CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SUN. JAN. 17, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: VISITS SYNAGOGUE IN ROME/ANGELUS: ENTRUSTMENT TO MARY-
AUSTRALIA: BOY SHIELDS HIS SISTER IN CRASH & DIES-
AMERICA: HAITI: SALESIANS SUFFER MANY LOSSES-
EUROPE: CROATIA: CATHEDRAL RECEIVES LARGE NEW ORGAN-
ASIA: MALAYSIA: 10 CHURCHES VANDALIZED OVER "ALLAH" CONTROVERSY
AFRICA: CONTINENT OF AFRICA AIDS HAITI-
POPE: VISITS SYNAGOGUE IN ROME
ASIA NEWS report:
In an emotionally charged atmosphere of brotherhood, Benedict XVI met with the Jewish community of Rome. A tribute to the victims of the Shoah and terrorism. Only a slight hint of controversy about Pius XII. The urgent need to work and witness together the Ten Commandments, "a 'great code' of ethics for all humanity.
Rome (AsiaNews) - Benedict XVI's visit to the Jewish community of Rome was held in an atmosphere of brotherhood and emotion. In his speech before the community gathered in the synagogue, the pope emphasized that "the most authentic spiritual attitude to experience this special and happy moment of grace [is] to praise the Lord .... for granting us this opportunity to come together to strengthen the bonds which unite us. "
In the days preceding the visit, there was strong debate within the Italian Jewish community on whether or not attend the meeting with the pope. The controversy is linked to the figure of Pius XII, for whom Benedict XVI has approved the "heroic virtues" opening the door to his beatification. For many Jews, Pacelli is accused of remaining "silent" in front of the Nazi extermination. The Vatican at the time stated that recognizing the heroic virtues of Pope does not include historical analysis on the life of Pius XII, which will only become possible with increased historical acquisitions. Because of differences in opinion, some Italian rabbis decided not to attend today's meeting with the pontiff.
This controversy was given some evidence in the speeches today, mostly in that of Riccardo Pacifici, president of the Jewish community of Rome, who, while thanking the many Catholics who helped Jews during the murder, described the silence of Pius XII as "too painful".
Riccardo di Segni, Chief Rabbi of Rome, was more discreet and remembering the victims of the Holocaust, said that "the silence of God" is an incomprehensible mystery", but "the silence of men" is something that must be judged.
Benedict XVI’s speech did not give way to controversy, he spoke of "many remained indifferent, but many, including Italian Catholics, sustained by their faith and by Christian teaching, reacted with courage, often at risk of their lives, opening their arms to assist the Jewish fugitives who were being hunted down, and earning perennial gratitude". He added: "Even the Apostolic See itself provided assistance, often in a hidden and discreet way”. The Pope arrived around 16.30 (Rome time) in the area which once the Jewish ghetto was located and where today the synagogue stands, known as the Great Temple. First he honoured the plaque, near the Octavian Portico, that commemorates the deportation of 16 October 1943, placing a wreath in tribute to victims of the Holocaust.
In his speech at the synagogue, the pope said that "The singular and deeply disturbing drama of the Shoah represents, as it were, the most extreme point on the path of hatred that begins when man forgets his Creator and places himself at the centre of the universe”. Recalling his visit on May 28, 2006 to the concentration camp at Auschwitz, he added: " the rulers of the Third Reich wanted to crush the entire Jewish people”, and, essentially, “by wiping out this people, they intended to kill the God who called Abraham, who spoke on Sinai and laid down principles to serve as a guide for mankind, principles that remain eternally valid”.
