Saturday, December 16, 2017

Happy Birthday Pope Francis! SHARE to Wish #PopeFrancis a Happy 81st!

POPE FRANCIS BIRTHDAY is December 17, 2017 -  he turns 81 . He was born in Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina in South America. Francis was named Jorge Mario Bergoglio by his parents. He was born on December 17, 1936. He became the 266th Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church on March 13,  2012. He is a member of the Jesuit Order.The Pontiff was ordained a priest in 1969. Jorge was the oldest of 5 children to Mario and Regina of Italy.

 Let us pray for our Pontiff Francis.

May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. 
Let us pray.
O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful, look mercifully upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church: grant him, we beseech Thee, that, by word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, he may attain everlasting life. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen

What are the O Antiphons of Advent - #Beautiful Video and #Secret Meaning #Advent - SHARE

THE "O ANTIPHONS" are known from the Roman Breviary as the Antiphonæ majores, "greater antiphons". They come from Old Testament bible passages of Isaiah.
The seven  verses are sung or recited before the Magnificat prayer in the ferial Office of the seven days preceeding the vigil of Christmas; so called because all begin with the interjection "O". Boethius (c. 480-524) made  reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time.
The opening words are:
Dec. 17 - O Sapientia (Wisdom)
Dec. 18 - O Adonai (Lord)
Dec. 19 - O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse)
Dec. 20 - O Clavis David (Key of David)
Dec. 21 - O Oriens (Dayspring)
Dec. 22 - O Rex Gentium (King of the nations)
Dec. 23 - O Emmanuel (God is with us)
A paraphrase of some of these is found in the hymn. "Veni, veni, Emmanuel" .
If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one - Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia - the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” These antiphons are prayers that can help us prepare for the coming of Jesus in Advent.

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,

fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: 

veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other mightily,
and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.


O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel,
qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:

O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm


O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem Gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

O Root of Jesse, stand as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us,
and delay no longer


O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel;
qui aperis, et nemo claudit;
claudis, et nemo aperit:
veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death

O Oriens splendor lucis aeternae,
veni, et illumina sedentes
in tenebris, et umbra mortis

O Dayspring, Splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay


O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver,
the Desire of all nations, and their Salvation:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Compiled from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Official Novena for Christmas : Day 1 : #Novena #Plenary #Indulgence - SHARE

Opening Prayer:

V. O God, come to my assistance.

R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father and to
the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, world without


Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.


Day 1 Prayers

The Incarnation.

O most sweet infant Jesus, who descended from the bosom of the eternal Father into the womb of the Virgin Mary, where, conceived by the Holy Ghost, you took upon yourself, O Incarnate Word, the form of a servant for our salvation. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary full of Grace the Lord is with Thee blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

NOVENA PREPARATORY TO CHRISTMAS In order to the devout preparation of ourselves for the glorious Birthday of our most loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, which the holy Church recalls to our memory every year on the 25th of December, and at the same time to render Him thanks for this great benefit, Pope Pius VII., by a Rescript of the Segretaria of the Memorials, dated August 12th, 1815 (which said Rescript is preserved in the Segretaria of the Vicariate), granted to all faithful Christians who, being contrite in heart, should prepare themselves for that great solemnity by a novena, consisting of pious exercises, prayers, acts of virtue, &c. -
i. An indulgence of 300 days each day of the said novena, and -
ii. A plenary indulgence to be gained on Christmas day, or on some day in its octave, by those who, after Confession and Communion, shall have made the said novena every day, and who shall pray according to the intentions of the Sovereigns Pontiff: and note that the Confession and Communion may be made on  any one of the days of the said novena, provided the novena is correctly kept. This was declared by Pope Pius VIII., of holy memory, by means of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 9, 1830. These indulgences were extended by the above-named Pius VII. to one other time in the year, besides the the specified, when any one should make the aforesaid novena in honour of the Child Jesus.

