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Blessed James Oldo

Blessed James Oldo

Feast date: Apr 19

James Oldo experienced a radical conversion that led him to become a Franciscan tertiary, and later a priest.

He was born in 1364 into a rich family in Lodi, Italy. He married at a young age, and he and his wife both led a very self-indulgent lifesyle. One day, a traveling reproduction of the Holy Sepulchre came to thier town. As a joke, James lay down on it to compare his height to Christ's.

As soon as he laid down on it, he was instantly converted, and became a tertiary soon after.

At first, his mother and wife were opposed to the change they saw in him, but soon they grew attracted to his new ways and became tertiaries as well. The family turned their mansion into a chapel and worked with the sick and with prisoners.

When James’ wife died, he became a priest. His acts of penance were so severe that his bishop had to order him to eat at least three times a week. He was a celebrated preacher, who inspired many to enter the religious life. He also prophesied wars and his own death. He died at the age of 40 in 1404. When his body was moved seven years after his death, it was found incorrupt.

Support indigenous efforts to 'take care of their roots,' nuncio tells UN forum (Holy See Mission)

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, apostolic nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, addressed a UN forum on indigenous youth and called on states to “continue to engage in dialogue with indigenous peoples, including indigenous youth, to support their efforts to ‘take care of their roots.’”

“Indigenous youth are also at the forefront in advocating for the protection of ancestral lands, natural resources, and ecosystems, which constitute a key component of indigenous peoples’ identity,” the senior Vatican diplomat said. “Identity and dialogue are not mutually exclusive; in fact, respect for each [other’s] identity is essential if there is to be genuine dialogue.”

Palestinian Christian woman arrested without warrant, detained without charges (Church Times)

Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, the Anglican primate, has voiced concern about the arrest of Layan Nasir, 23, a Palestinian Christian woman.

Nasir was arrested at gunpoint in her parents’ home in the West Bank on April 6 without a warrant and has been detained without charges.

In his coverage of the arrest for the Vatican newspaper, Roberto Cetera reported that Nasir is the only Christian among the 3,500 people in Israeli administrative detention.

“Administrative detention has a ‘preventive’ character, i.e., it concerns the possibility that the arrested person may commit a crime in the future, even if he has no criminal record,” Cetera reported. “So theoretically anyone could be arrested without any proven guilt, or suspicion of guilt.”

Papal condolences following death of Colombian cardinal (Vatican Press Office)

Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolence to Cardinal Luis José Rueda Aparicio of Bogotá, Colombia, following the death of his predecessor, Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Sáenz.

“As I offer prayers for the eternal repose of this devoted pastor, who with his dedication and work offered his life for the good of the Church, I commend to the maternal intercession of the Virgin of Chiquinquirá,” Pope Francis wrote. (The Blessed Virgin Mary is venerated in Colombia under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá.)

Pope Francis intends to visit Argentina this year, governor says after audience (@gustavovaldesok)

Pope Francis intends to visit his native Argentina this year, an Argentine governor said following an April 17 audience with the Pontiff.

“He expressed to me his intention to visit Argentina this year, which would be a gesture in pursuit of unity and concord among Argentinians in difficult times for the country,” tweeted Governor Gustavo Valdés of Corrientes (map).

Valdés began his series of tweets by saying that he had conveyed “the warm embrace of the people of Corrientes expressed in their unwavering faith in the Holy Patroness, Our Lady of Itatí.”

Valdés said that he and the Pontiff discussed the current “political, economic, and social” situation of Argentina, as well as the “challenges faced by a society in permanent transformation.” He added, “We addressed two topics of great interest to him: education and ecology.”

Program announced for international meeting of parish priests at Vatican (Synod of Bishops)

The Vatican has published the agenda of the upcoming international meeting “Parish Priests for the Synod,” which was announced in February amid criticism that parish priests were insufficiently included on the Synod on synodality.

The meeting’s coordinator is Bishop Luis Marín de San Martín, OSA, one of the two undersecretaries of the Synod of Bishops; the overarching theme is “How to be a synodal local Church in mission?”

The talks and discussion on April 29 are devoted to “the face of the synodal Church”; on April 30, to “all disciples, all missionaries”; and on May 1, to “weaving ties, building communities.” On May 2, the gathering will conclude with a conversation with Pope Francis, followed by Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, celebrated by Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.

Five parish priests from the United States are among the over 200 from around the world who will take part in the gathering.

Pope Francis pays tribute to St. Pius X (Vatican News (Italian))

Pope Francis has written the preface to Omaggio a Pio X: Ritratti coevi [Tribute to Pius X: Contemporary Portraits], a new book by Father Lucio Bonora, an official of the Secretariat of State.

Pope Francis praised his predecessor, who reigned from 1903 to 1914, as a “meek and strong Pope. A humble and clear Pope. A Pope who made the whole Church understand that without the Eucharist, and without assimilation of revealed truth, personal faith weakens and dies.”

“Pope Pius X: a Pope who desired to stand with the little ones, the poor, the needy, earthquake victims, the disadvantaged, and those suffering from natural disasters,” Pope Francis continued.

In a likely reference to the Society of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Pope Francis added, “Pius X is not confined to past eras of history or monopolized by particular groups, but belongs to the Church of today, to the people of the Church, that is, to the people, to the baptized of all ages, who want to be faithful to the Gospel and to their proper Pastors and feel the saints as true models of life and their sincere companions on the journey behind Jesus and the Gospel, drawing on the examples and choices of their lives.”

Pope Francis concluded, “Long live St. Pius X, and may he live deeply in the heart of the Church of today!”

Indian cardinal calls voting a 'sacred duty,' urges faithful to put it before pilgrimage (AsiaNews)

Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrão, the president of the Latin-rite Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, urged the faithful of his diocese to vote in the national election.

Voting takes place in different Indian states and territories on different days; the faithful in his Archdiocese of Goa and Daman will vote on May 7. Cardinal Ferrão asked the faithful, if necessary, to postpone pilgrimages to the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health “for the sake of the greater good and the sacred duty of exercising one’s franchise on the election day.”

In a time of increasingly mainstream Hindu nationalism, the prelate called for votes for candidates committed to the Indian constitution’s nonsectarianism: candidates “with secular credentials, who are truly committed to work for the good of all the people and to uphold the values enshrined in our Constitution.”

Congo nears chaos, cardinal warns (Fides)

Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu of Kinshasa has warned that the situation in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo “is deteriorating day by day,” as rebel troops gain ground and “the Congolese army is in complete chaos.”

The cardinal reports that the government has provided weapons to militia groups in the region, hoping they would join in the fight against the rebels. “All of these groups are now well armed, and the population is paying the price, the risk of general insecurity.” He said that the armed groups have robbed and murdered, and used their new strength to trade in the minerals from the region’s rich mines.

Torture is inhuman, Pope says (Rome Reports)

At the conclusion of his April 17 general audience, Pope Francis deplored torture as he called for the release of prisoners of war and appealed for peace.

“And speaking of prisoners, those who are tortured come to mind,” he said to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “The torture of prisoners is a horrible thing, it is not human. We think of so many kinds of torture that wound the dignity of the person, and of so many tortured people.”