Thursday, February 3, 2011





VATICAN CITY, 2 FEB 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - During his general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope spoke about St. Teresa of Avila, who lived from 1515 to 1582. IMAGE SOURCE:


Teresa de Ahumada was born in the Spanish city of Avila, said Benedict XVI. Although as an adolescent she read works of profane literature which led her towards a life in the world, she later turned to spiritual works which "taught her meditation and prayer. At the age of twenty she entered the Carmelite convent of the Incarnation, also in Avila".

St. Teresa saw her struggle against her own physical ailments as "a struggle against her weakness and resistance before the call of God. ... In Lent 1554, at the age of thirty-nine, Teresa reached the pinnacle of her fight against her own debilities".

"In parallel with the maturation of her interior life, the saint also began to give concrete form to her idea of reforming the Carmelite order. In 1562, with the support of Bishop Alvaro de Mendoza of Avila, she founded the first reformed Carmelite convent. ... Over the following years she continued to found new Carmelite convents, reaching a total of seventeen. Her meeting with St. John of the Cross proved fundamental and with him, in 1568, she founded the first convent of Discalced Carmelites, at Duruelo near Avila". Teresa died in 1582. She was beatified by Paul V in 1614 and canonised in 1622 by Gregory XV. In 1970 Servant of God Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church.

The Holy Father noted how "Teresa of Avila had no academic education, however she always gave great weight to the teaching of theologians, men of letters and spiritual masters". Her major works include an autobiography in which she presents her soul to St. John of Avila, and the "Way of Perfection" intended as a spiritual guide for her own nuns. However, "St. Teresa's most famous mystical work is the 'Interior Castle'", said the Pope, in which "she codifies the possible development of Christian life towards perfection. ... To her activity as founder of the Reformed Carmelites, Teresa dedicated another work, the 'Book of Foundations'".

Referring then to the spirituality of Teresa, the Holy Father made particular mention of her interest in "the evangelical virtues as the foundation of all Christian and human life". He also noted how she laid great emphasis on "profound harmony with the great biblical figures" and on "listening to the Word of God. ... The saint also highlights the importance of prayer", he said, "she teaches readers of her works to pray, and she herself prays with them".

"Another question very dear to this saint was the centrality of Christ's humanity. ... This lay at the basis of the importance she attributed to meditation on the Passion, and to the Eucharist as the presence of Christ in the Church, for the life of all believers and as the heart of the liturgy. St. Teresa's love for the Church was unconditional", said the Pope, identifying another essential part of her doctrine in "perfection as the aspiration and final goal of all Christian life".

The Holy Father concluded by saying that "St. Teresa of Avila is an authentic teacher of Christian life for the faithful in all times. In our society, often lacking in spiritual values, St. Teresa teaches us to be tireless witnesses of God, of His presence and His work. ... May the example of this profoundly contemplative and industrious saint, encourage us to dedicate adequate time to daily prayer, to openness to God in order to discover His friendship and so to discover true life. ... Time spent in prayer is not lost; it is a time in which we open the way to life, learning to love God and His Church ardently, and to show real charity towards our neighbours".

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VATICAN CITY, 2 FEB 2011 (VIS) - Following his catechesis during this morning's general audience, Benedict XVI recalled the fact that today marks the Day of Consecrated Life.

"To your prayers I entrust those who, having made vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, strive after sanctity in the service of children, young people, the sick, the elderly and the lonely. We are grateful to them for their prayers and for the work they do in parishes, hospitals, care homes and schools. Their service represents a particularly precious gift for the Church. My heartfelt blessings go to all those who live in accordance with the evangelical counsels".

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VATICAN CITY, 2 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Jean Legrez O.P. of Saint-Claude, France, as archbishop of Albi (area 5,780, population 363,000, Catholics 290,000, priests 175, permanent deacons 12, religious 519), France. The archbishop-elect was born in Paris, France in 1948, he was ordained a priest in 1976 and consecrated a bishop in 2003.

