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Sunday, November 20, 2011

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: SUN. NOV. 20, 2011










VATICAN : POPE : AFRICA HIGHLIGHTS OF PAPAL TRIP

EUROPE: GREAT BRITAIN : YOUNG GIRL SAVES LIFE OF BABY

ASIA : INDIA : NUN'S FUNERAL ATTENDED BY THOUSANDS

AFRICA : CARDINAL ARINZE PREDICTS LASTING EFFECTS OF VISIT

AUSTRALIA : PERTH ART AWARD IN NEW FAITH CENTRE

AMERICA : PERU : YOUTH WITHOUT BORDERS 36 YEAR CELEBRATION

TODAY'S SAINT: NOV. 20: ST. EDMUND THE MARTYR


SUNDAY MASS ONLINE AND READINGS: FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING


VATICAN : POPE : AFRICA HIGHLIGHTS OF PAPAL TRIP

VIS REPORTS : TO CHILDREN: ASK YOUR PARENTS TO PRAY WITH YOU

VATICAN CITY, 19 NOV 2011 (VIS) - Shortly before 5 p.m. today, Benedict XVI visited the Home of Peace and Happiness in Cotonou, where six sisters of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity look after dozens of abandoned and sick children, and feed may others from the local area who suffer malnutrition.

(IMAGES SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

The Pope was welcomed by the children with songs and dances. Having prayed with them he visited the centre then, accompanied by the infants, went on to the nearby parish church of St. Rita where a further 800 children from the city were awaiting his arrival. The celebration began with the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, after which Bishop Rene-Marie Ehuzu C.I.M. of Porto Novo arose to pronounce a greeting in the name of all those present. The Holy Father then delivered his address.

"It is with much joy that I greet you", he said. "Thank you for coming out in such great numbers! God our Father has gathered us around His Son and our Brother, Jesus Christ, ... Who loves us very much, is truly present in the tabernacles of all the churches around the world, in the tabernacles of the churches in your neighbourhoods and in your parishes. I ask you to visit Him often to tell Him of your love for Him.

"Some of you have already made your First Holy Communion, and others are preparing for it", the Pope added. "When I receive Communion, Jesus comes to live in me. I should welcome Him with love and listen closely to Him. In the depths of my heart, I can tell Him, for example: 'Jesus, I know that you love me. Give me your love so that I can love you in return and love others with your love. I give you all my joys, my troubles and my future.' Do not hesitate, dear children, to speak of Jesus to others. He is a treasure Whom you should share generously".

"Prayer", the Pope went on, "is a cry of love directed to God our Father, with the will to imitate Jesus our Brother. ... Like Jesus, I too can find a calm place to pray where I can quietly stand before a Cross or a holy picture in order to speak to Jesus and to listen to Him. I can also use the Gospels. That way, I keep within my heart a passage which has touched me and which will guide me throughout the day. To stay with Jesus like this for a little while lets Him fill me with His love, light and life! This love, which I receive in prayer, calls me in turn to give it to my parents, to my friends, to everyone with whom I live, even with those who do not like me, and those whom I do not appreciate enough. ... Ask your parents to pray with you!"

"Look! I have this rosary in my pocket", the Holy Father explained. "The rosary is like a tool that we can use to pray. It is easy to pray the rosary. Maybe you know how already; if not, ask your parents to help you to learn how. At the end of this meeting, each one of you will receive a rosary. When you hold it in your hands, you can pray ... for every important intention. And now, before I bless you all with great affection, let us pray together a Hail Mary for children throughout the world, especially for those who are sick, who are hungry and in places of war".

Having imparted his blessing, the Pope travelled by popemobile to the apostolic nunciature in Cotonou where he was due to meet with bishops of Benin.

PV-BENIN/ VIS 20111120 (630)

SCRIPTURE IS A SOURCE OF CONSTANT RENEWAL

VATICAN CITY, 19 NOV 2011 (VIS) - This evening in the chapel of the apostolic nunciature in Cotonou, the bishops of Benin - a country with ten dioceses - met with the Pope. In his remarks he reminded them that the nation is currently celebrating the 150th anniversary of its evangelisation, which was begun by the Society of African Missions.

