Friday, May 28, 2010




VATICAN CITY, 28 MAY 2010 (VIS REPORT) - Theodore Loko, the first resident ambassador of Benin to the Holy See, today presented his Letters of Credence to the Holy Father.
In his speech the diplomat mentioned the Beninese Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, former prefect of the Congregation for Bishops who died two years ago, and this theme was taken up by the Pope in his address, who described Cardinal Gantin as "an authentic builder of bridges between cultures and continents", affirming that his example will help the men and women of the Church in Benin "to perform ever more generous and responsible service for their nation, which celebrates the 150th anniversary of its evangelisation next year".
Benedict XVI then went on to consider the importance of Benin's "Conference of the Nation's Living Forces", which was celebrated twenty years ago. "That was not only a political event", he said, "but also bore witness to the close relationship between the faith and its expression in Beninese public life; it determined your future and continues to inspire your present. I ask God to bless the efforts of those who work to build a society founded on justice and peace, which recognises the rights of all its members".
"Architects of their own destiny, the Beninese are called to promote true fraternity. This is an essential precondition for social peace and a factor of integral human promotion", said the Pope exhorting the people of Benin to refer back to values rooted in their own tradition, such as "respect for the sacredness of life". He also called on them "to behave coherently with this commitment, especially as regards factors that attack life and particularly in the context of the law".
Benedict XVI also mentioned fraternity which, he said, "must also lead to the search for justice, the absence of which is always a cause of social tension and leads to dire consequences". "The search for personal advantage to the detriment of the common good is an evil which little by little undermines public institutions and prevents the full development of human beings. A country's political, economic and social leaders are its 'social conscience', guaranteeing the transparency of its structures and the ethics that animate the life of society. They must be just. Justice always accompanies fraternity", the Pope reiterated. "Work occupies a priority place in the development of a society", he went on. "Thanks to work, human beings can satisfy their basic needs and contribute to building a prosperous, just and fraternal society. Benin's motto 'Fraternity, Justice, Work' is the compendium of the charter of a nation with noble human ideals. Its application contributes to solidarity with other nations", said Benedict XVI, in this context thanking the Beninese for "the active fraternity they showed towards the people of Haiti during the recent earthquake".
Finally, the Pope greeted members of the Catholic community of Benin, whom he encouraged to be "increasingly authentic witnesses of the faith and fraternal love that Christ teaches us".
"I also wish to express my appreciation", he concluded, "for the efforts being made by everyone, especially the authorities, to strengthen relations of respect and esteem among the country's religious groups. Freedom of religion helps to enrich democracy and promote development".
CD/ VIS 20100528 (540)

VATICAN CITY, 28 MAY 2010 (VIS REPORT) - This morning the Pope received participants in the plenary session of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, who have been meeting to study the theme: "The pastoral care of human mobility today, in the context of the co-responsibility of States and International Organisations".
The Holy Father expressed his appreciation for "efforts to build a system of shared norms which provide for the rights and duties of foreigners and those of the host communities, bearing foremost to mind the dignity of each human being, created in the image and likeness of God. Obviously the acquisition of rights goes hand in hand with the acceptance of duties", he said.
"National and international laws which promote the common good and respect for the person encourage the hopes and efforts being made to achieve a world social order founded on peace, fraternity and universal co-operation, despite the critical phase international institutions are currently traversing as they concentrate on resolving crucial questions of security and development for everyone".
Benedict XVI highlighted how "many people have not lost the desire to break down walls that divide, and to establish broad understanding also through legislative and administrative measures that favour integration, mutual exchange, and reciprocal enrichment. Coexistence among peoples can come about by following prudent and concerted policies of acceptance and integration, offering opportunities for people to attain legal status, favouring the legitimate right to family reunion, asylum and refuge, compensating any necessary restrictive measures, and contrasting the deplorable traffic in human beings.
"It is here", he added, "that the various international organisations, co-operating with one another and with States, can make their specific contribution ... to reconciling recognition for the rights of the individual with the principle of national sovereignty, making specific reference to the needs of security, public order, and the control of frontiers".
The Pope went on to explain that "the fundamental rights of the person can become the focal point for the co-responsible commitment of national and international institutions", recalling that this "is closely linked to openness to life, which is at the centre of true development".
"Openness to life and the rights of the family must be reiterated in various contexts", said the Pope. "The future of our societies rests on the encounter between peoples, on dialogue between cultures while respecting identities and legitimate differences. In this scenario, the family maintains its fundamental role. Thus the Church, by announcing the Gospel of Christ in all areas of life, carries forward her commitment 'not only in favour of the individual migrant, but also of his family, which is a place and resource of the culture of life and a factor for the integration of values'". AC/ VIS 20100528 (470)

