Wednesday, November 11, 2009






(VIS) - In his Wednesday general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope focused his remarks on the Order of Cluny, "a monastic movement which had great importance during the Middle Ages", and which "renewed the observance of the Rule of St. Benedict", he said. The Cluniac Order, the Pope explained, "sought to guarantee the central place that the liturgy must occupy in Christian life". It promoted sacred music, architecture and art, "and improved the liturgical calendar ... because the monks of Cluny were convicted that this meant participating in the liturgy of heaven". "At the beginning of the twelfth century, the time of its greatest expansion, it had almost 1200 monasteries. ... Soon a fame of sanctity enveloped the monastery of Cluny, and many other monastic communities decided to follow its customs. ... Cluny's success was assured above all by its exalted spirituality". "The monastery of Cluny and its dependent communities", the Pope went on, "were placed directly under the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff. This begot a special bond with the See of Peter and, thanks precisely to the protection and encouragement of the Popes, the ideals of purity and faithfulness, which the Cluniac reform set itself to pursue, were able to spread rapidly. Furthermore, the abbots were elected with no interference from the civil authorities". Benedict XVI highlighted how "the Cluniac reform had positive effects not only on the purification and revitalisation of monastic life, but also on the life of the universal Church". It "was, indeed, a stimulus to resist two grave evils afflicting the Church in that period: simony - that is, the acquisition of pastoral office by payment - and the immorality of the secular clergy". In this context the Pope also pointed out that "the fruits were not lacking: the celibacy of priests again became respected and practiced, and more transparent procedures were introduced into the process of assigning ecclesiastical office". He also explained how the monks of Cluny looked after the needy and concerned themselves with education and culture. The Order promoted "the so-called 'truces of God' and the 'peace of God'. In a period deeply marked by violence and the spirit of vendetta, the 'truces of God' ensured long periods of non-belligerence on specific religious feasts and on certain days of the week. The 'peace of God' called, under pain of canonical censure, for defenceless people in holy sites to be respected". Cluny, said Benedict XVI, "emphasised the primacy of the wealth of the spirit; it maintained the tendency towards the things of God, the primacy of God; it inspired and supported initiatives and institutions for the promotion of human values; it educated people in a spirit of peace". And he concluded: "Let us pray that all those people who have true humanism and the future of Europe to heart many know how to rediscover, appreciate and defend the rich cultural and religious heritage of those centuries".AG/CLUNY/... VIS 091111 (510)

APPEAL TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FOR SRI LANKA VATICAN CITY, 11 NOV 2009 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, the Pope remarked upon the current situation in Sri Lanka, six months after the end of the conflict that bloodied the country. "We note with satisfaction the efforts being made by the authorities over recent weeks, to facilitate the return home of people displaced by the war. I strongly encourage an acceleration in this process and ask all citizens to work towards rapid pacification in full respect for human rights, and towards a just political solution to the challenges still facing the country. "I trust, moreover, that the international community will strive to meet the humanitarian and economic needs of Sri Lanka, and I raise my prayers to Our Lady of Madhu, that she may continue to watch over that beloved land".AG/SRI LANKA APPEAL/... VIS 091111 (150)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 11 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Irineu Andreassa O.F.M., pastor of the parishes of "Sant'Ana" and "Nossa Senhora Aparecida" in the diocese of Marilia, Brazil, as bishop of Lages (area 18,416, population 357,000, Catholics 305,000, priests 54, religious 194), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Iacri, Brazil in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1978. He succeeds Bishop Joao Oneres Marchiori, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.NER/.../ANDREASSA:MARCHIORI VIS 091111 (90)



CNA reports that Archbishop Antonio Muniz of Maceio, Brazil has condemned the murder of Father Hidalberto Henrique Guimaraes, 48, who was found dead Saturday night at his home in Northeastern Brazil.
Archbishop Muniz explained that the priest was supposed to celebrate Mass on Sunday in the city of Braquinha but never arrived. One of his assistants went to look for him and found him dead in his home. “We are bewildered, not only the clergy but everyone,” the archbishop said.
Vatican Radio reported that the priest will be buried at the Cemetery of St. Joseph in Maceio.
Father Henriques was ordained a priest in December of 1992 and studied journalism.(SOURCE:



