Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Pact


Ecumencial Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I and Pope Benedict XVI (L) sign a joint statement at the Patriarcal Church of St. George in Istanbul November 30, 2006. REUTERS/Patrick Hertzog/Pool

At the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Photos of Day 2 in Turkey

Benedict and Bartholomew lighting candles of peace and unity.
The two B's in deep discussion.

The Holy Father being greeted by the faithful after celebrating Mass at the House of Mary in Ephesus. He holds the flag of Turkey as a gesture of his love for the Turkish people.

The Holy Father approves of the Turkish delights! "Ahhh... tea and baklava!"

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Planting Seeds In Turkey


Benedict is presented with a gift from the Prime Minister of Turkey who made a last minute decision to welcome the Pope. The seed has been planted.

More photos here.

Papa Ratzi has the highlights of Pope Benedict's speeches made today.

Catholic Blogs are praying for the Pope

While visiting a mausoleum, the Holy Father signed the ceremonial guest book in which he wrote, “In this land, a meeting point of different religions and cultures, and a bridge between Asia and Europe, I gladly make my own the words of the Founder of the Turkish Republic: ‘Peace at Home, peace in the World’.”

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pope Asks For Prayers For His Trip


From Papa Ratzi, here is the Pope's Sunday Angelus message.

On this last Sunday of the liturgical year, we celebrate the solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe. The Gospel today recounts the dramatic interrogation to which Pontius Pilate subjected Jesus when He was sent to him with the accusation of having usurped the title "King of the Jews." To the questions of the Roman governor, Jesus responded that yes, He was king, but not of this world (cfr Jn 18,36). He did not come to lord over people and territories, but to liberate men from the slavery of sin and reconcile them with God. He added: "For this I was born, and for this I came to the world: to render testimony to the truth. Wheobver is for truth hears My voice." (Jn 18,37)

But what is the 'truth' that Christ came to bear witness to in the world? His whole existence reveals that God is love. This is the truth that He bore full witness to with the sacrifice of His own life on Calvary. The Cross is the throne from which the sublime reality of God-Love was manifested: offering Himself in expiation for the sins of the world, He defeated the dominion of the "prince of this world" (Jn 12,31) and installed definitively the Kingdom of God.

A kingdom which will be manifested in its fullness at the end of time, after all enemies, including death, will have been subjugated (cfr 1 Cor 15,25-26).At that
time, the Son will render the Kingdom to the Father and finally God will be 'all in all" (1 Cor 15,28). The road to this goal is long and will not permit shortcuts. It requires that every person freely welcome the truth of God's love.

He is love and truth, and neither love nor truth can ever be imposed: they knock
on the door of our mind and heart, and where they can enter, they bring peace and joy. This is how God reigns. This is His plan of salvation, a 'mystery' in the Biblical sense of the word, that is, a design that reveals itself slowly over time. The Virgin Mary has been associated most singularly with the Kingship of Christ. God asked her, a humble girl from Nazareth, to be the Mother of the Messiah, and Mary responded to this call with her whole being, joining her unconditional Yes to that of her Son Jesus and making herself, like Him, obedient to the point of sacrifice. For this, God exalted her beyond every other creature and Christ crowned her Queen of Heaven and Earth. To her intercession, we entrust the Church and all humanity, so that the love of God may reign in all hearts and His plan for love and peace may be fulfilled.

After the Angelus, the Pope spoke in Italian about his coming trip to Turkey:

Dear brothers and sisters, as you know, in the coming days, I will be visiting Turkey. I wish to send my cordial greeting to the dear people of Turkey, so rich in history and culture. To them and to their representatives, I express my feelings of respect and sincere friendship. With much emotion I look forward to meeting the small Catholic community there, which is always in my heart, and to unite myself fraternally with the Orthodox Church on the occasion of the feast of the Apostle St. Andrew.

I confidently follow in the footsteps of my venerated predecessors Paul VI and John Paul II, and I invoke the heavenly protection of the blessed John XXIII who was for ten years the Apostolic Delegate to Turkey and nourished affection and esteem for that nation. I ask you all to accompany me with prayer that this pilgrimage may bring all the fruits that God desires.

Solemnity of Christ the King


The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to secularism, a way of life which leaves God out of man's thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist. The feast is intended to proclaim in a striking and effective manner Christ's royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations.

