Friday, 21 July 2017

Iraqi Catholic Christians

Introduction and History :

Iraqi Catholic Christians also known as "Chaldean Catholics" are an Ancient Catholic Community that exists in the Middle East.

There are less than 400, 000 left today in Iraq. 75% of all Iraqi Christians are "Chaldean Catholics".

The Chaldean Catholic Church was founded in Babylon in "Ancient Mesopotamia" sometime during the 2nd Century A.D.

The Chaldean People who lived in and around the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers were evangelized by Saint Jude Thaddeus, An Apostle of Jesus Christ sometime towards the middle of the First Century A.D. to Christianity.

They are one of 3-4 Catholic Communities in the Middle East that still speak "Aramaic" in word in the Liturgy as well as among themselves today.

Aramaic is the language that was spoken by Jesus Christ and His Apostles.

All About Chaldean Catholic Christians :

The Chaldean Catholic Church has been in communion with the Holy See at Rome for a number of Centuries, but specially from the 13th Century onwards.

During the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries in Iraq there was a substantial rise in numbers among Chaldean Catholics.

This was due to conversions to the Catholic Faith by Eastern Rite Orthodox Chaldeans.

Missionary Dominican Friars were instrumental in evangelizing a large number of Orthodox Chaldeans in Iraq to the Catholic Faith specially in and around Mosul in the 1700's and 1800's.

Mosul in Northern Iraq was a large Archdiocese with many Parishes and Churches dedicated to Our Lady.

The Plains of Nineveh near Mosul witnessed the biggest ever Missionary Movement among Orthodox Chaldeans towards the Catholic Faith in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

The vast majority of Chaldean Catholics used to live in Northern Iraq specially in Mosul, Erbil, and Qaraqosh.

The rest live in and around Baghdad and near Basra in Southern Iraq.

Chaldean Catholics of Iraq are "Very Precious" in terms of their Historical Significance and Spiritual Significance. They are Christianity's "Precious Soldiers".

Conclusion :

It is my prayer that Countries in the West will extend a helping hand to these Catholic Christians of Iraq with immediate effect.

Most importantly, Chaldean Catholic Christians of Iraq are the only "Native Catholic Christians in the Arabian Peninsula".

Let us do our utmost for them by word and by deed as they are "One of Our Own".






Thursday, 20 July 2017

Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major or Feast of Our Lady of Snows August 5, 2017

Introduction and History :

This Special Marian Feast is closely linked to the construction of the Roman Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore -- Saint Mary Major.

The particular feast of Our Lady of Snows has its origin and current vitality in the Roman Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. Although no longer, remembered today, there is evidence of this devotion.

They say the name that was given to the Chapel there since 1832-- was the Chapel of the Madonna Mora which came to be translated as "Santa Maria Maggiore".

A series of manuscripts found in the nearby Franciscan Library recalls the existence of such a feast. It was for the first time that in 1466, the feast was described as the Feast of "The Madonna of Snows".

A Miniature shows snow falling covering the area where the Church was to be built. This piece of Documentation hastened the spread of the devotion around the Fifteenth Century.

In the Fourth Century, during the Pontificate of Pope Liberius (352 - 366 A.D.) John, a noble and wealthy Roman Patrician had no child so He and his Wife decided to leave their inheritance to the Virgin desiring that a Church be built and Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In response to this, Mary herself appeared to them in a dream on the night between the 4th and 5th of August, the warmest time of the year in Rome and pointed out a place with a miracle where the Church was to be built.

The next day, the couple went to the Pope and told him of the dream and they were not surprised that he too had the same vision in which the Esquiline Hill was indicated as the place for the future construction.

As, They went up there, they found the place covered with snow. Pope Liberius traced the perimeter of the Church following the surface of the ground covered with snow and built there a Church with the Legacy of that devout couple.

Pope Sixtus -- The Third (432-440 A.D.) rebuilt it and made it much larger giving it the title of the "Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore" because it was the most prominent of all the Churches dedicated to Our Lady.

Since 1568, the official name of the liturgical feast was "Our Lady of Snows". It was later changed to "The Dedication of Santa Maria Maggiore" and left on the 5th of August.

Modern Day History :

The Miracle of the Snow -- not proven historically was forgotten even though there was no objection to its validity.

Every Year on the 5th of August, there is a shower of Rose White Petals within the confines of the Cathedral/Basilica.

