President Duda makes pilgrimage to Marian shrine
The newly re-elected Polish President, Andrzej Duda, has made a pilgrimage to the nation’s most beloved Marian shrine in order to give thanks to the Blessed Virgin Mary for his election victory in last week’s presidential elections. President Duda visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa in southern Poland on Monday, the same day he was declared the victor in a tightly contested national election.
Statue of Blessed Virgin Mary beheaded
A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been beheaded by vandals in the city of Chattanooga in Tennessee. The Marian statue stands outside St. Stephen Parish in Chattanooga. The incident occurred over the weekend, the same timeframe which also saw statues of Our Lady vandalized in both Boston and New York.
Pope makes Saint Junipero’s church “minor basilica”
Pope Francis has elevated a Californian mission church founded by the 18th century missionary, Saint Junipero Serra, to the rank of a minor basilica. The Mission San Buenaventura thus becomes the first basilica within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The Papal decision was announced to parishioners during Holy Mass on July 15, the Feast of St. Bonaventure, by Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles. He said the elevation to minor basilica, is a recognition “that something beautiful and important in the history of salvation happened here.”
Eucharistic miracle claims following church fire
A miracle is being claimed after a ciborium containing consecrated hosts survived a blaze which destroyed one of Manila’s most historic churches. Fire broke out within the Santo Niño Church just after 1pm on Friday. By the time it was extinguished, the interior of the 288-year-old church had gutted and yet when the ciborium or sacred vessel containing the sacred hosts was located and opened — the hosts inside were found to be unscathed by the flames. The parish priest, Father Sanny de Claroon, described the discovery as “the biggest miracle”.
Archbishop Villegas announces 21 days of prayer for “national healing’’
One of the Philippines’ most senior clerics has declared 21 days of prayer for “national healing” in the midst of pandemic and social unrest across the East Asian country. Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan has instructed all his priests to pray an Act of Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary and a Prayer for National Healing after Holy Communion during each Mass. In a letter to his clergy and lay faithful, Archbishop Villegas claims that the current problems facing the Philippines are the result of rebellion against God and, hence, the time has come to repent in search of national healing.
Date set for martyred nun’s beatification
It’s been announced that the Italian religious sister killed by three teenage girls in a satanic ritual 20 years ago is to be beatified on June 6th next year. 60-year-old Sister Maria Laura Mainetti was stabbed to death in a park in the town of Chiavenna in the northern region of Lombardy back in June 2000. Her three assailants repeatedly stabbed Sister Maria who, it is said, prayed for her killers throughout the fatal attack. In fact, her last words, according to some accounts of her death, were “Lord, forgive them.” The three girls were subsequently imprisoned for their crimes.
Archbishop: Politics “outstanding form of charity”
Politics is an outstanding form of charity. That was the message of the Archbishop of Seoul as he celebrated Holy Mass for the Catholic congressmen and women of South Korea’s National Assembly. During his homily, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-Jung suggested that the recent COVID-19 pandemic has helped people to realize the vulnerability and helplessness of human beings. Thus, he urged those politicians present to uphold Catholic values in caring for the poor and the weak. In total, 43 Catholic members of congress were present at Holy Mass along with some staff members of the national legislature.
ACN releases life stories of Christian martyrs
The Pontifical Charity, Aid to the Church in Need, have launched a global campaign highlighting the lives – and deaths – of six contemporary Christians who, they propose, have given their lives for their Christian faith. Entitled, “Modern Martyrs – Heroes of the Faith,’ the initiative is the brainchild of Aid to the Church in Need, Australia. The Christians highlighted are: Bishop Stefano Li Side from China; Fr. Ragheed Ganni from Iraq; Fr. Frans van der Lugt from Syria; Akash Bashir from Pakistan; Sarah Yohanna Madaki from Nigeria; and Blessed Sr. Leonella Sgorbati from Somalia.