Why the pope prays the Angelus publicly on Sundays

CNA_5e84d23e3e719_189101.jpg Pope Francis after praying the Angelus in the Vatican’s apostolic palace on March 29, 2020. Credit: Vatican Media.

It all started more than 67 years ago with Luigi Gedda, an Italian Catholic doctor, political activist, and influential lay leader.

In a Marian Year, Gedda, then president of the association Azione Cattolica (Catholic Action), convinced his friend Pope Pius XII to recite the midday Angelus publicly from the window of his private study.

So, on Aug. 15, 1954, the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, Pius XII addressed Catholics in Rome and around the world over Vatican Radio, inviting them to join him “in the pious greeting to the Mother of God.”

This was the beginning of a papal custom that takes place every Sunday and Marian solemnity, when the pope appears at the window of his library in the Apostolic Palace at noon to lead the faithful gathered below in St. Peter’s Square in praying the Angelus in Latin.

The Angelus has its roots in a medieval practice of praying the Hail Mary three times in a row, as recommended by St. Anthony of Padua.

In the 1200s, a group of Franciscans proposed that the practice be done in the evening after praying Compline (Night Prayer), as a way of meditating on the mystery of Christ’s Incarnation. A bell would be rung to remind the friars and others that it was time to pray the Hail Marys.

Over the centuries, the three Hail Marys began to be prayed also in the morning and at midday.

Today, the prayer also includes words from the Annunciation, the Angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she had been chosen to be the Mother of God, and a closing prayer.

Evidence of the modern iteration is found as early as the 1500s, in a book called the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was printed in Rome during the reign of Pope Pius V, and a handbook for Catholics published in Antwerp in 1588.

Pope Francis delivers his Angelus address at the Vatican, Dec. 12, 2021. Vatican Media.
Pope Francis delivers his Angelus address at the Vatican, Dec. 12, 2021. Vatican Media.

At the Vatican, many offices have the custom of pausing work every day to pray the Angelus together at noon.

During the Easter season, the Angelus is replaced with the Regina Coeli (“O Queen of Heaven”), a Marian antiphon prayed or sung during Easter.

Over the years, popes have used the moment before the recitation of the Marian prayer to give a short catechesis, message, or appeal.

Pope Francis does not visit the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, located outside Rome, but the popes who did would recite the Angelus from the palace during their period of rest.

At certain points during the COVID-19 pandemic, to avoid crowds of people gathering in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said the prayer via live video from inside his study.

The Angelus is broadcast live around the world and streamed on the internet. The bells of St. Peter’s Basilica always ring at noon, right before the pope appears at the palace window for this custom honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Iran’s “Nuclear Blackmail”: Iran Has No Interest in Negotiating a New Nuclear Deal

‘If the Iranians think the world does not seriously intend to stop them, they will race towards the bomb. We must make it clear that the world will not allow this to happen. There needs to be a credible military threat on the table.’ — Yair Lapid,

Source: Iran’s “Nuclear Blackmail”: Iran Has No Interest in Negotiating a New Nuclear Deal

How to really come to know God?

Truly knowing God begins with accepting His salvation. Without the sacrifice of Jesus, we are dead in sin (Colossians 2:13). A dead person cannot raise himself to life in order to come to know anyone. However, once we have accepted the gift of Christ through faith, we can begin to truly know God. The wonder of salvation is that we are not only saved out of an eternity in hell, but to a life in Christ. We are invited into fellowship with God (John 17:20-26), made part of His family (Romans 8:15-17).

After salvation, knowing God starts with hearing what He has to say about Himself. Though we cannot know God fully in this lifetime (Isaiah 55:8-9; 1 Corinthians 13:12), we can know Him in part. He has revealed certain things about Himself to us. We find these revelations in God’s written Word—the Bible—and the Word incarnate—Jesus. We also glean them through creation, which is His general revelation to all (Romans 1:20). Believers have been given the Holy Spirit so that we can make sense of God’s Word and perceive the things He reveals to us (John 16:13).

