Tuesday, December 31, 2013


With the popularity of online social networking services such as Twitter, Vatican decided to use twitter to communicate further with the people around the world especially with the Catholics. So they created a twitter account - https://twitter.com/pontifex - for the Supreme Pontiff. The first pope who used the account was Pope Benedict XVI. But now he is replaced by Pope Francis.

Pope Francis started tweeting on March 17, 2013. As of December 31, the pope has over three million four hundred thousand followers worldwide, and these numbers are growing each minute.

Here are some of the tweets of Pope Francis that I find enlightening, inspiring and interesting with their corresponding dates:

Click the dates and you will be linked to the actual tweets of Pope Francis.

True power is service. The Pope must serve all people, especially the poor, the weak, the vulnerable. 

Support your priests with your love and prayers, that they may always be shepherds after Christ's heart.

Accept the risen Jesus into your life. Even if you have been far away, take a small step towards him: he awaits you with open arms.

How beautiful is the gaze with which Jesus regards us - how full of tenderness! Let us never lose trust in the patience and mercy of God.

Let us not forget: if we are to proclaim the gospel of Jesus, our lives must bear witness to what we preach.

Dear young people, do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you! Do not be afraid to dream of great things!

How marvelous it would be if, at the end of the day, each of us could say: today I have performed an act of charity towards others!

Dear young friends, learn from St. Joseph. He went through difficult times, but he always trusted, and he knew how to overcome adversity.

It would be a good idea, during May, for families to say the Rosary together. Prayer strengthens family life.

It is God who gives life. Let us respect and love human life, especially vulnerable life in a mother's womb.

We cannot be part-time Christians! We should seek to live our faith at every moment of every day.

On the feast of Mary Help of Christians, I join the Catholics in China who trust in the protection of Our Lady of Sheshan and I pray for them.

Miracles happen. But prayer is needed! Prayer that is courageous, struggling and persevering, not prayer that is mere formality.

We all have in our hearts some areas of unbelief. Let us say to the Lord: I believe! Help my unbelief.

Sometimes we know what we have to do, but we lack the courage to do it. Let us learn from Mary how to make decisions, trusting in the Lord.

With the "culture of waste", human life is no longer considered the primary value to be respected and protected.

Let the Church always be a place of mercy and hope, where everyone is welcomed, loved and forgiven.

Are you angry with someone? Pray for that person. That is what Christian love is. 

Christians are always full of hope; they should never get discouraged.

If we wish to follow Christ closely, we cannot choose an easy, quiet life. It will be a demanding life, but full of joy.

Never forget, young friends: The Virgin Mary is our Mother and with her help we can remain faithful to Christ.

May sports always be a means of exchange of growth, never of violence and hate.

Don't be afraid to ask God for forgiveness. He never tires of forgiving us. God is pure mercy.

With utmost firmness, I condemn the use of chemical weapons.

We ought never to lose hope. God overwhelms us with his grace. If we keep asking.

Jesus is the sun and Mary is the dawn announcing his rising. 

September 15, 2013
Seeking happiness in material things is a sure way of being unhappy.

God's forgiveness is stronger than any sin.

When we encounter the cross, we turn to Mary: Give us the strength, Mary our Mother, to accept and embrace the Cross!

Dear young people, do not be afraid of making decisive choices in life. Have faith; the Lord will not abandon you!

October 17, 2013
Our prayer cannot be reduced to an hour on Sundays. It is important to have a daily relationship with the Lord.

October 29, 2013
If money and material things become the center of our lives, they seize us and make us slaves.

November 9, 2013
I ask all of you to join me in prayer for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda especially those in the beloved islands of the Philippines.

To be saints is not a privilege for a few, but a vocation for everyone. 

November 29, 2013
It is hard to forgive others. Lord, grand us your mercy, so that we can always forgive.