Wow over 1000 create #Nativity for #Performance of 'Angels we have heard on High' with #PianoGuys - SHARE

"This Is The Best Christmas Song I Have Ever Heard. It Will Give You Chills." This according to the many listeners of The Piano Guys, YouTube VIRAL music video. It features Peter Hollens, and former American Idol star David Archuleta who joined more than 1,000 people to create the most beautiful performance of ‘Angels We Have Heard On High.’ This is spectacular - Please SHARE this Amazing production! 

FULL TEXT Statement by Archbishop Fisher on the Report of Abuse "I continue to pray for justice and healing of survivors"


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
15 Dec 2017
Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP
First and foremost, I want to express my respect for the survivors of child sexual abuse by Church personnel, who have lived with the consequences of abuse for a lifetime and will continue to do so.
Many told their stories with great courage, even at great personal cost, revisiting traumatic experiences. I say again how sorry I am that you were hurt in this way by people you should have been able to trust.
I hope the release of this report provides some comfort to you, your family and friends with the determination that what has been revealed in the pages of this report can never be repeated.
To the Commissioners and staff my thanks for your dedication to listening to the survivors patiently and compassionately, analysing the causes of this terrible scourge, and proposing ways of preventing any recurrence.
The final report comprises 17 volumes, covering nearly five years of hearings. It will take time to digest but it will not sit on any shelf. I will study the findings and recommendations carefully, and then provide a detailed response as we discern, with the rest of the community, the best way forward.
Many of the findings and recommendations will come as no surprise, as they have been touched upon during the life of the Royal Commission; others will require further examination. But what I can say is that I'm appalled by the sinful and criminal activity of some clergy, religious and lay church-workers, that I'm ashamed of the failure to respond by some church leaders, and that I stand ready to address any systemic issues behind this.
I recognise and understand how this has damaged the credibility of the Church in the broader community, and shocked many of our own faithful. If we are to be worthy of people's trust we must demonstrate that the rights of children to be safe, heard and responded to appropriately are always respected.
The final report of the Royal Commission will have much to say to us and we will have much to learn. But I want to assure you we have begun the work.
For at least the past two decades, the Church in Australia has been trying to respond to these concerns. We've come a long way from where we were when most of these terrible crimes occurred in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. But there is always more to be done to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the young and vulnerable.
We are far more focused on the selection, preparation and professional development of Church personnel; on boundaries, warning signs, appropriate interventions and complaint handling. Laypeople, especially women, are now involved on many levels in shaping and running these activities.
Nationally, the Church has established Catholic Professional Standards Ltd with the expertise and independence to develop credible new standards in safeguarding children and vulnerable people, and audit compliance.
Locally, I've established an Office for Safeguarding and Ministerial Integrity to focus on preventative strategies and Sydney Catholic Schools have been similarly proactive. We also now have parish safeguarding officers and other initiatives.
I can assure you I will not rest there and I commit myself and the Catholic Church in Sydney to do our best for survivors of abuse to ensure this terrible chapter is never repeated.
We will, I pray, be a humbler, purer, more compassionate Church as a result of the Commission's work and the scrutiny we have received.
I continue to pray for justice and healing of survivors; for wisdom and compassion for leaders and carers; for repentance by perpetrators; for grace for those tempted to lose faith or hope; for safety for all young people; and for consolation for all those affected. I ask all people of faith to join me in that prayer.

Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, DD BA LLB BTheol DPhil
Archbishop of Sydney

Pope Francis “There is no need to fall into the ‘sins of communications’: misinformation,.... which is sensational...They are very grave sins that damage the heart of the journalist..."

