HOLY MASS AND CANONIZATIONS
HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS
Saint Peter’s Square
Seventh Sunday of Easter, 12 May 2013
Dear brothers and sisters!
In this seventh Sunday of Easter we are gathered to celebrate with joy a feast of holiness. Thanks be to God who has made His glory – the glory of Love – to shine on the Martyrs of Otranto, on Mother Laura Montoya and María Guadalupe García Zavala. I greet all of you who have come to this celebration – from Italy, Colombia, Mexico, from other countries – and I thank you! Let us look on the new saints in the light of the Word of God proclaimed: a Word that invited us to be faithful to Christ, even unto martyrdom; a word that recalled to us the urgency and the beauty of bringing Christ and his Gospel to everyone; a word that spoke to us about the witness of charity, without which even martyrdom and mission lose their Christian savior.
The Acts of the Apostles, when they speak of the Deacon, Stephen, the first martyr, insist on telling us that he was a man “full of the Holy Spirit (6:5, 7:55).” What does this mean? It means that he was full of the love of God, that his whole person, his whole life was animated by the Spirit of the risen Christ, so as to follow Jesus with total fidelity, even unto to the gift of self.
Today the Church proposes for our veneration a host of martyrs, who were called together to the supreme witness to the Gospel in 1480. About eight hundred people, [who], having survived the siege and invasion of Otranto, were beheaded near that city. They refused to renounce their faith and died confessing the risen Christ. Where did they find the strength to remain faithful? Precisely in faith, which allows us to see beyond the limits of our human eyes, beyond the boundaries of earthly life, to contemplate “the heavens opened” – as St. Stephen said – and the living Christ at the right hand of the Father. Dear friends, let us conserve the faith [that] we have received and that is our true treasure, let us renew our fidelity to the Lord, even in the midst of obstacles and misunderstandings; God will never allow us to want [for] strength and serenity. As we venerate the martyrs of Otranto, let us ask God to sustain those many Christians who, in these times and in many parts of the world, right now, still suffer violence, and give them the courage and fidelity to respond to evil with good.
The second idea can be drawn from the words of Jesus that we heard in the Gospel: “I pray for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may be one, as You, Father, are in me and I in thee, that they also may be in us. (Jn 17:20)” Saint Laura Montoya was an instrument of evangelization, first as teacher and then as the spiritual mother of the indigenous peoples, in whom she infused hope, welcoming them with the love [she] learned from God, and bringing them to him with pedagogical efficacy that respected, and was not opposed to, their own culture. In her work of evangelization, Mother Laura became, in the words of St. Paul, truly everything to everyone, (cf. 1 Cor 9:22). Even today her spiritual daughters live and bring the Gospel to the most remote and needy places, as a kind of vanguard of the Church.
This first saint born on the beautiful Colombian soil, teaches us to be generous [together] with God, not to live the faith alone – as if we could live our faith in isolation – but to communicate, to radiate the joy of the Gospel by word and witness of life in every place we find ourselves. She teaches us to see the face of Jesus reflected in the other, to overcome indifference and individualism, welcoming everyone without prejudice or constraints, with love, giving the best of ourselves and above all, sharing with them the most valuable thing we have, which is not our works or our organizations, no: the most valuable thing we have is Christ and his Gospel.
Finally, a third thought. In today’s Gospel, Jesus prays to the Father with these words: “I have made known thy name to them and will make it known: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. (Jn 17:26)” The martyrs’ faithfulness even unto death, the proclamation of the Gospel are rooted in the love of God that has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom 5:5), and in the witness we must bear to this love in our daily lives. St. Maria Guadalupe García Zavala knew this well. Giving up a comfortable life – how much damage does the comfortable life, life of comfort, do? The gentrification of the heart paralyzes us – and [she], giving up a comfortable life to follow the call of Jesus, taught people to love poverty, in order the more to love the poor and the sick. Mother Lupita knelt on the floor of the hospital before the sick, before the abandoned, to serve them with tenderness and compassion. This is what it means to touch the flesh of Christ. The poor, the abandoned, the sick, the marginalized are the flesh of Christ. And Mother Lupita touched the flesh of Christ and taught us this conduct: [to be] unabashed,[to be] unafraid, [to be] not loathe to touch the flesh of Christ. Mother Lupita understood what it means “to touch the flesh of Christ.” Today her spiritual daughters also seek to reflect the love of God in works of charity, without sparing sacrifices, and [while] facing with meekness, with apostolic constancy (hypomone), any obstacle.