Walking towards the synagogue, Benedict XVI met with the former chief rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff, now in his nineties, who welcomed Pope John Paul II during his first visit to the synagogue in Rome on 13 April 1986. The pontiff then stopped at another plaque, which commemorates the bombing of 9 October 1982 by Palestinian terrorists, in which, Stefano Taché, a two year old Jewish child lost his life and dozens of people coming out of the temple after prayers were wounded. (SOURCE: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/The-pope-in-Rome
POPE: ADDRESS TO SYNAGOGUE
“What marvels the Lord worked for them!What marvels the Lord worked for us:Indeed we were glad” (Ps 126)“How good and how pleasant it iswhen brothers live in unity” (Ps 133)Dear Chief Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Rome,President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities,President of the Jewish Community of Rome,Rabbis,Distinguished Authorities,Friends, Brothers and Sisters,1. At the beginning of this encounter in the Great Synagogue of the Jews of Rome, the Psalms which we have heard suggest to us the right spiritual attitude in which to experience this particular and happy moment of grace: the praise of the Lord, who has worked marvels for us and has gathered us in his Hèsed, his merciful love, and thanksgiving to him for granting us this opportunity to come together to strengthen the bonds which unite us and to continue to travel together along the path of reconciliation and fraternity. I wish to express first of all my sincere gratitude to you, Chief Rabbi, Doctor Riccardo Di Segni, for your invitation and for the thoughtful words which you have addressed to me. I wish to thank also the President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Mr Renzo Gattegna, and the President of the Jewish Community of Rome, Mr Riccardo Pacifici, for their courteous greetings. My thoughts go to the Authorities and to all present, and they extend in a special way, to the entire Jewish Community of Rome and to all who have worked to bring about this moment of encounter and friendship which we now share.When he came among you for the first time, as a Christian and as Pope, my Venerable Predecessor John Paul II, almost 24 years ago, wanted to make a decisive contribution to strengthening the good relations between our two communities, so as to overcome every misconception and prejudice. My visit forms a part of the journey already begun, to confirm and deepen it. With sentiments of heartfelt appreciation, I come among you to express to you the esteem and the affection which the Bishop and the Church of Rome, as well as the entire Catholic Church, have towards this Community and all Jewish communities around the world.2. The teaching of the Second Vatican Council has represented for Catholics a clear landmark to which constant reference is made in our attitude and our relations with the Jewish people, marking a new and significant stage. The Council gave a strong impetus to our irrevocable commitment to pursue the path of dialogue, fraternity and friendship, a journey which has been deepened and developed in the last forty years, through important steps and significant gestures. Among them, I should mention once again the historic visit by my Venerable Predecessor to this Synagogue on 13 April 1986, the numerous meetings he had with Jewish representatives, both here in Rome and during his Apostolic Visits throughout the world, the Jubilee Pilgrimage which he made to the Holy Land in the year 2000, the various documents of the Holy See which, following the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration Nostra Aetate, have made helpful contributions to the increasingly close relations between Catholics and Jews. I too, in the course of my Pontificate, have wanted to demonstrate my closeness to and my affection for the people of the Covenant. I cherish in my heart each moment of the pilgrimage that I had the joy of making to the Holy Land in May of last year, along with the memories of numerous meetings with Jewish Communities and Organizations, in particular my visits to the Synagogues of Cologne and New York.Furthermore, the Church has not failed to deplore the failings of her sons and daughters, begging forgiveness for all that could in any way have contributed to the scourge of anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism (cf. Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah, 16 March 1998). May these wounds be healed forever! The heartfelt prayer which Pope John Paul II offered at the Western Wall on 26 March 2000 comes back to my mind, and it calls forth a profound echo in our hearts: “God of our Fathers, you chose Abraham and his descendants to bring your Name to the nations: we are deeply saddened by the behaviour of those who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer, and asking your forgiveness we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood with the people of the Covenant.”3. The passage of time allows us to recognize in the Twentieth Century a truly tragic period for humanity: ferocious wars that sowed destruction, death and suffering like never before; frightening ideologies, rooted in the idolatry of man, of race, and of the State, which led to brother killing brother. The singular and deeply disturbing drama of the Shoah represents, as it were, the most extreme point on the path of hatred that begins when man forgets his Creator and places himself at the centre of the universe. As I noted during my visit of 28 May 2006 to the Auschwitz Concentration camp, which is still profoundly impressed upon my memory, “the rulers of the Third Reich wanted to crush the entire Jewish people”, and, essentially, “by wiping out this people, they intended to kill the God who called Abraham, who spoke on Sinai and laid down principles to serve as a guide for mankind, principles that remain eternally valid” (Discourse at Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp: The Teachings of Pope Benedict XVI, II, 1 , p.727).Here in this place, how could we not remember the Roman Jews who were snatched from their homes, before these very walls, and who with tremendous brutality were killed at Auschwitz? How could one ever forget their faces, their names, their tears, the desperation faced by these men, women and children? The extermination of the people of the Covenant of Moses, at first announced, then systematically programmed and put into practice in Europe under the Nazi regime, on that day tragically reached as far as Rome. Unfortunately, many remained indifferent, but many, including Italian Catholics, sustained by their faith and by Christian teaching, reacted with courage, often at risk of their lives, opening their arms to assist the Jewish fugitives who were being hunted down, and earning perennial gratitude. The Apostolic See itself provided assistance, often in a hidden and discreet way.The memory of these events compels us to strengthen the bonds that unite us so that our mutual understanding, respect and acceptance may always increase.4. Our closeness and spiritual fraternity find in the Holy Bible - in Hebrew Sifre Qodesh or “Book of Holiness” – their most stable and lasting foundation, which constantly reminds us of our common roots, our history and the rich spiritual patrimony that we share. It is in pondering her own mystery that the Church, the People of God of the New Covenant, discovers her own profound bond with the Jews, who were chosen by the Lord before all others to receive his word (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 839). “The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God’s revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews ‘belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs and of their race, according to the flesh is the Christ’ (Rom 9:4-5), ‘for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable!’ (Rom 11:29)” (Ibid).Many lessons may be learnt from our common heritage derived from the Law and the Prophets. I would like to recall some of them: first of all, the solidarity which binds the Church to the Jewish people “at the level of their spiritual identity”, which offers Christians the opportunity to promote “a renewed respect for the Jewish interpretation of the Old Testament” (cf. Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Jewish people and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible, 2001, pp.12 and 55); the centrality of the Decalogue as a common ethical message of permanent value for Israel, for the Church, for non-believers and for all of humanity; the task of preparing or ushering in the Kingdom of the Most High in the “care for creation” entrusted by God to man for him to cultivate and to care for responsibly (cf. Gen 2:15).6. In particular, the Decalogue – the “Ten Words” or Ten Commandments (cf. Ex 20:1-17; Dt 5:1-21) – which comes from the Torah of Moses, is a shining light for ethical principles, hope and dialogue, a guiding star of faith and morals for the people of God, and it also enlightens and guides the path of Christians. It constitutes a beacon and a norm of life in justice and love, a “great ethical code” for all humanity. The “Ten Commandments” shed light on good and evil, on truth and falsehood, on justice and injustice, and they match the criteria of every human person’s right conscience. Jesus himself recalled this frequently, underlining the need for active commitment in living the way of the Commandments: “If you wish to enter into life, observe the Commandments” (Mt 19:17). From this perspective, there are several possible areas of cooperation and witness. I would like to recall three that are especially important for our time.The “Ten Commandments” require that we recognize the one Lord, against the temptation to construct other idols, to make golden calves. In our world there are many who do not know God or who consider him superfluous, without relevance for their lives; hence, other new gods have been fabricated to whom man bows down. Reawakening in our society openness to the transcendent dimension, witnessing to the one God, is a precious service which Jews and Christians can offer together.The “Ten Commandments” call us to respect life and to protect it against every injustice and abuse, recognizing the worth of each human person, created in the image and likeness of God. How often, in every part of the world, near and far, the dignity, the freedom and the rights of human beings are trampled upon! Bearing witness together to the supreme value of life against all selfishness, is an important contribution to a new world where justice and peace reign, a world marked by that “shalom” which the lawgivers, the prophets and the sages of Israel longed to see.The “Ten Commandments” call us to preserve and to promote the sanctity of the family, in which the personal and reciprocal, faithful and definitive “Yes” of man and woman makes room for the future, for the authentic humanity of each, and makes them open, at the same time, to the gift of new life. To witness that the family continues to be the essential cell of society and the basic environment in which human virtues are learned and practised is a precious service offered in the construction of a world with a more human face.7. As Moses taught in the Shema (cf. Dt 6:5; Lev 19:34) – and as Jesus reaffirms in the Gospel (cf. Mk 12:19-31), all of the Commandments are summed up in the love of God and loving-kindness towards one’s neighbour. This Rule urges Jews and Christians to exercise, in our time, a special generosity towards the poor, towards women and children, strangers, the sick, the weak and the needy. In the Jewish tradition there is a wonderful saying of the Fathers of Israel: “Simon the Just often said: The world is founded on three things: the Torah, worship, and acts of mercy” (Avoth 1:2). In exercising justice and mercy, Jews and Christians are called to announce and to bear witness to the coming Kingdom of the Most High, for which we pray and work in hope each day.8. On this path we can walk together, aware of the differences that exist between us, but also aware of the fact that when we succeed in uniting our hearts and our hands in response to the Lord’s call, his light comes closer and shines on all the peoples of the world. The progress made in the last forty years by the International Committee for Catholic-Jewish Relations and, in more recent years, by the Mixed Commission of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and of the Holy See, are a sign of our common will to continue an open and sincere dialogue. Tomorrow here in Rome, in fact, the Mixed Commission will hold its ninth meeting, on “Catholic and Jewish Teaching on Creation and the Environment”; we wish them a profitable dialogue on such a timely and important theme.9. Christians and Jews share to a great extent a common spiritual patrimony, they pray to the same Lord, they have the same roots, and yet they often remain unknown to each other. It is our duty, in response to God’s call, to strive to keep open the space for dialogue, for reciprocal respect, for growth in friendship, for a common witness in the face of the challenges of our time, which invite us to cooperate for the good of humanity in this world created by God, the Omnipotent and Merciful.10. Finally, I offer a particular reflection on this, our city of Rome, where, for nearly two millennia, as Pope John Paul II said, the Catholic Community with its Bishop and the Jewish Community with its Chief Rabbi have lived side by side. May this proximity be animated by a growing fraternal love, expressed also in closer cooperation, so that we may offer a valid contribution to solving the problems and difficulties that we still face.I beg from the Lord the precious gift of peace in the world, above all in the Holy Land. During my pilgrimage there last May, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, I prayed to Him who can do all things, asking: “Send your peace upon this Holy Land, upon the Middle East, upon the entire human family; stir the hearts of those who call upon your name, to walk humbly in the path of justice and compassion” (Prayer at the Western Wall of Jerusalem, 12 May 2009).I give thanks and praise to God once again for this encounter, asking him to strengthen our fraternal bonds and to deepen our mutual understanding.“O praise the Lord, all you nations,acclaim him, all you peoples.Strong is his love for us,He is faithful forever.Alleluia” (Ps 117)
POPE: ANGELUS: ENTRUSTMENT TO MARY
ASIA NEWS report:
Benedict XVI prays also for the "dear people of Haiti”, hit by the earthquake, of whose plight he is being kept "fully informed ". This afternoon, the pope will meet with Jewish community in the synagogue in Rome. “Despite problems and difficulties” there is a growing respect and dialogue between Christians and Jews. Migrant children "regardless of nationality or skin colour" are "people, the image of God" to be "protected against marginalization and exploitation."
