VIS REPORTS: AFRICA IS THE CONTINENT OF HOPE, SAYS BENEDICT XVI
VATICAN CITY, 23 NOV 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father dedicated his general audience, held this morning in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, to reflections on his recently concluded apostolic trip to Benin. The trip had a threefold purpose: marking the 150th anniversary of evangelisation in that region, consigning the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Africae munus", and paying homage to the late Beninese Cardinal Bernardin Gantin.
(IMAGE SOURCE: CISANEWS AFRICA)
The Pope reminisced about the various stages of his journey, beginning with his visit to the basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Ouidah where he "placed the fruits of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops at the feet of the Blessed Virgin. ... Christian communities in Africa", he said, "are now called to renew themselves in the faith, in order to serve reconciliation, justice and peace. They are invited to inner reconciliation in order to become joyful instruments of divine mercy, each contributing to the common good with its own spiritual and material wealth.
"Such a spirit of reconciliation is of course also indispensable in civil life", the Pope added, "and has to remain open to the hope which must also animate the socio-political and economic life of the continent". The Pontiff then turned to focus on his meeting with civil, political and religious authorities in Benin, to whom he had likewise "stressed the hope that must drive the development of the continent", at the same time "highlighting the ardent desire for freedom and justice which has moved the hearts of so many African peoples, especially in recent months".
Speaking of the celebration of the Eucharist at the "Stade de l'amitie" in Cotonou, Benedict XVI noted that the presence of both young and old was "a marvellous testament to the fact that the faith unites the generations and responds to the challenges of every stage of life". During that celebration, the Pope gave the presidents of African episcopal conferences the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Africae munus", in which, he said, "the faithful will find the fundamental guidelines to lead and stimulate the journey of the Church in Africa, which is increasingly called to be 'salt of the earth' and 'light of the world'".
The Holy Father also dwelt on his meeting with children and sick people at the church of St. Rita and at the Home of Peace and Happiness, run by sisters of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. There he had "truly tasted the joy of life, the delight and enthusiasm of the new generations who represent the future of Africa", and had seen "how love and solidarity can cause the power and affection of the risen Christ to be present, even in weakness".
The commitment of clergy, religious and laity is "a sign of sure hope for the future of the Church in Benin", said the Holy Father who also recalled how he had encouraged priests to follow "the path of sanctity, in the awareness that the ministry is not simply a social function, but a means for bringing God to man and man to God".
The Holy Father's meeting with the Beninese episcopate had focused on "the origins of the announcement of the Gospel in their country, by the work of missionaries", and on his exhortation to them "constantly to rediscover Holy Scripture as a source of spiritual renewal and an opportunity to intensify the faith".
"In Africa", the Holy Father explained, "I saw a freshness in the 'yes' to life, a freshness of religious meaning and hope, a holistic vision of reality where God is not confined to that positivist perspective which, in the final analysis, extinguishes all hope. This tells us that the continent contains reserves of life and vitality for the future, reserves upon which we can rely, upon which the Church can rely.
"My journey", he added in conclusion, "was also by way of being an appeal to Africa to concentrate every effort on announcing the Gospel to those who do not yet know it, to renew the commitment to evangelisation, to which each member of the baptised is called by promoting reconciliation, justice and peace".
VATICAN CITY, 23 NOV 2011 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience the Holy Father welcomed pilgrims in ten different languages, among them "a delegation from the Catholic-Orthodox Forum, which includes many prelates to whom I address my cordial greetings. To the Catholic members in particular, I express my sincere best wishes for the fortieth anniversary of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE)".
The Pope also spoke in Croatian to priests and faithful from the Greek-Catholic diocese of Krizevci. "Dear friends", he said, "you have begun celebrating a Jubilee in your eparchy to mark the 400th anniversary of union with the Church of Rome and of the establishment of the eparchy of Marca. Today you are thanking God for all the gifts you have received with this pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul. May your centuries-long union with the Bishop of Rome help you to become builders of communion between the Christian East and West".
Finally Benedict XVI turned to address Hungarian pilgrims "and especially a group of Gypsies from the province of Tolna. May the splendour of the faith guide you along the roads of life", he said.
