100,000 views for my blog! Thanks to all the visitors and Praise be to God!

As of last Sunday, 7 July 2014, my blog has reached its 100,000th view by visitors from different parts of the world. I thank all those who had spent their time to come and read what I had published in this blog.

May God be with us all, bless us and guide us always. And may He guide me and bless me so that I can continue to write, to publish and to work for His greater glory.

 

Blog world map - 13 July 2014

 

Blog statistics (as of Sunday, 13 July 2014) :

Total views : 106,903

Total visitors : 64,237
Statistics by countries (views) – 104,780 views tabulated

1. United States of America (USA) : 30,179

2. Philippines : 19,667

3. Singapore : 17,364

4. United Kingdom (UK) : 6,318

5. Canada : 3,583

6. India : 2,801

7. Australia : 2,675

8. Italy : 1,850

9. Ireland : 1,385

10. Germany : 1,233

11. Malaysia : 1,059

12. Indonesia : 1,028

13. Hong Kong (SAR of China) : 871

14. France : 861

15. South Africa : 798

16. Poland : 688

17. Nigeria : 654

18. Kenya : 530

19. New Zealand : 520

20. Japan : 493

21. Netherlands : 464

22. United Arab Emirates : 400

23. Brazil : 378

24. Belgium : 338

25. Spain : 312

26. Thailand : 289

27. Malta : 275

28. Trinidad and Tobago : 272

29. Ghana : 260

30. Switzerland : 249

31. Saudi Arabia : 245

32. Uganda : 238

33. Vietnam : 233

34. Sri Lanka : 223

35. Austria : 211

36. Portugal : 210

37. Sweden : 208

38. Hungary : 205

39. Mexico : 195

40. Pakistan : 193

41. Republic of Korea (South Korea) : 184

42. Croatia : 177

43. Tanzania : 163

44. Republic of China (Taiwan) : 153

45. Israel : 141

46. Greece : 136

47. Finland : 134

48. Norway : 132

49. Argentina : 130

50. Romania : 128

51. Cameroon : 123

52. Czech Republic : 122

53. Russian Federation (Russia) : 116

54. Colombia : 114

55. Slovakia : 112

56. Lithuania : 99

57. Guam (USA) : 93

58. Jamaica : 87

59. Zimbabwe : 84

60. Barbados : 80

61. Qatar : 77

62. Vatican City (Holy See) : 76

63. Slovenia : 76

64. Turkey : 74

65. Zambia : 69

66. Botswana : 67

67. Puerto Rico (USA) : 61

68. Lebanon : 53

69. Bulgaria : 49

70. Panama : 48

71. Denmark : 48

72. Peru : 46

73. Kuwait : 45

74. Namibia : 44

75. Chile : 42

76. Macau (SAR of China) : 42

77. St. Vincent and the Grenadines : 40

78. Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) : 39

79. Fiji : 37

80. Papua New Guinea : 35

81. Mauritius : 34

82. Ukraine : 34

83. Grenada : 34

84. Cyprus : 34

85. Bangladesh : 33

86. Malawi : 33

87. Egypt : 32

88. Albania : 31

89. Bahamas : 31

90. Bahrain : 29

91. Senegal : 26

92. Cambodia : 26

93. Bosnia and Herzegovina : 26

94. Paraguay : 24

95. Serbia : 24

96. Costa Rica : 24

97. Brunei Darussalam : 23

98. Dominica : 22

99. Venezuela : 22

100. Saint Lucia : 22

101. El Salvador : 21

102. Antigua and Barbuda : 21

103. Latvia : 20

104. Dominican Republic : 20

105. Jordan : 20

106. American Samoa (USA) : 20

107. Belize : 20

108. Guatemala : 19

109. Rwanda : 18

110. Tonga : 17

111. Ethiopia : 17

112. Oman : 17

113. Aruba (Netherlands) : 17

114. Myanmar (Burma) : 17

115. Federated States of Micronesia : 16

116. Morocco : 15

117. Bermuda (UK) : 14

118. Honduras : 13

119. Guyana : 13

120. Luxembourg : 13

121. Northern Mariana Islands (USA) : 12

122. Gibraltar (UK) : 12

123. British Virgin Islands (UK) : 11

124. Estonia : 11