"To all the missionaries, bishops, priests, men and women religious, and lay people who have come from their own homeland or whose origins are in this country, who have laboured since that time and up to our own day, the Church is particularly grateful", the Pope said. "They have generously given their lives, at times in a heroic manner, so that the love of God may be proclaimed to all.

"The celebration of this Jubilee must be for your communities and for each of their members, an occasion of profound spiritual renewal", he added. "It falls to you, as pastors of the People of God, to discern its dimensions in the light of the Word of God. The Year of Faith, which I announced to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II, will certainly be a propitious occasion for enabling the faithful to rediscover and to deepen their faith in the Person of the Saviour of Man. It is because they chose to place Christ at the centre of their lives that, in the past 150 years, men and women have had the courage to place everything at the service of the Gospel. Today, this same approach must be at the heart of the whole Church. ... This attitude requires a constant conversion in order to give new strength to the prophetic dimension of our proclamation. ... This meeting with Christ must be solidly rooted in openness to and meditation on the Word of God. The Scriptures must have a central place in the life of the Church and of each Christian. Hence, I encourage you to help them to rediscover Scripture as a source of constant renewal, so that it may unify the daily lives of the faithful and be ever more at the heart of every ecclesial activity".

Pope Benedict went on: "The Church cannot keep this Word of God to herself; hers is the vocation to announce it to the world. This Jubilee Year should be a privileged occasion for the Church in Benin to give renewed vigour to her missionary consciousness. Apostolic zeal, which should animate all the faithful, is a direct result of their Baptism, and they cannot shirk their responsibility to profess their faith in Christ and His Gospel wherever they find themselves, and in their daily lives. ... On the other hand, as I emphasised in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation 'Verbum Domini', 'In no way can the Church restrict her pastoral work to the ordinary maintenance of those who already know the Gospel of Christ. Missionary outreach is a clear sign of the maturity of an ecclesial community'. The Church, therefore, must reach out to everyone".

"So that the world may believe this Word which the Church proclaims, it is indispensable that Christ's disciples be united among themselves. As leaders and pastors of your people, you are called to have a lively consciousness of the sacramental fraternity which unites you, and of the unique mission which has been entrusted to you, so that you may be effective signs and promoters of unity within your dioceses. ... The difficulties which are met along the way and which can at times be serious, must never lead to discouragement, but on the contrary become incentives to the awakening among priests and bishops of a deep spiritual life".

"The formation of the future priests of your dioceses is a reality to which you must pay particular attention", the Holy Father told the prelates, encouraging them "to make it one of your pastoral priorities. It is absolutely necessary that a solid human, intellectual and spiritual formation allow young people to attain a personal, psychological and affective maturity, which prepares them to assume to duties of the priesthood, especially in the area of interpersonal relations".

"The episcopal ministry to which the Lord has called you has its share of joys and sorrows. To each of you present here this evening, I would like to leave a word of hope. In the course of the last 150 years, the Lord has done great things in the midst of the people of Benin. Be assured that He will continue to accompany you from day to day in your commitment to the work of evangelisation. Always be pastors after the heart of God, authentic servants of the Gospel. It is precisely this that men and women of our times expect from you".

Following the meeting, the Pope dined with the Beninese bishops in the apostolic nunciature.

PV-BENIN/ VIS 20111120 (820)

GOD CALLS ON US TO RESPOND TO THE CRY OF THE POOR

VATICAN CITY, 20 NOV 2011 (VIS) - Today, Solemnity of Christ the King, the Holy Father concelebrated the Eucharist with more than 200 African bishops and around a thousand Beninese priests at the "Stade de l'amitie" in Cotonou. Among those present were Thomas Yayi Boni, president of Benin, as well as many other institutional figures and some 30,000 pilgrims, not just from Benin but also from Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Burkina Faso. The ceremony was held in Latin, French, Mina, Yoruba, Dendi, Portuguese and English.

