CWN - On the two days preceding the canonization of St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II, Pope Francis received in separate audiences President-elect Salvador Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador, President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras, President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland, and King Albert II of Belgium, who abdicated in 2013.

Pope Francis also received in audience Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine, who assumed office on February 27 as pro-Russian forces were beginning to take control of Crimea.

“The cordial discussions, which took place within the context of good bilateral relations between the Holy See and Ukraine, focused on the current situation; the hope was expressed that all the parties involved will collaborate constructively to re-establish political and social stability throughout the country, in accordance with international law, and to promote understanding between peoples in the region,” the Holy See Press Office said in a statement.

“Attention then turned to the specific role that churches and religious organizations, as well as all believers, are called upon to fulfill in fostering mutual respect and harmony among all components of society,” the statement added. Yatsenyuk subsequently met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Secretary for Relations with States.


Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account." (Matthew 5:11 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Do all in your power not to fall, for the strong athlete should not fall. But if you do fall, get up again at once and continue the contest. Even if you fall a thousand times because of the withdrawal of God's grace, rise up again each time, and keep on doing this until the day of your death. For it is written, 'If a righteous man falls down seven times' - that is, repeatedly throughout his life - 'seven times shall he rise again' [Prov. 24:16].

John of Karpathos