo, Alberto Acuri, Francesca Vertisano, Giorgia Giacomini.

It also features Don Stefano Cascio, a young priest of the parish who has done much to help bring young people back to church.  

Rome authorities have been hard at work preparing for what could be the largest crowds the city has ever seen. The interior ministry expects the April 27 double canonization, presided by Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square, to draw 800,000 pilgrims from all over the world, but others predict far higher numbers, possibly as many as 7 million.

An enormous contingent of pilgrims from John Paul II’s native Poland is expected, as well as significant numbers from the Lombardy region of northern Italy, the birthplace of John XXIII.

The Vatican says 19 heads of State will be attending as well as 24 prime ministers from 61 official delegations, representing 54 countries. Tickets are not required but seats will be difficult or near impossible to find and many are expected to camp out overnight to obtain the best places.

City authorities are visibly in full swing, already cordoning off major streets such as the Fori Imperiali that leads up to the Colosseum, repainting road markings and erecting 14 large screens in key areas all across the city. Security will also be tight: Italy’s interior minister has said 2,430 police units have been drafted in to carry out checks and patrol sensitive targets.

Meanwhile, Rome’s many hotels are preparing for one of their best business weekends in years. Most rooms are sold out, and at least one hotel near the Vatican is charging as much as $900 for one night during the canonization weekend.

But despite the logistical challenges, Rome is well practiced in hosting such enormous events and tends to manage them well. Thousands of volunteers will join the protezione civile – Italy’s main body dealing with the management of exceptional events.

Rome’s mayor, Ignazio Marino, said last week the city is “ready, very ready” for the impending arrival of thousands of pilgrims. 

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/romans-happy-for-two-pope-canonization/#ixzz2zca73Exa

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God said “Please”; Abraham said “OK”

by Steve Ray on February 2, 2014

Studying Scripture like this is one of my favorite things to do in the whole world. Nice little tidbits pop out, like the one Which I share from you while visiting the sites related to Abraham in Hebron in the Palestinian a West Bank.

abraham-isaac2.jpgWhen God said to Abraham: ”Take Isaac, your only son, the one whom you love, and offer him up on a mountain which I will show you,” he did not give Abraham a firm command, but rather a request. This being the case, it makes Abraham’s response all the more impressive. Abraham had been agonizing over a son for more than 25 years and well after childbearing years, 90 year old Sarah is finally granted the joy of a son.

We have no idea today of the importance of that son to Abraham; all of his hopes and dreams were centered on that son. All of God’s promises, his covenant, his possessions, the land — all that would be fulfilled through Isaac. And now God asks Isaac to sacrifice him on an altar and burn his body. )By the way, human sacrifice was not uncommon in Canaan at the time, though it was an abomination to God and he never intended Abraham to actually sacrifice his son.)

It is one thing to say OK when God when he gives a pure and deliberate command, but in the nuances of the Hebrew language, God’s “command” to Abraham actually have the effect of a request. It is like God is saying “Please.” And to a “please” one can say “no” without violating a law or incurring guilt. Here is what Jewish Publications Society commentary on Genesis says,

The Hebrew adds the participle na to the imperative which usually softens the command to an entreaty, as noted in Sanhedrin 89b, Genesis Rabba 55:7, and Rashi’s commentary. Abraham has absolute freedom of choice. Should he refuse, he would not incur any guilt. (For imperative with na cf. Num. 20:10; Judg. 13:4; 16:6, 10, 28; 18:5; Isa. 1:18; Amos 7:2, 5.) (The JPS Torah commentary (151). Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.)

abraham-isaac3.jpgWord Biblical Commentary says,

The reader has been alerted by the verb “test” that something difficult is about to be asked of Abraham, while he [Abraham], of course, is quite in the dark. The way the command is put here tries to soften the blow for Abraham while maximizing our realization of its enormity. “Please take.” The use of the enclitic “please” is rare in a divine command and makes it more like an entreaty, another hint that the Lord appreciates the costliness of what he is asking. (Wenham, G. J. (2002). Vol. 2: Word Biblical Commentary : Genesis 16-50. Word Biblical Commentary (104). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.)

I was impressed with Abraham’s utter docility and obedience to God before, but even more so now. He said “Yes” to God’s request even when it was not commanded in strong terms. A descendant of Abraham, a young Jewish, a young girl also said “Yes” to God, as did her Son. She said, “Let it be done to me as you have spoken,” and he said, “Not my will but thine be done.”