December 14, 2013
This is Christian hope: that the future is in God's hands.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


My personal copy

Last December 11, 2013, Time magazine named Pope Francis as the 2013 Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year). This is not the first time that a Supreme Pontiff was accorded with such honor. In 1962, Pope John XXIII was Time's Man of the Year, while Pope John Paul II was Time's Man of the Year in 1994. Interestingly, Pope Francis is scheduled to canonize his two predecessors next year. 

Why Time chose Pope Francis?

According to Time, Pope Francis has quickly captured the world's attention in just nine months in office.

     "And in a very short time, a vast, global, ecumenical audience has shown a hunger to follow him. For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world's largest church to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is TIME's 2013 Person of the Year." 
- Nancy Gibbs, Time

Aside from being Time's Person of the Year, he is also the most well regarded religious figure in America. According to CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, the Pope's approval rating is high in America; three in four Americans view him favorably.

Last November 12, Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor reported that Pope Francis is the most talked-about person on the planet according to the 14th annual survey from the Global Language Monitor.

And the most unexpected of all, even atheists admire him for his unpretentious humility, simplicity and closeness to people from all walks of life, especially the poorest of the poor and the needy.

Personally, for me, Pope Francis has sincerely showed God's mercy and kindness to the world most particularly to those who are in most need of mercy and kindness. Instead of being a leader, he is more of a loving father not just to Catholics but to everyone regardless of who they are, and that's what makes him Person of the Year

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


- Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936 in Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

- His father, Mario Jose Bergoglio who worked as an accountant in the railways was an Italian immigrant from Portacomaro, in the Asti Province of Italy. He left Italy to escape the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini. His mother, Regina Maria Sivori, who was also of Italian origin, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

- Pope Francis is the eldest of five children. Of his siblings, only his sister Maria Elena is still living.

- He had his elementary studies at a Salesian school in Ramos Mejia. He attended the technical secondary school at the Escueta Nacional de Educacion Tecnica. He graduated with honors in Chemistry.

- He felt that he was called to the priesthood on the feast of St. Matthew on September 21, 1953 at the age of sixteen. He studied at the Inmaculada Concepcion Seminary in Villa Devoto, Buenos Aires.

- Bergoglio entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus on March 11, 1958, and after two years, he made his first religious profession. He completed his studies in Humanities in the country of Chile. He graduated with a degree of Philosophy from Colegio de San Jose in 1963.

- He taught Literature and Philosophy at the Immaculate Conception College and Colegio de Salvatore in 1964-1965 and 1966, respectively. From 1967 to 1970 he studied Theology and obtained a degree from Colegio de San Jose.

- On December 13, 1969, four days before his thirty-third birthday, he was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Ramon Jose Castellano.

- In 1970 to 1971, he went to Spain to complete his training and formation at the University of Alcala de Henares. He finally made his perpetual vows with the Jesuits on April 22, 1973.

- In Argentina, Bergoglio was a Master of Novices and a theology professor at Villa Barilari, San Miguel. He was also the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits from 1973 to 1979, and a rector to his alma mater Colegio Maximo of the Faculty of Philosophy and Theology in 1980 to 1986.

- In 1980, he studied English for three months at the Jesuit Centre in Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy in Dublin, Ireland. And in March 1986, he completed his doctorate in Theology in Freiburg, Germany. 

- On May 20, 1992, he was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires. Seven days later on May 27, 1992, he received his episcopal ordination. He became Archbishop, Primate of Argentina on February 28, 1998. He was also appointed as Ordinary for the Eastern Catholics (autonomous self-governing particular churches) in Argentina who don't have a prelate of their own rite on November 6, 1998.

- Pope John Paul II appointed him as Cardinal on February 21, 2001. Later in October of that same year, he was made General Relator to the 10th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Episcopal Ministry. From 2005 to 2011, he served as president of the Argentine Episcopal Conference.

- As required by Canon Law, Bergoglio who turned 75 on December 17, 2011, submitted his resignation as Archbishop of Buenos Aires to Pope Benedict XI.

- On March 13, 2013, Bergoglio was chosen as the 266th Pope after Pope Benedict XVI resigned from the Papacy on February 28, 2013.

