Thursday, December 22, 2011




VATICAN CITY, 22 DEC 2011 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received cardinals along with members of the Roman Curia and of the Governance of the Vatican City State for the traditional exchange of Christmas and New Year's greetings. Speaking for those present, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, greeted the Pontiff. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

Below we publish the full text of the Pope Benedict XVI’s discourse to the Roman Curia on the occasion of the exchange of greetings, Christmas 2011.Dear Cardinals,
Brother Bishops and Priests,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The occasion that brings us together today is always particularly moving. The holy feast of Christmas is almost upon us and it prompts the great family of the Roman Curia to come together for a gracious exchange of greetings, as we wish one another a joyful and spiritually fruitful celebration of this feast of the God who became flesh and established his dwelling in our midst (cf. Jn 1:14). For me, this is an occasion not only to offer you my personal good wishes, but also to express my gratitude and that of the Church to each one of you for your generous service; I ask you to convey this to all the co-workers of our extended family. I offer particular thanks to the Dean of the College, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who has given voice to the sentiments of all present and of all who work in the various offices of the Curia and the Governorate, including those whose apostolate is carried out in the Pontifical Representations throughout the world. All of us are committed to spreading throughout the world the resounding message that the angels proclaimed that night in Bethlehem, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will” (Lk 2:14), so as to bring joy and hope to our world.

As this year draws to a close, Europe is undergoing an economic and financial crisis, which is ultimately based on the ethical crisis looming over the Old Continent. Even if such values as solidarity, commitment to one’s neighbour and responsibility towards the poor and suffering are largely uncontroversial, still the motivation is often lacking for individuals and large sectors of society to practise renunciation and make sacrifices. Perception and will do not necessarily go hand in hand. In defending personal interests, the will obscures perception, and perception thus weakened is unable to stiffen the will. In this sense, some quite fundamental questions emerge from this crisis: where is the light that is capable of illuminating our perception not merely with general ideas, but with concrete imperatives? Where is the force that draws the will upwards? These are questions that must be answered by our proclamation of the Gospel, by the new evangelization, so that message may become event, so that proclamation may lead to life.

The key theme of this year, and of the years ahead, is this: how do we proclaim the Gospel today? How can faith as a living force become a reality today? The ecclesial events of the outgoing year were all ultimately related to this theme. There were the journeys to Croatia, to the World Youth Day in Spain, to my home country of Germany, and finally to Africa – Benin – for the consignment of the Post-Synodal document on justice, peace and reconciliation, which should now lead to concrete results in the various local churches. Equally memorable were the journeys to Venice, to San Marino, to the Eucharistic Congress in Ancona, and to Calabria. And finally there was the important day of encounter in Assisi for religions and for people who in whatever way are searching for truth and peace, representing a new step forward in the pilgrimage towards truth and peace. The establishment of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization is at the same time a pointer towards next year’s Synod on the same theme. The Year of Faith, commemorating the beginning of the Council fifty years ago, also belongs in this context. Each of these events had its own particular characteristics. In Germany, where the Reformation began, the ecumenical question, with all its trials and hopes, naturally assumed particular importance. Intimately linked to this, at the focal point of the debate, the question that arises repeatedly is this: what is reform of the Church? How does it take place? What are its paths and its goals? Not only faithful believers but also outside observers are noticing with concern that regular churchgoers are growing older all the time and that their number is constantly diminishing; that recruitment of priests is stagnating; that scepticism and unbelief are growing. What, then, are we to do? There are endless debates over what must be done in order to reverse the trend. There is no doubt that a variety of things need to be done. But action alone fails to resolve the matter. The essence of the crisis of the Church in Europe – as I argued in Freiburg – is the crisis of faith. If we find no answer to this, if faith does not take on new life, deep conviction and real strength from the encounter with Jesus Christ, then all other reforms will remain ineffective.

