"The Year of Faith was inaugurated on the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. This is itself a clear indication that Vatican II was a Council on faith, inasmuch as it asked us to restore the primacy of God in Christ to the centre of our lives, both as a Church and as individuals. The Church never takes faith for granted, but knows that this gift of God needs to be nourished and reinforced so that it can continue to guide her pilgrim way. The Second Vatican Council enabled the light of faith to illumine our human experience from within, accompanying the men and women of our time on their journey. It clearly showed how faith enriches life in all its dimensions."
"O Ano da Fé teve início no cinquentenário da abertura do Concílio Vaticano II. Esta coincidência permite-nos ver que o mesmo foi um Concílio sobre a fé, por nos ter convidado a repor, no centro da nossa vida eclesial e pessoal, o primado de Deus em Cristo. Na verdade, a Igreja nunca dá por descontada a fé, pois sabe que este dom de Deus deve ser nutrido e revigorado sem cessar para continuar a orientar o caminho dela. O Concílio Vaticano II fez brilhar a fé no âmbito da experiência humana, percorrendo assim os caminhos do homem contemporâneo. Desta forma, se viu como a fé enriquece a existência humana em todas as suas dimensões."
"Christ, on the eve of his passion, assured Peter: "I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail" (Lk 22:32). He then told him to strengthen his brothers and sisters in that same faith. Conscious of the duty entrusted to the Successor of Peter, Benedict XVI proclaimed the present Year of Faith, a time of grace which is helping us to sense the great joy of believing and to renew our wonder at the vast horizons which faith opens up, so as then to profess that faith in its unity and integrity, faithful to the memory of the Lord and sustained by his presence and by the working of the Holy Spirit. The conviction born of a faith which brings grandeur and fulfilment to life, a faith centred on Christ and on the power of his grace, inspired the mission of the first Christians. In the acts of the martyrs, we read the following dialogue between the Roman prefect Rusticus and a Christian named Hierax: "‘Where are your parents?’, the judge asked the martyr. He replied: ‘Our true father is Christ, and our mother is faith in him’". For those early Christians, faith, as an encounter with the living God revealed in Christ, was indeed a "mother", for it had brought them to the light and given birth within them to divine life, a new experience and a luminous vision of existence for which they were prepared to bear public witness to the end."
"Antes da sua paixão, o Senhor assegurava a Pedro: « Eu roguei por ti, para que a tua fé não desfaleça » (Lc 22, 32). Depois pediu-lhe para « confirmar os irmãos » na mesma fé. Consciente da tarefa confiada ao Sucessor de Pedro, Bento XVI quis proclamar este Ano da Fé, um tempo de graça que nos tem ajudado a sentir a grande alegria de crer, a reavivar a percepção da amplitude de horizontes que a fé descerra, para a confessar na sua unidade e integridade, fiéis à memória do Senhor, sustentados pela sua presença e pela acção do Espírito Santo. A convicção duma fé que faz grande e plena a vida, centrada em Cristo e na força da sua graça, animava a missão dos primeiros cristãos. Nas Actas dos Mártires, lemos este diálogo entre o prefeito romano Rústico e o cristão Hierax: « Onde estão os teus pais? » — perguntava o juiz ao mártir; este respondeu: « O nosso verdadeiro pai é Cristo, e nossa mãe a fé n’Ele ». Para aqueles cristãos, a fé, enquanto encontro com o Deus vivo que Se manifestou em Cristo, era uma « mãe », porque os fazia vir à luz, gerava neles a vida divina, uma nova experiência, uma visão luminosa da existência, pela qual estavam prontos a dar testemunho público até ao fim."
"Bem-aventurados os que têm um coração de pobre, porque deles é o Reino dos céus!
Bem-aventurados os que choram, porque serão consolados!
Bem-aventurados os mansos, porque possuirão a terra!
Bem-aventurados os que têm fome e sede de justiça, porque serão saciados!
Bem-aventurados os misericordiosos, porque alcançarão misericórdia!
Bem-aventurados os puros de coração, porque verão Deus!
Bem-aventurados os pacíficos, porque serão chamados filhos de Deus!
