(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday morning held the Public Ordinary Consistory for the forthcoming Canonization of Blessed Pope John XXIII and Blessed Pope John Paul II. During the course of the Consistory in the Vatican’s Consistory Hall, the Pope decreed that his two predecessors will be raised to Sainthood on April 27, 2014, the day on which the Church celebrates the Second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
According to Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, they decided to call for a day of prayer and combine it with fasting and candle lighting so that peace will stay in the strife-torn region.
“We are calling for whole day of prayers, fasting and candle lighting for peace on October 1,” said Quevedo.
The day-long activity shall culminate with candle-lighting activities held “in silence” simultaneously at 6 p.m., according to Quevedo.
On Saturday, the government announced that the crisis in Zamboanga City was over after the last remaining hostages were rescued from their Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) captors.
The crisis, which began on September 9 when MNLF forces occupied several barangays in the city, resulted to over 200 deaths and affected over 100,000 residents.
In a related development, the CBCP urged all archdioceses and dioceses in the country to pray the old St. Michael the Archangel Prayer in a bid to counter all the negative news that have surfaced in the past few weeks.
In a circular, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, who is also the CBCP president, asked all churches nationwide to recite the prayer amid the recent problems of the country ranging from the Zamboanga crisis, to the pork barrel scandal, as well as natural calamities such as typhoon and flooding.
“Through this prayer, we invoke St. Michael to defend us and our country against the wickedness and snares of the evil one,” Palma said.
“Michael – which means, ‘Who is like God’ – will win over all the evil attempts to disfigure the face of mankind because God, Who is stronger, acts in him,” he added.
The Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, which was composed by Leo XIII in 1896 but was stopped in 1964, read as follows:
“St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him we humbly pray. And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl upon the earth for the ruin of souls. Amen.” (HDT/Sunnex)
Lawrence Ruiz is the first Filipino to be canonized a saint. He and 15 others were martyred at Nagasaki, Japan in 1637. The group included two consecrated women, two other laymen, two brothers and nine priests.
Lawrence was born in Manila in the Philippines; his father was Chinese and his mother Filipino. He became associated with the Dominicans, and was a member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. These Dominicans taught him Spanish, and from his parents he learned Chinese and Tagalog. He became a professional calligrapher and transcribed documents.
He married and had three children. In 1636, he fled the Philippines after being accused of murder. He joined a missionary group headed for Japan, where Catholics were being persecuted. It was soon found out that the members of this group were Catholic, so they were arrested and taken to Nagasaki. They were tortured for several days, first crushed while hanging upside down for three days, then the bodies were burned, with the ashes thrown into the Pacific Ocean on September 30, 1637. Pope John Paul II canonized these martyrs on October 18, 1987.
The life and martyrdom of Fr. Mendez, SCJ, introduces us to a dark chapter in modern Spanish history – the religious persecution during the Civil War from 1936 to 1939.
Mariano García Méndez was born on September 25, 1891, in San Esteban de los Patos in the Province of Avila, the firstborn of 15 children. After his seminary training, he was ordained a priest for the diocese of Avila. His deep desire to lead a life of greater perfection led him toward religious life, but his first steps in this direction failed due to his poor health.
After his novitiate at Novelda (Alicante), Fr. Mendez made his first profession on October 31, 1926 and took the religious name of Fr. Juan María de la Cruz. Enjoying limited success as teacher in the minor seminary at Novelda, he became a fundraiser in 1929, begging for money in villages and market towns and looking for young students to direct to the congregation’s minor seminary.
The Civil War, opposing nationalists and republicans, broke out on July 18, 1936. In this context, on July 23, 1936, Fr. Juan traveled to Valencia seeking to find refuge with one of the congregation’s benefactors. “While traveling from the train station to the home of Señora Pilar, he passed by the church of ‘de los Juanes’ in the center of the city. He was horrified by ‘a horrible spectacle’ — his own words — when he saw men ripping apart the church interior and preparing to burn down the church. He could not stand by in silence. Fr. Juan did not hide his disdain at seeing the church torched. When the evildoers said to each other: ‘He’s a reactionary!’ He responded ‘No, I am a priest!’ The republicans there upon arrested him and took him to jail Modelo of Valencia.”
Afterwards, witnesses recalled that Fr. Juan led an exemplary priestly life in prison. He remained faithful to his religious practices, cared for other’s pastoral needs as he prepared for martyrdom. On the night of August 23-24, 1936 together with nine other prisoners, Fr. Juan was taken south of Valencia to be shot. On August 24th the bodies of the victims were thrown into a common grave in the cemetery of Silla.”
On October 17 – 19, 2013, in Cagayan de Oro City took place an Accounting Seminar intended for local treasurers and those interested in financial matters. Here below is a sharing of Fr. Showe Reddy Bala Nekkanti, of one of the participants of this crash course.
“Our manner of administrating and managing our goods should be a witness of evangelical life.”(GD 142)
Our general directory clearly emphasizes the need of transparency and accountability in handling the goods which are at our care. For this concern, the regional treasurer, Fr. Arthur SCJ with the approval of our superior Fr. Francis SCJ and his council arranged a short seminar on the accountancy.
There were 17 members including Fr. Halim SCJ from district of Vietnam.
The first day was handled by one of our seminarian, who is also CPA and was working as an Internal Auditor of a private company. His input was more of general accounting and how to make the financial reports. From the second day till fourth day, a team came from the Cagayan de Oro city accounting department headed by Atty. Beda Joy Elot, CPA whose main lecturers were Rhea Suralta CPA, and Rodel Boc, IT specialist. The main topics of these days were journal writing, ledger and double entry.
Though not all of us and not everything was grasped, it was really useful and meaningful seminar. It was difficult to understand and reasons behind. But the whole group attended with full spirit and enthusiasm. First two days were normal but last two days were fun filled days as all of us could enjoy the seminar.
We would like to really express our gratitude for the team of Atty. Bede Joy Elot. It was not easy to teach us and explain to us in common language. And the team really did wonderful job in explaining and helping. We appreciate their patience and generosity. We would also express thanks to Fr. Arthur who worked behind all the preparations and thanks to our superior Fr. Francis and his council for their approval.
As a whole, it was really very different seminar from others. Though sometimes it gave us some headaches, over all we enjoyed a lot while learning about the accounting. I hope this kind of seminars would help and encourage us to learn and know more about administering the goods of the church and the congregation.
We recommend to read this very interesting article on corruption in the Philippines published at ucanews.com on August 30, 2013.