VATICAN CITY, 28 MAY 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The International Confederation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul will hold its extraordinary general assembly in the Spanish city of Salamanca from 28 May to 2 June. The meeting has been called to elect the confederation's fifteenth president, according to a communique released today. The confederation, which is a member of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", brings together 51,000 national conferences from 142 countries, with more than 700,000 members supported by 1,500,000 volunteers. In this way, it is able to reach thirty-seven million poor people. It intervenes in support of victims of natural disasters - such as, most recently, typhoons in Asia, earthquakes in Indonesia and Chile, flooding in India, etc. - with the aid being distributed by the Vincentian Family and its volunteers. In Haiti, for example, where it is present in the poorest areas, it has created the Zafen network which facilitates access to credit for small business and craftsmen.
Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of "Cor Unum", has been invited by the heads of the confederation to deliver a lecture to delegates. The cardinal will talk about Blessed Frederic Ozanam with reference to questions of concern to "Cor Unum", such as the specific identify of Catholic aid and assistance organisations.
During his stay in Salamanca, the cardinal will also preside at the Eucharist on Sunday 30 May, with Bishop Carlos Lopez Hernandez of Salamanca, and bid farewell to Jose Ramon Diaz Torremocha, the outgoing president of the confederation, whose mandate is coming to an end after many years of service to the organisation. CON-CU/ VIS 20100528 (280)

VATICAN CITY, 28 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Agostino Vallini, His Holiness' vicar general for the diocese of Rome.
- Cardinal Claudio Hummes O.F.M., prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.
- Renata Polverini, president of the Region of Lazio, Italy.
AP/ VIS 20100528 (60)

VATICAN CITY, 28 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Francisco Fortunato De Gouveia of the clergy of Cape Town, South Africa, pastor of the parish of St. John the Evangelist at Fish Hoek, as bishop of Oudtshoorn (area 113,000, population 850,000, Catholics 30,000, priests 30, permanent deacons 4, religious 32), South Africa. The bishop-elect was born in Cape Town in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1976.


Asia News report: The terrorists entered during Friday prayers, where 1500 people had gathered, and continue to shoot and fight the police. The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack. The Ahmadis are considered heretics and subject to violence in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - Today in Lahore armed groups attacked, two mosques belonging to the Ahmadi sect during Friday prayer. The sect is considered heretical by main-stream Islam. One of the mosques are located in an area of Model Town and the other in the crowded area of Garhi Shahu.
The battle is still ongoing with gunfire and grenade attacks. Police report that there are deaths and injuries and that the gunmen have taken hostages and have barricaded themselves inside the mosque. Some armed men are on the roof of one of the mosques and engaged in a shoot-out with police.
An unofficial source said there are at least nine people killed and 10 injured. The terrorists entered the mosque where at least 1500 people were gathered in prayer. According to these sources, the Punjab section of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the terrorist organization of Pakistani Taliban, has claimed responsibility.
The Ahmadis claim to be Muslims, but do not recognize Muhammad as the last prophet and for this are considered heretics, and suffer heavy violence and ostracism by the fundamentalist Muslims in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. The Ahmadi community in Pakistan is composed of approximately three million members, mostly residing in Punjab.


