Sydney, May 23, 2008 / 04:07 pm (CNA).- Her name is Sophie Delezio, and at eight years old she has already miraculously survived two serious accidents. In spite of suffering burns over 85% of her body, losing both her legs, several fingers and her right ear, she never stopped fighting. This Australian girl has been chosen to be one of World Youth Day 2008’s ambassadors.
At the young age of 3, Sophie was badly injured when a car crashed into her pre-school, trapping her under the burning vehicle. Then in 2006 she was hit by a car as she was crossing the road in her wheelchair.
The story of Sophie is known throughout Australia, as her two accidents led to several national campaigns and the entire country followed her condition for several months.
The Delezio family is convinced that Sophie overcame her grave condition thanks to the intercession of Blessed Mary MacKillop, the Australian nun who is one of the ten patrons of WYD Sydney 2008.
The organizers of WYD have named Sophie ambassador of the event that will take place July 15-20.
“It’s a pleasure for us to be a part of WYD. It’s a way of thanking God and the Church. We have lived through difficult times. Our child was in the hands of doctors and we couldn’t do anything else but pray. We knew there were millions of people praying in Australia for Sophie and for other children,” said Ron, Sophie’s father.
“Faith in Christ and in the Church has given us the strength to keep going and gave Sophie hope in the future” he added.
O Holy Patroness of those in need, St. Rita, whose pleadings before thy Divine Lord are almost irresistible, who for thy lavishness in granting favors hast been called the Advocate of the Hopeless and even of the Impossible; St. Rita, so humble, so pure, so mortified, so patient and of such compassionate love for thy Crucified Jesus that thou couldst obtain from Him whatsoever thou askest, on account of which all confidently have recourse to thee, expecting, if not alwavs relief, at least comfort; be propitious to our petition, showing thy power with God on behalf of thy suppliant; be lavish to us, as thou hast been in so many wonderful cases, for the greater glory of God, for the spreading of thine own devotion, and for the consolation of those who trust in thee. We promise, if our petition is granted, to glorify, thee by making known thy favor, to bless and sing thy praises forever. Relying then upon thy merits and power before the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we pray: (here mention your request).
Obtain for us our request
By the singular merits of thy childhood,
Bv thy perfect union with the Divine Will,
By thy heroic sufferings during thy married life,
By the consolation thou didst experience at the conversion of thy husband,
By the sacrifice of thy children rather than see them grievously offend God,
By thy miraculous entrance into the convent,
By thy severe penances and thrice daily bloody scourgings,
By the suffering caused by the wound thou didst receive from the thorn of thy Crucified Savior,
By the divine love which consumed thy heart,
By that remarkable devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, on which alone thou didst exist for 4 years,
By the happiness with which thou didst part from thy trials to join thy Divine Spouse,
By the perfect example thou gavest to people of every state of life.
Pray for us, 0 holy St. Rita,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: O God, Who in Thine infinite tenderness hast vouchsafed to regard the prayer of Thy servant, Blessed Rita, and dost grant to her supplication that which is impossible to human foresight, skill and efforts, in reward of her compassionate love and firm reliance on Thy promise, have pity on our adversity and succor us in our calamities, that the unbeliever may know Thou art the recompense of the humble, the defense of the helpless, and the strength of those who trust in Thee, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
May 13, 2008
Pastor John Hagee sent a letter today [click here] to Catholic League president Bill Donohue that effectively ends the dispute the two men have had. Donohue comments as follows:
“After weeks of meeting with various Catholic leaders, and accessing scholarly literature on Catholic-Jewish relations, Pastor John Hagee has demonstrated an improved understanding of the Catholic Church and its history. In his letter to me, Hagee says, ‘I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful.’ He specifically cites his emphasis of ‘the darkest chapters in the history of Catholic and Protestant relations with the Jews,’ and has pledged to provide a more complete and balanced portrayal going forward that will not reinforce mischaracterizations of the Catholic Church. And while he stresses that his invocation of terms like ‘apostate church’ and the ‘great whore’ were never meant by him to describe the Catholic Church, he acknowledges that anti-Catholics have long employed such language.