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Three intentions" entrusted "to the maternal intercession of Mary Most Holy, Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church" for "our brother migrants and refugees, religious dialogue with Jews and the unity of Christians”. This is how Benedict XVI concluded his reflection today before the Angelus with the pilgrims in St Peter's Square. At the end of the Marian prayer he once again recalled "the dear population of Haiti" affected by the earthquake, of whose situation he is being kept "fully informed" by the Apostolic Nuncio to the island nation. He also expressed encouragement for "the efforts of many charitable organizations to address the immense needs of the country".
Recalling the "blessed Bishop Giovanni Battista Scalabrini and ... Saint Francesca Cabrini," Apostles of migrants, the pope recalled the "constant" commitment of the Church to help migrants and refugees, especially migrant and refugee children. This aspect is also the theme of Day for Migrants celebrated this Sunday in Italy. "The child - said the pontiff - irrespective of nationality and skin colour, should be seen first and foremost and always as a person, the image of God, to be promoted and protected against marginalization and exploitation. In particular, we should make every effort so that children who are living in a foreign country may have legal guarantees and above all be accompanied in the countless problems they face."
Benedict XVI then recalled that at around 4 pm this afternoon, he will travel to meet the Jewish community in the Synagogue of Rome (the so-called “Great Temple"), 24 years after the historic visit made by Pope John Paul II. "Despite problems and difficulties - said the pope – there is an atmosphere of great respect and dialogue between believers of both religions, a sign of how relations have matured and the common commitment to enhance what unites us: faith in God, first and foremost, but also the protection of life and family, the aspiration to social justice and peace".
"Finally I would also like to remember, - said the pontiff - that tomorrow sees the beginning of the traditional Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Each year it is, for those who believe in Christ, a propitious time to revive the spirit of ecumenism, to meet, learn, pray and reflect together. The biblical theme, taken from the Gospel of Saint Luke, echoing the words of the risen Jesus to the Apostles: "You are witnesses of these things" (Luke 24:48). Our proclamation of the Gospel of Christ will be all the more credible and effective the more we will be united in His love, as true brothers. I therefore call on the parishes, religious communities, associations and ecclesial movements to pray incessantly, especially during Eucharistic celebrations, for the full unity of Christians. "
Before the greetings in different languages, Benedict XVI spoke of his "heartfelt prayer" for "the dear population of Haiti." "The Papal Nuncio - added the pope - who thank God is well, is keeping me fully informed, so I learned the painful death of the archbishop, as well as many priests, religious and seminarians. I follow and encourage the efforts of many charitable organizations, who are attempting to address the immense needs of the country. I pray for the wounded, the homeless, and for those who tragically lost their lives". (SOURCE: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pope:-Let-us-entrust-to-Mary-our-brother-migrants,-dialogue-with-the-Jews,-the-Christian-unity-17368.html
BOY SHIELDS HIS SISTER IN CRASH & DIES
WHEN Anthony Iannetta shielded his little sister from the impact of a tree he most likely knew he was about to die.
The protective big brother, just 18, shielded his little sister Elissa as the car, a high-powered six cylinder XR6 Falcon, skidded out of control at an estimated 140km/h, killing five teens in Melbourne about 2am (AEDT) yesterday, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The 15-year-old girl survived, but sat among the bodies of her dead brother and four other men strewn across the scene as emergency crews cut her out of the mangled wreck.
The other men to die were P-plate driver Steven Johnstone, 19, his half-brother Will Te Whare, 15, Matt Lister, 17 and Ben Hall, 19. At least one of the passengers would not have been wearing a seatbelt.
