Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles

Sts. James and Philip

St. Philip

The Apostle Philip was one of Christ’s first disciples, called soon after his Master’s baptism in the Jordan. The fourth Gospel gives the following detail: “The next day Jesus was about to leave for Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him: Follow Me. Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him: We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets wrote, Jesus the Son of Joseph of Nazareth. And Nathanael said to him: Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him: Come and see” (John 1:43ff). — The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

 

St. James the Less

St. James the Less, a brother of the Apostle Jude, was of Cana of Galilee. He is the author of one of the Catholic Epistles in the New Testament. He was favored by an appearance of the Risen Christ (I Cor. 15:7). After the dispersion of the Apostles he was made Bishop of Jerusalem. He was visited by St. Paul (Gal. 1:19). He spoke after Peter at the meeting of the Apostles (Acts 15:13). When he refused to deny the Divinity of Christ, the Jews cast him down from the terrace of the temple and clubbed him to death. The Breviary contains a very moving description of his death. “When he was ninety-six years old and had governed the Church for thirty years in a most holy manner, the Jews sought to stone him, then took him to the pinnacle of the temple and cast him off headlong. As he lay there half dead, with legs broken by the fall, he lifted his hands toward heaven and prayed to God for the salvation of his enemies, saying: Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do! While the apostle was still praying, a fuller struck his head a mortal blow.” His relics now rest next to those of St. Philip in the church of the Holy Apostles in Rome, and their names are mentioned in the first list in the Canon of the Mass.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/05/03/feast-of-saints-philip-and-james-apostles/

MAY, THE MONTH OF OUR BLESSED MOTHER

MAY, THE MONTH OF OUR BLESSED MOTHERqueenship-novena

CLICK IMAGE FOR THE BOOK THE VIRGIN MARY IN THE KINGDOM OF THE DIVINE WILL

FROM THE LETTERS OF THE SERVANT OF GOD, LUISA PICCARRETA

Luisa1

My good daughter in the Divine Volition,

Thank you for interesting yourself in promoting the book of the Queen of Heaven and that of the Passion:  this is nothing less than calling back the Celestial Mama and the King of Sorrows into the midst of creatures, so that we may learn to live more from Heaven than from the earth.  This would be the greatest fortune for us, so as to be able to live from the Divine Will.  So it seems that Jesus and His Mama never stop repeating,  “Thank you, thank you, my daughter!  As a reward, We will form our Heaven in your soul; We will be always with you; your life and Ours will become one.”  Therefore, what I recommend to you is to correspond to such a great good.  Be attentive to listening to sweet Jesus, Who speaks in your heart.  He wants to make of you a saint, but wants your will in His hands in order to make of it a prodigy of sanctity.

Three things I recommend to you:  firmness in good, perennial peace, filial trust.  Trust will make you live like a little baby in the arms of her mama, and Jesus and the Celestial Mama will take care of all the things you need.  They will tell you with facts:  “Think about living from Our Will, and We will take care of everything, even the salvation of your brothers.”  Aren’t you happy?

You ask me whether your friends can write me.  My daughter, it is hard for me to answer; it is better if they pay attention in reading the book of the Blessed Mother.  Oh, how many things will the great Lady tell them of what they would like to hear from me!  And then, there is the book of the Passion in which Jesus speaks heart to heart.  In this fifth edition which I am sending you, you will find new things, and, doubled, the “Treaty on the Divine Will.”  Read it, and you will be able to tell me the great good it does to you.

I recommend that all of you pray to the Lord that all may recognize such a great good; and the face of the earth will be changed.  On my part, I would like to give my life so that all may know the Divine Will.  I commend myself to your prayers and to those of your good friends; and leaving you in the place of honor of the Divine Will, sending you Its kiss of Light and Love, I say,

The little daughter of the Divine Will

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/05/02/may-the-month-of-our-blessed-mother/

FEAST OF ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER

FEAST OF ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER

St. Joseph the WorkerMAY 1

The feast of St. Joseph the Worker was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955 in order to Christianize the concept of labor and give to all workmen a model and a protector. By the daily labor in his shop, offered to God with patience and joy, St. Joseph provided for the necessities of his holy spouse and of the Incarnate Son of God, and thus became an example to all laborers. “Workmen and all those laboring in conditions of poverty will have reasons to rejoice rather than grieve, since they have in common with the Holy Family daily preoccupations and cares”(Leo XIII).