125. Yemen : 11

126. Bolivia : 10

127. Belarus : 10

128. Seychelles : 10

129. Marshall Islands : 9

130. Nicaragua : 9

131. Mozambique : 9

132. Virgin Islands (USA) : 9

133. Nepal : 9

134. Jersey (UK) : 8

135. Iraq : 8

136. Armenia : 8

137. Turks and Caicos Islands (UK) : 7

138. Djibouti : 7

139. Uruguay : 7

140. Haiti : 7

141. Burundi : 7

142. Madagascar : 7

143. Ecuador : 7

144. Moldova : 6

145. Samoa : 6

146. Maldives : 6

147. Liberia : 6

148. Sierra Leone : 5

149. Tunisia : 5

150. Guernsey (UK) : 5

151. French Guiana (France) : 4

152. Uzbekistan : 4

153. Gambia : 4

154. Saint Kitts and Nevis : 4

155. Libya : 4

156. Cayman Islands (UK) : 4

157. Benin : 4

158. Liechtenstein : 4

159. Cook Islands (UK) : 4

160. Swaziland : 4

161. Timor-Leste (East Timor) : 4

162. Azerbaijan : 3

163. Solomon Islands : 3

164. Macedonia : 3

165. Laos : 3

166. Burkina Faso : 3

167. Lesotho : 3

168. Sudan : 3

169. Monaco : 3

170. French Polynesia (France) : 3

171. Iceland : 2

172. Togo : 2

173. Palestine : 2

174. Martinique : 2

175. Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire) : 2

176. Equatorial Guinea : 2

177. Isle of Man (UK) : 2

178. Georgia : 1

179. Faroe Islands (Denmark) : 1

180. Greenland (Denmark) : 1

181. Iran : 1

182. New Caledonia : 1

183. Afghanistan : 1

184. Mongolia : 1

185. Montenegro : 1

186. Kazakhstan : 1

187. Suriname : 1

188. People’s Republic of China (China) : 1

189. Kiribati : 1

New Cardinals and their assigned Churches in Rome, Consistory of 22 February 2014

On the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, on Saturday, 22 February 2014, the Vicar of Christ and Bishop of Rome, Leader of the Universal Church, Pope Francis elevates 19 new Cardinals to the Cardinalate by the bestowal of the red biretta, 15 of which are of the order of priests (Cardinal Priests) and 4 of which are of the order of deacons (Cardinal Deacons).

3 of the new Cardinals are non-electors, being above the age of 80, appointed purely as honorary Cardinals for their service to the Church, and the other 16 Cardinals are voting-age Cardinals (below 80), and will be eligible to vote for the next Pope in the next Conclave until they reach the age of 80.

The College of Cardinals now stands at 218 members, with 122 Cardinal-electors and 96 Cardinal non-electors as of 22 February 2014.

In total, 2 new Cardinal churches in Rome are created, 1 for Cardinal Titular church and 1 for Cardinal deaconry.There are as of now, 0 vacant Cardinal Title, and 6 vacant Cardinal Deaconries.

 

Cardinal Deaconries :

1. Pietro Cardinal Parolin, Cardinal Secretary of State

Cardinal Deaconry of Ss. Simone e Giuda Taddeo e Torre Angela (New Deaconry)

 

2. Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops and College of Cardinals

Cardinal Deaconry of S. Anselmo all’Aventino

 

3. Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Cardinal Deaconry of S. Agnese in Agone

 

4. Beniamino Cardinal Stella, Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy

Cardinal Deaconry of Ss. Cosma e Damiano

 

Cardinal Titles :

1. Vincent Gerard Cardinal Nichols, Metropolitan Archbishop of Westminster (UK)

Cardinal Title of Ss. Redentore e S. Alfonso in Via Merulana

 

2. Leopoldo Jose Cardinal Brenes Solorzano, Metropolitan Archbishop of Managua (Nicaragua)

Cardinal Title of S. Gioacchino ai Prati di Castello

 