Along with reading Scripture, we also engage in things like prayer, fellowship, and worship. God desires to have a personal and intimate relationship with us. We grow that relationship as we would any other – through time, conversation, sharing our hearts. We study the truth of the Word and also pay attention to our experiences. We ask God for His guidance. Jesus said, “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:9-10). We have been invited to seek God. We can do so boldly (Hebrews 4:16).

We also come to know God by obeying Him. Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. … You are my friends if you do what I command you. …You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another” (John 15:4, 14, 16-17). When we obey someone, we begin to understand his desires. When we obey God, we also experience the blessings He has for us because His commands are meant for our good. Abiding in God is one way we come to know Him; and when we do, our attitudes and actions will begin to reflect God’s character (Matthew 12:33; Galatians 5:22-24; Ephesians 2:10).

Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) sums up the key to truly knowing God: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” First, we must have faith to believe in God. Then we must understand His character – that He has good things in store for us. Finally, we must seek Him earnestly. We are called to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). Knowing Him is a life response to His love for us. As we engage daily life, we do so with God on our hearts and in our minds (Colossians 3:17).

Another Key Aide Leaving Kamala Harris’ Office Amid Biden-Harris Turmoil

Another Kamala Harris aide has resigned amid rumors of turmoil in the Biden-Harris Administration just weeks after four Harris staffers announced they were leaving. Vincent Evans will leave Harris’ office to become the executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus. “I am deeply honored to be named the executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus,”…

Source: Another Key Aide Leaving Kamala Harris’ Office Amid Biden-Harris Turmoil

Dr. Robert Malone: We’ve been watching Fauci lie for decades

Dr. Robert Malone, who as a leading vaccine expert has known Dr. Anthony Fauci for decades, said he wasn’t surprised by the White House coronavirus adviser’s insistence that people continue trust cloth masks to stop the spread of the virus, contrary to a CDC study.

Source: Dr. Robert Malone: We’ve been watching Fauci lie for decades

Forgiveness in Strength Psychology

Strength psychology researchers have worked to define forgiveness. Forgiveness is not forgetting or condoning the harm that has been done; instead, it is letting go of the need for revenge and releasing negative thoughts of bitterness and resentment (Sanjay, Singh, & Hooda, 2019).

An older and more passive version of forgiveness is merely letting bygones be bygones: to allow time to pass as the injury becomes less relevant to everyday life. Instead, strength psychology uses the idea of radical forgiveness, in which the injured person makes a deep commitment to releasing the past (Sanjay et al., 2019).

Radical forgiveness involves a dual notion of taking concrete steps to forgive the offender, while also surrendering to the flow of life and ascribing meaning to the suffering experienced. Compared to passive forgiveness, radical forgiveness can occur more rapidly and concretely, but it also takes more energy and guidance.

Ultimately, forgiveness in strength psychology is about freedom for the injured person. Through gaining a more balanced view of the offender and the event, the individual can let go of the weight of negative emotions and the desire to punish and avenge.

The goal is not necessarily to restore the relationship or achieve reconciliation – however, these can certainly be positive outcomes – it is instead to restore personal well-being and balance to the injured person’s life.

Is Forgiveness Important? 5 Benefits

is forgiveness importantIs forgiveness important?

It depends on who you ask and the culture in which you live.

If we take a look at the United States, it is evident by the number of people serving life sentences in prisons that forgiveness is not highly valued, at least not by the criminal justice system.

Research is increasingly showing the benefits of forgiveness, and therapeutic interventions have been developed to help individuals heal themselves through the process of forgiveness. We’ll get to that later on in this post. For now, let’s talk about five benefits of forgiveness.

1. Forgiveness reduces negative affect

Holding a grudge feels terrible. According to recent meta-analyses on the effects of forgiveness therapy, forgiveness helped to minimize aspects of negative affect such as depression, anger, hostility, stress, and distress (Akhtar & Barlow, 2018).

2. Forgiveness promotes positive affect

Forgiveness can do a lot more than make us feel less bad. It can also increase our general levels of happiness, satisfaction, and compassion (Akhtar & Barlow, 2018).