- www.vatican.va

Sunday, December 8, 2013


The Catholic Church was at first viewed as a sect of the Jewish religion since most of her members were Jews. They were called "Nazareans." Then Helenist (Greeks) begun to enter the church.

With the preaching of Stephen, the ire of the Jewish people turned on the nascent religion forcing the first Christians to flee from Jerusalem to Samaria and Antioch. It was at this time that Saul, later on to be St. Paul, became the fiercest persecutor of Christ's disciples. But struck down on the road to Damascus. Saul became the foremost proponent of the Gospel.

A vision confirmed to Peter that the gospel was not only for the Jews but for all. Then he sees Cornelius, who was not a Jew, receive the Holy Spirit.

It was in Antioch, where many of the Helenists had taken refuge that the disciples were called "Christians." From Antioch, the evangelization of the Roman Empire began.

Understandably, the Jewish Christians were slow in abandoning their Jewish practices, like circumcision and dietary prohibitions. They even imposed these practices on the Gentile Christians. To settle this once and for all, the apostles met in Jerusalem and decreed that Jewish practices should not be imposed on Gentile Christians, though Jewish Christians may continue some of these  Old Testament practices since it did not go against the new commands of the New Testament, like abstaining from eating blood of animals.

Origen states that this is the way the Gospel spread: Mark is said to have gone to Egypt where He founded the church of Alexandria. Tomas preached to the Parthians, Matthew to Ethiopia, Bartholomew went to upper India. Andrew to Scythia and John to Asia. Peter preached in Pontus, Galatia, Bythinia, Cappadocia and Asia.

Eusebius of Caesarea "Ecclesiastical History"

The above article is from Winnowing Fan which is owned and copyrighted by S of G Foundation. The publishing of this article in full is permitted without written authorization.

Monday, December 2, 2013


Pope Francis' Angelus message last Sunday, December 1, 2013 was a message of strong hope. He told the pilgrims at St. Peter's Square, that the day will come when nations will live in peace. He also told the pilgrims, "Let's put a bet on hope, on hope for peace, and peace will be possible."

He also reminded the people that advent is a season that renews the horizon of hope. He cited the Blessed Virgin Mary as the model of spiritual attitude of hope. He explained, "Although she was just a simple girl, she carried in her heart the hope of God."

I love this message of hope from the Pope. His message of hope is so timely. This is the kind of message that we need nowadays. Today, different countries around the world are beset by wars, political chaos, calamities and disasters. We are always tempted to lose hope. But let us not forget that even the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the Mother of God, was not spared nor exempted from trials and sufferings during her life on earth. In spite of all the trials that she encountered, she remained hopeful and her faith in God was unbreakable even after the death of her son on the cross. 

The pope encouraged the faithful to turn to Mary for guidance, he said, "Let us be guided by her, she who is a mother, she is a mama, and knows how to lead us. Let us be guided by her in this time of waiting and active vigilance."


Tuesday, November 19, 2013


The Catholic faith is still alive after super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda hit the Philippines' Eastern Visayas Region.

Last Sunday, November 17, 2013, many survivors flocked to the ruined churches in the affected areas in Tacloban, Leyte; Sta. Rita, Samar; Roxas City, Capiz just to name a few to attend holy mass, to pray for strength and guidance, and to give thanks to God for their "second life".


Here are some of the words of faith from the survivors:

"My faith is stronger than Yolanda."

"Even the rains cannot stop me from thanking the Lord for saving me and my family."
- Anita Carillo

"We're now homeless. But I'm very thankful I was able to save the two most important people in my life, my grandsons."
- Rosario Capidos

"The Lord has strengthened our faith and made us stronger in order for us to survive and start off all over again."
- Belen Curila

"Despite what happened, we still believe in God."

"The church may have been destroyed, but our faith is intact, as believers, as a people of God, our faith has not been destroyed."

- Rev. Amadeo Alvero

"Yes, there are a lot who came in today than usual. After all, it's to God we all turn to."
- Fr. Michael Vasquez

CNN's Anderson Cooper tweeted that he was awed by the strength and spirit of the Filipino people.

