Pope Francis is Kissing A Horribly Disfigured Man

7 11 2013

God Loves You, Jesus Loves You And I love You

Like St Francis Who Kissed A Leper, Pope Francis is Kissing A Horribly Disfigured Man .God Loves You, Jesus Loves You, And Francis Loves You.

Disfigured man embraced by Pope: ‘I felt only love’

By Daniel Burke and Livia Borghese, CNN

Rome (CNN)  The photo roused emotions and sparked conversations around the world – but the man at the center of the image says the moment left him speechless.

“I tried to speak, to tell him something, but I couldn’t: The emotion was too strong,” says Vinicio Riva, the disfigured man embraced by Pope Francis in images that went viral.

“It all lasted not more than a minute, but it seemed an eternity,” Riva told the Italian magazine Panorama this weekend.

Riva, whose body is covered with tumors due to a rare disease, said his unusual appearance has led to a lifetime of living on the margins.

That is, until he showed up at St. Peter’s Square on November 6.

Riva went to Rome on the advice of a friend with whom he travels to Lourdes, the Catholic shrine in France visited by thousands of ailing and infirm pilgrims each year.

After meeting Francis, Riva said he kissed the Pope’s hand. Then the Pope pulled Riva toward him, hugging the 53-year-old Italian and kissing his face.

MORE ON CNN: Why the Pope’s embrace is so powerful

Riva, who lives in Vicenza in northern Italy, said he suffers from neurofibromatosis Type 1, which causes painful tumors to grow throughout his body. His younger sister and late mother also suffered from the rare disease, Riva told Panorama.

The first signs of the disease began when he was 15, Riva said, and since then, he has often felt ostracized because of his unusual appearance.

But the Pope showed no sign of discomfort as he approached, said Riva. Instead, the pontiff’s face broke into a calm smile.

“But what most astonished me is that he didn’t think twice on embracing me,” Riva said. “I’m not contagious, but he didn’t know. He just did it; he caressed all my face, and while he was doing that, I felt only love.”





“Turn Me Over. I’m Done On This Side!” Says A Man Condemned To The Flames

10 08 2013

Lawrence was a deacon in charge of giving help to the poor and the needy. On Aug. 10, 354, a persecution broke out and the Prefect of Rome, a greedy pagan, thought the Church had a great fortune hidden away. So he ordered Lawrence to bring the Church’s treasure to him. Lawrence said he would, in three days. Then he went through the city and gathered together all the poor and sick people supported by the Church. When he showed them to the Prefect, he said: “This is the Church’s treasure!”

In great anger, the Prefect condemned Lawrence to a slow, cruel death. They tied him on top of an iron grill over a slow fire that roasted his flesh little by little, but Lawrence was burning with so much love of God that he almost did not feel the flames. In fact, God gave him so much strength and joy that he even joked. “Turn me over,” he said to the judge. “I’m done on this side!” And just before he died, he said, “It’s cooked enough now.” Then he prayed that the city of Rome might be converted to Jesus and that Faith might spread all over the world. After that, he died and went to heaven to receive his reward of Everlasting life.





Murdered Girl’s Body Remains In-corrupt 1500 yrs After: Story Of Cecilia

25 07 2013

In the city of Rome, in the year 200, a beautiful girl whose name was Cecilia was given in marriage to a young man called Valerian by her parents. On the night of their marriage, she said to her husband, “I will tell you a secret. Will you swear not to reveal it to anyone?”
“I swear I will not reveal it to anyone. On my honor!” her husband replied.
“I have an angel who watches over me and will not allow anyone to touch me,” she said.
“Where is this Angel?” he asked, “I would like to see him.”
“You can only see him if you become a Christian,” she replied.
“Then I wish to become Christian.”
She then sent him receive the Christian faith from a priest and when he returned home, on entering her room, he saw her praying in her chamber, and an angel by her side holding two crowns of roses.
The Angel placed the crown on the head of Cecilia and her husband saying: “Keep these crowns with a clean body, for I have brought them to you from Paradise, and they shall never fade, nor wither, nor lose their savor, nor be seen but by those of pure heart. Cecilia preached had converted many to the Christian faith. But one day, she was arrested, and condemned to death because Christianity was illegal in Rome at that time. An executioner sent to cut off her head struck her neck three times, but was not able to sever the head from her neck. He left her bleeding, lying on the floor unable to move. Crowds came to her, and collected her blood with napkins and sponges, whilst she preached to them or prayed. After three days she died and was buried.
Seven centuries later, when her tomb was opened in Rome, the body of the Cecilia, was found perfect and incorrupt draped in expensive gold brocade and with the cloths soaked in her blood at her feet.cecilia 2

Above is the sculptor of Cecilia  by renaissance sculptor Stefano Maderno who swore that he has recorded the body as he saw it when the tomb was opened in 1599. The statue depicts the three axe strokes described in the 5th-century account of her martyrdom. It also is meant to underscore the incorruptibility of her cadaver (an attribute of some saints), which miraculously still had congealed blood after centuries





The Weeping Emperor

27 06 2013

The Weeping Emperor

Otto the Great, Emperor of Germany visited Rome. On his way home, he passed through the land of Albania where people said a hermit, whose name was Nile, who was renowned throughout the whole country for his holy life, lived. So Otto went to the place where the hermit dwelt.

