HONOLULU BISHOP SILVA IS GUEST ON VATICAN INSIDER - HOLY FATHER TO VISIT NAPLES IN MARCH 2015 - CARDINAL PAROLIN: ALBANIA, A CULTURE OF ENCOUNTER
Friday, September 19, 2014
As he has done previously before apostolic trips, yesterday afternoon Pope Francis made a private visit to St. Mary Major Basilica to pray in silence before the image of Mary so beloved by Romans, Salus Populi Romani. The Pope departs Sunday on a one-day trip to Albania. He left a floral tribute before the image and stayed in the basilica, which was closed to the public, for half an hour.

I am praying that all goes well in Albania, and that the Pope will announce (as I tweeted on June 15) Blessed Mother Teresas canonization! She was born in Albania.

HONOLULU BISHOP SILVA IS GUEST ON VATICAN INSIDER

My guest this week on Vatican Insider is Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu. We met several times during my July visit and spoke on July 31 after the ceremony and Mass for the enshrinement of the remains of St. Marianne Cope in the Honolulu cathedral. We talk about that ceremony, St. Marianne and also about Brother Joseph Dutton could he be Kalaupapas third saint? Fascinating story! Bishop Silva also speaks about a relative who had been exiled to Kalaupapa at the same time Mother Marianne was there.

He is pictured here with some of the Franciscan Sisters of the Neumann Communities next to the reliquary with St. Mariannes remains. The bishop is wearing the famous Maile lei.

In Hawaii, the placing of a lei over the head and around the shoulders of a person exemplifies the bestowing of honor and respect, and also the spirit of aloha. According to Hawaiian tradition, the maile was the lei for people of all classes and all occasions. The maile is a long-lasting lei and probably the oldest and most popular material used in leis by the early Hawaiians. It is an open-ended horseshoe fashion lei made of the spicy scented green maile stems and leaves.

The maile is most often reserved for memorable occasions. It is known to many as the lei of royalty, given to signify respect and honor. The maile is very popular at weddings and graduations. Wedding leis are a Hawaiian wedding tradition. They were used by the Kahuna (Hawaiian priest) in old Hawaii to bind the hands of the bride and groom, symbolizing their commitment to each other.

HOLY FATHER TO VISIT NAPLES IN MARCH 2015

Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, archbishop of Naples, announcd Friday at a Mass for the 'miracle' of San Gennaro that the Holy Father will visit Naples on March 21, 2015. It was confirmed by the Holy See Press Office. He said the Pope will lunch with prison inmates, meet the sick and meet young Neapolitans. Pope Francis had promised to visit the Naples diocese when he went to nearby Caserta on July 26.

The cardinal spoke after celebrating the liquefaction of the blood of Naples' patron saint, a good omen for the southern Italian city. Today is the feast day of San Gennaro. The liquefaction occurred at 10:11 am.

September 19 marks the feast of San Gennaro St. Januarius in English - a much loved saint in Italy, especially Naples, because his blood, kept in two vials, liquefies twice a year. One of those days is his feast day, September 19.

St. Gennaro is much loved in Naples and is, in fact, the patron saint of the diocese of Naples, the principal patron saint of the city (it has several dozen patrons), of the region of Campania and also the patron of blood banks and volcanic eruptions. He is, thankfully, the patron to prevent volcanic eruptions and Im sure you know of the devastating history of the eruptions of Vesuvius that destroyed both Pompeii and Herculaneum, whose amazing ruins can still be visited today.

Saint Gennaro, a bishop of Benevento, is a saint and martyr in both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions. According to legend, he was beheaded in 305 during the persecution of Diocletian near Pozzuoli a Naples neighborhood - at the sulphur mines near the Solfatara, where he was visiting imprisoned deacons. It is said that, at Gennaros beheading, his blood was soaked up with a sponge-like item by a Christian woman and placed in two vials.The relics the saints head and his blood - were rediscovered in 1480. Cardinal Oliviero Carafa in 1497 ordered the relics brought to Naples.

CARDINAL PAROLIN: ALBANIA, A CULTURE OF ENCOUNTER

Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin told Vatican television that one of the Popes main reasons for visiting Albania on Sunday is to highlight how the former Communist country has chosen a culture of encounter rather than using religion to fan the flames of conflict.

In an interview in Italian with Vatican television, (CTV) the cardinal says the Holy See offers its support and encouragement to the people of Albania as they continue to emerge from a long winter of isolation and seek integration into the European Union.

Noting the difficulties that people faced under the decades of dictatorship, Cardinal Parolin says Albanians can offer the rest of Europe the example of a spiritual patrimony that survived despite the persecution, as well as a strong sense of the family.

In Albania today, says the secretary of State, religious freedom is respected and the Church is engaged in the reconstruction process of rebuilding both churches and helping people to rebuild a sense of faith in the future. This young Church, he says, is marked by the martyrdom of so many under the atheist regime, but also by a spirit of forgiveness and the generosity of so many people who have supported the reconstruction process over the past two decades. (Vatican Radio)

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