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Informative bulletin of the Paphos Latin Parish

October 2017

Servants and messengers of God

The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.

Who are they?

 St. Augustine says: “‘Angel’ is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is ‘spirit’; if you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’: from what they are, ‘spirit’, from what they do, ‘angel.'” With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they “always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt. 18:10) they are the “mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word”. (Ps. 103: 20)

 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendour of their glory bears witness.

In the meantime, the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels.

From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” (Saint Basil).

Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, § 328—330 and 334—336


God put everything under Jesus

It is not to angels that God has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified:

“What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honour and put everything under his feet.”

In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. but when we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste  death for everyone.

(Hebr.2, 5-9)

Mystical Rose

Mystical ROSE“Mary is the most beautiful flower ever seen in the spiritual world. It is by the power of God’s grace that from this barren and desolate earth there ever sprung up at all flowers of holiness and glory; and Mary is the Queen of them. She is the Queen of spiritual flowers; and therefore, is called the Rose, for the rose is called of all flowers the most beautiful. But, moreover, she is the Mystical or Hidden Rose, for mystical means hidden.”

This is what Saint John Henry Newman wrote as regards the title of the Virgin Mary as Mystical Rose in the Litany of Loretto.

In the book of “Song of Songs”, in the Old Testament, the bride is the enclosed Garden of the bridegroom,               

My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed (4:12). The Church’s reflection sees Mary, the Mother of God, in the figure of the bride, who is an enclosed garden totally offered to God.

St. Bernard writes, “Our Lord planted all the flowers which adorn the Church in this garden; and amongst others the violet of humility, the lily of purity, and the rose of charity.”

“A rose is red, and of a fiery color,” says Blessed Raymond Jordano, “which denotes love of God and of our neighbor;” therefore, on account of the ardent love with which the heart of Mary was always inflamed towards God and us, she is called a rose. And where can we find an advocate who is more earnest in the affair of our salvation, or who loves us more than Mary?”


Rosa Mystica

 It was made of earth’s mould, but it went from men’s eyes,
And its place is a secret and shut in the skies.

In the gardens of God, in the daylight divine,

Find me a place by thee, mother of mine.

But where was it formerly? Which is the spot
That was blest in it once, though now it is not?
It is Galilee’s growth: it grew at God’s will
And broke into bloom upon Nazareth hill.

Tell me the name now, tell me its name.
The heart guesses easily: is it the same?
Mary the Virgin, well the heart knows,
She is the mystery, she is that rose.

In the gardens of God, in the daylight divine,

I shall come home to thee, mother of mine.

Is Mary the rose then? Mary, the tree?
But the blossom, the blossom there–who can it be?
Who can her rose be? It could but be One
Christ Jesus our Lord, her God and her son.

In the gardens of God, in the daylight divine,

Show me thy son, mother, mother of mine.

(By G. M. Hopkins, 1902 Excerpts)

Did you know…

rosary beadsRosarium in Latin, but also in the English language, means rose garden.

Rosarium is, also, in Church jargon, a garland of roses usually offered in honour of the Mother of God.

Over time, rosarium came to mean a “chain” of roses or beads –originally in the shape of the flower– which was used during prayers to the Virgin Mary.

The word evolved to Rosary in English, rosaire in French, Rosenkranz in German and so on.

The rosary is part of the Catholic devotion towards the person of Mary and the Mysteries surrounding her life as Mother of Christ.

The month of October is, traditionally, the month of the rosary, and the faithful are encourage to pray it by meditating on the various Mysteries it evokes.

It was establish in thanksgiving, in 1571 when the Christian forces of Europe defeated the Turkish Ottoman advance to the West at the sea battle of Lepante, in Greece.


Working for the growth of goodness

An education in respectful openness and sincere dialogue with others, recognizing their rights and basic freedoms, particularly religious freedom, represents the best way to build the future together, to be builders of civility. For the only alternative to the civility of encounter is the incivility of conflict; there is no other way. To counter effectively the barbarity of those who foment hatred and violence, we need to accompany young people, helping them on the path to maturity and teaching them to respond to the incendiary logic of evil by patiently working for the growth of goodness. In this way, young people, like well-planted trees, can be firmly rooted in the soil of history, and, growing heavenward in one another’s company, can daily turn the polluted air of hatred into the oxygen of fraternity.

In facing this great cultural challenge, one that is both urgent and exciting, we, Christians, Muslims and all believers, are called to offer our specific contribution: “We live under the sun of the one merciful God… Thus, in a true sense, we can call one another brothers and sisters… since without God the life of man would be like the heavens without the sun”. May the sun of a renewed fraternity in the name of God rise in this sun-drenched land, to be the dawn of a civilization of peace and encounter. May Saint Francis of Assisi, who eight centuries ago came to Egypt and met Sultan Malik al Kamil, intercede for this intention.

Pope Francis at Al AKHZAR University, Cairo, April 2017

The glory of God and the majesty of man

church in valley O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honour.

You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet; all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!     (Psalm 8)


New Apostolic Nuncio


We have a new Apostolic Nuncio here in Cyprus: on September 15, 2017, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli to this delicate post, whom he also appointed on September 13 Nuncio in Israel.

The Italian diplomat, 64, is also Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine. According to figures of Aid to the Church in Need, Catholics constitute only 1.4% of the Cypriot population (Orthodox 66% and Muslims 22%).

Archbishop Girelli was Apostolic Nuncio in Singapore, Apostolic Delegate in Malaysia and in Brunei, Apostolic Nuncio to the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and non-resident papal representative for Vietnam since 2011.

From 2006 to 2011, he was Apostolic Nuncio in Indonesia and in East Timor.


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