Pope Francis was speaking to representatives of the Union of Italian Periodical Press (USPI) and the Italian ‎Federation of Catholic Weeklies (FISC). ‎ 
by Robin Gomes
Vatican News:
 Pope Francis has urged that "news be communicated with serenity, precision and completeness, using a calm ‎language in favour of a fruitful reflection; thoughtful and clear words, which reject the tempers of ‎allusive, clamorous and ambiguous speech,  Pope Francis told representatives of Italian periodicals on Saturday.  “It is important that the criteria of judgment and information are offered patiently and methodically so that ‎public opinion is able to understand and discern, and is not stunned and disoriented,” the Pope told some 350 members of the Italian Periodical Press Union (USPI) and the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies (FISC) who met him in the Vatican. 
Reliable information close to reality
The Pope told them that they have a mission to inform properly, to offer everyone a version of the facts as close as possible to reality.  “Your free and responsible voice,” he said, “is fundamental for the growth of any society that wants to be called democratic, so that a continuous exchange of ideas and a profitable debate based on real and correctly reported data are assured.
The Pope observed that in our time that is often dominated by the anxiety for speed, by the urge for sensationalism lacking in precision and completeness, by overheated emotions in the place of thoughtful reflection, ‎the need for reliable information is urgently felt, with verified data and news, that does not aim to ‎amaze and excite, but rather aims to create in readers a healthy critical sense, which allows ‎them to make appropriate questions and reach justified conclusions.‎
Respect for dignity of persons
The Holy father also urged that the right to information and the dignity of every single human person be “scrupulously respected” so no one risks being damaged in the absence of real and responsible circumstantial evidence. He said, “There is no need to fall into the ‘sins of communications’: misinformation, that is saying only a part which is calumny and which is sensational, or defamation that seeks out things past and old and bringing them to light today.”  “They are very grave sins that damage the heart of the journalist and damage the people,”  the Pope added.

Today's Readings and Video : Saturday December 16, 2017 - #Eucharist

Saturday of the Second Week of AdventLectionary: 186

Reading 1SIR 48:1-4, 9-11

In those days,
like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah
whose words were as a flaming furnace.
Their staff of bread he shattered,
in his zeal he reduced them to straits;
By the Lord's word he shut up the heavens
and three times brought down fire.
How awesome are you, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds!
Whose glory is equal to yours?
You were taken aloft in a whirlwind of fire,
in a chariot with fiery horses.
You were destined, it is written, in time to come
to put an end to wrath before the day of the LORD,
To turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons,
and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob.
Blessed is he who shall have seen you
and who falls asleep in your friendship.

Responsorial PsalmPS 80:2AC AND 3B, 15-16, 18-19

R. (4) Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
From your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
Take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

AlleluiaLK 3:4, 6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths:
All flesh shall see the salvation of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 17:9A, 10-13

As they were coming down from the mountain,
the disciples asked Jesus,
"Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
He said in reply, "Elijah will indeed come and restore all things;
but I tell you that Elijah has already come,
and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased.
So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands."
Then the disciples understood
that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.

Saint December 16 : St. Adelaide : Patroness of #Princesses

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Biographical selection: 

St. Adelaide was a marvel of grace and beauty, according to St. Odilon of Cluny, who was her spiritual director and biographer. Daughter of Rudolph II, King of Burgundy, she was born in 931 and at age 15 married Lothaire II, King of Italy. Later their daughter became Queen of France.

The court of the Roman Emperor at the time of St. Adelaide. Above, her grandson Otto III
Adelaide was 18-years-old when she lost her husband, who was supposedly poisoned by his political competitor Berengarius of Ivrea. The latter soon proclaimed himself King of Italy and proposed to unite Adelaide in marriage with his son. The widow refused and Berengarius confiscated her estates and held her prisoner in the Castle of Garda. St. Adelaide managed to escape and fled to the Castle of Canossa, property of the Church. From that impregnable fortress she directed a plea to Otto I, King of Germany, to come to her aid.

Otto I hastened to her appeal with a powerful army. After defeating her oppressor, Otto became King of Italy and married St. Adelaide. One year later, in 952 he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Rome. The eldest son of this marriage, Otto II, succeeded his father as Emperor. At first, influenced by his jealous wife Theohano, Otto II revolted against his mother. Fearing for her life, she fled to Burgundy. There she came to know St. Odilon and became famous for her charities to many French monasteries.

Later, after her son repented, she returned to Germany where she continued her saintly life. She sent a splendid imperial mantle worn by her son to be placed in the grave of St. Martin. She wrote these instructions to the one charged with the mission:

“When you will reach the tomb of the glorious St. Martin, say these words: ‘Bishop of God, receive these humble gifts from Adelaide, servant of the servants of God, sinner by nature and Empress by the grace of God. Receive this mantle of Otto, her eldest son. You, who had the glory to cover Our Lord with your mantle in the person of a poor man, pray for him.’”

