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Dedicated to Our Lady, Totus2us is giving voice to faith, hope and love from all around the world and focusing particularly on the teachings of Saints Paul VI & John Paul II, Papas Benedict XVI & Francis. In the last 10 years there have been voices from 128 countries on over 40 audio Totus2us podcasts. All free, all with music and on Totus2us RSS feeds, Spotify & iTunes amongst others, most mp3 episodes fall broadly into three areas: prayer (faith / way), Catholic teaching (hope / truth) and witness (love / life). By dwelling on what is good, true and beautiful, it is hoped Totus2us can help us to pray and have the courage to trust in and follow Jesus.

Some of the feast days this month: 1st January - Mary, Mother of God & 53rd World Day of Peace - Peace as a journey of hope: dialogue, reconciliation & ecological conversion  2nd January - St Basil the Great & St Gregory Nazianzen  4th January - St Elizabeth Ann Seton & St Angela of Foligno  5th January - St John Neumann
6th January - The Epiphany  10th January - St Gregory of Nyssa  12th January - Baptism of the Lord 
13th January - St Hilary of Poitiers  20th January - Bl Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi  18-25 January - Week of Prayer for Christian Unity  22nd January - St Vincent Pallotti, Bl William-Joseph Chaminade  24th January - St Francis de Sales  25th January - Conversion of St Paul   27th January - St Enrique de Ossó i Cervelló   28th January - St Thomas Aquinas  31st January - St John Bosco

Today's something about Mary

is by Mauro, from Rome      

"My conversion happened through Our Lady…. I am now happily married, I’m fully living my Catholic faith and I owe it all to Our Lady. Thank you, Mary!

La mia conversione sia devota interamente a Maria perché ero lontano e la mia conversione è stata devota al mio viaggio a Lourdes e mentre a Lourdes Maria mi ha toccato, mi ha toccato il cuore, dall'inizio di tutta la transformazione che mi ha portato a suo figlio Gesù Cristo   .. Maria sarà sempre parte della mia vita."

On Sunday 13 October 2013, Pope Francis consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in front of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in St Peter's Square. In June 1981 (just a month after the assasination attempt on JPII on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima), it was reported the Blessed Virgin Mary first appeared to 6 children in Medjugorje (in what was then communist Yugoslavia), introducing herself to them as the 'Queen of Peace'. The 6 visionaries say she has been appearing every day since.

The Divine Motherhood of Mary      

BXVI: "The qualification of Mother of God, so profoundly linked to the feasts of Christmas, is therefore the fundamental title with which the community of believers honours, we could say since always, the Holy Virgin. It expresses well the mission of Mary in the history of salvation. All the other titles attributed to Our Lady find their foundation in her vocation to be the Mother of the Redeemer, the human creature elected by God to realise the plan of salvation, centered on the great mystery of the incarnation of the divine Verb. In these festive days we have stopped to contemplate in the crib the representation of the Nativity. At the centre of this scene we find the Virgin Mother who offers the Baby Jesus to the contemplation of all those who come to adore the Saviour: the shepherds, the poor people of Bethlehem, the Magi come from the East. Later, on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which we celebrate on 2nd February, it will be the elderly Simeon and the prophetess Anna who will receive the little Child from the hands of his Mother and adore him. The devotion of the Christian people has always considered the birth of Jesus and the divine motherhood of Mary as two aspects of the same mystery of the incarnation of the divine Verb and so has never considered the Nativity as a thing of the past. We are "contemporaries" of the shepherds, of the Magi, of Simeon and Anna, and as we go with them we are full of joy, because God wanted to be the God with us and He has a mother, who is our mother."

Papa John Paul II's Homily on the Epiphany     
& the Closing of the Holy Door at the end of the Great Jubilee
Papal Chapel, St Peter's - 6 January 2001

"Now it is time to look forward, and the story of the Magi can in a certain way indicate a spiritual route to us. They tell us above all that, when we encounter Christ, we must learn to stop and live profoundly the joy of intimacy with Him. 'Going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his Mother, and bowing down they worshipped him': their lives were from then on handed for ever to this Child for whom they had endured the rigours of the journey and the deceitfulness of men. Christianity is born, and continually regenerates itself, starting from this contemplation of the glory of God which shines out in the face of Christ.