Extracts from Benedict XVI's homily are given below.

"It is a great joy for me to visit for the second time this dear continent of Africa, coming among you, in Benin, to address to you a message of hope and of peace. ... Our Eucharistic celebration on the Solemnity of Christ the King is an occasion to give thanks to God for the 150 years that have passed since the beginnings of the evangelisation of Benin; it is also an occasion to express our gratitude to Him for the Second Special Assembly of the Synod of African Bishops".

"The Gospel which we have just heard tells us that Jesus, the Son of Man, the ultimate judge of our lives, wished to appear as one who hungers and thirsts, as a stranger, as one of those who are naked, sick or imprisoned, ultimately, of those who suffer or are outcast; how we treat them will be taken as the way we treat Jesus Himself. We do not see here a simple literary device, or a simple metaphor. Jesus' entire existence is an example of it. ... He who had nowhere to lay His head, was condemned to death on a cross. This is the King we celebrate!

"Without a doubt this can appear a little disconcerting to us. Today, like 2000 years ago, accustomed to seeing the signs of royalty in success, power, money and ability, we find it hard to accept such a king, a king who makes himself the servant of the little ones, of the most humble, a king whose throne is a cross. And yet, the Scriptures tell us, in this is the glory of Christ revealed; it is in the humility of His earthly existence that He finds His power to judge the world. For Him, to reign is to serve! And what He asks of us is to follow Him along the way, to serve, to be attentive to the cry of the poor, the weak, the outcast.

"The baptised know that the decision to follow Christ can entail great sacrifices, at times even the sacrifice of one's life. However, as St. Paul reminds us, Christ has overcome death and He brings us with Him in His resurrection. He introduces us to a new world, a world of freedom and joy. Today, so much still binds us to the world of the past, so many fears hold us prisoners and prevent us from living in freedom and happiness. Let us allow Christ to free us from the world of the past!"

"The words of the Gospel are truly words of hope, because the King of the universe has drawn near to us, the servant of the least and lowliest. Here I would like to greet with affection all those persons who are suffering, those who are sick, those affected by AIDS or by other illnesses, to all those forgotten by society. Have courage! The Pope is close to you in his thoughts and prayers. Have courage! Jesus wanted to identify Himself with the poor, with the sick; He wanted to share your suffering and to see you as His brothers and sisters, to free you from every affliction, from all suffering. Every sick person, every poor person deserves our respect and our love because, through them, God shows us the way to heaven".

Christians, builders of peace

"This morning, I invite you once again to rejoice with me. One hundred and fifty years ago the cross of Christ was raised in your country, and the Gospel was proclaimed for the first time. ... Everyone who has received this marvellous gift of faith, this gift of an encounter with the risen Lord, feels in turn the need to proclaim it to others. ... And this duty is always urgent! After 150 years, many are those who have not heard the message of salvation in Christ! Many, too, are those who are hesitant to open their hearts to the Xord of God! Many are those whose faith is weak".

"The Church in Benin has received much from her missionaries: she must in turn carry this message of hope to people who do not know or who no longer know the Lord Jesus. ... The Christian is a tireless builder of communion, peace and solidarity, gifts which Jesus Himself has given us. By being faithful to Him, we will cooperate in the realisation of God's plan of salvation for humanity".

"I urge you, therefore, to strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ, to be authentically converted to Him. He alone gives us the true life and can liberate us for all our fears and sluggishness, from all our anguish. ... May Jesus Christ give you strength to live as Christians and to find ways to transmit generously to new generations what you have received from your fathers in faith!"

The Holy Father then addressed some words in English to pilgrims from Ghana, Nigeria and neighbouring countries. "Christ reigns from the Cross and, with His arms open wide, He embraces all the peoples of the world and draws them into unity. Through the Cross, He breaks down the walls of division, He reconciles us with each other and with the Father. We pray today for the people of Africa, that all may be able to live in justice, peace and the joy of the Kingdom of God".