VATICAN CITY, 23 NOV 2011 (VIS) - The Prefecture of the Pontifical Household today released the following communique.
"On Sunday 18 December, the fourth Sunday of Advent, the Holy Father Benedict XVI will make a pastoral visit to Rebibbia Prison in Rome.
"At 10 a.m. in the prison's central church, dedicated to Our Father, the Pope will meet with the detainees and answer their questions.
"At 11.30 a.m., before returning to the Vatican for the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father will bless a tree planted in memory of his visit".
VATICAN CITY, 23 NOV 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Fr. Pio Hipunyati of the clergy of Ondjiva, Angola, professor of Latin at the minor and major seminary of the Catholic mission in Omupanda, as bishop of Ondjiva (area 83,900, population 1,003,280, Catholics 573,459, priests 34, religious 64). The bishop-elect was born in Ounonge, Angola in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1998. He has worked as superior of the Catholic mission in Omupanda and as bursar of the diocese of Ondjiva. He succeeds Bishop Fernando Guimaraes Kevanu, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Bishop Joaquim Justino Carreira, auxiliary of Sao Paulo, Brazil, as bishop of Guarulhos (area 341, population 1,315,000, Catholics 851,000, priests 49, permanent deacons 1, religious 83), Brazil. He succeeds Bishop Luiz Gonzaga Bergonzini, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Derry, Ireland, presented by Bishop Seamus Hegarty, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
REPORT OF Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese, The relationship between Australia and the Holy See changed back in 2008. For years both countries had diplomatic relations, but Australia didn't have an actual embassy to the Vatican in Rome, nor a resident ambassador. But just a few years ago, that all changed.
Australian Ambassador to the Holy See
"Our previous ambassador had to fly to Rome, two or three times a year and build up contacts in a restrictive time period. I have the opportunity of course of the 12 months of each year to attend a lot of functions, do a lot of networking."
That diplomatic relationship took off after pope Benedict XVI celebrated World Youth Day in Sydney. Fischer says, having a resident ambassador has without a doubt, improved the communication between both countries.
Ambassador Fischer will soon complete his three year term. This year alone, he helped organize a trip from the Vatican's train station to the Italian town of Orvieto, to celebrate Caritas' 60th anniversary. Most recently, under the initiative of Australian Bishops, the Domus Australia was opened and personally blessed by the pope.
When it comes to issues that directly concern Australians back at home, the embassy has organized discussions on climate change, food production and famine.
Australian Ambassador to the Holy See
"It doesn't all relate to New York, Washington, Paris, London and Berlin. The focus of Rome, most notably on food and agriculture with the 'FAO' and the work of the Vatican in that area, is just another dimension."
But that's not the case for everyone. Ireland recently decided to close its embassies in Iran, East Timor and the Vatican to reportedly save money. Although diplomatic relations will remain with each one of these countries, some say the international collaboration between Ireland and the Holy See, will notably suffer without a resident ambassador.
Fischer says, being an ambassador to the Vatican, encompasses much more than just religion.
Australian Ambassador to the Holy See
"Being on the ground, means more networking, more contact, more momentum and more profile for Australia in this hub, incredible hub of the Eternal City of Rome."
The Holy See has formal diplomatic relations with roughly 176 countries. But when it comes to having an actual resident ambassador in Rome, the number is 78.
“As we approach the First Sunday of Advent I hope that the task of formation will continue, that the texts of the Missal will become both a source of prayer and devotion, and a foundation for a renewed appreciation of the mystery we celebrate.”
Publishers have been working for months to make sure that new missals are ready in time. In England and Wales, three publishers have permission to publish the people’s missals. These are the Catholic Truth Society (CTS), HarperCollins, and Redemptorist Publications.
Catholic Truth Society
The Catholic Truth Society is the publisher of the Altar Missal. The majority of customers have now received their copies, with only some of the most recent orders, and a handful of replacement copies, still to be delivered. Having monitored demand for the Chapel Missal both at home and abroad over recent weeks, CTS will be reprinting the Chapel Edition of the Roman Missal. Stock will be available in Britain in early February 2012.