St. Joseph the Worker

“May Day” has long been dedicated to labor and the working man. It falls on the first day of the month that is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius XII expressed the hope that this feast would accentuate the dignity of labor and would bring a spiritual dimension to labor unions. It is eminently fitting that St. Joseph, a working man who became the foster-father of Christ and patron of the universal Church, should be honored on this day.

The texts of the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours provide a catechetical synthesis of the significance of human labor seen in the light of faith. The Opening Prayer states that God, the creator and ruler of the universe, has called men and women in every age to develop and use their talents for the good of others. The Office of Readings, taken from the document of the Second Vatican Council on the Church in the modern world, develops this idea. In every type of labor we are obeying the command of God given in Genesis 2:15 and repeated in the responsory for the Office of Readings. The responsory for the Canticle of Zechariah says that “St. Joseph faithfully practiced the carpenter’s trade. He is a shining example for all workers.” Then, in the second part of the Opening Prayer, we ask that we may do the work that God has asked of us and come to the rewards he has promised. In the Prayer after Communion we ask: “May our lives manifest your love; may we rejoice for ever in your peace.”

The liturgy for this feast vindicates the right to work, and this is a message that needs to be heard and heeded in our modern society. In many of the documents issued by Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, the Second Vatican Council and Pope John Paul II, reference is made to the Christian spirit that should permeate one’s work, after the example of St. Joseph. In addition to this, there is a special dignity and value to the work done in caring for the family. The Office of Readings contains an excerpt from the Vatican II document on the modern world: “Where men and women, in the course of gaining a livelihood for themselves and their families, offer appropriate service to society, they can be confident that their personal efforts promote the work of the Creator, confer benefits on their fellowmen, and help to realize God’s plan in history” (no. 34).

— Excerpted from Saints of the Roman Calendar by Enzo Lodi

1.  PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER

O Glorious, St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, after your example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen.–Pope St. Pius X

May 1 is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker.  Please pray for all you know who are seeking steady work (or those who are in difficult work situations. Below are prayers, including prayers on YouTube and litany to St. Joseph.

St. Joseph is also the patron of:

families, fathers, married people, social justice, realtors, against doubt, against hesitation, people in doubt, Americas, dying people, a happy death, expectant mothers, interior souls, immigrants, laborers, travelers and unborn children.  For a complete list: http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-joseph/ 

 (2) Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker

St. Joseph, by the work of your hands and the sweat of your brow, you supported Jesus and Mary, and had the Son of God as your fellow worker. Teach me to work as you did, with patience and perseverance, for God and for those whom God has given me to support. Teach me to see in my fellow workers the Christ who desires to be in them, that I may always be charitable and forbearing towards all. Grant me to look upon work with the eyes of faith, so that I shall recognize in it my share in God’s own creative activity and in Christ’s work of our redemption, and so take pride in it. When it is pleasant and productive, remind me to give thanks to God for it. And when it is burdensome, teach me to offer it to God, in reparation for my sins and the sins of the world.

O good father Joseph! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows and joys, to obtain for me what I ask.


(insert your specific employment request here.)

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers, everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Be near to me in my last moments, that I may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Amen.

(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)

 

(3) Video Prayer to St. Joseph for employment

(4) Prayer to St. Joseph for Employment

Dear Saint Joseph, you were yourself once faced with the responsibility of providing the necessities of life for Jesus and Mary. Look down with fatherly compassion upon me in my anxiety over my present inability to support my family. Please help me to find gainful employment very soon, so that this heavy burden of concern will be lifted from my heart and that I am soon able to provide for those whom God has entrusted to my care. Help us to guard against bitterness and discouragement, so that we may emerge from this trial spiritually enriched and with even greater blessings from God. Amen.