A face to contemplate, as if glimpsing in his eyes the “features” of the Father and letting ourselves be filled with the love of the Spirit. The great Jubilee pilgrimage has reminded us of this fundamental Trinitarian dimension of Christian life: in Christ we also encounter the Father and the Spirit. The Trinity is the origin and the fulfilment. Everything starts from the Trinity, everything comes back to the Trinity.

And yet, as happened to the Magi, this immersion in the contemplation of the mystery does not stop us from journeying on, rather it obliges us to start out afresh on a new stretch of the pathway on which we become proclaimers and witnesses. “They returned to their own country by a different road”. The Magi were in a way the first missionaries. Their encounter with Christ did not keep them in Bethlehem, but propelled them anew on the streets/roads of the world. We must start out from Christ, and for this also, start out from the Trinity."

Papa Benedict XVI's Homily on the Epiphany    
St Peter's Basilica, 6 January 2006

"But what is this light? Is it just an evocative metaphor or does this image correspond to a reality? The Apostle John writes in his First Letter: "God is light and in him there is no darkness" (I Jn 1, 5); and further on he adds: "God is love". These two affirmations, taken together, help us better understand: the light, shone forth at Christmas, which today is manifested to the peoples, is the love of God, revealed in the Person of the Verb incarnate. Attracted by this light, the Magi arrived from the East. In the mystery of the Epiphany, therefore, alongside a movement of radiation toward the outside, a movement of attraction is manifested toward the centre, which brings to fulfillment the movement already written about in the Old Covenant. The source of such dynamism is God, One in substance and Three in Persons, who draws to Himself everything and everyone. The Incarnate Person of the Verb is presented thus as the principle of universal reconciliation and recapitulation (cf Eph 1, 9-10). He is the final destination of history, the point of arrival of an "exodus", of a providential pathway of redemption, which culminates in his death and resurrection. This is why, on the Solemnity of the Epiphany, the liturgy foresees the so-called "Announcement of Easter": indeed, the liturgical year sums up the entire parable of the history of salvation, at whose centre is "the Triduum of the Lord, crucified, buried and risen".

Papa Francis's Homily on the Epiphany 
St Peter's Basilica, Monday 6 January 2014

On the feast of the Epiphany, when we recall the manifestation of Jesus to humanity in the face of a Child, may we sense the Magi close by our side, as wise companions on the road. Their example helps us to lift our gaze to the star and to follow the great desires of our hearts. They teach us not to content ourselves with a mediocre life, with “coasting it, playing it safe”, but to let ourselves always be fascinated by what is good, true and beautiful… by God, who is all of this, in an always greater way! And they teach us not to let ourselves be deceived by appearances, by that which for the world is great, wise, powerful. We must not stop there. It is necessary to keep the faith. In these times this is so important: to keep the faith. We must go further, beyond the darkness, beyond the fascination of the Sirens, beyond worldliness, beyond so many forms of modernity that exist today, to go to Bethlehem, there where, in the simplicity of a house on the periphery, between a mummy and daddy full of love and faith, shines forth the Sun come from on high, the King of the universe. Following the example of the Magi, may we, with our little lights, seek the Light and keep the faith. So be it."

Words of Hope - Sharing in Mary's Joy      

Fr Dominic Faure: "St Catherine of Siena doesn’t hesitate to say that what is best in our life of charity on earth is the desire and you remember how St Therese was really a woman of incredible desires, she desired to be everything, And of course a life without desire is very bland, a life without desire is very poor, while people who have changed the world have been people who have huge desires, those who have really made a difference were people with a great desire, at any level. And of course the greater the desires the more we need to hope, because it would be foolish to desire something that you know you will not be able to reach. So if indeed we have been created for this fullness - to know God and to see Him as He is - knowing that by ourselves we are incapable of doing it, if God has put in each one of us, in our intelligence, in our heart, therefore the best in us which is our spirit, by nature and by grace this unquenchable desire to stay with Him and see Him face to face, then He needs to give us what will sustain us in hope, otherwise we would fall in despair. … And there’s this joy of desiring in hope and even more when we recognise that God responds to our desires by allowing us to anticipate what He wants to give us. Or, said otherwise, He would not give us the desire unless He was already planning on giving us what we desire."