On this point, the encounter with Africa’s joyful passion for faith brought great encouragement. None of the faith fatigue that is so prevalent here, none of the oft-encountered sense of having had enough of Christianity was detectable there. Amid all the problems, sufferings and trials that Africa clearly experiences, one could still sense the people’s joy in being Christian, buoyed up by inner happiness at knowing Christ and belonging to his Church. From this joy comes also the strength to serve Christ in hard-pressed situations of human suffering, the strength to put oneself at his disposal, without looking round for one’s own advantage. Encountering this faith that is so ready to sacrifice and so full of happiness is a powerful remedy against fatigue with Christianity such as we are experiencing in Europe today.

A further remedy against faith fatigue was the wonderful experience of World Youth Day in Madrid. This was new evangelization put into practice. Again and again at World Youth Days, a new, more youthful form of Christianity can be seen, something I would describe under five headings.

Firstly, there is a new experience of catholicity, of the Church’s universality. This is what struck the young people and all the participants quite directly: we come from every continent, but although we have never met one another, we know one another. We speak different languages, we have different ways of life and different cultural backgrounds, yet we are immediately united as one great family. Outward separation and difference is relativized. We are all moved by the one Lord Jesus Christ, in whom true humanity and at the same time the face of God himself is revealed to us. We pray in the same way. The same inner encounter with Jesus Christ has stamped us deep within with the same structure of intellect, will and heart. And finally, our common liturgy speaks to our hearts and unites us in a vast family. In this setting, to say that all humanity are brothers and sisters is not merely an idea: it becomes a real shared experience, generating joy. And so we have also understood quite concretely: despite all trials and times of darkness, it is a wonderful thing to belong to the worldwide Church that the Lord has given to us.
From this derives a new way of living our humanity, our Christianity. For me, one of the most important experiences of those days was the meeting with the World Youth Day volunteers: about 20,000 young people, all of whom devoted weeks or months of their lives to working on the technical, organizational and material preparations for World Youth Day, and who thus made it possible for the whole event to run smoothly. Those who give their time always give a part of their lives. At the end of the day, these young people were visibly and tangibly filled with a great sense of happiness: their time had meaning; in giving of their time and labour, they had found time, they had found life. And here something fundamental became clear to me: these young people had given a part of their lives in faith, not because it was asked of them, not in order to attain Heaven, nor in order to escape the danger of Hell. They did not do it in order to find fulfilment. They were not looking round for themselves. There came into my mind the image of Lot’s wife, who by looking round was turned into a pillar of salt. How often the life of Christians is determined by the fact that first and foremost they look out for themselves, they do good, so to speak, for themselves. And how great is the temptation of all people to be concerned primarily for themselves; to look round for themselves and in the process to become inwardly empty, to become “pillars of salt”. But here it was not a matter of seeking fulfilment or wanting to live one’s life for oneself. These young people did good, even at a cost, even if it demanded sacrifice, simply because it is a wonderful thing to do good, to be there for others. All it needs is the courage to make the leap. Prior to all of this is the encounter with Jesus Christ, inflaming us with love for God and for others, and freeing us from seeking our own ego. In the words of a prayer attributed to Saint Francis Xavier: I do good, not that I may come to Heaven thereby and not because otherwise you could cast me into Hell. I do it because of you, my King and my Lord. I came across this same attitude in Africa too, for example among the Sisters of Mother Teresa, who devote themselves to abandoned, sick, poor and suffering children, without asking anything for themselves, thus becoming inwardly rich and free. This is the genuinely Christian attitude. Equally unforgettable for me was the encounter with handicapped young people in the Saint Joseph Centre in Madrid, where I encountered the same readiness to put oneself at the disposal of others – a readiness that is ultimately derived from encounter with Christ, who gave himself for us.
