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Sunday, April 25, 2010

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SUN. APRIL 25, 2010










CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SUN. APRIL 25, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: MESSAGE FOR WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS-
ASIA: INDONESIA: CARITAS HELPS RE-BUILD HOUSES FOR QUAKE SURVIVORS-
EUROPE: ENGLAND: A PLACE WHERE THE ELDERLY ARE TREATED WITH DIGNITY-
AMERICA: USA: BISHOPS RELEASE NEW NATIONAL WEBSITE FOR VOCATIONS-
AFRICA: ANGOLA: MINISTER PROVIDES AID TO CATHOLIC MISSION-
AUSTRALIA: HUMAN RIGHTS CHARTER GAINS SUPPORT-

VATICAN
POPE: MESSAGE FOR WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS

Pope Benedict XVI marked the World Day of Prayer for Vocations this Sunday with a special call to priests and parents to cultivate “every little seed of vocation.

The Pope was speaking to thousands of pilgrims and visitors in St Peter’s Square for the traditional Regina Caeli prayer, on the fourth Sunday of Easter, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday.
Reflecting on his message for Vocations Sunday, “Witness awakens Vocations”, the Pope said that priests should feel themselves called to “a stronger and more effective witness to the Gospel in todays’ world", urging them to remember that “the priest continues the work of Redemption on earth”.
He prayed that they may know how to gladly stand before the tabernacle, totally committed to their vocation and mission through an austere asceticism, that they may become open to listening and forgiveness; in order to form the Christian people entrusted to them and carefully cultivate the 'priestly fraternity'. "
Saturday marked the 5th anniversary of the beginning of Pope Benedict’s pontificate and on Sunday he had special words of thanks for all those who “with prayer and affection” support his ministry as Successor of Peter"
The Pope also used the occasion of Good Shepherd Sunday to thank and bless the work of an association founded by an Italian priest to combat paedophilia and online child pornography.
For over 14 years, “Meter Association” has promoted the Italian National Day for children victims of violence, exploitation and indifference. "
On this occasion - he said - "I want to especially thank and encourage those dedicated to prevention and education, especially parents, teachers and many priests, nuns, catechists and facilitators who work with children in parishes, schools and associations”.
After the Regina Caeli, Pope Benedict XVI noted that on Sunday in Rome and Barcelona, two priests were beatified: Angelo Paoli, a Carmelite, and José Tous y Soler, a Capuchin. “In the Year for Priests”, he concluded “I gladly propose these example to all priests, especially those who belong to religious institutes of active life. " http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=375078
IMAGE http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/index.asp



ASIA
INDONESIA: CARITAS HELPS RE-BUILD HOUSES FOR QUAKE SURVIVORS

UCAN report — Caritas in Padang diocese has officially launched its reconstruction and rehabilitation program for survivors of a deadly earthquake that struck West Sumatra’s coastal area last September.

During the April 21 event, held in Kampung Batu village in Padang, Caritas project manager Gregorius Wangge said his organization has already started rebuilding 182 houses for Muslim quake survivors earlier this month.The program is also being carried out in three parishes that were badly hit by the 7.6-magnitude quake — St. Mary Mother of Jesus Church of Tirtonadi, St. Francis of Assisi Church or Padangbaru, and St. Therese of Child Jesus Cathedral Church of Padang.
Wangge said that Caritas has already started to rebuild 34 houses in the Padangbaru area, 19 houses in the Tirtonadi area, and 110 houses in Padang.
“Caritas needs about 7.5 million rupiah [about US$789.5] for each house,” he added.
According to Wangge, the program is scheduled to end next year.
Reports say more than 500,000 houses were damaged and an estimated 250,000 families were affected by the quake.
“Caritas’ … program is truly an amazing blessing for us,” said Bartolomeus Bakhtiar Gulo, 33, from St. Mary Mother of Jesus Church, who attended the ceremony.
The fisherman said his earnings are barely sufficient to meet his family’s needs
Wangge said that his organization is working on the project with eight other diocesan Caritas organizations in Indonesia and 16 others from other countries including Austria and France.

http://www.ucanews.com/2010/04/23/caritas-rebuilds-houses-for-quake-survivors


EUROPE
ENGLAND: A PLACE WHERE THE ELDERLY ARE TREATED WITH DIGNITY

Catholic Herald report: Hospital chaplain Fr James Mulligan says the Liverpool Care Pathway helps the elderly to die peacefully and with dignity

The bishops insist the Liverpool Care Pathway ‘does not sanction euthanasia or suicide and does not mandate any unethical actions’

In his homily at the Mass in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes at Westminster Cathedral on February 13 Archbishop Vincent Nichols said: “Comfort is at the heart of the care we strive to offer to each other, especially those who are burdened by illness or distress.”
This is true, of course, of all who genuinely care for the sick. The Constitution of the National Health Service, published in January 2009, states: “We – the NHS – respond with humanity and kindness to each person’s pain, distress, anxiety or need. We search for the things we can do, however small, to give comfort and relieve suffering. We find time for those we serve and work alongside. We do not want to be asked, because we care.” These are splendid sentiments, suitable as a mission statement for any Lourdes pilgrimage.
High praise indeed for the NHS. But, as the Archbishop went on to indicate, this is the ideal and ideals aren’t always reached because often, as T S Eliot reminds us in “The Hollow Man”:
Between the idea