To be a Pilgrim to Santiago      

Mimi, from Slovakia: "Coming to Santiago I was a little disappointed because all that way I had wanted to make it a spiritual impact in my life and I just couldn’t. First of all those worries of daily life: the food, the feet, where are you were going to sleep, we were cold … so it was challenging, a very challenging time. So I felt like I couldn’t really approach all that pilgrimage so much spiritually. So I thought, well I’m sure if this is going to count into any spiritual building or anything like that. But I was really surprised coming to Santiago and we spent three days there and we really let the atmosphere of the Church and the prayers together soak in us and afterwards when I came back home, I really felt the difference. Somehow the Lord has blessed us, a different way than I was expecting and I was living from this experience for another month very strongly."

Man for Others      

Father Vincent Dike, from Nigeria: "So my prayer, my ordination, my priesthood and my vocation I would say came from my mum, who had been praying earnestly, just like St Monica, the mother of St Augustine. But as a person going through the seminary I remember taking a decision after my junior seminary that I wanted to be a priest. This was when I was 19 years old, I was in the senior seminary and I asked God, 'If you know I will be a good priest, please call me to your altar; and if you know I cannot make this, please help me to go and help out my family in any way your want.' And this journey has been amazing. And now 22 years a priest, I'm happy, I'm joyful, I'm enjoying every moment of it."

Go in Peace      

Leon, 35 & from the Philippines: "Very often we hear arguments: why do I have to go to a priest, why do I have to speak my sins? Well, you see, this is not a draconian requirement put on us by Our Lord but actually a sign of his love, that he has wanted to speak the language of the senses, the language of words and with those languages .. he has wanted to say to us 'I absolve you of your sins. I forgive you.' So that with the very ears with which hear the car horns on the street, the very ears with which we hear the most mundane things, we can hear his mercy. And his mercy spoken specifically to our own words, our own description of our sins. .. That's confession!"

...

All around the world - our universal Catholic faith

You can listen by country to the witness given, by young people in particular, on Totus2us podcasts. Countries represented so far are: Albania, Angola, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkino Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, DR Congo, Congo-Brazaville, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech RepublicDominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, the Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, UK, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia & Zimbabwe.

Countries not included above which Saints Paul VI, John Paul II, Papa Benedict XVI &/or Pope Francis have visited: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Curaçao, Denmark, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Fiji Islands, Gabon, Guam, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iceland, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Myanmar (Burma), Palestine, Papua-New Guinea, La Réunion, San Marino, Sao Tome & Principe, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates & Uruguay.

Our Lady's message through Mirjana Soldo:
Medjugorje, 2 September 2019

"Dear children, pray! Pray the Rosary every day - that wreath of flowers which, as a mother, directly connects me with your pains, sufferings, desires, and hopes. Apostles of my love, I am with you through the grace and the love of my Son, and I am asking for prayers of you. The world is in such need of your prayers for souls to be converted. With complete trust, open your hearts to my Son, and in them He will inscribe the summary of His words - which is love. Live in an unbreakable connection with the Most Sacred Heart of my Son. My children, as a mother, I am telling you that it is high time for you to kneel before my Son to acknowledge Him as your God, the center of your life. Offer gifts to Him - that which He most loves - which is love towards neighbour, mercy, and pure hearts. Apostles of my love, many of my children still do not acknowledge my Son as their God; they have not yet come to know His love. But you, with your prayer pronounced from a pure and open heart, by the gifts which you offer to my Son, will make even the hardest hearts open. Apostles of my love, the strength of prayer pronounced from the heart - a powerful prayer full of love - changes the world. Therefore, my children: pray, pray, pray. I am with you. Thank you."

Totus Tuus, Totus2us   

Totus Tuus - Totally Yours - was St John Paul II's motto, having entrusted his life, his priesthood, his all to Mary. Totus2us is being built with the same intention: to be all Mary's. The play on lettering gives Totus2us a 2nd meaning - Everything2us - as that is what Mary means to us.

This mosaic of the Madonna and Christ Child is on the front of the Apostolic Palace in St Peter's Square (near the Pope's window for the Angelus prayer). Beneath it is John Paul II's coat of arms and his motto, Totus Tuus; and beneath this is written MATER ECCLESIAE - Mother of the Church.

It is a tribute John Paul II wanted to make to Mary for her having saved his life in the assassination attempt on 13th May 1981, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Just 6 months later, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, John Paul II blessed the mosaic, a "sign of the heavenly protection of the Sovereign Pontiff, of the Church and of those who are in St Peter's Square."