CNA reports that in an effort to encourage people to replace the commercialization of the Christmas season with a true devotion to Advent, Christmas and the “true Santa Claus,” several groups within the German Diocese of Speyer have initiated a “Santa-free campaign.”
The Federation of German Catholic Youth (BDKJ) of Speyer has partnered with other organizations to champion the cause of St. Nicholas of Myra, a friend and helper of children and those in trouble. St. Nicholas, whose feast is celebrated on December 6, represents the good side of man: selflessness, charity and selfless service, the campaign says.
St. Nicholas who was a bishop in Myra, (now Demre) in Turkey, is known for his generosity and for his love for children. One of the most famous stories of the generosity of St. Nicholas says that he threw bags of gold through an open window in the house of a poor man to serve as dowry for the man’s daughters, who otherwise would have been sold into slavery. The gold is said to have landed in the family’s shoes, which were drying near the fire. This is why children leave their shoes out by the door, or hang their stockings by the fireplace in the hopes of receiving a gift on the eve of his feast.
Katrin Naab, chairman of the Diocesan BDKJ says, “St. Nicholas has nothing to do with the fictional advertising character with the red and white bobble hat.”
The “Santa-free zone” campaign includes a variety of posters, pins, an e-card, fair trade chocolate and an open air Christmas market, as well as Masses for children, youth, and families on the feast of St. Nicholas itself. (SOURCE:



CISA reports that a Catholic bishop from Nigeria has condemned some spiritual and political leaders who have the habit of extorting money from their followers and called on them to desist from that ungodly attitude and practice. Bishop Michael Fagun of the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti was speaking on November 4 at Oyo in his homily at the 75th birthday anniversary and canonical retirement of Bishop Julius Adelakun.Bishop Fagun implored them to use the moral rectitude of retired Bishop Babatunde Adelakun of the Diocese of Oyo, South West Nigeria as a parameter for behaviour.He further challenged Nigerian spiritual leaders to find a role model in the life style of the retiring Bishop Adelakun.He said, “Many so called pastors of some Christian churches founded by some charismatic leaders make ridicule of the Christian religion thorough their monetary exploitation of the credulous and gullible.Bishop Fagun, also regretted that it was unfortunate that a few of the Catholic priests who lack authenticity in their calling, try to make money by imitating the false prophets with the pretext of working some bogus miracles.The clergyman, who has also been the bishop of Ekiti, Southwest Nigeria since 1971 advised political leaders in Nigeria to lead the people without milking them dry.Recalling Adelakun achievements, the bishop of Ekiti said that Adelakun’s ministry had been people oriented without being self-oriented, decent living without being affluent in the midst of poverty stricken populace.Adelakun retired from the Catholic Diocese of old Oyo where he served for 22 years and that of new Oyo for 15 years respectively following the creation of Osogbo diocese from the old Oyo Diocese.“Adelakun facilitated the setting up of eleven nursery and primary schools, seven secondary schools, one hospital, two medical centres, one eye clinic and two trade centres for his people.”Archbishop Felix Job of Ibadan Archdiocese also commended Adelakun for his selfless service to the diocese and the development of the Catholic faith in the area in the last 45 years in the priesthood.Bishop Adelakun in his remarks expressed appreciation to priests, laity and donor agencies that assisted him for 37 years as a bishop in the development of the old and new dioceses.He said that he would devote his retirement to the development of the Bishop Adelakun Foundation (BAF) a non governmental organization devoted to the improvement of the physically challenged, the indigent, widows and orphans. (SOURCE:



Cath News reports that the ACT Parliament passed a Greens Bill to legalise civil ceremonies between same sex couples, allowing gay and lesbian couples to create their civil partnerships through a legally binding ceremony.
"This legislation is another step along the road to full equality for same sex couples in Australia, and we are delighted the Assembly has passed it today," ACT Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury, who drafted the Bill, said in a statement, according to an AAP report on the website.
"We understand that this is not same sex marriage," he said. "This is not the end of the debate for equal rights for same sex couples."
Rights group Equal Love Canberra spokesman John Kloprogge admitted the community still had some concerns surrounding an amendment that was added to the Bill before it was passed.
"We are concerned that ACT Labor's amendment limiting ceremonies to same sex couples would exclude heterosexual couples and some transgender or transsexual couples," he said.
The amendment means heterosexual couples would be prohibited from having their relationship recognised under the legislation, in effect keeping the Commonwealth's Marriage Act distinctly separate from the ACT Bill, and apparently meant to reassure the Federal Government that the ceremonies won't mimic marriage, the report said.
The Australian reports that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has not ruled out a veto of the new legislation. (SOURCE:



UCAN reports that Bishop Martin Jumoad of Isabela in the violence-torn southern Philippines has called for justice for a school principal, beheaded by his kidnappers, and said a long-term solution to the region's problems must be found.

Bishop MartinJumoad of Isabela
The bishop ruled out negotiations with those responsible. "If we dialogue with them, then it is as if we are saying it's partly okay to do what you did," he said over Church-run Radio Veritas 846.
Criminals must be "arrested right away," the Church leader insisted. "Here in Basilan and in Sulu, the justice system is not that clear but the rule of law must prevail."
Gabriel Canizares, principal of Kanague Elementary School in Patikul, Sulu, south of Basilan, was kidnapped on Oct. 19. His severed head was found in a truck at a gas station in Jolo town on Nov. 9. Abu Sayyaf extremists are believed responsible.
"We condemn the act because this is inhuman," Bishop Jumoad said.
While favoring a tough response to the bandits, the bishop said he opposes the "all out war" that some military and public officials have suggested because many innocent people would be hurt.
He said police needed to be "more visible" in Basilan and Sulu where the Abu Sayyaf thrives. Villagers, whether Muslim or Christian, must play a role too and cooperate with the authorities. "We must be vigilant and help detect unusual groups of people," the bishop said.
But longer term solutions to the root causes of the violence need to be found.
The national government has to "give more livelihood programs ... in rural areas," he stressed. Many youths "have no desire to go to school because there are no opportunities."
Money appears to have been the motive in the Canizares case. His kidnappers had demanded a 2 million-peso (US$42,600) ransom, but had reduced this to 1 million after negotiating with the principal's relatives, military spokesperson Major General Ben Dolorfino said.
Meanwhile, kidnappers are still holding Irish Columban Father Michael Sinnott.
He was snatched by armed men from his order's house in Pagadian City, northeast of Sulu. The kidnappers, who have demanded US$2 million in ransom, are believed to be holding the priest between Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur provinces further northeast from Sulu.
A splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has been accused of the crime.
In Jolo, Christian and Muslim teachers in public and Catholic schools plan to demonstrate on Nov. 11 at the memorial service for Canizares.
Jeff Sampang, of the Catholic radio station DXMM, says many more kidnappings have gone unreported in the province. Families simply paid the ransom demanded.


St. Martin of Tours
Feast: November 11
Feast Day:
November 11
316, Savaria, Hungary
November 8, 397, Candes, France
Patron of:
gainst poverty; against alcoholism; beggars; Beli Manastir; Buenos Aires; Burgenland; cavalry; Dieburg; Edingen equestrians; Foiano della Chiana; France; geese; horses; hotel-keepers; innkeepers; Kortrijk; diocese of Mainz; Olpe; Pietrasanta; Pontifical Swiss Guards; quartermasters; reformed alcoholics; riders; diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart; soldiers; tailors; Utrecht; vintners; Virje; wine growers; wine makers; Wissmannsdorf