And the reality

Between the motion

And the act

Falls the Shadow
Despite its laudable ideals, the NHS often finds itself the target of strong criticism, both from individual patients and interested collectives. One of the areas where the NHS has recently been criticised most is for its adoption of the Liverpool Care Pathway for the dying patient.
Two items in particular in the Catholic press in this country have caused quite some consternation. On September 18 2009 this paper published an article which, among other criticisms, depicted the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) as a heartless, box-ticking approach to the care of the dying patient, and on January 24 2010 the Universe published an article equating the LCP with euthanasia. Other media reports suggest that there is a widespread belief with many that with the LCP patients are too easily assumed to be dying, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
There also appears to be quite a substantial level of public misunderstanding around clinically assisted nutrition and hydration.
The LCP was developed between the Liverpool Royal Infirmary and Liverpool’s Marie Curie hospice in the late 1990s. It was developed to try to provide the same level of medical and nursing expertise at the end of life as during other treatments, wherever the location of the patient.
Its main emphasis is on uniting professional, multi-discipline support in the various fields of physical treatment, in psychological support, in support for carers and in spiritual care. When the patient has been diagnosed as dying the LCP becomes the legal document that every member of the multi-discipline team works with. It has three main sections: initial assessment; ongoing assessment and care; and Care after death.
Doctors realise and admit that they are not infallible in diagnosing a patient’s condition and in the crucial first stage of the pathway the multi-discipline team caring for the patient has to agree that all reversible causes for the patient’s conditions have been considered and that there is a consensus that the patient is in fact dying. The assessment then takes stock of what palliative care options to consider and whether non-essential treatments and medications should be discontinued.
But the pathway is not a one-way route, and if no deterioration of the patient's condition occurs, pathway-based palliative care is halted and all previous treatments are resumed. Currently this occurs for about three per cent of patients put on the pathway. The pathway recommends that the LPC carers regularly assess how well the patients can communicate with their families and check frequently that they understand what is happening.
There is also a requirement to find out if patients’ religious and spiritual needs are being addressed. The programme also provides suggestions for treatments to manage any pain, agitation, respiratory tract secretions, nausea and vomiting, or shortness of breath that the patient may experience. Staff are pre-authorised to give such interventions as are required, usually by subcutaneous injection, so that symptoms can be addressed as soon as necessary.
The LPC has an annual review by a multi-professional steering group who review the most up-to-date evidence and feedback from its use. This careful review is monitored by medical professionals who include some individuals whose pro-life credentials are impeccable. The improved version 12 was issued in November 2009. The recent audit assessed that on the whole the LCP was working well. It is perhaps humbling for those of us involved in healthcare chaplaincy that the one area revealed to be not working as effectively as others turns out to be the area of religious and spiritual needs – but this no doubt reflects the difficulty of adequate chaplain provision throughout the NHS. As provision for religious and spiritual needs for the dying patient outside of the LCP is unlikely to be significantly different, it is interesting that it has taken the LCP to highlight attention to this area.A consultation draft of a guide on the spiritual care of the dying person has been published by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. It comments directly, and in a helpful fashion, on the LCP: “The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) provides an approach to care in the last few days of life. It does not sanction euthanasia or suicide and does not mandate any unethical actions. It aims to improve end of life care. It can be used in an ethical way. Nevertheless, the LCP is not a substitute for individual assessment, professional knowledge and skill or for virtue and moral reasoning.”
The Bishop’s Conference draft guide also comments pertinently, and again helpfully, on the apparently much misunderstood issue of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration within the LCP:
“While clinically assisted nutrition and hydration should generally be provided where this is the best way to address nutritional needs, this may not be indicated in the last few days of life. At this stage the nutrition will have little or no effect of prolonging life,” it states: “If there is doubt about whether clinically assisted hydration may provide some symptom relief or may marginally prolong life, then this is to be weighed against the burdens of the insertion and maintenance of drips or feeding tubes. The burdens will vary depending on the method of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration and the situation of the patient.”
Both the medical profession and those with responsibility for healthcare chaplaincy have been stung by what they see as uninformed and unfair criticism of the LCP.
My own experiences of the LCP, from the perspective of hospital chaplain, have been very positive. I have certainly not found the heartless box-ticking approach allegation to have any foundation. In fact the opposite. I have been very impressed with how each patient is accorded dignity as an individual, and how much the LCP carers strive to look after often the most idiosyncratic of needs.
To illustrate this, perhaps it may be useful here to recall my experience of the treatment of an 89-year-old lady, a former professional musician, who died recently as a patient placed on the LCP. This lady, when placed on the LCP, although extremely weak, was lucid and coherent. She told me that she knew she was dying. She requested that she be allowed a valedictory gin and tonic with her family and asked me if I would join her. The doctor in charge of the LCP team happily agreed (Sadly, the lady died just before her brother, who was organising the gin and tonic, arrived at the hospital.)
In many ways the LCP is nothing new. It is a drawing together of various strands of best practice in care of the dying. No one is saying it’s perfect, but it’s a laudable ideal. And if the ideal falls short this is not due to any intrinsic flaw in the programme, but more likely due to the T S Eliot “shadow” alluded to – to human frailty, to financial constraints and, as Archbishop Vincent Nichols put it in his Lourdes Mass homily, perhaps to the pressures of control and delivery which can impair and diminish the ability of staff to care properly.
Fr James Mulligan is Catholic chaplain to several major London hospitals
http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/features/f0000560.shtml



AMERICA
USA: BISHOPS RELEASE NEW NATIONAL WEBSITE FOR VOCATIONS

USCCB report: Bishops Launch National Website To Promote Vocations To Priesthood And Consecrated Life

‘ForYourVocation.org’ offers resources for people in discernment
Includes info for parents, teachers, catechists, vocation directors
Efforts respond to Pope Benedict XVI’s call to use social media
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Bishops’ Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations is initiating a new website on April 25 to be a resource for both laity and clergy in the promotion of vocations. The launch date is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations and Good Shepherd Sunday.
The site has two goals:

To help individuals hear and respond to the call by God to the priesthood or consecrated life, and

To educate all Catholics on the importance of encouraging others through prayer and activities to promote vocations.
The Vocations Website can be found at www.ForYourVocation.org. A Spanish-language site will be available this fall at http://www.portuvocacion.org/ .
Site elements include discernment resources for men and women, respectively, aids for promoting a vocation culture within the home, and a range of tools for educators, youth leaders and vocation directors including prayers, videos, best practices, lesson plans and vocation awareness programs.
In response to Pope Benedict XVI’s 2010 Theme for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Witness Awakens Vocations, the site also hosts videos of priests and religious men and women giving witness to their vocations, as well as testimonies from family members.
ForYourVocation.org exemplifies the Vatican’s embrace of new communications media. In his message for the 44th World Day of Communications, Pope Benedict XVI challenges clergy to employ the “latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites)” to put the media “ever more effectively at the service of the Word.”
The launch of the site will be promoted through social media forums. Facebook users can become “eVangelizers” for the cause. By becoming an eVangelizer, one can connect others to the Website’s blog posts.
Dioceses and organizations may link to ForYourVocation.org by following the instructions at http://foryourvocation.org/web-resources.cfm .


http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2010/10-072.shtml






AFRICA
ANGOLA: MINISTER PROVIDES AID TO CATHOLIC MISSION

All Africa report: The minister of Welfare and Social Reintegration, João Baptista Kussumua, handed over on Wednesday various work equipment and professional training kits to Dunde Catholic Mission in Ganda District, central Benguela Province.

The Professional kits comprised means of transports, two mobile generators, a fixed generator, concrete mixer, compressor, hydraulic jack, five carpentry kits and music tools will enable to reduce some difficulties faced by vulnerable children and youths being assisted by the religious institution, the official said.
The minister also handed over a car, a dumper tractor, two motorbikes, five bikes, a group of generator and a milling, among others.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201004230750.html 





AUSTRALIA
HUMAN RIGHTS CHARTER GAINS SUPPORT

Cath News report: The Rudd government has baulked at the recommendation for an Australian human rights act that would allow judges to assess Commonwealth laws, policies and practices for human rights compliance, writes Frank Brennan.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland told the National Press Club that a legislative charter of rights was not included in the government's human rights framework ''as the government believes that the enhancement of human rights should be done in a way that, as far as possible, unites rather than divides our community''.
There has been a recurring suggestion that the National Human Rights Consultation Committee, which I chaired, was a group of like-minded people with a preconceived view on a legislative charter of rights, attentive only to the voices of an elite.
Ironically, this suggestion has come from members of an elite with a preconceived view hostile to any such charter, invoking the good of the people regardless of the views expressed by the people.
The discussion paper for the consultation was in fact written by the Attorney-General's Department before the committee was selected. The three questions put to the public did not specifically mention a charter. Most respondents to the committee morphed the discussion into a question about a human rights act.
Thirty-five thousand people made submissions. More than 6000 sat down for a two-hour discussion with us in more than 60 community roundtable discussions across the country.
Of the 35,000 people who sent submissions of any sort, 87 per cent of the 33,356 who expressed a view about a human rights act were in support.
The overwhelming majority of those who attended a community roundtable supported such an act, and the independent research from a random telephone survey of 1200 people turned up 57 per cent in support, 14 per cent opposed and 30 per cent undecided.
http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=20853



TODAY´S SAINT

St. Mark

EVANGELIST, PATRON SAINT OF VENICE

Feast: April 25

Information: Feast Day: April 25

Born: 1st century AD, Palestine

Died: April 25, 68 AD, Alexandria

Major Shrine: Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Cairo, Egypt)

Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Alexandria, Egypt)

Basilica di San Marco (Venice, Italy)