A third element, that has an increasingly natural and central place in World Youth Days and in the spirituality that arises from them, is adoration. I still look back to that unforgettable moment during my visit to the United Kingdom, when tens of thousands of predominantly young people in Hyde Park responded in eloquent silence to the Lord’s sacramental presence, in adoration. The same thing happened again on a smaller scale in Zagreb and then again in Madrid, after the thunderstorm which almost ruined the whole night vigil through the failure of the microphones. God is indeed ever-present. But again, the physical presence of the risen Christ is something different, something new. The risen Lord enters into our midst. And then we can do no other than say, with Saint Thomas: my Lord and my God! Adoration is primarily an act of faith – the act of faith as such. God is not just some possible or impossible hypothesis concerning the origin of all things. He is present. And if he is present, then I bow down before him. Then my intellect and will and heart open up towards him and from him. In the risen Christ, the incarnate God is present, who suffered for us because he loves us. We enter this certainty of God’s tangible love for us with love in our own hearts. This is adoration, and this then determines my life. Only thus can I celebrate the Eucharist correctly and receive the body of the Lord rightly.
A further important element of the World Youth Days is the sacrament of Confession, which is increasingly coming to be seen as an integral part of the experience. Here we recognize that we need forgiveness over and over again, and that forgiveness brings responsibility. Openness to love is present in man, implanted in him by the Creator, together with the capacity to respond to God in faith. But also present, in consequence of man’s sinful history (Church teaching speaks of original sin) is the tendency that is opposed to love – the tendency towards selfishness, towards becoming closed in on oneself, in fact towards evil. Again and again my soul is tarnished by this downward gravitational pull that is present within me. Therefore we need the humility that constantly asks God for forgiveness, that seeks purification and awakens in us the counterforce, the positive force of the Creator, to draw us upwards.
Finally, I would like to speak of one last feature, not to be overlooked, of the spirituality of World Youth Days, namely joy. Where does it come from? How is it to be explained? Certainly, there are many factors at work here. But in my view, the crucial one is this certainty, based on faith: I am wanted; I have a task; I am accepted, I am loved. Joseph Pieper, in his book on love, has shown that man can only accept himself if he is accepted by another. He needs the other’s presence, saying to him, with more than words: it is good that you exist. Only from the You can the I come into itself. Only if it is accepted, can it accept itself. Those who are unloved cannot even love themselves. This sense of being accepted comes in the first instance from other human beings. But all human acceptance is fragile. Ultimately we need a sense of being accepted unconditionally. Only if God accepts me, and I become convinced of this, do I know definitively: it is good that I exist. It is good to be a human being. If ever man’s sense of being accepted and loved by God is lost, then there is no longer any answer to the question whether to be a human being is good at all. Doubt concerning human existence becomes more and more insurmountable. Where doubt over God becomes prevalent, then doubt over humanity follows inevitably. We see today how widely this doubt is spreading. We see it in the joylessness, in the inner sadness, that can be read on so many human faces today. Only faith gives me the conviction: it is good that I exist. It is good to be a human being, even in hard times. Faith makes one happy from deep within. That is one of the wonderful experiences of World Youth Days.It would take too long now to go into detail concerning the encounter in Assisi, as the significance of the event would warrant. Let us simply thank God, that as representatives of the world’s religions and as representatives of thinking in search of truth, we were able to meet that day in a climate of friendship and mutual respect, in love for the truth and in shared responsibility for peace. So let us hope that, from this encounter, a new willingness to serve peace, reconciliation and justice has emerged.