What Anderson Cooper does not know that this strength of spirit is borne out of strong faith in God, without which this tragedy would be so unbearable. Genuine faith in God knows no situation, we must believe in God not only in GOOD times but also in BAD times. That is the true test of faith.


Sunday, November 10, 2013


Another calamity hit my beloved county, the Philippines once again. Just last month, October 15, 2013, Philippines' two islands - Cebu and Bohol - were hit by a 7.2 earthquake. And now, barely a month after the earthquake, on November 8, 2013, Friday, a super typhoon with an international name Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines) hit the Philippines.

The super storm with sustained winds of 315 kph (195 mph) and gusts as strong as 380 kph (235 mph) moved across the eastern Visayas wrecking more than ten municipalities. It is reportedly the strongest typhoon to hit land anywhere in the world in recorded history. 


cc photo from Wikimedia Commons

The Holy Father, Pope Francis took to twitter to ask for prayers for the Philippines.

As of this date, the death toll is estimated at more or less 1,200 but according to Yahoo News, it is feared that the dead could reach 10,000. The devastation is indescribably enormous. There are still many persons who are missing or unaccounted for including children.  

To my fellow Catholics worldwide, please pray for us, that we will be able to overcome this ordeal, that we will able to rise again, and most importantly, that our faith in God will never vanish or fade.

Romans 8:35-39

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword? As it is written:

     "For Your sake we are killed all day long;
      We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Monday, October 21, 2013


On Sunday, October 20, 2013, after the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis invited the faithful to pray for the Philippines which have been struck by countless calamities, the latest of which is a 7.2 earthquake that struck the provinces of Bohol and Cebu last Tuesday, October 15, 2013 where more than one hundred people died.

Location of the Earthquake

cc Philippine map courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

cc Bohol and Cebu map courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The pope told the pilgrims that gathered for his Sunday Angelus:

"I want to express my closeness to the people of the Philippines who have been struck by a strong earthquake, and I invite you to pray for that dear Nation, which in recent days has suffered different calamities."

These words from our beloved pope mean a lot to us here in Cebu. To my fellow Catholics, please pray for us that our faith in God will remain strong in spite of all the calamities that hit our country.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Good news to all Catholics around the world. At the consistory (a meeting where the Pope and the College of Cardinals discuss about the causes of beatification and canonization) held at the Vatican on September 30, 2013, Monday, Pope Francis announced that Blessed Popes John XXIII and John Paul II will be canonized on April 27, 2014, second Sunday of Easter which is the feast of the Divine Mercy.

On the light of their upcoming canonization, here are some few significant and interesting facts about Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II.

- Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II have one thing in common. Both popes have become Time Magazine's "Man of the Year". Pope John XXIII became "Man of the Year" in 1962, while Pope John Paul II became "Man of the Year" in 1994.

- Blessed John XXIII became Pope at the age of nearly 77 in October of 1958, while Blessed John Paul II was 58 years old when he was elected as Pope in October of 1978.

- One of Blessed John XXIII's most important achievements was the convening of the 2nd Vatican Council. Of those who took part at the council was Pope John Paul II who was then Bishop Karol Wojtyla along with Bishop Josef Ratzinger who in April 2005 became Pope Benedict XVI.

- Pope John XXIII was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 3, 2000.

- The date of their forthcoming canonization, April 27, 2014 which falls on the feast of the Divine Mercy is very significant. Blessed John Paul II was the main key to the propagation of the message of the Divine Mercy. On April 30, 2000, he declared the 2nd Sunday of Easter as the Divine Mercy Sunday.

Blessed John XXIII, pray for us.
Blessed John Paul II, pray for us.

Monday, September 23, 2013


1 Timothy 6:10
     The love of money is the root of all evil. Some men in their passion for it have strayed from the faith, and have come to grief amid great pain.

On September 20, 2013 (Friday), Pope Francis' homily during the morning mass at Santa Marta was centered on 1 Timothy 6:10 which is about "the love of money."