CTS will distribute the Sunday Missals to customers in the last week of November / beginning of December. In early February 2012 CTS shall be distributing the Daily Missals (a single volume containing both Sundays and Weekdays – the first time an edition like this has been published for this country). A number of other resources are also in preparation, including the Rite of Marriage. Other new resources will appear in 2012.
Collins will be publishing the Sunday Missal, available from 22 December 2011 (hardback, Blue or Red edition both available). This will be closely followed by the publication of the Weekday Missal available from 5 January 2012 (hardback, Blue or Red edition both available). The new Missals have been enhanced with classical illustrations in the Romanesque style and editor Rev’d Dr Robin Gibbons has worked closely with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference to include new editorial, commentary, carefully edited rubric and music to support and enhance the new translation.
Helena Nicholls, Senior Commissioning Editor, Collins said, “HarperCollins first started out as a religious publisher and we’re proud to say our religious list continues to flourish – we are delighted to be publishing the new People’s Missals. Our ambition for them is to offer excellent quality, a focus on additional, engaging content and a clear, beautiful setting to enhance the reader’s experience in communal and private worship and to complement the Church’s new translation. In these cost-conscious times, we are very proud that we are able to offer this exquisite and durable book at a very accessible price.”
Collins will also be producing special Deluxe White and Black Editions in the New Year, due for release in February, all with leather fine binding and slip cases.
Redemptorist Publications have produced ‘Your Sunday Missal’ which contains the revised texts for all Sunday services alongside a number of additional resources including a short introduction to the special character of each Sunday and a treasury of prayers, the Stations of the Cross by Redemptorist founder St Alphonsus and more. ‘Your Sunday Missal’ is available now. Designed to help anyone prepare for Sunday Mass and take an active part in its celebration, the Mass text is laid out in a straight-forward way. This Missal features a leatherette cover, gold-embossed lettering, colourful ribbons and high quality Bible paper as well as a thread sewn binding. See Sr Janet Fearn's review today:http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=19355
Redemptorist Publications also publish new Mass sheets, a fully redesigned and updated Mass Book and Let’s Go to Mass, a new Large print Mass book, and have produced laminated orders of service for adults and children.
Other publishers who have material using the new translation include: Catholic Printing Company of Farnworth, Decani, John F Neale, McCrimmons, Pauline Books and Media, and St Paul’s.
For Liturgy Office information about the new translation of the Roman Missal see:
CCCB REPORT –
Rose Prince was born in 1915 at Nak’azdli. Descended from the great Carrier Chief Kwah, Rose was a good student and a gifted artist. Her life was not easy. Born with curvature of the spine that resulted in a hump on her back, she lived with pain that made her movements awkward. Rose was devout in her practice of the Catholic faith and lived a simple life of prayer and work in the service of others. As it came time for her to leave
Rose died of tuberculosis in 1949 at the age of 34. In 1951 when it was decided that a few graves west of the school would be moved to a larger cemetery nearby, her coffin broke open during the transfer and the workers were amazed to find her body and clothing perfectly preserved.
Devotion to Rose Prince has developed over the years. A pilgrimage to her gravesite began in 1990 and has grown into an annual event that attracts hundreds of people from throughout
The CCCB Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council (CCAC) is composed of seven Aboriginal members and two Bishops from across the country. Its mandate is to advise and assist the CCCB on issues concerning indigenous peoples in
The CCAC also advises and assists the CCCB on concerns of Catholic indigenous peoples in
Mgr Bishara al-Rai called again for prudence vis-à-vis the ‘Arab spring’. He warned of possible confessional conflicts, harsher regimes and a confessional division of the region. Mgr Caccia welcomes the reopening of Beirut synagogue as a token of hope for the future.
Beirut (AsiaNews) – The Maronite Patriarch, Mgr Bishara al-Rai, called for a prudence vis-à-vis the ‘Arab spring’. He is concerned that it might lead to “confessional conflicts, harsher regimes and a confessional division of the region”. The patriarch spoke at a conference organised by the Holy Spirit University, which is connected to the Lebanese Maronite Order. Held on 18 November, it saw the participation of Members of the European parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Lebanese Parliament and the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union.
In his intervention, the patriarch said, “The Synod of Bishops, called by His Holiness Benedict XVI, in Special Assembly on the Middle East between 10 and 24 October, confirmed [. . .] that the Christian presence in the East has to be understood in terms of ‘communion and witness’. This means that our future cannot be outside, on the sideline or against the society in which we live”.