As I conclude, I would like to thank all of you from my heart for shouldering the common mission that the Lord has given us as witnesses to his truth, and I wish all of you the joy that God wanted to bestow upon us through the incarnation of his Son. A blessed Christmas to you all!

VATICAN CITY, 22 DEC 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father named as consultors of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See: Dr. Fabio Marenda, Dr. Pasquale D'Agostino, Dr. Gianluca Piredda, and Dr. Maria Rita Sanguigni.


CCCB REPORT: Stars give us a sense of direction, and brighten the night. In the Book of Genesis (22.17), they are also a sign of God’s blessing. They herald God’s promise to Abraham that his and Sarah’s descendants will be countless. In the Book of Numbers (24.17a), a star is again a sign and promise of what is to come: “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near -- a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.”
Shining over the place where Christ is to be found, the star guides the Magi and leads them to joy. “They set out, and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was.… They were overwhelmed with joy…. They knelt down and paid him homage” (Matthew 2.9b-11). This new light from Christ is a sign of God’s mercy, raising us up from darkness and death, and guiding us toward peace. “By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1.79-79).
There are many forms of darkness and death in our world. We need only watch or listen to the daily news. Unemployment. Hunger. Economic insecurity. Violence between nations and within nations. Neighbourhood assaults. The violations of child abuse and abortion. Pollution and environmental degradation. Slavery. Human trafficking. Personal addictions. Broken marriages and shattered families.
Scripture does not gloss over the depth or extent of human sufferings and uncertainties. Christ was born in a stable, because there was no room elsewhere. His birth was during a time of military occupation. His childhood was marked by the martyrdom of innocent lives. His public ministry began with the beheading of John the Baptist, at the request of a dancing girl who wished to please her adulterous mother and a treacherous king. It ended in betrayal and with death on a cross – the lot of criminals and traitors. But the darkness of his last day led to a new dawn and dazzling light.
God has visited his people and looked favourably upon them (Luke 1.68, 7.16). The night of human suffering has been pierced by Light. Even in the midst of darkness, we are offered a sign. Although we betray and are betrayed, God holds to his promise. Whatever our sufferings and failings, in his mercy we can find pardon and share compassion. Even amid the worst of violence and violation, Christ guides us to peace with God and reconciliation with one another. This is the miracle of Christmas night: the glory of the Lord shines forth in our darkness.
The Magi followed the star of Bethlehem. They were led in their searching and journeying to the affirmation of Life. The shepherds’ toil in the night was transformed. They joined the company of the heavenly host, in wonder, praise and thanksgiving.
May the star of Christ lift up our hopes and hearts this Christmas. May his light shine about us, and lead us to peace.
+ Richard W. SmithArchbishop of EdmontonPresident
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT:
21 Dec 2011

Gerry Deevy with one of the 40 turkeys
donated to feed the city's homeless
Corporate donations of 40 large turkeys, 30 hams, 72 kilos of potatoes, 70 kilos of pumpkins along with a seemingly endless supply of fruit cakes, individual plum puddings, vats of ice cream and countless mince pies, ensure Sydney's homeless men and women will enjoy a banquet fit for a king.
"The generosity of Sydney businesses as well as individuals also means the 30 children and their families living at our Vincentian Centre in Surry Hills will also have a special Christmas dinner with all the trimmings," says Gerry Deevy, the Irish-born Catering Manager of St Vincent de Paul Society's Matthew Talbot Hostel in Woolloomooloo.
Christmas Day at the Hostel also means a surge in the number of volunteers offering to help prepare and serve the main meal at midday along with breakfast and supper as well as set tables, decorate the big dining room and set up a festive Christmas morning and afternoon tea.
The volunteers signed on for this year's Christmas at Matthew Talbot will also help pack up chocolates and special goodies for the youngsters at Vincentian House.
"We were overwhelmed with offers to help, and sadly had to turn many away," says Gerry.
Despite all the work required on Christmas Day that comes from preparing not only a midday Christmas dinner but a full hot cooked breakfast, morning and afternoon tea and a supper of cold meats and salad as well, there is only room at the Hostel for 20 volunteer helpers.

Volunteers help out with Christmas dinner for
those in need
"Each year at Christmas we seem to always be given generous donations of food and never have a problem finding big-hearted volunteers. But it would be wonderful if the homeless were remembered with similar donations of food and time not only at Christmas but throughout the rest of the year," he says.
The Matthew Talbot Hostel provides more than 245,000 meals annually to feed Sydney's homeless. Each day 150 are fed breakfast, 250 are given a midday dinner and 250 are served supper in the evening. But even with corporate support and donations, this costs the Hostel itself upwards of $310,000.
Now amid fears of a global recession with the world's economic situation again under pressure from the high debt being carried by the Eurozone, Vinnies predicts a further rise in homelessness in 2012 as well as an increase in the numbers of families seeking help as they struggle to make ends meet.
This will mean additional demands on Matthew Talbot and also escalate costs with the price of fresh farm produce expected to rise. This together with the sharp increase in the cost of electricity and water is expected to further escalate costs of caring and feeding the homeless throughout the year.