3. Forgiveness provides freedom

People who cannot or do not forgive are often trapped in a storm of negative emotions and, at the extreme, may devote their entire lives to avenging their hurt. Forgiveness can provide freedom from an endless quest for revenge.

4. Forgiveness heals individuals

When you forgive someone, it is not always necessary to tell them about it. In this way, forgiveness can be solely for the healing and empowerment of the injured person.

5. Forgiveness can heal relationships

Sometimes the person who has committed the offense is an important or irreplaceable loved one. In cases where the injured individual wants to preserve their relationship, forgiveness may be the path toward this goal.

So This 4 Baby names that refer to Christ?


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Mathilde De Robien01/04/22

Names that raise the banner of Christ.

Christmas is the feast of Christ’s birth, and naming babies born during this season — or anytime of the year, really — is an opportunity to render homage to Him who became man to save all of humanity. Here’s a selection of names—some quite familiar, some less so—that raise the banner of Christ.

1. Christopher

From the Greek “christos” (anointed) and “phorein” (carry), this name literally means, “He who carries Christ.” St. Christopher was a 3rd-century martyr who died in Lycea (now located in Turkey). There is evidence of devotion to him as early as the 5th century, in Bithynia, where a basilica was dedicated to him.

According to tradition, he was a ferryman of prodigious proportions who helped pilgrims cross the river. One day, he lifted a child of extraordinary weight: it was Christ. He then helped him to cross the river by carrying him on his shoulders. This legend has made him the patron saint of travelers.

2. Christian (also Christine, Kristan, or Kristen)

This is a common word for followers of Christ, but it’s also a saint’s name. St. Christian was a Polish monk, killed by brigands in 1003, along with four Italian monks who went to evangelize Poland. He is celebrated on November 12.

Christian became a name in its own right after the edict of Constantine, in 313. This edict granted freedom of worship to all religions, so that everyone could “worship the divinity in heaven in his own way.”


3. Chrysostom

From the Greek “chrysos” (gold) and “stoma” (mouth), Chrysostom literally means “golden mouth.” It was the nickname of a bishop of Constantinople, St. John Chrysostom, renowned for his edifying homilies and speeches. He supported the Catholic faith against the pressure of imperial power, which led to his removal from his patriarchal seat in Constantinople and his exile to the Black Sea. He died in 407. Today, he’s a doctor of the Church, and is celebrated in the Western Church on September 13.

Although etymologically, Chrysostom does not come from “Christ,” the similarity of its sound and the service rendered to Christ by the saint who bore the name gives the it a place in this selection.


4. Cristobal

A Spanish derivative of Christopher, Cristobals have a patron saint in the person of Blessed Cristobal de Santa Catalina, a 17th-century Spanish priest. He was a holy man who combined his work as a hospital nurse with his priestly ministry. In 1670, he joined the Third Order of St. Francis and committed himself to serving the poor by creating the Franciscan Hospitallers of Jesus of Nazareth. In 1690, in the middle of a cholera epidemic, he contracted the illness while treating the sick. He died on July 24.

The tradition of care for the sick founded by Father Cristobal continues today with the congregation of the Franciscan Hospitaller Sisters of Jesus of Nazareth. Beatified in 2013, he is celebrated on July 24.

“Radical change is coming in the Church”?

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By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bioarticlesemail ) | Jan 04, 2022

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dermot Farrell, has announced that “radical change is coming in the Church”. For the Church in many places—and certainly for the Church in Dublin—this is very good news. Of course, it isn’t really news; it is a hope. Dublin needs hope because (to speak only of critical numbers) its 1.5 million Catholics are served by 312 active priests, 139 of whom are over 70 and 116 of whom are on loan from other places. Moreover, Dublin is the largest city and the capital of Ireland, a nation which has over the past generation played rapid “catch up” to Europe in the adoption of secular national values. So clearly the Church in Dublin is in crisis.

