Tuesday, June 1, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: TUES. JUNE 1, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: WORLD WE LIVE IN HAS GREAT NEED OF GOD
AUSTRALIA: SISTER OF MERCY DR GOODWIN DIES AGE 72-
AMERICA: USA: QUESTIONS ARISE IN DEATH OF GARY COLEMAN-
EUROPE: POLAND: 25th INTERNATIONAL CATHOLIC FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS FILM-
AFRICA: NIGERIA: NEW BISHOP OF WARRI, RT REV JOHN AFAREHA-
ASIA: VIETNAM: MGR PAUL NGUYEN HOP NEW BISHOP OF HANOI-
WORLD WE LIVE IN HAS GREAT NEED OF GOD
VATICAN CITY, 1 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The traditional procession marking the end of the month of May took place yesterday at 8:00pm in the Vatican Gardens. As the rosary was recited, the procession wound from the Church of St. Stephen of the Abyssinians to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The Pope arrived at the Grotto of Lourdes at 9:00pm and briefly addressed the present faithful before imparting the apostolic blessing.
Remarking on the festivity of the day, the Visitation of the Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, the Holy Father commented that with this gesture "we recognize the clearest example and the truest meaning of our path as believers and the path of the Church itself. By its nature, the Church is called to proclaim the Gospel everywhere and at all times, to spread the faith to every man and woman and to every culture".
"Mary remained with Elizabeth for three months to offer her loving nearness, concrete assistance, and all the everyday services that were needed. In this way, Elizabeth becomes the symbol of the many aged and ill, even more, of all those who need assistance and love. How many of these persons there are today in our families, in our communities, in our cities! And Mary -- who called herself 'the handmaid of the Lord' -- made herself the servant of mankind. More specifically, she served the Lord whom she encountered in her brothers and sisters".
"It should be noted that 'Mary's charity' is not limited to concrete assistance but achieves its highest form in bestowing Jesus himself, in 'making him present'", the Pope said. "This is the heart and the height of the evangelical mission. This is the true meaning and the most genuine purpose of every missionary path: to offer human beings the living and personal Gospel, which is the Lord Jesus himself".
"Jesus", he continued, "is the true and only treasure that we have to give humanity. Today's men and women have a profound longing for Him, including when it seems they are ignoring or rejecting Him. The society we live in, Europe, the entire world has great need of Him".
The Holy Father concluded by underlining that "we have been entrusted with this extraordinary responsibility. Let us live it with joy and devotion so that ours might truly be a civilization in which truth, justice, liberty, and love reign, the fundamental and irreplaceable pillars of a truly shared life that is ordered and peaceful. Let us live this responsibility remaining steadfast in listening to the Word of God, in communal life, in breaking of the bread, and in our prayers. May this be the grace that together this evening we ask of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary".AC/ VIS 20100601 (450)
IMAGE SOURCE http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/index.asp
STATISTICS ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CYPRUS
VATICAN CITY, 1 JUN 2010 (VIS) - Pope Benedict XVI will make an apostolic visit to Cyprus from 4 to 6 June during which the Instrumentum Laboris of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, will be published. For this occasion, statistics have been compiled concerning the Catholic Church in that country. The information, updated to 31 December 2008, comes from the Central Statistical Office of the Church.
Cyprus, the capital city of which is Nicosia, has a population of 794,000 of whom 25,000 (3.15%) are Catholic. There is one ecclesiastical circumscription, 13 parishes, and one pastoral centre. There are currently 2 bishops, 30 priests, 60 religious, and one major seminarian.
A total of 6,347 students attend the 22 centres of Catholic education, from kindergartens to secondary schools. Other institutions belonging to the Church or run by priests or religious in Cyprus include 2 hospitals, 3 clinics, 1 home for the elderly or disabled, and 6 orphanages and nurseries.
SISTER OF MERCY DR GOODWIN DIES AGE 72
Cath News report: Sister of Mercy Dr Dawn Goodwin, whose contribution to the education of youth workers was recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia, has died from cancer. She was 72.
Sr Goodwin helped develop the Centre for Youth Affairs Research and Development at RMIT, as well other projects and degree programs that are used not only in Australia but in South Africa, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand, said a tribute article in The Age.
"Many of her colleagues and students in Melbourne had no idea of her religious vocation as she wore secular dress, and while she was devoted to her faith, she never sought to use it in any way. Always a team player, her commitment to the education of her students was paramount," the article says.