Finally, the Pope had words for Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, whom he invited "to renew your decision to belong to Christ and to serve His Kingdom of reconciliation, justice and peace".

PV-BENIN/ VIS 20111120 (1030)

CHURCH IN AFRICA: AMID HER TRIBULATION, LIGHT OF THE WORLD

VATICAN CITY, 20 NOV 2011 (VIS) - Following this morning's Mass, the Holy Father consigned the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Africae munus" to presidents of national and regional episcopal conferences in Africa, and to presidents of the synods of Eastern Catholic Churches.

"Upon the reception of this Exhortation, the phase of assimilation and application of its theological, ecclesiological, spiritual and pastoral data begins at the local level. This text seeks to promote, encourage and consolidate the various local initiatives already in place. It seeks as well to inspire other initiatives for the upbuilding of the Catholic Church in Africa", the Holy Father explained.

"One of the first missions of the Church is the proclamation of Jesus Christ and His Gospel 'ad gentes'. ... I hope that this Exhortation will guide you in the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus in Africa. It is not just a message or a word. It is above all openness and adhesion to a person: Jesus Christ the incarnate Word. He alone possesses the words of life eternal! Following the example of Christ, all Christians are called to reflect the mercy of the Father and the light of the Holy Spirit. Evangelisation presupposes and brings with it reconciliation and it promotes peace and justice.

"Dear Church in Africa", the Holy Father added in conclusion, "become ever more fully the salt of the earth, this earth which Jesus Christ blessed with His presence when He took refuge here! Be the salt of the African earth, blessed by the blood of so many matters, men, women and children, witnesses of the Christian faith even to the supreme gift of their lives! Become the light of the world, the light in Africa which seeks, amid tribulations, the path of peace and justice for all its citizens. Your light is Jesus, the Christ, 'the Light of the World'. May God bless you, dear Africa!"

The Holy Father then prayed the Angelus, entrusting to the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Africa, "the new chapter now opening for the Church on this continent, asking her to accompany the future evangelisation of Africa as a whole".

"Dear brothers and sisters of Africa, this land which sheltered the Holy Family, may you continue to cultivate Christian family values. At a time when so many families are separated, in exile, grief-stricken as a result of unending conflicts, may you be artisans of reconciliation and hope. With Mary, Our Lady of the Magnificat, may you always abide in joy. May this joy remain deep within hearts of your families and your countries!"

PV-BENIN/ VIS 20111120 (440)

EUROPE: GREAT BRITAIN : YOUNG GIRL SAVES LIFE OF BABY

CATHOLIC HERALD REPORT: Sixth-former at East London Catholic school used first aid skills to save the life of a 14-month-old baby

By STAFF REPORTER on Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Teenager saves life of baby

Naa Kai used her first-aid skills to revive a one-year-old boy Norman Hayden

A sixth-former at an East London Catholic school proved the heroine of the hour when she recently used newly acquired first aid skills to save a baby’s life.

Naa Kai Laryea, 16, who is studying four A-levels at Bishop Challoner Catholic Collegiate School in Tower Hamlets, had just returned from school and was walking near her home in Hackney on October 31.

The next moment, a distraught mother rushed out of her house and into the street carrying her baby, who was not breathing.
Solicitor Gianna Gudsell was screaming frantically, holding her 14-month-old son, Hector, who was limp and unconscious.
The 35-year old mother had been washing Hector in the bath when he slipped and hit his head.

Naa Kai took control of the situation, held Hector and set about reviving him using the first aid skills gained at her local church only a month before.

Naa Kai, having completed a St John’s Ambulance course, knew to pat Hector’s back as he seemed to be choking. Her action worked, as the baby was then sick and began breathing again.

“Because I knew what to do I wasn’t scared,” said Naa Kai. “He was freezing cold, but then his heart started beating really fast. I was calm, but even calmer when I heard his heart beat. He was still really pale and I was trying to keep him conscious until the ambulance came. I was talking to him, tickling him and moving him around a lot.”