On the other hand, the Church in Dublin is hardly alone. Strong, healthy dioceses are the exception rather than the rule throughout the West, where social, political (and often even ecclesiastical) pressures against Christian fidelity have risen dramatically over the past seventy-five years, roughly since the close of World War II. Historically-speaking, of course, these pressures have been building slowly over the past five hundred years. The question is how to respond to them: How to build a Catholic culture that counteracts these pressures with an attractiveness that continuously draws others in.

Radical change?

Archbishop Farrell places his hope in the “synodal pathway” advocated by Pope Francis. As described by Farrell (“a powerful commitment from clergy and lay faithful, across the full range of the life and ministry of parish communities”), this approach sounds wonderful. It is certainly necessary: As I have frequently said, if we understand “synodality” as “the Church firing on all cylinders”, then it is just what we need. But processes based on new catch-phrases never accomplish anything. What is lacking in the Church in the West is, more than anything else, the Faith. The vast majority of Catholic leaders (cardinals, bishops, priests, religious, professors, and even politicians) are unwilling to embrace, preach and teach the hard sayings of the Gospel, beginning with…

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever. [Jn 6:53-58)

According to current polls, the vast majority of Catholics in the West, even if they go through the motions, are still saying: “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” (Jn 6:60).

We live in a Church in which saying (and believing) what the dominant secular culture of the West wants to hear is a defining characteristic of huge numbers of Catholics at every level, yes, from Pope Francis on down. I am not saying that the Pope or this or that bishop is exclusively guided by modern secularism, but concerned Catholics would have to be fools if they did not realize that both Pope Francis and a great many Western cardinals and bishops frequently place secular priorities and secular accommodations artificially high on their “to do” lists, repeatedly tailoring the Catholic mission to the prudential positions which are still popular in the larger culture. It is popular, for example, to plead for the environment, advocate for the marginalized, and emphasize human fraternity.

But it is not popular to preach the Gospel in its fulness. It is not popular to repeat the sayings (so common in Sacred Scripture, the Fathers of the Church, and the saints) which our contemporary culture finds “hard”.

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The most important things

There is a church down the street from where I live—a Protestant church, not a Catholic church—which is very active when it comes to feeding the hungry (which wins high marks in the dominant culture), but was extremely uncomfortable with the peaceful and prayerful witness of 40 Days for Life to close the abortion clinic in a small business center adjacent to the church’s property, for which the pro-life demonstrators walked on the sidewalks in front of both the business area and the church. In fact, the manpower for the pro-life effort came overwhelmingly from my own parish, over a mile away (an unusually healthy parish in the legendary diocese of Arlington).

As a result, the clinic was eventually replaced with an authentically Catholic medical center which serves the poor. But the adjacent church’s attitude toward all this was ambivalent at best, hostile at worst. We all know that this ambivalence (and, yes, hostility), which dominates the old mainstream (non-evangelical) Protestantism, is common in many Catholic parishes and institutions as well. The synodal pathway, in and of itself, has within it nothing to counter this rampant secularism. The synodal pathway is a process. It can be only as Catholic as those who engage in it.

The problem with “processes” ought to be well-known to everyone by now. Time after time, our dioceses have specified a “process” to invigorate a parish, raise money, promote vocations, screen future clergy, protect children, improve Catholic education, and engage the laity. And time after time such “processes” have had little or no long-term effect unless a vibrant commitment to Christ, the Church, the sacraments and the Catholic Faith (as opposed to popular fashions) animated the effort. General processes are largely useless in the absence of a highly particular Faith which includes what many are so reluctant to hear: hard sayings.

There has been a great effort on the part of the Church to affirm the sanctity of the so-called “Vatican II” popes. That’s fine; there are usually many personal and group interests at work in pressing for the canonization of particular individuals (a good example is the cause for canonization of Fr. Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus; and of course the canonization of the founders of many religious orders). In any case, I trust the Church to canonize saints without error, secure in the knowledge that there are a far greater number of saints who are not canonized.