During her novitiate, she qualified as a primary school teacher, then took a BA at the Australian National University in Canberra. She taught at St Mary's College, Bathurst in 1962 and completed a diploma of education at the University of New England.
She served as principal of a school, completed an MA at Fordham University, New York, and then lectured at the Sydney Catholic College of Education.
A lifelong learner, she completed an MA in applied social research from Monash University while lecturing at RMIT.
She is survived by her brothers Ron and Kevin and their families.
USA: QUESTIONS ARISE IN DEATH OF GARY COLEMAN
LifeSiteNews.com report: The death of Gary Coleman has elicited reactions of surprise and sadness from Americans who had come to know and love the actor through his role on the popular situation comedy Diff'rent Strokes during the late 70s and early 80s.
However, what is not being discussed in the mainstream media, what is being assiduously avoided, are the obvious questions: is it certain how Coleman sustained his deadly head injury, and why did his wife "pull the plug" on her husband only hours after he was put on life support, and only two days after he entered the hospital?
Coleman was hospitalized on May 26 after sustaining a traumatic head injury that was severe enough to cause bleeding inside of his skull. The injury was said to have resulted from a fall. Still, the severity of the injury, other issues surrounding his death and events in the recent past would seem to have called for at least a preliminary police investigation.
It is public knowledge that the Coleman and his much larger wife, Shannon Price, had a stormy, conflictive relationship that led to her arrest in 2009 on charges of domestic violence. Coleman, who was also irascible, was also arrested on abuse charges early this year.
Despite the disturbing circumstances surrounding Coleman's death, the Santaquin police chief, Dennis Howard, told People Magazine that "there was absolutely nothing suspicious about [Coleman's] death. There is no [criminal] investigation going on."
After his arrest in January of this year on domestic abuse charges, Coleman appeared on The Insider, a celebrity gossip show, to give his own side of the story. During a heated exchange with one of the show's guests, who insisted that he answer the question of whether or not he had abused his wife, Coleman strangely pointed to an injury on his head and said that he had received the wound from a fall down the stairs, and didn't want anyone to think that his wife had hit him -- a comment that was taken by some to indicate that he was implying the opposite in an attempt to defend himself.
Days after the incident that eventually took his life, Price and her family have been strangely reticent about giving details regarding the cause of his injury. They only claim he somehow "fell," with no further explanation.
The apparent ease with which Coleman's life was ended especially raises questions about the culture of death that has seemingly become the norm in American and European hospitals.
A person on life support, even for a few hours, is vulnerable to being dismissed as a "vegetable" and his life terminated on the most flimsy criteria. Not only does such a standard indicate a distressing contempt for the sanctity of human life, but it also opens the possibility of serious abuses by relatives or friends, who might have a conflict of interest in making such a decision.
POLAND: 25th INTERNATIONAL CATHOLIC FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS FILM
Cath News report: An Indian film about seven nuns and a divorcee has won the first prize at the 25th International Catholic Film Festival held at Niepokalanow, near Warsaw in Poland.
"I do not want to label it a Christian film but as a film that looks deep into the convent life of certain human characters," says Thaddeus.
Though the nine-member jury did not find any film fit for third prize in the feature film category, they made special mention of two films by Indian directors, the report adds.
They were: the festival opening film in English entitled The Last Appeal, a story of St Faustina of the Divine Mercy devotion by Fr. Bala Udumala; and To My Beloved Teacher, a Malayalam film with English subtitles by Salesain Father Jiji Kalavanal, based in Kerala.
NIGERIA: NEW BISHOP OF WARRI, RT REV JOHN AFAREHA
All Africa report. RIGHT Rev. (Dr.) John Okeoghene Afareha was born in 1947 into the family of late Mr. Edward Afareha and late Mrs. Rebecca Afareha of Oleh in Isoko South local government area of Delta State.
He lost his mother in his early childhood, and was brought up by a step mother, Mrs. Angelina Afareha. Apart from Most Rev. Afareha, the family is blessed with Rev. Sister Theresa Maris Afareha of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus Christ.
Young John started school at St. John De Baptist School, Oleh, from 1953 to 1959 where the seed which later blossomed into a religious calling was sowed. He was filled with admiration for the religious (priests and seminarians) especially for their excellent, disciplined and religious upbringing of children then. Afareha became a mass server there and his performance was remarkably noticed by the parish priest, who took particular interest in moulding him. His first meeting of a Nigerian priest was a pleasant surprise and it awakened the desire to be a priest, though still a child.