The ambulance arrived shortly afterwards, and after treatment at the Homerton Hospital he is now back at home.
Naa Kai is studying English, Philosophy and Ethics, Media and Textiles at Bishop Challoner.

Her story appeared in the Evening Standard and the website London24 named her Londoner of the Day.

AFRICA : CARDINAL ARINZE PREDICTS LASTING EFFECTS OF VISIT


CISA REPORT: VATICAN CITY, November 18, 2011 (CISA) -Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze says Pope Benedict’s upcoming visit to Benin will leave behind a positive and lasting legacy for all Africans.
“Catholics, other Christians in Africa and, indeed, those who are not Christian are all concerned in this visit,” the cardinal told Vatican Radio on November 17.
Cardinal Arinze, 79, will accompany Pope Benedict on his three day visit to the small West African state which starts today. The Cardinal served as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship until 2008 when he retired.
The primary reason for the Pope’s visit is to allow the pontiff to sign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation from 2009′s synod of African bishops in Rome. The document, which is the Pope’s own response to that meeting, aims to help chart a path for the future of the Church in Africa.
Cardinal Arinze explained that the topic of that synod in 2009 was the Church in Africa “in the service of reconciliation, justice and peace” and noted, “this concerns all of us all…these go beyond religious frontiers.”
He hopes that many Africans will read the exhortation since “in these days of modern especially the computer, it is not difficult to download the full document so that it can be studied carefully by individuals and groups.”
Cardinal Arinze added that he wants journalists, academics, teachers, politicians and other societal leaders to “dissect it, digest it, study it and ask themselves what action this document asks us to take to promote reconciliation, justice and peace in our continent?”
During his three day visit, Pope Benedict will also mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first Catholic missionaries to Benin and will pay a visit to the tomb of his late friend, Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, who died in 2008. The two worked together in the Roman curia for over 25 years.
Ambassador Loko recalled how Pope Benedict had once described Cardinal Gantin to him as “an African who gave much to the world.”
Cardinal Gantin is “a son of Benin who can be called today the first ambassador of Benin because through him many people know about Benin,” said the ambassador, adding, “among the people of Benin he is seen as a model of service.”http://www.cisanewsafrica.com/

AUSTRALIA : PERTH ART AWARD IN NEW FAITH CENTRE

PERTH DIOCESE REPORT:

Article & Photos: B Spinks

Archbishop Barry James Hickey launched the Mandorla Art Award’s Retrospective Exhibition Opening on 11 November at The Faith Centre - a collection of the winners of this major religious national art prize dating back 26 years.

This Retrospective Exhibition is the first event aimed at cultural evangelisation to be held at The Faith Centre since the Centre’s Opening by Archbishop Hickey in September.

Featured artists in the The Faith Centre for the Retrospective Exhibition include the Mandorla Art Award 1996 winner John Coburn, 1997 winner Nigel Hewitt and 2000 winner and notable Aboriginal artist, Julie Dowling.

The Highly Commended and People’s Choice award winning entry last year is also featured: ‘I am your neighbour’ by Charles Booth (below) as is Jánis Nedéla’s ‘The golden rule,’ which was Highly Commended in last year’s competition.

Perth’s Anglican Archbishop Roger Herft (pictured below with Archbishop Hickey) launched the 2012 Mandorla Art Award and spoke on its theme for 2012 from Galatians 4:4 ‘Born of a Woman’.

Submissions for next year’s Mandorla Art Award are open until 1 June 2012 and there is a $42,000 prize pool up for grabs.

There are two categories: the Mandorla Art Award for artists 18 years and over, and the Mandorla Youth Art Award for artists 16-25.

Moderator of the Uniting Church, Rev Ron Larkin launched the Calendar, which doubles as a catalogue of beautiful winning artwork.

Archbishop Hickey, Archbishop Herft and Rev Ron Larkin are all patrons of the Mandorla Art Award.