“Communion is a theological concept that means unity in diversity,” he said in his address, which he delivered in French. “Every Christian is called first and foremost to live in love within the Church, in the image of the Holy Trinitarian Communion. This means that the bases for our presence in the East are written in the core of our faith and are not just connected to our choice or our presence’s historical and material circumstances.”
Moving to another level, the patriarch said, “In political terms, such communion means a shared national identity, a common citizenship and participation. Recent changes in some Arab countries constitute a challenge. They express a reawakening as well as a commitment to a shared national identity. However, we fear that they may lead to confessional conflicts, the rise of harsher regimes and a confessional division of the region. Only one national identity can be shared, one that includes all cultural contributions, to ensure fruitful and peaceful coexistence. Christians, with their friends here and elsewhere, must resist all attempts to define our nations and societies in terms of religious identity. We must oppose Islamic exclusivism in the identity of our countries as much as Israel’s Jewishness. We welcome the fortunate statement by al-Azhar [University] in June, saying that Islam does not claim any religious identity for the state, which must be neither religious nor theocratic, but secular, whilst respecting fundamental religious values.”
The patriarch also spoke about the challenges Christian witness faces in terms of security, fundamental freedoms and the recognition of diversity. “We know that security is fundamental in the life of individuals and groups [. . .]. In this context, we say that security is a right every citizen should enjoy, and that the state must provide it. It is not a matter of minorities being protected by majorities, but of a fundamental right shared by all without distinction or discrimination.”
Sadly, recent incidents have cast a dangerous shadow on this right. “In light of the religious intolerance evinced in a number of bloody and painful episodes, I urge Muslim and Christian religious authorities, as I did at the Muslim-Christian summit held at the Maronite Patriarchate on 12 May, to speak out against religious war in all its aspects, and promote [instead] coexistence based on a common citizenship and the fundamental rights of man.”
“As for fundamental freedoms, sometimes we suffer from a lack of security,” Mgr Bishara al-Rai added. “In some of the region’s nations, we suffer under certain forms of social and political control that oppress certain fundamental freedoms, like freedom of conscience, freedom of worship and freedom of expression. For citizens and religious believers alike, freedom is like oxygen. It is so important for us that the history of the Maronite Church is one long adventure and defence of freedom at great cost.”
“The Special Synod on the Middle East dealt with the issue of Freedom [. . .]. TheInstrumentum laboris(n.36) distinguishes freedom of worship from freedom of conscience. The two face limits and impediments. Freedom of conscience—i.e. the freedom to believe or not believe, to practice a religion in private and in public, without impediments, including the right to change religion—is still far from guaranteed in our society. Sometimes it is even legally banned. Lebanon is the one exception. Even freedom of worship is indirectly touched by difficult and unfair procedures that impose permits to build and repair places of worship.”
For the Maronite patriarch, there is another challenge. “The third challenge is the recognition of diversity [. . .]. Let us admit that it is hard to welcome other believers, in their diversity, as a positive element in one’s social and cultural space as well as one’s inner sanctum. More than a thousand years of Christian-Muslim coexistence in the region teaches us that through lifelong dialogue irreconcilable differences can be overcome and even transformed into mutual enrichment. Speaking about Lebanon, the Blessed John Paul II said it was more than a country, that it was a message and a model of pluralism for the East and the West. At a time of turmoil and quest for the truth, we hope to see Lebanon take on its role of message [. . .]. This responsibility means opposing all forms of fundamentalism, fanaticism and xenophobia.”
Finally, “We have no fears for the Christian presence in the East,” the patriarch said, “because we believe it depends more on God’s will than our choice. We know that an Arab world without Christians would be a catastrophe for East and West because it would be the end of the Arabs as a plural culture, which would be swallowed up by the religious culture of Islam. Neither Islam nor Europe could live with such a situation.”
Mgr Gabriele Caccia, apostolic nuncio to Lebanon, was also present at the conference. He reiterated Lebanon’s vocation for unity in diversity. Although "a small country, it can be compared to a laboratory,” he said. “In a world that is becoming increasingly multicultural, multiethnic and multi-confessional, the experience of the Land of Cedars is comforting. It gives us strength for it shows that a world that respects human dignity and a plurality of cultural traditions based on religious freedom and freedom of conscience is not only a dream to strive for but also a possible reality that is already partly realised.”