CNA report: Reacting to deadly violence between security forces and armed supporters of a local drug lord in Jamaica, the Archbishop of Kingston has said most of the country is calm but well-paid gunmen will continue to skirmish with authorities. He noted in an interview that he has asked all priests and religious in the archdiocese to pray the traditional St. Michael the Archangel prayer.

At least 49 have died in Jamaica’s capital after a Monday police assault on an alleged drug lord’s stronghold in the Tivoli Gardens neighborhood resulted in gun battles in the streets. According to Vatican Radio, soldiers and police stormed the slum in search of Christopher “Dudus” Coke.
Coke’s extradition is sought by the United States on charges of cocaine trafficking and gun-running.
“This country is under siege, and the time has come where it is going to be dealt with and this government is ready to deal with it,'' Information Minister Daryl Vaz said in a nationwide address, according to the Miami Herald.
Archbishop Donald James Reece told Vatican Radio that there is much tension in the area under attack but the rest of the country is “relatively calm.” He voiced concern that the violence could spread to other areas.
“I have communicated to all of our priests, religious and deacons to try and maintain calm, to pray the traditional St. Michael the Archangel prayer,” he reported.
According to the archbishop, the Council of Churches has come out with a statement that the prime minister is no longer able to lead because his credibility has been damaged by “untruths” surrounding the United States’ extradition request for the known drug dealer.
The Jamaican government had claimed for months that the wiretaps cited by the U.S. were illegal, but Prime Minister Bruce Golding abruptly changed his mind on the issue last week.
Vatican Radio asked the archbishop how the Church is involved in helping those affected by drug abuse and drug-related crime.
“We are the only Church that has residence in the conflict area. As a result our men are respected there. We have programs for the ordinary people who live there. The priests who live there are the safest because the gunmen will not bother them, because they identify them as people from their area who give service to them at all times,” he answered.
Archbishop Reece said he has heard that the young men involved in the violence are being paid as much as 100,000 Jamaican dollars ($1,100) per day. He called this “a tidy sum” for them to fight “to the end.”
“That means that they will not capitulate to the security forces, so it could drag on to the bitter end for another week or so,” he lamented.
The security forces are concerned about garrisons in other areas that “tend to be a law unto themselves.” Security forces will target these after the present violence is ended, the archbishop believed.

Agenzia Fides REPORT – On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the evangelization of the Province of Katanga in southeastern DRC, local authorities have decided to dedicate a road in Lubumbashi, the provincial capital, to Jean-Félix Hemptine, the first bishop of the city. This is what Fides was told in a recent statement sent to its headquarters.

Fr. Jean Hemptine-Félix, Benedictine monk from the Abbey of Saint-André-lez-Bruges in Belgium, arrived in 1910 in Elizabethville, now Lubumbashi, along with his brothers. He later became Vicar Apostolic, then Apostolic Prefect, and was finally consecrated bishop. He died in 1958, leaving the memory of a dynamic Bishop. As a member of the provincial council, he recommended a policy of assimilation inspired by Christian values, and a direct political administration, in which blacks and whites enjoyed equal rights. At the time, the Congo was a Belgian colony that was about to become independent.

To mark the 100th anniversary of evangelization, Fr. Germain Kasonde, historian and Vicar of the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, has written a book entitled, “Bishop Jean de Hemptine Felix, Founder of the Apostolic Prefecture and Apostolic Vicariate of Katanga. The political vision and social works in industrial Katanga 1910-1958.”

The centenary celebrations will end August 15, 2010. The Archbishop of Lubumbashi, His Excellency Floribert Songasonga Mwitwa, hopes that this will be a year of giving thanks for the gift of the Gospel through the first missionaries that arrived, who faced difficulties such as the hostile nature of the place.

The centenary is also the occasion for an examination of conscience of the baptized, who are asked to assess their progress in faith.

The richness of the faith brought by missionaries is evidenced by the activities of pastoral agents working in the area: from Salesian missionaries to Benedictines, from diocesan priests to catechists. Currently are 120 diocesan priests present in the diocese or on missions abroad. They are few, considering that they must serve 68 parishes and other communities. Diocesan priests are joined by Benedictines, Salesians, Missionaries of Africa, the Holy Ghost Fathers, and the Sons of the Incarnation.

To mark the centenary, every parish is organizing a Triduum of prayer and reflection on the feast of their patron saint. The various diocesan commissions are called to reflect on the Christian witness in the various areas and religious congregations are called to reflect on their charism.


CNA report: In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, the prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Portuguese Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, revealed a series of previously unpublished details about the beatification of the shepherd children of Fatima, such as the creation of a commission which concluded that the two children exercised heroic virtues.

Cardinal Martins said the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco Marto, which took place 10 years ago this May, was “a historic event because they were the first children to be raised to the altars who were not martyrs.”
“Before them, it was not, in fact, the practice of the Church to canonize children: it was thought that because of their age, they did not have the capability of practicing Christian virtue to a heroic degree, which is the first condition for beatification. I recall that, in their case, something very interesting was witnessed: thousands of letters from around the world were received in Rome—not only from the faithful but also from bishops and cardinals—that requested the children be beatified,” the cardinal said.
This large number of requests “led to reflection within the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. John Paul II named a commission of experts—theologians, psychologists, teachers—to study the issue. After a profound study, the conclusion was that children are capable of practicing the Christian virtues, of course in a manner that is possible for them. Thanks to that conclusion, we were able to proceed with the beatification,” he said.
Speaking about the signs of holiness in Jacinta and Francisco, Cardinal Martins underscored that they displayed “profound piety, fervent devotion to the Most Holy Trinity, to the Virgin Mary and to the Eucharist. Regarding their heroism, they were willing to give up their lives rather than lie. They were threatened, in fact, and pressured to say that the visions were false, but they did not yield to the pressure.”
Referring to the beatification process of Sister Lucia, the third seer who died several years ago, Cardinal Martins said it is still in the diocesan phase, after the five-year waiting period for opening the cause was waived.
Cardinal Martins also noted that regarding the investigation of miracles in the beatification process, in order for a miracle to be recognized as such, the cure must be “instantaneous, complete and lasting. If doctors conclude there is no scientific explanation, the documents are then sent to the theologians. They must then determine if there is any link between the cure and the prayer of intercession before God by the candidate for beatification.”
“It’s the theologians, not the doctors, who can then speak of miracles. Their conclusions are later sent to the cardinals for study and eventual approval."
Then, he continued, the Pope "is the one who ultimately has the last word: the miracle is approved and everything is ready for the beatification."


Cath News report: Catholic Health Australia (CHA) and Health Super will jointly conduct a study into providing Nurse Unit Managers with better support and training, to improve patient and aged care services.

The Nursing and Midwifery Empowerment Project will explore a range of support options such as new work processes, workplace education and training, and senior staff mentoring, CHA said in a media statement.
CEO Martin Laverty welcomed Health Super's sponsorship, saying it would lead to an action plan to make it easier for Nurse Unit Managers to achieve best practice in patient care.
"Our aim is to empower Nurse Unit Managers to achieve optimum levels of patient care in hospitals and aged care services. But to do this, we need to understand the everyday concerns and needs of Nurse Unit Managers and how they can be better supported through education and training," he said.
Health Super COO Carol McKelson-Timmins said: "This study is an important first step in understanding some of the core issues that Australian Nurse Unit Managers face every day. We are proud to support nurses in this way and anticipate that the research will lead to improvements in nursing care at every level."
The study will be completed in August. It will be made available to the public in September.


St. Germanus

Feast: May 28
Information: Feast Day: May 28
Born: 496 at Autun, France
Died: 576
St. Germanus, the glory of the church of France in the sixth age, was born in the territory of Autun about the year 469. He was brought up in piety and learning under the care of Scapilion his cousin, a holy priest. In his youth no weather could divert him from always going to Matins at midnight, though the church was above a mile from the place of his abode. Being ordained priest by St. Agrippinus bishop of Autun, he was made abbot of St. Symphorian's in the suburbs of that city, a house since converted into a priory of regular canons. Fortunatus, bishop of Poitiers, who was well acquainted with our saint, tells us that he was favored at that time with the gifts of miracles and prophecy. It was his custom to watch great part of the night in the church in prayer, while his monks slept. One night in a dream he thought a venerable old man presented him with the keys of the city of Paris and said to him, that God committed to his care the inhabitants of that city, that he should save them from perishing. Four years after this divine admonition, in 554, happening to be at Paris when that see became vacant, on the demise of the bishop Eusebius, he was exalted to the episcopal chair, though he endeavored by many tears to decline the charge. His promotion made no alteration in his continual fasts and other austerities; and the same simplicity and frugality appeared in his dress, table, and furniture. In the evening at nine o'clock he went to the church, and staved there in prayer till after Matins, that is, in summer till about break of day His house was perpetually crowded with the poor and the afflicted. and he had always many beggars at his own table, at which no dainty meats were ever served; he took care that the souls of his guests should be refreshed at the same time with their bodies, by the reading of some pious book. God gave to his sermons a wonderful influence over the minds of ale ranks of people; so that the face of the whole city was in a very short time quite changed. Vanities were abolished, dances and profane amusements laid aside, enmities and discord extinguished, and sinners reclaimed. King Childebert, who till then had been an ambitious worldly prince, by the sweetness and the powerful discourses of the saint, was entirely converted to piety, and by his advice reformed his whole court. And so desirous did that prince become of exchanging the perishing goods of this world for eternal treasures, that, not content with making many religious foundations, to be nurseries of piety in all succeeding ages, and with sending incredible sums of money to the good bishop, to be distributed among the indigent after his coffers were drained he melted down his silver plate, and gave away the chains which he wore about his neck, begging the bishop, whom he made the steward of his charities, never to cease giving, assuring him that on his side he should never be tired with supplying all things for the relief and comfort of the distressed.
In the year 542, king Childebert, together with his brother Clotaire, making war in Spain, besieged Saragossa. The inhabitants of that city reposed a particular confidence in the patronage of St. Vincent, whose relics they carried in procession within sight of the French camp. King Childebert was moved with their devotion, and desiring to speak with the bishop of the city, promised to withdraw his army, on condition he might obtain some portion of the relics of St. Vincent. The bishop gave him the stole which that holy deacon wore at the altar. Upon which the king raised the siege, and, at his return to Paris, built a church in honor of St. Vincent, and of the Holy Cross; which is now called St. Germain's in the meadows, and stands in the suburbs of Paris. Childebert falling sick at his palace at Celles, near Melun, at the confluence of the Yon and Seine, St. Germanus paid him a visit; and when the physicians had in vain tried every thing, all human means failing, the saint spent the whole night in prayer for his recovery, and in the morning laid his hands on him; and at the same moment the king found himself perfectly healed. The king relates himself this miracle in his letters patent, in which, in gratitude to God for this benefit, he gave to the church of Paris and the bishop Germanus, the land of Celles, where he had received this favor. The good king did not long survive. As the king had chosen the church of St. Vincent for the place of his burial, the saint, assisted by six other bishops, performed the ceremony of the dedication on the 23d of December, 558, the very day on which that prince died. The king likewise had built a large monastery joining to this new church, which he endowed most liberally with the fief of Issy and other lands, on part of which a considerable suburb of Paris has been since built. This magnificent edifice was called the Golden Church, the walls being covered on the outside with plates of brass gilt, and within adorned with paintings on a rich gilt ground.1 This church was plundered by the Normans, in 845, 857, 858, and set on fire by them in 861 and 881; but rebuilt in 1014, and dedicated by pope Alexander III. in 1163. The lower part of the great tower and its gate with the statues of Clovis, Clodomir, Thierri, Childebert and his wife Ultrogotta, Clotaire, and others, seem to be as old as the time of king Childebert. This prince committed the monastery and church to the care of our saint, who placed there monks under the holy abbot Droctoveus, whom he had invited from Autun, where he had formed him to a religious life. Clotaire, who succeeded his brother Childebert, was the last of the sons of the great Clovis; and united again the four kingdoms of France into one monarchy. On his removing from Soissons to Paris, he at first seemed to treat the holy bishop coldly; but falling ill soon after of a violent fever, was put in mind by some that were about him to send for St. Germanus. He did so, and full of confidence in the power of God and the sanctity of his servant, took hold of his clothes and applied them to the parts of his body where he felt pain, and recovered immediately. From that moment he always treated the saint even with greater honor than Childebert had done. But that prince dying shortly after, in 561, his four sons, Charibert, Gontran, Sigebert, and Chilperic, divided the French monarchy into four kingdoms, in the same manner as the sons of Clovis had done. That of Paris was given to Charibert or Aribert, Gontran was king of Orleans and Burgundy, Sigebert of Austrasia, and Chilperic of Soissons. Charibert sunk into a vicious indolence, yet was obstinate and headstrong in his passions not being divested of all the prejudices of paganism, he divorced his wife Ingoberga, and took to wife Marcovesa her maid, who had worn a religious habit; and after her death, he married her sister Merofleda, Ingoberga being still living. Our saint many ways endeavored to make him sensible of the enormity of his crimes; but finding all his remonstrances lost on him, he proceeded so far as to excommunicate him and the accomplice of his sin, to hinder at least the dangerous influence of his scandalous example. The sinners were hardened in their evil courses; but God revenged the contempt of his laws and of the holy pastor as he has often done, by visible judgments; for the criminal lady fell ill and died in a few days, and the adulterous king did not long survive her, leaving by his lawful wife only three daughters, two of whom became nuns, the third, called Bertha, was married to Ethelbert, king of Kent.
Upon the death of Charibert in 570, his three brothers divided his dominions; but not being able to agree who should be master of Paris, the capital, came to an accommodation that they should hold it jointly, on condition that none of them should go into the city without the leave of the other two St. Germanus found his flock involved by this agreement in great difficulties, and the city divided into three different parties, always plotting and counterplotting against one another. He did all that the most consummate charity, prudence, and vigilance could do, to preserve the public peace; yet Sigebert and Chilperic appeared in arms, being fired by ambition, and stirred up by their wicked queens Fredegonda, wife of the latter, and Brunehaut of the former, burning with the most implacable jealousy against each other. The saint prevailed with them to suspend their hostilities for some time. At length Chilperic invaded the territories of Sigebert, but being worsted in battle, fled to Tournay. This victory left Sigebert free liberty of going to Paris with his wife Brunehaut and children, where he was received as conqueror. St. Germanus wrote to the queen, conjuring her to employ her interest with her husband to restore the peace of France, and to spare the life and fortune of a brother, whose ruin and blood would cry to heaven for vengeance. But Brunehaut's passion rendered her deaf to all remonstrances, and Sigebert was determined by her furious counsels to besiege Tournay. As he was setting out for this enterprise, he was met by St. Germanus, who told him that if he forgave his brother, he should return victorious; but if he was bent on his death, divine justice would overtake him, and his own death should prevent the execution of his unnatural design. Sigebert allowed this wholesome advice no weight; but the event showed that God had put these words in the mouth of the good bishop; for queen Fredegonda, enraged at the desperate posture of her husband's.
affairs, hired two assassins, who dispatched him with poisoned daggers, while he made a halt in his march at Vitri, in 575, after he had reigned fourteen years, with some reputation of humanity, as Fortunatus tells us.