- Appointed Bishop Raul Cecilio Berzosa Martinez, auxiliary of Oviedo, Spain, as bishop of Ciudad Rodrigo (area 4,264, population 45,016, Catholics 44,028, priests 75, religious 126), Spain.

- Appointed Bishop Francisco Antonio Nieto Sua, auxiliary of Bogota, Colombia, as bishop of San Jose del Guaviare (area 42,327, population 120,000, Catholics 112,000, priests 16, permanent deacons 2, religious 12), Colombia.

- Appointed Bishop Atilano Rodriguez Martinez of Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain, as bishop of Siguenza-Guadalajara (area 12,190, population 237,787, Catholics 211,630, priests 259, religious 403), Spain. He succeeds Bishop Jose Sanchez Gonzalez, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Fidel Leon Cadavid Marin of Quibdo, Colombia, as bishop of Sonson - Rionegro (area 7,300, population 601,000, Catholics 595,000, priests 279, religious 801), Colombia.

- Appointed Fr. Miguel Olaortua Laspra O.S.A., director of the "San Augustin" College in Zaragoza, Spain and provincial counsellor, as apostolic vicar of Iquitos (area 100,041, population 1,064,090, Catholics 895,830, priests 38, religious 71), Peru. The bishop-elect was born in Bilbao, Spain in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1987. He succeeds Bishop Julian Garcia Centeno O.S.A., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same apostolic vicariate the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Rosalvo Cordeiro de Lima of the clergy of the diocese of Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil, pastor of the parish of "Sao Jose" in Salesopolis, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Fortaleza (area 14,813, population 3,585,000, Catholics 2,536,000, priests 328, permanent deacons 19, religious 1,174), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Uniao dos Palmares, Brazil in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1992.

- Appointed Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra as apostolic nuncio to Pakistan.


COMECE regrets failure of EU to condemn religious persecution  | COMECE, Commission of EU Bishops Conferences, religious persecution
COMECE, the Commission of EU Bishops Conferences, has voiced regret that the 27 Foreign Ministers of the EU failed yesterday to agree on a joint declaration condemning religious persecution.

The commission said in a statement: "This diplomatic wavering is all the more incomprehensible as innocent lives are being cut short in atrocious attacks against Christians and other minorities all over the world.

"The agreement failed due to internal wrangling among the Ministers over a specific reference to Christians being included as victims of religious persecution. COMECE wonders about this wavering since public opinion in Europe has already become aware of the particular situation of Christians in the Middle East after the recent attacks on churches in Iraq and Egypt. Furthermore, the European Parliament (on 20 January) and the Council of Europe (on 27 January ) have already paved the way for a specific condemnation of the persecution of Christians by adopting both resolutions explicitly condemning violence against Christians.

"The recent attacks against Christians are not isolated cases. Statistics on religious freedom in recent years show that the majority of acts of religious violence are perpetrated against Christians. The situation has become more serious in the Middle East, especially in Iraq where persecution could lead in the coming months to the disappearance of Christian communities.

"The commitment of the EU to stand for fundamental rights and religious freedom is clearly stated in the EU Treaty and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and has been reaffirmed in many declarations.

"Therefore we now expect that the EU will take concrete measures to turn these general principles into significant political action."

Source: COMECE


CATHOLIC ONLINE REPORT: There are alternatives to Catholic schools but there are no real substitutes.

In this age of aggressive secularization, Catholic schools play a vital role in forming strong Catholic citizens who can help reclaim our society for Christ. They are the lifeblood of the Catholic community and they deserve the support of all Catholics. There are alternatives to Catholic schools but there are no real substitutes.

Catholic School children rejoice over winning an academic achievement award

Catholic School children rejoice over winning an academic achievement award

PHOENIX, AZ (Catholic Online) - During Catholic School Week, it is a good time to consider why Catholic parents should more seriously consider sending their children to Catholic schools.