He warned the faithful that greed can corrupt our hearts and weaken our faith, and that money sickens our minds, poisons our thoughts, and even poisons our faith. He added that if we are not careful, wealth can quickly lead to vanity, self-importance and the sin of pride. When we worship money, we are sinning against the first Commandment and making money our idol in the place of God.

This is so true. Let me add, that money can also destroy families. I have known many rich families here in my hometown who own businesses but is now divided because of internal conflicts, and the source of their family feud is none other than "money". The family members even sue each other in different courts, children against parents, brother against brother, all because of money. 

Here in the Philippines, while so many poor families, the poorest of the poor almost have nothing to eat, some of our politicians and government officials have involved themselves in scams just to multiply their wealth without any regard to those who are dying of hunger. 

I don't understand why these greedy politicians and government officials love money so much, when they cannot bring their money to their graves. Yes, money can buy everything, but NOT God.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Matthew 6: 14-15

     If you forgive those who sinned against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Christ's directive to forgive those who sinned against us is clear. There are no conditions or exemptions.

But, human as we are; it is easier said than done. It is so hard to forgive especially when the offense against us is so deep, traumatic and tragic. How can a rape victim be able to forgive her rapist? How can a mother forgive the person who killed her child? If someone tries to kill you but failed, can you forgive that person who tried to kill you? In all of these situations, is it possible to forgive? And Christ further tells us that, "If you do not forgive those who sinned against you, your Father will not forgive your sin."

Everyday, when we pray the Our Father, can we honestly say "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us?" God knows that as humans, we are not perfect and that we are prone to error. Everyday, every minute, every second, we sinned against God. But God is so patient with us. But we argue, at least our sins against God are just venial compared to murder and rape. But hey, who are we to say that our sins are just mild compared to others' sins. We are not all-knowing. Our judgment is different from God's judgment. Our minds are way too different from God's mind.

On July 5, 1902, eleven year old Maria Goretti was stabbed 14 times by 20 year old Alessandro Serinilli for refusing to have sex with him. Before she died, the priest asked her if she forgave Alessandro. Maria replied, "Yes, I forgive him and want him to be in paradise with me some day." Alessandro spent 30 years in prison. He repented after he dreamt of Maria. After serving his sentence, he asked Maria's mother for forgiveness. Maria's mother forgave him. Alessandro then lived at a Capuchin Monastery until his death. In his written personal testimony, he wrote, "When I was 20 years old, I committed a crime of passion. Now that memory represents something horrible for me. Maria Goretti, now a Saint, was my good angel sent to me through Providence to guide and save me." Maria Goretti was beatified and canonized on April 27, 1947 and on June 24, 1950, respectively by Pope Pius XII. Present at her canonization was Alessandro, the man she forgave.

On May 13, 1981, while Pope John Paul II was making his way around St. Peter's Square, he was shot by a Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca. But by God's protection, the Pope survived. Two days after Christmas of 1983, the Pope visited Ali Agca in prison and forgave him. He said, "I spoke to him as a brother whom I have pardoned ....."

I learned that forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a decision, it is a will. In my personal experience, I really find it hard to forgive those who had hurt me the most, but I know too well that if I don't forgive, I will not be forgiven. What a shame if I keep on praying "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those trespass against us" if I don't practice what I'm praying.

Forgiveness does not mean that we will be friends again with our offender or assailant, that we will trust them again, forgiveness means that we have to let go of our hatred towards our offenders. For hatred is against God who is Love.

Is it possible to forgive? Yes. Can we do it? If St. Maria Goretti and her mother were able to forgive Alessandro, and John Paul II was able to forgive Mehmet Ali Agca, then why can't we? If God forgave us a gazillion times everyday, then why can't we who are merely His creatures forgive our fellow creatures. Christ did not even spare himself from his own directive to forgive. He even showed us a perfect example of forgiving others - He forgave everyone while still hanging and dying on the cross. God would never command us to do something beyond our capacity.

