Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Did you know St Maximilian Kolbe made a missionary journey to India, less than a decade before his martydom?


14 August is the Feast Day of St Maximilian Maria Kolbe, when we commemorate his life as a great apostle of the Immaculate Heart and his heroic martyrdom to save the life of his prison mate at the ill-famous Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz.

But did you know St Maximilian visited India in 1932 in the desire to build 'Amalam' a "city of the Immaculate" in the Southern state of Kerala?!St Kolbe met with both the then Syro-Malabar Bishop, most probably Mar Augustine Kandathil (pictured right below) and the Latin Archbishop, Joseph Attipetty (pictured left below, who was the Coadjutor of the Archdiocese of Varapuzha at the time), as well as Mgr. Jacob Naduvathussery the founding Editor of the Catholic journal "Satyadeepam" (in the hopes of publishing a Malayalam edition of St Maximilian's "Knight of the Immaculata".


St Maximilian remained hopeful of his Indian mission until World War II broke out a few years later in September 1939. In February 1941, his monastery in Poland was shut down by occupying Germans and St Kolbe was arrested. In May, he was transferred to the ill-famous Auschwitz concentration camp where, on 14 August 1941 he gave up his life for the love of Christ. St Maximilian Kolbe was canonised in October 1982 by another great Polish Saint, Pope St. John Paul The Great.

St Maximilian Maria Kolbe, Pray for us!

More on the St Kolbe's Indian mission:
https://saintmaximiliankolbe.com/the-city-of-the-immaculate-in-india/

A short bio of the Saint:
http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/whostmax.htm

Watch a recent Documentary on St Maximilian:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THT5QxhCiGE


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

VIDEO: WhatsApp broken into in seconds! 

WhatsApp is the world’s leading Instant messaging App with over a billion active users. Emirates Safer Internet Society (E-SAFE) has identified a significant security vulnerability in WhatsApp. With a small bit of social engineering, anyone can misuse a user’s WhatApp Web feature to gain complete access to his/her account in a matter of seconds.

Take a look at our Awareness Video: WhatsApp safety compromised in 30 seconds!

 
Get informed at our campaign page. Stay #ESAFE :

http://www.esafesociety.org/safeupwhatsapp/

Appeal to WhatsApp Inc to include a safety notification to protect users...
Share this video with the hastag, #SafeUpWhatsApp

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Record crowds expected for record-breaking pope duo's Canonization.

This Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis will declare two most influential modern Popes to be Saints. Blessed Pope John XXIII and Blessed Pope John Paul The Great will be canonized in a glorious ceremony at St Peter's square, witnessed by millions of pilgrims from all around the globe – especially a large group from Poland. 

To commemorate this historic event, Life Tee Shirts has launched a line of Tribute T shirts which we feature below. These Limited Edition Tees are available in English, Italiano and Polski languages.
















These and other Canonization memorabilia can be ordered from their website http://lifeteeshirts.com/ And also from their Amazon Store here

As we rejoice with Mother Church, we pray that these glorious sons of the Church may intercede for us and usher in a "Springtime of Christianity" soon!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Novena Prayer for the Election of the New pope


With the dramatic stepping down of Pope Benedict, and looking forward to the Conclave to elect the new Pope, the eyes of the world media are once again on the Vatican. As Catholics it's time for both thanksgiving and intense supplication.

Grateful that after the time of the giant witness of the Blessed John Paul II, the Lord indulged the Church with another holy and wise pontiff. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was a teacher par excellence and showed us Christ in an entirely new way - even in his great act of humility of stepping down, teaching a power-hungry world the true meaning of sanctity and the inner freedom which flows from it.



But now 'Sede Vecante' is here - and each Catholic is summoned to recognise that "the time of great responsibility has arrived." And it would be complacency and ungratefulness on our part if we take the Holy Spirit for granted. As Archbishop Charles Chaput says:

"Christ deserves our love – a love expressed in our worship, service to others and obedience to the Church... The Church is His spouse.... (it) is finally not an institution, corporation or bureaucracy, but our mother and teacher".


I am posting a simple Novena prayer asking the Holy Spirit for an outpouring of His grace on the Conclave Fathers. Pray the Holy Rosary, followed by the Novena prayer in the Prayer Card (scroll down to the image, right click on the image, and 'Save Image as'). Please pray this for nine consecutive days. Since there is no separate prayer for each day, it's easy to start any day.