It is without question that Catholic schools have historically had a singularly important impact in strengthening the Catholic community. Catholic schools were viewed in the 19th century as a primary means of fighting widespread anti-Catholic discrimination. The vital importance of Catholic schools was such that leaders of the Church in this era often espoused the view that Catholic schools were more important than the parishes themselves, an opinion echoed recently by in an article by New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan.Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, The Catholic Schools We Need, America Magazine, Sept. 13, 2010.

Studies have shown that Catholic school graduates differ from Catholic children not enrolled in parochial schools in four critical areas: 1) fidelity to Sunday Mass and a keener sense of prayer; 2) maintaining pro-life attitudes, especially on the pivotal topic of abortion; 3) willingness to consider a religious vocation, and 4) continued support for the local church and community, both financially and through service projects, for the balance of their adult lives. Mary Gautier, Does Catholic Education Make A Difference? National Catholic Reporter, Sept. 30, 2005.

In spite of the vital role Catholic schools have played in the Catholic community, enrollment in Catholic schools has dropped significantly over the last four decades. A number of Catholic educators have posited that economic factors have caused the cost of Catholic schools to be placed beyond reach of many Catholic parents. Other commentators argue that the replacement of religious sisters and priests with lay teachers who are generally less knowledgeable about Catholic teachings has made the case for Catholic schools less compelling.

While many explanations are offered for this decline, Archbishop Timothy Dolan's diagnosis of the problem and prescription for revival of Catholic schools is enlightening.

In his recent article in America Magazine, Archbishop Dolan doesn't mince words and places the blame on Catholics who have "disowned their school system, excusing themselves as in individuals, parishes or dioceses from any further involvement with a Catholic school simply because their own children are not enrolled there." Archbishop Dolan also notes the impact of the aggressive secularization of American culture that undermines the commitment Catholics used to make to Catholic schools. Dolan goes on to say that "The truth is that the entire parish, the whole diocese and the universal church benefit from Catholic schools in ways that keep communities strong. So all Catholics have a duty to support them."

In Arizona, where I live, many Catholic schools have been hurt by the increasing popularity of government funded charter schools. Over the years, increasing numbers of Catholic families have abandoned Catholic schools in favor of the free tuition offered by charter schools. A number of these charter schools do provide a good secular education. However, being government funded these schools are prohibited from providing religious instruction, including Catholic teachings, to their students.

The questions posed by this now unfortunately common anomaly - Catholic parents choosing government funded schools over Catholic schools - is whether this is best for our Catholic children?

I believe the answer to this question is a resounding no. As Catholic parents, we are the primary educators of our children. There is a big difference between entrusting our children to a secular school instead of a Catholic school.

According to the Second Vatican Council, Catholic parents have "the duty of entrusting their children to Catholic schools wherever and whenever possible and of supporting these schools to the best of their ability."Second Vatican Council, Declaration on Christian Education, Sec. 8 (Oct. 25, 1965).

More recently, the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education stated that it is the duty of Catholic parents to "arrange and even demand for their children to be able to receive a moral and religious education and advance in their Christian formation to a degree that is abreast of their development in secular subjects." Vatican Letter on Catholic Education, (Sept. 8, 2009).

As such, we Catholic parents should not take lightly our obligation to provide a Catholic education for our children.

On a personal note, I remember in my early years as a parent hearing the sermon of a local Catholic priest who, when pressed on why he stressed Catholic theology in his parish school, he proclaimed that "his job was to help get our children to Heaven not Harvard."

The good news is that Catholic children have great options to attend academically excellent Catholic schools where they are taught faith and reason, rather than just reason alone which is what government funded charter schools and public schools are limited to.

A case in point is the school my younger children attend. Ville de Marie Academy ( is a non-Diocesan school in the Catholic tradition located in Scottsdale, Arizona. The school is academically challenging, the children attend Mass weekly and they receive daily instruction in Catholic theology. Our teachers are knowledgeable about the Catholic faith and many have graduated from leading Catholic colleges like Thomas Aquinas College, Franciscan University of Steubenville and Christendom College. Our graduating seniors this year averaged over $75,000 in college scholarship awards. I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. It's a great school where the children are being prepared to be successful in the important ways; spiritually, academically and socially.