Bem-aventurados os que são perseguidos por causa da justiça, porque deles é o Reino dos céus!
Bem-aventurados sereis quando vos caluniarem, quando vos perseguirem e disserem falsamente todo o mal contra vós por causa de mim."
There is an urgent need to see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim. The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God. Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives. Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of fulfilment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us. Faith, received from God as a supernatural gift, becomes a light for our way, guiding our journey through time. On the one hand, it is a light coming from the past, the light of the foundational memory of the life of Jesus which revealed his perfectly trustworthy love, a love capable of triumphing over death. Yet since Christ has risen and draws us beyond death, faith is also a light coming from the future and opening before us vast horizons which guide us beyond our isolated selves towards the breadth of communion. We come to see that faith does not dwell in shadow and gloom; it is a light for our darkness. Dante, in the Divine Comedy, after professing his faith to Saint Peter, describes that light as a "spark, which then becomes a burning flame and like a heavenly star within me glimmers". It is this light of faith that I would now like to consider, so that it can grow and enlighten the present, becoming a star to brighten the horizon of our journey at a time when mankind is particularly in need of light.
Urge recuperar o carácter de luz que é próprio da fé, pois, quando a sua chama se apaga, todas as outras luzes acabam também por perder o seu vigor. De facto, a luz da fé possui um carácter singular, sendo capaz de iluminar toda a existência do homem. Ora, para que uma luz seja tão poderosa, não pode dimanar de nós mesmos; tem de vir de uma fonte mais originária, deve porvir em última análise de Deus. A fé nasce no encontro com o Deus vivo, que nos chama e revela o seu amor: um amor que nos precede e sobre o qual podemos apoiar-nos para construir solidamente a vida. Transformados por este amor, recebemos olhos novos e experimentamos que há nele uma grande promessa de plenitude e se nos abre a visão do futuro. A fé, que recebemos de Deus como dom sobrenatural, aparece-nos como luz para a estrada orientando os nossos passos no tempo. Por um lado, provém do passado: é a luz duma memória basilar — a da vida de Jesus –, onde o seu amor se manifestou plenamente fiável, capaz de vencer a morte. Mas, por outro lado e ao mesmo tempo, dado que Cristo ressuscitou e nos atrai de além da morte, a fé é luz que vem do futuro, que descerra diante de nós horizontes grandes e nos leva a ultrapassar o nosso « eu » isolado abrindo-o à amplitude da comunhão. Deste modo, compreendemos que a fé não mora na escuridão, mas é uma luz para as nossas trevas. Dante, na Divina Comédia, depois de ter confessado diante de São Pedro a sua fé, descreve-a como uma « centelha / que se expande depois em viva chama / e, como estrela no céu, em mim cintila ». É precisamente desta luz da fé que quero falar, desejando que cresça a fim de iluminar o presente até se tornar estrela que mostra os horizontes do nosso caminho, num tempo em que o homem vive particularmente carecido de luz.
"In the process, faith came to be associated with darkness. There were those who tried to save faith by making room for it alongside the light of reason. Such room would open up wherever the light of reason could not penetrate, wherever certainty was no longer possible. Faith was thus understood either as a leap in the dark, to be taken in the absence of light, driven by blind emotion, or as a subjective light, capable perhaps of warming the heart and bringing personal consolation, but not something which could be proposed to others as an objective and shared light which points the way. Slowly but surely, however, it would become evident that the light of autonomous reason is not enough to illumine the future; ultimately the future remains shadowy and fraught with fear of the unknown. As a result, humanity renounced the search for a great light, Truth itself, in order to be content with smaller lights which illumine the fleeting moment yet prove incapable of showing the way. Yet in the absence of light everything becomes confused; it is impossible to tell good from evil, or the road to our destination from other roads which take us in endless circles, going nowhere."