Gerry at lunch service
As a way to ensure the daily breakfasts, midday meal and suppers by the Hostel are not put in jeopardy, or the quality of the meals reduced, Vinnies NSW has launched "The Talbot Big Serve."

Through this initiative groups of friends, families or employees can get together and donate all the lamb chops or all the chicken or beef that might be needed for one of Matthew Talbot's midday meals which feed up to 300 homeless men each day.
While the sheer quantities needed to feed that many might alarm home cooks used to feeding around four or five, the actual cost is within most people's reach, particularly when the overall amount is split between five to 10 family members or friends.
"Meat is our biggest expense with the 50 kg needed for one meal, costing around $450 or about $1.50 per," Gerry says.
While the Matthew Talbot budget can run to vegetables, desserts and fruit, much of which is donated by large companies, meat is where the Hostel needs help.
Certainly $450 sounds a hefty price but when split between 10 people, the individual cost is brought down to a more easily affordable level of just $45 each.
While smaller groups are taking up the challenge, larger corporations particularly those involved in the CEO Sleepouts have gone even further at a cost of $4500 annually, are providing the beef, lamb or chicken for one entire midday meal for 300 each month over a 12 month period.

No shortage of volunteers at Christmas
but more needed during the year
"The Talbot Big Serve is a wonderful way to help someone in need," says Gerry and urges all of us to consider the homeless this Christmas and maybe join together to donate the meat for one meal in 2012.
The original idea for this unique initiative grew out of Vinnies' famous CEO Sleepout which takes place each June, on one of the coldest nights of the year.
Now a national event, the CEO Sleepout not only raises funds to help Australia's estimated 105,000 homeless, but also raises awareness about their plight.
The reasons for homelessness are complex, Gerry says and with the global downturn. Some become homeless as a result of divorce or mental illness or problems with alcohol and drug addiction. While others, can find themselves on the streets or sleeping in their cars, after being made redundant and no longer able to pay their rent or mortgage.
To find out more about the Talbot Big Serve and how you can help click on to


At least 40 dead in a series of explosions in Baghdad
A car bomb exploded in Karrada and two to Halawa, killing at least 4 people. Security concerns after the departure of American troops. Suspicions of a struggle between Sunni and Shiite after terrorism charges against the Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who has taken refuge in Kurdistan.

Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A coordinated series of explosions rocked the Iraqi capital this morning, killing at least 40 people and injuring 130. The Interior Ministry said the bombs exploded in 13 areas of the city. Two of them were detonated in the street, in the District of Halawa, and killed four people, a car-bomb exploded in Karrada district, breaking the windows of houses and a school in the district.

It is not yet clear who the instigators of the attacks are. The country is in a period of transition after the departure of the last contingent of U.S. troops, which took place days ago. At the same time, there are growing signs of rupture within the government, formed last year with great difficulty.

Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, of the Sunni party-Iraqiyya, has been accused of supporting terrorism. To protest the whole group of al-Iraqiyya is boycotting the parliament and accuse the Prime Minister al-Maliki, a Shiite, of wanting to monopolize power.

Hashemi denies the charges against him and has for now taken refuge in Erbil, in Kurdistan, under the protection of the regional government. Maliki has asked that he be brought to justice.