(5) Litany of St. Joseph

 

Lord, have mercy on us

Christ, have mercy on us

Lord, have mercy on us

Christ, hear us

Christ, graciously hear us

 

God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us

God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us

 

God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us

Holy Mary,  pray for us

 

St. Joseph, pray for us

Blessed offspring of David, pray for us

Light of patriarchs, pray for us

Spouse of the mother of God, pray for us

Chaste custodian of the Blessed Virgin, pray for us

Guardian of the Son of God, pray for us

Defender of Christ, pray for us

Head of the Holy Family, pray for us

O Joseph, most just, pray for us

O Joseph, most chaste, pray for us

O Joseph, most prudent, pray for us

O Joseph, most forceful, pray for us

O Joseph, most obedient, pray for us

O Joseph, most faithful, pray for us

Mirror of patience, pray for us

Lover of poverty, pray for us

Model of laborers, pray for us

Patriarch of the home, pray for us

Protector of virgins, pray for us

Strength of the family, pray for us

Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us

Hope of the sick, pray for us

Patron of the dying, pray for us

Terror of demons, pray for us

Protector of the church, pray for us

 

Lamb of God, you who take away the sins of the world,

forgive us O Lord

Lamb of God, you who take away the sins of the world, 

hear us O Lord

Lamb of God, you who take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

 

Let us pray

 

Lord Jesus, through the merits of the devoted spouse

of your most holy Mother, help us, we beseech thee,

that what of ourselves we cannot obtain,

may be granted through the intercession

of the Most Holy Patriarch, Saint Joseph.

You who reign with God, the Father,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit now and forever.

 

Amen.

(6) Prayer to St. Joseph

(6)Saint Joseph, you are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. I have special confidence in you. You are powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me, to your intercession. By the love you have for Jesus and Mary, do not abandon me during life, and assist me at the hour of my death. Glorious Saint Joseph, be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.  Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.  Through Christ, our Lord.  AMEN. (MENTION YOUR INTENTIONS)

 

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/30/feast-of-st-joseph-the-worker/

Feast Day of St. Catherine of Sienna

ST. CATHERINE OF SIENNA

Dominican Tertiary, born at Siena, 25 March, 1347; died at Rome, 29 April, 1380.

She was the youngest but one of a very large family. Her father, Giacomo di Benincasa, was a dyer; her mother, Lapa, the daughter of a local poet. They belonged to the lower middle-class faction of tradesmen and petty notaries, known as “the Party of the Twelve”, which between one revolution and another ruled the Republic of Siena from 1355 to 1368. From her earliest childhood Catherine began to see visions and to practise extreme austerities. At the age of seven she consecrated her virginity to Christ; in her sixteenth year she took the habit of the Dominican Tertiaries, and renewed the life of the anchorites of the desert in a little room in her father’s house. After three years of celestial visitations and familiar conversation with Christ, she underwent the mystical experience known as the “spiritual espousals”, probably during the carnival of 1366. She now rejoined her family, began to tend the sick, especially those afflicted with the most repulsive diseases, to serve the poor, and to labour for the conversion of sinners. Though always suffering terrible physical pain, living for long intervals on practically no food save the Blessed Sacrament, she was ever radiantly happy and full of practical wisdom no less than the highest spiritual insight. All her contemporaries bear witness to her extraordinary personal charm, which prevailed over the continual persecution to which she was subjected even by the friars of her own order and by her sisters in religion. She began to gather disciples round her, both men and women, who formed a wonderful spiritual fellowship, united to her by the bonds of mystical love. During the summer of 1370 she received a series of special manifestations of Divine mysteries, which culminated in a prolonged trance, a kind of mystical death, in which she had a vision of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, and heard a Divine command to leave her cell and enter the public life of the world. She began to dispatch letters to men and women in every condition of life, entered into correspondence with the princes and republics of Italy, was consulted by the papal legates about the affairs of the Church, and set herself to heal the wounds of her native land by staying the fury of civil war and the ravages of faction. She implored the pope, Gregory XI, to leave Avignon, to reform the clergy and the administration of the Papal States, and ardently threw herself into his design for a crusade, in the hopes of uniting the powers of Christendom against the infidels, and restoring peace to Italy by delivering her from the wandering companies of mercenary soldiers. While at Pisa, on the fourth Sunday of Lent, 1375, she received the Stigmata, although, at her special prayer, the marks did not appear outwardly in her body while she lived.