It's easy to invite your friend to pray as well via facebook. If you would like to have the Prayer Card separately  download it here. Or if you would like to print-out a few to distribute in your group or among your friends, you can also download the A4 version with 9 Prayer cards.

Let us never stop thanking the Lord for the exceptional privilege of two saintly Popes back to back in one lifetime. Awash in grace twice over, let us then resolve to redouble our Lenten prayers and sacrifice for another new Pontiff after the heart of Christ who will take on the challenges posed by a post-modern world and gather us all for a new 'springtime of Christianity'.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pope - the man who occupies the longest standing institution in human history.


Leading up to the stepping down of Pope Benedict XVI and the new Conclave, we hear a lot of media talk on the Pope and the various reactions people have to what the Pope stands for or for what he does not. The media and the movies rarely get it right about what it means to be the Pope or what is he there for. The longest standing institution in human history, the centre of western life and civilization which has held untold billions of people in it’s 2013 years of history and operating in its own culture, Papacy is an immensely complicated subject and not surprisingly, the most misunderstood office on earth.

So here's a short photo essay on the office of the man who carries one of the most awesome burdens borne by any leader – the spiritual care of more than one billion people – how did it start, who instituted it and brief glimpses of it’s history.


 There is a dramatic scene in the Gospel of Matthew at Caesarea Philippi, when Jesus puts the Apostles in a spot by asking: “Who do you say I am?” Peter steps up at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and ackowledges Him: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The Lord turns to him and says: "And I say to thee: That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church" (Mt 16: 18). The word Jesus used in the original Aramaic for Peter and rock is one and the same – “Cepha”. This is the Biblical foundation of the institution of Papacy by Christ Himself. He teaches that in the future the Church will be the body of those who acknowledge Him, and that this Church will be built on Peter.


Tradition had always maintained St. Peter's Basilica was built on the Vatican hills where Peter was originally buried. But besides anecdotal evidence the church didn't have any proof of it and over the centuries, the site of the tomb had all been but lost. In 1939 however, workmen who were digging the vatican grave to bury Pope Pius XI accidentally discovered parts an aincient structure (Inset 1). Some of the finds which turned up were so invaluable for archelogists, thay requested to excavate further. But it was not until 1941 Pope Pius XII allowed archeological excavations under the Basilica. The discovery was astounding - within a chamber Constantine had built in marble, which lay about 33 feet exacly below the Papal high altar of the Basilica the excavators found the bones of an old but robust built man.

Inset 2 shows the inscription on a fragment from excavation dating back to circa 70 AD saying PETROS ENI – “Peter is here” in Greek. After nine years of study it was announced the bones were that of St. Peter. So the prophecy of Christ that He will build His Church "on" Peter is true even to the letter!

"And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Mt 16: 18). Jesus teaches us that it is through her union with Peter, that the Church will emerge victorious in her long battle with the evil one. This verse is also one of the Sriptural foundation of Christ’s insurance to the Papacy from error when pronouncing defenitive moral teachings (Dogmas). Even when there were immoral or materialistic Popes, history bears witness to the Papal infalliblilty granted by Christ, by the fact over the centuries the Church never had to revoke a single proclaimed Dogma.


"And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven." (Mt 16:19). In all countries the key is the symbol of authority. So Christ's words are a promise that He will confer on Peter supreme power to govern the Church. Peter is to be His Vicar on earth, to rule in His place. Blessed John Newman says "In questions of right and wrong, there is nothing really strong in the whole world, nothing decisive and operative, but the voice of him, to whom have been committed the keys of the kingdom and the oversight of Christ's flock."

"And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven." (Mt 16:19). The fullest measure of the power bestowed is stated very clearly. It is a power to "bind" and to "loose" - of legislative and judicial authority. Whatever Peter binds or looses on earth, will receive the Divine ratification. This verse is also one of the Scriptural basis of Christ founding the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). Every priest’s power to forgive sins through their Holy Ordination can be traced back to the imposition of hands of Peter.