He attended Modern School, Ozoro, from 1960 to 1961. He still had an inner spiritual call and coupled with the inspiration he drew, especially from Rev. Fr. O. Regan, he decided to become a priest. He entered Minor Seminary, Benin City in 1962 and finished in 1966. He proceeded to Ss Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan, where he studied from 1967-1973.
He was ordained priest on December 30, 1973, by the late bishop emeritus of Warri Diocese, Rt. Rev. Lucas Nwaeza-pu. The young Rev. Fr. John Afareha, after his ordination had his apostolate work in the following places: Holy Martyrs of Uganda Seminary, Effurun; and the same year was posted to Sacred Heart Cathedral, Warri, where he remained till 1975. He taught at Government College, Bomadi from 1975-1977; St. Theresa's Girls Grammar School, Ughelli from 1977-1980, Evwreni Teacher's College, Evwreni, from 1984-1985.
Afareha proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he obtained a post-graduate diploma in Education in 1986; and later the University of Port Harcourt where he bagged a master's degree in education in 1990.
As an educationist, the new bishop served as a principal in the following schools: Otokutu Grammar School, Otokutu (1980); Owevwe Secondary School from 1980 to 1982, St. Peter and Paul Major Seminary from 1983 to 1984, where he spent his spiritual year; Umuajia Secondary School, Umuajia, 1985 and Ovu Grammar School, Ovu, 1985.
He distinguished himself as a dedicated and disciplined teacher, and his immense contribution in administration as Principal Inspector of' Education under the Religion Education Department in then Bendel State, at the Ministry of Education Office, Ughelli from 1985 to 1991 was remarkable.
Afareha moved to the Sacred Heart parish, Abraka, in 1991, from where he was posted to St. Anthony's parish, Ugborikoko the following year. He has been the Diocesan Spiritual Director of Legion of Mary, Blue Army and Block Rosary and the Provincial Chaplain of Legion of Mary. His love for our mother, Mary, knows no bounds as Daily Rosary at 5:30 p.m. supercedes everything he does.
He is actively involved in the completion of St. Anthony's Church, Ugbori-koko, and is presently constructing a new Rev. Father's House. Despite his crowded schedule as a parish priest and spiritual director, he still finds time to reading and play lawn tennis.
Rev. Fr. Afareha, shortly after ordination, converted his pagan parents to the Catholic faith. Today, his youngest sister, Sr. Theresa Maris is a reverend sister of the Eucharistic Order.
In 1997, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Warri Diocese by Pope John Paul II and was consecrated bishop by Jozef Cardinal Tomko, Prefect, Sacred Congregation for the Evangelisation of People on the May 14, 1997. On March 29, 2010, Afareha was appointed bishop of Warri Diocese by Pope Benedict XVI and was installed on March 30, 2010 by His Grace Most Rev. Alaba Job, Archbishop of Ibadan Archdiocese and president of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria.
VIETNAM: MGR PAUL NGUYEN HOP NEW BISHOP OF HANOI
Asia News report: Priests, faithful and Mgr Paul Marie Cao Dinh Thuyên, the elderly and much beloved outgoing bishop, warmly welcome Mgr Paul Nguyên Thai Hop. The new bishop calls on his predecessor to continue the job he has done for many years.
Hanoi (AsiaNews/EdA) – The succession in the diocese of Vinh is being carried out under the sign of continuity. The elderly Mgr Paul Marie Cao Dinh Thuyên has been replaced by Mgr Paul Nguyên Thai Hop, appointed by the Pope on 13 May, a day when the Holy Father also accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Hanoi.
With half a million members, the diocese of Vinh is one of the most important in Vietnam. It was run by a much loved and well-respected bishop who resigned after celebrating with other northern bishops his 50 years as a priest.
The outgoing bishop himself welcomed his successor with unusual warmth. As Églises d’Asie noted, Mgr Paul Marie Cao Dinh Thuyên on 27 May welcomed his successor in Xa Doai Cathedral, along with his priests and many faithful.
When he arrived, Mgr Paul Nguyên Thai Hop was greeted by drums, trumpets and an applause from the representatives of the diocese’s 172 parishes and, unusual for Vietnam, with a big hug from his predecessor.