Angela McCarthy, Chair of the Mandorla Art Award committee hoped that viewing these contemporary interpretations of ancient biblical themes will enliven our faith, and renew our interest in the Gospel.

Visit The Faith Centre this week to see the exhibition...

The collection of winning entries for the Mandorla Art Award will be housed in The Faith Centre, 450 Hay St, Perth from 12-20 November. It is open to the public for free. For more information, visitwww.thefaith.org.au or www.mandoralaart.com Calendars will be on sale in The Faith Centre this week for $20 each.

Photo Gallery from the Retrospective Exhibition Opening...



ASIA : INDIA : NUN'S FUNERAL ATTENDED BY THOUSANDS

UCAN REPORT: Sister Valsa John laid to rest, witness reveals how she was attacked
Ajit Paul, Ranchi
India
November 18, 2011
Catholic Church News Image of Thousands attend nun’s funeral
Sr Valsa's home

Thousands bid a tearful farewell to Sister Valsa John, the murdered nun who was laid to rest at St Paul’s Cathedral in Jharkhand’s Pakur district yesterday while details emerged as to how she actually died.

The cathedral in the eastern Indian state was packed with mourners, while many more stood outside for the funeral Mass for the nun, who was hacked to death on Tuesday night.

The Mass was concelebrated by 50 priests.

Father Tom Kavalakatt SJ, director of the Social Action Centre at Kodm in, Dumka, delivered the homily, saying Sr. Valsa “had dedicated her life to poor people. She was the voice for the poor.”

Two hundred nuns also joined members of Sr John’s family, including her brother and two nephews, at the funeral.

“The poor have lost a benefactor. The religious sister was serving the poor, especially tribals, and fighting for justice,” said Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi.

He said her death brought “shame on the state,” and demanded a high-level investigation to “reveal mysteries behind the murder.”

Dumka zone Deputy Iinspector General Vinay Kumar Pandey said Sr. John was a prominent social figure in Santhal Pargana, the village where she worked.

“For the past 12 years, she had been involved in social action in the region. She became known after she launched campaigns against displacement and pollution,” caused by mining companies, he said.

The tribal activist also ran a school, providing free education to 140 children. She also ran a dispensary offering free medicine to village people.

On Tuesday night, the nun was sleeping in the house of a villager called Sonaram Hembrom when around 30-40 people armed with crude weapons laid siege to the house.

“They pulled Sister Valsa from her bed,” Hembrom said yesterday.

“One of them stabbed her in the neck while another hit her with a sickle on the head. They continued stabbing her till she died,” he said.

Authorities are still trying to establish a motive for the killing and identify possible suspects.

http://www.ucanews.com/2011/11/18/thousands-attend-nun%E2%80%99s-funeral/

AMERICA : PERU : YOUTH WITHOUT BORDERS 36 YEAR CELEBRATION

Agenzia Fides REPORT - On December 3, feast of St. Francis Xavier, Patron of the Missions, the group "Youth Without Borders" (JSF) in Peru will celebrate 36 years of commitment to pastoral youth sponsored by the Pontifical Mission Societies in Peru, supporting in particular, the Society for the Propagation of the faith
The main goal of JSF (the acronym in Spanish) is "to encourage thousands of young people of Peru to continue on this path of the mission, inviting young people to fall in love with a young Christ who asks to follow him". That is why this year the invitation has been extended to a greater number of young people, as many as possible, delivering the message of salvation "Christ loves us," as the PMS of Peru refers to Fides.
The movement was founded by Mgr. Felipe María Zalba Elizalde, O.P (Bishop of Chuquibamba, who died in 1999), at the time was the PMS National Director of Peru. On December 3, 1975 the First CUAM (Course of missionary animation) was held for young people in the buildings provided by the Pontifical Mission Societies. Since then, the missionary work of the JSF has not stopped. Peru was the first country where JSF was born, followed by Ecuador. Currently the JSF are also present in Paraguay, Bolivia and Canada. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 19/11/2011)

