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Sunday, March 7, 2010

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SUN. MARCH 7, 2010










CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SUN. MARCH 7, 2010
VATICAN: POPE: GOD ALWAYS WANTS WHAT IS GOOD FOR HIS CHILDREN-
AMERICA: USA: FR. QUINN OF MISSISSIPI CONSIDERED FOR SAINTHOOD-
ASIA: SRI LANKA: TAMILS GO ON PILGRIMAGE TO HONOUR ST. ANTHONY-
AFRICA: KENYA: DEATH TOLL AT NINE FOR FLOODING-
EUROPE: ROME: SPEAKERS FOR VON HILDEBRAND CONFERENCE-
AUSTRALIA: COMPLETION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORK FOR SCHOOLS-

VATICAN
POPE: GOD ALWAYS WANTS WHAT IS GOOD FOR HIS CHILDREN

Asia News report:
In the Angelus and his visit to a Rome parish, Benedict XVI points out that what happens, including pain, must provide an opportunity to overcome the illusion that we can live without God, who “since he always wants what is good for his children, sometimes allows as part of the inscrutable plan of his love that they experience pain in order to find a greater good.” Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The invitation to convert, which characterises Lent, calls on people to read history as well as suffering from the perspective of faith, “through God’s eyes, who, even when he acknowledges that human beings experience pain, does so as part of a plan of love. This is the lesson drawn from today’s Gospel, which Benedict XVI illustrated before 20,000 people, who crowded St Peter’s Square for the Angelus at noon. He did the same at the start of the morning during a visit to the Rome Parish of San Giovanni della Croce, in Castel Giubileo, in the northern part of the diocese.
“In the excerpt from today’s Gospel,” the Pope said during the Angelus, “Jesus is asked about some sad events, such as the killing of some Galileans inside the temple on order of Pontius Pilate and the crushing of passers-by under the falling tower of Siloam (Lk, 13:1-5). Confronted with the facile notion that evil is the consequence of divine punishment, Jesus proclaims God’s innocence for he is good and cannot wish evil upon anyone. Warning against the idea that tragedies are the immediate effect of the personal faults of those who endure them, he says, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! (Lk, 13:2-3)”.
“Jesus invites us to read these facts differently, placing them in a perspective of conversion,” the Pontiff said. “Such tragedies and sad events should not arouse our curiosity or desire to discover would-be offenders. With God’s help, they must give us an opportunity to reflect and overcome the illusion that we can live without God and strengthen our resolve to change our lives. In the face of sin, God reveals himself full of mercy; unfailingly, he reminds sinners to shun evil, grow in his love and help their neighbours in need in concrete ways to live the joy of grace and eternal death. The possibility of conversion requires us to learn to read the facts of life from the perspective of faith, moved by the sacred fear of God. In light of suffering and loss, true wisdom means letting ourselves be moved by the precariousness of existence. It also means reading human history through the eyes of God, who, since he always wants what is good for his children, sometimes allows as part of the inscrutable plan of his love that they experience pain in order to find a greater good.”
Equally informed by today’s Gospel, during his visit to the Rome parish the Pope pointed out that Jesus demands, “a greater commitment in the path of conversion because shutting oneself off from the Lord, not taking the path of conversion, leads to death of the soul. During Lent, God invites each one of us to change our life, to think and live according to the Gospel, to correct our way of praying, doing things, working and relating to others. Jesus makes this appeal to us, not with sternness for its own sake, but because he is concerned about our welfare, happiness and salvation. For our part, we must respond to him with a sincere inner effort, asking him to make us understand in what way we must convert.”
Lastly, the Holy Father in today’s Gospel also focused on the “perspective of mercy”. “Referring to the use of time, Jesus presented the parable of the fig tree planted in an orchard, which turns out to be unfruitful (cf Lk, 13:6-9). The exchange between the owner and the gardened shows, on the one hand, how merciful God is, patient and willing to give man the time to convert; and on the other, the need to start to change one’s life within and without in order not to lose the opportunity that God’s mercy provides us to overcome our spiritual idleness and reciprocate our filial love for God’s love.” During his visit, Benedict XVI praised the parish’s openness to Church movements and new communities. “I urge you to continue with courage in this direction,” he said, “but do so by bringing in all groups as part of a united pastoral plan.”


