Wednesday, June 23, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: WED. JUNE 23, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: THE "SUMMA THEOLOGICA", ST. THOMAS AQUINAS' MASTERPIECE-
AFRICA: ETHIOPIA: CATHOLIC ORPHANAGE GAINS INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION-
AMERICA: CANADA: AUTHOR MICHAEL O´BRIEN´S LATEST BOOK RELEASE-
ASIA: JAPAN: FR. GAZZARD CELEBRATES 60 OF PRIESTHOOD-
EUROPE: SPAIN: MISSIONARY CHILDHOOD ASSOCIATION RELEASES HANDBOOK-
AUSTRALIA: ST. VINCENT DE PAUL QUESTIONS LEGISLATION-
POPE: THE "SUMMA THEOLOGICA", ST. THOMAS AQUINAS' MASTERPIECE
VATICAN CITY, 23 JUN 2010 (VIS REPORT) - In today's general audience, celebrated in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope delivered the last in a series of three catecheses on the figure of St. Thomas Aquinas.
The Holy Father explained how St. Thomas' masterpiece, the "Summa Theologica", contains 512 questions and 2,669 articles in which the saint "precisely, clearly and pertinently" outlines the truths of faith as they emerge from "the teachings of Holy Scripture and of the Fathers of the Church, especially St. Augustine". This exertion "of the human mind was always illuminated - as St. Thomas' own life shows - by prayer, by the light that comes from on high.
"In his 'Summa'", the Pope added, "St. Thomas starts from the fact that God exists in three different ways: God exists in Himself, He is the principle and end of all things, so all creatures come from and depend upon Him. Secondly, God is present through His Grace in the life and activity of Christians, of the saints. Finally, God is present in a very special way in the person of Christ, and in the Sacraments which derive from His work of redemption".
The Holy Father went on: "What St. Thomas explained with academic rigour in his main theological works such as the ' Summa Theologica' was also expressed in his preaching", the content of which "corresponds almost in its entirety to the structure of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Indeed, in a time such as our own of renewed commitment to evangelisation, catechism and preaching must never lack the following fundamental themes: what we believe, i.e., the Creed; what we pray, i.e., the Our Father and the Ave Maria; and what we live as biblical revelation teaches us, i.e., the law of the love of God and neighbour and the Ten Commandments".
"In his brief 'Devotissima expositio super symbolum apostolorum', St. Thomas explains the importance of faith. Through it, he says, the soul is united to God, ... life is given a clear direction and we can easily overcome temptations. To those who object that faith is foolish because it makes us believe something that does not enter into the experience of the senses, St. Thomas offers a very detailed response, claiming that this is an inconsistent objection because human intelligence is limited and cannot know everything.
Commenting on the article of the Creed concerning the incarnation of the Divine Word, St. Thomas says that "the Christian faith is reinforced in the light of the mystery of the Incarnation; hope emerges more trustingly at the thought that the Son of God came among us as one of us, to communicate His divinity to mankind; charity is revived because there is no more evident sign of God's love for us than to see the Creator of the universe Himself become a creature", said the Holy Father.
"St. Thomas, like all saints, was greatly devoted to the Blessed Virgin", Pope Benedict concluded. "He gave her a stupendous title: 'Triclinium totius Trinitatis'; in other words, the place where the Trinity finds repose because, thanks to the Incarnation, the three divine persons dwell in her as in no other creature, and experience the delight and joy of living in her soul full of Grace. Through her intercession we can obtain any kind of help".
PAPAL IMAGES SOURCE http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/index.asp
ETHIOPIA: CATHOLIC WOMAN´S ORPHANAGE GAINS INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION
CNN report -- The sight of a baby girl suckling on the breast of her dead mother changed the course of Abebech Gobena's life forever.
The year was 1980 and Ethiopia lay in the grip of what would become one of the most devastating famines in its history.
Gobena, a devout Christian, was on a pilgrimage to a holy site in the north-east region of the country when she came across the dead mother and her baby, lying amid a sea of people who were starving to death.
"When I was returning, there were so many of these hungry people sprawled all over, you could not even walk," Gobena told CNN.
Video: Educating a generation of children "I had some bread on me, so I tried to feed them. I fed two men. When I reached this woman, she was dead, but the child was still suckling at her breast," she continued.
"One of the chauffeurs charged with picking up the corpses said to me, 'I am waiting for the child to die so I can pick up both bodies. I just can't bear to take the child as well while she is still alive,'" Gobena said.
Without a second thought, Gobena bundled the tiny girl into her arms and smuggled her to the country's capital, Addis Ababa. In that instant, she transformed both the baby's future and her own.
Haunted by the images of the dying people, it wasn't long before Gobena headed back to the countryside in an effort to source water for the destitute locals. She came across another child in the arms of his dying father.
Find out more about Gobena and her orphanage.
Gobena told CNN: "At the end of the day, as we were going home we came upon five people, three of them dead, two alive. One of the men dying by the side of the road said to me, 'This is my child. She is dying. I am dying. Please save my child.'"
Gobena took the baby boy home which posed a threat to her own safety, she explained to CNN.
"It was a terrible famine. There were no authorities. The government at that time did not want the famine to be public knowledge. So I had to pretend the children were mine and smuggle them out."
By the end of 1980, Gobena had taken in 21 children. But her desire to save the young children caused friction in her family.
"My family, my husband gave me an ultimatum, choose the children or choose your life," she told CNN.
"My relatives, even my mother said, 'She has gone mad, she should be checked at the mental institution.'"
My family, my husband gave me an ultimatum, choose the children or choose your life.
However, leaving her own family was a tough decision for Gobena, who had struggled since childhood to gain an education, job and secure family life.
Born in 1938, she was only a month-old when her father was killed during the Ethio-Italian war. As tradition dictated, she was brought up by her father's parents until the age of 11, when she was married off without her consent.
Revolting against her marriage, Gobena ran away from home to Addis Ababa, where she scraped a basic education, gained a job as a quality controller and remarried.
Gobena has come a long way since 1980 when she struggled to survive, resorting to selling her possessions and tearing up her own dresses to make clothes for the infants. Now her orphanage, as well as sheltering, also acts as a school, educating over 700 children.
But she says: "I have no regrets. God has helped me get to this point. I always had great faith in God.
"I knew we would survive, even selling small things by the roadside. I am so happy because none of the children died, and all of them grew up."
CANADA: AUTHOR MICHAEL O´BRIEN´S LATEST BOOK RELEASE
TO ORDER THIS BOOK CLICK: http://www.ignatius.com/Products/THEO-H/theophilos.aspx
JAPAN: FR. GAZZARD CELEBRATES 60 OF PRIESTHOOD
Asia News report: Father Claudio Gazzard (PIME) celebrates 60 years of priesthood dedicated to concrete inculturation, the result of study, understanding and encountering people. Nursery schools and games of football every morning.
Tokyo (AsiaNews) - The Italian missionary Claudio Gazzard can be considered a model of inculturation and globalization. A few days ago, Sunday, June 13, in a modest Catholic church on the outskirts of the city of Imari, in southern Japan, the 85 year old presided over the celebration of Mass on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his ordination
Among the many present at the ceremony and dinner that followed, only two of his compatriots: the representative of the Roman direction of his Institute (PIME) and the local superior, who, while participating in the common joy, were reserved, almost as if not to distract attention from the main players of the event: the man who was being celebrated, inseparably united to the other participants, all of them Japanese.
"Congratulations on your diamond ". This is how one of the speakers began his address at the following dinner. The Japanese are not picky purists, if they can not find a term in their own vocabulary to express a Western concept, they transliterate the pronunciation of the English, often delimiting its meaning. And so "dayamondo" has become synonymous with celebration of a glorious sixty years.
And in fact the word "dayamondo" began the refrain in speeches and conversations that day. In the context of Japanese society of missionary life Gazzard, or rather his sixty years of missionary priesthood may be called a "diamond", a diamond that has gradually formed through the interaction of two cultures, that from which he originated and that in which he has lived.
When the mid 1950s, Father Claudio left for Japan, the word "globalization" was little known. Now it's on everyone's lips even though its true meaning is often not directly perceived. Not so much the media as the meeting of people of different cultures create the global society.
For over half a century Gazzard, the missionary priest, has become an active subject of intercultural communication. The hardships he faced to be faithful, year after year, to the initial inspiration that allowed him to become positively rock-like and splendid, like a diamond, in fact.
From Milan to Tokyo
In order to become what he became Claudio, who was not a man of study, had to faced in spite of himself a profound process of "inculturation," another unfamiliar word in his language.
"To leave home to go and live in an unknown cultural environment requires uncommon courage and zeal," said an admirer of the old missionary. And in fact for him this process, which began early on, was neither easy nor quick: the desire to become a priest, born in his heart at the age of 12, seemed impossible, because the peasant family from rural Lombardy where he grew up, lived on the margins of poverty.
The seminary for young boys from poor families, founded in Cottolengo Turin solved the problem. And here the process of inculturation began with the study Latin, which at the time was a must for all students. But the process took a revolutionary turn when he decided to join a missionary organization to realize his ideal not in Italy, but in a non-European continent.
Gradually he realized that inculturation in a "global" context was not the choice of scholars but the normal dimension of the missionary, who must be a man of dialogue. A second cultural development was necessary, one that was offered him in Milan, then headquarters of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME). But in 1954 a further culture shock, we could say tragic, awaited him, when the missionary institute did not send him among the primitives in an African forest or to Latin America, culturally similar to Europe, but to Tokyo, the metropolis of Japanese culture. All of a sudden he found himself blind, deaf and dumb.
From the Babylon of the capital to the desert of the south island.
After two years of daily study, his eyes and ears were opened and his tongue loosened, a little, but the process of the formation of the diamond was far from finished.
As district missionary Gazzardi was assigned the region of Saga, one of the smallest of Japan’s prefectures, over a thousand kilometres from Tokyo on the large island in the south (Kyushu). If the capital had seemed a Babylon because of linguistic difficulties, then the area of Saga must have appeared like a desert for its substantial lack of Christian and Western references.
Fortunately, the novice missionary noticed he had something within him that he could communicate, something that was greatly needed. Faith, one would naturally say. Certainly, but the missionary knows that this gift comes from on High, if it considers it his, he ends up losing it. What he realized was that culture he had forged in Italy could be an effective tool for communication in the context of dialogue on a global level. The image of the missionary-teacher was superseded by that of the missionary-man of dialogue.
The nursery oasis of cultural dialogue
"In kindergarten during the year there are several events in which our director, even now at 85, still energetically and willingly takes part. I have often wondered where he gets all of this energy from. In this attitude I and other teachers glimpse the life of the priest who follows the strict religious precepts every day”, so says Mrs. Sakaki Matsuo, principal of the Catholic kindergarten in the city of Imari.
Reading the text of speech I admire, along with the high quality of style a nobility of sentiments. I write this to make known to the readers the privileged place where for decades Gazzardi and PIME missionaries have nurtured intercultural dialogue in this little known prefecture.
Italy and the West in general perceive Japan to be a highly secularized nation. This is not the case in the provinces where religious meaning is still widespread.
In the mid1950s a veteran missionary in China, superior of the Saga Group, planned to build churches in the seven major cities of the prefecture. Gazzardi, who had an instinctive aversion to theoretical studies offset by significant abilities in management, became his right hand man.
The "Chinese method" did not work: the churches, except for Sunday services, they failed to attract the small Christian flock. Instead they were drawn to the "nursery schools" that the missionary-manager, together with other brothers, took care to build in each residence. For six days a week from eight in the morning to late afternoon these kindergartens are oases full of life: thousands of children have passed through them with two generations of young mothers. The heart of these institutions is the group of teachers gathered around the "shunin sensei", the head teacher. But the director is always the "shimpusama, the Catholic priest, to whom the teachers listen for spiritual guidance.
The "Japanese" Catholic Church as such is little known in the provinces, not as much as the universal Church: the mothers will gladly send their boys and girls there because the director is a shimpusama.
The morning football game
"The shimpusama is a zealous person, whatever he does, he does it seriously: prayer, football, work, so says Father Sakurai. The mention of "football" next to "prayer and work" in a sentence pronounced during the homily of the Mass for the 60th anniversary of priestly ordination, may surprise. But the speech by the Director of Education during the dinner, proved that this approach outlines the identity of the Imari nursery school director.
"Everybody knows - Matsuo said - that the father takes part in a soccer game with children every morning, that game is part of the school’s daily program. He is both coach and famous player”.
Gazzardi knowing that among the youth of Japan this sport is no less popular than baseball or "sumo wrestling", also made the game of football a place of intercultural dialogue, where the interlocutors are children of nursery school.
The precious pearl
It the place where the Italian missionary was able to effectively experience a particular cultural dialogue was with the priest Japanese Naoki Sakurai. The son of a professor of English literature, a Catholic, Naoki was an infant when Gazzardi took on responsibility for the church in Saga, and now, at 51 years, was given the parish of the Cathedral Fukuka, the metropolis of Kyushu.
In order to avail of a particular theological formation, Sakurai as a young priest lived for some years in Rome and Canada. So, thanks to an unbroken relationship with his old pastor of Saga he is the realisation of a successful encounter in faith between the Japanese and European culture.
He was the obvious choice for to hold the homily for the 60th anniversary of his forming father’s priesthood.
"The poor and humble life of this father (Gazzardi) - he said – does not shine light a diamond from material wealth but from the love of God that he has transmitted to many people in the difficult society of modern Japan”.
The main theme of the entire homily, although based on the person being celebrated, was the relationship between God and Japanese society. This was illustrated with an anecdote. "Last year – he said - during a vacation in Italy I went along with his father Gazzardi to Switzerland, where visiting a museum we saw a video that was the beginning of the universe and of life. Leaving the museum, Father Claudio said to me: 'Why do they not recognize God? God saved Moses and his people from Egypt. God created the world? ". Sakurai said. "If man does not recognize this, man does not give importance to life or the universe and therefore many destroy life and the universe”.
Anyone who has lived for decades in Japan can not but admire the high quality of Japanese culture, but also realize a widespread atmosphere of gloom which too frequently leads to tragic gestures.
"Transmitting the reality of God - said Sakurai - father Gazzardi taught us how to live life in joy. Things and the money alone cannot make man happy. We all know the father’s (Gazzardi) sense of humour. A person can not express humour if there is no joy in his life. Giving importance to God, as father did, brings happiness".
ST. VINCENT DE PAUL QUESTIONS LEGISLATION
Cath News report: Welfare legislation passed by the Senate to allow the blanket imposition of compulsory income management is an "invasion of private lives, a denial of dignity, and a removal of self-determination", says the St Vincent de Paul Society.
"It is extremely disappointing to see political points being scored on the backs of people who are doing it tough.
"It is inconceivable to us that a Government that has committed itself to a social inclusion agenda can act in such a disrespectful manner to people who are unemployed or who are struggling on a low income to raise a young family," said the society's National President Mr Syd Tutton.
"This policy worsens the social and financial divide in Australia. You can't build a strong economy on the back of a fractured society."
Meanwhile, Dr Falzon writes in Eureka Street today that preventing homelessness is a justice issue that requires political will.
"The founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society, 19th century French activist academic, Frederic Ozanam, wrote: 'Charity is the Samaritan who pours oil on the wounds of the traveller who has been attacked. It is the role of justice to prevent the attack.'
"We would be poorer as a nation without the outpouring of human kindness through charities. But the prevention of homelessness should be seen as a matter of justice, and for that charity is no substitute."
While participating in last week's CEO Sleepout, Dr Falzon said the most "useful element" from the experience was a presentation given by a couple of people who had been experiencing homelessness. http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=22059
SPAIN: MISSIONARY CHILDHOOD ASSOCIATION RELEASES HANDBOOK
Agenzia Fides report – The Missions Commission of the Archdiocese of Valencia has issued a new handbook to encourage the formation of more Missionary Childhood groups and offer existing groups guidelines for activity. The aim of Missionary Childhood groups, which report to the Pontifical Mission Societies PMS, is to foster missionary spirit among Catholic children, stimulating and encouraging them to evangelise according to their means in their own environment, and also to help them realise the necessity of helping other less fortunate children.
The 134 page handbook was presented by Fr, padre Ramón Rodríguez Guerrero of Valencia, during a National Assembly of Diocesan Directors of the PMS, held in Madrid and presided by the Archbishop of Pamplona and Tudela, Mgr. Francisco Pérez, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Spain.
The handbook is already in use in the dioceses of Orihuela-Alicante and Valencia, and has been requested by other dioceses, according to the diocesan publication "Paraula-Iglesia en Valencia". The handbook was produced mainly to offer help and support to catechists, teachers and animators of Holy Childhood groups in parishes and schools, in organising meetings and activity with children.
Feast: June 23
Information: Feast Day: June 23
Died: 23 June, 679
Patron of: neck ailments, throat ailments, widows
Queen of Northumbria; born (probably) about 630; died at Ely, 23 June, 679. While still very young she was given in marriage by her father, Anna, King of East Anglia, to a certain Tonbert, a subordinate prince, from whom she received as morning gift a tract of land locally known as the Isle of Ely. She never lived in wedlock with Tonbert, however, and for five years after his early death was left to foster her vocation to religion. Her father then arranged for her a marriage of political convenience with Egfrid, son and heir to Oswy, King of Northumbria. From this second bridegroom, who is said to have been only fourteen years of age, she received certain lands at Hexham; through St. Wilfrid of York she gave these lands to found the minster of St. Andrew. St. Wilfrid was her friend and spiritual guide, but it was to him that Egfrid, on succeeding his father, appealed for the enforcement of his marital rights as against Etheldreda's religious vocation. The bishop succeeded at first in persuading Egfrid to consent that Etheldreda should live for some time in peace as a sister of the Coldingham nunnery, founded by her aunt, St. Ebba, in what is now Berwickshire. But at last the imminent danger of being forcibly carried off by the king drove her to wander southwards, with only two women in attendance. They made their way to Etheldreda's own estate of Ely, not, tradition said, without the interposition of miracles, and, on a spot hemmed in by morasses and the waters of the Ouse, the foundation of Ely Minster was begun. This region was Etheldreda's native home, and her royal East Anglian relatives gave her the material means necessary for the execution of her holy design. St. Wilfrid had not yet returned from Rome, where he had obtained extraordinary privileges for her foundation from Benedict II, when she died of a plague which she herself, it is said, had circumstantially foretold. Her body was, throughout many succeeding centuries, an object of devout veneration in the famous church which grew up on her foundation. One hand of the saint is now venerated in the church of St. Etheldreda, Ely Place, London, which enjoys the distinction of being the first—and at present (1909) the only—pre-Reformation church in Great Britain restored to Catholic worship. Built in the thirteenth century as a private chapel attached to the town residence of the Bishop of Ely, the structure of St. Etheldreda's passed through many vicissitudes during the centuries following its desecration, until, in 1873-74, it was purchased by Father William Lockhart and occupied by the Institute of Charity, of whose English mission Father Lockhart was then superior.
Matthew 7: 15 - 20
15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?
17 So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit.
18 A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Thus you will know them by their fruits.
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: TUES. JUNE 22, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: METROPOLITAN ARCHBISHOPS WHO WILL RECEIVE THE PALLIUM-
AMERICA: CHILE: PRIEST, FR. CALISTO STABBED DURING MASS IN HOSPITAL-
AFRICA: CAMEROON: CATHOLIC MEN´S CONGRESS SAYS IMITATE ST. JOSEPH-
ASIA: TURKEY: EXPLOSION KILLS NINE IN ISTANBUL-
EUROPE: ROME LASER TECHNOLOGY REVEALS EARLIEST IMAGES OF APOSTLES-
AUSTRALIA: NEW HIGH SCHOOLS FOR NORTH BRISBANE-
METROPOLITAN ARCHBISHOPS WHO WILL RECEIVE THE PALLIUM
VATICAN CITY, 22 JUN 2010 (VIS) - At 9.30 a.m. on Tuesday 29 June, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, Benedict XVI will preside at a Eucharistic concelebration with the following 38 metropolitan archbishops upon whom he will impose the pallium:
- Archbishop Luis Gerardo Herrera O.F.M. of Cuenca, Ecuador.
- Archbishop Alex Thomas Kaliyanil S.V.D. of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
- Archbishop Gerard Tlali Lerotholi O.M.I. of Maseru, Lesotho.
- Archbishop Antonio Fernando Saburido O.S.B. of Olinda and Recife, Brazil.
- Archbishop Albert Legatt of Saint-Boniface, Canada.
- Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia - Citta della Pieve, Italy.
- Archbishop Andrea Bruno Mazzocato of Udine, Italy.
- Archbishop Gabriel Mblinghi C.S.Sp. of Lubango, Angola.
- Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, Philppines.
- Archbishop Constancio Miranda Weckmann of Chihuahua, Mexico.
- Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, England.
- Archbishop Juan Jose Asenjo Pelegrina of Seville, Spain.
- Archbishop Jerome Edward Listecki of Milwaukee, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala, Cameroon.
- Archbishop Jesus Sanz Montes O.F.M. of Oviedo, Spain.
- Archbishop Anton Stres C.M. of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
- Archbishop Joseph Atanga S.J. of Bertoua, Cameroon.
- Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, South Africa.
- Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Alberto Taveira Correa of Belem do Para, Brazil.
- Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium.
- Archbishop Antonio Lanfranchi of Modena - Nonantola, Italy.
- Archbishop Dominik Duka O.P. of Prague, Czech Republic.
- Archbishop Ricardo Antonio Tobon Restrepo of Medellin, Colombia.
- Archbishop Jose Domingo Ulloa Mendieta O.S.A. of Panama, Panama.
- Archbishop Francis Kallarakal of Verapoly, India.
- Archbishop Desire Tsarahazana of Toamasina, Madagascar.
- Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Valladolid, Spain.
- Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong of Kwangju, Korea.
- Archbishop Luis Madrid Merlano of Nueva Pamplona, Colombia.
- Archbishop Thomas Gerard Wenski of Miami, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, England.
- Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk of Gniezno, Poland.
- Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of Hanoi, Vietnam.
- Archbishop Matthias Kobena Nketsiah of Cape Coast, Ghana.
- Archbishop Bernard Bober of Kosice, Slovakia.
- Archbishop Carlos Garfias Merlos of Acapulco, Mexico.
- Archbishop Luigi Moretti of Salerno - Campagna - Acerno, Italy.
OCL/ VIS 20100622 (370)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, 22 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
- Bishop Joseph Patrick McFadden, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Philadelphia, U.S.A., as bishop of Harrisburg (area 19,839, population 2,060,000, Catholics 248,000, priests 179, permanent deacons 49, religious 394), U.S.A.
- Appointed Fr. Andres Vargas Pena of the clergy of the diocese of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, episcopal vicar for pastoral care, and Fr. Adolfo Miguel Castano Fonseca of the clergy of the diocese of Toluca, Mexico, professor at the diocesan seminary, as auxiliaries of Mexico (area 1,429, population 8,781,000, Catholics 7,845,500, priests 1,757, permanent deacons 135, religious 7,229), Mexico. Bishop-elect Vargas Pena was born in Villa de la Paz, Mexico in 1946 and ordained a priest in 1973. Bishop-elect Castano Fonseca was born in San Mateo Mozoquilpan, Mexico in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1987.
- Appointed Msgr. Michael J. Fitzgerald of the clergy of the archdiocese of Philadelphia, U.S.A., judicial vicar, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 5,652, population 3,887,694, Catholics 1,458,430, priests 999, permanent deacons 239, religious 3,370). The bishop-elect was born in Montclair, U.S.A. in 1948 and ordained a priest in 1980.
- Appointed as members of the administrative council of the Pontifical Academy for Life: Bishop Fernando Natalio Chomali Garib, auxiliary of Santiago de Chile, Chile; Mounir Abdel Messih Shehata Farag of Egypt; Gian Luigi Gigli of Italy; John Hass of U.S.A., and Monica Lopez Barahona of Spain.
- Appointed Msgr. Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, under secretary of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", as secretary of the same dicastery.
CHILE: PRIEST, FR. CALISTO STABBED DURING MASS IN HOSPITAL
Agenzia Fides report– A parish priest, stabbed during Mass on Friday 18 June and operated, is still in hospital convalescing. The priest was stabbed in the neck while distributing Holy Communion at the end of evening Mass in Calbuco, 50 km south west of Puerto Montt. A statement signed by the Archbishop of Puerto Montt, a copy of the statement was sent to Fides, said Fr. José Francisco Nuñez Calisto, parish priest of San Michele Arcangelo de Calbuco received a knife would in the neck while giving Holy Communion to the faithful at the end of Mass on Friday 18 June. The priest, rushed to the local hospital at Calbuco, was operated the same evening and is now convalescing at the Ospedale Base in Puerto Montt. “I wish to thank those who took care of Fr Francisco, especially the medical staff and the hospitals in Calbuco and Puerto Montt, who assisted him so promptly". The Archbishop of Puerto Montt will be called to take part in the trial against the aggressor taken immediately into custody. "We pray for also the aggressor” said the statement which ended with a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary for all sick persons.
CAMEROON: CATHOLIC MEN´S CONGRESS SAYS IMITATE ST. JOSEPH
All Africa report: Originally, scheduled to hold on June 6 to the 9th the Catholic Men's Congress finally took place on June 18 to 20 in Yaounde.
The first National Congress of the Catholic Men's Association (CMA) opened at the Collège Vogt campus in Yaounde last Saturday, 19 June 2010. The congress took place under the distinguished patronage of the Archbishop of Yaounde, Mgr. Victor Tonye Mbakot. The event brought together members from across the country, Rev Fathers, representatives of the Catholic Women's Association, sister organisations and guests. The theme for the congress was "Called to be men of honour in the image of St. Joseph the just man".
Speaking during the opening, the National President of the CMA, Francis Bekene said the CMA as a strong pillar of the church should be respectful to the church hierarchy for a better building of the church. He said the CMA was created to make up the fourth pillar of the church so that the church can stand firm. He explained that the mission of the CMA is to help in evangelisation and to support the church in everything possible. The ceremony began with a holy mass at Collège Vogt campus and was followed by a plenary session. Members were expected to examine and adopt the constitution of the association.
The name Catholic Men Association was actually used in the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda. However in March 2003, His Grace Archbishop Paul Verdzekov, of blessed memory, officially recognised the CMA as a Prayer and Action group in the church. From then, the CMA has spread to most of the dioceses of the country notably Maroua, Bertoua, Ebolowa, Yaounde, Bafoussam, Douala, Buea, Mamfe, Kumbo and Bamenda. It is expected that at the end of the congress, the CMA will be completely reformed and members will be more united especially in their response towards the new way of being in church.
TURKEY: EXPLOSION KILLS NINE IN ISTANBUL
Istanbul (AsiaNews / Agencies) – An early morning attack in Istanbul, Turkey killed three people, wounding six others in the explosion of a bomb on a bus (see photo) carrying the military personnel.
The attack occurred at 5:45 while the vehicle passed through the streets of the district Halkali on the outskirts of the city's European side.
According to CNN-Turk, the vehicle was also carrying relatives of soldiers, including children. One of them was among the victims. So far there is no information on the condition of the wounded.
The attack has not yet been claimed, but everything points to the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) who, in a series of attacks between Saturday and Sunday, killed nine soldiers.
ROME LASER TECHNOLOGY REVEALS EARLIEST IMAGES OF APOSTLES
Washington Post report: Twenty-first century laser technology has opened a window into the early days of the Catholic Church, guiding researchers through the dank, musty catacombs beneath Rome to a startling find: the first known icons of the apostles Peter and Paul.
Picture: Catacomb archeological superintendent Fabrizio Bisconti points to frescoes discovered with the earliest known icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul in a catacomb located under a modern office building in a residential neighborhood of Rome, Tuesday, June, 22, 2010. Restorers said Tuesday they had unearthed the 4th-century images using a new laser technique that allowed them to burn off centuries of white calcium deposits without damaging the dark colors of the original paintings underneath. The paintings adorn what is believed to be the tomb of a Roman noblewoman and represent some of the earliest evidence of devotion to the apostles in early Christianity
Vatican officials unveiled the paintings Tuesday, discovered along with the earliest known images of the apostles John and Andrew in an underground burial chamber beneath an office building on a busy street in a working-class Rome neighborhood.
The images, which date from the second half of the 4th century, were uncovered using a new laser technique that allows restorers to burn off centuries of thick white calcium carbonate deposits without damaging the brilliant dark colors of the paintings underneath.
The technique could revolutionize the way restoration work is carried out in the miles (kilometers) of catacombs that burrow under the Eternal City where early Christians buried their dead.
The icons were discovered on the ceiling of a tomb of an aristocratic Roman woman at the Santa Tecla catacomb, near where the remains of the apostle Paul are said to be buried.
Rome has dozens of such burial chambers and they are a major tourist attraction, giving visitors a peek into the traditions of the early church when Christians were often persecuted for their beliefs. Early Christians dug the catacombs outside Rome's walls as underground cemeteries, since burial was forbidden inside the city walls and pagan Romans were usually cremated.
The art that decorated Rome's catacombs was often simplistic and symbolic in nature. The Santa Tecla catacombs, however, represent some of the earliest evidence of devotion to the apostles in early Christianity, Vatican officials said.
"The Christian catacombs, while giving us value with a religious and cultural patrimony, represent an eloquent and significant testimony of Christianity at its origin," said Monsignor Giovanni Carru, the No. 2 in the Vatican's Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology, which maintains the catacombs.
Last June, the Vatican announced the discovery of the icon of Paul at Santa Tecla, timing the news to coincide with the end of the Vatican's year of St. Paul. Pope Benedict XVI also said tests on bone fragments long attributed to Paul "seemed to confirm" that they did indeed belong to the Roman Catholic saint.
On Tuesday, Vatican archaeologists announced the image of Paul was not found in isolation, but was part of a square ceiling painting that also included icons of three other apostles - Peter, John and Andrew - surrounding an image of Christ as the Good Shepherd.
"They are the first icons. These are absolutely the first representations of the apostles," said Fabrizio Bisconti, the superintendent of archaeology for the catacombs.
Bisconti spoke from inside the intimate burial chamber, its walls and ceilings covered with paintings of scenes from the Old Testament, including Daniel in the lion's den and Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac. Once inside, visitors see the loculi, or burial chambers, on three sides.But the gem is on the ceiling, where the four apostles are painted inside gold-rimmed circles against a red-ochre backdrop. The ceiling is also decorated with geometric designs, and the cornices feature images of naked youths.
"The fact of isolating them in a corner tells us it's a form of devotion," she said. "In this case, saints Peter and Paul, and John and Andrew are the most antique testimonies we have."
In addition, the images of Andrew and John show much younger faces than are normally depicted in the Byzantine-inspired imagery most often associated with the apostles, she said.
The Vatican's Sacred Archaeology office oversaw the two-year $73,650 (euro60,000) project, which for the first time used lasers to restore frescoes in catacombs, where the damp air makes the procedure particularly difficult.
Using the laser technique, restorers were able to sear off all the deposits by setting the laser to burn only on the white of the calcium carbonate; the laser's heat stopped when it reached a different color. Researchers then easily chipped off the seared material, revealing the brilliant ochre, black, green and yellow underneath, Mazzei said.
Similar technology has been used on statues, particularly metallic ones damaged by years of outdoor pollution, she said. However, the Santa Tecla restoration marked the first time lasers had been adapted for use in the dank interiors of catacombs.
Many of Rome's catacombs are open regularly to the public. However, the Santa Tecla catacombs will be open only on request to limited groups to preserve the paintings, she said.
NEW HIGH SCHOOLS FOR NORTH BRISBANE
Cath News report: News of a new high school by Brisbane's Catholic Education, the St Benedict's Catholic College, is being welcomed in the northern Brisbane suburb of Mango Hill.
The high school is expected to open in 2013, just in time for the current Year 5 pupils to begin Year 8, reports the North Lake Times.
"From a parent's point of view we'll offer education from Prep to Year 12 with just a path separating the two," said St Benedict's School principal Mark Creevey.
A steering committee with two school principals, three parent representatives and educational representatives have begun an education brief for the school which will determine the cost, number of buildings and facilities for the secondary campus.
A separate report in the Courier-Mail said submissions to a federal inquiry into school libraries and teacher-librarians revealed frustration over chronically underfunded libraries and a lack of consultation on building projects.
Librarians have panned the Rudd Government for spending billions on new library buildings but not a cent on resources or staff training, the report said.
Queensland teacher-librarians have warned Education Minister Julia Gillard that better buildings won't equal improved learning without resources and staff.
In its submission, the Queensland Catholic Education Commission warned "improved buildings will not translate into improvements in library services and learning outcomes" without adequate resourcing.
The report cites a spokesman for Ms Gillard saying State Governments were responsible for funding library staff and books.
The Rudd Government has spent more than $3.9 billion on 3400 library projects under its Building the Education Revolution program, including $1 billion on 1200 Queensland libraries.
The cash was only for construction or fit-out, not "non-portable" items like books.
St. Thomas More
MARTYR, CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND
Feast: June 22
Information: Feast Day: June 22
Born: 1478 at London, England
Died: 6 July 1535, London, England
Canonized: 1935, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Patron of: Adopted children,civil servants, court clerks, difficult marriages, large families, lawyers, politicians and statesmen, stepparents, widowers
Saint, knight, Lord Chancellor of England, author and martyr, born in London, 7 February, 1477-78; executed at Tower Hill, 6 July, 1535. He was the sole surviving son of Sir John More, barrister and later judge, by his first wife Agnes, daughter of Thomas Graunger. While still a child Thomas was sent to St. Anthony's School in Threadneedle Street, kept by Nicholas Holt, and when thirteen years old was placed in the household of Cardinal Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor. Here his merry character and brilliant intellect attracted the notice of the archbishop, who sent him to Oxford, where he entered at Canterbury Hall (subsequently absorbed by Christ Church) about 1492. His father made him an allowance barely sufficient to supply the necessaries of life and, in consequence, he had no opportunity to indulge in "vain or hurtful amusements" to the detriment of his studies. At Oxford he made friends with William Grocyn and Thomas Linacre, the latter becoming his first instructor in Greek. Without ever becoming an exact scholar he mastered Greek "by an instinct of genius" as witnessed by Pace (De fructu qui ex doctrina percipitur, 1517), who adds "his eloquence is incomparable and twofold, for he speaks with the same facility in Latin as in his own language". Besides the classics he studied French, history, and mathematics, and also learned to play the flute and the viol. After two years' residence at Oxford, More was recalled to London and entered as a law student at New Inn about 1494. In February, 1496, he was admitted to Lincoln's Inn as a student, and in due course was called to the outer bar and subsequently made a bencher. His great abilities now began to attract attention and the governors of Lincoln's Inn appointed him "reader" or lecturer on law at Furnival's Inn, his lectures being esteemed so highly that the appointment was renewed for three successive years.
It is clear however that law did not absorb all More's energies, for much of his time was given to letters. He wrote poetry, both Latin and English, a considerable amount of which has been preserved and is of good quality, though not particularly striking, and he was especially devoted to the works of Pico della Mirandola, of whose life he published an English translation some years later. He cultivated the acquaintance of scholars and learned men and, through his former tutors, Grocyn and Linacre, who were now living in London, he made friends with Colet, Dean of St. Paul's, and William Lilly, both renowned scholars. Colet became More's confessor and Lilly vied with him in translating epigrams from the Greek Anthology into Latin, then joint productions being published in 1518 (Progymnasnata T. More et Gul. Liliisodalium). In 1497 More was introduced to Erasmus, probably at the house of Lord Mountjoy, the great scholar's pupil and patron. The friendship at once became intimate, and later on Erasmus paid several long visits at More's Chelsea house, and the two friends corresponded regularly until death separated them. Besides law and the Classics More read the Fathers with care, and he delivered, in the Church of St. Lawrence Jewry, a series of lectures on St. Augustine's "De civitate Dei", which were attended by many learned men, among whom Grocyn, the rector of the church, is expressly mentioned. For such an audience the lectures must have been prepared with great care, but unhappily not a fragment of them has survived. These lectures were given somewhere between 1499 and 1503, a period during which More's mind was occupied almost wholly with religion and the question of his own vocation for the priesthood.
This portion of his life has caused much misunderstanding among his various biographers. It is certain that he went to live near the London Charterhouse and often joined in the spiritual exercises of the monks there. He wore "a sharp shirt of hair next his skin, which he never left off wholly" (Cresacre More), and gave himself up to a life of prayer and penance. His mind wavered for some time between joining the Carthusians or the Observant Franciscans, both of which orders observed the religious life with extreme strictness and fervour. In the end, apparently with the approval of Colet, he abandoned the hope of becoming a priest or religious, his decision being due to a mistrust of his powers of perseverance. Erasmus, his intimate friend and confidant, writes on this matter as follows (Epp.447): "Meanwhile he applied his whole mind to exercises of piety, looking to and pondering on the priesthood in vigils, fasts and prayers and similar austerities. In which matter he proved himself far more prudent than most candidates who thrust themselves rashly into that arduous profession without any previous trial of their powers. The one thing that prevented him from giving himself to that kind of life was that he could not shake off the desire of the married state. He chose, therefore, to be a chaste husband rather than an impure priest." The last sentence of this passage has led certain writers, notably Mr. Seebohm and Lord Campbell, to expatiate at great length on the supposed corruption of the religious orders at this date, which, they declare, disgusted More so much that he abandoned his wish to enter religion on that account. Father Bridgett deals with this question at considerable length (Life and Writings of Sir Thomas More, pp. 23-36), but it is enough to say that this view has now been abandoned even by non-Catholic writers, as witness Mr. W. H. Hutton: "It is absurd to assert that More was disgusted with monastic corruption, that he 'loathed monks as a disgrace to the Church'. He was throughout his life a warm friend of the religious orders, and a devoted admirer of the monastic ideal. He condemned the vices of individuals; he said, as his great-grandson says, 'that at that time religious men in England had somewhat degenerated from their ancient strictness and fervour of spirit'; but there is not the slightest sign that his decision to decline the monastic life was due in the smallest degree to a distrust of the system or a distaste for the theology of the Church."
The question of religious vocation being disposed of, More threw himself into his work at the Bar and scored immediate success. In 1501 he was elected a member of Parliament, but as the returns are missing his constituency is unknown. Here he immediately began to oppose the large and unjust exactions of money which King Henry VII was making from his subjects through the agency of Empson and Dudley, the latter being Speaker of the House of Commons. In this Parliament Henry demanded a grant of three-fifteenths, about 113,000 pounds, but thanks to More's protests the Commons reduced the sum to 30,000. Some years later Dudley told More that his boldness would have cost him his head but for the fact that he had not attacked the king in person. Even as it was Henry was so enraged with More that he "devised a causeless quarrel against his father, keeping him in the Tower till he had made him pay a hundred pounds fine" (Roper). Meanwhile More had made friends with one "Maister John Colte, a gentleman" of Newhall, Essex, whose oldest daughter, Jane, he married in 1505. Roper writes of his choice: "albeit his mind most served him to the second daughter, for that he thought her the fairest and best favoured, yet when he considered that it would be great grief and some shame also to the eldest to see her younger sister preferred before her in marriage, he then, of a certain pity, framed his fancy towards" the eldest of the three sisters. The union proved a supremely happy one; of it were born three daughters, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Cecilia, and a son, John; and then, in 1511, Jane More died, still almost a child. In the epitaph which More himself composed twenty years later he calls her "uxorcula Mori", and a few lines in one of Erasmus' letters are almost all we know of her gentle, winning personality.
More's fame as a lawyer was now very great. In 1510 he was made Under-Sheriff of London, and four years later was chosen by Cardinal Wolsey as one of an embassy to Flanders to protect the interests of English merchants. He was thus absent from England for more than six months in 1515, during which period he made the first sketch of the "Utopia", his most famous work, which was published the following year. Both Wolsey and the king were anxious to secure More's services at Court. In 1516 he was granted a pension of 100 pounds for life, was made a member of the embassy to Calais in the next year, and became a privy councilor about the same time. In 1519 he resigned his post as Under-Sheriff and became completely attached to the Court. In June, 1520, he was in Henry's suite at the "Field of the Cloth of Gold", in 1521 was knighted and made sub-treasurer to the king. When the Emperor Charles V visited London in the following year, More was chosen to deliver the Latin address of welcome; and grants of land in Oxford and Kent, made then and three years later, gave further proof of Henry's favour. In 1523 he was elected Speaker of the House of Commons on Wolsey's recommendation; became High Steward of Cambridge University in 1525; and in the same year was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, to be held in addition to his other offices. In 1523 More had purchased a piece of and in Chelsea, where he built himself a mansion about a hundred yards from the north bank of the Thames, with a large garden stretching along the river. Here at times the king would come as an unbidden guest at dinner time, or would walk in the garden with his arm round More's neck enjoying his brilliant conversation. But More had no illusions about the royal favour he enjoyed. "If my head should win him a castle in France," he said to Roper, his son-in-law, in 1525, "it should not fail to go". The Lutheran controversy had now spread throughout Europe and, with some reluctance, More was drawn into it. His controversial writings are mentioned below in the list of his works, and it is sufficient here to say that, while far more refined than most polemical writers of the period, there is still a certain amount that tastes unpleasant to the modern reader. At first he wrote in Latin but, when the books of Tindal and other English Reformers began to be read by people of all classes, he adopted English as more fitted to his purpose and, by doing so, gave no little aid to the development of English prose.
In October, 1529, More succeeded Wolsey as Chancellor of England, a post never before held by a layman. In matters political, however, he is nowise succeeded to Wolsey's position, and his tenure of the chancellorship is chiefly memorable for his unparalleled success as a judge. His despatch was so great that the supply of causes was actually exhausted, an incident commemorated in the well-known rhyme,
When More some time had Chancellor been
No more suits did remain.
The like will never more be seen,
Till More be there again.
As chancellor it was his duty to enforce the laws against heretics and, by doing so, he provoked the attacks of Protestant writers both in his own time and since. The subject need not be discussed here, but More's attitude is patent. He agreed with the principle of the anti-heresy laws and had no hesitation in enforcing them. As he himself wrote in his "Apologia" (cap.49) it was the vices of heretics that he hated, not their persons; and he never proceeded to extremities until he had made every effort to get those brought before him to recant. How successful he was in this is clear from the fact that only four persons suffered the supreme penalty for heresy during his whole term of office. More's first public appearance as chancellor was at the opening of the new Parliament in November, 1529. The accounts of his speech on this occasion vary considerably, but it is quite certain that he had no knowledge of the long series of encroachments on the Church which this very Parliament was to accomplish. A few months later came the royal proclamation ordering the clergy to acknowledge Henry as "Supreme Head" of the Church "as far as the law of God will permit", and we have Chapuy's testimony that More at once proffered his resignation of the chancelorship, which however was not accepted. His firm opposition to Henry's designs in regard to the divorce, the papal supremacy, and the laws against heretics, speedily lost him the royal favour, and in May, 1532, he resigned his post of Lord Chancellor after holding it less than three years. This meant the loss of all his income except about 100 pounds a year, the rent of some property he had purchased; and, with cheerful indifference, he at once reduced his style of living to match his strained means. The epitaph he wrote at this time for the tomb in Chelsea church states that he intended to devote his last years to preparing himself for the life to come.
For the next eighteen months More lived in seclusion and gave much time to controversial writing. Anxious to avoid a public rupture with Henry he stayed away from Anne Boleyn's coronation, and when, in 1533, his nephew William Rastell wrote a pamphlet supporting the pope, which was attributed to More, he wrote a letter to Cromwell disclaiming any share therein and declaring that he knew his duty to his prince too well to criticize his policy. Neutrality, however, did not suit Henry, and More's name was included in the Bill of Attainder introduced into the Lords against the Holy Maid of Kent and her friends. Brought before four members of the Council, More was asked why he did not approve Henry's anti-papal action. He answered that he had several times explained his position to the king in person and without incurring his displeasure. Eventually, in view of his extraordinary popularity, Henry thought it expedient to remove his name from the Bill of Attainder. The incident showed that he might expect, however, and the Duke of Norfolk personally warned him of his grave danger, adding "indignatio principis mors est". "Is that all, my Lord," answered More, "then, in good faith, between your grace and me is but this, that I shall die today, and you tomorrow." In March, 1534, the Act of Succession was passed which required all who should be called upon to take an oath acknowledging the issue of Henry and Anne as legitimate heirs to the throne, and to this was added a clause repudiating "any foreign authority, prince or potentate". On 14 April, More was summoned to Lambeth to take the oath and, on his refusal, was committed to the custody of the Abbot of Westminster. Four days later he was removed to the Tower, and in the following November was attainted of misprision of treason, the grants of land made to him in 1523 and 1525 being resumed by the Crown. In prison, though suffering greatly from "his old disease of the chest...gravel, stone, and the cramp", his habitual gaiety remained and he joked with his family and friends whenever they were permitted to see him as merrily as in the old days at Chelsea. When alone his time was given up to prayer and penitential exercises; and he wrote a "Dialogue of comfort against tribulation", treatise (unfinished) on the Passion of Christ, and many letters to his family and others. In April and May, 1535, Cromwell visited him in person to demand his opinion of the new statutes conferring on Henry the title of Supreme Head of the Church. More refused to give any answer beyond declaring himself a faithful subject of the king. In June, Rich, the solicitor-general, held a conversation with More and, in reporting it, declared that More had denied Parliament's power to confer ecclesiastical supremacy on Henry. It was now discovered that More and Fisher, The Bishop of Rochester, had exchanged letters in prison, and a fresh inquiry was held which resulted in his being deprived of all books and writing materials, but he contrived to write to his wife and favourite daughter, Margaret, on stray scraps of paper with a charred stick or piece of coal.
On 1 July, More was indicted for high treason at Westminster Hall before a special commission of twenty. More denied the chief charges of the indictment, which was enormously long, and denounced Rich, the solicitor-general and chief witness against him as a perjuror. The jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to be hanged at Tyburn, but some days later this was changed by Henry to beheading on Tower Hill. The story of his last days on earth, as given by Roper and Cresacre More, is of the tenderest beauty and should be read in full; certainly no martyr ever surpassed him in fortitude. As Addison wrote in the Spectator (No. 349) "that innocent mirth which had been so conspicuous in his life, did not forsake him to the last...his death was of a piece with his life. There was nothing in it new, forced or affected. He did not look upon the severing of his head from his body as a circumstance that ought to produce any change in the disposition of his mind". The execution took place on Tower Hill "before nine of the clock" on 6 July, the body being buried in thee Church of St. Peter ad vincula. The head, after being parboiled, was exposed on London Bridge for a month when Margaret Roper bribed the man, whose business it was to throw it into the river, to give it to her instead. The final fate of the relic is somewhat uncertain, but in 1824 a leaden box was found in the Roper vault at St. Dunstan's, Canterbury, which on being opened was found to contain a head presumed to be More's. The Jesuit Fathers at Stonyhurst possess a remarkable collection of secondary relics, most of which came to them from Father Thomas More, S.J. (d. 1795), the last male heir of the martyr. These include his hat, cap, crucifix of gold, a silver seal, "George", and other articles. The hair shirt, worn by him for many years and sent to Margaret Roper the day before his martyrdom, is preserved by the Augustinian canonesses of Abbots Leigh, Devonshire, to whom it was brought by Margaret Clements, the adopted child of Sir Thomas. A number of autograph letters are in the British Museum. Several portraits exist, the best being that by Holbein in the possession of E. Huth, Esq. Holbein also painted a large group of More's household which has disappeared, but the original sketch for it is in the Basle Museum, and a sixteenth-century copy is the property of Lord St. Oswald. Thomas More was formally beatified by Pope Leo XIII, in the Decree of 29 December, 1886. In 1935, he was canonized by Pope Pius XI.
More was a ready writer and not a few of his works remained in manuscript until some years after his death, while several have been lost altogether. Of all his writings the most famous is unquestionably the "Utopia", first published at Louvain in 1516. The volume recounts the fictitious travels of one Raphael Hythlodaye, a mythical character, who, in the course of a voyage to America, was left behind near Cape Frio and thence wandered on till he chanced upon the Island of Utopia ("nowhere") in which he found an ideal constitution in operation. The whole work is really an exercise of the imagination with much brilliant satire upon the world of More's own day. Real persons, such as Peter Giles, Cardinal Morton, and More himself, take part in the dialogue with Hythlodaye, so that an air of reality pervades the whole which leaves the reader sadly puzzled to detect where truth ends and fiction begins, and has led not a few to take the book seriously. But this is precisely what More intended, and there can be no doubt that he would have been delighted at entrapping William Morris, who discovered in it a complete gospel of Socialism; or Cardinal Zigliara, who denounced it as "no less foolish than impious"; as he must have been with his own contemporaries who proposed to hire a ship and send out missionaries to his non-existent island. The book ran through a number of editions in the original Latin version and, within a few years, was translated into German, Italian, French, Dutch, Spanish, and English.
A collected edition of More's English works was published by William Rastell, his nephew, at London in 1557; it has never been reprinted and is now rare and costly. The first collected edition of the Latin Works appeared at Basle in 1563; a more complete collection was published at Louvain in 1565 and again in 1566. In 1689 the most complete edition of all appeared at Frankfort-on-Main, and Leipzig. After the "Utopia" the following are the most important works: "Luciani Dialogi...compluria opuscula... ab Erasmo Roterodamo et Thoma Moro interpretibus optimis in Latinorum lingua traducta..." (Paris, 1506); "Here is conteigned the lyfe of John Picus, Earle of Mirandula..." (London, 1510); "Historie of the pitiful life and unfortunate death of Edward the fifth and the then Duke of York his brother...", printed incomplete in the "English Works" (1557) and reissued with a completion from Hall's Chronicle by Wm. Sheares (London, 1641); "Thomae Mori v.c. Dissertatio Epistolica de aliquot sui temporis theologastrorum ineptiis..." (Leyden, 1625);
Epigrammata...Thomae Mori Britanni, pleraque e Graecis versa. (Basle, 1518); Eruditissimi viri Gul. Rossi Opus elegans quo pulcherrime retegit ac refellit insanas Lutheri calumnias (London, 1523), written at the request of Henry VIII in answer to Luther's reply to the royal "Defensio Septem Sacramentorum"; "A dyaloge of Syr Thomas More Knyght...of divers maters, as of the veneration and worshyp of ymages and relyques, praying to sayntys and goyng on pylgrymage..." (London,1529); "The Supplycacyon of Soulys" (London, 1529[?]), written in answer to Fish's "Supplication of the Beggars"; "Syr Thomas More's answer to the fyrste parte of the poysoned booke... named 'The Souper of the Lorde' " (London, 1532); "The Second parte of the Confutacion of Tyndal's Answere..." (London, 1533); these two works together form the most lengthy of all More's writings; besides Tindal, Robert Barnes is dealt with in the last book of the whole; "A Letter impugnynge the erronyouse wrytyng of John Fryth against the Blessed Sacrament of the Aultare" (London, 1533); "The Apologye of Syr Thomas More, Hnyght, made by him anno 1533, after he had given over the office of Lord Chancellour of Englande" (London, 1533); "The Debellacyon of Salem and Bizance" (London, 1533), an answer to the anonymous work entitled "Salem and Bizance", and vindicating the severe punishment of heresy; "A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation..." (London, 1553).
Among the other writings in the collected volume of "English Works" are the following which had not been previously published: An unfinished treatise "uppon those words of Holy Scripture, 'Memorare novissima et in eternum non peccabis' ", dated 1522; "Treatise to receive the blessed Body of our Lorde, sacramentally and virtually both"; "Treatise upon the Passion" unfinished; "Certein devout and vertuouse Instruccions, Meditacions and Prayers"; some letters written in the Tower, including his touching correspondence with his daughter Margaret.
St. John Fisher
Feast: June 22
Information: Feast Day: June 22
Born: 1469, Beverley, Yorkshire, England
Died: 22 June 1535, Tower Hill, London, England
Canonized: 19 May 1935, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Cardinal, Bishop of Rochester, and martyr; born at Beverley, Yorkshire, England, 1459 (?1469); died 22 June, 1535. John was the eldest son of Robert Fisher, merchant of Beverley, and Agnes his wife. His early education was probably received in the school attached to the collegiate church in his native town, whence in 1484 he removed to Michaelhouse, Cambridge. He took the degree of B.A. in 1487, proceeded M.A. in 1491, in which year he was elected a fellow of his college, and was made Vicar of Northallerton, Yorkshire. In 1494 he resigned his benefice to become proctor of his university, and three years later was appointed Master of Michaelhouse, about which date he became chaplain and confessor to Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, mother of King Henry VII. In 1501 he received the degree of D.D., and was elected Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University. Under Fisher's guidance, the Lady Margaret founded St. John's and Christ's Colleges at Cambridge, and also the two "Lady Margaret" professorships of divinity at Oxford and Cambridge respectively, Fisher himself being the first occupant of the Cambridge chair.
By Bull dated 14 October, 1504, Fisher was advanced to the Bishopric of Rochester, and in the same year was elected Chancellor of Cambridge University, to which post he was re-elected annually for ten years and then appointed for life. At this date also he is said to have acted as tutor to Prince Henry, afterwards Henry VIII. As a preacher his reputation was so great that in 1509, when King Henry VII and the Lady Margaret died, Fisher was appointed to preach the funeral oration on both occasions; these sermons are still extant. In 1542 Fisher was nominated as one of the English representatives at the Fifth Council of Lateran, then sitting, but his journey to Rome was postponed, and finally abandoned. Besides his share in the Lady Margaret's foundations, Fisher gave further proof of his genuine zeal for learning by inducing Erasmus to visit Cambridge. The latter indeed (Epist., 6:2) attributes it to Fisher's protection that the study of Greek was allowed to proceed at Cambridge without the active molestation that it encountered at Oxford. He has also been named, though without any real proof, as the true author of the royal treatise against Luther entitled "Assertio septem sacramentorum", published in 1521, which won the title
When the question of Henry's divorce from Queen Catherine arose, Fisher became the Queen's chief supporter and most trusted counsellor. In this capacity he appeared on the Queen's behalf in the legates' court, where he startled his hearers by the directness of his language and most of all by declaring that, like St. John the Baptist, he was ready to die on behalf of the indissolubility of marriage. This statement was reported to Henry VIII, who was so enraged by it that he himself composed a long Latin address to the legates in answer to the bishop's speech. Fisher's copy of this still exists, with his manuscript annotations in the margin which show how little he feared the royal anger. The removal of the cause to Rome brought Fisher's personal share therein to an end, but the king never forgave him for what he had done. In November, 1529, the "Long Parliament" of Henry's reign began its series of encroachments on the Church. Fisher, as a member of the upper house, at once warned Parliament that such acts could only end in the utter destruction of the Church in England. On this the Commons, through their speaker, complained to the king that the bishop had disparaged Parliament. Dr. Gairdner (Lollardy and the Reformation, I, 442) says of this incident "it can hardly be a matter of doubt that this strange remonstrance was prompted by the king himself, and partly for personal uses of his own".
The opportunity was not lost. Henry summoned Fisher before him, demanding an explanation. This being given, Henry declared himself satisfied, leaving it to the Commons to declare that the explanation was inadequate, so that he appeared as a magnanimous sovereign, instead of Fisher's enemy. A year later (1530) the continued encroachments on the Church moved the Bishops of Rochester, Bath, and Ely to appeal to the Apostolic see. This gave the king his opportunity. An edict forbidding such appeals was immediately issued, and the three bishops were arrested. Their imprisonment, however, can have lasted a few months only, for in February, 1531, Convocation met, and Fisher was present. This was the occasion when the clergy were forced, at a cost of 1000,000 pounds, to purchase the king's pardon for having recognized Cardinal Wolsey's authority as legate of the pope; and at the same time to acknowledge Henry as Supreme Head of the Church in England, to which phrase, however, the addition "so far as God's law permits" was made, through Fisher's efforts.
A few days later, several of the bishop's servants were taken ill after eating some porridge served to the household, and two actually died. Popular opinion at the time regarded this as an attempt on the bishop's life, although he himself chanced not to have taken any of the poisoned food. To disarm suspicion, the king not only expressed strong indignation at the crime, but caused a special Act of Parliament to be passed, whereby poisoning was to be accounted high treason, and the person guilty of it boiled to death. This sentence was actually carried out on the culprit, but it did not prevent what seems to have been a second attempt on Fisher's life soon afterwards.
Matters now moved rapidly. In May, 1532, Sir Thomas More resigned the chancellorship, and in June, Fisher preached publicly against the divorce. In August, Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, died, and Cranmer was at once nominated to the pope as his successor. In January, 1533, Henry secretly went through the form of marriage with Anne Boleyn; Cranmer's consecration took place in March of the same year, and, a week later, Fisher was arrested. It seems fairly clear that the purpose of this arrest was to prevent his opposing the sentence of divorce which Cranmer pronounced in May, or the coronation of Anne Boleyn which followed on 1 June; for Fisher was set at liberty again within a fortnight of the latter event, no charge being made against him. In the autumn of this year (1533), various arrests were made in connection with the so-called revelations of the Holy Maid of Kent (see BARTON, ELIZABETH), but as Fisher was taken seriously ill in December, proceedings against him were postponed for a time. In March, 1534, however, a special bill of attainder against the Bishop of Rochester and others for complicity in the matter of the Nun of Kent was introduced and passed. By this Fisher was condemned to forfeiture of all his personal estate and to be imprisoned during the king's pleasure. Subsequently a pardon was granted him on payment of a fine of 300 pounds.
In the same session of Parliament was passed the Act of Succession, by which all who should be called upon to do so were compelled to take an oath of succession, acknowledging the issue of Henry and Anne as legitimate heirs to the throne, under pain of being guilty of misprision of treason. Fisher refused the oath and was sent to the Tower of London, 26 April, 1534. Several efforts were made to induce him to submit, but without effect, and in November he was a second time attained of misprision of treason, his goods being forfeited as from 1 March preceding, and the See of Rochester being declared vacant as from 2 June following. A long letter exists, written from the Tower by the bishop to Thomas Cromwell, which records the severity of his confinement and the sufferings he endured.
In may, 1535, the new pope, Paul III, created Fisher Cardinal Priest of St. Vitalis, his motive being apparently to induce Henry by this mark of esteem to treat the bishop less severely. The effect was precisely the reverse. Henry forbade the cardinal's hat to be brought into England, declaring that he would send the head to Rome instead. In June a special commission for Fisher's trial was issued, and on 17 June he was arraigned in Westminster Hall on a charge of treason, in that he denied the king to be supreme head of the Church. Since he had been deprived of his bishopric by the Act of Attainder, he was treated as a commoner, and tried by jury. He was declared guilty, and condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn, but the mode of execution was changed, and instead he was beheaded on Tower Hill. The martyr's last moments were thoroughly in keeping with his previous life.
He met death with a calm dignified courage which profoundly impressed all present. His headless body was stripped and left on the scaffold till evening, when it was thrown naked into a grave in the churchyard of Allhallows, Barking. Thence it was removed a fortnight later and laid beside that of Sir Thomas More in the church of St. Peter ad Vincula by the Tower. His head was stuck upon a pole on London Bridge, but its ruddy and lifelike appearance excited so much attention that, after a fortnight, it was thrown into the Thames, its place being taken by that of Sir Thomas More, whose martyrdom occurred on 6 July next following.
Several portraits of Fisher exist, the best being by Holbein in the royal collection; and a few secondary relics are extant. In the Decree of 29 December, 1886, when fifty-four of the English martyrs were beatified by Leo XIII, the best place of all is given to John Fisher. In 1935, Pope Pius XI canonized him. A list of Fisher's writings will be found in Gillow, "Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics" (London, s.d.), II, 262-270. There are twenty-six works in all, printed and manuscript, mostly ascetical or controversial treatises, several of which have been reprinted many times. The original editions are very rare and valuable. The principal are: "Treatise concernynge...the seven penytencyall Psalms" (London, 1508); "Sermon...agayn ye pernicyous doctrin of Martin Luther" (London, 1521); "Defensio Henrici VIII" (Cologne, 1525); "De Veritate Corporis et Sanguinis Christi in Eucharistia, adversus Johannem Oecolampadium" (Cologne, 1527); "De Causa Matrimonii...Henrici VIII cum Catharina Aragonensi" (Alcal & aacute; de Henares, 1530); "The Wayes to Perfect Religion" (London, 1535); "A Spirituall Consolation written...to his sister Elizabeth" (London, 1735).
St. Paulinus of Nola
BISHOP AND WRITER
Feast: June 22
Information: Feast Day: June 22
Born: 354 AD, Bordeaux, France
Died: June 22, 431, Nola, near Naples, Campagna, Italy
Born at Bordeaux about 354; died 22 June, 431. He sprang from a distinguished family of Aquitania and his education was entrusted to the poet Ausonius. He became governor of the Province of Campania, but he soon realized that he could not find in public life the happiness he sought. From 380 to 390 he lived almost entirely in his native land. He married a Spanish lady, a Christian named Therasia. To her, to Bishop Delphinus of Bordeaux and his successor the Presbyter Amandus, and to St. Martin of Tours, who had cured him of some disease of the eye, he owed his conversion. He and his brother were baptized at the same time by Delphinus. When Paulinus lost his only child eight days after birth, and when he was threatened with the charge of having murdered his brother, he and his wife decided to withdraw from the world, and to enter the monastic life. They went to Spain about 390.
At Christmas, 394, or 395, the inhabitants of Barcelona obliged him to be ordained, which was not canonical as he had not previously received the other orders. Having had a special devotion to St. Felix, who was buried at Nola in Campania, he laid out a fine avenue leading to the church containing Felix's tomb, and beside it he erected a hospital. He decided to settle down there with Therasia; and he distributed the largest part of his possessions among the poor. In 395 he removed to Nola, where he led a rigorous, ascetic, and monastic life, at the same time contributing generously to the Church, the aqueduct at Nola, and the construction of basilicas in Nola, Fondi, etc. The basilica at Nola counted five naves and had on each side four additions or chapels (cubicula), and an apsis arranged in a clover shape. This was connected with the old mortuary chapel of St. Felix by a gallery. The side was richly decorated with marble, silver lamps and lustres, paintings, statuary, and inscriptions. In the apsis was a mosaic which represented the Blessed Trinity, and of which in 1512 some remnants were still found.
About 409 Paulinus was chosen Bishop of Nola. For twenty years he discharged his duties in a most praiseworthy manner. His letters contain numerous biblical quotations and allusions; everything he performed in the Spirit of the Bible and expressed in Biblical language. Gennadius mentions the writings of Paulinus in his continuation of St. Jerome's "De Viris Illustribus" (xlix). The panegyric on the Emperor Theodosius is unfortunately lost, as are also the Opus sacramentorum et hymnorum", the "Epistolae ad Sororem", the "Liber de Paenitentia", the "Liber de Laude Generali Omnium Martyrum", and a poetical treatment of the "De Regibus" of Suetonius which Ausonius mentions. Forty-nine letters to friends have been preserved, as those to Sulpicius Severus, St. Augustine, Delphinus, Bishop Victricius of Rouen, Desiderius, Amandus, Pammachius, etc. Thirty-three poems are also extant. After 395 he composed annually a hymn for the feast of St. Felix, in which he principally glorified the life, works, and miracles of his holy patron. Then going further back he brought in various religious and poetic motives. The epic parts are very vivid, the lyrics full of real, unaffected enthusiasm and an ardent appreciation of nature. Thirteen of these poems and fragments of the fourteenth have preserved.
Conspicuous among his other works are the poetic epistles to Ausonius, the nuptial hymn to Julianus, which extols the dignity and sanctity of Christian marriage, and the poem of comfort to the parents of Celsus on the death of their child. Although Paulinus has great versatility and nicety, still he is not entirely free from the mannerisms and ornate culture of his period. All his writings breathe a charming, ideal personality, freed from all terrestrial attachments, ever striving upward. According to Augustine, he also had an exaggerated idea concerning the veneration of saints and relics. His letter xxxii, written to Sulpicius Severus, has received special attention because in it he describes the basilica of Nola, which he built, and gives copious accounts of the existence, construction, and purpose of Christian monuments. From Paulinus too we have information concerning St. Peter's in Rome. During his lifetime Paulinus was looked upon as saint. His body was first interred in the cathedral of Nola; later, in Benevento; then it was conveyed by Otto III to S. Bartolomeo all'Isola, in Rome, and finally in compliance with the regulation of Pius X of 18 Sept., 1908 (Acta Apostolicae Sedis, I, 245 sq.) was restored to the cathedral of Nola. His feast, 22 June, was raised to the rank of a double.
Matthew 7: 6, 12 - 14
6 "Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you.
12 So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.