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News (1022 search results)


Pope in Egypt: Religious leaders must denounce violence and hatred

Pope Francis arrived in Egypt this afternoon (Friday) to begin an Apostolic Journey to the country.

After landing at Cairo International Airport the Holy Father was met by the Apostolic Nuncio to Cairo, Bruno Musaro and a representative of the President of Egypt, Abdel-Fattah Al Sisi.

He travelled by car to the Presidential Palace to pay a courtesy visit on the Head of State which ...

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Pax Christi meets EU High Representative's office to raise voice of Palestinians

On 21 April, a delegation of Pax Christi International consisting of Ms. Marie Dennis (Co-President), Mrs. Rania Giacaman Murra (from our member organisation in Bethlehem and an International Board member), and Ms. Alice Kooij Martinez (Senior Advocacy Officer) had a meeting with the EU External Action Service (EEAS), the office of EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, to raise the voices ...

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Runner completes Marathon for charity at 80

David Turner, 80, ran in the London Marathon on Sunday to raise funds for orphans at Mother’s Village Orphanage in Bosnia Herzegovina. David has written the letter below describing the experience.

If you haven't supporting another charity runner, it would be great if you could visit David's site and make a donation, however small.

See: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/d...

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Jesuits gear up for London Marathon

Sam on right training in Victoria Park

The London Marathon takes place this Sunday. Among those taking part is a 14-strong team from Jesuit Missions, who will be raising funds to help provide an education to people whose lives have been devastated by conflict and displacement. All money raised will be sent to Jesuit Refugee Service in Maban, South Sudan to offer quality education, counselling and training to children and adults from...

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Hundreds of Iraqi Christians celebrate Easter in liberated village

Around 300 Christians were able to celebrate Easter in their village, Bartella, about 12km from Mosul, for the first time in three years on Saturday 15 April.

Although Bartella has been liberated from the self-proclaimed Islamic State, noone has returned to live there yet - much of the village has been destroyed. This includes the church; parts are burned, crosses and statues are smashed,...

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Dunkirk: Letter from Seeking Sanctuary

image Caritas  Europa

As we prepare this Easter update we continue to get disturbing news from Dunkirk where the camp was almost entirely destroyed by fire. Many of the residents who were displaced were put up for a few nights in local sports centres but they have now been told to move on - but to where? Some buses were provided but the majority of those involved preferred to push or carry their few possessions away...

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Hundreds of Iraqi Christians return to burned out churches to celebrate Palm Sunday

On 9 April hundreds of Christians celebrated Palm Sunday in burned out churches in Qaraqosh and Karamles, towns near Mosul that were recently liberated from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS).

Qaraqosh was Iraq's largest Christian town until its 50,000 inhabitants were forced to flee in August 2014. The displaced Christians haven't been able to move back to Qaraqosh since the liberati...

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Lords report celebrates charities as 'eyes, ears and conscience of society'

A new report has been published this week by the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities, titled Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society, celebrating the role of the charity sector. The report praises charities for being the "eyes, ears and conscience of society", through both mobilising and inspiring people and providing advocacy and relief to those in need.

The report also stress...

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Message from second generation Hiroshima survivor - Midori Yamada

Midori Yamada - pic JS/ICN

I was born in Ono-cho in Hiroshima Prefecture in 1949. The town was 25 kilometres away from Hiroshima City, facing Miyajima Island, now known as a World Heritage site. Among the people of the small town in the Seto Inland Sea, the scars of the atomic bomb remain deep inside their minds. I am a second generation Hibakusha. In my family, my father and two brothers directly experienced the atomic ...

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Southwark: Lutheran-Catholic Commemoration of Reformation at St George's Cathedral

Image - M Mazur CCN

A joint commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation was held on Sunday at St George's Roman Catholic Cathedral Southwark, hosted by the Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Reverend Peter Smith.

The Archbishop of Birmingham and Chair of the Bishops' Conference Department of Dialogue and Unity, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley, and Bishop Martin Lind, Bishop of the Lutheran Chu...

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China: Two-child policy has not ended forced abortions

You may have heard reports that China has moved to a two-child policy for all couples, "abandoning its decades-long one-child policy."

Characterizing this latest modification as "abandoning" the One-Child Policy is misleading. A two-child policy has not ended any of the human rights abuses caused by the One Child Policy, including forced abortion, involuntary sterilization or the sex-sele...

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Manchester: World Book Day celebrated at Saint Paul's

Students at Saint Paul's Catholic High School in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester, took part in the biggest celebration of books and reading in the world when they participated in World Book Day.

World Book Day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe. A main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is...

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Petition to Westminster City Council asking them to take 50 refugees

I should be grateful if you would circulate the link to petition Westminster City Council to welcome 50 Syrian Refugees into the borough through the Home Office Vulnerable Persons Resettlement scheme.

Holy Apostles, Pimlico, is campaigning on this issue, together with other faith groups, plus Citizens UK and Refugees Welcome. The petition can be signed by anyone who works, lives or s...

