Feast Day of St Anne & St Joachim

July 26, 2014

Joachim and Anne were the parents of Mary and the grandparents of Jesus.

The name “Hannah” means grace. In Galilee, where she lived, Mary’s mother was probably called “Hannah” even though we know her as Saint Anne. So, if you are named “Hannah” or “Anne” you are named after the mother of Our Blessed Mother.

It was in the womb of Saint Anne that Mary was immaculately conceived. From the first instant of her life, she was in a state of grace and free from all stain of Original Sin. It was her parents, Anne and Joachim that raised her to be faithful to God’s word and remain free of sin.

Anne is the patron of Christian mothers, and Joachim the patron of fathers. They were given the great honour and responsibility of raising Mary to be the Mother of God, and can help mothers and fathers today to raise their children to love and follow God too.
Joachim the husband of Saint Anne and the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary, belonged to the tribe of Judah and the house of David. Tradition tells us that he and his wife came from Galilee. They lived in Nazareth and there the Blessed Mother lived.

Anne and Joachim were childless for many years. At the time that they lived, this was considered to be a punishment of God among the Jews. They continued to pray and finally God answered their prayers when the Virgin Mary was born. This was their greatest honour, to be the parent’s of Mary, the Mother of God and the Grandparents of Jesus.

The couple offered their little daughter to God in the Temple. As a young girl, she spent time in service to the Temple. working and learning with other girls. But it was problbly her parents who taught her to read, and certainly Joachim and Anne who taught her to love and follow God’s word and to know and understand the Scriptures.

When the Angel Gabriel came to her at the Annunciation, Mary knew the prophecies of Jesus’ life and death. She knew the full extent of the honour and pain she would experience when she gave her ‘fiat.’

Mary loved her mother and father. In this she is a beautiful example for children. Joachim and Anne loved their daughter and followed God’s plan in raising her. In this, they are a shining example and intercessors for Christian parents.

Saint Anne has been honored from early Christian times. Churches were dedicated in her honor, and the Fathers, expecially of the Eastern Churches, loved to speak both of her sanctity and her privileges of being chosen to raise the Mother of God.

Saint Joachim has also been honored from the beginning in the Churches of the East, and since the 6th century, public devotion to him has been observed in all countires. However, we know little about the lives of either Joachim or Anne, since the Gospels are silent on this account.

Some traditions grounded in very old testimonies, tells us that Saints Joachim and Anne in their old age came from Galilee to settle in Jerusalem. As a childless couple, they may have simply wished to spend their old age close to the Temple. But God, in his Wisdom and Mercy, granted them a child, and Mary was born and raised in Jerusalem.

Prayer to St. Anne and St. Joachim

Great and glorious patriarch, St Joachim, and good St Anne, what joy is mine when I consider that you were chosen among all God’s holy ones to assist in the fulfillment of the mysteries of God, and to enrich our earth with the great Mother of God, Mary most holy. By this singular privilege, you have become most powerful with both the Mother and her Son, so as to be able to obtain for us the graces that are needful to us.

With great confidence I have recourse to your mighty protection, and I commend to you all my needs, both spiritual and temporal, and those of my family. Especially do I entrust to your keeping the particular favor that I desire and look for from your intercession. (Mention your petition.)

And since you were a perfect pattern of the interior life, obtain for me the grace to pray earnestly, and never to set m heart on the passing goods of this life. Give me a lively and enduring love for Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me also a sincere devotion and obedience to Holy church and the sovereign pontiff who rules over her, in order that I may live an die in faith and hope and perfect charity. Let me ever invoke the holy Names of Jesus and Mary. And may I thus be saved. Amen.

“I Want To Meet My Mother..”

July 25, 2014

Photo: Did you know Steve Jobs was adopted? What if every unwanted child could be adopted -- what kind of impact would that have on the world?

19 Weeks & Fully Human

July 25, 2014

The following story reminds us ( and yes we need constant reminding!) that the unborn child is fully human while growing in the womb and if this fact is appreciated by the parents the power to teach the world so much about life is huge.


Some people think that an 19 week unborn child is disposable but they would be shell shocked to see these photos which demonstrate that although small, this child possesses everything that we would warrant he/she being called human.  The only reason this baby didn’t survive is viability.  We were all once at this vulnerable stage of development and perhaps at the end of our life we will again be completely dependent on other people for our care.

This mother describes the impact of delivering her 19 week son prematurely and agreeing to her husband taking photos during the labour and birth.