UCAN REPORT: A Catholic priest in Bangladesh has condemned the banned practice of religious punishments, which recently saw a teenage Muslim girl whipped to death.

“Even though fatwas are banned in the country, people in rural areas still suffer from what is a serious violation of human rights,” said Father Albert Thomas Rozario, a lawyer and secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace

“People need to be aware that prevailing laws in the country don’t allow punishment according to Islamic laws,” he told

Father Rozario was referring to the case of Hena Begum, 14 who was allegedly raped by her 40-year-old cousin on January 30 in Shariatpur district in central Bangladesh.

The next day, a fatwa (corporal punishment in Islamic law) was issued at a village arbitration ordering her to receive 100 lashes.
She lost consciousness during the punishment and later died in hospital.

Four men were later arrested in connection with the girl’s death
The girl’s father had accused 18 men of killing his daughter.

Meanwhile, district officials in Shariatpur have been ordered to explain why they failed to prevent the raped girl from being whipped to death.

Law enforcement agencies have also been ordered to submit a report to the High Court within three weeks detailing what steps they are taking to prevent future extra-judicial punishments.

Several human rights organizations have also expressed concern over the incident and demanded punitive action against fatwa imposers.


Agenzia Fides REPORT – Recently Somalia's self-declared independent region of Somaliland has experienced an increase in landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO). In a note from Ahmed Ali Maah, director of the Somaliland Mine Action Center (SMAC), a copy of which was sent to Fides, he says that child victims of land mines have recently increased in Somaliland. “Some 93 children have been killed by landmines in the past three years,” says the director. In December two were wounded and in Januray, three died and another five were wounded. The latest incident occurred on 27 January in Sheedaha settlement in Hargeisa's Kodbur District: One child died and two others were injured when a landmine exploded in a playground. According to SMAC, landmines were laid in Somaliland over two decades, and during three different conflicts. The first conflict (1964) and the second (1977-78) were between the Somali Democratic Republic and Ethiopia over what is now Ethiopia's Somali Region. The third conflict (1981-91) was when the Somali National Movement waged an armed struggle against the Somali National Army of the then Somali president, Mohamed Siyad Barre. According to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), 400,000-800,000 landmines were laid in Somaliland between 1988 and 1991 alone. At least 24 types of anti-personnel mines from 10 different countries have been identified in Somaliland. UN officials are calling for mine awareness education in schools.



Father Maurizio Pettená CS


Pope Benedict has appointed the director of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office, Father Maurizio Pettená CS, as a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Refugees, said reports in the Catholic Weekly and Zenit.

"This appointment will give the Church in Australia the opportunity to bring the wealth of their pastoral experience in the service of migrants and refugees to the wider Church," he said in the Catholic Weekly.Fr Maurizio, a member of the order of Scalabrinians of Charles Borromeo, brings to this new position more than 20 years of pastoral experience from work in countries such as Italy, Argentina, the Philippines and Australia.

Fr Maurizio said he was honoured to have been appointed to the post, and hopes that it will give more prominence to issues facing migrants and refugees in Australia.

"The Church in Australia is without doubt a multicultural church," he said. "The impact of migration is more and more visible especially in parish life, and in the priests serving the dioceses and in the membership of religious congregations,"

Fr Maurizio dedicated his appointment to the late Bishop Joseph Grech, who was the Australian Catholic Bishops delegate for Migrant and Refugee issues.

"Migrants and refugees are an ongoing hot-button issue in Australian politics. Prior to his death, Bishop Joe Grech intervened frequently on issues pertaining to the welcome of asylum seekers and refugees, and two other Australian bishops (Bishop Eugene Hurley and Bishop Christopher Saunders) have also come out in defence of asylum seekers since Bishop Joe's death.