If today, you find it hard to forgive someone, ask God's help. He is just waiting for you to ask His help. Tell Him that you cannot do it all by yourself and that you need Him in forgiving those who sinned against you. He understands you and He will never forsake you.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


cc photo by Michael 1952 on flickr

Name: Raymond Kolbe
Birthday: January 8, 1894
Birthplace: Zdunska, Wola, Poland
Parents: Julius Kolbe and Maria Dabrowska
Siblings: Francis, Joseph, Walenty and Andrew
Feast day: August 14 

- Kolbe was baptized Raymond on the day of his birth at the church of The Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Later, his family moved to Pabianice, Poland. He was the second child of five children two of whom died at an early age.

- Raymond was a mischievous child. At the age of ten, his mother who was irked by one of his pranks, asked him "Little Raymond, whatever is going to become of you?" That question left a mark on young Raymond's mind. Later on, Raymond prayed in front of the image (a painting) of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St. Matthew's church at Pabianice. The Virgin Mary emerged from her painting holding two crowns, one was white, the crown of purity and the other one was red, the crown of martyrdom and presented to them to the boy. Little Raymond accepted both crowns.

- At the age of sixteen, Raymond and his elder brother Francis entered the Conventual Franciscan Order in Lwow, Poland. In September 1910, Kolbe became a novice and took the name Maximilian.

- In September 1911, he made his first vows, and in November 1914, he professed his final vows in Rome. And also in Rome, from 1912 to 1915, he studied philosophy, theology, mathematics and physics.

- He earned a doctorate in Philosophy in 1915 at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and four years later in 1919, he earned a doctorate in Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Bonaventure.

- In 1917, along with six companions, he founded the Militia Imaculatae (Army of the Immaculate), a worldwide evangelization movement that encourages total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary as a means of spiritual renewal for individual and society. (Source: consecration.com)

- In 1918, Kolbe was ordained priest, and returned to Poland in 1919.

- In 1922, he founded the publication of a religious magazine the "Knight of the Immaculata." Because of the growing popularity of the magazine, in 1927, he built an evangelization center near Warsaw, Poland called Niepokolanow (city of the Immaculata) where he organized the growing number of priests and brothers to write and publish the magazine. The center was also a house of prayer, work, study and refuge for Jews during World War II.

- Together with four brothers, he left Poland for Japan in March 1930. They arrived in Nagasaki in April 24. One month later, he published the first edition of "Seibo No Kishi", the Japanese version of the "Knight of the Immaculata." He also built a friary "Mugenzai No Sono", which is Japan's equivalent to Poland's Niepokolanow. After six years in Japan, they returned to Poland.

- In February 1941, he was arrested by the German Secret State Police or the Gestapo and put in Pawiak Prison in Warsaw, Poland. This is because of the articles that criticized the Nazis that he published in his magazine.

- After three months in Pawiak Prison, he was transferred to Auschwitz death camp in Southern Poland where millions of prisoners suffered and died, majority of which were Jews.

- In August 1941, at the death camp, after the evening roll call, it was found out that a prisoner had escaped. By way of reprisal, ten prisoners were picked at random to be starved to death at an underground cell. But one of the ten prisoners Francis Gajowniczek cried because he had a wife and two children. Father Kolbe approached the commander and asked to take the place of Francis. The commander then exchanged the two prisoners. Francis Gajowniczek was saved, while Father Kolbe was brought at the underground cell.

- On August 14, 1941, eve of the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, after two weeks of starvation and dehydration, Father Kolbe was still alive, but the SS guards killed him by injecting him with carbolic acid. The following day, his body was cremated.

- Father Kolbe was beatified by Pope Paul VI on October 17, 1971, and canonized on October 10, 1982 by Pope John Paul II. In attendance at Father Kolbe's canonization was Francis Gajowniczek.

It must be noted that devotion to the mother of God was the center of Kolbe's spirituality. He believed that the shortest, surest way to conversion and personal sanctification was consecrating oneself to God through the Blessed Virgin Mary.