I am so very glad that Joshua went to our vehicle and got my camera. At first I did not want any photos, but they are the only thing I have to look back on now. I’m still in shock at how much his photos have been shared and commented on. In his short life of just a few minutes he has touched more lives then I ever could have imagined. I have gotten messages from people all around the country who have experienced a loss or were just touched by his story. I’ve even had a few people tell me that they were able to use his photos to reach out to a hurting woman who was contemplating an abortion. Just because the child within cannot be seen by us does not mean that he is a blob of cells. Walter was perfectly formed and very active in the womb. If he had just a few short more weeks he would have had a fighting chance at life. I don’t understand why the Lord took him home, but I have to trust in his perfect timing. I may never know why, but it is a comfort to know where he is and that I will see him again. For now, he’s with his heavenly father who loves him unmeasurably more than I, as his earthly mother ever could.


What Are You Going To Do?

July 22, 2014

I am sure many of you reading this will remember Terri Schiavo, the woman who was starved to death after an accident left her in a persistent vegeative state.  This video demonstrates the good that can come out of such awful situations such as Terri’s.  We wonder why her life was cut short.  Here we learn that she has inspired many people to stand up for what is right.  This young woman featured in this video has answered the call that many of us hear – to not let someone else speak up for the vulnerable and unseen such as the unborn child.  Why should it not be us that helps pregnant women, or prays outside abortion clinics or hospitals?  Do we ever think what we could do to help the prolife cause?

The Willis Clan

July 22, 2014

Some one brought this beautiful family to my attention. They are a fabulous example of the positive aspects of large family and this particular family seem to be extra talented musically aswell as displaying a love of peforming together. There is such negativity around large families that it is wonderful to see such an uplifting example of what can be achieved.  Enjoy! http://shar.es/NkcZi


Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul

June 29, 2014

As we remember these two great saints, let us read again Pope John Paul’s homily from 1995 commemorating them,

Pope John Paul II

Homily for Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul June 29, 19951.”You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16).Today the Church returns to this confession, spoken by Peter nearCaesarea Philippi.This is the faith of the Apostolic College, inwhose name Peter is speaking.This is the faith of Paul.Both Peterand Paul bore witness to it even to the shedding of their own blood.According to tradition, this happened here in Rome in Nero’s time,around the year 67 after the birth of Christ.Today, in a particular way, we commemorate Andrew, Simon Peter’sbrother, who was the first to be called (Protokletos) and who broughtSimon to Christ.With intense feeling, we call his figure to mindtoday because on this solemn day the Church of Rome welcomes as herguest Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, and the Church overwhich he presides is especially linked to the person and martyrdom ofthe Apostle Andrew.

Every year on 30 November, the Feast of St. Andrew, the Church ofRome joins her sister Church in honouring her patron.It is a deepjoy for us today, as we recall the glorious memory of Simon Peter,Andrew’s brother, to be able to welcome to Rome the EcumenicalPatriarch, His Holiness Bartholomew I of Constantinople, the firstSee among the world’s Orthodox Churches.Today, with Andrew, Peterutters these words:”You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”(Mt 16:16).

2.This confession discloses the mystery of God the Father to us. Christ, in responding to Peter’s words, said:”Blessed are you,Simon-Bar Jona!For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you,but my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 16:17).The Father revels theSon because only the Father knows the Son, as only the Son knows theFather (cf. Lk 10:22).The Church professes this faith with thewords of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed:”I believe in one God,Father almighty….”

This is a venerable text which we both recognize as a normative andirrevocable expression of the Church’s one faith.No confession offaith which belongs to a specific liturgical tradition can contravenesuch a fundamental expression of the Trinitarian faith, taught andprofessed by the Church in all ages.

3. In this regard, it is necessary to clear up a misunderstandingwhich still casts its shadow on relations between Catholics andOrthodox.To this end a Joint Commission was established.Its taskis to explain, in the light of our common faith, the legitimatemeaning and importance of different traditional expressionsconcerning the eternal origin of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity,expressions that are part of our mutual doctrinal and liturgicalheritages.On the Catholic side, there is a firm desire to clarifythe traditional doctrine of the Filioque, present in the liturgicalversion of the Latin Credo, in order to highlight its full harmonywith what the Ecumenical Council confesses in its creed:the Fatheras the source of the whole Trinity, the one origin of both the Sonand the Holy Spirit.

The Son, consubstantial with the Father, is the eternal Word of whichthe Apostle John wrote in his Prologue to the Fourth gospel,confession the Word who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14).

According to tradition, St. John wrote the Gospel in Ephesus, therebybecoming particularly dear to all the Christian East.His Gospel wasthe light that illumined the Church throughout the world.

We, the Successors of Peter and Andrew, united today in veneration ofthe holy Apostles Peter and Paul, would also like to illumine ourmeeting with the light of John’s Gospel, so that it may be clear toall that the same truth about the Father and the Son is professed byus and proclaimed in common.

4.”You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16).

Peter confesses this and, together with him, so does the whole Churchwhich was founded on the Apostles.In confessing Jesus of Nazarethas the Christ, the Church is also indirectly proclaiming the truthabout the Holy Spirit.In fact the name “Christ”, from the Hebrew”Messiah”, means one who is anointed with God’s Spirit.This truthwas expressed by the Prophet Isaiah many centuries before Christ inthe words Jesus was to proclaim and bring to fulfilment at thebeginning of his messianic activity:”The Spirit of the Lord is uponme, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor” (Lk4:18).

