THE POPE’S INTENTIONS FOR MAY 2022
For faith-filled young people
We pray for all young people, called to live life to the fullest; may they see in Mary’s life the way to listen, the depth of discernment, the courage that faith generates, and the dedication to service.
- For further info: Click HERE
- Also see attached a copy of the Popes Intentions for the year
May 1st / Lá Bealtaine
Month of Mary the Mother of our Lord / Mí na Maighdine Muire
Like a woeful child,
I am in need of your motherly care.
Wrap your arms around me for comfort,
dry my tears,
take me by the hand,
and lead me to your Son,
the source of all that is good.
For only he can cast out the shadows of my troubled heart.
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. Mary’s profound Prayer, her “Fiat” (Let it be done) in response to the visitation from the messenger of heaven, the angel, provides a pattern of prayer and a way to live for every Christian. It issues forth in her song of praise, her “Magnificat.” This song begins with the words “Magnificat anima mea Dominum” “My soul doth magnify the Lord” (Luke 1:46-55). However, the “Fiat” is more than a prayer and the “Magnificat” more than a hymn of praise. Together they reveal the Way of the first disciple, Mary, and together they constitute a guide, for this journey of life that we all walk.
- For further resources on Our Lady see http://education.dublindiocese.ie/may-the-month-of-mary-resources/
Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker / Naomh Iosef, Oibrí
Normally the 1st of May is the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, however as it co-incides with the 3rd Sunday of Easter that feast day takes precedence. With that in mind it is good to know that normally this feast day is a day on which the Church encourages us to celebrate the value of work, and the dignity and rights of workers. “May Day” has long been dedicated to labour and the working man. It falls on the first day of the month that is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius XII expressed the hope that this feast would accentuate the dignity of labour and would bring a spiritual dimension to labour unions. It is eminently fitting that St. Joseph, a working man who became the foster-father of Christ and patron of the universal Church, should be honoured on this day.
Did you know that St Joseph is recognised as the carpenter behind the Miracle Stairs?
The staircase of Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico is well known for at least two mysteries: the identity of its builder and the physics of its structure.
No one is able to fully understand how the structure can stand on its feet without any kind of central support attached to it. It is indeed an architectonical marvel, in that sense. There is, maybe, a third mystery, too: although the staircase is known to be made of spruce wood, no one has been able to determine either what subspecies of spruce it is, or even how the wood got to the chapel.
- For further information on why there are two feast days for St Jospeh just click HERE
- Dublin Diocese also provide some useful information on St Joseph and you can find it HERE
- A short video (1.30mins) can be found here to show the stairs more clearly CLICK HERE
Feast of Saint Philip and James, Apostles / Naomh Philib agus Naomh Séamus, Aspail
We celebrate both saints on the same day because their relics were brought to Rome together on the same day in early May. They rest there still, in the Basilica of the Holy Apostles. They are considered two of the favoured witnesses of our Beloved Jesus’ Resurrection. Saints’ Philip and James, bear testimony to us that their Master is truly risen from the dead, that they have seen Him, that they have touched Him, that they have conversed with Him (1 John 1: 1), during these forty days.
- More information on the Saints can be source Check out : HERE
World Press Freedom Day / Lá Domhanda Saoirse na Meán Cumarsáide
May 3rd acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story.
- For further information check out : https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/worldpressfreedomday
Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice / Naomh Iognáid Rís Beannaithe
Edmund Rice played a significant role during the time period of the French revolution to the First World War. He changed Ireland in many ways as he responded to the community by showing many leadership skills and qualities. He also made an impact on society as he was the leader of the organisation known as the ‘Christian Brothers’.
Edmund Rice had a substantial impact on society because of his organisation and what he believed in. So many people were interested they became willing to follow his ways. In 1835 a community of brothers were established in Gibraltar. Later the brothers began moving on to countries like Australia, New Zealand America, South Africa, and Newfoundland (Study Guide on Edmund Rice, 2014). Although Edmund Rice passed away in 1844 his legacy has lived on for generations and now there are around 2000 brothers, inspired by Edmund Rice, all around the world. These brothers have spread out over 28 different countries (Edmund Rice Businessman Thirsting for Justice, 2014). His organisation since then has changed many people’s lives from all around the world. His organisation provides free education, clothing, and food. He is still remembered today as a leader and role model to many since he and his organisation have done marvellous things for the poor.