AMERICA

USA: FR. QUINN OF MISSISSIPI CONSIDERED FOR SAINTHOOD

CNA report:
Father Benjamín Piovan, pastor of St. Michael Parish in Saltillo, Mexico, traveled to Mississippi recently to talk with Bishop Joseph Latino about a movement among the people of Saltillo to have a Mississippi priest declared a saint.
The priest, Father Quinn, 66, died of a heart attack in Saltillo on Jan. 9, 1997. He had been pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish since January 1969.
Bishop Latino said Father Piovan asked his approval to print a prayer card asking God to eventually declare Father Quinn a saint.
The bishop told Father Piovan he doesn’t have any problem encouraging the people of the Diocese of Jackson to pray for Father Quinn. But, Bishop Latino said, according to Canon Law seeking sainthood for an individual is requested by the local ordinary, the bishop of the Diocese of Saltillo, José Raul Vera López.
Father Piovan also informed Bishop Latino of documentation he has obtained about a miracle attributed to Father Quinn.
On Nov. 21, 2009, the Diocese of Saltillo celebrated a Mass to observe the 40th anniversary of the coming of Father Quinn to Saltillo. During Mass, Bishop Francisco Villalobos, who was the Bishop of Saltillo during Father Quinn’s years there, spoke about the sanctity of the priest.
And this year, on Jan. 7, Father Piovan celebrated a Mass at St. Michael Church in Saltillo to mark the 13th anniversary of Father Quinn’s death. During Mass, several people gave testimonies about cures they credited to his intersession.
The grounds where the Diocese of Saltillo plans to build a new St. Michael Church in memory of Father Quinn were blessed the same day. An altar in the church, that will have a capacity to seat 400 people, will be dedicated in Father Quinn’s honor. This altar will contain the names of all those who contribute to the construction of the new church.
Mexican journalist Jesús Salas Cortés is writing a book about Father Quinn’s life and ministry in Saltillo and is planning to publish it later this year.
During his ministry in Saltillo, Father Quinn built 15 chapels of which seven are now parishes.
Following Father Quinn’s death, the diocesan mission, sponsored by the Diocese of Jackson and the Diocese of Biloxi, moved its base-mission from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish to St. Michael Parish.
Printed with permission from Mississippi Catholic, newspaper for the Diocese of Jackson.


ASIA
SRI LANKA: TAMILS GO ON PILGRIMAGE TO HONOUR ST. ANTHONY



Asia News report:
Kachchatheevu welcomed the two-day celebration. The island belongs to Sri Lanka and is located in the strait that separates the island nation from India. The occasion gave participants an opportunity to share hopes and renew with tradition, in an area shared harmoniously by Tamils from both sides. New Delhi (AsiaNews) – More than 4,000 Tamil pilgrims from Sri Lanka and India took part in two days of celebration that started on 27 February in honour of Saint Anthony on Kachchatheevu, a small island 24 kilometres from Rameshwaram and 70 from Jaffna, in the middle of the strait that separates India from Sri Lanka. More than a hundred boats carrying about 3,000 pilgrims came from India under escort of the Indian Navy, which eventually handed them over to the Sri Lankan Navy. About a thousand pilgrims from Nedundeevu and the Jaffna Peninsula were already on the island.
When the Indians arrived Saint Anthony’s flag was raised. Mass was celebrated in the evening before a large crowd. Not all of the 4,000 worshippers could fit in the church and had to follow the service from the adjacent square; next came the Via Crucis and the blessing. The faithful spent the night on the island, and got up early in the morning for the 6:30 am Mass, celebrated by Fr Amalraj, parish priest of Nedundeevu, and Fr Michaelraj, parish priest of Rameshwaram. Government officials attended the ceremony and the car procession. Around 10 am, pilgrims began making their way home.
A “spiritual joy prevailed among the pilgrims of India and Sri Lanka at Kachchatheevu, Tamils of both countries witnessed expressions of solidarity, particularly among the fishing communities,” Fr Jebamalai Raja SJ, coordinator of the Ecumenical Christian Forum for Human Rights, told AsiaNews. “As no one is actually living in Kachchatheevu, people brought their cooked meals and shared with one another in a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood like early Christian communities.”
Once part of the Zamindari of the Raja of Ramnad, Kachchatheevu Island was ceded by India to Sri Lanka in 1974 as part of a maritime boundary agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, Indian fishermen were guaranteed access to the island’s waters. Indian pilgrims also retained the right to visit the Church of Saint Anthony without a visa or permission from Sri Lanka.
However, “for various reasons the traditional fishing rights of Indian fishermen were denied at Katchadeevu. In the past, whenever Indian fishermen went near Katchadeevu to fish, they were beaten up, injured, killed and their boats destroyed by Sri Lankan Navy,” Fr Jebamalai said.
By contrast, the feast day of Saint Anthony has become a moment of peace. “After 27 years, the Sri Lankan government granted pilgrims the permission to celebrate the feast day. Fishermen from both countries were able to meet, and ties of love and unity binding Tamils on both sides have been strengthened. Everyone shared the same hopes, aspirations and plans.”