St. Martin, called "the glory of Gaul," was born about the year 316 of pagan parents in Sabaria, Upper Pannonia, a province comprising northern Yugoslavia and western Hungary. His father was an officer in the Roman army who had risen from the ranks. While Martin was still a child, his father was transferred to a new station in Pavia, north Italy. Here the boy learned of Christianity, felt drawn to it, and became a catechumen. As the son of a veteran, at the age of fifteen he was required to begin service in the army. Though never shirking his military duty, he is said to have lived more like a monk than a soldier.
Young Martin was stationed at Amiens, in Gaul, when the incident occurred which tradition and art have rendered so famous. As he rode towards the town one winter day, he noticed near the gates a poor man, thinly clad, shivering with cold, and begging alms. Martin saw that none who passed stopped to help the miserable fellow. He had nothing with him but the clothes he wore, but, drawing his sword from its scabbard, he cut his great woolen cloak in two pieces, gave one half to the beggar, and wrapped himself in the other. The following night, the story continues, Martin in his sleep saw Jesus Christ, surrounded by angels, and dressed in the half of the cloak he had given away. A voice bade him look at it well and say whether he knew it. He then heard Jesus say to the angels, "Martin, as yet only a catechumen, has covered me with his cloak." Sulpicius Severus, the saint's friend and biographer, says that as a consequence of this vision Martin "flew to be baptized."
When Martin was about twenty, some Teutonic tribes invaded Gaul, and with his comrades he went before the Emperor Julian to receive a war-bounty. Suddenly he was moved to refuse it. "Up to now," he said to Julian, "I have served you as a soldier; allow me henceforth to serve Christ. Give the bounty to these others who are going out to battle. I am a soldier of Christ and it is not lawful for me to fight." Julian, angered, accused Martin of cowardice; the young man replied that he was ready to go into battle the next day unarmed, and advance alone against the enemy in the name of Christ. He was taken off to prison, but discharged as soon as a truce had been made. He then went down to Poitiers, where the renowned Hilary had been bishop for many years. Hilary gladly received this early "conscientious objector" and ordained him deacon.
Having heard in a dream a summons to revisit his home, Martin crossed the Alps, and from Milan went over to Pannonia. There he converted his mother and some other persons; his father he could not win. While in Illyricum he took sides against the Arians with so much zeal that he was publicly scourged and forced to leave. Back in Italy once more, on his way to Gaul, he learned that the Gallic Church was also under attack by the Arians, and that his good friend Hilary had been banished. He remained at Milan, but soon the Arian bishop, Auxentius, drove him away. Martin took refuge with a priest on the island of Gallinaria, in the gulf of Genoa, and stayed there until Hilary returned to Poitiers in 360. It had become Martin's desire to pursue his religious calling in solitude, and Hilary gave him a small piece of land in central France, now called Liguge. He was joined by other hermits and holy men, and the community grew into a monastery, the first, it is said, to be founded in Gaul. It survived until 1607; in 1852 it was rebuilt by the Benedictines of Solesmes.
For ten years Martin lived there, directing the life of his disciples and preaching in outlying places. Many miracles were attributed to him. About the year 371, Lidorius, bishop of Tours, died, and the people demanded Martin in his place. Martin was so reluctant to accept the office that they resorted to stratagem and called him to the city to give his blessing to a sick person, then forcibly conveyed him to the church. When neighboring bishops were summoned to confirm this choice, they thought the monk's poor and unkempt appearance proved him unfit for the office, but they were overruled by the acclamations of the local clergy and the people. Even as a bishop, Martin lived an austere life. Unable to endure the constant interruptions, he retired from Tours to a retreat that was later to become the famous abbey of Marmoutier. The site was enclosed by a steep cliff on one side and by a tributary of the Loire River on the other. Here Martin and some of the monks who followed him built cells of wood; others lived in caves dug out of the rock. In a short time their number grew, with many men of high rank among them. From this time on bishops were frequently chosen from Marmoutier, for the holy Martin took the greatest pains in the training of priests.
Martin's piety and preaching resulted in the decline of paganism in that part of Gaul. He destroyed temples and felled trees which the heathen held sacred. Once when he had demolished a certain temple, he proceeded to the cutting down of a pine tree that stood near. The chief priest and other pagans there offered to cut it down themselves, on condition that he who trusted so strongly in his God would stand under it wherever they would place him. The bishop agreed and allowed himself to be tied and placed on the side towards which the tree was leaning. Just as it seemed about to fall on him, he made the sign of the cross, at which the tree fell in the other direction. Another time, as he was pulling down a temple in the vicinity of Autun, a crowd of pagans fell on him in fury, one brandishing a sword. Martin stood and bared his breast, at sight of which the armed man fell backwards, and in terror begged forgiveness. These marvels are narrated by Sulpicius Severus, who also describes various revelations and visions with which Martin was favored.