Patron of: against impenitence, against struma, attorneys, barristers, captives, glaziers, imprisoned people, prelature of insect bites, Ionian Islands, lawyers, lions, notaries, prisoners, scrofulous diseases, stained glass workers, struma patients, Venice It is assumed in this article that the individual referred to in Acts as John Mark (xii, 12, 25; xv, 37), John (xiii, 5, 13), Mark (xv, 39), is identical with the Mark mentioned by St. Paul (Col., iv, 10; II Tim., iv, 11; Philem., 24) and by St. Peter (I Peter, v, 13). Their identity is not questioned by any ancient writer of note, while it is strongly suggested, on the one hand by the fact that Mark of the Pauline Epistles was the cousin (ho anepsios of Barnabas (Col., iv, 10), to whom Mark of Acts seems to have been bound by some special tie (Acts, xv, 37, 39); on the other by the probability that the Mark, whom St. Peter calls his son (I Peter, v, 13), is no other than the son of Mary, the Apostle's old friend in Jerusalem (Acts, xxi, 12). To the Jewish name John was added the Roman pronomen Marcus, and by the latter he was commonly known to the readers of Acts (xv, 37, ton kaloumenon Markon and of the Epistles. Mark's mother was a prominent member of the infant Church at Jerusalem; it was to her house that Peter turned on his release from prison; the house was approached by a porch (pulon), there was a slave girl (paidiske, probably the portress, to open the door, and the house was a meeting-place for the brethren, "many" of whom were praying there the night St. Peter arrived from prison (Acts, xii, 12-13).
When, on the occasion of the famine of A.D. 45-46, Barnabas and Saul had completed their ministration in Jerusalem, they took Mark with them on their return to Antioch (Acts, xii, 25). Not long after, when they started on St. Paul's first Apostolic journey, they had mark with them as some sort of assistant (hupereten, Acts, xiii, 5); but the vagueness and variety of meaning of the Greek term makes it uncertain in what precise capacity he acted. Neither selected by the Holy Spirit, nor delegated by the Church of Antioch, as were Barnabas and Saul (Acts, xiii, 2-4), he was probably taken by the Apostles as one who could be of general help. The context of Acts, xiii, 5, suggests that he helped even in preaching the Word. When Paul and Barnabas resolved to push on from Perga into central Asia Minor, Mark, departed from them, if indeed he had not already done so at Paphos, and returned to Jerusalem (Acts, xiii, 13). What his reasons were for turning back, we cannot day with certainty; Acts, xv, 38, seems to suggest that he feared the toil. At any rate, the incident was not forgotten by St. Paul, who refused on account of it to take Mark with him on the second Apostolic journey. This refusal led to the separation of Paul and Barnabas, and the latter, taking Mark with him, sailed to Cyprus (Acts, xv, 37-40). At this point (A.D. 49-50) we lose sight of Mark in Acts, and we meet him no more in the New Testament, till he appears some ten years afterwards as the fellow-worker of St. Paul, and in the company of St. Peter, at Rome.
St. Paul, writing to the Colossians during his first Roman imprisonment (A.D. 59-61), says: "Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, saluteth you, and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas, touching whom you have received commandments; if he come unto you, receive him" (Col., iv, 10). At the time this was written, Mark was evidently in Rome, but had some intention of visiting Asia Minor. About the same time St. Paul sends greetings to Philemon from Mark, whom he names among his fellow-workers (sunergoi, Philem., 24). The Evangelist's intention of visiting Asia Minor was probably carried out, for St. Paul, writing shortly before his death to Timothy at Ephesus, bids him pick up Mark and bring him with him to Rome, adding "for he is profitable to me for the ministry" (II Tim., iv, 11). If Mark came to Rome at this time, he was probably there when St. Paul was martyred. Turning to I Peter, v, 13, we read: "The Church that is in Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you, and (so doth) Mark my son" (Markos, o huios aou). This letter was addressed to various Churches of Asia Minor (I Peter, i, 1), and we may conclude that Mark was known to them. Hence, though he had refused to penetrate into Asia Minor with Paul and Barnabas, St. Paul makes it probable, and St. Peter certain, that he went afterwards, and the fact that St. Peter sends Mark's greeting to a number of Churches implies that he must have been widely known there. In calling Mark his "son", Peter may