Mainly through the misgovernment of the papal officials, war broke out between Florence and the Holy See, and almost the whole of the Papal States rose in insurrection. Catherine had already been sent on a mission from the pope to secure the neutrality of Pisa and Lucca. In June, 1376, she went to Avignon as ambassador of the Florentines, to make their peace; but, either through the bad faith of the republic or through a misunderstanding caused by the frequent changes in its government, she was unsuccessful. Nevertheless she made such a profound impression upon the mind of the pope, that, in spite of the opposition of the French king and almost the whole of the Sacred College, he returned to Rome (17 January, 1377). Catherine spent the greater part of 1377 in effecting a wonderful spiritual revival in the country districts subject to the Republic of Siena, and it was at this time that she miraculously learned to write, though she still seems to have chiefly relied upon her secretaries for her correspondence. Early in 1378 she was sent by Pope Gregory to Florence, to make a fresh effort for peace. Unfortunately, through the factious conduct of her Florentine associates, she became involved in the internal politics of the city, and during a popular tumult (22 June) an attempt was made upon her life. She was bitterly disappointed at her escape, declaring that her sins had deprived her of the red rose of martyrdom. Nevertheless, during the disastrous revolution known as “the tumult of the Ciompi”, she still remained at Florence or in its territory until, at the beginning of August, news reached the city that peace had been signed between the republic and the new pope. Catherine then instantly returned to Siena, where she passed a few months of comparative quiet, dictating her “Dialogue”, the book of her meditations and revelations.

In the meanwhile the Great Schism had broken out in the Church. From the outset Catherine enthusiastically adhered to the Roman claimant, Urban VI, who in November, 1378, summoned her to Rome. In the Eternal City she spent what remained of her life, working strenuously for the reformation of the Church, serving the destitute and afflicted, and dispatching eloquent letters in behalf of Urban to high and low in all directions. Her strength was rapidly being consumed; she besought her Divine Bridegroom to let her bear the punishment for all the sins of the world, and to receive the sacrifice of her body for the unity and renovation of the Church; at last it seemed to her that the Bark of Peter was laid upon her shoulders, and that it was crushing her to death with its weight. After a prolonged and mysterious agony of three months, endured by her with supreme exultation and delight, from Sexagesima Sunday until the Sunday before the Ascension, she died. Her last political work, accomplished practically from her death-bed, was the reconciliation of Pope Urban VI with the Roman Republic (1380).

Among Catherine’s principal followers were Fra Raimondo delle Vigne, of Capua (d. 1399), her confessor and biographer, afterwards General of the Dominicans, and Stefano di Corrado Maconi (d. 1424), who had been one of her secretaries, and became Prior General of the Carthusians. Raimondo’s book, the “Legend”, was finished in 1395. A second life of her, the “Supplement”, was written a few years later by another of her associates, Fra Tomaso Caffarini (d. 1434), who also composed the “Minor Legend”, which was translated into Italian by Stefano Maconi. Between 1411 and 1413 the depositions of the surviving witnesses of her life and work were collected at Venice, to form the famous “Process”. Catherine was canonized by Pius II in 1461. The emblems by which she is known in Christian art are the lily and book, the crown of thorns, or sometimes a heart–referring to the legend of her having changed hearts with Christ. Her principal feast is on the 30th of April, but it is popularly celebrated in Siena on the Sunday following. The feast of her Espousals is kept on the Thursday of the carnival.

The works of St. Catherine of Siena rank among the classics of the Italian language, written in the beautiful Tuscan vernacular of the fourteenth century. Notwithstanding the existence of many excellent manuscripts, the printed editions present the text in a frequently mutilated and most unsatisfactory condition. Her writings consist of

  • the “Dialogue”, or “Treatise on Divine Providence“;
  • a collection of nearly four hundred letters; and
  • a series of “Prayers”.