Once a year the bishop visited each of his parishes, traveling on foot, or by donkey or boat. He continued to set up monastic communities, and extended the bounds of his episcopate from Touraine to such distant points as Chartres, Paris, Autun, and Vienne. At Vienne, according to his biographer, he cured Paulinus of Nola of a disease of the eyes. When a brutal imperial officer, Avitianus, arrived at Tours with a band of prisoners he planned to torture to death on the following day, Martin, on being informed of this, hurried in from Marmoutier to intercede for them. Reaching the city near midnight, he went straight to the quarters of Avitianus and did not leave until the officer promised mercy to his captives.
The churches of other parts of Gaul and in Spain were being disturbed by the Priscillianists, an ascetic sect, named for its leader, Priscillian, bishop of Avila. A synod held at Bordeaux in 384 had condemned his doctrines, but he had appealed to Emperor Maximus. Meanwhile, Ithacius, the orthodox bishop of Ossanova, had attacked him and urged the emperor to have him put to death. Neither Ambrose at Milan, however, nor Martin at Tours would hold communion with Ithacius or his supporters, because they had appealed to the emperor in a dispute over doctrine, and now were trying to punish a heretic with death. Martin wrote to reprove Ithacius severely. It was sufficient, he said, that Priscillian should be branded as a heretic and excommunicated by the bishops. Maximus, yielding to Martin's remonstrances, ordered the trial deferred and even promised that there should be no bloodshed, but afterwards he was persuaded to turn the case over to his prefect Evodius. He found Priscillian and some others guilty on several charges and had them beheaded. At this news, Martin went to Treves to intercede for the lives of all the Spanish Priscillianists who were threatened with a bloody persecution, and also for two men under suspicion as adherents of the late Emperor Gratian. As a condition before granting this request, Maximus stipulated that Martin should resume communion with the intolerant Ithacius and his party. Since they were not excommunicated, this was no violation of any canon, and he accordingly promised the emperor that he would do so, provided the emperor would pardon the two partisans of Gratian and recall the military tribunes he had sent to Spain. The next day Martin received the Sacrament with the Ithacians in order to save so many people from slaughter; yet he was afterwards troubled in conscience as to whether he had been too yielding. For their part in the affair both the emperor and Ithacius were censured by Pope Siricius. It was the first judicial death sentence for heresy, and it had the effect of spreading Priscillianism in Spain.
Martin had premonitions of his approaching death and predicted it to his disciples, who besought him not to leave them. "Lord," he prayed, "if Thy people still need me, I will not draw back from the work. Thy will be done." When his final sickness came upon him, he was at Candes, in a remote part of his diocese. The monks entreated him to allow them at least to put a sheet under him and make his last hours comfortable. "It becomes not a Christian," said Martin, "to die otherwise than upon ashes. I shall have sinned if I leave you any other example." He lay with eyes and hands raised to Heaven, until the brothers begged him to turn on one side to rest his body a little. "Allow me, my brethren," he answered, "to look towards Heaven rather than to earth, that my soul may be ready to take its flight to the Lord."
On November 8 he died, and three days later was buried at Tours. Two thousand monks and nuns gathered for his funeral. His successor built a chapel over his grave, which was replaced by a fine basilica. A still later church on this site was destroyed during the French Revolution, but a modern one has since been built there. Throughout the Middle Ages, the knightly Martin, who shared his cloak with a beggar, was the subject of innumerable anecdotes, which expressed the love and veneration of the people. His tomb became a national shrine in France, of which country he is patron saint, and one of the most popular pilgrimage places of Europe. St. Martin is patron of the cities of Wurtburg and Buenos Aires. Many churches in France and elsewhere have been dedicated to him. His emblems are a tree, armor, a cloak, and a beggar.(SOURCE:


Luke 17: 11 - 19
On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Sama'ria and Galilee.
And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance
and lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us."
When he saw them he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed.
Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice;
and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.
Then said Jesus, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?
Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"
And he said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."

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