possibly imply that he had baptized him, though in that case teknon might be expected rather than huios (cf. I Cor., iv, 17; I Tim., i, 2, 18; II Tim., i, 2; ii, 1; Tit., i, 4; Philem., 10). The term need not be taken to imply more than affectionate regard for a younger man, who had long ago sat at Peter's feet in Jerusalem, and whose mother had been the Apostle's friend (Acts, xii, 12). As to the Babylon from which Peter writers, and in which Mark is present with him, there can be no reasonable doubt that it is Rome. The view of St. Jerome: "St. Peter also mentions this Mark in his First Epistle, while referring figuratively to Rome under the title of Babylon" (De vir. Illustr., viii), is supported by all the early Father who refer to the subject. It may be said to have been questioned for the first time by Erasmus, whom a number of Protestant writers then followed, that they might the more readily deny the Roman connexion of St. Peter. Thus, we find Mark in Rome with St. Peter at a time when he was widely known to the Churches of Asia Minor. If we suppose him, as we may, to have gone to Asia Minor after the date of the Epistle to the Colossians, remained there for some time, and returned to Rome before I Peter was written, the Petrine and Pauline references to the Evangelist are quite intelligible and consistent.
When we turn to tradition, Papias (Eusebius, "Hist. eccl.", III, xxxix) asserts not later than A.D. 130, on the authority of an "elder", that Mark had been the interpreter (hermeneutes) of Peter, and wrote down accurately, though not in order, the teaching of Peter (see below, MARK, GOSPEL OF SAINT, II). A widespread, if somewhat late, tradition represents St. Mark as the founder of the Church of Alexandria. Though strangely enough Clement and Origen make no reference to the saint's connexion with their city, it is attested by Eusebius (op. cit., II, xvi, xxiv), by St. Jerome ("De Vir. Illust.", viii), by the Apostolic Constitutions (VII, xlvi), by Epiphanius ("Hær;.", li, 6) and by many later authorities. The "Martyrologium Romanum" (25 April) records: "At Alexandria the anniversary of Blessed Mark the Evangelist . . . at Alexandria of St. Anianus Bishop, the disciple of Blessed Mark and his successor in the episcopate, who fell asleep in the Lord." The date at which Mark came to Alexandria is uncertain. The Chronicle of Eusebius assigns it to the first years of Claudius (A.D. 41-4), and later on states that St. Mark's first successor, Anianus, succeeded to the See of Alexandria in the eighth year of Nero (61-2). This would make Mark Bishop of Alexandria for a period of about twenty years. This is not impossible, if we might suppose in accordance with some early evidence that St. Peter came to Rome in A.D. 42, Mark perhaps accompanying him. But Acts raise considerable difficulties. On the assumption that the founder of the Church of Alexandria was identical with the companion of Paul and Barnabas, we find him at Jerusalem and Antioch about A.D. 46 (Acts xii, 25), in Salamis about 47 (Acts, xiii, 5), at Antioch again about 49 or 50 (Acts, xv, 37-9), and when he quitted Antioch, on the separation of Paul and Barnabas, it was not to Alexandria but to Cyprus that he turned (Acts, xv, 39). There is nothing indeed to prove absolutely that all this is inconsistent with his being Bishop of Alexandria at the time, but seeing that the chronology of the Apostolic age is admittedly uncertain, and that we have no earlier authority than Eusebius for the date of the foundation of the Alexandrian Church, we may perhaps conclude with more probability that it was founded somewhat later. There is abundance of time between A.D. 50 and 60, a period during which the New Testament is silent in regard to St. Mark, for his activity in Egypt.
In the preface to his Gospel in manuscripts of the Vulgate, Mark is represented as having been a Jewish priest: "Mark the Evangelist, who exercised the priestly office in Israel, a Levite by race". Early authorities, however, are silent upon the point, and it is perhaps only an inference from his relation to Barnabas the Levite (Acts, iv, 36). Papias (in Eusebius, "Hist. eccl.", III, xxxix) says, on the authority of "the elder", that Mark neither heard the Lord nor followed Him (oute gar ekouse tou kurion oute parekoluthesen auto), and the same statement is made in the Dialogue of Adamantius (fourth century, Leipzig, 1901, p. 8), by Eusebius ("Demonst. Evang.", III, v), by St. Jerome ("In Matth."), by St. Augustine ("De Consens. Evang."), and is suggested by the Muratorian Fragment. Later tradition, however, makes Mark one of the seventy-two disciples, and