Witnesses and residents rushed to the scene after hearing a "thud" as the car snapped the tree at its base, which then fell onto the wreckage.
Elissa muttered words and was conscious during the 90 minutes it took to free her.
As fire began to spread beneath the car, she sat in the back seat unable to move as residents and motorists used buckets of water to put out the blaze.
Police are investigating reports that in the lead up to the crash the car was seen travelling at 150km/h with a passenger "hanging out the window".
For Anthony and Elissa's mother Rose Sutera, the agony of losing a son was tempered by the relief the sole survivor was her daughter.
Elissa escaped the carnage with a fractured elbow, slight bleeding on the brain and minor cuts.
Ms Sutera believes her daughter has her brother to thank for the miracle.
"She remembers that he shoved her head in between his legs to try and protect her," she said.
"As they roared around the corner, he gripped the handle above the back seat door - he must have known what was going to happen.
"All he had time to do was to grab hold of her and lean over to protect her and himself.
"He grabbed her, leant forward and she doesn't remember anything else."
Her mother said she didn't know how Elissa, a young retail worker who had plans to go to college, was going to deal with the tragedy.
She said Anthony was an outgoing, friendly teen who loved "chicky babes", his family and life.
Ms Sutera said her children had arranged to get a lift home with a friend, but it fell through.
As dozens of friends and family began turning up at the crash site yesterday to pay tribute to the dead, Steven Johnstone's girlfriend Natalie Bryant, 18, said she had been with him at a party until just before the crash.
Ms Bryant said as partygoers started leaving early in the morning some gatecrashers had arrived and tried to cause trouble.
"These gatecrashers just came and cornered his car and opened his door trying to get him out, and he just sped off," Ms Bryant said.
"He was angry. They chased after him and ran after him, others jumped into a car and drove off after him."
Craig Gittus, uncle of Matt Lister, said he hoped the accident would send a strong message to young drivers.
"This should not have happened," Mr Gittus said. "These kids should never have been driving that fast."
Deputy Commissioner Ken Lay said the driver was only licensed to carry one passenger. "He should not have had more than one passenger . He should not have been driving up to 140km/h," he said.
"He had a five-seater car with six passengers and as a result we've got five kids dead."
HAITI: SALESIANS SUFFER MANY LOSSES
This week Father Ducange Sylvian, the Salesians' superior in Haiti, described the tragedy the country's Salesians are facing following the earthquake that devastated the country on Tuesday. He noted that one brother is missing, students are trapped under a collapsed school and a Salesian nun has been hospitalized.
The Salesian headquarters in Rome is mobilizing aid to help earthquake victims in Haiti.
According to Fr. Sylvian, 200 students are trapped beneath the rubble of the Salesian Don Bosco school, one of the two Salesian facilities receiving the most damage. Likewise, Father Sylvian continued, the formation house “has also suffered significant damage.” A section of the house, as well as the reception center “have been demolished.”
He continued, “The houses of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Port-Au-Prince and Petion-Ville have also suffered damage. Right now, one Salesian nun is recovering at the hospital,” the superior said.
Missing are two Salesian university students and one brother, the 85-year old Fr. Hubert Sanon.(SOURCE: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/salesians_recount_tragedy_in_haiti/
CROATIA: CATHEDRAL RECEIVES LARGE NEW ORGAN
A tenth church has been vandalized in Malaysia following a court decision that permitted a Catholic publication to use the word “Allah” to refer to God. In all, eight churches have been firebombed, and two have been splashed with paint.
In addition, the offices of the lawyers who represented the Catholic publication were ransacked, and stones were thrown at a Sikh temple-- apparently because Sikhs also refer to “Allah.”
The nation of 27.7 million is 60% Muslim, 19% Buddhist, 6% Hindu, 6% Protestant, and 3% Catholic.
The following is a list of aid contributions reportedly pledged by African governments in the wake of the 12 January earthquake.
South Africa - The government has announced a three-phase assistance package: deployment of doctors to a search and rescue team led by Rescue South Africa, a non-profit company; deployment of forensic pathologists to help identify bodies; provision of unspecified humanitarian aid in partnership with South African NGOs.
Rwanda - US$100,000, according to Rwanda's New Times newspaper.
Senegal - President Abdoulaye Wade has pledged free land to Haitians wishing to be "repatriated", news agencies reported. Spokesman Mamadou Bemba Ndiaye was quoted as saying: "Senegal is ready to offer them parcels of land - even an entire region. It all depends on how many Haitians come."
Liberia - Independent Star radio reported the government had contributed $50,000.