The “Dialogue” especially, which treats of the whole spiritual life of man in the form of a series of colloquies between the Eternal Father and the human soul (represented by Catherine herself), is the mystical counterpart in prose of Dante’s “Divina Commedia”.

A smaller work in the dialogue form, the “Treatise on Consummate Perfection”, is also ascribed to her, but is probably spurious. It is impossible in a few words to give an adequate conception of the manifold character and contents of the “Letters”, which are the most complete expression of Catherine’s many-sided personality. While those addressed to popes and sovereigns, rulers of republics and leaders of armies, are documents of priceless value to students of history, many of those written to private citizens, men and women in the cloister or in the world, are as fresh and illuminating, as wise and practical in their advice and guidance for the devout Catholic today as they were for those who sought her counsel while she lived. Others, again, lead the reader to mystical heights of contemplation, a rarefied atmosphere of sanctity in which only the few privileged spirits can hope to dwell. The key-note to Catherine’s teaching is that man, whether in the cloister or in the world, must ever abide in the cell of self-knowledge, which is the stable in which the traveller through time to eternity must be born again.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/29/feast-day-of-st-catherine-of-sienna/

John Paul II, We Love You

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/29/john-paul-ii-we-love-you/

Rise not only on Easter, but Continually in Jesus

FROM THE LETTERS OF THE SERVANT OF GOD, LUISA PICCARRETA

…It seems to me that dear Jesus surrounds you with these pains in order to give you strength, and with tender and loving voice, He says to you:  “My daughter, give these pains to Me, that they may form my arms, my heart, my steps – my whole Life, to be able to live within you.”  My Mother, it is the crosses, the sufferings united to the Divine Volition, that form the raw material in order to receive in us the life of Jesus, Who calls our littleness to live in Him and to rise in Him.

Here is my wish, my Mother:  to rise not only on Easter, but continually in Jesus; so that every pain and each one of our acts, may be the means in order to rise in the One Who loves us so much.  I believe I could not send you a more beautiful wish; and I believe you will appreciate it, more so, under the rain of unheard-of crosses and of profound humiliations.  The storms give no sign of ceasing.  Pray that He will make peace rise again from the storms, otherwise one cannot live.

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/28/rise-not-only-on-easter-but-continually-in-jesus/

FEAST DAY OF ST. LOUIS-MARIE GRIGNION de MONTFORT

FEAST DAY OF ST. LOUIS-MARIE GRIGNION de MONTFORT

APRIL 28

St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort

click image for St. Louis de Montfort Consecration

Missionary in Brittany and Vendee; born at Montfort, 31 January, 1673; died at Saint Laurent sur Sevre, 28 April, 1716.

From his childhood, he was indefatigably devoted to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, and, when from his twelfth year he was sent as a day pupil to the Jesuit college at Rennes, he never failed to visit the church before and after class. He joined a society of young men who during holidays ministered to the poor and to the incurables in the hospitals, and read for them edifying books during their meals. At the age of nineteen, he went on foot to Paris to follow the course in theology, gave away on the journey all his money to the poor, exchanged clothing with them, and made a vow to subsist thenceforth only on alms. He was ordained priest at the age of twenty-seven, and for some time fulfilled the duties of chaplain in a hospital. In 1705, when he was thirty-two, he found his true vocation, and thereafter devoted himself to preaching to the people. During seventeen years he preached the Gospel in countless towns and villages. As an orator he was highly gifted, his language being simple but replete with fire and divine love. His whole life was conspicuous for virtues difficult for modern degeneracy to comprehend: constant prayer, love of the poor, poverty carried to an unheard-of degree, joy in humiliations and persecutions.

The following two instances will illustrate his success. He once gave a mission for the soldiers of the garrison at La Rochelle, and moved by his words, the men wept, and cried aloud for the forgiveness of their sins. In the procession which terminated this mission, an officer walked at the head, barefooted and carrying a banner, and the soldiers, also barefooted, followed, carrying in one hand a crucifix, in the other a rosary, and singing hymns.