Today's Mass establishes the titles for Christ's royalty over men: 1) Christ is God, the Creator of the universe and hence wields a supreme power over all things; "All things were created by Him"; 2) Christ is our Redeemer, He purchased us by His precious Blood, and made us His property and possession; 3) Christ is Head of the Church, "holding in all things the primacy"; 4) God bestowed upon Christ the nations of the world as his special possession and dominion.

From Catholic Culture; Image from here.

Friday, November 24, 2006

EWTN Interview



Watch Jon Voight and Cary Elwes on EWTN's World Over with Raymond Arroyo on Friday, November 24 at 5pm PST and 8pm EST. They both appear in the movie, "Pope John Paul II" which is available on DVD at Ignatius Press. Click on the EWTN button on the right to watch it on streaming video.

Image from Ignatius Inisght.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Presentation of Mary

"I salute Thee, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which my lowness presents to thee." (Excerpt from St. Louis De Montfort's, Consecration Prayer of Ourselves to Jesus Christ The Incarnate Wisdom by the Hands of Mary.)

Image from here.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Spiritual Pilgrimage With Pope Benedict


Pray the Rosary daily for the Holy Father!

Here's a chance to make a spiritual pilgrimage with Pope Benedict from November 28 to December 1. The Knights of Columbus is promoting prayer for the Holy Father's trip to Turkey. Spread the word !!!

"The Knights of Columbus will sponsor a “spiritual pilgrimage” with Pope Benedict XVI as he travels to Turkey in late November.

Knights, their families, and all Catholics are being asked to pray daily for the Pontiff during the trip, which begins on Tuesday, Nov. 28 and concludes on Friday, Dec. 1. " Read more

Click below to download the following:

Holy Card
Full page flyer
Bulletin announcement

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Brand of the Holy Spirit


Excerpts from the Holy Father's Wednesday catechesis:

... For St. Paul the Spirit marks us in our most profound personal intimacy. Here are some of his words that have relevant significance: "The law of the Spirit which gives us life i Jesus Christ has liberated you from the law of sin and death...For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, 'Abba, Father!'" (Rm 8, 2.15), because as sons, we can call God our Father.

Thus we see that the Christian, even before he acts, already possesses a rich and fecund interior given to him in the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, an interior that establishes the objective and original relationship of being a child of God.

Therein lies our dignity: we are not only in the image of God, we are His children. We are invited to live the fact of being a child of God, to be ever more conscious that we are adopted children in the great family of God.

We are invited to transform this objective gift into a subjective reality that determines our thinking, our behavior, our very being. God considers us His children, elevating us to a similar but not equal dignity as Jesus Himself, His only true Son in the full sense. In Jesus, we are given - or rather given back - our filial condition and trustful freedom in relation to God.

Paul also teaches us another important thing: that true prayer does not happen without the presence of the Spirit in us. He writes: "...the Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God's will" (Rm 8, 26-27).

That is like saying that the Holy Spirit, that is, the Spirit of the Father and of the Son, has become the soul of our soul, the most secret part of our being, from whom a movement of prayer - whose terms we cannot even specify - constantly arises to God.

The Spirit that is always awake in us makes up for what we lack and offers the Lord our adoration along with our deepest aspirations. Of course, this requires a level of vital communion with the Spirit. And an invitation to be ever more sensible, more attentive to the presence of the Spirit in us, so we can transform this awareness into prayer, feel His presence and learn to pray, to speak to God as His child in the Holy Spirit.

From Papa Ratzi  Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Buona Domenica

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Papal Winter Wear


The Holy Father wore a thick white sweater underneath his cassock during his recent Wednesday audience.

One papal finery is the Mozetta which is the red velvet half-cape with fur trim worn on special occasions.

Last year, to protect himself from the winter cold, the Holy Father did a triple whammie by wearing the camauro, the white overcoat and the red cape.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Meet Christ And Change Your Life


Recalls Conversion of St. Paul of Tarsus

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 8, 2006 (

An encounter with Christ can change your life, says Benedict XVI. Speaking at today's general audience, the Holy Father commented on St. Paul, whose encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus "literally revolutionized his life." "Christ became his reason for being and the profound motive of all his apostolic work," the Pope said to the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square. "

In his letters, after the name of God, which appears more than 500 times, the name most often mentioned is that of Christ -- 380 times," the Pontiff said in the second reflection on St. Paul in his series of reflections on the men and women of the early Church. Benedict XVI said that the life of St. Paul, born in present-day Turkey, leads one to understand "how Jesus Christ can influence a person's life and, hence, also our own life." "In fact, Jesus Christ is the apex of the history of salvation and therefore the true discriminating point in the dialogue with other religions," the Pope said.

The Pontiff asked: "How does the human being's encounter with Christ take place? In what does the relationship that stems from it consist?" Christ-centered The Holy Father said that in meeting Christ, St. Paul "no longer lives for himself. ... He lives from Christ and with Christ: giving himself." This is "the new orientation that the Lord has given us, which gives us faith. Before the cross of Christ, highest expression of his self-giving, there is no longer any one who can glorify himself," said Benedict XVI.

The Pope illustrated his words with what St. Paul writes in the Letter to the Galatians: "But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world!" The Holy Father said that the Apostle teaches that Christian identity is made up of two elements: "not to seek oneself, but to be clothed in Christ, and to give oneself with Christ, and in this way participate personally in the life of Christ himself to the point of being immersed in him, sharing both in his death as well as his life."

The Pontiff encouraged the pilgrims to live this key aspect of Christian life. Benedict XVI said: "On one hand, faith must keep us in a constant attitude of humility before God, more than that, of adoration and praise in relation to him. "

In fact, what we are as Christians we owe only to him and to his grace." "On the other hand," the Pope added, "our radical belonging to Christ and the fact that 'we are in him' must infuse in us an attitude of complete confidence and immense joy." "We must exclaim with St. Paul," the Holy Father said, "If God is for us, who is against us?"

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Novena For The Pope's Turkey Trip


Please join me, Moneybags and Argent in a Rosary novena for the Holy Father in anticipation of his upcoming apostolic trip to Turkey.

This trip will be a sensitive and very important one in attempting to promote dialogue and relations with the Muslim faith.

The Rosary novena begins immediately, involving the daily praying of the Rosary for the intentions of the Pope, his safety and protection for his trip to Turkey.

On November 28 through December 1, Pope Benedict will travel to Turkey, for a visit with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

This post will be posted on the top every Sunday.

(Image courtesy of Moneybags).

Photos of the Week


The Holy Father prays in front of St. Peter's tomb during All Souls Day.

You know for sure that the Holy Spirit is at work when you see grown men behaving like this.

Students try to reach the Holy Father to shake his hand during a visit to the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome on Friday, November 3.

Can you guess how many cameras are in this photo? I counted nine.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Poignant Scene: Papa's Reflection


Here's a beautiful scene on the grounds of Castel Gandolfo. Click photo to enlarge.

From Papa Ratzi Forum

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pray for the Holy Souls


Dearest Mother, Queen of Purgatory, choose for me an “unknown soul” in Purgatory to whom I will especially pray for and when this soul has entered eternal life give me another “unknown soul” to pray for.

Ways to Help the Holy Souls in Purgatory:

The best way to help is to have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered up for them or devoutly assist at Holy Mass for their relief.

Make the Stations of the Cross for their consolation.

Pray the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary for them. Gain indulgences for them.

Offer up pains, self-denials and sufferings for their relief.

Pray, offer up works of mercy and and practice virtues for their consolation.

Adopt one soul in Purgatory.

Lovingly sprinkle Holy Water, in faith and with trust, for their cleansing.

Light their darkness, as an act of love, by burning a blessed candle for them.

Liturgical prayers like: De Profundis (Psalm 129 {Official prayer for the Holy Souls in purgatory} , found in most Catholic prayer books.)

Pray the Office of the Dead or Vespers, the liturgical hours of the Church.

"Eternal Rest" prayer: Eternal Rest grant unto them O Lord and let perpetual live shine on them and may the souls and all the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace.

Prayers from the Roman Missal for the Souls in Purgatory

Visit a Church or Chapel and spend some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament for their comfort and relief.

Visit a Cemetary, and pick out a number of grave stones and say some prayers for thier souls.
(From November 1st - 8th, an plenary indulgence can be obtained for the departed souls by devoutly visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead.)

From Helpers of the Holy Souls

We Are Called To Sainthood

"To be holy it is not necessary to accomplish extraordinary acts nor possess exceptional gifts.

It is simply necessary to serve Jesus, to listen to him and to follow him without losing courage faced with difficulties."

~ Benedict XVI's homily on the Solemnity of All Saints

Image from here.