The Miracle of the Snowfall is in fact reenacted before the eyes of the gathered congregation by means of a cascade of white petals that fall from the ceiling over the main altar, blanketing the ground below creating an almost ideal union between the Congregation and the Mother of God.

The Petals fall through a trap door on the coffered ceiling of the Basilica and last as long as the "Gloria" is sung.

Credits :

The Madonna of Snows By
Alfredo Pescante
Pages 29-30
Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
August 2012, Vol -14, N0-4

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel -- Patroness of the Brown Scapular and much much more

Tomorrow, the 16th of July is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the Patroness of the Brown Scapular which protects one from sudden acts of evil as well as sudden accidents.

Our Lady appeared to Saint Simon Stock in England as Our Lady of Mount Carmel and gave him the Brown Scapular as He was a Carmelite Friar. She asked him to promote it like no tomorrow.

One of her Promises was that anyone who wears the Brown Scapular shall not be consumed by Fire or drown in water.

I am a Parishioner of the Parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Bandra West, Mumbai. I have fond memories over the years with regard to the celebration of this awesome and amazing Feast Day.

The Chief Celebrant for the Feast Day Mass would be brought in a Royal Procession to the Church led by the Confraternity of Mount Carmel and Musicians in attendance.

This would start from the corner of Bazar Road and Chapel Road and end up in the Church Compound.

The Chief Celebrant was usually a Bishop of eminent standing either from the Archdiocese of Mumbai or outside.

Now, I will talk about the Miracles wrought by Our Lady of Mount Carmel in my personal life.

When I was 24 years old, I was studying for my final year in law and because I had not studied very well I was sure that I was going to fail as the paper that I had answered was not to the best of my Intellectual Ability.

Yet, When the results were declared for the L.L.B. Examination I had passed -- This is surely a Miracle worked by the Mother of God in my favour.

When I was 26 in 1997 and I was living in the United States I had nowhere to live as a Student as my present lease had expired. I searched high and low for an Apartment in Centre City Philadelphia but none could be found.

It then dawned on me that I was literally on the street with no kind person to take me in for a few months till I found my feet again so to speak.

Out of literally nowhere, Mother Mary of Mount Carmel got me a Studio Apartment in Centre City Philadelphia in a safe neighborhood for a few months till I could take a decision on my future in the United States.

The Final Miracle was the best miracle of all. It happened to me in Mumbai in 2005.

I was diagnosed with Hyper Thyroidism which caused my hands to constantly shiver non - stop.

In a matter of months, I was out of the woods with regard to this particular illness. All this can be attributed to Divine Intervention by Our Lady of Mount Carmel whose Brown Scapular I have always worn from the age of 8 till the present age of 45.

I can personally endorse the garment of the brown scapular to anyone for a miracle regarding an illness or regarding anything in life.

Happy Feast to One and All.  

 

Thursday, 13 July 2017

A Perspective on the Blessed Sacrament and on the Personality of Saint John

John is the "Blessed" Apostle whom Christ brought close to Himself on Maundy Thursday Night.

At the Last Supper Discourse, as John reclined not far from the Heart of Christ He felt the deep personal love of the God - Man.

As, He rested on the Saviour's Heart, He took a conscious decision to drink from the living waters of "Godly Love" that flowed from the Heart of Christ.

From Henceforth, John saw himself "Uniquely" as the one loved by the Lord. All writings of Saint John are full of themes connected to the Incarnation -- The Word Made Flesh.

The Blessed Eucharist is the continuation of Christ's dwelling on Earth.

In Saint John's Prologue, We understand the Beauty and the Meaning of the Holy Eucharist.

"Christ became Flesh and made his dwelling among us". "His Glory we have seen, coming straight from the Eternal Father".

John truly believed that Christ loved him more than anyone else He loved.

This is what Christ, wants everyone to do -- to believe in a deep rooted way that He loves us in a deep, personal, unconditional way, despite all our sins and failures of the past.

John, the much loved Apostle, represents all Human Souls. We are all special in the eyes of Christ.

Basing One's thoughts on the Holy Eucharist, each one should see themselves as the "One Christ Loved".

Let us take a look at God in a simple way. He is the one who created the Universe and yet He is the One who abases himself in the small "Sacred Host" to be our Friend forever.

Like John, Christ wants you to say in an appreciative way --

Jesus, I believe in your love for me.

Eucharistic Heart of Jesus Christ, I put all my trust in You.