AFRICA
KENYA: DEATH TOLL AT NINE FOR FLOODING
All Africa report:
Three more people have died as a result of floods in parts of Kenya, according to the latest statistics from the Kenya Red Cross and government officials.
Kenya Red Cross communications director Titus Mung'ou on Saturday told the Nation a woman died in Marsabit North after being swept away by floods.
A man and his daughter were swept away as they tried to cross Isinya River in Kajiado North district on Thursday.
Area district commissioner Mr Mwangi Kahiro said the man had attempted to carry his daughter across the swollen river but succumbed to the raging waters. The bodies were swept 10 kilometres downstream, he said.
This brings the number of the dead from the floods to nine.
And the Red Cross is also warning that the situation in the Tana Delta could become critical if the rains are to continue and the dams on the Seven Forks Hydroelectric project get full.
"The water could be released downstream and the people on the Tana Delta will therefore need to be on the lookout if the rains continue," said Mr Mung'ou on the telephone.
He said reports from the Lake Victoria and Budalangi flood monitoring systems indicate rivers in that area are close to overflowing their banks. He said the rivers are about 0.2 metres away from breaking their banks and residents would have to move to higher ground immediately.
Water from the Cherangany Hills and Mt Elgon are the main cause of the river's perennial flooding.
The number of those who have been left homeless also increased after about 70 families lost their semi-permanent houses to floods in Migori and Uriri districts in South Nyanza.
The residents of Oruba, Pand Pieri, Nyasare and Rapogi estates were left without shelter after their mud-walled houses were brought down by the heavy rains that have pounded the region for the last three days.
He urged area residents to avoid any swollen rivers.
Residents of Mandera also require assistance as the town's entire water system had been destroyed by the floods after River Dauwa in Ethiopia broke its banks.
Mr Mung'ou said toilets had collapsed in the area. Red Cross would from Saturday begin sing a helicopter to reach the distressed in those areas, he said.
In Garbatulla, five people who had been missing by the end of the day on Friday were found perched on trees on Saturday. More than 200 livestock have died in the area from the flooding. But the situation is yet to reach the alarming levels, said Mr Mung'ou as the figures of those affected remain below 2,000.
Families that had been displaced by the floods in January are however yet to go back to their homes and are still living in camps, he said, meaning more rains in the area would make it worse for them.
In Migori, the flood victims who escaped unhurt sought refuge in the homes of relatives and friends as they made plans to rebuild their structures.
The region also experienced flash floods on some roads and estates.
Murram roads leading to the Lake Victoria beaches of Muhuru were flooded, paralysing transport for hours to the chagrin of stranded commuters and fish mongers.
Water levels in Rivers Kuja and Migori that had dropped drastically shot up immediately following the heavy downpour.
The government has issued flood alerts in parts of Coast, Eastern, Western, Rift Valley and Nyanza provinces and sent disaster preparedness teams to parts of the North Rift that are thought to be susceptible to landslides.
On Thursday, Kenya Army and Kenya Police helicopters, together with those from Lewa Conservancy, were deployed to help evacuate people stranded in tourist lodges in the Samburu area due to flooding.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201003060006.html

EUROPE
ROME: SPEAKERS FOR VON HILDEBRAND CONFERENCE

CNA report:
On Thursday, the Von Hildebrand Legacy Project announced a list of speakers who will be presenting at its upcoming conference in Rome. “We are privileged to have twelve wonderful plenary speakers, each of whom represents a particular tradition, background, academic discipline, and point of view,” said John Henry Crosby, founder of the the Von Hildebrand Legacy Project on Thursday. “The majority are philosophers, of course, but we have also invited theologians, churchmen, political figures, public intellectuals, and those who represent the creative imagination.”
Speakers at the upcoming event include Alice von Hildebrand, Rocco Buttiglione, Roberta Green Ahmanson, John F. Crosby, Charles Morerod OP, Michael Waldstein, Joseph Bottum, Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz, Michael Novak, Robert Spaemann, Josef Seifert and John Zizioulas.
The conference will be held from May 27-29 at the University of Santa Croce (Holy Cross) in Rome, to celebrate the renowned 20th century philosopher, Dietrich von Hildebrand, and to explore one of his seminal works “The Nature of Love.” The book was published in English for the first time last year.
“Our conference,” John Henry Crosby told CNA on Jan. 22, “seeks to explore the question, 'what is love?'” “We want to think deeply about what love is, what it is not, and how we can all learn to live it more deeply,” he added.
The Hildebrand Legacy Project was founded in 2004 by John Henry Crosby with the help of his father, Franciscan University professor John F. Crosby, Dr. Alice von Hildebrand and friend Anthony Gualandri as an initiative “to promote the thought and spirit of Dietrich Von Hildebrand by preserving his memory and disseminating his writings, especially in the English speaking world.” http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/speakers_announced_for_upcoming_von_hildebrand_conference_in_rome/

AUSTRALIA
COMPLETION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORK FOR SCHOOLS

Cath News report:
Catholic Network Australia (CNA) has announced the completion of its core telecommunications network, initially linking 1,622 schools and education offices across the country.
While Catholic schools will be the first to benefit the network, it is envisaged that all Australian Catholic agencies and parishes will be able to participate over time, the organisation said.
"We are immensely proud that for the first time, schools from geographically diverse locations such as Rockhampton, Bunbury, Port Pirie, Sale and Wagga Wagga are all connected together on a single national network," said Francis Moore,the CNA Board of Directors Chairperson.
The project, in partnership with Telstra Corporation, will also increase high-speed broadband connectivity to schools in order to enhance virtual learning, collaboration and administration.
Telstra CEO David Thodey said: "Broadband is fast becoming the blackboard of the 21st century and opening up opportunities for our students that their parents only every dreamt of.
"The completion of the Catholic school core network represents a quantum leap for K-12 education in Australia because it is the first national school network of its type in the country."
CNA is managed by Catholic Network Australia Ltd, a subsidiary company of Catholic Resources Ltd.http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=19799

TODAY'S SAINT
Sts. Perpetua & Felicity
MARTYRS
Feast: March 7
Information:
Feast Day:
March 7
Died:
7 March 202 or 203, Carthage, Roman Province of Africa
Patron of:
Mothers, Expectant Mothers

From their most valuable genuine acts, quoted by Tertullian, l. de anima, c. 55, and by St. Austin, serm. 280, 283, 294. The first part of these acts, which reaches to the eve of her martyrdom, was written by St. Perpetua. The vision of St. Saturus was added by him. The rest was subjoined by an eye-witness of their death. See Tillemont, t. 3, p. 139. Ceillier, t. 2, p. 213. These acts have been often republished; but are extant, most ample and correct, in Ruinart. They were publicly read in the churches of Africa, as appears from St. Austin, Serm. 180. See them vindicated from the suspicion of Montanism, by Orsi, Vindicae Act. SS. Perpetuae et Felicitatis.
A violent persecution being set on foot by the emperor Severus, in 202, it reached Africa the following year; when, by order of Minutius Timinianus, (or Firminianus,) five catechumens were apprehended at Carthage for the faith: namely, Revocatus, and his fellow-slave Felicitas, Saturninus, and Secundulus, and Vibia Perpetua. Felicitas was seven months gone with child; and Perpetua had an infant at her breast, was of a good family, twenty-two years of age, and married to a person of quality in the city. She had a father, a mother, and two brothers; the third, Dinocrates, died about seven years old. These five martyrs were joined by Saturus, probably brother to Saturninus, and who seems to have been their instructor: he underwent a voluntary imprisonment, because he would not abandon them. The father of St. Perpetua, who was a pagan, and advanced in years, loved her more than all his other children. Her mother was probably a Christian, as was one of her brothers, the other a catechumen. The martyrs were for some days before their commitment kept under a strong guard in a private house: and the account Perpetua gives of their sufferings to the eve of their death, is as follows: "We were in the hands of our persecutors, when my father, out of the affection he bore me, made new efforts to shake my resolution. I said to him: 'Can that vessel, which you see, change its name?' He said: 'No.' I replied: 'Nor can I call myself any other than I am, that is to say, a Christian.' At that word my father in a rage fell upon me, as if he would have pulled my eyes out, and beat me: but went away in confusion, seeing me invincible: after this we enjoyed a little repose, and in that interval received baptism. The Holy Ghost, on our coming out of the water, inspired me to pray for nothing but patience under corporal pains. A few days after this we were put into prison: I was shocked at the horror and darkness of the place, for till then I knew not what such sort of places were. We suffered much that day, chiefly on account of the great heat caused by the crowd, and the ill-treatment we met with from the soldiers. I was moreover tortured with concern, for that I had not my infant. But the deacons, Tertius and Pomponius, who assisted us, obtained, by money, that we might pass some hours in a more commodious part of the prison to refresh ourselves. My infant being brought to me almost famished, I gave it the breast. I recommended him afterwards carefully to my mother, and encouraged my brother, but was much afflicted to see their concern for me. After a few days my sorrow was changed into comfort, and my prison itself seemed agreeable. One day my brother said to me: 'Sister, I am persuaded that you are a peculiar favorite of Heaven: pray to God to reveal to you whether this imprisonment will end in martyrdom or not, and acquaint me of it.' I, knowing God gave me daily tokens of his goodness, answered, full of confidence, 'I will inform you tomorrow.' I therefore asked that favor of God, and had this vision. I saw a golden ladder which reached from earth to the heavens; but so narrow, that only one could mount it at a time. To the two sides were fastened all sorts of iron instruments, as swords, lances, hooks, and knives; so that if any one went up carelessly he was in great danger of having his flesh torn by those weapons. At the foot of the ladder lay a dragon of an enormous size, who kept guard to turn back and terrify those that endeavored to mount it. The first that went up was Saturus, who was not apprehended with us, but voluntarily surrendered himself afterwards on our account: when he was got to the top of the ladder, he turned towards me and said: 'Perpetua, I wait for you; but take care lest the dragon bite you.' I answered: 'In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, he shall not hurt me.' Then the dragon, as if afraid of me, gently lifted his head from under the ladder, and I, having got upon the first step, set my foot upon his head. Thus I mounted to the top, and there I saw a garden of an immense space, and in the middle of it a tall man sitting down dressed like a shepherd, having white hair. He was milking his sheep, surrounded with many thousands of persons clad in white. He called me by my name, bid me welcome, and gave me some curds made of the milk which he had drawn: I put my hands together and took and ate them; and all that were present said aloud, Amen. The noise awaked me, chewing something very sweet. As soon as I had related to my brother this vision, we both concluded that we should suffer death.
"After some days, a rumor being spread that we were to be examined, my father came from the city to the prison overwhelmed with grief: 'Daughter,' said he, 'have pity on my gray hairs, have compassion on your father, if I yet deserve to be called your father; if I myself have brought you up to this age: if you consider that my extreme love of you, made me always prefer you to all your brothers, make me not a reproach to mankind. Have respect for your mother and your aunt; have compassion on your child that cannot survive you; lay aside this resolution, this obstinacy, lest you ruin us all: for not one of us will dare open his lips any more if any misfortune be fall you.' He took me by the hands at the same time and kissed them; he threw himself at my feet in tears, and called me no longer daughter, but, my lady. I confess, I was pierced with sharp sorrow when I considered that my father was the only person of our family that would not rejoice at my martyrdom. I endeavored to comfort him, saying: 'Father, grieve not; nothing will happen but what pleases God; for we are not at our own disposal.' He then departed very much concerned. The next day, while we were at dinner, a person came all on a sudden to summon us to examination. The report of this was soon spread, and brought together a vast crowd of people into the audience-chamber. We were placed on a sort of scaffold before the judge, who was Hilarian, procurator of the province, the proconsul being lately dead. All who were interrogated before me confessed boldly Jesus Christ. When it came to my turn, my father instantly appeared with my infant. He drew me a little aside, conjuring me in the most tender manner not to be insensible to the misery I should bring on that innocent creature to which I had given life. The president Hilarian joined with my father, and said: 'What! will neither the gray hairs of a father you are going to make miserable, nor the tender innocence of a child, which your death will leave an orphan, move you? Sacrifice for the prosperity of the emperor.' I replied, 'I will not do it.' 'Are you then a Christian?' said Hilarian. I answered: 'Yes, I am.' As my father attempted to draw me from the scaffold, Hilarian commanded him to be beaten off, and he had a blow given him with a stick, which I felt as much as if I had been struck myself; so much was I grieved to see my father thus treated in his old age. Then the judge pronounced our sentence, by which we were all condemned to be exposed to wild beasts. We then joyfully returned to our prison; and as my infant had been used to the breast, I immediately sent Pomponius, the deacon, to demand him of my father, who refused to send him. And God so ordered it that the child no longer required to suck, nor did my milk incommode me." Secundulus, being no more mentioned, seems to have died in prison before this interrogatory. Before Hilarian pronounced sentence, he had caused Saturus, Saturninus, and Revocatus, to be scourged; and Perpetua and Felicitas to be beaten on the face. They were reserved for the shows which were to be exhibited for the soldiers in the camp, on the festival of Geta, who had been made Caesar four years before by his father Severus, when his brother Caracalla was created Augustus. St. Perpetua relates another vision with which she was favored, as follows: "A few days after receiving sentence, when we were all together in prayer, I happened to name Dinocrates, at which I was astonished, because I had not before had him in my thoughts; and I that moment knew that I ought to pray for him. This I began to do with great fervor and sighing before God; and the same night I had the following vision: I saw Dinocrates coming out of a dark place, where there were many others, exceeding hot and thirsty; his face was dirty, his complexion pale, with the ulcer in his face of which he died at seven years of age, and it was for him that I had prayed. There seemed a great distance between him and me, so that it was impossible for us to come to each other. Near him stood a vessel full of water, whose brim was higher than the statue of an infant: he attempted to drink, but though he had water he could not reach it. This mightily grieved me, and I awoke. By this I knew my brother was in pain, but I trusted I could by prayer relieve him: so I began to pray for him, beseeching God with tears, day and night, that he would grant me my request; as I continued to do till we were removed to the damp prison: being destined for a public show on the festival of Caesar Geta. The day we were in the stocks I had this vision: I saw the place, which I had beheld dark before, now luminous; and Dinocrates, with his body very clean and well clad, refreshing himself, and instead of his wound a scar only. I awoke, and I knew he was relieved from his pain.
"Some days after, Pudens, the officer who commanded the guards of the prison, seeing that God favored us with many gifts, had a great esteem of us, and admitted many people to visit us for our mutual comfort. On the day of the public shows my father came to find me out, overwhelmed with sorrow. He tore his beard, he threw himself prostrate on the ground, cursed his years, and said enough to move any creature; and I was ready to die with sorrow to see my father in so deplorable a condition. On the eve of the shows I was favored with the following vision. The deacon Pomponius, methought, knocked very hard at the prison-door, which I opened to him. He was clothed with a white robe, embroidered with innumerable pomegranates of gold. He said to me: 'Perpetua, we wait for you, come along.' He then took me by the hand and led me through very rough places into the middle of the amphitheatre, and said: 'Fear not.' And, leaving me, said again: 'I will be with you in a moment, and bear a part with you in your pains.' I was wondering the beasts were not let out against us, when there appeared a very ill-favored Egyptian, who came to encounter me with others. But another beautiful troop of young men declared for me, and anointed me with oil for the combat. Then appeared a man of prodigious stature, in rich apparel, having a wand in his hand like the masters of the gladiators, and a green bough on which hung golden apples. Having ordered silence, he said that the bough should be my prize, if I vanquished the Egyptian: but that if he conquered me, he should kill me with a sword. After a long and obstinate engagement, I threw him on his face, and trod upon his head. The people applauded my victory with loud acclamations. I then approached the master of the amphitheatre, who gave me the bough with a kiss, and said: 'Peace be with you, my daughter.' After this I awoke, and found that I was not so much to combat with wild beasts as with the devils." Here ends the relation of St. Perpetua.
St. Saturus had also a vision which he wrote himself. He and his companions were conducted by a bright angel into a most delightful garden, in which they met some holy martyrs lately dead, namely, Jocundus, Saturninus, and Artaxius, who had been burned alive for the faith, and Quintus, who died in prison. They inquired after other martyrs of their acquaintance, say the acts, and were conducted into a most stately place, shining like the sun: and in it saw the king of this most glorious place surrounded by his happy subjects, and heard a voice composed of many, which continually cried: "Holy, holy, holy." Saturus, turning to Perpetua, said: "You have here what you desired." She replied: "God be praised, I have more joy here than ever I had in the flesh." He adds, Going out of the garden they found before the gate, on the right hand, their bishop of Carthage, Optatus, and on the left, Aspasius, priest of the same church, both of them alone and sorrowful. They fell at the martyr's