This new Mexican saint invites us to love as Jesus loved us, and this leads one not to retreat into oneself, into one’s own problems, into one’s own ideas, into one’s own interests in this little world that has done us so much damage, but to get up and go to meet those who need care, understanding and support, to bring the warm closeness of God’s love through gestures of delicacy and sincere affection and love.
Fidelity to Christ and his Gospel, in order to proclaim it in word and deed, bearing witness to God’s love with our love, with our charity toward all: the saints proclaimed today offer shining examples and teachings of these. They also pose questions to our Christian life: how am I faithful to Christ? Let us take this question with us to consider during the day: how am I faithful to Christ? I am able to “show” my faith with respect, but also with courage? Am I attentive to others, do I recognize when someone is in need, do I see in everyone a brother and a sister to love? Let us ask that, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the new saints, the Lord might fill our lives with the joy of His love. So be it.
- First saints from Colombia, Mexico named (wyff4.com)
- Pope Francis Canonizes First Saints Of Papacy (fox2now.com)
- Pope Francis proclaims new saints and celebrates mass. (thecatholicsnetwork.com)
- Pope Francis canonizes 813 martyrs beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam (en.radiovaticana.va)
- Martyrs of Otranto: An Entire Village that Chose Death Rather than Renounce Jesus (patheos.com)
- Pope canonizes first saints from Colombia, Mexico (cnn.com)
- Pope Francis to canonise 800 Italians slain during historic siege (theuglytruth.wordpress.com)
- You: Pope Francis completes contentious canonisation of Otranto martyrs (guardian.co.uk)
- Pope Francis to canonise 800 Italians slain during historic siege (catholicherald.co.uk)
Death of St John de Brebeuf
On entering the village, they were met with a shower of stones, cruelly beaten with clubs, and then tied to posts to be burned to death. Brébeuf is said to have kissed the stake to which he was bound. The fire was lighted under them, and their bodies slashed with knives. Brébeuf had scalding water poured on his head in mockery of baptism, a collar of red-hot tomahawk-heads placed around his neck, a red-hot iron thrust down his throat, and when he expired his heart was cut out and eaten. Through all the torture he never uttered a groan. The Iroquois withdrew when they had finished their work. The remains of the victims were gathered up subsequently, and the head of Brébeuf is still kept as a relic at the Hôtel-Dieu, Quebec.
My Two Cents Worth
I read a book on St John de Brebeuf, and learned he stayed with the Hurons for 25 years in long houses, and taught them much about Jesus. He wrote back to France the famous book called “The Jesuit Relations.” His book taught us much about the North American Indians: namely the Hurons in Canada, and the Alghonquins around Lake Erie and Iroquois, in New York.
But, it wasn’t until I went to the Martyrs Shrine in Auriesville, New York, that I was touched with the awesome thought that St Rene Goupil was praying for me in May 1973, when I received one of the worst of my five head injuries. I felt a connection to him, through his perceived prayers for me, even before I knew him. The Doctrine of the Communion of Saints teaches us that the Saints pray for us. And, quite frankly when I get really bad headaches, I know Saints who died, by being “doiked on the head” are by far – my favorite saints. I know each of them, have been praying for me, all of my life. And, celebrating their Feast Day is deeply moving for me.
Saint Rene Goupil was tomahawked on the head by a Mowhawk Indian for tracing the Sign of the Cross on an Indian Boy’s forehead. St Isaac Jacques wrote about St Rene’s death. St Rene was the first Catholic Martyr in the United States. He died 1642.
St. Rene Goupil
Biography is copied and pasted from: http://www.strenegoupilchicago.com/whowasstrene.html
St. Rene Goupil was born at St. Martin Du Bois, France in 1608. He was the second to five children born to Luce Provost and Hypolite Goupil. Rene had three brothers and one sister. Rene came from a locally significant family who provided for his education which was quite a rarity in the 17th Century. The Goupil family knew how to read and write and had developed professional skills. Rene’s father was a surgeon who taught him some skills before he died when Rene was only twelve.
