Pope Francis arrives to celebrate Mass at Rizal Park in Manila (AP)
Pope Francis celebrates feast of the Santo Niño in Rizal Park, Manila
More than six million people have attended what is thought to be the largest papal Mass in history in Manila.
Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said Filipino authorities estimated that between six and seven million attended the Mass in Rizal Park on the last full day of the Pope’s four-day visit to Asia’s largest Catholic nation.
“We are not able to count all these people, obviously, or to verify this, but in any case, we have seen so many people that we believe that it is possible,” Fr Lombardi said during a briefing, according to Reuters.
“If this is true, and we think it is, this is the largest event in the history of the popes.”
Celebrating the feast of the Santo Niño, or Holy Child, Francis described the Christ Child as “the protector of this great country”.
He said: “When he came into the world, his very life was threatened by a corrupt king. Jesus himself needed to be protected. He had an earthly protector: St Joseph. He had an earthly family, the Holy Family of Nazareth. So he reminds us of the importance of protecting our families, and those larger families which are the Church, God’s family, and the world, our human family.
“Sadly, in our day, the family all too often needs to be protected against insidious attacks and programmes contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture.”
The full text of Pope Francis’s homily at Rizal Park in Manila:
“A child is born to us, a son is given us” (Is 9:5). It is a special joy for me to celebrate Santo Niño Sunday with you. The image of the Holy Child Jesus accompanied the spread of the Gospel in this country from the beginning. Dressed in the robes of a king, crowned and holding the sceptre, the globe and the cross, he continues to remind us of the link between God’s Kingdom and the mystery of spiritual childhood. He tells us this in today’s Gospel: “Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it” (Mk 10:15). The Santo Niño continues to proclaim to us that the light of God’s grace has shone upon a world dwelling in darkness, bringing the Good News of our freedom from slavery, and guiding us in the paths of peace, right and justice. The Santo Niño also reminds us of our call to spread the reign of Christ throughout the world.
In these days, throughout my visit, I have listened to you sing the song: “We are all God’s children.” That is what the Santo Niño tells us. He reminds us of our deepest identity. All of us are God’s children, members of God’s family. Today Saint Paul has told us that in Christ we have become God’s adopted children, brothers and sisters in Christ. This is who we are. This is our identity. We saw a beautiful expression of this when Filipinos rallied around our brothers and sisters affected by the typhoon.
The Apostle tells us that because God chose us, we have been richly blessed! God “has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens” (Eph 1:3). These words have a special resonance in the Philippines, for it is the foremost Catholic country in Asia; this is itself a special gift of God, a special blessing. But it is also a vocation. Filipinos are called to be outstanding missionaries of the faith in Asia.
God chose and blessed us for a purpose: to be holy and blameless in his sight (Eph 1:4). He chose us, each of us to be witnesses of his truth and his justice in this world. He created the world as a beautiful garden and asked us to care for it. But through sin, man has disfigured that natural beauty; through sin, man has also destroyed the unity and beauty of our human family, creating social structures which perpetuate poverty, ignorance and corruption.
Sometimes, when we see the troubles, difficulties and wrongs all around us, we are tempted to give up. It seems that the promises of the Gospel do not apply; they are unreal. But the Bible tells us that the great threat to God’s plan for us is, and always has been, the lie. The devil is the father of lies. Often he hides his snares behind the appearance of sophistication, the allure of being “modern”, “like everyone else.” He distracts us with the promise of ephemeral pleasures, superficial pastimes. And so we squander our God-given gifts by tinkering with gadgets; we squander our money on gambling and drink; we turn in on ourselves. We forget to remain focused on the things that really matter. We forget to remain, at heart, children of God. That is sin: [to] forget at heart that we are children of God. For children, as the Lord tells us, have their own wisdom, which is not the wisdom of the world. That is why the message of the Santo Niño is so important. He speaks powerfully to all of us. He reminds us of our deepest identity, of what we are called to be as God’s family.
The Santo Niño also reminds us that this identity must be protected. The Christ Child is the protector of this great country. When he came into the world, his very life was threatened by a corrupt king. Jesus himself needed to be protected. He had an earthly protector: Saint Joseph. He had an earthly family, the Holy Family of Nazareth. So he reminds us of the importance of protecting our families, and those larger families which are the Church, God’s family, and the world, our human family. Sadly, in our day, the family all too often needs to be protected against insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture.
In the Gospel, Jesus welcomes children, he embraces them and blesses them (Mk 10:16). We too need to protect, guide and encourage our young people, helping them to build a society worthy of their great spiritual and cultural heritage. Specifically, we need to see each child as a gift to be welcomed, cherished and protected. And we need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemned to life on the streets.
It was a frail child, in need of protection, who brought God’s goodness, mercy and justice into the world. He resisted the dishonesty and corruption which are the legacy of sin, and he triumphed over them by the power of his Cross. Now, at the end of my visit to the Philippines, I commend you to him, to Jesus who came among us as a child. May he enable all the beloved people of this country to work together, protecting one another, beginning with your families and communities, in building a world of justice, integrity and peace. May the Santo Niño continue to bless the Philippines and may he sustain the Christians of this great nation in their vocation to be witnesses and missionaries of the joy of the Gospel, in Asia and in the whole world.