St. Epiphanius ("Hær", li, 6) says he was one of those who withdrew from Christ (John, vi, 67). The later tradition can have no weight against the earlier evidence, but the statement that Mark neither heard the Lord nor followed Him need not be pressed too strictly, nor force us to believe that he never saw Christ. Many indeed are of opinion that the young man who fled naked from Gethsemane (Mark, xiv, 51) was Mark himself. Early in the third century Hippolytus ("Philosophumena", VII, xxx) refers to Mark as ho kolobodaktulos, i.e. "stump-fingered" or "mutilated in the finger(s)", and later authorities allude to the same defect. Various explanations of the epithet have been suggested: that Mark, after he embraced Christianity, cut off his thumb to unfit himself for the Jewish priesthood; that his fingers were naturally stumpy; that some defect in his toes is alluded to; that the epithet is to be regarded as metaphorical, and means "deserted" (cf. Acts, xiii, 13).
The date of Mark's death is uncertain. St. Jerome ("De Vir. Illustr.", viii) assigns it to the eighth year of Nero (62-63) (Mortuus est octavo Neronis anno et sepultus Alexandriæ), but this is probably only an inference from the statement of Eusebius ("Hist. eccl.", II, xxiv), that in that year Anianus succeeded St. Mark in the See of Alexandria. Certainly, if St. Mark was alive when II. Timothy was written (II Tim., iv, 11), he cannot have died in 61-62. Nor does Eusebius say he did; the historian may merely mean that St. Mark then resigned his see, and left Alexandria to join Peter and Paul at Rome. As to the manner of his death, the "Acts" of Mark give the saint the glory of martyrdom, and say that he died while being dragged through the streets of Alexandria; so too the Paschal Chronicle. But we have no evidence earlier than the fourth century that the saint was martyred. This earlier silence, however, is not at all decisive against the truth of the later traditions. For the saint's alleged connexion with Aquileia, see "Acta SS.", XI, pp. 346-7, and for the removal of his body from Alexandria to Venice and his cultus there, ibid., pp. 352-8. In Christian literature and art St. Mark
is symbolically represented by a lion. The Latin and Greek Churches celebrate his feast on 25 April, but the Greek Church keeps also the feast of John Mark on 27 September.

SOURCE http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/M/stmark.asp

TODAY´S MASS READINGS
4TH SUN. OF EASTER- YEAR C

Acts 13: 14, 43 - 52


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14 but they passed on from Perga and came to Antioch of Pisid'ia. And on the sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down.

43 And when the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.

44 The next sabbath almost the whole city gathered together to hear the word of God.

45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted what was spoken by Paul, and reviled him.

46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.

47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, `I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth.'"

48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of God; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

49 And the word of the Lord spread throughout all the region.

50 But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district.

51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and went to Ico'nium.

52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Psalms 100: 1 - 2, 3, 5


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1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the lands!

2 Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!

3 Know that the LORD is God! It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

5 For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures for ever, and his faithfulness to all generations

Revelation 7: 9, 14 - 17


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9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

14 I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night within his temple; and he who sits upon the throne will shelter them with his presence.

16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.

17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

GOSPEL
 
John 10: 27 - 30


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27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;

28 and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.

29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

30 I and the Father are one."
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