Credits :

Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament
By Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament
Eucharistic Holy Hour 3
Introduction on Scriptural Readings and Meditations
From the 1st Letter of Saint John
Year 1997

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

A Perspective on the Blessed Sacrament and on the 1st Letter of Saint Peter

How Great it is for the Three of Us to be here said Saint Peter to the Lord when Christ was transfigured in glory at the Holy Mountain -- namely Mount Tabor.

All Souls who come before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament must have the same attitude. How good it is for us to be here !!

We are more blessed in being chosen to keep Christ company in the Blessed Sacrament than Peter was as a witness to His Transfiguration.

Here, Christ conceals His Glory from our special senses -- namely Eyes so that in faith we can come to Him.

Christ hides his Beauty and His Glory because He wants us to love Him for Himself. He becomes a Beggar in appearance, so that we may be rich supernaturally.

What happens now is the Transfiguration in reverse. Every Moment, that you spend before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, Christ transfigures your soul and your heart with His glory making you extremely beautiful in heaven.

Here, as at Mount Tabor Christ points us Heavenward, while giving Human Souls the grace and the strength to carry their Cross on Planet Earth.

Here, We are taught the "Great Value of Suffering".

Like Fire that transforms everything to be one with it, so also suffering transforms us and makes us have a "Perfect Union with Christ" as it purifies and cleanses us from Pride and Selfishness and Vanity.

Here, We offer to Christ Our Sufferings so that He may make them into "Salutary Graces" to be given to Souls to be drawn to His Eucharistic Heart.

Finally, As the Holy Apostles were privileged to be witnesses to His Transfiguration, We are specially privileged to be in his Divine Eucharistic Presence.

Credits :

Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament
By Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament
Eucharistic Holy Hour Two
"Introduction on the 1st Letter of Saint Peter"
Year 1997 


Monday, 10 July 2017

A Taste of Heavenly Paradise

The Objective of Eucharistic Adoration is the Divine Person of Our Lord, present really and substantially in the Blessed Sacrament.

He is eagerly wanting to talk to us. This Conversation between a Human Soul and Our Lord is Authentic "Eucharistic Adoration".

The Sole Door to the Heart of Jesus is Love and Love itself. Speak to Christ, about his Heavenly Father whom he loves so much as he spoke about him when he was on earth.

Speak to Christ, of his Mother Mary who He loved so much even unto death on the Cross.

We must always remember that the Eucharist is Christ as He was in the past -- several thousand years ago in Palestine, As He is now at present in the 21st Century, and as He will be in the future for years to come.

The Eucharist, then should be the 1st Point of "Our Meditations" on the various mysteries and revelations of Our Glorious Faith.

Taking that forward, it is certainly easy to find a connection between the Birth of Our Adorable Lord in the stable among the animals and His Birth on the Sacred Altar as well as in our souls and hearts.

It is easy to see that the Life which can be considered a "Hidden Life" led by Our Lord in Nazareth continues in the form of the Sacred Host in the Tabernacle.

The Sorrowful Passion of Our Divine Saviour is seen each time We Celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass day in and day out.

Finally, Let us give thanks to the Eternal Father for giving us Jesus Christ as "Our Brother and Teacher" not only on the Cross where He redeemed Mankind but most importantly in "Divine Bread".

Let us always promote His "Sacramental State" to anyone and everyone we come across along Life's Way.

Credits :

Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament
By Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament
Pages 162-173
Year 1997 


Thursday, 6 July 2017

The Devotion to the Precious Blood

Introduction :

It can be said that the Soul of Jesus Christ, His Body, His Blood, and His Divinity which are one with His Humanity constantly give rise to Devotions in the Church.

The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries brought forth many devotions in the Catholic Church, most notably the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus promoted by Saints like Margaret Mary Alacoque, Claude Dela Colombiere, and John Eudes.

It can be said that the Precious Blood brought forth the Church. The Grandeur of the Precious Blood can be seen in the Sacraments we have today.

The Precious Blood is the "Wealth" of the Sacred Heart and is interconnected to it.

The Precious Blood magnifies the Church in more ways than one and the Church in its turn magnifies the Precious Blood.

The Objective of the Church, like that of the Precious Blood is to be Universal.

The Church is an Institution which has been established to make the salvation of souls easier and more fruitful.

In speaking of Personalities, who based their Life on the Precious Blood -- We need to first speak about Saint Paul.

Saint Paul talks a lot about the Precious Blood and His Life based on the Precious Blood in His various Letters.

