"If my people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
(Editor's note: This report was provided by Vatican Information Service.)
The Message for World Tourism Day published by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples was issued July 25. The Day, which is due to be celebrated on September 27, has as its theme this year: "Tourism and Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development."
The message, signed by Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio and Archbishop Joseph Kalathiparambil, respectively president and secretary of the pontifical council, recalls the fact that World Tourism Day is promoted annually by the World Tourism Organization (WTO). "The Holy See has adhered to this initiative from its first edition. It considers it an opportunity to dialogue with the civil world and offers its concrete contribution, based on the Gospel, and also sees it as an occasion to sensitize the whole Church about the importance of this sector from the economic and social standpoint and, in particular, in the context of the new evangelization.
"Also in this edition of the World Day we make the theme proposed by the WTO our own: 'Tourism and Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development,' " the English -language version of the message reads. "It is in harmony with the present 'International Year of Sustainable Energy for All' promulgated by the United Nations with the objective of highlighting 'the need to improve access to reliable, affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable, and environmentally sound energy services and resources for sustainable development.'
"Tourism has grown at a significant rhythm in the past decades. According to the World Tourism Organization statistics, it is foreseen that during the year in progress the quota will reach one billion international tourist arrivals, which will become two billion in the year 2030. To these should be added the even higher numbers involved in local tourism. This growth, which surely has positive effects, can lead to a serious environmental impact owing, among other factors, to the immoderate consumption of energy resources, the increase in polluting agents, and the production of waste.
"The concept of 'sustainable development' is already engrained in our society and the tourism sector cannot and must not remain on the margin. When we talk about 'sustainable tourism,' we are not referring to one means among others, such as cultural, beach, or adventure tourism. Every form and expression of tourism must necessarily be sustainable and cannot be otherwise. Along this way, the energy problems have to be taken into due consideration. It is an erroneous assumption to think that 'an infinite quantity of energy and resources are available, that it is possible to renew them quickly, and that the negative effects of the exploitation of the natural order can be easily absorbed.'
"In this area also the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People wishes to offer its contribution based on the conviction that 'the Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere.' It is not up to us to propose concrete technical solutions but to show that development cannot be reduced to mere technical, political, or economic parameters. We wish to accompany this development with some appropriate ethical guidelines which stress the fact that all growth must always be at the service of the human being and the common good.
"We cannot separate the theme of environmental ecology from concern for an appropriate human ecology in the sense of interest in the human being's integral development. In the same way, we cannot separate our view of man and nature from the bond which unites them with the Creator. God has entrusted the good stewardship of creation to the human being. In the first place, a great educational effort is important in order to promote 'an effective shift in mentality which can lead to the adoption of new life-styles.' This conversion of the mind and heart 'allows us rapidly to become more proficient in the art of living together that respects the alliance between man and nature.'
"It is right to acknowledge that our daily habits are changing and that a greater ecological sensitivity exists. However, it is also true that the risk is easily run of forgetting these motivations during the vacation period in a search for certain comforts to which we believe we are entitled, without always reflecting on their consequences.
"It is necessary to cultivate the ethics of responsibility and prudence and to ask ourselves about the impact and consequences of our actions. In this regard, the Holy Father says: 'The way humanity treats the environment influences the way it treats itself, and vice versa. This invites contemporary society to a serious review of its life-style, which, in many parts of the world, is prone to hedonism and consumerism, regardless of their harmful consequences.' On this point, it will be important to encourage both entrepreneurs and tourists to consider the repercussions of their decisions and attitudes. In the same way, it is crucial 'to encourage more sober lifestyles, while reducing their energy consumption and improving efficiency.'
"These underlying ideas must necessarily be translated into concrete actions. Therefore, and with the objective of making the tourist destinations sustainable, all initiatives that are energy efficient and have the least environmental impact possible and lead to using renewable energies, should be promoted and supported to promoting the saving of resources and avoiding contamination. In this regard, it is fundamental for the ecclesial tourism structures and vacations proposals promoted by the Church to be characterized, among other things, by their respect for the environment. All of the sectors involved (businesses, local communities, governments, and tourists) must be aware of their respective responsibilities in order to achieve sustainable forms of tourism. Collaboration between all the parts involved is necessary.