After Theophano died, Adelaide became the regent of her grandson, Otto III. She used her position to help the poor, evangelize, and build and restore monasteries and churches. When she felt her end was near, she asked to be taken to the Convent of Seltz in Alsace that she had built. She was laid to rest next to the tomb of Otto the Great, her second husband.

Comments of Prof. Plinio: 

The life of St. Adelaide is so extraordinary that it could be the subject for a medieval illumination. She was not the kind of saint who lives in a convent in the recollected life of a cloister. Rather, she is the heroine who has great adventures and passes through the most difficult dangers. She was not the kind of person whose ideal is to live in retirement. To the contrary, she saw in the risk, in the uncertainty, in the fight for the cause of her legitimate rights, the reason for her life. For her this was the salt of life that gave it flavor.

She was a Princess, daughter of the King of Burgundy, and married the King of Italy. Berengarius II supposedly poisoned her husband, proclaimed himself King of Italy and wanted her to marry his son, that is, the son of the murderer of her husband. If she had, she could have lived an easy life, without problems. She refused, was imprisoned and exposed to the worst offenses. She escaped.

I admire her escape very much. Normally one has a different picture of a holy woman in prison: a sad lady, a little overweight, seated next to a column, weeping, lacking the cunning to fool the guards. She was the opposite. We can imagine her vigilant, studying her chances to escape. And when the moment came, she had the agility of mind to act, to slip through a door, to jump over a fence, to seek provisory refuge and then continue the flight until she was out of danger. A saint is not like the caricature of the sad fat lady; a saint has to have the virtue of fortitude.

St. Adelaide also knew where to find safety. She went to Canossa, the impregnable fortress where St. Gregory VII stayed when he received Emperor Henry IV, who went there to make penance, kiss the feet of the Pope, and ask forgiveness. Canossa was a territory that belonged to another king – the Pope, who was also a temporal sovereign. Therefore, Adelaide knew where to seek refuge: she was a good politician. She had the innocence of the dove, but also the cunning of the serpent.

After that, what did she do? Something one would not expect from a saint. She arranged a marriage for herself, and a very good one. She wrote to the King of Germany, the heir of the Holy Roman Empire, and asked him to come to defend her. He did, and then they were married. For her this represented the beginning of a new life. You can imagine the great fortitude of this soul, her dedication and courage. The magnificent virtues of St. Adelaide are the very opposite of the caricatures often painted of the saints!

Otto became Emperor, they married, and had a son. The son of this marriage, however, at first was not so good, and a new tragedy started for St. Adelaide. He revolted and persecuted her. She fled to Burgundy, met St. Odilon and made many gifts to the monasteries there. It is probable that she also made a promise to St. Martin in return for her son’s conversion, because the incident that follows gives the impression that she was fulfilling a promise made for a favor granted.When she sent the Emperor’s mantle to honor St. Martin, she included a message, and the most beautiful part of it, in a certain sense, was the title she chose for herself:

“Adelaide, sinner by nature and Empress by the grace of God.”

There is a grandeur in this title that comes from the simplicity of the contrast of the two descriptions. She attained the highest position a woman can have on earth, but she recognized that everything was due to grace.

Let us ask St. Adelaide to give us the spirit of adventure that she had. To be fighters for the right, to love the risk to its furthest limits within wisdom. To be courageous soldiers of Our Lady so that in the future someone could say about each one of us, “Sinner by nature, but champion against the Revolution by the grace of God.”
Shared from - Image Source Google Images

Friday, December 15, 2017

Star Wars Conversion to Catholicism of Actor Sir Alec Guinness the #Jedi Knight Obiwan - SHARE #StarWars