Nigeria - The 121-strong police contingent serving with the UN mission in Haiti is working with rescue teams in the capital, Port-au-Prince, according to This Day newspaper. The country's Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan said in a statement: "As the international community mobilizes in aid of Haiti, it can count on Nigeria's support."(SOURCE: http://allafrica.com/stories/201001170039.html
St. Anthony the Abbot
ABBOT, PATRIARCH OF MONKS
Feast: January 17
251, Herakleopolis Magna, Egypt
356, Mount Colzim, Egypt
Monastery of Anthony, Egypt; Vienna, AustriaHis body was at Saint-Antoine l'Abbaye, Isère, France
against pestilence; amputees; animals; basket makers; basket weavers; brushmakers; butchers; cemetery workers; domestic animals; eczema; epilepsy; epileptics; ergotism; erysipelas; gravediggers; graveyards; hermits; hogs; Hospitallers; monks; pigs; relief from pestilence; shingles; skin diseases; skin rashes; swine; swineherds
St. Anthony is generally considered to be the founder and father of organized Christian monasticism, although he himself preferred to live the life of a true hermit, apart from any community, in the deserts of Egypt. Most of the known facts about this famous "Desert Father" are derived from the biography by St. Athanasius (ca. 296-373), the "Father of Orthodoxy." Now we have been deputed through your affection to write down the triumphs of the blessed man Anthony, and to send by an envoy a history of them to you in writing which will show how it was that he began his discipleship, and what manner of life he led before this took place, and how he was living when he brought his days to a close, and whether all the words which have been spoken concerning him and have come to our hearing are true; and straightway with joy I have devoted myself to the fulfilment of your command. Now by merely writing a commemorative history of the blessed Anthony I also shall gain great benefit, for I am convinced, O my beloved, that by narrating these histories two things will be effected: we shall increase the renown of the man of God in honour and wonder, and we shall begin to instruct your minds step by step; for the acts of the blessed Anthony form a perfect example for the solitary ascetics....
Now, by race the blessed Anthony was an Egyptian, and he was descended from a noble family, and was, indeed, an owner of slaves. His forefathers were believers, and from his earliest childhood he was brought up in the fear of our Lord; and when he was a child and was being reared among his own kinsfolk, he knew nothing of his father or of what went on among his own people. He was so silent in disposition, and his mind was so humble, that he did not even trouble his parents by asking them questions. He was exceedingly modest, and he was honest beyond measure He was unable to read or write because he could not bear the rough behaviour of the boys in the school; his whole desire was to be even according to what is written about Jacob, "He was a simple man, and a dweller in tents." He clung closely to his parents, and when they came to church he would run before them in the flow of his affection; and he was not like an ordinary child, the course of whose customary attendance is broken by the amusements of childhood. He never neglected the observance of any of the seasons of the Church, and he neither neglected them in his childhood, nor held them lightly in his early manhood. And from the time when he was a child and knew how to distinguish between good and evil, his going to church was not a mere matter of custom, but was the result of discerning understanding. And, moreover, he did not wait for the members of his family to be admonishers unto him, because by his life and acts he became a teacher unto them. For they reamed by the experience of his childhood that he did not live among them like an ordinary simple child, and they accepted the proof of the rectitude of his early manhood; he paid them honour after the manner of a full-grown man, and they regarded him as the master of the house.
Now when the time arrived and they brought their days to an end, and they departed from this world when he was about eighteen or twenty years old, he and one little sister were left behind, and it happened from sheer necessity that he had to rule the house and take care of his sister. And when as yet not six months had passed since the death of his parents, and when, according to his wont, he was continually in the church, it came to pass one day, when he was in the church, that a righteous idea entered his mind, and that he began to meditate within himself how the blessed Apostles forsook everything and followed after our Redeemer; and how the others who succeeded them and walked in their footsteps sold everything which they had possessed and laid the money which they received at the feet of the Apostles, that it might be spent upon the poor; and how great was the blessing of those who had in this wise obeyed the voice of our Redeemer. Now whilst he was meditating these and such-like things, the Lesson was being read, and when the Scriptures were ended the Gospel was read, and he heard the words of our Lord, who said unto the rich man, "If thou wishest to be perfect, go and sell everything which thou hast, and give to the poor, and take thy cross, and come after Me, and there shall be unto thee treasure in heaven." And the blessed Anthony received the word of the Gospel as a sign to himself, and he reflected that this reading had not taken place as a matter of chance, but in order that the righteous idea which had taken up its abode in him might be confirmed. And straightway he went out from the church, and departed and set in order his house and the possessions which he had inherited from his parents. Now he had three hundred fields, a great estate which produced abundant crops, and these he handed over to the people of his village, so that they might trouble neither himself nor his sister; but the remainder of his other possessions which were in the house he sold, and gathered in money not a little, which he distributed among the poor, but he laid by a little which was sufficient for his sister's wants . . .