True to the prophecy of Christ, we have today, from the time of Peter, an unbroken liniage of 266 Popes in the last 2013 years, a complete list of which may be viewed here with links to a biographical essay on each one. While reading through the lives of these men who have included scholars, princes, generals and ordinary men, we are struck by how much opposition they had to go through the centuries and sometimes how, their own misdeeds have rocked the church so precariously. The Church, says G. K. Chesterton “has died many times and risen again; for it had a God who knew the way out of the grave.”

Sunday, September 2, 2012

DIY - How to make your own Papal paper flags / Buntings.

Pope Benedict XVI will soon arrive in Lebanon for his historic visit. Are you all geared to greet the Popemobile?



As a Papal Visit special - here's an easy and cheap step-by-step DIY project on how to make your own yellow white Papal Flags, courtesy of PopeShirts!






Things you'll need:

- A4 or A3 Colour printer
- Wooden skewer sticks
- Glue stick
- Spray sealer (optional)




Instructions:

1. Download the flag pdf from one of the below links (private circulation only):

A3 pdf - Gives you 2 Papal Flags of standard hand flag size - approx. 19 x 11 cms each
A4 pdf - Gives you 2 mini Papal Flags of approx. 13.5 x 8 cms each

2. Print out pdf in colour. Each page contains two double-sided flags. Cut out the two flags with scissors / paper knife.

3. Choose a medium or large skewer for "flagpole". Use a nail-clipper to cut off the pointed tip of the skewers.

4. Fold the first paper flag in half around the flagpole so that the two halves align perfectly. Use a glue stick to glue them together tightly around the pole.

5. Repeat Step 4 for the second flag.

You are now ready to greet the Holy Father!


Optional: Seal the flag and the pole with a clear acrylic or polyurethane spray to brighten the colours and make it more durable & drizzle-friendly!

Caution: Project not suitable for children under 7 (because of the skewers).

Note: These can also be used as buntings - just runout more prints & use a string instead of skewer sticks. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Where does the Rosary come from?

As the month of the Rosary comes to a close, here's a glimpse on the history of the Hail Mary and the Holy Rosary.


































1213 AD. Our Lady appears to St. Dominic and giving him the Holy Rosary, instructs him on how to pray it.

We celebrate October as the month of Holy Rosary since the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary falls on October 7th. There is a triumphant, historic event behind this feast.

In the 16th Century, when the mighty Ottoman Muslims marched into Europe to capture the Christian countries into the empire, Pope Pius V exhorted all Christians to beg the intercession of the Blessed Virgin through praying the Rosary.

Through Mary’s intervention, on October 7, 1571 Christian forces defeated the naval power of the Ottoman Turks in a great sea battle at Lepanto. In thanksgiving to this great Marian intervention in the history of Christianity, in 1573 Pope Gregory XIII declared that day of victory as The Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

Where does the prayer Hail Mary come from?


“Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you” 
Words of God the Father announced by Angel Gabriel to Mary.
From Luke 1: 28

“Blessed are you among women and
blessed is the fruit of your womb”
Greeting of her cousin Elizabeth as Mary visits her.
From Luke 1: 42

“Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners”
Slogan from the triumphant demonstration in the streets by the people of Ephesus upon the proclamation of the Dogma of the “Mother of God” at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD.
“Now and at the hour of our death”
Petition added by the great French saint & Marian apostle,
St. Louis de Montfort in the 17th century, to aid us
in the time of death, when we cannot pray cohesively.

Today, the Rosary remains the "Queen of indulgenced devotions," i.e. the Catholic devotion to which Our Lady and the Church has attached the most divine promises. The devout praying of Hail Mary in the Rosary obtains the grace of Jesus to be born anew in us.

St. Louis de Montfort lists four things of importance in growing in prayer through the Rosary:

1. To have a good director who will counsel holy practices, especially that of the Most Holy Rosary;
2. To say the Rosary attentively and devoutly;
3. How kind and merciful the Blessed Mother is to those who are sorry for the past and are firmly resolved to do it better;
4. And finally, how generous she is in rewarding us in life, death and eternity, for the little services that we render her faithfully.

“The Rosary is a biblical prayer… It has accompanied me in moments of joy and in moments of difficulty. To it I have entrusted any number of concerns: in it I have always found comfort."- Pope John Paul II

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