3. Gerald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix, Metropolitan Archbishop of Quebec (Canada)

Cardinal Title of Giuseppe all’Aurelio

 

4. Jean-Pierre Cardinal Kutwa, Metropolitan Archbishop of Abidjan (Ivory Coast/Cote d’Ivoire)

Cardinal Title of S. Emerenziana a Tor Fiorenza

 

5. Orani Joao Cardinal Tempesta, Metropolitan Archbishop of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Cardinal Title of S. Maria Madre della Provvidenza e Monte Verde

 

6. Gualtiero Cardinal Bassetti, Metropolitan Archbishop of Perugia-Citta della Pieve (Italy)

Cardinal Title of S. Cecilia

 

7. Mario Aurelio Cardinal Poli, Metropolitan Archbishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Cardinal Title of S. Roberto Bellarmino

 

8. Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung, Metropolitan Archbishop of Seoul (South Korea)

Cardinal Title of S. Crisogono

 

9. Ricardo Cardinal Ezzati Andrello, Metropolitan Archbishop of Santiago (Chile)

Cardinal Title of Ss. Redentore a Valmelaina

 

10. Philippe Nakellentuba Cardinal Ouedraogo, Metropolitan Archbishop of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)

Cardinal Title of S. Marie Consolatrice al Tiburtino

 

11. Orlando Beltran Cardinal Quevedo, Metropolitan Archbishop of Cotabato (Philippines)

Cardinal Title of S. Maria ‘Regina Mundi’ a Torre Spaccata

 

12. Chibly Cardinal Langlois, Bishop of Les Cayes (Haiti)

Cardinal Title of S. Giacomo in Augusta (New Title)

 

13. Loris Francesco Cardinal Capovilla, Titular Archbishop of Mesembria, Personal Secretary to Blessed Pope John XXIII

Cardinal Title of S. Maria in Trastevere

 

14. Fernando Cardinal Sebastian Aguilar,  Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Pamplona y Tudela (Spain)

Cardinal Title of S. Angela Merici

 

15. Kelvin Cardinal Edward Felix,  Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Castries (Saint Lucia)

Cardinal Title of S. Maria della Salute a Primavalle

19 Cardinals to be created at the Consistory of 22 February 2014

On Sunday, 12 January 2014, at the Angelus of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Pope Francis announced that 19 new Cardinals will be created at the consistory planned to be held on the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, 22 February 2014.

 

Here are the names of the new Cardinals or Cardinal-elects, and some short explanation on them :

1. Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Secretary of the Secretariat of State – 58 (Age)

1272287

Being the highest position in the Church just below that of the Pope himself, Archbishop Parolin as the Secretariat of State is a certain candidate for the Cardinalate to be made at this consistory, and the position itself is explicitly stated to have to be held by a Cardinal (As Cardinal Secretary of State)

 

2. Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops – 73

images

Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri is also the Secretary of the College of Cardinals and therefore was the Secretary of the Conclave that elected Pope Francis on 13 March 2013.

It was reported and confirmed by sighting that the Pope had placed his own red zucchetto (skullcap) on the head of Archbishop Baldisseri, which by ancient custom (last used by Blessed Pope John XXIII on the Secretary of that time, Monsignor Alberto di Jorio in 1958) mark that the new Pope wants to bestow the red hat on the prelate. Hence, the elevation of Archbishop Baldisseri is pretty much certain.

 

3. Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – 66

Muller

As the Prefect of a Congregation, and one as important as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith once held by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he was elected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller is a certain candidate for the Cardinalate, and sure enough, he is one of the 19 appointed.

 

4. Archbishop Beniamino Stella, Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy – 72

Stella

Similar with Archbishop Muller, as the Prefect of an important Roman Curia Congregation, Archbishop Stella is a certain candidate for the Cardinalate, and as a recent appointee by Pope Francis, this made his elevation very certain indeed.

 

5. Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Metropolitan Archbishop of Westminster (United Kingdom) – 68

BRITAIN-RELIGION-ARCHISHOP-WESTMINSTER

With the problems that affected Cardinal Keith O’Brien early of last year and his retirement, the United Kingdom has no leading figure, which Archbishop Vincent Nichols, as the Archbishop of Westminster, the Primatial See of the United Kingdom as the obvious choice for the Cardinalate.

 

6. Archbishop Leopoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano, Metropolitan Archbishop of Managua (Nicaragua) – 64

Solorzano

As his predecessor was made Cardinal in 1985, and had been 7 years as a non-elector, it was natural that Archbishop Solorzano is made a Cardinal, representing the Central American region.

 

7. Archbishop Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, I.S.P.X., Metropolitan Archbishop of Quebec (Canada) – 56

gerald_cyprien_lacroix.jpg.size.xxlarge.promo

The second youngest of the newly appointed Cardinals, as the Primate of Canada by virtue of being the Prelate of Quebec, it is natural for Archbishop Lacroix to be appointed Cardinal. His predecessor, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, is the current Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and was a leading papabili of the 2013 Papal Conclave.

 

8. Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa, Metropolitan Archbishop of Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire / Ivory Coast) – 68

Jean-Pierre Kutwa

With two of his immediate predecessors made Cardinals in 1983 and 2001 respectively, Archbishop Kutwa had a high chance of being appointed Cardinal. His appointment is a nod to the Church in Africa, a growing community of the faithful, one with the Universal Church.

 

9. Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta, O. Cist., Metropolitan Archbishop of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – 63

Dom Orani João Tempesta

As the head of a Cardinalatial see, with all five of his immediate predecessors made Cardinals, and with the limelight gained from the 2013 World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Archbishop Tempesta is a certain candidate for the Cardinalate.

 

10. Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti, Metropolitan Archbishop of Perugia-Citta della Pieve (Italy) – 71

Bassetti

His long ago predecessor, Cardinal Vincenzo Gioacchino Pecci was elected Pope Leo XIII in 1878. Since then Perugia had had no Cardinal. This elevation of Archbishop Bassetti to the Cardinalate would honour the memory of Pope Leo XIII and give chance to other Italian Archdioceses to get the red hat besides the major, Cardinalate ones. Archbishop Bassetti is also known for his pastoral nature and hard work for his Archdiocese.

 

11. Archbishop Mario Aurelio Poli, Metropolitan Archbishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina) – 66

20130327134808

As the successor of Pope Francis as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Archbishop Poli is a natural and certain choice for the Cardinalate.

 

12. Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Metropolitan Archbishop of Seoul (South Korea) – 70

20120625000388_0

Among the three great Asian nations known for their Cardinals, namely Hong Kong (China), South Korea, and the Philippines, only South Korea at the moment has no Cardinal-elector. Hence, Archbishop Andrew Yeom is an almost confirmed choice for the Cardinalate, and indeed, he was chosen.

 

13. Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B., Metropolitan Archbishop of Santiago (Chile) – 72

02

Another Cardinalatial see in the Latin Americas, and therefore, Archbishop Ezzati Andrello is one of the few possible choices for the Cardinalate. Another Cardinal to increase the proportion of Latin America in the Sacred College of Cardinals.

 

14. Archbishop Philippe Nakellentuba Ouedraogo, Metropolitan Archbishop of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) – 68

Oua

One of his predecessor was made Cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1965, and therefore Archbishop Ouedraogo was a potential candidate for the Cardinalate for Africa region.

 

15. Archbishop Orlando Beltran Quevedo, O.M.I., Metropolitan Archbishop of Cotabato (Philippines) – 74

Quevedo

A rather suprising choice because Archbishop Quevedo is already 74 and therefore is just one year from the mandatory retirement age, although this may be extended towards 80, as was quite common in recent years among Asian Cardinals.

Geographically the choice made sense because the Philippines does deserve more Cardinals, and so far the Cardinalatial sees only cover the north (Manila) and central (Cebu) portions of the country. A Cardinal from the southern island of Mindanao is a good sign indeed.

 

16. Bishop Chibly Langlois, Bishop of Les Cayes (Haiti) – 55

chibly_langlois

The youngest of the newly appointed Cardinals, from a relatively less important diocese in the Caribbean region. This choice is a nod both to the plight of the people of Haiti after the earthquake that happened a few years earlier, as well as the rising importance of the region to the Universal Church.

 

There are three Cardinal non-electors (over the age of 80) appointed in this Consistory, usually for their great and long contribution and dedication to the Church :

 

17. Archbishop Loris Francesco Capovilla, Archbishop-Prelate Emeritus of Loreto (Italy) – 98

Capovilla

The oldest of the newly appointed Cardinals at 98, likely the oldest person ever appointed a Cardinal. Archbishop Capovilla was renowned for being the long-time private secretary to Blessed Pope John XXIII.

As the aforementioned Pope will be canonised this coming April, it is an obvious nod to his memory that Archbishop Capovilla, coupled with his long and dedicated service, that he is made a Cardinal.

 

18. Archbishop Fernando Sebastian Aguilar, C.M.F., Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Pamplona y Tudela (Spain) – 84

fernando-sebastian

 

19. Archbishop Kelvin Edward Felix, Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Castries (Saint Lucia) – 80

rev_felix

Another appointee for the Caribbean region, even though being over 80, it was rather honorary in nature, but nevertheless it was to highlight the importance of the New World in the Universal Church.

My blog passed the 50,000th view. Thanks be to God!

My humble blog has been viewed 50,000 times as of Thursday, 21 November 2013.

Thanks be to God who has granted me the strength daily to persevere in my faith and my dedication to Him, which I offer to Him and all my fellow men through the works of my hands.

Here is the current statistics of my blog :

Days since inception : 313

Total views : 50,244

Total visitors : 29,520

Total posts : 1,655

 

Statistics by countries (Data available total – 49,578) :

1. United States of America : 17,203

2. Singapore : 12,022

3. Philippines : 4,553

4. United Kingdom : 2,547

5. Canada : 1,966

6. Italy : 1,132

7. Australia : 964

8. Germany : 714

9. India : 620

10. France : 493

11. Ireland : 493

12. Poland : 470

13. Malaysia : 410

14. Indonesia : 355

15. Netherlands : 305

16. Belgium : 240

17. Brazil : 231

18. Spain : 190

19. Hungary : 182

20. New Zealand : 172

21. Hong Kong : 162

22. Sweden : 160

23. Switzerland : 159

24. Austria : 154

25. South Africa : 153

26. Mexico : 149

27. Portugal : 148

28. Croatia : 138

29. United Arab Emirates : 127

30. Nigeria : 114

31. Malta : 110

32. Thailand : 105

33. Japan : 104

34. Saudi Arabia : 100

35. Slovakia : 93

36. Finland : 92

37. Vietnam : 91

38. Greece : 84

39. Romania : 83

40. Czech Republic : 82

41. Russian Federation : 82

42. Norway : 78

43. Argentina : 78

44. Lithuania : 76

45. Taiwan : 75

46. Colombia : 66

47. Kenya : 59

48. Puerto Rico (USA) : 53

49. Ghana : 52

50. South Korea : 51

51. Sri Lanka : 50

52. Botswana : 44

53. Slovenia : 41

54. Trinidad and Tobago : 39

55. Panama : 36

56. Israel : 35

57. Lebanon : 34

58. Denmark : 33

59. Chile : 32

60. Uganda : 31

61. Pakistan : 31

62. Vatican City : 31

63. Kuwait : 30

64. Tanzania : 29

65. Bulgaria : 28

66. Cyprus : 27

67. Cameroon : 26

68. Mauritius : 24

69. Egypt : 24

70. Costa Rica : 22

71. Bosnia and Herzegovina : 21

72. Serbia : 20

73. Ukraine : 20

74. Zimbabwe : 20

75. Turkey : 18

76. Dominican Republic : 18

77. Guam (USA) : 18

78. Latvia : 18

79. Jamaica : 18

80. Guatemala : 18

81. Barbados : 17

82. Bahamas : 16

83. Senegal : 14

84. Macau : 14

85. Venezuela : 14

86. Qatar : 13

87. Namibia : 13

88. Bangladesh : 12

89. Luxembourg : 12

90. Brunei Darussalam : 12

91. Ethiopia : 11

92. El Salvador : 11

93. Cambodia : 9

94. Peru : 9

95. Rwanda : 9

96. Belarus : 9

97. Jordan : 9

98. Bolivia : 8

99. Albania : 8

100. Ivory Coast : 8

101. Saint Lucia : 8

102. Virgin Islands (USA and UK) : 7

103. Nepal : 7

104. Grenada : 7

105. Estonia : 7

106. Zambia : 7

107. Djibouti : 7

108. Moldova : 6

109. Gibraltar (UK) : 6

110. Nicaragua : 5

111. Turks and Caicos Islands (UK) : 5

112. Honduras : 5

113. Dominica : 5

114. Mozambique : 4

115. Ecuador : 4

116. Papua New Guinea : 4

117. Uruguay : 4

118. Northern Mariana Islands (USA) : 4

119. Myanmar : 4

120. Bahrain : 4

121. Fiji : 4

122. Cayman Islands (UK) : 3

123. Swaziland : 3

124. Laos : 3

125. Iraq : 3

126. Lesotho : 3

127. Guyana : 3

128. Liechtenstein : 3

129. Bermuda (UK) : 3

130. Sierra Leone : 2

131. Solomon Islands : 2

132. Martinique : 2

133. Guernsey (UK) : 2

134. Oman : 2

135. Armenia : 2

136. Belize : 2

137. Monaco : 2

138. Marshall Islands : 2

139. Timor-Leste : 2

140. Malawi : 2

141. Haiti : 2

142. Madagascar : 2

143. Uzbekistan : 2

144. Iceland : 2

145. Togo : 1

146. Isle of Man (UK) : 1

147. St. Vincent and the Grenadines : 1

148. Maldives : 1

149. Greenland (Denmark) : 1

150. Federated States of Micronesia : 1

151. Paraguay : 1

152. Libya : 1

153. Palestinian Territories : 1

154. French Polynesia (France) : 1

155. Montenegro : 1

156. Equatorial Guinea : 1

157. Seychelles : 1

158. Macedonia : 1

159. American Samoa (USA) : 1

160. Iran : 1

Saturday, 19 October 2013 : 28th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John de Brebeuf, St. Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs, and St. Paul of the Cross, Priest (Scripture Reflection)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs) or White (Priests and the Mass of our Lady)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, God is so faithful to all of us, even when we are unfaithful. He keeps His promise even when we stray away from His path and erred before Him. He is truly faithful and devoted to us, that He sent us salvation in Christ, through whom He made this whole world complete once again, in the. Blood of the slaughtered Lamb of God.

He is faithful to the promise He made to man, and to Abraham His servant. Even if He wanted to break that promise, He could not have done so, that is because it is His nature to be faithful and true to the promise, indeed, any promise that He had made to all of us. There is no instance at all, where the Lord had broken any of His promises, that is the covenants He had made with us.

Covenants are made between two parties, brethren, and if one side break their part of the covenant, that covenant is broken. That is precisely what had happened, we and our ancestors are the ones who had broken the covenant the Lord had made with us, through our rebelliousness, stubbornness, and sinfulness, beginning from Adam our forefather and Eve, his wife, tempted by Satan to disobey God, right down to us sinners, who sin daily and do things abhorrent in the eyes of God.

Yet, the Lord who punishes those who has done evil, is also loving, and despite us having trespassed against Him, in His love, He continues to embrace us, and hope for us to return to Him. That is why, through Christ His Son, He willed to reconcile us to Himself, and reestablish the covenant that had been broken, and at the same time fulfill the promises He had made to us and our ancestors.

Lord Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all God’s promises to mankind, and the One who marked the ultimate and infinite nature of God’s love and the perfection of the divine covenant. God promised man that He will send a deliverer through a woman, a descendant of Eve, the first woman, and the promise that while the snake, the deceiver would bite the children of the woman, that is Satan, will have power over mankind for a time, but the woman, from whom the Saviour came from, will crush the head of the snake, that is Mary, through whom Christ was incarnated into Man, will end the tyranny of Satan, through the death and resurrection of her Son, Jesus, God incarnate into Man.