Chilperic, by his tyranny and oppressions, deserved to be styled the French Nero, as St. Gregory of Tours calls him. He sacrificed his own children by former wives to the fury of Fredegonda, but having discovered her infidelity to him, he was, by her contrivance, murdered by her gallant in 584. Fredegonda was regent of the kingdoms of Soissons and Paris for her son Clotaire III., and continued her practices and wars against Brunehaut and her son till she died, in 601. Brunehaut governed the kingdom of Austrasia for her son Childebert II., and after his death for her grandson Theodebert; but afterwards persuaded Theodoric, her second grandson, who reigned at Challons, to destroy him and his whole family in fill. The year following Theodoric died, and Clotaire II., surnamed the Great, son of Fredegonda, inheriting both their estates, accused Brunehaut before the states of putting to death ten kings and St. Desiderius, bishop of Vienne, because he had reproved her for her public scandalous lusts, and many other illustrious persons. She had at first appeared liberal, and built several churches; but afterwards became infamous for her cruelty, avarice, restless ambition, and insatiable lusts, to which she sacrificed all things, and employed both the sword and poison in perpetrating her wicked designs. Being condemned by the states, she was put to the rack during three days, and afterwards dragged to death, being tied to the tail of a wild mare; or, according to others, drawn betwixt four horses, in 613. St. Germanus lived not to see the miserable ends of these two firebrands of their country. In his old age he lost nothing of that zeal and activity with which he had filled the great duties of his station in the vigor of his life, nor did the weakness to which his corporal austerities had reduced him, make him abate any thing in the mortifications of his penitential life, in which he redoubled his fervor as he approached nearer to the end of his course. By his zeal the remains of idolatry were extirpated in France. In the third council of Paris, in 557, he had the principal share in drawing up the canons. By his advice, king Childebert issued an edict commanding all idols to be destroyed throughout his dominions, and forbidding all indecent dances and diversions on Sundays and festivals. The saint continued his labors for the conversion of sinners till he was called to receive the reward of them on the 28th of May, 576, being eighty years old. King Chilperic composed his epitaph, in which he extols his zeal for the salvation of his people, and their affection and veneration for his person. He mentions the miracles which were wrought at his tomb, and says that sight was restored to the blind and speech to the dumb.2 He was, according to his own desire, buried in St. Symphorian's chapel, which he built at the bottom of the church of St. Vincent already mentioned. Many miracles manifested his sanctity, of which Fortunatus, then a priest, afterwards bishop of Poitiers, has left us a history, in which he gives two on his own evidence. Also two anonymous monks compiled relations of several miracles of St. Germanus, which Aimoinus, a monk of this monastery in 870, and a careful writer, digested into two books.3 The relics of St. Germanus remained in the aforesaid chapel till the year 754, when the abbot removed them into the body of the church. The ceremony of this translation was performed with great solemnity; and king Pepin thought himself honored by assisting at it,
Prince Charles, known afterwards by the title of Charlemagne, who was then but seven years old, attended his father on this occasion, and was so strongly affected with the miracles performed at that time, that when he came to the crown, he took a particular pleasure in relating them, with all their circumstances. The greatest part of the relics of St. Germanus remain still in this church of St. Vincent, commonly called St. Germain-des-Prez. This abbey is possessed of the original privilege of its foundation and exemption, written on bark, and subscribed by St. Germanus, St. Nicetius, and several other bishops. The most valuable work of St. Germanus of Paris, is An Exposition of the Liturgy, published from an ancient manuscript by Dom. Martenne.4 The characteristical virtue of St. Germanus was his unbounded charity to the poor. Liberality in alms moves God to be liberal to us in the dispensations of his spiritual graces; but he who hardens his heart to the injuries and wants of others, shuts against himself the treasury of heaven.


Mark 11: 11 - 26

11 And he entered Jerusalem, and went into the temple; and when he had looked round at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry.

13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.

14 And he said to it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard it.

15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons;

16 and he would not allow any one to carry anything through the temple.

17 And he taught, and said to them, "Is it not written, `My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers."

18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and sought a way to destroy him; for they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.

19 And when evening came they went out of the city.

20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.

21 And Peter remembered and said to him, "Master, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered."

22 And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God.

23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, `Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.

24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."
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