Rene entered the Jesuit Novitiate in Paris in 1639 at the age of 31 and was dismissed three months later, presumably because of a hearing defect. Quite possibly Rene’s desire to become a surgeon and a religious brother both stem from the same source: a desire to love and serve God in his impoverished neighbors which is the essence of Christianity. In 1640 he sailed from France to come to the New World where he landed at Sillery, Canada (four miles west of Quebec) because he wanted to work among the American Indians.
Rene worked as a handyman for the missionaries and as a surgeon for the Indians. Rene was a type of surgeon who knew the properties of certain medicines, how to promote healing in wounds, and the art of bleeding and dressings. Even more important, he was seen as a companion to the poor. Both the Indians and the French were welcomed at the hospital. Rene was given the care of dressing the sick and wounded, which he did with great skill, seeing our Lord in his patients with great affection and love.
All during July 1640, Rene worked as a “jack of all trades.” In fact his work was described as the lowest, most vile jobs around the Jesuit house. He did menial tasks, while at the same time, helping in the hospital. Rene did not “hire” on as a domestic for the Jesuits but offered himself to work for them, gratuitously. Then in August 1642, he volunteered to be chief surgeon for the most dangerous Jesuit mission nearly 900 miles from Quebec.
On the trip west, he was soon captured, taken prisoner by the Iroquois, mangled and tortured repeatedly. From there he was carried to Lake Champlain, Lake George and finally to the main Iroquois village near Albany, New York, on the banks of the Mohawk River. There he was exhibited as a trophy of war.
Just before his death on September 29, 1642, he took vows to become a Jesuit Brother and act as a missionary. One day Rene began to trace the sign of the cross on an Iroquois child’s forehead and to teach the child to make the sign of the cross. This was witnessed by Isaac Jogues and took place near present day Albany, New York.
Recalling the sad incident a year later, Isaac Jogues wrote about Rene that “he was not more than thirty-four years of age but was a man of unusual simplicity and innocence of life, of invincible patience, and very conformable to the divine will”.
St. Rene was canonized along with his companions, Isaac Jogues, John de Brebeuf, and five others by Pope Pius XI in 1930. The shrine of these first North American Martyrs is in Auriesville, New York. St Rene is the Patron Saint of Anesthesiologist.The Ghost of Mohawk Valley – The Life and Times of st. Rene Goupil 1608-1642William Breault, SJ Landmark Enterprieses 10324Newton Way, Rancho Cordova, Ca. 95670
1 Corinthians 15:1-15
I am reminding you, brothers and sisters, of the Gospel I preached to you,
which you indeed received and in which you also stand.
Through it you are also being saved,
if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that he was buried; that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures; that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.
After that, He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. After that He appeared to James, then to all the Apostles. Last of all, as to one born abnormally, He appeared to me. For I am the least of the Apostles, not fit to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me. Therefore, whether it be I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 118:1b-2, 16ab-17, 28
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his Mercy endures forever. Let the house of Israel say, “His Mercy endures forever.”
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
“The right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD has struck with power.” I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
You are my God, and I give thanks to you; O my God, I extol you.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Gospel Lk 7:36-50
A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair,
kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, He would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
“Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?”
Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.”
He said to him, “You have judged rightly.”
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman?
When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Collect Prayer during Mass
Collect: O God, who have been pleased to increase your adopted children in all the world, and who made the blood of the Martyrs Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gon and his companions a most fruitful seed of Christians, grant that we may be defended by their help and profit always from their example. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Biographies of these Saints from Korea may be found on Catholic Culture website. (USCCB website is where I got the Scripture Readings for their Memorial Mass on the Feast Day September 20, 2012).
Here’s Catholic Culture’s webpage for their Biographies. Their witness is an inspiration for everyone, in the world of God’s love. St. Andrew Kim Taegon and St. Paul Chong Hasang and their companions
Read the article here: ….
Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan was related to South Vietnam’s very Catholic President Diem and he was related to the Vietnamese Martyrs of the 19th Century, in Vietnam: St Andrew Dung-Lac and 117 Companions were martyred from 1820 to 1862, in Vietnam for the Catholic faith. They were canonized saints, by Blessed Pope John Paul II.
Cardinal Van Thuan’s uncle was President of South Vietnam. However, in October 1963, President John F. Kennedy ordered C. Cabot Lodge: the American Ambassador to South Vietnam – to pay $40,000 to several South Vietnamese Generals in President Diem’s Cabinet, to assassinate their very Catholic, President Diem. These Generals, were paid also to start a Coup d’Tete, in Vietnam and to assassinate their President.