When he had spoken to Nile for some time, the Emperor rose up to go ; but before leaving he said to him, ” Nile, ask of me whatever you like, just as if you were my own son, and I will give it to you with the greatest joy.”

Nile put his hand on the Emperor s breast, and said, in a solemn voice, ” I ask of you, O Emperor, only one thing, and that is, that you will take care of your soul. Oh yes, I ask you, in the Name of God, to take care of your soul ; for, although you are an Emperor, you must one day die like other men, and will have to give an account to God of everything you have done ; and what will it avail you then if you have lost your soul ?”

When the Emperor heard these words he began to weep, arid, kneeling down at the Nile’s feet, he took the royal crown off his head and answered, ”  I will do what you ask me ; but pray you to God for me, and give me now your blessing.”

When he received the blessing of the Saint he rose up, and, still weeping and sobbing, went away along with those who had accompanied him.

Otto was then only about twenty years old. He had come to that time of life which is full of the greatest dangers. But he always kept in mind the solemn words to Nile, and as soon as any temptation came to trouble him, he remembered his promise, that he would all his lifetime take most care of his soul.

So he led a life of great piety. His prayers were long and fervent, and he gave great alms to the poor. People used to say he was more like an angel in Heaven than a man upon earth. Thus he passed his life, and when the end came he died the death of the Saints, and he is now in Heaven, happy with God, because he followed the advice of  Nile, and took most care of his soul.

 





Gay Lobby in Vatican

12 06 2013

Unconfirmed reports in Daily Telegraph said that Pope Francis has admitted that a “gay lobby” exists within the Vatican’s administration and is planning to take action about it, according to reports. The Pontiff supposedly made the claim during an audience last Thursday at the Vatican with a group of Latin American priests and nuns.

“Yes, it is difficult,” he reportedly said. “In the Curia there are holy people, truly holy people. But there is also a current of corruption, also there is, it is true … they speak of a ‘gay lobby’ and that is true, it is there … we will have to see what we can do.”
A Vatican spokesman declined to comment on the statement, which was reported by the Chilean Catholic website, Reflexion y Liberation. “This was a private meeting held by the Pope and I will not comment on private meetings,” said Fr Federico Lombardi.

Asked about the scheduled reforms of the Roman Curia, the Pope said, “I cannot carry out the reforms myself,” he said, because “I am very disorganised” he said that the task will be handled by a commission of eight cardinals from around the world whom he appointed in April to help him govern the Catholic Church, set to meet for the first time in October.
“Pray for me, for me to make as few errors as possible,” the Pope who recently surprised the Muslim world by washing and kissing the feet of  a Muslim woman  something Muslim see fitting only for slaves. In observance of Holy Thursday, a day on which Catholic priests and bishops throughout the world recreate Jesus washing and kissing the feet of his Apostles at the Last Supper, Pope Francis did the same to a dozen juvenile inmates at a detention center in Rome, including Jewish, Muslim and two women detainees.

Before the 12 juveniles, Pope Francis kneeled on a stone floor, poured water over their feet, dried them with a towel, and then kissed each foot.

“This is a symbol, it is a sign — washing your feet means I am at your service,” the new Pope told the detainees. “Help one another. This is what Jesus teaches us. This is what I do. And I do it with my heart. I do this with my heart because it is my duty, as a priest and bishop I must be at your service.”

According to Fox News Latino, this is the first time a Pope has ever kissed the foot of a woman.As an archbishop in Argentina, Pope Francis used Holy Thursday as an opportunity to wash the feet of those in prisoners and the sick — including AIDS patients. I am sure all the women of the world now knows that the Pope loves them.





The Next big thing in Africa By Chinwuba Iyizoba

20 04 2013

The Next big thing in Africa

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

On Ash Wednesday, the 36th session of IFAD’s Governing Council convened in Rome with a focus on the power of partnerships to reduce rural poverty and ensure food security worldwide and Africa was once again on the agenda. In an address delivered by Pope Benedict XVI to the president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)Mr. Kanayo F. Nwanze, one can see that Africa’s food problem is the Pope’s great concern. The Holy Father thanked the Organization for the constant attention given to Africa and the supporting projects of “rural credit” with which IFAD aims to endow small farmers with modest but essential financial resources to empower them.