"The Social Doctrine of the Church reminds us that 'care for the environment represents a challenge for all of humanity. It is a matter of a common and universal duty, that of respecting a common good.' A good which human beings do not own but are 'stewards,' a good which God entrusted to them so that they would administer it properly.
"Pope Benedict XVI says that 'the new evangelization, to which all are called, requires us to keep in mind and to make good use of the many occasions that tourism offers us to put forward Christ as the supreme response to modern man's fundamental questions.' Therefore, we invite everyone to promote and use tourism in a respectful and responsible way in order to allow it to develop all of its potentialities, with the certainty that in contemplating the beauty of nature and peoples we can arrive at the encounter with God."
Ponte du Hoc Monument, Normandy, France
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, permanent observer of the Vatican to the United Nations addressed a meeting of the United Nations on June 25. The organization's Human Rights Council was considering the subject of Foreign Debt and Human Rights. Archbishop Tomasi's remarks follow:
"The Holy See strongly supports the Report's assertion that human rights as well as the rules of justice and ethics apply to all economic and social relations, including foreign debt obligations. Human rights criteria for evaluating foreign debt can be an important tool for moving development from the narrow 'economic' or material understanding to one based on integral human development, one that promotes 'the development of each man and of the whole man.'1 This recognizes the 'right to development'2 grounded in the humanity of each and every person, from conception to natural death, regardless of their age, nationality, race, religion, ethnicity, sex, and disability status. At the same time, we acknowledge the role that corruption has played and continues to play in aggravating the problem of debt obligations in many less developed countries.
"A people-centered ethics is one that is grounded in a view of the human person which emphasizes human dignity, the basis of human rights, for human rights are those rights that spring from what it means to be human. All just economic activity respects this human dignity. Wealth and debt must serve the common good. If justice is violated, wealth and debt become instruments of exploitation, especially of the poor and marginalized. But unjust, and especially exploitative, economic transactions are invalid and must be made just, even if each party agreed to the legal terms of the exchange, as it may happen when the rich lend to the poor. For many years now all have come to recognize that 'the heavy burden of external debt (…) compromises the economies of whole peoples and hinders their social and political progress.'3
"Foreign debt is just a symptom of the lack of justice in the flow of capital in the world.4 'The debt question is part of a vaster problem: that of the persistence of poverty, sometimes even extreme, and the emergence of new inequalities which are accompanying the globalization process. If the aim is globalization without marginalization, we can no longer tolerate a world in which there live side by side the immensely rich and the miserably poor, the have-nots deprived even of essentials, and people who thoughtlessly waste what others so desperately need. Such contrasts are an affront to the dignity of the human person.'
"Thus, in evaluating foreign loans consideration should be given to: (1) Reducing unethical loan practices and (2) Better aligning foreign loans with authentic human development. If both the loan process and the loan use have to respect human rights, there is a much better chance that the money from the loan will promote development and the necessary environment for the enjoyment of human rights. Many of the barriers to development arise because the human costs and benefits of economic activities are not given adequate, or any, weight in the decision making process. 'Human costs always include economic costs, and economic dysfunctions always involve human costs'5 and the consequent violation of human rights.
"While institutionalizing the inclusion of human rights into the cost and benefit calculations will present challenges, we would like to remind the Council that every past improvement in human rights and expansion of participation and inclusion faced the same challenge. In a few words, financial relationships that increase inequality and do not promote income convergence are 'contrary to justice.'6
"Along with the Report, and most objective observers, the Holy See recognizes that loans to developing countries have at times promoted inequality and have become barriers to development rather than serving as tools to promote development. Often this is due to changes in outside economic circumstances which can turn a good and just loan arrangement into a barrier to development and a vehicle for exploitation. One such change in outside circumstances that the Report addresses and responds to relates to fluctuations in currency values.
"The Holy See supports the new principle for transparency in foreign loans at all levels and by all actors (borrowers, lenders and international agencies) in order to lessen the chance of the grave mistakes that were made in the past, when corruption led to secret loans for dubious purposes, taken out by leaders not interested in the common good with the poor in developing countries bearing the burden. We support this reform and encourage efforts to correct the injustices of past loans with more aggressive debt forgiveness.