“The tone of Hagee’s letter is sincere. He wants reconciliation and he has achieved it. Indeed, the Catholic League welcomes his apology. What Hagee has done takes courage and quite frankly I never expected him to demonstrate such sensitivity to our concerns. But he has done just that. Now Catholics, along with Jews, can work with Pastor Hagee in making interfaith relations stronger than ever. Whatever problems we had before are now history. This case is closed.”
Taken from AmericanCatholic.org
Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. (See February 20 entry for Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto). Mary asked the children to pray the rosary for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners and for the conversion of Russia.
Mary gave the children three secrets. Since Francisco died in 1919 and Jacinta the following year, Lucia, who later became a Carmelite nun, revealed the first secret in 1927, concerning devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The second secret was a vision of hell.
Pope John Paul II directed the Holy See’s Secretary of State to reveal the third secret in 2000; it spoke of a ‘bishop in white’ who was shot by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows into him. Many people linked this to the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981.
The feast of Our Lady of Fatima was approved by the local bishop in 1930; it was added to the Church’s worldwide calendar in 2002. Sister Lucia died in 2005 at the age of 97.
The message of Fatima is simple: Pray. Unfortunately, some people—not Sister Lucia—have distorted these revelations, making them into an apocalyptic event for which they are now the only reliable interpreters. They have, for example, claimed that Mary’s request that the world be consecrated to her has been ignored. Sister Lucia has agreed that Pope John Paul II’s public consecration in St. Peter’s Square on March 25, 1984, fulfilled Mary’s request. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prepared a June 26, 2000, document explaining the “third secret” (available at http://www.vatican.va).
Mary is perfectly honored when people generously imitate her response “Let it be done to me as you say” (Luke 1:38). Mary can never be seen as a rival to Jesus or to the Church’s teaching authority, as exercised by the college of bishops united with the bishop of Rome.
“Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding of history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith, and must therefore have their focus in the core of Christ’s proclamation: the Father’s love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the heart of the Gospel” (The Message of Fatima, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 26, 2000).
May 11, 2008 at 12:37 pm · Filed under Family and Kids, Holidays/Feast Days
Pentecost is our anniversary into the Catholic Church. Today I wept again as I remembered God’s mercy and faithfulness as he brought us into the fullness of the Catholic Church. Our past as Protestants was like a nursemaid that brought us all the way home to the Church. As a Jew is considered a fullfilled Jew by becoming a Christian, I am now a fulfilled Christian by becoming a Catholic.
At the altar of a Catholic Church 14 years ago some of us were baptized, all of us received confirmation (except little Emily who was only 2 years old at the time), and we received the Body and Blood of our Lord for the first time. Needless to say we were all in tears. We still have the same priest and he gave us his blessing again today on our “birthday” and I was again in tears. Thanks Fr. Ed Fride.
Today as I walked up the isle with my faithful wife Janet and our daughter Emily (now 15) I was again overcome with emotion. “Thank you Lord for making me a Catholic — and my whole family! As I present this bread and wine to you and it is placed on your altar as an offering, so I give all my life, my thoughts, my family, my time, my talents, my failings, my achievement, my ALL to you. Please take it and turn it into yourself. Mold us into saints and a family that brings glory to you!”
When we came into the Church our family numbered six (Janet, myself, Cindy, Jesse, Charlotte and little Emily). Today our family numbers fourteen (son-in-law Ben with Dominic, Damian, and Gianna; daughter-in-law Anna with Joshua, Maria Faustina, and Samuel)–and we just found out another one on the way for Ben and Cindy. Look what God got started and what a great day to celebrate.
Steve Ray will be one of the featured speakers at this year’s Eucharistic Congress in Atlanta, Georgia – click here for more information.
The month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. May 1 through May 11 fall within the liturgical season of Easter, which is represented by the liturgical color white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored). The last three weeks of the month (beginning the Monday after Pentecost) are in Ordinary Time which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection.