After 90 Executions So Far This Year Saudi Arabia Seeks to Head UN Human Rights Council

Beheadings

(WaPo) In a country that allows executions for smuggling narcotics to sorcery, Saudi Arabia has executed at least 89 people (Amnesty Intl reports that Saudi Arabia has carried out its 90th execution so far this year, equally the number of people executed during all of 2014) If current trends keep up Saudi Executioners may have their busiest year in quite some time.

Is it just me or isn’t it rather peculiar that an Islamic country with a horrible human rights record and which is setting a grisly pace in executions so far this year, is seeking to head the United Nations Human Rights Council?

More here from The Independent

Related: Saudi’s Gave ‘Clinton Foundation’ Millions for Weapons –WFB

Human Rights Activist Challenges Hillary to Stop Taking Islamist Money

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, Founder Society of the Sacred Heart

Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat

Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat
Image: Liste Intl

(Franciscan Media) Born in France in the little Burgundian town of Joigny, Sophie received an extensive education thank to her brother Louis, 11 yrs older than her and designated her Godfather at Baptism.

Louis a seminarian decided that his youngest sister Sophie would like him learn Latin, Greek, History, Physics and Mathematics–always without interruption and with a minimum of companionship. By the age of 15, Sophie was well educated in the scriptures, receiving a thorough exposure of the Bible, the teachings of the Church Fathers and theology. Despite the oppressive regime in study Louis imposed, his little sister thrived and developed a genuine love of learning.

Meanwhile, this was the time of the French Revolution, Sophie went to Paris initially considered becoming a Carmelite according Phil Kilroy author of ‘Madeleine Sophie Barat — A Life’ however Sophie’s own experiences of Revolutionary violence in Joigny and Paris, led young Sophie on a different path.

In 1800 Sophie founded the ‘Society of the Sacred Heart’ whose purpose was to make known the love of God revealed in the Heart of Christ and take part in the restoration of Christian life in France, through the education of young Women both rich and poor alike.

The ‘Society of the Sacred Heart’ rapidly expanded within Europe and beyond. — At the same time, Sophie also grew, transformed by her experience as a leader and friend to many Women who would join the organization.

In 1826 the ‘Society of the Sacred Heart’ received formal Papal approval–by then, Sophie had served as Superior at a number of Convents from the age of 23 until her death in 1865 after being stricken with paralysis.

Sophie was Beatified in 1908 by Pope Saint Pius X and Canonized in 1925 by Pope Pius XI

Today the ‘Society of the Sacred Heart’ has more than 2,200 members in 41 countries educating both girls and boys. Members of the Society are known as ‘Religious of the Sacred Heart’ (“RSCJ” for Religieuses du Sacre-Coeur de Jesus) and its mission is:

  • To Reveal to the Wold a God who loves us.
  • To educate children to be a source of transformation in their world.

More here from American Catholic and here from RSCJ

Nixon & Hillary — Thought Of The Day

Nixon v HillaryJust Sayin’  –Image Courtesy: American Strong@Facebook

H/T: Donna Hess Missal

Is There Anything More Precious Than a Human Life?

Pray to End AbortionJesus said, “Let the Children Come To Me and Do Not Hinder Them,
For to Such Belongs the Kingdom of Heaven.” —Matthew 19:14

  • IPraytoEndAbortion “A great prayer for life is urgently
    needed, a prayer that will rise up throughout the world.”
    Pope Saint John Paul II

H/T: Esmeralda Kiczak@Twitter

Today Christians Celebrate the Feast of Venerable Pierre Toussaint

Venerable Pierre Toussaint

Pierre Toussaint (1766-1853)
Image: Info Catolica

(Franciscan Media) Born a slave in Haiti, Pierre’s Master Jean Berard taught him to read and write according to SQPN and when Berard moved to New York in 1787 he took Pierre together with his youngest sister Rosalie.

Pierre apprenticed with a leading hairdresser, learning the trade very quickly and would one day, very successfully work in the homes of some very wealthy ladies in NYC — When Berard passed away, Pierre stayed on to care for his ailing widow, he was freed from slavery when Madame Berard passed away in 1807

Subsequently working for himself, Pierre became quite wealthy and later fell in love with Marie Rose Juliette whose freedom he purchased and then the two were married. The young couple later adopted Euphemie, his orphaned niece.

Pierre attended daily Mass at St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street, the same parish that Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (04 January, Feast Day) attended.

Very benevolent and charitable, Pierre donated to various organizations assisting others in need without regard to race, Pierre and his wife Marie, opened their home to orphans, educated them and would care for abandoned individuals suffering from Yellow Fever. — Later, urged to retire and enjoy his wealth, Pierre responded:

“I have enough for myself but if I stop working,
I have not enough for others.”

To his final days, Pierre worked tirelessly to help anyone who needed it, he passed away at the age of 87 in NYC — In 1996 Pierre was declared Venerable by Pope Saint John Paul II 

More here from American Catholic and here from Loyola Press

New ISIS Recruitment Propaganda Guide Ends With Disturbing Message for the West

ISIS Guide(Center for Security Policy) Abu Rumaysah, a British Jihadist that fled the UK to join ISIS in Syria has released an e-book guide (pictured) targeting Western recruits and compares territories under the Islamic genocidal Jihadist Caliphate to a ‘plush holiday resort.’

When describing the food, Rumaysah writes: “If you thought you would be living on stale bread and septic water then erase that culinary fib from your mind. The great thing about food in the Caliphate is its freshness. You can be sure that the vegetables your crunch down on, basked gloriously in the sunshine before reaching your dinner plate and what about the olive groves? Yes there are plenty of them and the pickles are rich oils that spring them beat anything from your locals Tescos.”

Rumaysah boasts of education offered in the Caliphate: “There are no classes promoting homosexuality, evolution, music, drama, interfaith and the rest of the rubbish taught in non-Muslim schools. You(r) child’s delicate mind is well and truly protected in the Caliphate,” — Subsequently claiming, “Despite the strict curriculum, the Caliphate ‘screams diversity’ and has become a ‘magnet for talent…If you thought London or New York was cosmopolitan then wait until you step foot in the Islamic State because it screams diversity.”

There is however no mention to the sex-slave markets, beheading children, genocide for being Gay, dismemberment, stoning, together with other acts of violence and tyranny widely reported  in Iraq and Syria.

The guide ends with a chilling message for the West: “When we descend on the streets of London, Paris and Washington the taste will be far bitter because not only will we spill your blood but we will demolish your statues, erase your history and most painfully, convert your children who will then go on to champion our name and curse their forefathers.” 

H/T: Frank Gaffney

White House Press Secy Josh Earnest Rational for Iraq Ramadi Defeat: Their Lack of Diversity

Josh EarnestObama Administration Press Clown Josh Earnest
Image: Tom T.@Twitter

(Keith Koffler) White House Press Secy Josh Earnest on Tuesday exculpated Obama’s Iraq strategy and instead blamed Iraqi leaders failure to integrate their armed forces for the dramatic loss of Ramadi to ISIS.

Josh Earnest said: What we have indicated all along is that it will require a multi-sectarian force to succeed against ISIL and the reason for that is Iraq is a very diverse country and they’re going to need every element of their diversity to counter this specific threat.

Riiight…Ho-Hum!

H/T: Weasel Zippers

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Augustine of Canterbury

St. Augustine of CantenburySt. Augustine of Canterbury
Image: Longbows & Rosary Beads

(EWTN) When Pope Gregory began to plan for the evangelism of England, the land was still largely pagan although in the Southwest, there were remnants of earlier missionary efforts. To lead this important mission, Pope Gregory chose Augustine–Nothing much is known of him until the year 596 when with a party of 40 Benedictine Monks, he set out Northwards from Rome according to Franciscan Media to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England.

Upon reaching Provence, the Monks accompanying Augustine grew fearful of the dangers that lay ahead, alarming stories were being told of the ferocity of the Pagans and the hazards of crossing the treacherous waters of the English Channel.

Augustine subsequently returned to Rome and to Pope Gregory only to be assured by him that the fears of the Monks were groundless–Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha Ethelbert who received them kindly and set up a residence for them in Canterbury.

After King Ethelbert listened carefully to the Monks teaching, he gave them permission to evangelize his subjects–One year later on Pentecost in 597 King Ethelbert converted and was baptized.

Subsequent to this promising start, Augustine returned to Provence to be consecrated Bishop in France and then returned to Canterbury where he set up his See.

Now a Bishop,  in 603 Augustine constructed a Church and Monastery on property given by King Ethelbert–these structures formed the nucleus for the metropolitan cathedral–they were destroyed by fire in 1067 and the present cathedral begun by Lanfranc in 1070 stands on its site. As the Christian faith spread, additional Sees were established at London and Rochester.

Work was often slow and Bishop Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the Briton Christians (who had been driven into Western England by the Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure.

While the Briton Christians were sound in fundamental doctrine, Bishop Augustine failed to convince them to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness with the Anglo-Saxon Christians.

Laboring patiently, Bishop Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles–quite enlightened for his time, suggested by Pope Gregory:

  • Purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs;
  • Allow pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian Feasts;
  • Retain local customs as far as possible.

Bishop Augustine’s last years were spent in spreading and consolidating the Christian faith in the short eight years since his arrival, which would eventually bear great fruit, leaving the continuation of his work to others long after his death in 604 — Bishop Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the ‘Apostle of England’ for which he is the Patron Saint.

More here from EWTN and here from American Catholic

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Philip Neri

St Philip NeriSaint Philip Neri (1515-1595) Image Courtesy: Christian Forums

(Franciscan Media) Born in Italy Florence, his family was poor. Philip Neri’s family moved to San Germano in 1533 according to SQPN to help some relatives with their businesses, while there, Philip would escape to a local Dominican Chapel in the mountains–Philip abandoned any chance to go into business like his relatives and moved to Rome with the resolve to devote his life and individuality to God.

While in Rome, Philip studied philosophy and theology and for the next 13 years his time was unusually spent as a lay person in his day, Philip actively engaged in prayer and evangelism.

As the ‘Council of Trent’ was reforming the Church on a doctrine level, Philip’s appealing personality was winning him friends from all levels of society–from Beggars to Cardinals. Philip rapidly gathered around himself a group of other laypersons, won over by his audacious spirituality. Initially they met as an informal prayer and discussion group and also served the poor in Rome.

At the urging of Philip’s Confessor, he was ordained a Priest in 1551 and soon became an outstanding Confessor, gifted with the knack of piercing the pretenses and illusions of others, though always in a charitable manner and often with a joke.

Fr. Philip Neri would arrange talks, discussions and prayers for his penitents in a room above the Church, he would on occasion lead ‘excursions’ to other Churches, often time with music and a picnic along the way.

Some of Fr. Philip Neri’s followers would later become Priests, living together in a community–this was the beginning of the ‘Congregation of the Oratory’ which Fr. Philip Neri founded. A feature of their life was a daily afternoon service of four informal talks together with vernacular hymns. — Cardinal Newman founded the first English speaking house of the Oratory, three centuries later.

Fr. Philip Neri’s advice was sought by many prominent figures. Fr. Neri became one of the most influential figures of the Counter-Reformation, mainly for converting to personal holiness many of the influential people within the Church. — Fr. Neri died at the Church of San Maria in Italy Vallicella at the age of eighty.

In 1615 Fr. Philip Neri was Beatified by Pope Paul V and was Canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV

More here from American Catholic

Related: Pope Francis Sends Message to Mark 5th Centenary of St. Neri

Today Christians Celebrate the Feast of St. Bede the Venerable, Patron Saint of Lectors

St BedeSaint Bede the Venerable (672-735) Image: Catholic Fire

(CNA) Born in England Wearmouth, Bede’s parents sent him at a young age to study at the Monastery of St. Paul in Jarrow, that was founded by Benedictine Abbot Benedict Biscop (later be Canonized in his own right) Biscop’s extensive library may have sparked a curiosity in young Bede, who would grow up to be a voracious reader and prolific writer.

Bede’s teachers could see in their pupil that his life exhibited a remarkable devotion to prayer and study–Later when Bede returned to Jarrow and continued his studies with Abbot Ceolfrid (a companion of Benedict Biscop) the Abbot and a group of other Monks instructed Bede not only to study scripture and theology but also sacred music, poetry and Greek –Bede would continue his studies for 11 more years before entering the Priesthood at the age of 30 around the beginning of the 8th Century.

Subsequently Fr. Bede took on the responsibility of celebrating daily Mass with the members of his Benedictine community, while also farming, baking and doing other works at the Monastery.

Fr. Bede gave absolute priority to prayer, fasting, charity and hospitality, he regarded all other works as ‘valueless’ without the love of God and one’s neighbor. — Fr. Bede also possessed outstanding intellectual gifts, which he used to survey and master a wide range of subjects according to an all-encompassing vision of Christian scholarship.

Later, Fr. Bede declined a request to become Abbot at his Monastery, instead he concentrated on writing and produced more than 45 books during his lifetime–primarily about Theology and the Bible but also on Science, Literature and History. Fr. Bede would go on to teach hundreds of students at the Monastery and its school, which would become renowned throughout Great Britain.

During Fr. Bede’s lifetime, his spiritual and intellectual gifts garnered wide recognition. his writings on scripture were considered so authoritative, that a Church council ordered them to be publicly read in English Churches.

Some of the most illustrious members of English society made pilgrimages to Fr. Bede’s Monastery to seek his guidance and he was personally invited to Rome by Pope Sergius.

Fr. Bede was unfazed by these honors, perhaps inspired by the Benedictine monastic ethos, which emphasizes ones absolute commitment to the monastic community–Fr. Bede chose not to visit Rome or travel any significant distance beyond the Monastery of St. Paul during his entire lifetime.

Instead the world would come to Fr. Bede, through the visitors that he received according to the Benedictine tradition of hospitality and through his voluminous reading. Fr. Bede in-turn reached the world without leaving his monastery, writing books that were copied with reverence for centuries and still read to this day. Fr. Bede is one of the last Western Christian writers to be numbered among the Church Fathers.

Fr. Bede understood that love rather than learning was his life’s purpose saying:

“It is better to be a stupid and uneducated Brother who, working at the good things he knows, merits life in heaven, than to be one who–though being distinguished for his learning in the Scriptures or even holding the place of a teacher, lacks the bread of love.”

Fr. Bede died on this date on the Vigil on the Feast of the Ascension of Christ in 735 shortly after finishing the Anglo-Saxon translation of the Gospel of John.

In 1899 Fr. Bede was declared ‘Doctor of the Church’ and was Canonized by Pope Leo XIII

More here from EWTN and here from American Catholic