Now unto his sister he spake words of love, and of truth, and of the fear of God, and he made her mind to be like his own; and he delivered her over to certain chaste nuns who were living there at that time. And when he had made an end of these things, he forthwith became a solitary monk, and he took no care for anything whatsoever except his soul, and he began to train himself in the habits of the strictest abstinence and self denial. Now he dwelt alone in a house which was by the side of the village, for as yet there were no monasteries for ascetics in Egypt, and among the monks there was no man who had any knowledge of the inner desert; and everyone who wished to have a care for his soul used to seek out an habitation of this kind. Saint Anthony did not betake himself to the mountain at a great distance from the village, but only at a sufficient distance therefrom, so that he might be somewhat apart from the habitation of men....
Now Saint Anthony was the storehouse of fasting, and of prayer, and of ascetic labours, and of patient endurance, and of love, and of righteousness, which is the mother of them all, but towards those who were young monks like himself he was not envious, except in one matter only, that is to say, he would not be second to any of them in fair works. And he contrived in every possible manner not to give offence to the wicked man; on the contrary, he wished that those who were yoked together with him might be drawn to his opinion by his solicitude and by his graciousness, and that they might make progress in their career. And he toiled in his labours in such a manner that they were not only not envious of him, but they rejoiced in him and gave thanksgiving for him. Now by reason of these triumphs every man used to call him "Theophilus," which is, being interpreted, "God-loving," and all the righteous gave him this name; and some of them loved him like a brother, and some of them like a son.
And when the Enemy, the hater of the virtues and the lover of evil things saw all this great perfection in the young man, he could not endure it, and he surrounded himself with his slaves, even as he is wont to do, and began to work on Anthony. At the beginning of his temptings of the saint he approached him with flattery, and cast into him anxiety as to his possessions, and solicitude and love for his sister, and for his family; and for his kinsfolk, and the love of money and lusts of various kinds and the thought of the rest of the things of the life of this world, and finally of the hard and laborious life which he lived, and of the weakness of body which would come upon him with the lapse of time; and in short, he stirred up in him the power of the thoughts so that by means of one or other of them he might be flattered, and might be made to possess shortcomings and be caught in the net through his instigation. Now when the Enemy saw that his craftiness in this matter was without profit, and that the more he brought temptation unto Saint Anthony, the more strenuous the saint was in protecting himself against him with the armour of righteousness, he attacked him by means of the vigour of early manhood which is bound up in the nature of our humanity. With the goadings of passion he used to trouble him by night, and in the daytime also he would vex him and pain him with the same to such an extent that even those who saw him knew from his appearance that he was waging war against the Adversary. But the more the Evil One brought unto him filthy and maddening thoughts, the more Saint Anthony took refuge in prayer and in abundant supplication, and amid them all he remained wholly chaste. And the Evil One was working upon him every shameful deed according to his wont, and at length he even appeared unto Saint Anthony in the form of a woman; and other things which resembled this he performed with ease, for such things are a subject for boasting to him....
And it came to pass that in the process of time his fame reached all the monks who were in Egypt, and all the other folk therein who did not lead the life of the ascetic and recluse, and men of distinction, and monks in Egypt began to come unto him in large numbers. The Egyptian monks came that they might copy the manner of his life and deeds, and I the laity came that he might pray over them, and might heal certain of them of their sicknesses. One day, when a multitude of people had come there in a body to see him and they had besought him repeatedly to speak to them, and he had answered them never a word, they lifted the door out of its socket, and threw themselves down on their faces before him, and made supplication unto him and pacified him, and then each man among them stood up, and made known his request unto him. And having gone forth to them even like a man who goeth forth from the depths of the earth, they saw that his appearance was like unto that of an angel of light, and they marvelled why it was that his body had not been weakened by all his confinement, and why it was that his under standing had not become feeble, and why, on the contrary, his appearance, and his bodily stature, and his countenance were then as they had known them always to have been in the times which were past....
Now when he saw that much people were gathered together to him, and that the trouble which men and women caused him increased, he became afraid either lest he should be unduly exalted in his mind by reason of the things which God had wrought by his hand, or lest others should esteem him beyond what was right and more than he deserved, and he determined to go away from that place and to enter the Thebaid. Then he took a little bread and went and sat down by the side of the river, and waited until he should see a boat going to that district to which he was ready to go. And as he was pondering these things in his mind, suddenly a voice from heaven was heard by him, and it called him and said unto him, "Anthony, whither goest thou? Why art thou departing from this place?" Now he was not afraid of the voice which came to him, but like a man who was accustomed to do so he spake with it, and answered and said, "Because, O my Lord, the people will not permit me to enjoy a little silent contemplation; it is for this reason that I am wishing to go up to the Thebaid, and especially do I desire it because the people are seeking at my hands that which is wholly beyond my powers." . . .