These shining examples call us to a higher obedience and love for God. We must aspire to do – not only what he commands, but also what he wishes. In the end, we are the ones who are blessed beyond measure.

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We Need Saints without Cassocks

November 26, 2013

By an unknown author (falsely attributed to Pope Francis) We need saints without veil or cassock. We need saints who wear jeans and sneakers. We need saints who go to the movies, listen to music and hang out with friends. We need saints who put God in first place, but who let go of their [...]

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Why Do We Call Them APOSTOLIC FATHERS?

October 25, 2013

There are Apostolic Fathers and Fathers of the Church. What is the difference? Fathers of the Church are those bishops, priests and theologians of the first eight centuries who taught and wrote and who helped define the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Apostolic Fathers fit into that catagory but they have a subcategory of their [...]

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St. Bernadette’s Life, Lourdes and Farewells

September 22, 2013

Another great day at Lourdes, today following the life of Bernadette. Also Farewell dinner, comments and farewells. Part 1 Part 2 My 6-mile Hike through all of Lourdes

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Lourdes…Wow!

September 21, 2013

Started the day early with Mass at the Grotto at Lourdes – where Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette as the Immaculate Conception. Then breakfast and a VERY thorough tour of the Shrine of Lourdes with our VERY Catholic guides: the grotto, the Shrine, underground church, the museum and much more. We finished the tour [...]

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St. James, Slayer of Muslims (Moors)

September 19, 2013

Sure sounds politically incorrect, eh? But in Spain – especially at Santiago de Compostela – a city dedicated to St. James – that is a title of St. James, one of Our Lord’s twelve apostles. Spain has had a rough history with Muslims invading their land. They fought back and eventually pushed the Muslim Moors [...]

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Want to Join us in Rome for JPII’s Canonization?

September 14, 2013

This trip is filling fast – even before we have the brochure completed. We can only take a limited number of pilgrims due to airline seats and hotel rooms available. Stay tuned for the full brochure available soon. This is not just to be in Rome for this historical event, we will also have tours [...]

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Lourdes Walking Tour with Interactive Map, Video and Pictures. Enjoy!

July 31, 2013

Watching Lourdes work amazes me. It is a big operation with Masses going on all over the place all the time. Hundreds of wheelchairs processing through the streets with thousands of volunteer nurses and assistants and it all goes like clockwork. There is a sense of prayer and the reality of God here and it [...]

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Join Me on My Walking Tour of All of Fatima with Commentary, 21 videos, 147 pictures and an interactive map

July 27, 2013

Fatima is not just a shrine. It is the homes of the children, their parish church, the local cemetery, the places the angel met the children three times, the 93 year old niece of Lucia whom I prayed with, the well where they watered their sheep… …AND the gorgeous shrine with the apparition chapel, the [...]

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On Our Way to Marian Shrines

July 21, 2013

Janet and I are on our way to Portugal, Spain, and France. In September we have a wonderful pilgrimage heading to the Marian shrines of Fatima and Lourdes as well as Santiago de Compostela at the tomb of St. James, the apostle of Our Lord. Janet and I are going there to make sure everything’s [...]

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Where Does the Bible Say We Should Pray to Dead Saints?

July 11, 2013

Are saints who have physically died “dead saints” or are they alive with God? A friend named Leonard Alt got tired of being hammered by anti-Catholic Fundamentalists on this issue so he decided to write this article. I thought you might enjoy it too, so here it goes… Leonard writes: I wrote this note after [...]

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Brief Overviews of Paul’s Life — from the Place He Was Beheaded — Free Timeline

June 18, 2013

Two Videos: 1) Short Biography of St. Paul from the Place he was Martyred; 2) a Tour of the Sites of St. Paul’s Last Days. Enjoy! Steve gave a short biography of St. Paul at Tre Fontone where St. Paul was beheaded. This will give you a short introduction to St. Paul and his life [...]

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Two Radio Shows

April 25, 2013

Today at 5 PM Eastern I will join Al Kresta to discuss St. Mark the Evangelist who wrote the Gospel of Mark. He is not discussed much but is a fascinating character. Tomorrow morning at 9:15 AM I will join Teresa Tomeo to discuss St. Mark as well but from a different perspective. It is [...]

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The Pain of Stolen Honey

April 18, 2013

A painful price is paid when one reaches his hand into a swarm of bees to swipe some of their honey. Stingers fly and welts flare. Wild honey is not collected from wild bees without burning pain and suffering. Today there is protective equipment and methods to harvest honey, but in times past it took [...]

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