Grignion’s extraordinary influence was especially apparent in the matter of the calvary at Pontchateau. When he announced his determination of building a monumental calvary on a neighbouring hill, the idea was enthusiastically received by the inhabitants. For fifteen months between two and four hundred peasants worked daily without recompense, and the task had just been completed, when the king commanded that the whole should be demolished, and the land restored to its former condition. The Jansenists had convinced the Governor of Brittany that a fortress capable of affording aid to persons in revolt was being erected, and for several months five hundred peasants, watched by a company of soldiers, were compelled to carry out the work of destruction. Father de Montfort was not disturbed on receiving this humiliating news, exclaiming only: “Blessed be God!”

This was by no means the only trial to which Grignion was subjected. It often happened that the Jansenists, irritated by his success, secure by their intrigues his banishment form the district, in which he was giving a mission. At La Rochelle some wretches put poison into his cup of broth, and, despite the antidote which he swallowed, his health was always impaired. On another occasion, some malefactors hid in a narrow street with the intention of assassinating him, but he had a presentiment of danger and escaped by going by another street. A year before his death, Father de Montfort founded two congregations — the Sisters of Wisdom, who were to devote themselves to hospital work and the instruction of poor girls, and the Company of Mary, composed of missionaries. He had long cherished these projects but circumstances had hindered their execution, and, humanly speaking, the work appeared to have failed at his death, since these congregations numbered respectively only four sisters and two priests with a few brothers. But the blessed founder, who had on several occasions shown himself possessed of the gift of prophecy, knew that the tree would grow. At the beginning of the twentieth century the Sisters of Wisdom numbered five thousand, and were spread throughout every country; they possessed forty-four houses, and gave instruction to 60,000 children. After the death of its founder, the Company of Mary was governed for 39 years by Father Mulot. He had at first refused to join de Montfort in his missionary labours. “I cannot become a missionary”, said he, “for I have been paralysed on one side for years; I have an affection of the lungs which scarcely allows me to breathe, and am indeed so ill that I have no rest day or night.” But the holy man, impelled by a sudden inspiration, replied, “As soon as you begin to preach you will be completely cured.” And the event justified the prediction. Grignion de Montfort was beatified by Leo XIII in 1888.

Note: Louis de Montfort was canonized by Pius XII in 1947.

From:  Catholic Encyclopedia

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/28/feast-day-of-st-louis-marie-grignion-de-montfort/

Canonization of Pope John XXIII and John Paul II

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/27/canonization-of-pope-john-xxiii-and-john-paul-ii/

Prayer of Thanksgiving on the Occasion of the Canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/26/prayer-of-thanksgiving-on-the-occasion-of-the-canonization-of-popes-john-xxiii-and-john-paul-ii/

Rome readies for canonizations of John XXIII, John Paul II

Rome readies for canonizations of John XXIII, John Paul II

(Vatican Radio) The two banners of the two soon-to-be saints now hang on the façade of St. Peter’s Basilica, and the final countdown toward the highly anticipated canonizations has begun. With just one day to go before the canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, the stream of pilgrims into Rome continues.
Civil security forces are in position, city roads have been closed to traffic and the subway system will run nonstop this weekend to accommodate the influx of pilgrims.
Authorities expect about one million people to gather in the square and along the Via della Conciliazione, which leads up to St. Peter’s Basilica, for the Mass itself. Thousands of others instead will gather in about a dozen or so public squares around the city, where the Mass will be projected onto big screens.
Here at the Vatican, the last of the preparations are underway, as hundreds more journalists have swamped the city with their cameras and microphones.
At a press conference on Friday, the two cardinals who lived and worked for the future saints as their secretaries said they knew their bosses were saints because of their simple faith and goodness.
Cardinal Loris Capovilla, who served as Blessed John’s secretary for 10 years, told reporters via video link of John XXIII’s “smile, innocence and goodness.”
“Saints,” the 98-year-old cleric said, “are those who remain children”, maintaining always a youthful energy and enthusiasm as they follow the path God sets out for them.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who served as Blessed John Paul’s secretary for 39 years, told reporters John Paul “prayed with his life” and his holiness was also evident in his “holy suffering” throughout his life, never complaining and offering his suffering as a prayer for the world.

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/26/rome-readies-for-canonizations-of-john-xxiii-john-paul-ii/