feet, and begged they would reconcile them together, for a dissension had happened between them. The martyrs embraced them, saving: "Are not you our bishop, and you a priest of our Lord? It is our duly to prostrate ourselves before you." Perpetua was discoursing with them; but certain angels came and drove hence Optatus and Aspasius; and bade them not to disturb the martyrs, but be reconciled to each other. The bishop Optatus was also charged to heal the divisions that reigned among several of his church. The angels, after these reprimands, seemed ready to shut the gates of the garden. "Here," says he, "we saw many of our brethren and martyrs likewise. We were fed with an ineffable odor, which delighted and satisfied us." Such was the vision of Saturus. The rest of the acts were added by an eye-witness. God had called to himself Secondulus in prison. Felicitas was eight months gone with child, and as the day of the shows approached, she was inconsolable lest she should not be brought to bed before it came; fearing that her martyrdom would be deferred on that account, because women with child were not allowed to be executed before they were delivered: the rest also were sensibly afflicted on their part to leave her alone in the road to their common hope. Wherefore they unanimously joined in prayer to obtain of God that she might be delivered against the shows. Scarce had they finished their prayer, when Felicitas found herself in labor. She cried out under the violence of her pain: one of the guards asked her, if she could not bear the throes of childbirth without crying out, what she would do when exposed to the wild beasts. She answered: "It is I that suffer what I now suffer; but then there will be another in me that will suffer for me, because I shall suffer for him." She was then delivered of a daughter, which a certain Christian woman took care of, and brought up as her own child. The tribune, who had the holy martyrs in custody, being informed by some persons of little credit, that the Christians would free themselves out of prison by some magic enchantments, used them the more cruelly on that account, and forbade any to see them. Thereupon Perpetua said to him: "Why do you not afford us some relief, since we are condemned by Caesar, and destined to combat at his festival? Will it not be to your honor that we appear well fed?" At this the tribune trembled and blushed, and ordered them to be used with more humanity, and their friends to be admitted to see them. Pudens, the keeper of the prison, being already converted, secretly did them all the good offices in his power. The day before they suffered they gave them, according to custom, their last meal, which was called a free supper' and they ate in public. But the martyrs did their utmost to change it into an Agape, or Love-feast. Their chamber was full of people, whom they talked to with their usual resolution, threatening them with the judgments of God, and extolling the happiness of their own sufferings. Saturus smiling at the curiosity of those that came to see them, said to them, "Will not tomorrow suffice to satisfy your inhuman curiosity in our regard? However you may seem now to pity us, tomorrow you will clap your hands at our death, and applaud our murderers. But observe well our faces, that you may know them again at that terrible day when all men shall be judged." They spoke with such courage and intrepidity, as astonished the infidels, and occasioned the conversion of several among them.
The day of their triumph being come, they went out of the prison to go to the amphitheatre. Joy sparkled in their eyes, and appeared in all their gestures and words. Perpetua walked with a composed countenance and easy pace, as a woman cherished by Jesus Christ, with her eyes modestly cast down: Felicitas went with her, following the men, not able to contain her joy. When they came to the gate of the amphitheatre the guards would have given them, according to custom, the superstitious habits with which they adorned such as appeared at these sights. For the men, a red mantle, which was the habit of the priests of Saturn: for the women, a little fillet round the head, by which the priestesses of Ceres were known. The martyrs rejected those idolatrous ceremonies; and, by the mouth of Perpetua, said, they came thither of their own accord on the promise made them that they should not be forced to any thing contrary to their religion. The tribune then consented that they might appear in the amphitheatre habited as they were. Perpetua sung, as being already victorious; Revocatus, Saturninus, and Saturus threatened the people that beheld them with the judgments of God: and as they passed over against the balcony of Hilarian, they said to him; "You judge us in this world, but God will judge you In the next." The people, enraged at their boldness, begged they might be scourged, which was granted. They accordingly passed before the Venatores, or hunters, each of whom gave them a lash. They rejoiced exceedingly in being thought worthy to resemble our Saviour in his sufferings. God granted to each of them the death they desired; for when they were discoursing together about what kind of martyrdom would be agreeable to each, Saturninus declared that he would choose to be exposed to beasts of several sorts in order to the aggravation of his sufferings. Accordingly he and Revocatus, after having been attacked by a leopard, were also assaulted by a bear. Saturus dreaded nothing so much as a bear, and therefore hoped a leopard would dispatch him at once with his teeth. He was then exposed to a wild boar, hut the beast turned upon his keeper, who received such a wound from him that he died in a few days after, and Saturus was only dragged along by him. Then they tied the martyr to the bridge near a bear, but that beast came not out of his lodge, so that Saturus, being sound and not hurt, was called upon for a second encounter. This gave him an opportunity of speaking to Pudens, the jailer that had been converted. The martyr encouraged him to constancy in the faith, and said to him: "You see I have not yet been hurt by any beast, as I desired and foretold; believe then steadfastly in Christ; I am going where you will see a leopard with one bite take away my life." It happened so, for a leopard being let out upon him, covered him all over with blood, whereupon the people jeering, cried out, "He is well baptized." The martyr said to Pudens, "Go, remember my faith, and let our sufferings rather strengthen than trouble you. Give me the ring you have on your finger." Saturus, having dipped it in his wound, gave it him back to keep as a pledge to animate him to a constancy in his faith, and fell down dead soon after. Thus he went first to glory to wait for Perpetua, according to her vision. Some with Mabillon,1 think this Prudens is the martyr honored in Africa, on the 29th of April.