Pelo caminho de Nietzsche, a fé acabou por ser associada com a escuridão. E, a fim de conviver com a luz da razão, pensou-se na possibilidade de a conservar, de lhe encontrar um espaço: o espaço para a fé abria-se onde a razão não podia iluminar, onde o homem já não podia ter certezas. Deste modo, a fé foi entendida como um salto no vazio, que fazemos por falta de luz e impelidos por um sentimento cego, ou como uma luz subjectiva, talvez capaz de aquecer o coração e consolar pessoalmente, mas impossível de ser proposta aos outros como luz objectiva e comum para iluminar o caminho. Entretanto, pouco a pouco, foi-se vendo que a luz da razão autónoma não consegue iluminar suficientemente o futuro; este, no fim de contas, permanece na sua obscuridade e deixa o homem no temor do desconhecido. E, assim, o homem renunciou à busca de uma luz grande, de uma verdade grande, para se contentar com pequenas luzes que iluminam por breves instantes, mas são incapazes de desvendar a estrada. Quando falta a luz, tudo se torna confuso: é impossível distinguir o bem do mal, diferenciar a estrada que conduz à meta daquela que nos faz girar repetidamente em círculo, sem direcção.
almost hear the objections
of many of our
contemporaries. In modernity,
that light might have been
considered sufficient for
societies of old, but was
felt to be of no use for new
times, for a humanity come
of age, proud of its
rationality and anxious to
explore the future in novel
Faith thus appeared to
some as an illusory light,
preventing mankind from
boldly setting out in quest
of knowledge. The young
Nietzsche encouraged his
sister Elisabeth to take
risks, to tread new paths with all the uncertainty of
one who must find his own
way, adding that "this is
where humanity’s paths part:
if you want peace of soul
and happiness, then believe,
but if you want to be a
follower of truth, then seek". Belief would be incompatible
starting point Nietzsche was
to develop his critique of
Christianity for diminishing
the full meaning of human
existence and stripping life
of novelty and adventure.
Faith would thus be the
illusion of light, an
illusion which blocks the
path of a liberated humanity
to its future.
Podemos ouvir a objecção que se levanta de muitos dos nossos contemporâneos, quando se lhes fala na luz da fé. Nos tempos modernos, pensou-se que tal luz poderia ter sido suficiente para as sociedades antigas, mas não servia para os novos tempos, para o homem tornado adulto, orgulhoso da sua razão, desejoso de explorar de forma nova o futuro.
Nesta perspectiva, a fé aparecia como uma luz ilusória, que impedia o homem de cultivar a ousadia do saber. O jovem Nietzsche convidava a irmã Elisabeth a arriscar, percorrendo vias novas na incerteza de proceder de forma autónoma. E acrescentava: « Neste ponto, separam-se os caminhos da humanidade: se queres alcançar a paz da alma e a felicidade, contenta-te com a fé; mas, se queres ser uma discípula da verdade, então investiga » O crer opor-se-ia ao indagar.
Partindo daqui, Nietzsche desenvolverá a sua crítica ao cristianismo por ter diminuído o alcance da existência humana, espoliando a vida de novidade e aventura. Neste caso, a fé seria uma espécie de ilusão de luz, que impede o nosso caminho de homens livres rumo ao amanhã.
The light of Faith: this is how the Church’s tradition speaks of the great gift brought by Jesus. In John’s Gospel, Christ says of himself: "I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness" (Jn 12:46). Saint Paul uses the same image: "God who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts" (2 Cor 4:6). The pagan world, which hungered for light, had seen the growth of the cult of the sun god, Sol Invictus, invoked each day at sunrise. Yet though the sun was born anew each morning, it was clearly incapable of casting its light on all of human existence. The sun does not illumine all reality; its rays cannot penetrate to the shadow of death, the place where men’s eyes are closed to its light. "No one — Saint Justin Martyr writes — has ever been ready to die for his faith in the sun". Conscious of the immense horizon which their faith opened before them, Christians invoked Jesus as the true sun "whose rays bestow life". To Martha, weeping for the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus said: "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" (Jn 11:40). Those who believe, see; they see with a light that illumines their entire journey, for it comes from the risen Christ, the morning star which never sets.