But when it comes to the kind of sanctity that inspires authentic Catholic renewal in the persons, parishes and dioceses which constitute the life of the Church, it seems clear that neither Pope St. John XXIII nor Pope St. Paul VI had this sort of influence. Only Pope St. John Paul II clearly did have it—inspiring innumerable lay initiatives and a whole generation of priests who were far more deeply committed to the Faith (on average) than were those of the preceding years—and who made themselves available for priestly service in substantially increasing numbers at a time when so many of their predecessors were leaving the priesthood altogether

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Or more of the same?

Now, what inspired such priests and laity during John Paul II’s long pontificate was precisely that Pope’s emphasis on faith in, and commitment to, all the hard sayings of Jesus Christ—an unshakeable counter-cultural witness at the highest levels of the Church. Again and again, Pope St. John Paul II clarified and forcefully stated the Church’s absolute certainty about these hard sayings, and especially these moral principles which were being almost universally rejected in the dominant culture of the West, and consequently rejected or ignored throughout the Church in the West. Pope Benedict (Joseph Ratzinger) had been St. John Paul’s right hand, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and he continued to solidify the Church’s commitment to the “hard sayings” through his own too-brief pontificate.

It is noteworthy that Pope St. John Paul II, reflecting on his ministry on the fiftieth anniversary of his priesthood, stated that one of his regrets was that he had not exercised enough discipline over wayward clerics, preferring to inspire by teaching and personal example. Interestingly, Pope Benedict quietly removed far more bishops for dereliction of duty than did his predecessor—but he did not, as he aged, regard himself as capable of continuing the very difficult administration of the Church (especially, it seems, against so much obfuscation and resistance in the Curia itself).

Which brings us to what? A fresh emphasis on common ground with the secular world and a new process of Church-wide consultation! I hope someone is inspired somewhere by all this, and I pray it re-energizes a deep commitment to Christ as measured by those sayings of Christ which Catholics today seem to find so very hard. But at the end of the current pontificate, after so many attempt to use yet another open-ended process for private purposes, I do not expect what Archbishop Farrell expects. I do not expect the revival of our Church. I do not look forward to whatever new substitute is put forward for the hard sayings of Jesus Christ.

The fourth watch

“It is I, don’t be afraid” (Mark 6:50).

1 John 4:11-18; Mark 6:45-52

A long sleepless struggle delivers us to that deep place where night is passing to dawn. Tangled bedclothes and a pillow stained with sweat show evidence of an anguished grappling with no way forward. All resources exhausted, we beg for relief, an answer, the insight and courage to take the next step. Acceptance or action, we cannot stay where we are. It has become a matter of life or death. It is the fourth watch, darkness before dawn.

Once we understand that the Gospels are not so much narratives as manuals–“how-to” instructions for discipleship, today’s story of the disciples in the boat from Mark 6 takes on new power. We call these texts “passages” and indeed they are just that. To enter into them is to encounter a living Word that invites us into transformation.

Yesterday’s account of Jesus feeding the crowds in the wilderness, then, in today’s reading, sending his disciples on ahead in the boat across the sea, were meant to introduce the newly baptized of Mark’s community to the Paschal Mystery, itself a reprise of the Exodus story.

Jesus, like Moses, provides manna in the wilderness. He is the bread God sends to satisfy us. This is the same God who saved Israel from bondage. The exodus from Egypt was their “Passover,” the establishing event in their relationship with God. When their backs were to the sea and everything seemed against them, God was with them, opening up a way when all seemed hopeless.

The disciples are being taught by these repeated lake crossings, tossed by rough seas in the darkest hour, the wind against them, that Jesus (and for the early Christian community, this was the risen Jesus) would always be with them. No phantom, this Jesus walks toward them upon the water. The boat will survive the passage from death to new life — the meaning of baptism — and, even more dramatically, Christians will learn how to walk in continual Passover through every storm, and they will even dance upon the waters of death if necessary. By his crossing, Jesus has overcome death. We now share that power, unafraid, reassured that Jesus is always with us.

The story is now our own and is the source of our daily discipleship. It will not make sense until we experience it, in both small passages from fear to courage, or in those moments that come in the middle of the night, our spirits exhausted with fear and doubt threatening our security, our very existence. “Courage, it is I, don’t be afraid.”

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