"The Holy See hopes that 'the process of debt cancellation and reduction for the poorest countries will be continued and accelerated. At the same time, these processes must not be made conditional upon structural adjustments that are detrimental to the most vulnerable populations.'7 The Holy See supports the Human Rights Council's call to end conditionality in debt forgiveness and renegotiation, and supports its call to respect the sovereignty and right of each country to independently plan its own development strategies and not be forced by outside agencies or governments to pursue policies which are more in the interest of the lending nations than the common good of the developing nations. Furthermore, programs for debt cancellation or relief should not result in insurmountable obstacles to future responsible borrowing that may be critically necessary for the long-term development and prosperity of the country at risk.
"Greater transparency will also help in preventing the building up of unsustainable levels of debt by developing nations. In both developing and developed countries the lack of transparency in the accumulating of debt has added to economic uncertainty in the world financial system. The Guiding Principles on Foreign Debt and Human Rights move in the direction of a concrete solution. Sovereign debt cannot be viewed as an exclusively economic problem. It affects future generations as well as the social conditions that allow the enjoyment of human rights of vast numbers of people entitled to the solidarity of the whole human family. . ."
1 Pope Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n.14
2 General Assembly resolution 41/128 of December 4, 1986.
3 Pope John Paul II noted in his World Peace Day Message of 1998 WPD 1998, n.4.
5 Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, n. 32.
6 Cfr Aquinas ST, II, II, QQ78.
7 From the Address of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See. Monday, January 8, 2007.
Fred H. Summe is Vice President of Northern Kentucky Right to Life, P.O. Box 1202, Covington, Kentucky 41012
As the presidential election rapidly approaches, those who hold the Judeo-Christian principle of the sanctity of all innocent human life need now to intensify their prayers. Hopefully, the results will be the election of those who will reverse President Obama's HHS mandate requiring all employers, including the Catholic Church, to provide healthcare insurance which includes, free of charge, contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs.
Even faced with having to pay astronomical fines for failure to follow Obama's mandate, a number of U.S. bishops across the country have already announced that they cannot and will not comply with Obama's implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act.
In a crucial election year as this, President Obama, along with practically all of the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate show little concern, if any, about a possible backlash from "Catholic" voters. And why would they?
It is obvious to anyone that most practicing Catholics, including those who are willing to financially sacrifice to send their kids to Catholic schools, have been and are continuing to practice artificial contraception, including sterilization.
Now, more than ever, it is imperative that the hierarchy, clergy, religious orders, along with Catholic colleges and universities, hospitals and nursing homes, and charities, boldly, clearly, and consistently teach why the practice of artificial contraception violates God's natural law. Not only are many jeopardizing their eternal life, but the use of contraception, embraced by so many, has resulted in so much unnecessary suffering and harm, not only to the ones who have embraced this intrinsic evil, but also to the ones who love and depend on them.
The 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae, of Pope Paul VI, was and continues to be met by opposition from Catholics, including hierarchy, clergy, religious orders, and laity. Even though some may excuse their opposition as being well intended, the fact remains: the natural consequence of this intrinsic evil is always an increase in great suffering and harm to others, especially those who can least protect themselves.
Although this article is too limited to fully address all the natural consequences brought on by the practice of artificial contraception, it is well worth reviewing some of them, especially those resulting from the use of the standard birth control pill, the most common form of contraception.
Since the use of the birth control pill has long been embraced by so many women of the Christian faith, most members of the Catholic clergy, as well as the diocesan-owned news media, refuse to acknowledge the well-accepted medical fact that the standard birth control pill can and does impede the implantation of the newly conceived child into the mother's womb, resulting in a chemical abortion.
"These so-called contraceptives [birth control pills] work primarily by their effect on the prevention of the implantation of the blastocyst [the scientific name for a newly conceived child]. This anti-implantation is an abortifacient effect," explains Eugene F. Diamond, M.D., professor of pediatrics at Loyola University School of Medicine.
"There is approximately one contraceptive IUD-induced abortion each year among those who use these abortifacient contraceptives [birth control pills] or IUDs," states Bogomir M. Kuhar, Pharm.D., B.S. Pharm., F.A.S.C.P.
In Celebrate Life, published by American Life League, Angela Lanfranchi, M.D., F.A.C.S., a breast surgeon and professor of surgery at New Jersey's Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, warns that there are four major mechanisms by which the standard birth control pill not only harms women, but can lead to their death.