A luz da fé é a expressão com que a tradição da Igreja designou o grande dom trazido por Jesus. Eis como Ele Se nos apresenta, no Evangelho de João: « Eu vim ao mundo como luz, para que todo o que crê em Mim não fique nas trevas » (Jo 12, 46). E São Paulo exprime-se nestes termos: « Porque o Deus que disse: "das trevas brilhe a luz", foi quem brilhou nos nossos corações » (2 Cor 4, 6). No mundo pagão, com fome de luz, tinha-se desenvolvido o culto do deus Sol, Sol invictus, invocado na sua aurora. Embora o sol renascesse cada dia, facilmente se percebia que era incapaz de irradiar a sua luz sobre toda a existência do homem. De facto, o sol não ilumina toda a realidade, sendo os seus raios incapazes de chegar até às sombras da morte, onde a vista humana se fecha para a sua luz. Aliás « nunca se viu ninguém — afirma o mártir São Justino — pronto a morrer pela sua fé no sol ». Conscientes do amplo horizonte que a fé lhes abria, os cristãos chamaram a Cristo o verdadeiro Sol, « cujos raios dão a vida ». A Marta, em lágrimas pela morte do irmão Lázaro, Jesus diz-lhe: « Eu não te disse que, se acreditares, verás a glória de Deus? » (Jo 11, 40). Quem acredita, vê; vê com uma luz que ilumina todo o percurso da estrada, porque nos vem de Cristo ressuscitado, estrela da manhã que não tem ocaso.
Patna - The poor quality of education that children receive in the Indian state of Bihar is a daily tragedy. In the village of Gandaman a school has just opened to help the most vulnerable community of Dalits and other more precarious castes. However, as what usually happens in most schools in the State that are located in rural areas, minimum basic services are lacking.
First of all, there is no building, students from class 1 to class 5 or are piled up in one room, sitting on a floor full of big holes. There is no kitchen or a room for lunch and there are only 2 teachers for 60 students. The teacher, in addition to having to hold lessons for 5 classes, must provide for the purchase and distribution of lunch. In addition, both are 'Niyojit Shikshaks', ie para-teachers. The State government has decided to fill the lack of teachers by employing 2 Niyojit Shikshaks who are paid less. Many of these are not even qualified or trained. Free uniforms, books, bicycles attract more children in schools, but in the classrooms, nothing has changed, and the poor conditions in which they live penalize them in terms of their learning ability.
Ankara - The Foundation of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Santa Maria has received from the Turkish courts the permission to build their own schools for children and young people in their community, ensuring them to be educated in the language used in the family. According to the reconstruction provided by Turkish sources consulted by Fides, just a year ago the request made by the Foundation was rejected by the Ministry of Education, based on the fact that the Syriac community is not in the list of minorities traditionally recognized in the Country. An appeal filed to the Turkish court overturned the negative ministerial ruling, recognizing that the Syriac Christians must be able to benefit from the same rights enjoyed by other religious minorities in the field of education on the basis of the Treaty of Lausanne.
In recent times, signs of attention of the leadership of Turkish policy towards the Syriac Christian minority seem to multiply. The same Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Syriac Turkish emigrants to return to Turkey. While President Abdullah Gul met with the leaders of the Syriac Christian community in Turkey in February. Agenzia Fides 07/08/2013).
"Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbor; act as if you did.As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone you will presently come to love him."
"Devemos sempre ter a coragem e a alegria de propor, com respeito, o encontro com Cristo e de nos fazermos portadores do seu Evangelho; Jesus veio ao nosso meio para nos indicar o caminho da salvação e confiou, também a nós, a missão de o fazer conhecer a todos, até aos confins do mundo."
"Fraternity, the foundation and pathway to peace". This is the
theme of the 47th World Day of Peace, the first during the pontificate
of Pope Francis.
The World Day of Peace was an initiative of Pope Paul VI and it is celebrated on the first day of each year. The Message for the World Day of Peace
is sent to particular churches and chancelleries all around the world,
drawing attention to the essential value of peace and the need to work
tirelessly in order to attain it.
As the theme of his first Message for the World Day of Peace, Pope Francis has chosen Fraternity.