The pontiff named several new members for the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travellers and appointed five consultors, including Fr Maurizio, according to a report in Zenit.


Presentation of Child Jesus in the Temple

Feast: February 2


Feast Day:February 2

The law of God, given by Moses to the Jews, to insinuate both to us and to them, that by the sin of Adam man is conceived and born in sin, and obnoxious to his wrath, ordained that a woman, after childbirth, should continue for a certain time in a state which that law calls unclean; during which she was not to appear in public, nor presume to touch any thing consecrated to God. This term was of forty days upon the birth of a son, and the time was double for a daughter: on the expiration of which, the mother was to bring to the door of the tabernacle, or temple, a lamb of a year old. and a young pigeon or turtle-dove. The lamb was for a holocaust, or burnt-offering, in acknowledgment of the sovereignty of God, and in thanksgiving for her own happy delivery; the pigeon or turtle-dove was for a sin-offering. These being sacrificed to Almighty God by the priest, the woman was cleansed of the legal impurity, and reinstated in her former privileges.

A young pigeon, or turtle-dove, by way of a sin-offering, was required of all, whether rich or poor: but whereas the charge of a lamb might be too burdensome on persons of narrow circumstances, in that case, nothing more was required, then two pigeons, or two turtle-doves, one for a burnt, the other for a sin-offering.

Our Saviour having been conceived by the Holy Ghost, and his blessed Mother remaining always a spotless virgin, it is most evident from the terms of the law, that she was, in reality, under no obligation to it, nor within the intent of it. She was, however, within the letter of the law, in the eye of the world, who were as yet strangers to her miraculous conception. And her humility making her perfectly resigned, and even desirous to conceal her privilege and dignity, she submitted with great punctuality and exactness to every humbling circumstance which the law required. Pride indeed proclaims its own advantages, and seeks honors not its due; but the humble find their delight in obscurity and abasement, they shun all distinction and esteem which they clearly see their own nothingness and baseness to be most unworthy of: they give all glory to God alone, to whom it is due. Devotion also and zeal to honor God by every observance prescribed by his law, prompted Mary to perform this act of religion, though evidently exempt from the precept. Being poor herself; she made the offering appointed for the poor: accordingly is this part of the law mentioned by St. Luke, as best agreeing with the meanness of her worldly condition. But her offering, however mean in itself, was made with a perfect heart, which is what God chiefly regards in all that is offered to him. The King of Glory would appear everywhere in the robes of poverty, to point out to us the advantages of a suffering and lowly state, and to repress our pride, by which, though really poor and mean in the eyes of God, we covet to appear rich, and, though sinners, would be deemed innocents and saints.

A second great mystery is honored this day, regarding more immediately the person of our Redeemer, viz. his presentation in the temple. Besides the law which obliged the mother to purify herself, there was another which ordered that the first-born son should be offered to God: and in these two laws were included several others, as, that the child, after its presentation, should be ransomed with a certain sum of money, and peculiar sacrifices offered on the occasion.

Mary complies exactly with all these ordinances. She obeys not only in the essential points of the law, as in presenting herself to be purified, and in her offering her first-born, but has strict regard to all the circumstances. She remains forty days at home, she denies herself all this time the liberty of. entering the temple, she partakes not of things sacred, though the living temple of the God of Israel; and on the day of her purification, she walks several miles to Jerusalem, with the world's Redeemer in her arms. She waits for the priest at the gate of the temple, makes her offerings of thanksgiving and expiation, presents her divine Son by the hands of the priest to his eternal Father, with the most profound humility, adoration, and thanksgiving. She then redeems him with five shekels, as the law appoints, and receives him back again as a depositum in her special care, till the Father shall again demand him for the full accomplishment of man's redemption. It is clear that Christ was not comprehended in the law; "The king's son, to whom the inheritance of the crown belongs, is exempt from servitude:- much more Christ, who was the Redeemer both of our souls and bodies, was not subject to any law by which he was to be himself redeemed," as St. Hilary observes. But he would set an example of humility, obedience, and devotion: and would renew, in a solemn and public manner, and in the temple, the oblation of himself to his Father for the accomplishment of his will, and the redemption of man, which he had made privately in the first moment of his Incarnation. With what sentiments did the divine Infant offer himself to his Father at the same time! the greatest homage of his honour and glory the Father could receive, and a sacrifice of satisfaction adequate to the injuries done to the Godhead by our sins, and sufficient to ransom our souls from everlasting death! With what cheerfulness and charity did he offer himself to all his torments! to be whipped, crowned with thorns, and ignominiously put to death for us!