In the meantime, Perpetua and Felicitas had been exposed to a wild cow; Perpetua was first attacked, and the cow having tossed her up, she fell on her back. Then putting herself in a sitting posture, and perceiving her clothes were torn, she gathered them about her in the best manner she could, to cover herself, thinking more of decency than her sufferings. Getting up, not to seem disconsolate, she tied up her hair, which was fallen loose, and perceiving Felicitas on the ground much hurt by a toss of the cow, she helped her to rise. They stood together, expecting another assault from the beasts, but the people crying out that it was enough, they were led to the gate Sanevivaria, where those that were not killed by the beasts were dispatched at the end of the shows by the confectores. Perpetua was here received by Rusticus, a catechumen, who attended her. This admirable woman seemed just returning to herself out of a long ecstasy, and asked when she was to fight the wild cow. Being told what had passed, she could not believe it till she saw on her body and clothes the marks of what she had suffered, and knew the catechumen. With regard to this circumstance of her acts, St. Austin cries out, "Where was she when assaulted and torn by so furious a wild beast, without feeling her wounds, and when, after that furious combat, she asked when it would begin? What did she, not to see what all the world saw? What did she enjoy who did not feel such pain. By what love, by what vision, by what potion was she so transported out of herself, and as it were divinely inebriated, to seem without feeling in a mortal body?" She called for her brother, and said to him and Rusticus, "Continue firm in the faith, love one another, and be not scandalized at our sufferings." All the martyrs were now brought to the place of their butchery. But the people, not yet satisfied with beholding blood, cried out to have them brought into the middle of the amphitheatre, that they might have the pleasure of seeing them receive the last blow. Upon this, some of the martyrs rose up, and having given one another the kiss of peace, went of their own accord into the middle of the arena; others were dispatched without speaking, or stirring out of the place they were in. St. Perpetua fell into the hands of a very timorous and unskillful apprentice of the gladiators, who, with a trembling hand, gave her many slight wounds, which made her languish a long time. Thus, says St. Austin, did two women, amidst fierce beasts and the swords of gladiators, vanquish the devil and all his fury. 'the day of their martyrdom was the 7th of March, as it is marked in the most ancient martyrologies, and in the Roman calendar as old as the year 354, published by Bucherius St. Prosper says they suffered at Carthage, which agrees with all the circumstances. Their bodies were in the great church of Carthage, in the fifth age, as St. Victor2 informs us. Saint Austin says, their festival drew yearly more to honor their memory in their church, than curiosity had done to their martyrdom, They are mentioned in the canon of the Mass
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TODAY'S GOSPEL
3RD SUDAY OF LENT

Exodus 3: 1 - 8, 13 - 15
1
Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Mid'ian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
2
And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.
3
And Moses said, "I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt."
4
When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here am I."
5
Then he said, "Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."
6
And he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
7
Then the LORD said, "I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters; I know their sufferings,
8
and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Per'izzites, the Hivites, and the Jeb'usites.
13
Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, `The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, `What is his name?' what shall I say to them?"
14
God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, `I AM has sent me to you.'"
15
God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, `The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you': this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

Psalms 103: 1 - 4, 6 - 8, 11
1
Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
2
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
3
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4
who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
6
The LORD works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
7
He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
8
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
11
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

1 Corinthians 10: 1 - 6, 10 - 12
1
I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,
2
and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
3
and all ate the same supernatural food
4
and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
5
Nevertheless with most of them God was not pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
6
Now these things are warnings for us, not to desire evil as they did.
10
nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.
11
Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come.
12
Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

GOSPEL
Luke 13: 1 - 9
1
There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2
And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus?
3
I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
4
Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Silo'am fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem?
5
I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
6
And he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
7
And he said to the vinedresser, `Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?'
8
And he answered him, `Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure.
9
And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'"
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