So, naturally, I do not like President John F. Kennedy, because he;
1. Violated the Geneva Convention and escalated US Troops on South Vietnam’s soil in May 1963. Plus JFK butted into the S. Vietnamese President Diem; handling of the Buddhist Uprisings. Diem only allowed the South Vietnamese Flag and the Papal Flag to be flown. In May 1963, the Buddhist Monks revolted and set themselves on fire in the middle of Saigon’s streets, to protest via suicide, President Diem’s policies. JFK should have let them handle it. His imperialism cost many American lives, in Vietnam War. IMHO.
2. JFK paid Blood Money to have the very Catholic, South Vietnamese President Diem, assassinated on November 2, 1963. I think Diem was a more conservative Catholic President and President Kennedy was a more Liberal President. JFK cheated on his wife but Diem was a better Catholic man and President. IMHO.
3. This American fronted Coup d’Tete caused the instability, that mushroomed into the South Vietnam War!
4. It caused instability in South Vietnam so that the Communist, North Vietnamese could invade South Vietnam, all thanks to President Kennedy.
5. I have to love President Kennedy, but I do not have to like him. He reaped what he sewed, 20 days later someone assassinated him. It’s the first time, I’ve seen that Bible verse come true: “As you sew, so shall you reap.”
Cardinal Van Thuan was the nephew of President Diem, and he was related to the Vietnamese Martyrs in the 19th Century.
Anyways, Cardinal Van Thuan’s Canonization as a Saint would, not only embarrass the present day Communist Government in Vietnam – but it would shine a spotlight on the US President John F. Kennedy’s involvement in Paying Blood-Money for President Diem’s Assassination and Coup d’Tete. All those US Soldiers who died needlessly, in Vietnam, because of JFK’s stupidity.
The Communist Government of Present Day Vietnam will not let the Vatican come to Interview those who knew Cardinal Van Thuan, so they can have living Testimonies of those who knew him.
Communists would be embarrassed to have their terrible bloody, history displayed, for all to see. Shame on them. Their people are being deprived of public recognition of one of their best citizens, whom I have no doubt, will be canonized a Saint in the Catholic Church. I believe he’s in heaven, whether that happens or not.
“Cardinal Van Thuan, President Diem (RIP), and St Andrew Dung-Lac and 117 Martyrs of Vietnam pray for us. Thank you. Amen.”
JFK, RIP, too. All those who died in the Vietnam War, RIP.
Tuesday 20 September 2011
Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, and Paul Chong Hasang, and their Companions, Martyrs
St Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and companions
For centuries, Korea was closed to all outside influences, and all contact with foreigners was forbidden. No missionaries went there. Nevertheless, a number of laymen sought to find out all that they could about the outside world, through the annual embassy to Peking. Some books about Christianity fell into their hands, and they were converted. Because of the secrecy involved, it is impossible to date the origin of Christianity in Korea with any precision: it may have started in the early 17th century, but the first known baptism is that of Ni-Seoung-Houn, who was baptized under the name of Peter when he visited Peking in 1784.
The first known martyrs are Paul Youn and James Kouen, who in 1791 refused to offer sacrifice on the death of their relatives. Over the next century, over ten thousand Korean Christians were executed, with great cruelty; and many others perished.
For most of this period, the church in Korea had no priests and was an entirely lay phenomenon. The first priest, a Frenchman, entered the country in 1836 and was beheaded three years later. Andrew Kim Taegon, the first Korean priest, secretly trained in Macao, entered Korea in 1845 and was executed in 1846, together with his father. A lay apostle, St Paul Chong Hasang and many others perished at the same time. A further major persecution occurred in 1866.
In all, 103 of the Korean martyrs are celebrated today: they are mostly lay men and women: some married, some not; some old, some young, some even children.
“The Korean Church is unique because it was founded entirely by laypeople. This fledgling Church, so young and yet so strong in faith, withstood wave after wave of fierce persecution. Thus, in less than a century, it could boast of 10,000 martyrs. The death of these many martyrs became the leaven of the Church and led to today’s splendid flowering of the Church in Korea. Even today their undying spirit sustains the Christians of the Church of Silence in the north of this tragically divided land.” – Pope John Paul II at the canonization of the Korean Martyrs, May 6, 1984.