Since the beginning of his Petrine Ministry, the Pope has stressed the
need to combat the “throwaway culture” and to promote instead a
"culture of encounter", in order to build a more just and peaceful
Fraternity is a dowry that every man and every woman brings
with himself or herself as a human being, as a child of the one Father.
In the face of the many tragedies that afflict the family of nations -
poverty, hunger, underdevelopment, conflicts, migrations, pollution,
inequalities, injustice, organized crime, fundamentalisms - fraternity
is the foundation and the pathway to peace.
The culture of personal well-being leads to a loss of the sense of responsibility and fraternal relationship.
Others, rather than being “like us”, appear more as antagonists or
enemies and are often treated as objects. Not uncommonly, the poor and
needy are regarded as a "burden", a hindrance to development. At most,
they are considered as recipients of aid or compassionate assistance.
They are not seen as brothers and sisters, called to share the gifts of creation, the goods of progress and culture, to be partakers at the same table of the fullness of life, to be protagonists of integral and inclusive development.
Fraternity, a gift and task that comes from God the Father, urges us
to be in solidarity against inequality and poverty that undermine the
social fabric, to take care of every person, especially the weakest and
most defenceless, to love him or her as oneself, with the very heart of
In a world that is constantly growing more interdependent, the good
of fraternity is one that we cannot do without. It serves to defeat the
spread of the globalization of indifference to which Pope Francis has frequently referred. The globalization of indifference must give way to a globalization of fraternity.
Fraternity should leave its mark on every aspect of life, including
the economy, finance, civil society, politics, research, development,
public and cultural institutions.
At the start of his ministry, Pope Francis issues a message in
continuity with that of his predecessors, which proposes to everyone the
pathway of fraternity, in order to give the world a more human face.
It gives me great pleasure to greet
you as you celebrate ‘Id al-Fitr, so concluding the month of Ramadan,
dedicated mainly to fasting, prayer and almsgiving. It is a tradition
by now that, on this occasion, the Pontifical Council for
Interreligious Dialogue sends you a message of good wishes, together
with a proposed theme for common reflection. This year, the first of my
Pontificate, I have decided to sign this traditional message myself and
to send it to you, dear friends, as an expression of esteem and
friendship for all Muslims, especially those who are religious leaders. As
you all know, when the Cardinals elected me as Bishop of Rome and
Universal Pastor of the Catholic Church, I chose the name of “Francis”, a
very famous saint who loved God and every human being deeply, to the
point of being called “universal brother”. He loved, helped and served
the needy, the sick and the poor; he also cared greatly for creation. I
am aware that family and social dimensions enjoy a particular
prominence for Muslims during this period, and it is worth noting that
there are certain parallels in each of these areas with Christian faith
and practice. This year, the theme on which I would like to reflect
with you and with all who will read this message is one that concerns
both Muslims and Christians: Promoting Mutual Respect through Education. This
year’s theme is intended to underline the importance of education in
the way we understand each other, built upon the foundation of mutual
respect. “Respect” means an attitude of kindness towards people for whom
we have consideration and esteem. “Mutual” means that this is not a
one-way process, but something shared by both sides. What we are
called to respect in each person is first of all his life, his physical
integrity, his dignity and the rights deriving from that dignity, his
reputation, his property, his ethnic and cultural identity, his ideas
and his political choices. We are therefore called to think, speak and
write respectfully of the other, not only in his presence, but always
and everywhere, avoiding unfair criticism or defamation. Families,
schools, religious teaching and all forms of media have a role to play
in achieving this goal. Turning to mutual respect in interreligious
relations, especially between Christians and Muslims, we are called to
respect the religion of the other, its teachings, its symbols, its
values. Particular respect is due to religious leaders and to places of
worship. How painful are attacks on one or other of these! It is
clear that, when we show respect for the religion of our neighbours or
when we offer them our good wishes on the occasion of a religious
celebration, we simply seek to share their joy, without making reference
to the content of their religious convictions. Regarding the
education of Muslim and Christian youth, we have to bring up our young
people to think and speak respectfully of other religions and their
followers, and to avoid ridiculing or denigrating their convictions and
practices. We all know that mutual respect is fundamental in any
human relationship, especially among people who profess religious
belief. In this way, sincere and lasting friendship can grow. When I
received the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See on 22 March
2013, I said: “It is not possible to establish true links with God,
while ignoring other people. Hence it is important to intensify dialogue
among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue
with Islam. At the Mass marking the beginning of my ministry, I greatly
appreciated the presence of so many civil and religious leaders from
the Islamic world.” With these words, I wished to emphasize once more
the great importance of dialogue and cooperation among believers, in
particular Christians and Muslims, and the need for it to be enhanced. With
these sentiments, I reiterate my hope that all Christians and Muslims
may be true promoters of mutual respect and friendship, in particular
through education. Finally, I send you my prayerful good wishes, that your lives may glorify the Almighty and give joy to those around you. Happy Feast to you all! From the Vatican, 10 July 2013
Mary is revered with great devotion by the Indian community as a mother
and a spiritual figure of maternal protection,” said Fr. Jayaseellan
Pitchaimuthu OFM, head of the Indian Chaplaincy in Holy Land.