Let every Christian learn hence to offer himself to God with this divine victim, through which he may be accepted by the Father; let him devote himself with all his senses and faculties to his service. If sloth, or any other vice, has made us neglectful of this essential duty, we must bewail past omissions, and make a solemn and serious consecration of ourselves this day to the divine majesty with the greater fervor, crying out with St. Austin, in compunction of heart: "Too late have I known thee, too late have I begun to love thee, O beauty more ancient than the world!" But our sacrifice, if we desire it may be accepted, must not be lame and imperfect. It would be an insult to offer to God, in union with his Christ, a divided heart, or a heart infected with wilful sin. It must therefore first be cleansed by tears of sincere compunction: its affections must be crucified to the world by perfect mortification. Our offering must be sincere and fervent, without reserve, allowing no quarter to any of our vicious passions and inclinations, and no division in any of our affections. It must also be universal; to suffer and to do all for the divine honor. If we give our hearts to Christ in this manner, we shall receive him with his graces and benedictions. He would be presented in the temple by the hands of his mother: let us accordingly make the offering of our souls through Mary and beg his graces through the same channel.

The ceremony of this day was closed by a third mystery, the. meeting in the temple of the holy persons, Simeon and Anne, with Jesus and his parents, from which this festival was anciently called by the Greeks Hypante, the meeting. Holy Simeon, on that occasion, received into his arms the object of all his desires and sighs, and praised God in raptures of devotion for being blessed with the happiness of beholding the so much longed-for Messias. He foretold to Mary her martyrdom of sorrow; and that Jesus brought redemption to those who would accept of it on the terms it was offered them; but a heavy judgment on all infidels who should obstinately reject it, and on Christians also whose lives were a contradiction to his holy maxims and example. Mary, hearing this terrible prediction, did not answer one word, felt no agitation of mind from the present, no dread for the future; but courageously and sweetly committed all to God's holy will. Anne also, the prophetess, who, in her widowhood, served God with great fervor, had the happiness to acknowledge and adore in this great mystery the world's Redeemer. Amidst the crowd of priests and people, the Saviour of the world is known only by Simeon and Anne. Even when he disputed with the doctors, and when he wrought the most stupendous miracles, the learned, the wise, and the princes did not know him. Yet here, while a weak, speechless child, carried in the arms of his poor mother, he is acknowledged and adored by Simeon and Anne. He could not hide himself from those who sought him with fervor, humility, and ardent love. Unless we seek him in these dispositions, he will not manifest himself, nor communicate his graces to us. Simeon, having beheld his Saviour in the flesh, desired no longer to see the light of this world, nor any creatures on earth If we truly love God, our distance from him must be a continual pain: and we must sigh after that desired moment which will free us from the danger of ever losing him by sin, and will put us in possession of Him who is the joy of the blessed, and the infinite treasure of heaven. Let us never cease to pray that he purify our hearts from all earthly dross, and draw them to himself: that he heal, satiate, and inflame our souls, as he only came upon earth to kindle in all hearts the fire of his love.


TODAY'S GOSPEL: FEB. 2: LUKE 2: 22- 40

Luke 2: 22 - 40
22And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord")24and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."25Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.26And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.27And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,28he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,29"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word;30for mine eyes have seen thy salvation31which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,32a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."33And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him;34and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against35(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."36And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity,37and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.38And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.39And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.40And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

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