 Sir Alec Guinness is best known as having played Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. Guinness was born in 1914 in London, England, as Alec Guinness de Cuffe. His mother's maiden name was Agnes Cuff. The identity of Guinness's father has never been confirmed. Guinness believed that his father was a Scottish banker, Andrew Geddes, who paid for Guinness's education. Geddes also visited Guinness and his mother, posing as an uncle.  Alec was confirmed in the Anglican faith at 16; but he later tried Presbyterianism, atheism, Marxism, Buddhism, and even the Quaker sect. .Guinness married the actress Merula Sylvia Salaman (1914–2000) in 1938; and in 1940, they had a son, Matthew Guinness. He conversion started when he was 40 years old in France working on the film Father Brown. This series is based on G. K. Chesterton's novels about a detective priest. Guinness was playing the role of Fr. Brown and was dressed in a cassock as a Catholic priest. When walking down the street in costume, a child saw him and thought him to be a priest. The child grabbed his hand, and walked with him down the road; afterwards saying goodbye Father.  He later explained: “Continuing my walk, I reflected that a Church that could inspire such confidence in a child, making priests, even when unknown, so easily approachable, could not be as scheming or as creepy as so often made out. I began to shake off my long-taught, long-absorbed prejudices.” Then his 11 year old son Matthew was struck with polio and thought be near death. Guinness then started visiting a Catholic church to pray. Alec made a deal with God: if God healed Matthew, he would allow his son to become Catholic. Then them miracle happened; his son recovered. Guinness then enrolled Matthew in a Jesuit Catholic school. These events led to Alec's conversion at the age of 42. A few years later, his wife, and his son all converted to Catholicism. Guinness was a faithful Catholic till his death in 2000. (with Information from Wikipedia and This Rock Magazing 2005)
SHARE this Amazing Conversion Story- May the FAITH be with you!

#PopeFrancis "I express a warm wish for a serene Christmas festivity, rich in joy and peace..." to Artists - FULL TEXT + Video

Pope Francis met with 180 people involved in the Christmas Concert” who will be performing in the Vatican, Saturday evening.Funds raised by the concert in the Vatican will support two children’s projects: the Pontifical Foundation Scholas Occurrentes, headquartered in Argentina and a programme to free children enslaved in the coltan mines of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). (Vatican Radio excerpt)
FULL TEXT OF Pope Francis 
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I receive you in this meeting, which enables me to express my appreciation for your participation in the concert “Christmas in the Vatican,” whose proceeds will go to finance two projects in favor of children of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and of young people of Argentina. I greet and thank the promoters of the event and all those who will perform tomorrow evening, as well as all those that will take part, thus expressing sensitivity to the needs of the neediest and those in hardship, who ask for help and solidarity.
Christmas — we know — is a warm, widely celebrated feast, able to warm the coldest hearts, to remove the barriers of indifference to one’s neighbor, to encourage openness to the other and to the free gift. Therefore, there is need also today to spread the message of peace and fraternity proper of Christmas; there is need to represent this event by expressing the genuine sentiments that animate it. And art is a formidable means to open the doors of the mind and of the heart to the true meaning of Christmas. The creativity and genius of the artists, with their works, also with music and singing, succeed in reaching the most intimate registers of the conscience. Art enters precisely in the depth of the conscience.
I express my best wishes that the Concert of Christmas in the Vatican may be an occasion to sow tenderness – this word so forgotten today! “Violence,” “war” . . . no, no, tenderness – to sow tenderness, peace and hospitality, which spring from the Bethlehem cave. I renew to each one my gratitude and, while I express a warm wish for a serene Christmas festivity, rich in joy and peace, I bless each one of you, your families and your dear ones.
And please, don’t forget to pray for me. Thank you!
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s working translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

#BreakingNews 30 Catholic Seminarians and 2 Priests held Hostage for Christmas Carols in India - Please PRAY

Madhya Pradesh, dangerous Christmas songs: 30 seminarians and two priests held hostage