BISHOP CONFERENCE OF IRELAND RELEASE: Christmas Reflection 2011 by Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland
“This is my hope and my prayer for Christmas 2011, that each of us will rediscover the simplicity, hope and joy of that first Christmas. I pray that Ireland as a country will become a gentler, kinder, more compassionate, more caring and more neighbourly place.” – Cardinal Brady
As a young boy growing up in the drumlin country of east Cavan, I loved to walk through the darkness to the top of the nearest hill on a Christmas Eve. I would stand there, looking out, in awe, over the surrounding countryside and the twinkling Christmas lights at every house as far as the eye could see. The lights seemed all the more magical and reassuring as they broke through the dark of a cold winter’s night.
Darkness, of course, is a powerful metaphor for the many painful experiences that can overshadow our lives. I think of the darkness that can overwhelm us in grief, or in tragedy, or when we have been hurt, disappointed or abused by someone we trusted. I think of the ‘dark times’ we are experiencing as individuals and as a country because of the current economic crisis. The Sacred Scriptures speak to us of the darkness of sin, of our tendency to let selfishness and pride block our immense capacity for generosity and love.
The simple, compelling truth we celebrate at Christmas is that into all of this darkness, God has sent us the purest and brightest light of all. He has sent his only Son, so that we might have life and have it to the full. He came, not as a powerful, commanding leader but as a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, born in the lowliness of a manger.
Few scenes capture the utter commitment of God to each of us and to the future of humanity more than this iconic, captivating image of the birth of our Saviour. God was so wise to offer us salvation in such a simple and compelling way. What had more hope of challenging the selfishness, pride and greed that threaten to destroy us than the simplicity, dignity and wonder of a new born child? What could set us free from our preoccupation with having rather than being and living for others more than the uncluttered, compelling intimacy of the manger?
Deep down, I believe we all yearn for a gentler, kinder and more generous world, the kind of world that Christmas represents. I believe we yearn for a less complicated, less anxious and less frenetic life than the busy, sometimes cruel, consume-all-you-can kind of life that exhausts so much of our time and energy today.
This is my hope and my prayer for Christmas 2011, that each of us will rediscover the simplicity, hope and joy of that first Christmas. I pray that Ireland as a country will become a gentler, kinder, more compassionate, more caring and more neighbourly place. Just as those Christmas lights broke through the cold and dark of the Cavan countryside when I was young, I pray that the generosity, reverence for God and respect for God’s creation that has been our hallmark and gift to the world since the time of St. Patrick, will continue to break through the many dark clouds that have engulfed our country in recent years. I pray that we will rediscover our Christian soul and our caring, neighbourly spirit as we gaze upon the utter love of God and his plans for a peaceful world in the new born child in the manger.
As we prepare to welcome people from all over the world to Dublin for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in June of next year, I also pray in humility and in hope that those who through anger, or hurt, or disillusionment, or distraction have become disconnected from their local parish community, will rediscover the joy, the hope and the love which is at the heart of our faith. I hope that they will find the strength and courage to see beyond the human failings of individuals and rediscover the beauty, the consolation and the strength for living that comes from Communion with Christ and with one another, in the Eucharist, the theme of the International Eucharist Congress. I pray that this Christmas, many people will rediscover the peace and joy of the Mass, where Christ is born among us always.
May Christ, and his life and goodness, be born in each of us and in our country this Christmas and may we find in Him our greatest hope in challenging times.
+Seán Brady
Archbishop of Armagh
Further information:
Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444


Agenzia Fides REPORT - "Tomorrow I will visit Misratha to meet the local community of Filipino Catholics" says to Fides His Exc. Mgr. Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, in Libya, who testifies the full resumption of pastoral activities in the Country on the eve of Christmas. Mgr.Martinelli states that "the local population is serene, even the few foreigners come to our celebrations with joy, always asking the Lord to give peace to Libya, after the war. It is really important that there is strong reconciliation in the Muslim community but also in the Christian community. That is what we hope and we pray for", concluded the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 22/12/2011)


Luke 1: 46 - 56

46 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
52 he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.
54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever."
56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.


St. Chaeremon
Feast: December 22

Feast Day: December 22
Died: 250
Bishop of Nilopolis, in Egypt. When the sever anti-Christian persecution was instituted by Emperor Trajanus Decius (r. 249-251), Chaeromon was quite elderly. he and several companions fled into the Arabian Desert and were never seen again. The bishop and his companions are listed as martyrs.

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