TODAY'S SAINT: NOV. 20: ST. EDMUND THE MARTYR




St. Edmund the Martyr
KING AND MARTYR
Feast: November 20
Information:
Feast Day:
November 20
Born:
841 probably at Nuremburg, Germany
Died:
Hoxne, Suffolk, England 20 November 870
Patron of:
against plague, kings, torture victims, wolves

Though from the time of King Egbert, in 802, the Kings of the West-Saxons were monarchs of all England, yet several kings reigned in certain parts after that time, in some measure subordinate to them. One Offa was King of the East-Angles, who, being desirous to end his days in penance and devotion to Rome, resigned his crown to St. Edmund, at that time only fifteen years of age, but a most virtuous prince, and descended from the old English-Saxon kings of this isle. The saint was placed on the throne of his ancestors, as Lydgate, Abbo, and others express themselves, and was crowned by Humbert, Bishop of Elman, on Christmas Day, in 855, at Burum, a royal villa on the Stour, now called Bures, or Buers. Though very young, he was by his piety, goodness, humility, and all other virtues, the model of good princes. He was a declared enemy of flatterers and informers, and would see with his own eyes and hear with his own ears, to avoid being surprised into a wrong judgment, or imposed upon by the passions or ill designs of others. The peace and happiness of his people were his whole concern, which he endeavoured to establish by an impartial administration of justice and religious regulations in his dominions. He was the father of his subjects, particularly of the poor, the protector of widows and orphans, and the support of the weak. Religion and piety were the most distinguishing part of his character. Monks and devout persons used to know the psalter without book, that they might recite the psalms at work, in travelling, and on every other occasion. To get it by heart St. Edmund lived in retirement a whole year in his royal tower at Hunstanton (which he had built for a country solitude), which place is now a village in Norfolk. The book which the saint used for that purpose was religiously kept at St. Edmundsbury till the dissolution of abbeys.