- For further information please check : HERE
World Day of Prayer for Vocations 2022
The purpose of World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publicly fulfil the Lord’s instruction to, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). As a climax to a prayer that is continually offered throughout the Church, it affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life. While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries (priesthood and diaconate), consecrated life in all its forms (male and female religious life, societies of apostolic life, consecrated virginity), secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life. 2022 marks the 59th Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations
Vocation means ‘Call’
As Catholics, we believe God calls individuals to fulfil certain roles in the Church, both for their own holiness, and the good of the entire Body of Christ.
HOLINESS IS OUR COMMON GOAL
Holiness is everyone’s primary vocation. Holiness means trying to be like Jesus. It means being a “whole” person: striving for virtue, avoiding sin, and living a life of love.
After the decision to follow Christ and seriously pursue holiness, your vocation is the most important decision in life.
Most people are called to marriage—to wholeheartedly love their spouses and to joyfully welcome children.
The purpose of marriage is for a man and woman to help each other get to heaven, and to teach their children to do the same. Like any vocation, marriage must be discerned, not assumed.
Both men and women can join religious orders such as the Franciscans, Dominicans, Benedictines, etc. The life and work of religious orders varies greatly—some are primarily devoted to prayer; others work actively in schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc.
Common to all religious orders are the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
Priests bring Jesus to people and people to Jesus through preaching and the sacraments. Priests are very active as they counsel people, teach classes, prepare homilies, administer parishes, and much more.
Many surveys show that priests are among the happiest people in the world! Deacons, too, share in the sacrament of Holy Orders.
DEDICATED SINGLE LIFE
Some people serve God as single people, without marrying or making special vows. While not a “vocation” in a strict theological sense, single people “contribute greatly to the good of the human family” (CCC 2231).
“Some live their situation in the spirit of the Beatitudes, serving God and neighbor in exemplary fashion” (CCC 1658). There are many single people who serve the Church with incredible generosity.
Our Lady of Fatima / Féile Mhuire Fatima
Today, the 13th day of May, is the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima. It was on this day that the Blessed Virgin Mary started her series of apparition to three shepherd children in the small village of Fatima in Portugal in 1917. Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children–Francisco and Jacinta Marto and their cousin Lucia dos Santos–received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. 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. Following the deaths of Francisco and Jacinta in 1919 and 1920 respectively, Lucia revealed the first secret in 1927. It concerned devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The second secret was a vision of hell. When Lucia grew up, she became a Carmelite nun and died in 2005 at the age of 97.
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 vision 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.
- For further information from Franciscan Media CLICK HERE
- An article on how Fatima is relevant today can be sourced HERE
However this is just one of many articles who find that Fatima is relevant today more than ever.
- A documentary on the apparitions can be viewed HERE which is 28 minutes long with actually pictures.
Pope consecrates Russia & Ukraine: ‘Spiritual act of trust amid cruel war’
Pope Francis consecrates all Humanity—especially Russia and Ukraine—to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and says the act expresses our complete trust in the Virgin Mary in the midst of the “cruel and senseless war” in Ukraine.
Pope Francis presided over the annual “24 Hours for the Lord” Lenten penitential service in St. Peter’s Basilica on Friday evening, as the Church marked the feast of the Annunciation.
Toward the end of the liturgy, the Pope prayed the Act of Consecration of humanity, especially of Russia and Ukraine, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
He prayed the Act in communion with all Catholic Bishops across the globe, as the Papal Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, did the same at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, in Portugal.
The Pope’s renewal of the Consecration came in response to the war in Ukraine and at the request of the Blessed Virgin Mary made in an apparition at Fatima on 13 July 1917.
Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle and Martyr / Féile Naomh Maitias
Saint Matthias’ Story
According to Acts 1:15-26, during the days after the Ascension Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers—about 120 of Jesus’ followers. Now that Judas had betrayed his ministry, it was necessary, Peter said, to fulfil the scriptural recommendation that another should take his office. “Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22). They nominated two men: Joseph Barsabbas and Matthias. They prayed and drew lots. The choice fell upon Matthias, who was added to the Eleven. Matthias is not mentioned by name anywhere else in the New Testament.
- For further information check out: CLICK HERE
St. Rita / Naomh Ríta
Saint Rita of Cascia’s Story
Rita of Cascia was a wife, mother, widow, and member of a religious community. Her holiness was reflected in each phase of her life.
Born at Roccaporena in central Italy, Rita wanted to become a nun but was pressured at a young age into marrying a harsh and cruel man. During her 18-year marriage, she bore and raised two sons. After her husband was killed in a brawl and her sons had died, Rita tried to join the Augustinian nuns in Cascia. Unsuccessful at first because she was a widow, Rita eventually succeeded.
Over the years, her austerity, prayerfulness, and charity became legendary. When she developed wounds on her forehead, people quickly associated them with the wounds from Christ’s crown of thorns. She meditated frequently on Christ’s passion. Her care for the sick nuns was especially loving. She also counselled lay people who came to her monastery.
Beatified in 1626, Rita was not canonized until 1900. She has acquired the reputation, together with Saint Jude, as a saint of impossible cases. Many people visit her tomb each year.
- For further information check out : HERE
International Day of Families
2022 Theme: Families and Urbanization
Urbanization is one of the most important megatrends shaping our world and the life and wellbeing of families worldwide.
Sustainable urbanization is related to the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, such as SDG-1 (Poverty eradication); SDG-3 (Good health and well-being); SDG-11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable); and SDG-10 (Reduce inequality within and among countries). These SDGs and their targets depend on how well urbanization is managed towards benefitting families and enhancing the well-being of all generations living in cities.
This year’s theme, “Families and Urbanization”, aims to raise awareness on the importance of sustainable, family-friendly urban policies.
Sustainable urban development — related links
- United Nations System-wide Strategy on Sustainable Urban Development
- UN Chronicle: Addressing the Sustainable Urbanization Challenge
- World Cities Report 2020: The Value of Sustainable Urbanization
- For ideas of things to do on the day just click HERE
World Bee Day: Bee engaged : build Back Better for Bees
The fourth observance of World Bee Day will be celebrated with a virtual event organized by the FAO on 20 May 2021 under the theme “Bee engaged – Build Back Better for Bees”.
The event will call for global cooperation and solidarity to counter the threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to food security and agricultural livelihoods alongside prioritizing environmental regeneration and pollinator protection. It will be an occasion to raise awareness of how everyone can make a difference to support, restore and enhance the role of pollinators.
Join the event on the 20th of May 2021 at 13:00 (CEST) and follow the conversations on social media using the hashtags #WorldBeeDay #Savethebees !
For more information on how to save the bees visit HERE
St. Augustine of Canterbury / Agaistín Canterbury
St. Augustine was born in Rome and died in Canterbury, England, in 604. When Pope Gregory I heard that the pagans of Britain were disposed to accept the Christian Faith, he sent the prior of St. Andrew, Augustine, and forty of his Benedictine brethren to England. Despite the great difficulties involved in the task assigned to him, Augustine and his monks obeyed. The success of their preaching was immediate. King Ethelbert was baptized on Pentecost Sunday, 596, and the greater part of the nobles and people soon followed his example. St. Augustine died as the first Archbishop of Canterbury.
- For further info check this LINK
The Ascension of the Lord / Déardaoin Deascabhála
Traditionally the Ascension of Our Lord was held 40 days after Easter, falling on a Thursday. However in most dioceses, the observance of the Solemnity of the Ascension is moved to the following Sunday, superseding the 7th Sunday of Easter.
Mass Readings for the Ascension of the Lord First Reading – Acts 1:1-11: “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 47: “God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.”
- Second Reading – Ephesians 1:17-23: “And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.”
- Alternate Second Reading – Hebrews 9:24-28; 10:19-23: “Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf.”
- Gospel – Luke 24:46-53: “As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God.”