For Success of Prop 85

I got this in the e-mail. It's a novena for the success of Proposition 85 (Parental Notification of abortion on minors) in the upcoming November 7 election. The novena started already but it's never too late to start.

For the SUCCESS/VICTORY of PROPOSITION 85 in the upcoming November 7 election, please pray with me the following Novena in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness to the Americas and "the eternally consummate virgin Saint Mary, mother of the very true deity, God, the giver of life, the creator of people, the ever present, the lord of heaven and earth."

We begin today, Monday, October 30, and conclude on Tuesday, November 7

Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe

First Day
Dearest Lady of Guadalupe, fruitful Mother of holiness, teach me your ways of gentleness and strength. Hear my humble prayer offered with heartfelt confidence to beg this favor...... Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Second Day
O Mary, conceived without sin, I come to your throne of grace to share the fervent devotion of your faithful Mexican children who call to you under the glorious Aztec title of Guadalupe. Obtain for me a lively faith to do your Son's holy will always: May His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Third Day
O Mary, whose Immaculate Heart was pierced by seven swords of grief, help me to walk valiantly amid the sharp thorns strewn across my pathway. Obtain for me the strength to be a true imitator of you. This I ask you, my dear Mother. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Fourth Day
Dearest Mother of Guadalupe, I beg you for a fortified will to imitate your divine Son's charity, to always seek the good of others in need. Grant me this, I humbly ask of you. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Fifth Day
O most holy Mother, I beg you to obtain for me pardon of all my sins, abundant graces to serve your Son more faithfully from now on, and lastly, the grace to praise Him with you forever in heaven. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Sixth Day
Mary, Mother of vocations, multiply priestly vocations and fill the earth with religious houses which will be light and warmth for the world, safety in stormy nights. Beg your Son to send us many priests and religious. This we ask of you, O Mother. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Seventh Day
O Lady of Guadalupe, we beg you that parents live a holy life and educate their children in a Christian manner; that children obey and follow the directions of their parents; that all members of the family pray and worship together. This we ask of you, O Mother. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Eighth Day
With my heart full of the most sincere veneration, I prostrate myself before you, O Mother, to ask you to obtain for me the grace to fulfill the duties of my state in life with faithfulness and constancy. Our father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Ninth Day
O God, You have been pleased to bestow upon us unceasing favors by having placed us under the special protection of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Grant us, your humble servants, who rejoice in honoring her today upon earth, the happiness of seeing her face to face in heaven. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Pope's Intentions For November 2006


General prayer intention: "That, everywhere in the world, an end be put to all forms of terrorism."

Mission intention is: "That through the effort of believers, together with the living forces of society, the new and old chains which prevent the development of the African continent may be broken."

History of All Saints and All Souls


The Christian Feasts of All Saints and All Souls

During the first three centuries of Christianity the Church frequently had to operate "underground" due to the persecutions of the Roman state against her. During these periods there were many martyrs who died for their faith in Jesus Christ. The most renowned of these were honored locally by the preservation of the relics (if available) and by the celebration of the anniversary of their death, as a feast in honor of their birth into eternal life. As time passed, neighboring dioceses would honor each others martyrs and even exchange relics for veneration, the way the first century Christians kept the clothes and handkerchiefs touched by St. Paul (Acts 19:12).

At the end of the third century and the beginning of the fourth the most vicious of all persecutions occurred, that of the emperor Diocletian (284-305). The martyrs became so many that in some places it was impossible to commemorate even the most significant of them. The need for a common feast of all martyrs was becoming evident. This common feast became a reality in some places, but on various dates, as early as the middle of the fourth century. As far as Roman practice goes it is known that on 13 May 609 or 610, Pope Boniface IV consecrated the ancient Roman Pantheon as a temple of the Blessed Virgin and All Martyrs. Beginning with Gregory III (731-741) the celebration of a feast of All Saints was commemorated at St. Peters on November 1. Gregory IV (827-844) extended this feast to the entire Church.

The feast of All Souls developed more gradually, first with a monastic celebration of their departed on October 1st. This seems to have occurred first in Germany in the 900s. The patronage of St. Odilio of Cluny extended this feast to other monasteries, first of his own Order, then to Benedictines and others, from where it spread to dioceses, including Rome. It was only in 1915 that the special privilege of three Masses was granted to all priests by Pope Benedict XV.

+ Consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary + Click to play "REGINA CAELI"

Apostolic Blessing by Pope Benedict XVI

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