Mgr Thai Hop responded to so much warmth by saying that he would follow the example of his predecessor, upholding the traditions of the diocese. He also repeated what was said during the priestly jubilee, namely that his predecessor was a tireless pastor who knew “every kilometre of his diocese”, seen more from the venture point of a car than from the archbishop’s residence.
The new bishop publicly called on Mgr Paul Marie Cao Dinh Thuyên to continue his work, pastoral tours and diocesan administration. This way, he said, “I can learn my new job.”
The new bishop of Vinh was referring here to the fact that he was born in Lang Anh parish in 1945, but that he had left in 1954 when Catholics fled south from what was then North Vietnam.
At the age of 19, he entered the Dominican Order at Vung Tau Convent where he studied philosophy and theology. This was followed by three years of study in Eastern philosophy at the Faculty of Letters in Saigon. Ordained priest in 1972, he spent many years abroad, studying and teaching. He came back home for good in 2004.
In his years overseas, he received a doctorate in Western philosophy at the Fribourg University (Switzerland).
After moving to Latin America, he taught theology in Lima (Peru) and became the director of the local John XXIII Institute of Theology. Between 1989 and 1994, he worked at the Bartolomé de Las Casas Study Centre, also in Lima. In 1994, he obtained a doctorate in moral theology from the Faculty of Theology of São Paulo (Brazil).
In 1996, he was back in Europe to teach at the Faculty of Sociology of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome.
In 2004, he returned to Vietnam and began to work for the Bishops’ Commission on the Doctrine of the Faith.
He was also the director of the Paul Nguyên Van Binh Club, a recently established foundation that works on social problems.
Feast: June 1
Information: Feast Day: June 1
Born: 100 at Nablus, Palestine
St. Justin was born at Neapolis, now Naplosa, the ancient Sichem, and formerly the capital of the province of Samaria. Vespasian, having endowed its inhabitants with the privileges belonging to Roman citizens, gave it the name of Flavia. His son Titus sent thither a colony of Greeks, among whom were the father and grandfather of our saint. His father, a heathen, brought him up in the errors and superstitions of paganism, but at the same time did not neglect to cultivate his mind by several branches of human literature.
St. Justin accordingly informs us, that he spent his youth in reading the poets, orators, and historians. Having gone through the usual course of these studies, he gave himself up to that of philosophy in quest of truth, an ardent love of which was his predominant passion. He addressed himself first to a master who was a Stoic; and after having stayed some time with him, seeing he could learn nothing of him concerning God, he left him, and went to a Peripatetic, a very subtle man in his own conceit: but Justin, being desired the second day after admission, to fix his master's salary, that he might know what he was to be allowed for his pains in teaching him, he left him also, concluding that he was no philosopher. He then tried a Pythagorean, who had a great reputation, and who boasted much of his wisdom; but he required of his scholar, as a necessary preliminary to his admission, that he should have learned music, astronomy, and geometry. Justin could not bear such delays in the search of God, and preferred the school of an Academic, under whom he made great progress in the Platonic philosophy, and vainly flattered himself with the hope of arriving in a short time at the sight of God, which the Platonic philosophy seemed to have had chiefly in view.
Walking one day by the sea-side, for the advantage of a greater freedom from noise and tumult, he saw, as he turned about, an old man who followed him pretty close. His appearance was majestic, and had a great mixture in it of mildness and gravity. Justin looking on him very attentively, the man asked him if he knew him. Justin answered in the negative. "Why then," said he, "do you lock so steadfastly upon me?" Justin replied: "It is the effect of my surprise to meet any human creature in this remote and solitary place." "What brought me hither," said that old man, "was my concern for some of my friends. They are gone a journey, and I am come hither to look out for them." They then fell into a long discourse concerning the excellency of philosophy in general, and of the Platonic in particular, which Justin asserted to be the only true way to happiness, and of knowing and seeing God. This the grave person refuted at large, and at length by the force of his arguments convinced him that those philosophers whom he had the greatest esteem for, Plato and Pythagoras, had been mistaken in their principles, and had not a thorough knowledge of God and of the soul of man, nor could they in consequence communicate it to others. This drew from him the important query, Who were the likeliest persons to set him in the right way? The stranger answered, that long before the existence of these reputed philosophers, there were certain blessed men, lovers of God, and divinely inspired, called prophets, on account of their foretelling things which have since come to pass; whose books, yet extant, contain many solid instructions about the first cause and end of all things, and many other particulars becoming a philosopher to know. That their miracles and their predictions had procured them such credit, that they established truth by authority, and not by disputes and elaborate demonstrations of human reason, of which few men are capable. That they inculcated the belief of one only God, the Father and author of all things, and of his Son Jesus Christ, whom he had sent into the world. He concluded his discourse with this advice: "As for thyself, above all things, pray that the gates of life may be opened unto thee: for these are not things to be discerned, unless God and Christ grant to a man the knowledge of them." After these words he departed, and Justin saw him no more: but his conversation left a deep impression on the young philosopher's soul, and kindled there an ardent affection for these true philosophers, the prophets. And upon a further inquiry into the credibility of the Christian religion, he embraced it soon after. What had also no small weight in persuading him of the truth of the Christian faith, was the innocence and true virtue of its professors; seeing with what courage and constancy, rather than to betray their religion, or commit the least sin, they suffered the sharpest tortures, and encountered, nay, even courted death itself, in its most horrible shapes. "When I heard the Christians traduced and reproached," says he, "yet saw them fearless and rushing on death, and on all things that are accounted most dreadful to human nature, I concluded with myself that it was impossible those men should wallow in vice, and be carried away with the love of lust and pleasure." Justin, by the course of his studies, must have been grown up when he was converted to the faith. Tillemont and Marand understand, by an obscure passage in St. Epiphanius, that he was in the thirtieth year of his age.
St. Justin, after he became a Christian, continued to wear the pallium, or cloak, as Eusebius and St. Jerome inform us, which was the singular badge of a philosopher. Aristides, the Athenian philosopher and a Christian, did the same; so did Heraclas, even when he was bishop of Alexandria. St. Epiphanius calls St. Justin a great ascetic, or one who professed a most austere and holy life. He came to Rome soon after his conversion, probably from Egypt. Tillemont and Dom. Marand think that he was a priest, from his description of baptism, and the account he gave at his trial of people resorting to his house for instruction. This, however, is uncertain; and Ceillier concludes, from the silence of the ancients on this head, that he was always a layman: but he seems to have preached, and therefore to have been at least deacon. His discourse, or oration to the Greeks, he wrote soon after his conversion, in order to convince the heathens of the reasonableness of his having deserted paganism. He urges the absurdity of idolatry, and the inconsistency of ascribing lewdness and other crimes to their deities: on the other hand, he declares his admiration of, and reverence for, the purity and sanctity of the Christian doctrine, and the awful majesty of the divine writings which still the passions, and fix in a happy tranquillity the mind of man, which finds itself everywhere else restless. His second work is called his Paraenesis, or Exhortation to the Greeks, which he drew up at Rome: in this he employs the flowers of eloquence, which even in his apologies he despises. In it he shows the errors of idolatry, and the vanity of the heathen philosophers; reproaches Plato with making an harangue to the Athenians, in which he pretended to establish a multitude of gods, only to escape the fate of Socrates; while it is clear, from his writings, that he believed one only God. He transcribes the words of Orpheus the Sibyl, Homer, Sophocles, Pythagoras, Plato, Mercury, and Acmon, or rather Ammon, in which they profess the unity of the Deity. He wrote his book on Monarchy, expressly to prove the unity of God, from the testimonies and reasons of the heathen philosophers themselves. The epistle to Diognetus is an incomparable work of primitive antiquity, attributed to St. Justin by all the ancient