Nirmala Carvalho
AsiaNews Report:The Christians were detained yesterday in Satna. Their car was burned. Like every year, they wanted to reach a remote village to hold a Christmas carol service.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Yesterday in Satna, in Madhya Pradesh, 30 seminarians and two priests were held hostage by Hindu fundamentalists for a few hours, after being arrested while they were going to a distant village to perform a Christmas carol service. One of their cars was set on fire by the angry mob.
Speaking to AsiaNews Fr. Stephen Maria, head of public relations in the Madhya Pradesh region, denounces: "The freedom to practice and profess one's faith is suspended by extremists. The celebrations of Christmas have already been disturbed. This is an attack on the secular nature of the country ".
The seminarians and priests come from St. Ephrem's Theological College in Satna. Like every year, they were traveling to a village to perform a Carol service marking the birth of Jesus and bring his message of peace.
Yesterday at 8 pm (local time) the priests and seminarians were blocked by fundamentalists and forced by them to follow them to the police station. The agents collected their depositions and wanted to release them, but the mob of extremists locked them up inside the structure, shouting  against them.
The Christians were able to leave the station only when the multitude dispersed and they no longer risked harm. Released outside, they found one of the cars burning. Stephen Maria relates: "The extremists have burned the car of our singers. They went to the village to give false testimony against the Christians, they wanted to show that they were proselityzing".
The arrest in Satna is the second episode of intolerance against the Christian minority of Madhya Pradesh in this period of Advent. On December 10th, four Pentecostals were imprisoned in the village of Kalibai because they were "guilty" of praying for Christmas.

Wow Beautiful #Advent Hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" with Stunning Images of Art - will touch your heart - SHARE

An absolutely haunting and beautiful rendition of this song from Linda Ronstadt's "A Merry Little Christmas" album, released in 2000. Stunning vocal performance . . .to SHARE

Wow World's Tallest Christmas Tree built by Buddhists in Sri Lanka - Asia - 72.1 M in the Guinness World Records

Colombo, the world's tallest Christmas tree “symbol of unity"

Melani Manel Perera
AsiaNews Report: The project by a Buddhist group is listed in the Guinness World Records. The artificial tree measures 72.1 metres and cost almost US$ 72,000. For the prime minister, “although Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist country, it has shown the world that all religions".

Colombo (AsiaNews) – The Christmas tree built last year on the Galle Face Green in Colombo has been included in the Guinness World Records as the tallest artificial tree in the world.
On 13 December Arjuna Ranatunga, minister of Ports and Fisheries and one of the major backers of the initiative, presented the certificate to Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.
The latter in turn thanked "all people, regardless of religious differences, who made the tallest Christmas tree in the world possible. It stands out as a symbol of peace and unity."
Last year the construction of the 72.1-metre tree was very controversial, especially for the leaders of the local Catholic Church, who described it as a waste of money.
The event was backed however by a group of Buddhists, led by the Foundation of Social Services of Minister Ranatunga, a former captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team.
During the award ceremony, Prime Minister Wickremasinghe stressed that "although Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist country, it has shown the world that all religions are respected the same way".
He then praised the group that built the tree for their "tireless work and commitment to establishing this world record".
The tree was lit on 23 December 2016 until 31 December. Its main frame was made of metal cables, covered with bark and natural pine cones.
The project cost 11 million rupees (almost US$ 72,000). Its creator, Mahinda Nanayakkara, a Buddhist, told AsiaNews that he was “happy to have put the name of my country in the Guinness World Record, thanks to my capacity for innovation and team spirit."

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Fri. December 15, 2017 - #Eucharist

Friday of the Second Week of Advent
Lectionary: 185

Reading 1IS 48:17-19

Thus says the LORD, your redeemer,
the Holy One of Israel:
I, the LORD, your God,
teach you what is for your good,
and lead you on the way you should go.
If you would hearken to my commandments,
your prosperity would be like a river,
and your vindication like the waves of the sea;
Your descendants would be like the sand,
and those born of your stock like its grains,
Their name never cut off
or blotted out from my presence.

Responsorial PsalmPS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R. (see John 8:12) Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord will come; go out to meet him!
He is the prince of peace.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 11:16-19

Jesus said to the crowds:
"To what shall I compare this generation?
It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another,
'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance,
we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.'
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said,
'He is possessed by a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said,
'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'
But wisdom is vindicated by her works."