The Precious Blood gave forth to the fruit of His ''Miraculous Conversion" and Apostolate spread in many countries from Crete to Rome.

Conclusion :

Among the Church Fathers, in the early centuries of the Church -- We have Saint John Chrysostom who spoke widely of the Precious Blood in His Life in His various writings.

Among the Saints devoted to the Precious Blood, mention must be made of Saint Gertrude who said the most profound things about the Precious Blood.

Finally It was Saint Catherine of Siena who can be considered to be a Modern Day Prophet and who had a "Unique Apostolate" devoted to the Precious Blood.

She described the Precious Blood as an Important "Remedy" to the evil times we live in.

Credits :

The Precious Blood By Father Faber
Chapter 6 -- The Devotion to the Precious Blood
Pages 245-253


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Catholicism in Mainland China

Introduction :

Catholicism was introduced in China in the Middle Ages by an Italian Jesuit Missionary called "Matteo Ricci".

Thereafter, It got an impetus from Belgian Catholic Missionaries most notably from the Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart of Mary also known as "Scheut Missionaries".

Hebei is the largest and most numerous Catholic Province in China with an estimated population of 1 Million Catholics.

Other Traditional Catholic Strongholds in Mainland China are North- Western Shaanxi, Central Shanxi, and Zhejiang Provinces -- All of them with estimated Catholic Populations of more than 200,000 each.

This is all due to the untiring efforts of Zealous Chinese Catholic Priests, Nuns, and most importantly "Catechists" who play a pivotal role in introducing Wannabe's to the Catholic Faith.

The Role of Lay Catechists in the Chinese Catholic Church :

Catechists play an "Invaluable" role in bringing Chinese Folks to the Catholic Faith.

These Catechists who live in Western China and in North - Western China mostly come from the countryside.

Their Vigorous and Rigorous Catholic Christian Life attracts non -believers to the Faith in large numbers.

These Zealous Catechists evangelize through their writings, sermons, and acts of charity when they go from one village to the other.

These Catechists who are zealous from every perspective leave their homes and spare no effort at all with regard to Evangelization.

Conclusion :

Let us pray constantly for the Catholic Church in Mainland China that they maybe one soon.

It seems to me that Han Chinese are attracted a lot to Catholicism. May their Tribe increase.

Credits :

1) Catholic Church in China gets 20,000 new members.
     Page 25
     The Examiner,
     May 13-19 2017,
     Vol - 168, N0-19

2)  Newsbits
      China
      Pages 30 -31
     Don Bosco's Madonna,
     July 2011
     Vol - 13, N0-3






Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Transubstantiation -- Do I believe in it and appreciate it ??

Theologians describe Transubstantiation as a Positive and True Change and a substantial change of the Bread and Wine into the Adorable and Loving Body and Blood of Christ.

This happens on the Altar through the hands of a Priest who is another "Christ". In Short, This is a "Miracle" of Immense Proportions.

This Miracle of the Conversion from Bread and Wine into the beloved Body and Blood of Christ is miraculous in quality and quantity.

What do I mean by this ??

When I say Miraculous in Quantity, I mean that under ordinary circumstances The Sacred Body of Our Lord ought to have its physical dimensions but it has none.

Similarly, When I say Miraculous in Quality I am referring to its action vis - a - vis our senses. But, There is none. From a Quality Perspective -- It is invisible yet present to everyone.

The Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ is miraculous in all possible ways. The events that unfold at the Altar through the Sacred Hands of a Priest should be seen with the eyes of Faith and Nothing Else.

The Adorable Body of Our Lord -- are together whether its His Eyes, Head, Heart, or Feet.

The Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ is placed in different positions and moved up and down the Altar, yet He remains with us as "One Whole Person".

That is the Beauty of the Holy Eucharist in the Catholic Church. Our Lord is a Prisoner for us in the Tabernacle and on the Altar. He remains, the most attentive person in this Universe even while He is undergoing changes on the Altar.

Therefore, The Blessed Sacrament can be said to be the "Compendium of all Miracles".

The Sacramental Presence of Our Lord undergoes numerous changes before it is consumed by the Communicant. All these changes are "Supernatural" and wrought by Divine Means.

Let us never doubt the Sacred Presence of Our Lord.

Credits : The Blessed Sacrament by Father Faber
               The Theology of Transubstantiation
               Pages 56-60

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Jan Tyranowski -- An Awesome Spiritual Guide

Jan Tyranowski lived in Krakow at Debniki on 15 Rozana Street. He was born in 1900.