The Holy Spirit, whom the Father sends in the name of the Son (cf. Jn14:26), has been the source of the Church’s life since the day ofPentecost, in accordance with the Redeemer’s promise:”He will teachyou all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said toyou” (Jn 14:26).The Spirit, who guides the Church and teaches her,who consecrates the Bishops as successors of the Apostles, is with ustoday in a particular way, as he was with Peter and Paul on the dayof their martyrdom when they bore their definitive witness to Christand sealed their mission with blood, leaving it as an inheritance notonly to Rome, but to so many other places in the ancient world.

And how many of these places are found in Greece!It is enough tolist the communities to which St. Paul’s letters are addressed.Fromthe “Pauline corpus”, as it were, a common tradition of the Church inthe East and in the West emerges.The whole series of ApostolicLetters in the New Testament are proof of their concern for all theChurches entrusted by God to the Apostles and to their successorsuntil the end of time.

5. “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and thepowers of death shall not prevail against it.I will give you thekeys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shallbe bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosedin heaven” (Mt 16:18-19).

These words are overwhelming.The authority which Christ hands overto the Apostles, that of the keys of the kingdom of heaven and thatof binding and loosing, is given to them in the person of Peter andin union with him.An unfathomable mystery!

Today’s feast of the martyrdom of the holy Apostles reveals what isthe true meaning of this authority:it is service.Peter, Paul andAndrew served even to the shedding of their blood, just as Christ haddone before them:”For the Son of Man also came not to be served butto serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10:45).TheApostles were called to participate in their Master’s service:aservice by which they were able to give the ultimate testimony; aservice which was their true strength, their glory in Christ who diedand rose again.

Today we wish to honour those who, in the course of the 2000 years ofthe new era, have witnessed and continue to witness to Christ inevery corner of the earth, in the East and in the West, in the Northand in the South.We would especially like to honour all those whohave borne witness to the point of shedding their blood.We preparedourselves for today’s meeting by pondering again over the paths thatthis witness took in the Roman Colosseum and in the many other”colosseums” scattered throughout the world.Last year’s Way of theCross was a great help in this common reflection, whose texts wereprepared in fact by our Brother, Bartholomew I.

6.Today’s solemn liturgy is enriched by an additional andmeaningful rite, the imposition of the pallium.

The pallium, which today the Bishop of Rome confers on the newMetropolitans, is an expression of a special spiritual bond with theconfession and witness of St. Peter in Rome, and with the ministry ofhis Successor.

I embrace you with affection, beloved Brother Archbishops, and Irejoice in the fact that, having been sent to preside overMetropolitan Churches in various parts of the world, you will receivethe pallium in the presence of our guest, the Ecumenical Patriarch ofConstantinople.

7.The solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul invites us to reflect on theway taken by Peter and Paul as they followed Christ from the day oftheir calling to that of their martyrdom here in Rome.The firstreading from the Acts of the Apostles showed us St. Peter while hewas still in Jerusalem on the first stage of the Church’s longpilgrimage.

We listen together to the words of this passage, which in a certainsense recounts our own history, Venerable Brother Bartholomew I.Welisten to it with deep veneration and feeling, now that the 2,000thyear since the birth of Christ is approaching.It represents a greatchallenge for the whole of humanity and especially for allChristians.When I think of this historic goal, I am reminded ofwhat St. Luke’s Gospel says about the disciples’ mission:”He sentthem on ahead of him, two by two” (Lk 10:1).We should meditate onthe meaning of these words.Do they not suggest that Christ is alsosending us out two by two as messengers of his Gospel in the West andin the East?

Christ is sending us out together, so that we may jointly bearwitness to him.Thus we cannot remain separated!We must walktogether, because this is Our Lord’s will.The world must recoverits faith at the end of the second millennium and at the start of thethird!This is why we should redouble our efforts; we must commitourselves actively to becoming truly one, just as he, Christ, is onewith the Father (cf. Jn 17:22).

At the altar of the “Confessio” over Peter’s tomb, let us pray forthis together.Together with us, the whole Church in the West and inthe East is praying, the Church which Christ entrusted to us, just ashe once entrusted her to Peter and Andrew, establishing her on thefoundation of the Apostles as the way of eternal salvation for everypeople and every nation, until the end of the world.

Taken from:
L’Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
5 July 1995, pp. 6, 7

The Extermination of

June 23, 2014
“The extermination of millions of unborn children, in the name of the fight against poverty, actually constitutes the destruction of the poorest of all human beings.”
~ Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the World Day of Peace, 12/11/08
Pope Benedict XVI2687 x 1680 · jpeg · openwalls.com


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