copies, and doubtless genuine, as Dr. Cave, Ceillier, Marand, &c., show; though the style is more elegant and florid than the other works of this father. Indeed it is not mentioned by Eusebius and St. Jerome; but neither do they mention the works of Athenagoras. And what wonder that, the art of printing not being as yet discovered, some writings should have escaped their notice? Tillemont fancies the author of this piece to be more ancient, because he calls himself a disciple of the apostles: but St. Justin might assume that title, who lived contemporary with St. Polycarp, and others, who had seen some of them. This Diognetus was a learned philosopher, a person of great rank, and preceptor to the emperor Marcus Aurelius, who always consulted and exceedingly honored him. Dom. Nourry6 mistakes grossly, when he calls him a Jew: for in this very epistle is he styled an adorer of gods. This great man was desirous to know upon what assurances the Christians despised the world, and even torments and death, and showed to one another a mutual love, which appeared wonderful to the rest of mankind, for it rendered them seemingly insensible to the greatest injuries. St. Justin, to satisfy him, demonstrates the folly of idolatry, and the imperfection of the Jewish worship and sets forth the sanctity practiced by the Christians, especially their humility, meekness, love of those who hate them without so much as knowing any reason of their hatred, &c. He adds, that their numbers and virtue are increased by tortures and massacres, and explains clearly the divinity of Christ,7 the maker of all things, and Son of God. He shows that by reason alone we could never attain to the true knowledge of God, who sent his Son to teach us his holy mysteries; and, when we deserved only chastisement, to pay the full price of our redemption;-the holy One to suffer for sinners,-the person offended for the offenders; and when no other means could satisfy for our crimes, we were covered under the wings of justice itself, and rescued from slavery. He extols exceedingly the immense goodness and love of God for man, in creating him, and the world for his use; in subjecting to him other things, and in sending his only-begotten Son with the promise of his kingdom, to those who shall have loved him. "But after you shall have known him," says he, "with what inexpressible joy do you think you will be filled! How ardently will you love him who first loved you! And when you shall love him, you will be an imitator of his goodness. He who bears the burdens of others, assists all, humbles himself to all, even to his inferiors, and supplies the wants of the poor with what he has received from God, is truly the imitator of God. Then will you see on earth that God governs the world; you will know his mysteries, and will love and admire those who suffer for him: you will condemn the imposture of the world, and despise death, only fearing eternal death, in never-ending fire. When you know that fire, you will call those blessed who here suffer flames for justice. I speak not of things to which I am a stranger, but having been a disciple of the apostles, I am a teacher of nations, &c."
St. Justin made a long stay in Rome, dwelling near the Timothin baths, on the Viminal hill. The Christians met in his house to perform their devotions, and he applied himself with great zeal to the instruction of all those who resorted to him. Evelpistus, who suffered with him, owned at his examination that he had heard with pleasure Justin's discourses. The judge was acquainted with his zeal, when he asked him, in what place he assembled his disciples. Not content with laboring in the conversion of Jews and Gentiles, he exerted his endeavors in defending the Catholic faith against all the heresies of that age. His excellent volumes against Marcion, as they are styled by St. Jerome, are now lost, with several other works commended by the ancients. The martyr, after his first Apology, left Rome, and probably performed the functions of an evangelist, in many countries, for several years. In the reign of Antoninus Pius, being at Ephesus, and casually meeting, in the walks of Xistus, Tryphon, whom Eusebius calls the most celebrated Jew of that age, and who was a famous philosopher, he fell into discourse with him, which brought on a disputation, which was held in the presence of several witnesses during two entire days. St. Justin afterwards committed to writing this dialogue with Tryphon, which work is a simple narrative of a familiar unstudied conversation. Tryphon, seeing Justin in the philosopher's cloak, addressed him on the excellency of philosophy. The saint answered, that he admired he should not rather study Moses and the prophets, in comparison of whom all the writings of the philosophers are empty jargon and foolish dreams. Then, in the first part of his dialogue, he showed, that, according to the prophets, the old law was temporary, and to be abolished by the new: and in the second, that Christ was God before all ages, distinct from the Father,-the same that appeared to Abraham, Moses, &c., the same that created man, and was himself made man, and crucified. He insists much on that passage, Behold, a virgin shall conceive. From the beginning of the conversation, Tryphon had allowed that from the prophets it was clear that Christ must be then come; but he said, that he had not yet manifested himself to the world. So evident was it that the time of his coming must be then elapsed, that no Jew durst deny it, as Fleury observes. From the Apocalypse and Isaiah, by a mistaken interpretation, Justin inferred the futurity of the Millennium, or of Christ's reign upon earth for a thousand years, before the day of judgment, with his elect, in spiritual, chaste delights: but adds, that this was not admitted by many true orthodox believers. This point was afterwards cleared up, and that mistake of some few corrected and exploded, by consulting the tradition of the whole church. In the third part, St. Justin proves the vocation of the Gentiles, and the establishment of the church. Night putting an end to the conversation, Tryphon thanked Justin, and prayed for his happy voyage: for he was going to sea. By some mistakes made by St. Justin in the etymologies, or derivation of certain Hebrew names, it appears that he was a stranger to that language. The Socinians dread the authority of this work, on account of the clear proofs which it furnishes of the divinity of Christ. St. Justin testifies that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost, of curing the sick, and casting out devils in the name of Christ, were then frequent in the church. He excludes from salvation wilful heretics no less than infidels
But the Apologies of this martyr have chiefly rendered his name illustrious. The first or greater, (which by the first editors was, through mistake, placed and called the second,) he addressed to the emperor Antoninus Pius, his two adopted sons, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Commodus, and the senate, about the year 150. That mild emperor had published no edicts against the Christians; but, by virtue of former edicts, they were often persecuted by the governors, and were everywhere traduced as a wicked and barbarous set of people, enemies to their very species. They were deemed atheists; they were accused of practicing secret lewdness, which slander seems to have been founded on the secrecy of their mysteries, and partly on the filthy abominations of the Gnostic and Carpocratian heretics: they were said in their sacred assemblies to feed on the flesh of a murdered child; to which calumny a false notion of the blessed eucharist might give birth. Celsus and other heathens add, that they adored the cross, and the head of an ass. The story of the ass's head was a groundless calumny, forged by a Jew, who pretended to have seen their mysteries, which was readily believed and propagated by those whose interest it was to decry the Christian religion, as Eusebius, St. Justin, Origen, and Tertullian relate. The respect shown to the sign of the cross, mentioned by Tertullian and all the ancient fathers, seems ground enough for the other slander. These calumnies were advanced with such confidence, and, through passion and prejudice, received so eagerly, that they served for a presence to justify the cruelty of the persecutors, and to render the very name of a Christian odious. These circumstances stirred up the zeal of St. Justin to present his apology for the faith in writing, begging that the same might be made public. In it he boldly declares himself a Christian, and an advocate for his religion: he shows that Christians ought not to be condemned barely for the name of Christian, unless convicted of some crime; that they are not atheists, though they adore not idols; for they adore God the Father, his Son, and the Holy Ghost, and the host of good angels. He exhorts the emperor to hold the balance even, in the execution of justice; and sets forth the sanctity of the doctrine and manners of Christians, who fly all oaths, abhor the least impurity, despise riches, are patient and meek, love even enemies, readily pay all taxes, and scrupulously and respectfully obey and honor princes, &c. Far from eating children, they even condemned those that exposed them. He proves their regard for purity from the numbers among them of both sexes who had observed strict chastity to an advanced age. He explains the immortality of the soul, and the resurrection of the flesh, and shows from the ancient prophets that God was to become man, and that they had foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, the vocation of the Gentiles, &c. He mentions a statue erected in Rome to Simon Magus, which is also testified by Tertullian, Saint Austin, Theodoret, &c. The necessity of vindicating our faith from slanders, obliged him, contrary to the custom of the primitive church, to describe the sacraments of baptism and the blessed eucharist, mentioning the latter also as a sacrifice. "No one," says he, "is allowed to partake of this food but he that believes our doctrines to be true, and who has been baptized in the laver of regeneration for remission of sins, and lives up to what Christ has taught. For we take not these as common bread and common drink; but like as Jesus Christ our Saviour, being incarnate by the word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation; so are we taught that this food, by which our flesh and blood are nourished, over which thanks have been given by the prayers in his own words, is the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus." He describes the manner of sanctifying the Sunday, by meeting to celebrate the divine mysteries, read the prophets, hear the exhortation of him that presides, and make a collection of alms to be distributed among the orphans, widows, sick, prisoners, and strangers. He adds the obscure edict of the emperor Adrian in favor of the Christians. It appears that this Apology had its desired effect—the quiet of the church. Eusebius informs us, that the same emperor sent into Asia a rescript to the following purport: "When many governors of provinces had written to my father, he forbade them (the Christians) to be molested, unless they had offended against the state. The same answer I gave when consulted before on the same subject. If any one accuse a person of being a Christian, it is my pleasure that he be acquitted, and the accuser chastised, according to the rigor of the law." Orosius and Zonaras tell us, that Antoninus was prevailed upon by the Apology of Justin to send this order.