In her new book, Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution, author Mary Eberstadt, in an interview published in the July/August 2012 issue of Lay Witness, a publication of Catholics United for the Faith, makes the following observation:
"In severing sex from procreation, the Pill made it possible for women to behave the way predatory men have from time immemorial – as if their sexual activity had no lasting consequences. The trouble is that many women want exactly those lasting consequences, i.e., intimacy and attachment. So the very technology that was said to liberate them has paradoxically made it harder to get what they want…I argue that there's a deep chasm between what feminists and others said the Pill would accomplish, and what it has actually delivered."
Eberstadt, a research fellow at Hoover Institute, points out that one of the predictions made in Humanae Vitae was that "…men would hold women in lower esteem; and this…is exactly what many women themselves now say. …Perfectly secular scholars have come to argue that the Pill has led to an increase in both abortion and illegitimacy, and that it has led to an increase in trouble between the sexes."
"We cannot solve all the problems of the world, but let us never bring in the worst problem of all, that is to destroy love. And this is what happens when we tell people to practice contraception and abortion." Mother Teresa
Why do so many practicing Catholics seem to have so little trouble in disregarding the clear 2,000-year teaching of the Catholic Church that artificial contraception is an intrinsic evil, the practice of which is a grave sin?
On the other side of the coin, the question arises why so many in leadership positions in the Catholic Church are so reluctant to proclaim the teachings of the Catholic Church to save those who will suffer from the natural consequences resulting from the practice of artificial contraception.
A theme flowing from so many of the writings and speeches of Pope Benedict XVI addresses the "dictatorship of relativism." Who of us does not struggle with the temptation to rationalize an immoral behavior which we desire to do, so we can convince ourselves that it is really not all that bad? This way we can continue doing that which we desire without being inflicted by our conscience. By believing that we can decide for ourselves what is good or evil, and that does in fact make it good or evil, our desires and passions will enslave us as we seek to satisfy them.
"We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires," teaches Pope Benedict.
"One of the reasons relativism is so popular today is not because it is a well-thought out, rational system of ethics, but because it allows people to excuse their immoral actions," teaches Edward Sri, professor of theology and scriptures at the Augustine Institute in Denver.
The practice of artificial contraception, especially of the standard birth control pill, has encouraged many Christians to embrace relativism, and thus, to distance themselves from a Church which teaches that there are moral absolutes established by God, not subject to the whims of men.
(Editor's note: Mr. Tiner writes from Oregon. We welcome contributions from prisoners. We would like to hear from a variety of prisoners. This article has been reprinted and distributed with permission from the author.)
The Blessed Virgin actually brought the rosary into my life before I became a Christian. I had a conversion experience on death row that started with a letter from a stranger, a woman in Switzerland. One of the things she told me was, "Mama Mary loves you." When I wrote back to her I asked about Mary, wanting to know more.
In her next letter, my new friend in Switzerland told me that nobody is closer to Jesus than His own Mother and that the surest way to petition Our Lord is through His Blessed Mother. She also advised me to make a rosary prayer each and every day of my life.
I then noticed that among the items sold on the prison store list was a 95¢ plastic rosary. I promptly ordered one. Along it came, a poor little plastic rosary, the figure of the Lord barely recognizable in such a rudimentary form, and the words "Made in China" molded onto the reverse side. So now I had my little rosary beads but not a clue as to how to use them, or how to pray with them. Later that day, I was fiddling around with my radio, down at the lower end of the FM dial trying to locate a blues station, when I stumbled upon KBVM. And there was the evening rosary! A few days later the Jesuit priest, who was the prison chaplain at that time, came by my cell. I asked him if he had any information about how to pray the rosary. The next week he came back with a beautiful little "how to" pamphlet from the Rosary Center in Portland.
I began to pray the daily rosary in earnest. I learned that often when I had spiritual questions, the answer would come to me during rosary prayers. ?I even found that in the meditative aspect of the rosary I could drown out the constant noise of prison, going into the Immaculate Heart of Mary as I asked her to offer my prayers up to Jesus. I found that I could petition Our Mother and offer up a rosary for my friends and family who were sick or in need, and soon I would have good news of recoveries and good tidings. As well, I found that in times of trouble or danger from the enemy, one heartfelt rosary will drive away any evil.
After experiencing all manner of these graces from heaven during rosary prayers, and as I advanced in learning about the Catholic faith, something became very clear to me as I studied the lives of the saints. Almost without exception, every saint you might read about had an exceptional devotion to the Mother of God. And since the time of St. Dominic, all the saints relied upon the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a guiding light in their spirituality, the light illuminating the path to their sanctity.
Perhaps the greatest grace I have received through the Blessed Mother during rosary prayers is the rebirth in my soul of compassion, humility, and true contrition and sorrow for the crimes I have committed and the wrongs I have done to my neighbors. And when the weight of my sins seemingly combine to crush my heart, our Sorrowful Mother, in the rosary, is there to remind me that Christ cleansed me in Holy Baptism, that I can go forward through the Divine Mercy of Jesus, and that I can live the remainder of my life in an honorable fashion, loving Jesus through Mary.
The rosary is the centerpiece of our private prayer life, joining our hearts to Our Mother, who allows us a filial nearness to her crucified Son, through the Mysteries of her Most Holy Rosary.
As for that little 95¢ plastic rosary? I wore it around my neck the day I was baptized in a prison laundry cart that had been filled with water from a garden hose. From there I mailed that little rosary to the woman in Switzerland, a woman no longer a stranger but now my baptismal sponsor, a mentor dear to my heart. Through her introduction to Mary and through her declared love for the Holy Rosary, I found the straight path to Jesus.
Take Our Mother's hand in one of yours, clasp the rosary firmly in your other hand, and follow Our Lady's Light to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, addressed a June 18 - July 6 meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on the right to education. He stated:
". . . The Delegation of the Holy See supports what the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education states, that 'it is essential to promote the right to education as entitlement in terms of universal access to basic education, and as empowerment in terms of acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies, and their quality.'
"The Special Rapporteur notes that millions of children are not attending primary school in low-income countries and countless children go through five years of education without learning basic reading, writing, and math skills. Education, however, is required to promote a culture of peace, mutual respect, and international solidarity. It should be provided to children of both sexes and without any discrimination based on their religion, national or ethnic origin, race, color, wealth, or disability. As the Report underlines, it implies a cooperative approach for its success: adequate infrastructure and facilities and a school environment in which teachers, parents, and communities are all active participants in school life.
"On the other hand, the inalienable right of parents to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children, remains an irreplaceable priority, as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states (Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children, Art. 26). This right is connected with the transmission of human life and the unique loving relationship between parents and children.
"Education is comprehensive and concerned with 'the integral formation of the person, including the moral and spiritual dimension, focused upon man's final end and the good of the society to which he belongs. Therefore, in order to educate in truth, it is necessary first and foremost to know who the human person is, to know human nature' (Benedict XVI's Message for the World Day of Peace 2012: 'Educating young people in justice and peace'). The Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education rightly refers to various international instruments that affirm that education should be aimed at the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity. For example for article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights education should 'enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote understanding, tolerance, and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic, or religious groups...' In this perspective, it is easy to understand that, by exercising its mission to educate, the family contributes to the common good and constitutes the first school of social virtue, which all societies need.
"In its social function, education is an indispensable condition for progress and the improvement of the quality of life. It develops personal talents and places them at the service of society, a process that leads to innovation and moves forward the economy whose real propelling force are prepared and responsible persons aware that the goal to be achieved is the common good. The implementation of the right to education remains a real challenge; if carried out in all countries, however, it will bear fruit for both individuals and society."
The book, The Wonders of Lourdes edited by Gerald Korson, only chronicles a few of the miracles of Lourdes. As Dr. Theillier explains, however, "The miracles of Lourdes are all miracles of healing — healings of the heart, of the soul, of life's wounds that hurt us. The graces of Lourdes are far more numerous than anyone knows, because they take place most often in people's hearts."
Another observation would be that, like Jesus healed while He was here during His earthly life, He still heals in many different ways. There are stories here of healings associated with the water, the prayers, the Eucharist. All are tied to the pilgrim's faith or sometimes to that of the person who got them there.
Many of the healings in the book are the official, highly investigated cases. One of the many more but unofficial healings in the book is that of John Traynor. His eight-year-old injuries were getting worse and worse. Already paralyzed, his damaged brain was causing epileptic seizures. ?His faith in a healing was so strong he bought shoes for the trip home to England.