Externally, He was no different to any other boy.

From His Childhood, Jan was given a very intense Christian Formation.

His Father was a Tailor, and had a workshop where his younger brother Edward worked too.

His Mother was a Housewife but Jan tried to major in Commerce so he could take up a Career.

From the time, He was very young He fled from crowds and from general contact with people. That was why, He left his job of book- keeping preferring to work instead as a tailor in his Father's Workshop.

For Jan, attending Mass daily and receiving Holy Communion, praying the Whole Rosary of Our Lady and spending time in meditation was what he most cherished in order to build his intimacy with God.

He was a "Monk in the World".

Poland was invaded by the Nazis during the Second World War. There were terrible sufferings and unspeakable crimes being thoughtlessly perpetrated by the Demonic Nazis.

At that point, there were hundreds of youngsters yearning for a deeper union with God.

Several of them between the ages of 14 to 25 gathered at Jan's House to pray the Rosary. They were divided into 2 sections according to their ages but they joined together to follow the "Living Rosary".

Here, They meditated on the Mysteries of the Rosary and contemplated on them trying to apply the Mysteries to their daily lives.

Each Boy was called to form another group of 15 Friends, each with a "Mystery" to be prayed in this Rosary Apostolate.

This had to be the "Revelation of a Saint".

The Priests of the Parish of Saint Stanislaus were the Salesians of Don Bosco at Debniki where Jan lived cheerfully kept saying :

"Look at Our Saint" and they also added "God's Glory resides on Rozana Street".

Like a simple Catholic Christian Layman, He drew his strength from the sublime font of the Saviour who possessed His Life completely.

He spoke only about God and how God permitted his apostolate to spring from his contemplation of the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas in the "Summa Theologica".

Jan helped many youngsters, plumb the depths of God. He helped them to live in union with "Him" and in His sanctifying grace that was the divine life of their souls.

When Jan died, He was only 47 years old. He suffered excruciating pain caused by a terrible infection on his arm.

His Face was radiant, as He would now see God Face to Face on that day in March 1947.

Credits and References :

Jan Tyranowski
By Paolo Risso
Pages 12-14
Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
June 2007
Vol - 9, No-2

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The Kingdom of the Precious Blood as visualized by Father Faber

Introduction :

God's Life is Vast. We kneel before God in Prayer just as a Man may care to kneel down on a secluded beach worshipping or venerating God.

The same goes with the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. The Precious Blood of Jesus is vast and has Infinite Power.

The Precious Blood of Our Adorable Lord became ransom for sinful "Human Beings". The Precious Blood conquered back for the Eternal Father what was lost, forsaken, and rebellious.

To Father Faber as well as to us Mortals-- The Precious Blood cannot be separated from the Divine Life of the Eternal Father. It is the Blood of God, the Number 1 Agent of Mankind's Redemption and it has within it the Power to sanctify.

The Precious Blood can be seen in a new and true light. It is an excellent invention of God. Not only this, It stands for the Pure Nature of God and displays the magnificent Power of God.

To Father Faber, The Precious Blood stands for God's Reparation for sins committed by Human Kind as well as is an "Expression" of God's Love towards Human Beings.

The Precious Blood is a "Conqueror" of Sin and Death in more ways than one. The Invasion of Hell is complete by the Omnipotent Power of the Precious Blood.

Exiles from God and those Alienated from Him are brought home through the glorious intercession of the Precious Blood.

The Precious Blood does numerous things which are outstanding and wonderful.

It pardons the worst of sinners and builds up fruitfully God's Kingdom on Earth.

In short, It is the Crown and Throne of God's Invisible Power over Planet Earth.

Conclusion :

The Month of July is dedicated to the Precious Blood. Let us always pray to the Precious Blood and never forsake it since, it is the "Scarlet Mantle" of God's Divine Royalty.

Credits : The Precious Blood by Father Faber
                Chapter 3 The Empire of the Precious Blood
                Pages 79-83

FYI -- Father Faber was a Former Anglican who converted to Catholicism in the 19th Century in England. After his ordination as a Catholic Priest, He wrote many books on Devotional Catholicism like the Blessed Sacrament, The Precious Blood, The Foot of the Cross, etc.

He was from County Yorkshire in England and was an integral member of the London Oratory of Saint Phillip Neri. 


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