Themes for the Ascension of the Lord
The readings for the The Ascension of the Lord encourage us to be witnesses for Jesus Christ, just as the early Christians were. In the first reading the ascension of Jesus is recounted and the Apostles are told they will receive the Holy Spirit. In the second reading we hear that Jesus Christ rules heaven and earth. In the alternate second reading we learn that Jesus Christ died for all people. And in the gospel, after Jesus ascends to heaven, the disciples can be found in the temple praising God.
- Going out to the world
- Getting out of our comfort zones
The Ascension does not mark the end of Jesus’ relationship with His Church but the beginning of a new way of His relating to the world – in and through His Church. This way includes every one of us who now bear His name. When viewed with the eyes of living faith the Ascension can begin to change the way we view ourselves and live our daily lives.
The Ascension invites us to reflect on who Jesus is – and who we are empowered to become in Him, beginning now and opening up into the life to come. He is indeed the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (John 14:6) The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord Jesus helps to explain the Christian vocation and unveils the horizon which opens before us as we continue to live our lives now in this Way called Christianity. (Acts 9:2, 11:26) It points to the ongoing plan of redemption for each of us. It gives us a glimpse of the loving plan of God for the whole of creation. This Feast also points us toward a deeper understanding of the Feast of Pentecost which we will soon celebrate. The very Breath of God, His Holy Spirit, has been breathed into the Body of Christ, the Church – and into each one of us as members of that Body.
- For more information and resources from Young Catholics click HERE
- For more information on this feast day just click HERE
- A wonderful depiction of the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven in a 1.30min video can be viewed HERE it is quite powerful!
St. Joan of Arc
Saint Joan of Arc’s Story
Burned at the stake as a heretic after a politically motivated trial, Joan was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.
Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux southeast of Paris, Joan was only 12 when she experienced a vision and heard voices that she later identified as Saints Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, and Margaret of Antioch. During the Hundred Years War, Joan led French troops against the English and recaptured the cities of Orléans and Troyes. This enabled Charles VII to be crowned as king in Reims in 1429. Captured near Compiegne the following year, Joan was sold to the English and placed on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Professors at the University of Paris supported Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvis, the judge at her trial; Cardinal Henry Beaufort of Winchester, England, participated in the questioning of Joan in prison. In the end, she was condemned for wearing men’s clothes. The English resented France’s military success–to which Joan contributed.
On this day in 1431, Joan was burned at the stake in Rouen, and her ashes were scattered in the Seine River. A second Church trial 25 years later nullified the earlier verdict, which was reached under political pressure.
Remembered by most people for her military exploits, Joan had a great love for the sacraments, which strengthened her compassion toward the poor. Popular devotion to her increased greatly in 19th-century France and later among French soldiers during World War I. Theologian George Tavard writes that her life “offers a perfect example of the conjunction of contemplation and action” because her spiritual insight is that there should be a “unity of heaven and earth.”
- To find out more check out this link: HERE
- For an animation of the story of Joan of Arc click HERE (some of the film clips are too graphic I think!)
Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Story of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This is a fairly late feast, going back only to the 13th or 14th century. It was established widely throughout the Church to pray for unity. The present date of celebration was set in 1969, in order to follow the Annunciation of the Lord and precede the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist.
Like most feasts of Mary, it is closely connected with Jesus and his saving work. The more visible actors in the visitation drama (see Luke 1:39-45) are Mary and Elizabeth. However, Jesus and John the Baptist steal the scene in a hidden way. Jesus makes John leap with joy—the joy of messianic salvation. Elizabeth, in turn, is filled with the Holy Spirit and addresses words of praise to Mary—words that echo down through the ages.
It is helpful to recall that we do not have a journalist’s account of this meeting. Rather Luke, speaking for the Church, gives a prayerful poet’s rendition of the scene. Elizabeth’s praise of Mary as “the mother of my Lord” can be viewed as the earliest Church’s devotion to Mary. As with all authentic devotion to Mary, Elizabeth’s (the Church’s) words first praise God for what God has done to Mary. Only secondly does she praise Mary for trusting God’s words.
Then comes the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Here, Mary herself—like the Church—traces all her greatness to God.
For further info check : HERE