Thea Angele had suffered with multiple sclerosis for six years. After visiting Lourdes as so many others "as a last request" in 1950, she was healed. She never did leave Lourdes, but stayed and entered the convent there. That same year Evasio Ganora, suffering from Hodgkin's disease, was put in the pool and then insisted on walking out unassisted. Paul Pellegria's wife insisted he try a second bath. His liver abscess was healed.
One of the most interesting miracles in the book took place long before Bernadette, in 778. After an eagle dropped a salmon before Mirat, Bishop Turpin, so the story goes, persuaded the Moslem to believe in greater wonders. He was baptized Lorus and the town that grew up around his Miranbelle citadel was named after him.
Another Lourdes miracle took place during World War II and not in Lourdes. When the Nazis invaded Oradour-sur-Glade they shot most of the men with machine guns and set fire to the church holding the women and children. Only about 25 survived. Six hundred forty-two were killed, but the statues of Our Lady of Lourdes and Bernadette survived. That was not the end of the miracle, however. As the pastor tried to remove Our Lady's statue during reconstruction, it disintegrated. As the story "The Virgin of Dust" describes it, her mission as "guardian of the dead and comfort of the living" was ended.
Edeltrand Fulda's was a war-time miracle too. She had had two-thirds of her stomach removed because of Addison's disease. By 1938 her kidneys were failing. She went to Lourdes, was healed, and "ate enough for four and rested for the first time in 13 years."
Some of the official healings are miraculous, yet incomplete. Jeanne Gestas tells her story in "The Song of Hope". As a formerly non-practicing Catholic, she writes, "I have rediscovered the path to faith. My medical condition still isn't the best, but my heart has irresistibly turned to the Virgin."
In "Appetite for Life" Maddalena Carini tells how she was taken to Lourdes as "a woman's last whim." Her tuberculosis was critical. After being healed, she says, "I want to give thanks every day of my life."
The very first healing of Louis Bourriette, as shown in "The Song of Bernadette," brought back the sight in his injured eye after 19 years without it being physically changed. In that same year, Croisine Bourhort took her crippled 2-year-old son to Lourdes. His tuberculosis was healed when she dipped him in the water.
Julienne of Brine was allowed to make her profession in 1889 as a sister even though she was dying of tuberculosis. Then she went to Lourdes to prepare to die, but was healed instead.
Two years after a train accident paralyzed Gabriel Gargan, he went to Lourdes just to avoid yet another threatened surgery. ?He was healed at the consecration of the Eucharist. In that same year, 1901, Marie Savoye, 24 yet just 55 pounds, was healed as the Eucharist passed. Having been bedridden for six years she got up, walked, and shouted, "I am healed!" Her doctor's comment was, "This is no miracle, it's a resurrection."
Jean Frétel had suffered from appendicitis complications for 10 years. After receiving a small piece of the Eucharist, she says that she had "the appetite of an ogre" and no morphine withdrawal.
Marie Bigot, blind and deaf, with skin disease and poor health went to Lourdes and got worse. She was diagnosed with severe meningitis and became paralyzed on one side. The next year she went back and was healed of paralysis, went again the next year in 1954 and regained her hearing, and then her sight on the way home. That same year Br. Leo Schager was healed of multiple sclerosis as the Eucharist passed.
Alice Couteault's niece tells the story, "The Miraculously Healed Woman and the Young Physician." Her aunt insisted that she take her to Lourdes to "see how, despite their illness, all these people are happy. It is that happiness, more than healing, that they will take back from here!" Yet her aunt was healed at the Eucharistic blessing.
Élisa Aloi was taken to Lourdes in a body cast in 1957 after suffering for 10 years with tuberculosis. She got worse, but went back again the next year. After asking her nurse to soak her dressings in Lourdes water, her wounds healed.
Juliette Tamurini just went to Lourdes, so she thought, for courage to face the amputation of her legs. Her nurse Isabelle injected her with Lourdes water when she was unable to make it to the grotto and she was healed. She was healed enough to then make it into the pool and be healed completely.
Maria-Thérése Canin, who was dying as her parents had from tuberculosis, never made it to the shrine. She became so ill that she was taken to the Lourdes hospital. She miraculously was healed there, got dressed, walked without help, and ate a normal meal.
Serge Perrin's inoperable blockage had paralyzed him and was causing him to go blind. His wife urged him to go to Lourdes and he was healed at the anointing of the sick.
Delizia Cirolli was an 11-year-old girl in 1976 who only weighed 50 pounds because of a leg tumor. The tumor suddenly disappeared four months after visiting Lourdes and then not all at once. First she could stand and later walk as she regained her strength.
WASHINGTON — As they consider legislation that addresses deficits and spending, Congress should extend "tax credits that help low-income families live in dignity," said the bishop who chairs the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
"Poverty in this country is historically high and growing. Currently over 46 million Americans live in poverty; over 16 million of them are children. In America today, the younger a person is, the more likely they are to live in poverty," wrote Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, in a July 25 letter to Congress. "Low-income tax credits are pro-work, pro-family, and some of the most effective antipoverty programs in our nation."
Bishop Blaire noted that the Earned Income Tax Credit and the refundable Child Tax Credit "lift millions of American families out of poverty and help them live in dignity and with greater economic security."
Reiterating a point from earlier letters to Congress, he said that a just framework for spending cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons and that it would be unjust not to renew tax cuts for the working poor while addressing tax cuts for middle class and wealthy Americans. He asked that Congress "maintain and strengthen the bi-partisan commitment to assist those working families who struggle the most in these difficult economic times."
"I urge you to protect low-income tax credits that help American workers escape poverty and raise their children in dignity," Bishop Blaire wrote.
The full text of Bishop Blaire's letter is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/federal-budget/upload/letter-on-tax-credits-senate-2012-07-25.pdf
(Source: USCCB press release)
Vatican City (VIS) — It was 1908 when, in the wake of a serious economic crisis, Rome renounced hosting the Olympic Games which were eventually celebrated in London, England. In the same year Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, sought help from the Vatican to support the Games, and Pope St. Pius X in person offered him his support.
More than one hundred years later, the British capital is hosting the Olympic Games for the third time. The event is due to open this evening.
That moment at the beginning of the twentieth century is described in a book entitled "Pio X e lo sport" by Antonella Stelitano. At that time "less than one per cent of the population practiced any sporting activity, ... and sport was used only as a form of military training or as a pastime for the upper classes," the author explained in an interview with Vatican Radio.
However "St. Pius X ... was aware of the educational potential of sport." He saw it as a way "to approach young people, and to bring them together while following certain rules and showing respect for adversaries. I believe," the author explained, "that he understood that it was possible to bring people together simply, without any problems of race, religion, or differing political ideas."
At that time in history many people did not understand the importance of exercise, said Antonella Stelitano who concluded her interview by recalling an anecdote whereby Pius X told one of his cardinals: "All right, if it is impossible to understand that this can be done, then I myself will do exercise in front of everyone so that they may see that, if the Pope can do it, anyone can do it."
(Source: Vatican Information Service)
Vatican City (VIS) — Benedict XVI invites Christian married couples to be "the sweet and smiling face of the Church" in a message sent to the 11th international meeting of the "Equipes Notre Dame" Movement, currently being held in Brasilia, Brazil, on the theme: "Daring with the Gospel." The "Equipes Notre Dame" Movement, which promotes conjugal spirituality, was founded in 1939 by the French priest Fr. Henri Caffarel.
In the message, sent through Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., the Pope expresses the view that Christian married couples must be "the best and most convincing messengers of the beauty of a love supported and nourished by the faith, a gift of God which is given to everyone abundantly and generously, so that day after day they can discover the meaning of their lives." The Holy Father also notes that the "Equipes Notre Dame" encourage members to avail themselves of the Sacraments, and to make simple concrete commitments such as the "duty to sit down together"; that is, to dedicate time to interpersonal dialogue between the spouses.
"In our world, which is so deeply marked by individualism, activism, haste and distraction, sincere and constant dialogue between spouses is essential to avoid the emergence, development, and degeneration of misunderstandings which, unfortunately, often lead to irreparable breaks which no one can then mend," the message concludes.
(Source: Vatican Information Service)
O GOD OUR CREATOR, from Your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship You, the only true God, and Your Son, Jesus Christ. Through the power and working of Your Holy Spirit, You call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.
We ask You to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of Your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all Your sons and daughters gathered in Your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome—for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us—this great land will always be "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
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