In Africa, big farms are often divided amongst children as inheritance, sometimes leaving each a patch, large enough to grow a handful of corn. Collectivizing these small farms into large holders could breed trouble, unless the government intervenes. But many African governments do not invest in agriculture. Thus small holder farms represent 80 per cent of all farms in sub-Saharan Africa and contribute up to 90 per cent of production in some countries. At the meetings in the Ethiopian capital last year, the IFAD President said that smallholder farmers are at the centre of any plan for post-2015 and a key challenge IFAD is helping build the capacity of smallholder farmers and their organizations so that they can become viable rural businesses, particularly for women and young people who shoulder the future of African smallholder farming.

In Nigeria, at least, the Holy father’s concerns are already being addressed, thanks to the Harambe initiative, a non-profit organization aimed at helping hardworking and ambitious youths to see opportunities in farming, train them to start smallholder farms and support already existing small holder farms in their local community. According to 25 years old Tola Sunmonu, the President of Harambe Nigeria and graduate of Stanford University, California, “We intend to provide the necessary information to get young people to start thinking about agriculture as a lucrative career. Rebuilding of the agriculture sector is one of the smartest strategies towards rebuilding the Nigerian economy. We believe that the sector is extremely undervalued and there are a lot of opportunities available, especially for hardworking and ambitious youth.”

But this is not an easy task considering that young people in Africa are often averse to farming as observed by Ezekwesili Oby, Vice President for the World Bank’s Africa Region. “Africans do not want to be the farmers their grandparents were: hoe in hand, tilling the soil in scorching sun all year round, harvesting barely enough to feed, shelter and house their families,” she said, “making the sector more attractive to the African youth – seven-to-ten million of whom join the labor force each year – must entail modernizing agriculture, raising productivity, boosting incomes, and expanding links to export markets.”

Before 1970, many Nigerians were farmers, and Agriculture contributed more than 75 percent of export earnings. Northern Nigeria, though the least educated at that time was in the fore front of agriculture with gigantic ground-nut pyramids dotting the skyline. By the mid-1990s, agriculture’s share of exports had declined to less than 5 percent, due to the neglect. In the North, rolling pastures have gave way to arid fields, and swathes of Muslims youths took up Islamic militancy, hundreds thrive on government contract and thousands of families rely on state governments food hand-out.

“It is essential to provide farmers with solid formation, constant updating and technical assistance in their activity, as well as support for initiatives to build associations and cooperatives capable of proposing effective models of production…some peoples could greatly improve upon the conditions of their life if they would change over from antiquated methods of farming to the new tech,” the holy father said.

But the directors of Harambe initiative has already heeded the Holy father logic by integrating farming with the IT industry, a mix that has the potential of attracting young people by getting rid of the stigma that often associates farmers with the illiterate. It has a website called the Farmland which provides resources that give young people access to the skills, network and capital that they need to establish themselves in the sector. Harambe provide resources that give young people access to the skills, network and capital that they need to establish themselves in the sector in some cases. “Our main project is the Harambe Incubator for Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (HISARD),” says Tola. HISARD comprises a two-year scholarship program in which selected students engage in extensive training and research which they use to develop and implement innovative solutions to the agricultural problems facing the small holders farms in local communities.

“If you ask me what the next ‘big thing’ in Africa will be, I’d say without hesitation agriculture and agri-business,” Ezekwesili said at an investor forum organized by Africa investor, in 2010. But Government yet still needs to do its part. It needs to guarantee land rights for farmers, ensuring that large commercial farms – which are bound to employ fewer people — co-exist with the millions of smallholder farms.”

According to Ezekwesili, smallholder farmers must gain access, not only to more productive seeds and other farm inputs, but also to finance, irrigation, research and technology. Equally important are land reforms, the building and maintenance of adequate infrastructure (farm- to-market roads, for example), and the implementation of effective post harvest marketing strategies.

Even in Rwanda, the Holy Father’s logic resonates. Addressing the 35th session of the Governing Council, last year, Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda said, “If the world is to meet the twin objectives of feeding the growing population and protecting the environment we will have to do what we know works…and that is targeted support and investment in smallholder farming to raise agricultural productivity, contribute to food security and reduce poverty, while protecting our planet.” Using Rwanda’s experience, Kagame said that the world’s growing population can get enough food only if smallholder farmers have access to basic modern farming tools including fertilizers, improved seeds and professional advices. What is clear is that in the absence of strong government like Rwanda, non government organization like Harambe might be the only hope of other African countries.

Finally, though the United Nations Food Agency, distributes food vouchers worth millions of dollar to Africans every year, the Holy Fathers vision, like axiom that says “give a child fish, he eats for a day, teach him to fish, he eats for life”, offers a more enduring solution to Africa’s food problems.

Chinwuba Iyizoba is an Engineer. He is also the author of “ After the Juju Man

 








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