It is meet that we should call to remembrance his death, and should relate how it took place, and in what manner he finished his life, for I know that ye will be exceedingly pleased therewith. Now he was accustomed to go out and visit the memorial stones of the brethren in the outer mountain. Now the matter of his death also was not hidden from him, and he went forth to visit them even when he knew that his departure was nigh. And after he had spoken to the brethren according to his wont, he said unto them, "This act which ye have just performed is the end of all acts; and I marvel at this world. Let each look for himself alone; for it is time for me to die." Now he was then about one hundred and five years old....
Now when the brethren heard concerning the matter of his departure, they entreated him that he would remain with them in order that his course might be ended there, but he would not accede to their request for many reasons which he had made known in his silence, but for the following reason especially. The Egyptians were in the habit of taking the dead bodies of righteous men, and especially those of the blessed martyrs, and of embalming them and placing them not in graves, but on biers in their houses, for they thought that by so doing they were doing them honour. And the blessed old man had on very many occasions besought the bishops to preach to the people and to command them to cease from this habit. And he himself used to entreat and exhort the multitudes who came to him, saying, "This work is neither seemly nor right. Moreover, the burial places of the early Fathers, and of the prophets, and of the Apostles are known unto this day, and even the grace of our Lord who rose on the third day." And by these words he shouted forth that it was a transgression of a command for a man not to hide in the ground the bodies of those who were dead, even though they were righteous men. Therefore many hearkened and were persuaded not to do so, and they laid their dead in the ground, and buried them therein, and they thanked God because they had accepted his entreaty, which was seemly. And it was through fear of this thing that he would not grant the entreaty of the brethren and remain with them, but departed to his own place.
And after a few months he became sick, and he cried out to the brethren who were with him (now these were only two in number, and they had been with him from the time when his old age began, which was nearly fifteen years before, and they ministered unto him with the greatest care), and said unto them, even as it is written, "Behold, I go the way of my fathers, for I have felt within myself for some days past that I have been called by my Lord. Observe ye now how carefully ye can maintain this contest, and take good heed that ye lose not the long-suffering which ye have acquired, and that, like men who are just beginning the strife, ye increase it more and more and add to it day by day. Ye are well acquainted with the baneful devils and their craftiness, and ye know well this fact, that if ye please they shall be accounted as nothing by you. Be ye therefore not terrified by them, but always take refuge in Christ. And remember ye everything which ye have heard from me during all this time which ye have been with me, that ye have no intercourse whatsoever with the Arians, the heretics, for ye know how filthy they are in my sight because of their blasphemy of our Lord Jesus Christ. Take ye also heed then diligently at all times that ye cleave to the Spirit of Christ and agree therewith, and be ye, moreover, friends and associates of just men that they may receive you into their everlasting habitations as friends and men of whom they have good knowledge. Therefore meditate ye upon these things and keep them in your minds. And if your minds are set upon me, and ye remember me as a father, permit no man to take my body and carry it into Egypt, lest, according to the custom which they have, they embalm me and lay me up in their houses, for it was to avoid this that I came into this desert. And ye know that I have continually made exhortation concerning this thing and begged that it should not be done, and ye well know how much I have blamed those who observed this custom. Dig a grave then, and bury me therein, and hide my body under the earth, and let these my words be observed carefully by you, and tell ye no man where ye lay me; and there I shall be until the resurrection of the dead, when I shall receive again this body without corruption.
"And divide ye my garments into lots, and give one leather tunic to Bishop Athanasius, and the covering of this my bed which he gave unto me when it was new; but now it hath become old. And to Bishop Serapion do ye give the other leather coat; and this covering of my bed which is made of hair ye yourselves shall keep; now therefore, my children, abide in peace, for, behold, Anthony bringeth his journey to an end, and he goeth whither Divine Grace shall bring him." And when he had spoken these words, he straightway stretched out his legs, whereupon the brethren began to cry out to him, and to kiss him; now his face was full of joy unspeakable at the meeting of those who had come for him, and it resembled that of a man when he seeth a friend whom it rejoiceth him to meet. So the blessed man held his peace and died, and was gathered to his fathers....(source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/A/stanthonytheabbot.asp
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Year B: Mass Readings:
Isaiah 62: 1 - 5
For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her vindication goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch.
The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name which the mouth of the LORD will give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My delight is in her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
Psalms 96: 1 - 3, 7 - 10
O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Worship the LORD in holy array; tremble before him, all the earth!
Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns! Yea, the world is established, it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity."
1 Corinthians 12: 4 - 11
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
John 2: 1 - 11
On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there;
Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples.
When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."
And Jesus said to her, "O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come."
His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.
Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim.
He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast." So they took it.
When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom
and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now."
This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.