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Canada: Church and community leaders campaign to stop visit by controversial Christian preacher

Franklin Graham - Wiki image 2016

Church and community leaders in Vancouver, British Columbia, are campaigning to stop the controversial Christian evangelist Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, from speaking to thousands of people at a two day festival in the city next week. Graham is scheduled to preach at the Festival of Hope from 3-5 March at one of the city's largest stadiums. But many of his past statements are ca...

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Saints (2 search results)


September 18th

St Joseph of Copertino

Saint Of The Day

Franciscan priest. Patron saint of pilots and airline passengers. Saint Joseph was such an extraordinary saint, his fellow Christians found him hard to cope with.

He was born in a garden shed in 1603, near Brindizi in Italy. The family were very poor. Joseph's mother was widowed very early and resented her son. He spent an unhappy childhood, winning the nickname 'the gaper' for wandering about with his mouth open.

St Joseph was attracted to the religious life but initially was rejected because he was so strange and clumsy. Eventually the Franciscans at La Grotella accepted him as a stableboy. He soon learned to accomplish everything he was told and was allowed to become a monk. By 1628 he was ordained priest.

From this point on however, St Joseph begin to manifest very unusual behaviour. Barely a day went by without him falling into an ecstatic state or levitating in front of many witnesses. When carpenters came to place a cross above the alter he flew 35 feet into the air to help them. He also had an astonishing affinity with birds and animals, literally charming them out of the trees.

Because of these phenomena, people started coming to see Joseph, causing considerable disturbance to the community. Eventually they banned him from the choir and the refectory. For a while the Neapolitan Inquisition examined him but could find nothing to charge him with. He was ordered to visit Pope Urban VIII, and fell into an ecstasy as soon as he entered the room.

For 13 years Joseph was sent to Assisi. When people learnt that he was there and the crowds began, he was moved to a remote friary in Petrarossa, and then another in Fossombrone.

In 1655 his old community petitioned for his return to them and he was allowed to live out his last few years in seclusion with them.

St Joseph died in 1663, the object of official reserve and great popular veneration. He was canonised in 1767, not for his levitations and ecstasies, but for his great patience and humility. He has been compared with John of the Cross and Padre Pio.

He is a patron saint of pilots, astronauts, airline passengers, people with a mental handicap, people taking exams and poor students.

See a 1962 film on his life here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2O8WmVlOUk


October 16th

St Gerard Majella

Saint Of The Day

Lay brother. Born in 1725, in Basilica, Italy, Gerard trained and worked in his father's trade as a tailor before joining the Redemptorist noviciate at Deliceto in 1749. St Alphonsus Liguori recognised his extraordinary spirituality and ordered that he be professed early. Although he worked in ordinary jobs, as a porter and a gardener, his life was marked by a series of extraordinary phenomena, including ecstasies, bilocation, prophesies, healings and the ability to read people's hearts. He was exceptionally caring to the poor and those with troubles. Though he never became a priest, clergy and communities of nuns came to seek his advice and spiritual direction.

Gerard died of TB in 1755, when he was just 29. He was beatified in Rome on January 29, 1893, by Pope Leo XIII, and canonised less than twelve years later on December 11, 1904, by Pope Saint Pius X. Pope Pius X praised him as the patron and model of lay brothers in their humble hidden lives. Paradoxically, he was acclaimed the 'most famous wonder worker of the 18th century.'

His intercession is sought for children, unborn children, women in childbirth, mothers, expectant mothers, motherhood, falsely accused people, good confessions, lay brothers and Muro Lucano, Italy.

One miracle in particular explains why Majella became known as the special patron of mothers. A few months before his death, Gerard visited the Pirofalo family and accidentally dropped his handkerchief. One of the Pirofalo girls spotted the handkerchief moments after he'd left the house, and she ran after Gerard to return it. "Keep it," he said to her. "You may need it some day".

Years later when the girl--now a married woman--was on the verge of losing her life in childbirth, she remembered the words of the saintly lay brother. She asked for the handkerchief to be brought to her. Almost immediately the pain disappeared and she gave birth to a healthy child. This was no small feat in an era when only one out of three pregnancies resulted in a live birth, and word of the miracle spread quickly. Because of the miracles God worked through Gerard's prayers with mothers, the mothers of Italy took Gerard to their hearts and made him their patron. At the process of his beatification one witness testified that he was known as "il santo dei felice parti"--the saint of happy childbirth.

This devotion has become very popular in North America, both in the United States and Canada.

In 1977, St. Gerard's Chapel in St. Lucy's Church, Newark, New Jersey, was dedicated as a national shrine. Each year during the Feast days which include October 16, there are the traditional lights, music, food stands and the street procession. Devotees visit the Shrine also throughout the year to pray to and petition the help of St Gerard.

The St Gerard Majella Annual Novena takes place every year in St Josephs Church, Dundalk, Ireland.