"One deed of mercy is actually a perpetual act no matter how small or insignificant."
- St. Maximilian Kolbe

St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.

- Ocean of Mercy DVD
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilian_Kolbe

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I am one of those who are guilty of this crime. I call backbiting a crime because it is like a dagger that penetrates deep into the inner core of a person's personality without that person's knowledge. It damages or destroys that person's image, name and reputation.

What is more disgusting is that sometimes, the backbiters are the person's friends, colleagues and relatives. It is more painful when the one who talks against you behind your back are those people who are close to you or those whom you trust, than those who do not like you or hate you. The victims of this crime are usually stabbed at their backs without their knowledge. The perpetrators are sometimes cannot be suspected because they are usually kind and friendly when they are in front of you. 

Backbiting is like eating sweets, the moment you start talking against a person, you could hardly stop. It is like a sugarcoated deadly poison.

Jesus, during his time was also a victim of backbiting. I am also one of the victims of this crime too. Well, unlike Jesus, I deserve it because I also stab people at their backs. I realized that I do not have the right to get mad when somebody talks against me behind my back.

This is one of the evils that I am presently working on removing from my system. It is so unchristian especially to someone who professes to be a devotee of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What a shame! Shame on me!

How to remove this virus from my life? One of my techniques is to always remember the saying "Do not do unto others what you do not want others will do unto you." What would I feel if people talks against me, ridicule me, or slanders me without my knowledge? I would also take into consideration the fact that God hears and knows every word that I say. 

See? I am not perfect; I am also a disgusting sinner, that's why I need to pray every day. Prayer especially the Rosary prayer is one of the best weapons against this evil called backbiting.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Today, April 16, 2013 is the first birthday of Benedict XVI as Pope Emeritus.

Happy 86th birthday Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.  (English)
Maligayang kaarawan Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. (Filipino)

I wish to greet you a Happy Birthday in your own German language, but I don't know the German translation for "HAPPY BIRTHDAY".

Thank you and God bless you.

Monday, April 15, 2013




"Miserando atque eligendo", meaning lowly but chosen; literally means 'by having mercy, by choosing him' in Latin.

Pope Francis chose this motto when he was still a bishop. It was taken from the Homilies of St. Bede the Venerable on the gospel of St. Matthew. It refers to the calling of Matthew, the tax collector to be Christ's apostle. St. Bede explained that Christ saw Matthew with His eyes of mercy and chose him to be His apostle.

St. Bede's homily was centered on God's divine mercy and is reproduced in the Liturgy of the Hours on the Feast of St. Matthew. This homily took a special meaning on Pope Francis' young life and his spiritual journey. At the age of 17, on the feast of St. Matthew in 1953, Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis) felt the touch of God's divine mercy and the call to religious life following in the footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola.



Pope Benedict XVI's episcopal motto "Cooperatores Veritatis" means 'Cooperators of Truth'. Even though this motto does not appear in his papal coat of arms, it remains as his personal motto. He explained, "I choose that motto because in today's world, the theme of truth is omitted almost entirely, as something too great for man, and yet everything collapses if truth is missing."



"Totus Tuus" is a Latin phrase which means 'I am totally yours.' This motto is addressed to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

During World Ward II, young Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) worked as a factory worker at a chemical plant. During this time, he came upon a book entitled True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis Marie de Montfort. The book made him understand that devotion to Mary is actually Christocentric. His motto was his expression of his total abandonment and consecration to the mother of God.

Crossing the Threshold of Hope by His Holiness John Paul II, ISBN 0-671-00047-0

Monday, April 1, 2013


What is a coat of arms?

Coat of arms is a special design on a shield that identifies and represents a person, family, group or a country. More than just representing or identifying its owner, papal coat of arms symbolizes a pope's primary guiding principles.

Coat of Arms of Pope Francis

cc image by Poznaniak on Wikimedia Commons

On the center of the blue shield of Pope Francis' coat of arms is the emblem of the Society of Jesus, the pope's order of origin. He retained this Jesuit emblem from his episcopal coat of arms. The emblem consists of the radiant yellow sun, inside of which are three red letters "IHS" which is derived from the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus; a cross surmounting the letter H; and three black nails under the letter H.