He composed his second Apology near twenty years after, in 167, on account of the martyrdom of one Ptolemy, and two other Christians, whom Urbicus, the governor of Rome, had put to death. The saint offered it to the emperor Marcus Aurelius (his colleague Lucius Verus being absent in the East) and to the senate. He undertakes in it to prove that the Christians were unjustly punished with death, and shows how much their lives and doctrine surpassed the philosophers, and that they could never embrace death with so much cheerfulness and joy, had they been guilty of the crimes laid to their charge. Even Socrates, notwithstanding the multitude of disciples that followed him, never found one that died in defence of his doctrine. The apologist added boldly, that he expected death would be the recompense of his Apology, and that he should fall a victim to the snares and rage of some or other of the implacable enemies of the religion for which he pleaded; among whom he named Crescens, a philosopher in name, but an ignorant man, and a slave to pride and ostentation. His martyrdom, as he had conjectured, was the recompense of this Apology: it happened soon after he presented this discourse, and probably was procured by the malice of those of whom he spoke. The genuine acts seem to have been taken from the praetor's public register.The relation is as follows:
Justin and others that were with him were apprehended, and brought before Rusticus, prefect of Rome, who said to Justin, "Obey the gods, and comply with the edicts of the emperors." Justin answered, "No one can be justly blamed or condemned for obeying the commands of our Saviour Jesus Christ."
RUSTICUS-"What kind of literature and discipline do you profess?"
JUSTIN-"I have tried every kind of discipline and learning, but I have finally embraced the Christian discipline, how little soever esteemed by those who were led away by error and false opinions."
RUSTICUS- "Wretch, art thou then taken with that discipline?"
JUSTIN-"Doubtless I am, because it affords me the comfort of being in the right path."
RUSTICUS-"What are the tenets of the Christian religion?"
JUSTIN-"We Christians believe one God, Creator of all things visible and invisible; and we confess our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, foretold by the prophets, the Author and Preacher of salvation, and the
Judge of mankind." The prefect inquired in what place the Christians assembled. Justin replied, "Where they please, and where they can: God is not confined to a place: as he is invisible, and fills both heaven and earth, he is everywhere adored and glorified by the faithful."
RUSTICUS-"Tell me where you assemble your disciples."
JUSTIN-"I have lived till this time near the house of one called Martin, at the Timothin baths. I am come a second time to Rome, and am acquainted with no other place in the city. If any one came to me, I communicated to him the doctrine of truth."
RUSTICUS-"You are then a Christian?"
JUSTIN-"Yes, I am."
The judge then put the same question to each of the rest, viz., Chariton, a man; Charitana, a woman; Evelpistus, a servant of Caesar, by birth a Cappadocian; Hierax, a Phrygian; Peon, and Liberianus, who all answered, "that, by the divine mercy, they were Christians." Evelpistus said he had learned the faith from his parents, but had with great pleasure heard Justin's discourses. Then the prefect addressed himself again to Justin in this manner: "Hear you, who are noted for your eloquence, and think you make profession of the right philosophy, if I cause you to be scourged from head to foot, do you think you shall go to heaven?"
Justin replied, "If I suffer what you mention, I hope to receive the reward which those have already received who hare observed the precepts of Jesus Christ." Rusticus said, "You imagine then that you shall go to heaven, and be there rewarded."
The martyr answered, "I do not only imagine it, but I know it; and am so well assured of it, that I have no reason to make the least doubt of it."
The prefect seeing it was to no purpose to argue, bade them go together and unanimously sacrifice to the gods, and told them that in case of refusal they should be tormented without mercy.
Justin replied, "there is nothing which we more earnestly desire than to endure torments for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; for this is what will promote our happiness, and give us confidence at his bar, where all men must appear to be judged." To this the rest assented, adding, "Do quickly what you are about. We are Christians, and will never sacrifice to idols."
The prefect thereupon ordered them to be scourged and then beheaded, as the laws directed. The martyrs were forthwith led to the place where criminals were executed, and there, amidst the praises and thanksgivings which they did not cease to pour forth to God, were first scourged, and afterwards beheaded. After their martyrdom, certain Christians carried off their bodies privately, and gave them an honorable burial. St. Justin is one of the most ancient fathers of the church who has left us works of any considerable note. Tatian, his disciple, writes, that, of all men, he was the most worthy of admiration.18 Eusebius, St. Jerome, St. Epiphanius, Theodoret, &c., bestow on him the highest praises. He suffered about the year 167, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. The Greeks honor him on the 1st of June; in Usuard and the Roman Martyrology his name occurs on the 13th of April.
MARK 12: 13-17
Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
“Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.
You do not regard a person’s status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?”
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
“Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at.”
They brought one to him and he said to them,
“Whose image and inscription is this?”
They replied to him, “Caesar’s.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”
They were utterly amazed at him.