Sunday, 18 August 2013

"Jesus, Master, have mercy on us."

Today's Gospel for Holy Mass in the usus antiquior relates the healing of ten lepers by Our Lord. A wonderful reminder to all members of the noble Order that the Lord is indeed "our unseen Captain" in our works of mercy. Let us remember to pray for all those affected by leprosy today.

GOSPEL Luke 17:11-19
In illo témpore: Dum iret Jesus in Jerúsalem, transíbat per médiam Samaríam et Galilǽam. Et cum ingrederétur quoddam castéllum, occurrérunt ei decem viri leprósi qui stetérunt a longe: et levavérunt vocem, dicéntes: Jesu præcéptor, miserére nostri. Quos ut vidit, dixit: Ite, osténdite vos sacerdótibus. Et factum est, dum irent, mundáti sunt. Unus autem ex illis, ut vidit quia mundátus est, regréssus est, cum magna voce magníficans Deum, et cécidit in fáciem ante pedes ejus, grátias agens: et hic erat Samaritánus. Respóndens autem Jesus, dixit: Nonne decem mundáti sunt? et novem ubi sunt? Non est invéntus qui redíret et daret glóriam Deo, nisi hic alienígena. Et ait illi: Surge, vade; quia fides tua te salvum fecit.  

At that time, as Jesus was going to Jerusalem, he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain town, there met him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off. And lifted up their voice, saying: "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." Whom when he saw, he said: "Go, show yourselves to the priests." 
And it came to pass, as they went, they were made clean. And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God. And he fell on his face before his feet, giving thanks. And this was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering, said: "Were not ten made clean? And where are the nine? There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger?"And he said to him: "Arise, go thy way; for thy faith hath made thee whole."

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Raoul Follereau

Raoul Follereau

1903 - 1977

Today, Saturday August 17th, marks the 110th birthday of late Frenchman Raoul Follereau, an extraordinary man who dedicated his life to helping the sick, but especially those diagnosed with leprosy.  

Raoul Follereau, born in 1903 in Nevers, France, was a journalist, philosopher, lawyer and writer. On his travels to North Africa he came face to face with leprosy and leprosy patients. The leprosy patients were not only poverty-stricken, frightened and ill, but also people that had been made outcasts from their own society. Meeting with the leprosy patients in this way was an experience which marked Raoul Follereau, so much so that from then on, he became the spokesperson for all leprosy patients worldwide. 

In 1954 Raoul Follereau founded the first World Leprosy Day. Since then, this day has been commemorated every last Sunday in January, in more than 150 countries. 

In 1966, his initiative resulted in the setting up of ELEP (European federation for the associations working against leprosy). Later on, it became international and came to be known as ILEP, a federation of major anti leprosy organizations).

In 1975, he submitted the text of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Leprosy Affected Persons to United Nations. Follereau died in Paris in 1977 on December 6, but his work lives on through organizations all over the world which call themselves ‘Friends’ of Raoul Follereau. 

To find out more about this remarkable man see the website of the Friends of Raoul Follereau.