Dec 182016
 
Pope Francis Turns 80

Photo courtesy of Vatican. Copyright of Vatican.

“Today is Pope Francis’ eightieth birthday, and on this occasion the College of Cardinals concelebrated Mass with the Supreme Pontiff at 8 a.m. in the Pauline Chapel, during which Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College, addressed words of congratulations and affection to the Holy Father.

In his homily the Pope commented on the day’s readings, focusing on the theme of memory and the invitation in the Letter to the Hebrews to “remember” and to pause a moment on the journey to look at those who preceded us before going forward. “We need to ask for this grace: not to forget. It proper of love not to forget; it is proper of love to keep always in view the great good we have received; it is proper of love to look to history: to where we are from, our parents, our ancestors, the journey of faith. … And this memory is good for us, as it renders even more intense our vigilant wait for Christmas. A day of calm”.

After the Eucharist the Holy Father addressed the cardinals to thank them for their greetings and their presence, and added:

“For some days some words come to mind, which seem ugly: old age. It is frightening, at least: frightening. Yesterday too, as a gift, Msgr. Cavaliere gave me Cicerone’s De senectute – another drop… I remember what I said to you on 15 March [2013], in our first meeting: ‘Old age is the seat of life’s wisdom’. I hope that for me too it will be this. I hope it will be like this!

“There also comes to mind”, he continued, “How it came so soon – that poem by Pliny, I think: ‘Tacito pede lapsa vetustas’ [Ovid]: with silent steps old age comes to you. It is a blow! But when one thinks of it as a stage in life which is for giving joy, wisdom, hope, one begins to live again. And there comes to mind another poem that I cited to you that day: ‘Old age is calm and religious’, ‘Es ist ruhig, das Alter, und fromm’ [Hölderlin]. Pray that mine may be thus: calm, religious and fruitful. And also joyful. Thank you”.

We have an affinity for Pope Francis because he seems so down to Earth. On his birthday he didn’t receive heads of state or celebrities bearing lavish gifts but dined with the homeless. Seems like a man who lives what he preaches. Happy 80th Birthday Pope Francis!

 

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Sep 052016
 

Saint Teresa Of Calcutta

On Sunday September 4th, 19 years after her death, Mother Teresa was officially declared a saint by Pope Francis.

Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic nun who spent most of her life serving the poor and sick. 15 years after her arrival in India as a teacher, speaking fluent Bengali and Hindi, she walked away from her order to create her own, the Order of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India.

She’s begun her missionary work by establishing a home for the dying and continued with a leper colony, an orphanage, a nursing home, a family clinic and a string of mobile health clinics. She tirelessly delivered relief to those who had no one to care for or about them. (1985 Mother Teresa founded Gift of Love, a home to care for those infected with HIV/AIDS in New York.)

Her work was recognized worldwide. The former Soviet Union honored her with Soviet Union’s Gold Medal of the Soviet Peace Committee. In 1979 she was awarded The Nobel Peace Prize for her work “in bringing help to suffering humanity.”

During one finite lifetime, Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta, now) established 610 foundations in 123 countries around the world.

It’s nice that one of the greatest humanitarians was formally canonized, but it’s not the canonization that made Mother Teresa a saint, but her life of service to humanity.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / E. Elrich

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