Below the Jesuit emblem, are the yellow star which represents the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the nard flower which represents St. Joseph, patron of the universal church.  The star and the nard flower symbolize the pope's devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph.

Below the shield is Pope Francis' motto "Miserando atque eligendo", meaning lowly but chosen; literally means by 'having mercy, by choosing him' in Latin.

Coat of Arms of Pope Benedict XVI

cc image by Plotr Michal Jaworski on Wikimedia Commons

The shield of Pope Benedict XVI's coat of arms is in the shape of a chalice. It is divided into three sections.

Shell - at the center of the shield is a gold shell which has three symbols:

First, it symbolizes the story of St. Augustine who was walking by the seashore while trying to understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity. He saw a boy who was trying to scoop water from the sea and pour them into the small hole in the sand using a seashell. He asked the boy what he was doing, the boy explained that he wanted to put the entire sea into that small hole. St. Augustine told the boy that it is impossible to transfer the sea into that tiny hole. The boy told St. Augustine that it is more impossible to fathom the depths of God's mystery with his inadequate human intelligence. Then the boy vanished who was, according to legend was an angel.

Second, the shell also symbolizes pilgrimage. It is the sign of a pilgrim. The Pope is a pilgrim to all the corners of the world.

Third, the shell is found in the coat of arms of the ancient Monastery of Schotten near Regensburg in Bavaria. Pope Benedict XVI is spiritually bound to this ancient monastery.

Moor's head - at the upper left corner of the shield is a Moor's head. It is the ancient emblem of the Diocese of Freising which was founded in the 8th century. In 1818 the diocese became a Metropolitan Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. In March 1977, Pope Paul VI appointed Joseph Ratzinger as Archbishop of Munich and Freising. He introduced this emblem into his episcopal coat of arms.

Brown bear or Corbinian's bear - at the upper right corner of the shield is a brown bear with a packsaddle on its back. Tradition tells a story of Freising's first Bishop, St. Corbinian who travelled to Rome on a horseback ride. While on the road, his horse was attacked and killed by a bear, but St. Corbinian was able to tame the bear and even made the bear carry his load. When he arrived in Rome, the bear returned to Bavaria. Corbinian's bear symbolizes the weight of office that Pope Benedict XVI carried.

Pallium - below the shield is the Pallium with three red crosses. It represents the role of the Bishop as the shepherd to Christ's flock.

Coat of Arms of Pope John Paul II

cc image by User:Magul on Wikimedia Commons

There are only two items on the blue shield of Pope John Paul II's coat of arms - the cross and the capital letter M. It is intended as an act of homage to the Redemption.

The coat of arms also reflects Pope John Paul II's deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary who steadfastly stood at the foot of the cross as represented by the capital letter M beneath the cross.

Symbols of Papal Dignity

The coat of arms of Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II all has the same major components: two keys - a gold key and a silver key joined by a red cord; and a shield. But Pope John Paul II used a papal tiara while Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI both used the mitre instead of a papal tiara.

Meaning of the symbols of papal dignity:

1. Papal tiara - found above of Pope John Paul II's blue shield is the tiara. The tiara has been used for centuries by popes in their coat of arms until the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. The three crowns of the tiara represent the three powers of Order, Jurisdiction and Magisterium.

2. Mitre - above the shields of Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI is a bishop's mitre with three gold stripes which recalls the three crowns of the tiara that represent order, jurisdiction and magisterium. The three stripes retained this meaning.

3. The two keys symbolize the power to loose and bind on heaven and on earth which was Christ's promise to Peter in Matthew 16:19 "I will entrust to you they keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound on heaven; whatever you declared loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

a. Gold key represents the power that reaches to heaven.
b. Silver key represents the pope's spiritual authority on earth.
c. Red cord that joined the two keys indicates the unity of the two powers.