Please don’t forget to pray for me! God bless you!
Our Lady's Monthly Message From Medjugorje to Marija
Dear children! Also today I am calling all of you to prayer. You cannot live without prayer, because prayer is a chain which brings you closer to God. Therefore, little children, in humility of heart return to God and to His commandments so that with all of your heart you are able to say: as it is in Heaven so may it be on earth. You, little children, are free to, in freedom, decide for God or against Him. See where Satan wants to pull you into sin and slavery. Therefore, little children, return to my heart so that I can lead you to my Son Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Our Lady's 2nd of the month, Monthly Message To Mirjana
Dear children, I have called you and am calling you anew to come to know my Son, to come to know the truth. I am with you and am praying for you to succeed. My children, you must pray much in order to have all the more love and patience; to know how to endure sacrifice and to be poor in spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, my Son is always with you. His Church is born in every heart that comes to know Him. Pray that you can come to know my Son; pray that your soul may be one with Him. That is the prayer and the love which draws others and makes you my apostles. I am looking at you with love, with a motherly love. I know you; I know your pain and sorrows, because I also suffered in silence. My faith gave me love and hope. I repeat, the Resurrection of my Son and my Assumption into Heaven is hope and love for you. Therefore, my children, pray to come to know the truth; to have firm faith which will lead your heart and which will transform your pain and sufferings into love and hope. Thank you.
Pray for Priests
ADOPT A PRIEST IN PRAYER
Could you find in your heart to adopt a priest and pray for him daily?
In a letter Benedict XVI expressed his satisfaction for the campaign for Eucharistic adoration and spiritual "maternity" for the sanctification of the world's priests. The campaign calls especially for "women consecrated" to spiritually adopt priests to help them, through their self-offering, prayer, and penance. It is hoped that through this initiative there will rise up to God from every corner of the earth an incessant prayer of adoration, thanksgiving, praise, supplication and reparation, so as to give rise to a sufficient number of holy vocations to the priesthood.
Prayer for Priests
Lord Jesus, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and living perpetually among us through Your Priests, grant that the words of Your Priests may be only Your words, that their gestures be only Your gestures, and that their lives be a true reflection of Your life. Grant that they may be men who speak to God on behalf of His people, and speak to His people of God. Grant that they be courageous in service, serving the Church as she asks to be served. Grant that they may be men who witness to eternity in our time, traveling on the paths of history in Your steps, and doing good for all. Grant that they may be faithful to their commitments, zealous in their vocation and mission, clear mirrors of their own identity, and living the joy of the gift they have received. We pray that Your Holy Mother, Mary, present throughout Your life, may be ever present in the life of Your Priests. Amen.
*Fr. John Randall, age 82 entered into eternal life on June 15, 2011, but the Body of Christ Prayer Meeting will continue every Thursday evening as before. May he rest in the peace of Christ.
Charismatic Body of Christ Meetingevery Thursday evening starting at 7:00 p.m. at Saint Charles Borromeo Church, 178 Dexter Street, Providence, R.I. 02907- Tel-401-421-6441
LIFE IN THE SPIRIT SEMINARSare also available in English and Spanish to anyone who wishes to attend. All are invited to come and join us for an evening of prayer, witnessing and healing, beginning with the celebration of the Holy Mass.
DVD of Divine Mercy Weekend with Fr. Randall, at Our Lady of LaSalette Shrine. To Obtain copy of this event call (508) 236-9068
FATHER JOHN RANDALL IS THE AUTHOR OF:
In God's Providence - The Birth of a Catholic Charismatic Parish
The Book of Revelation: What Does It Really Say?
Wisdom Instructs Her Children: The Power of the Spirit and the Word
Mary, Barrier or Bridge?
Pope John Paul Scriptural Rosary (20 decades)
Spiritual Warfare, The Twenty-First Decade
*Fr. Randall's last published book,- No Spirit, No Church,- is available at all Catholic Book Stores in Rhode Island or
order on Amazon.
*Father John J. Randall's New Rosary Prayer Book has been reprinted with a hard cover with his picture on the cover.
It also contains the Novana to the Holy Spirit and the Divine Mercy chaplet. It is being sold at Saint Charles Borromeo Church, 178 Dexter Street, Providence, R.I Tel-401-421-6441 at the cost price of $4:00 - Also available at Gabriel's Trumpet book store at 477 Washington Street, Coventry, R.I. Tel: 401-823-4884
You can also call Saint Charles Rectory at 401-421-6441
Fr. Joe Whalen, M.S.
Archangel St. Raphael Holy Healing Ministry - Click on photo...
Fr. Joseph Whalen is the founder of Archangel St. Raphael Holy Healing Ministry. He retired in 2014 at the age of 91. He has spent his entire priesthood witnessing to Christ's healing presence. Please keep him in your prayers.
August 8th 2016 Fr. Joe Whalen has gone to his eternal rest. His legacy and love for this Ministry that he founded will continue. We now have a powerful intercessor in heaven!