God also fulfilled the promise to Abraham, by truly making his children as innumerable as the stars. The descendants of Abraham spread wide and numerous, and then, He also fulfilled it through Jesus, in making the descendant of Abraham great, everlasting through Christ, the descendant of David, and therefore of Abraham, through Mary His mother and Joseph, His foster-father.

To David, God had promised that He would establish his descendant on the throne of Israel forever, and that is fulfilled completely through Jesus, the son of David, and at the same time, the eternal and Almighty God. To Jesus will be given the eternal kingdom of glory, and He will be exalted by all creation, by all the angels, for He had broken the power of death, overcome it, and through His resurrection, He had made the whole world pure once again, from the taints of original sin, and bring mankind back towards the Lord.

Yet, many of us spurn and reject this expression of pure and unadulterated love. We prefer to mingle and linger in our sinfulness rather than opening ourselves to God’s infinite mercy and love. We love the darkness of Satan more than we love the Lord who is light and the true guide of our lives. That is because we perceive the lies of Satan as things good and enjoyable, while fearing the anger of the Lord because of our sinfulness. That anger however, is precisely because we refuse to turn away from evil, and continue committing what is evil in the eyes of God. If only that we turn ourselves back towards Him, He who is faithful and loving will surely welcome us back into His embrace.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the holy saints and martyrs of the Universal Church. We commemorate today, the feast of St. Isaac Jogues, St. John de Brebeuf, and their companions, who were martyred in North America, during a time of great evangelisation and missionary work in that country. At that time, most of North America, as was the rest of the New World were still largely populated by the natives of the continent, who looked suspiciously on the activity of the missionaries like the two saints.

Yet, St. John de Brebeuf and St. Isaac Jogues, together with many of their missionary companions, most of which were Jesuits, continued to work hard for the sake of the Lord, gaining converts among the pagan native populations. The hard work of the saints gained the conversion of even the entire Huron native American nation after long years of work in the bitter cold of Northern American winter conditions.

But rivalries between the native American tribes were common at the time, and the saints and their companions were caught in the midst of a vicious and terrible inter-native American tribal rivalry, which saw the Iroquois pagan natives completely defeating and eradicating the Hurons whom the saints had converted to the cause of the Lord. The saints were captured, tortured and mocked for their faith. Yet, they remained firm and devoted to the Lord, and they met their end at the hands of their torturers.

Therefore, brethren, we ought to be inspired by their example, the example they have made in their deep faith and devotion in God, that is in the One who has been promised to us mankind, to be our Saviour and salvation, as the deliverance freeing us from the tyranny of death and evil. Let us not be fearful to express our faith in God, and rather, as St. John de Brebeuf, St. Isaac Jogues, and their companions had done, show that faith through our actions, through our love and dedication to both our fellow men, as well as to God our Lord and Father.
May the Lord strengthen our faith, empower us, and bless us with His Holy Spirit, that our faith in Him will ever grow strong and never grow dim. Amen.

Missa pro Eligendo Pontifice/Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff and the beginning of the Conclave

Both events are live from Rome, at Vatican Player, http://www.vatican.va/video/ and I believe are also covered live by several Catholic televisions in the USA, Canada, and other countries.

 

1. Missa pro Eligendo Pontifice / Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff

The Cardinals present in Rome, all the Cardinal-electors that will be entering the Conclave, will first gather for a Solemn Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on Tuesday morning, 12 March 2013 at 10 am Rome time (CET or UTC+1). The Mass will be lead by the Cardinal Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who is a non-elector.

Time in other parts of the world :

Tuesday, 12 March 2013 at 9 am UTC // 4 am EST // 1 am PST // 4 pm WIB or UTC+7 // 5 pm Singapore time or UTC+8

 

2. Beginning of the Conclave : Entry of the Cardinal-electors into the Sistine Chapel

The Cardinal-electors will assemble in Pauline Chapel on Tuesday afternoon, and the event will begin live at 4.30 pm Rome time (CET or UTC+1). The Cardinals will wear their full choir dress and then will proceed into the Sistine Chapel while singing the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus to invoke the Holy Spirit.