The holy king had reigned fifteen years when the Danes infested his dominions. Hinguar and Hubba, two brothers, the most barbarous of all the Danish plunderers landing in England, wintered among the East-Angles; then, having made a truce with that nation, they in summer sailed to the north, and landing at the mouth of the Tweed, plundered with fire and sword Northumberland, and afterwards Mercia, directing their march through Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, and Cambridgeshire. Out of a lust of rage and cruelty, and the most implacable aversion to the Christian name, they everywhere destroyed the churches and monasteries; and, as it were in barbarous sport, massacred all priests and religious persons whom they met with. In the great monastery of Coldingham, beyond Berwick, the nuns, fearing not death but insults which might be offered to their chastity, at the instigation of St. Ebba, the holy abbess, cut off their noses and upper lips, that appearing to the barbarians frightful spectacles of horror, they might preserve their virtue from danger; the infidels accordingly were disconcerted at such a sight, and spared their virtue, but put them all to the sword. In their march, amongst other monasteries, those of Bardney, Crowland, Peterborough, Ely, and Huntingdon were levelled with the ground, and the religious inhabitants murdered. In the Cathedral of Peterborough is shown a monument (removed thither from a place without the building) called Monks'-Stone, on which are the effigies of an abbot and several monks. It stood over the pit in which fourscore monks of this house were interred, whom Hinguar and Hubba massacred in 870. The barbarians, reeking with blood, poured down upon St. Edmund's dominions, burning Thetford, the first town they met with, and laying waste all before them. The people, relying upon the faith of treaties, thought themselves secure, and were unprepared. However, the good king raised what forces he could, met the infidels, or at least a part of their army near Thetford, and discomfited them. But seeing them soon after reinforced with fresh numbers, against which his small body was not able to make any stand, and being unwilling to sacrifice the lives of his soldiers in vain, and grieving for the eternal loss of the souls of his enemies, who would be slain in a fruitless engagement, he disbanded his troops and retired himself towards his castle of Framlingham, in Suffolk. The barbarian had sent him proposals which were inconsistent both with religion and with the justice which he owed to his people. These the saint rejected, being resolved rather to die a victim of his faith and duty to God, than to do anything against his conscience and religion. In his flight he was over taken and surrounded by infidels at Oxon, upon the Waveney: he concealed himself for some short time, but, being discovered, was bound with heavy chains and conducted to the general's tent. Terms were again offered him equally prejudicial to religion and to his people, which the holy Icing refused to confirm, declaring that religion was dearer to him than his life, which he would never purchase by offending God. Hinguar, exasperated at this answer, in his barbarous rage caused him to be cruelly beaten with cudgels, then to be tied to a tree and torn a long time together with whips. All this he bore with invincible meekness and patience, never ceasing to call upon the name of Jesus. The infidels were the more exasperated, and as he stood bound to the tree, they made him a mark wantonly to shoot at, till his body was covered with arrows like a porcupine. Hinguar at length, in order to put an end to the butchery, commanded his head to be struck off. Thus the saint finished his martyrdom on the 20th of November, in 870, the fifteenth of his reign, and twenty-ninth of his age; the circumstances of which St. Dunstan learned from one who was armour-bearer to the saint and an eye-witness. The place was then called Henglesdun, now Hoxon, or Hoxne; a priory of monks was afterwards built there which bore the name of the martyr.
The saint's head was carried by the infidels into a wood and thrown into a brake of bushes; but miraculously found by a pillar of light and deposited with the body at Hoxdon. These sacred remains were very soon after conveyed to Bedricsworth, or Kingston, since called St. Edmundsbury, because this place was St. Edmund's own town and private patrimony; not on account of his burial, for in the English-Saxon language signified a court or palace. A church of timber was erected over the place where he was interred, which was thus built according to the fashion of those times. Trunks of large trees were sawn lengthways in the middle and reared up with one end fixed in the ground, with the bark or rough side outermost. These trunks being made of an equal height and set up close to one another, and the interstices filled up with mud or mortar, formed the four walls, upon which was raised a thatched roof. Nor can we be surprised at the homeliness of this structure, since the same was the fabric of the royal rich abbey of Glastonbury, the work of the most munificent and powerful West-Saxon kings, till in latter ages it was built in a stately manner of stone. The precious remains of St. Edmund were honoured with many miracles. In 920, for fear of the barbarians under Turkil the Dane, in the reign of King Ethelred, they were conveyed to London by Alfun, bishop of that city, and the monk Egelwin, or Ailwin, the keeper of this sacred treasure, who never abandoned it. After remaining three years in the Church of St. Gregory, in London, it was translated again with honour to St. Edmundsbury in 923. The great church of timberwork stood till King Knute, or Canutus, to make reparation for the injuries his father Swein, or Sweno, had done to this place and to the relics of the martyr, built and founded there, in 1020, a new most magnificent church and abbey in honour of this holy martyr. The unparalleled piety, humility, meekness, and other virtues of St. Edmund are admirably set forth by our historians. This incomparable prince and holy martyr was considered by succeeding English kings as their special patron, and as an accomplished model of all royal virtues. The feast of St. Edmund is reckoned among the holidays of precept in this kingdom by the national council of Oxford in 1222; but is omitted in the constitutions of Archbishop Simon Islep, who retrenched certain holidays in 1362.

SUNDAY MASS ONLINE AND READINGS: FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING

Ezekiel 34: 11 - 12, 15 - 17
11"For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.
12As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some of his sheep have been scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.
15I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD.
16I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the crippled, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will watch over; I will feed them in justice.
17"As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, rams and he-goats.

Psalms 23: 1 - 3, 5 - 6
1The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want;
2he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters;
3he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
1 Corinthians 15: 20 - 26, 28
20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
23But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
24Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
28When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things under him, that God may be everything to every one.

Matthew 25: 31 - 46
31"When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
32Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
33and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.
34Then the King will say to those at his right hand, `Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'
37Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?
38And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?
39And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?'
40And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'
41Then he will say to those at his left hand, `Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'
44Then they also will answer, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?'
45Then he will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.'
46And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


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