is acknowledged as the “protector and patroness” of the Indian
Chaplaincy in Holy Land because she is a “model” for the migrants, he
He noted that the Holy Family took refuge in Egypt for
safety and settled for livelihood in Nazareth, and that Jesus carried
out his apostolic mission in Judea, Galilee and Jerusalem.
Many Indian Catholic migrant workers “seek grace and invoke (Mary's) motherly protection,” he said.
feast falls on Sunday, Sept. 8, which is a working day in Israel.
Therefore, the feast is being celebrated this year the previous day,
which is a weekend holiday.
According to the priest, the celebration is expected to draw more than 3,000 migrant workers and pilgrims to Jaffa, Israel.
from coastal part of western India popularly call the feast day “Monti
Fest,” a time to celebrate the harvest with family and thank God for the
fruits of the crops.
As part of the celebration, a novena will
begin on Aug. 30, kicking off a week of meditations and intercessory
prayers leading up to the feast day.
A large, colorful procession will begin at 5 p.m. in Jaffa, followed by Mass.
“There will then be blessing of harvested new grain, followed by a fellowship dinner,” said the priest.
priest explained that the Marian feast day is particularly important in
the Indian context because of its relation to other faiths.
Members of other religions, including Hindus and Muslims, “regard Marian devotions in esteem,” he said.
of devotees – both Catholics and non-Catholics – flock every week to
the Marian apparition site at Velankanni, near Chennai in South India,
and other shrines that have recorded various miracles, he said.
“In this way, Marian devotion also leads to a platform for inter-religious dialogue,” he added.
Ainda que eu falasse as línguas dos homens e dos anjos, e não tivesse amor, seria como o metal que soa ou como o sino que tine.
E ainda que tivesse o dom de profecia, e conhecesse todos os mistérios e toda a ciência, e ainda que tivesse toda a fé, de maneira tal que transportasse os montes, e não tivesse amor, nada seria.
E ainda que distribuísse toda a minha fortuna para sustento dos pobres, e ainda que entregasse o meu corpo para ser queimado, e não tivesse amor, nada disso me aproveitaria.
O amor é sofredor, é benigno; o amor não é invejoso; o amor não trata com leviandade, não se ensoberbece.
Não se porta com indecência, não busca os seus interesses, não se irrita, não suspeita mal;
Não folga com a injustiça, mas folga com a verdade;
Tudo sofre, tudo crê, tudo espera, tudo suporta.
O amor nunca falha; mas havendo profecias, serão aniquiladas; havendo línguas, cessarão; havendo ciência, desaparecerá;
Porque, em parte, conhecemos, e em parte profetizamos;
Mas, quando vier o que é perfeito, então o que o é em parte será aniquilado.
Quando eu era menino, falava como menino, sentia como menino, discorria como menino, mas, logo que cheguei a ser homem, acabei com as coisas de menino.
Porque agora vemos por espelho em enigma, mas então veremos face a face; agora conheço em parte, mas então conhecerei como também sou conhecido.
Agora, pois, permanecem a fé, a esperança e o amor, estes três, mas o maior destes é o amor.