Then in the Sistine Chapel, the Cardinal-electors will take their oath, beginning with the senior Cardinal Bishop-elector, Cardinal Giovanni Batista Re, who leads the Conclave, and then the famous ‘extra omnes’ or ‘everybody else out’ order will be said by the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, Monsignor Guido Marini.

Time in other parts of the world :

Tuesday, 12 March 2013 at 3.30 pm UTC // 10.30 am EST // 7.30 am PST // 11.30 pm WIB or UTC+7 //  Wednesday, 00.30 am Singapore time or UTC+8

Who to watch for in 2013 papal conclave? Scola, Ouellet, Ravasi, Scherer

Scola, Ouellet, Ravasi, Scherer, who you should watch for in the Conclave.

 

Scola (Cardinal Angelo Scola, Metropolitan Archbishop of Milan)

Italian, so that even though he’s not in Curia, he did have experience in Rome, and he is already close to Rome, both in distance and relations. Also close to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI,
and he has also done great job in Venice and then Milan, in which
these two archdioceses alone produced 5 popes in the past century

Only Pope Benedict XV and Pope Pius XII were not from these (excluding Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI)

Venice : Pius X, John XXIII, John Paul I
Milan : Pius XI, Paul VI

Also at the forefront of communication with Islam through the publications Oasis he created to reach out to Christians in the Muslim world, and involved in interreligious dialogues.

Scola is also more charismatic than Ouellet and also active in the media via youtube, twitter, his site.

Scola is also a well-known author in bioethics, and certainly is a trait needed for a Pope that will lead the Church in its constant battle against the improper use of Science. Yes to an ethical science, but no to unbridled and uncontrolled use of science!

If the conclave proceeds smoothly, he should be the one elected Pope, within 2 or 3 days from the start of the conclave.

 

Ouellet (Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops)

In the Roman Curia and in charge of the bishops, but with the problem is that his archdiocesan experience is not that good, and the story has come out that the very church and parish we was born into, was no longer there, which is shameful considering the rate of secularisation in the west. Formerly he was the Metropolitan Archbishop of Quebec in Canada.

But so far he has done quite a good job, and quite in line with Pope Benedict XVI, by appointing bishops who are not only known to be good administrators, but more importantly, bishops who are holy, and are steadfast in their faith, with individuals like Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia and Cardinal Tagle of Manila as example.

 

Ravasi (Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of Pontifical Council for Culture)

Ravasi is the forefront in how the Church communicates with social issues and the media, and he has been quite active in twitter, more so than Scola, but his administrative skill has been found rather lacking, since he has only five or six years experience as a bishop and never had any experience in handling major archdioceses or dioceses.

At least Cardinal Ravasi will sure make good use of the social media to help evangelise the faith to many, especially youths. But at the moment, we will also need candidate who are more experienced in administration as well, especially considering the troubles that had befallen the Church in recent years due to some inefficiencies in administration.

 

Scherer (Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, Metropolitan Archbishop of Sao Paulo)

Scherer is rather conservative and as a Latin American, this may boost his chances, but he is quite young and he is not familiar with the curia and with still a relatively short experience as a senior prelate, he needs more experience in managing important archdioceses and other administrative matters.

In addition, the status of Brazil as a country, although having the largest Catholic population in the world, but the rapidly declining number of Catholics in the country as a percentage of the population and the rapidly growing secularisation in the country (also affect the rest of Latin America) may also affect his chances.

 

In fact, this time round, just as it was with the election of Pope Benedict XVI, now our Pope Emeritus, we does have a clear leading papabili, and the number of papabili is in fact not as many as the media mentioned it.

It will not be like the election of Pope John XXIII when there is no clear preferred papabili present, which resulted in the election of Cardinal Angelo Roncalli, later Pope John XXIII as the compromise choice.