“The restoration of the synagogue in central Beirut is an eloquent sign of hope for a future in which peace has been finally attained," he added.
Feast: November 23
boatmen, marble workers, mariners, sailors, sick children, stonecutters, watermen
According to Tertullian, writing c. 199, the Roman Church claimed that Clement was ordained by St. Peter (De Praescript., xxxii), and St. Jerome tells us that in his time "most of the Latins" held that Clement was the immediate successor of the Apostle (De viris illustr., xv). St. Jerome himself in several other places follows this opinion, but here he correctly states that Clement was the fourth pope. The early evidence shows great variety. The most ancient list of popes is one made by Hegesippus in the time of Pope Anicetus, c. 160 (Harnack ascribes it to an unknown author under Soter, c. 170), cited by St. Epiphanius (Haer., xxvii, 6). It seems to have been used by St. Irenaeus (Haer., III, iii), by Julius Africanus, who composed a chronography in 222, by the third—or fourth-century author of a Latin poem against Marcion, and by Hippolytus, who see chronology extends to 234 and is probably found in the "Liberian Catalogue" of 354. That catalogue was itself adopted in the " Liber Pontificalis ". Eusebius in his chronicle and history used Africanus; in the latter he slightly corrected the dates. St. Jerome's chronicle is a translation of Eusebius's, and is our principal means for restoring the lost Greek of the latter; the Armenian version and Coptic epitomes of it are not to be depended on. The varieties of order are as follows: Linus, Cletus, Clemens (Hegesippus, ap. Epiphanium, Canon of Mass). Linus, Anencletus, Clemens (Irenaeus, Africanus ap. Eusebium). Linus, Anacletus, Clemens (Jerome). Linus, Cletus, Anacletus, Clemens (Poem against Marcion), Linus, Clemens, Cletus, Anacletus [Hippolytus (?), "Liberian Catal."—"Liber. Pont."]. Linus, Clemens, Anacletus (Optatus, Augustine).
At the present time no critic doubts that Cletus, Anacletus, Anencletus, are the same person. Anacletus is a Latin error; Cletus is a shortened (and more Christian) form of Anencletus. Lightfoot thought that the transposition of Clement in the "Liberian Catalogue" was a mere accident, like the similar error "Anicetus, Pius" for "Pius Anicetus", further on in the same list. But it may have been a deliberate alteration by Hippolytus, on the ground of the tradition mentioned by Tertullian. St. Irenaeus (III, iii) tells us that Clement "saw the blessed Apostles and conversed with them, and had yet ringing in his ears the preaching of the Apostles and had their tradition before his eyes, and not he only for many were then surviving who had been taught y the Apostles ". Similarly Epiphanius tells us (from Hegesippus) that Clement was a contemporary of Peter and Paul. Now Linus and Cletus had each twelve years attributed to them in the list. If Hippolytus found Cletus doubled by an error.(Cletus XII, Anacletus XII), the accession of Clement would appear to be thirty-six years after the death of the Apostles. As this would make it almost impossible for Clement to have been their contemporary, it may have caused Hippolytus to shift him to an earlier position. Further, St. Epiphanius says (loc. cit. ): " Whether he received episcopal ordination from Peter in the life-time of the Apostles, and declined the office, for he says in one of his epistles 'I retire, I depart, let the people of God be in peace', (for we have found this set down in certain Memoirs), or whether he was appointed by the Bishop Cletus after he had succeeded the Apostles, we do not clearly know." The "Memoirs" were certainly those of Hegesippus. It seems unlikely that he is appealed to only for the quotation from the Epistle, c. liv; probably Epiphanius means that Hegesippus stated that Clement had been ordained by Peter and declined to be bishop, but twenty-four years later really exercised the office for nine years. Epiphanius could not reconcile these two facts; Hippolytus seems to have rejected the latter.
The date intended by Hegesippus is not hard to restore. Epiphanius implies that he placed the martyrdom of the Apostles in the twelfth year of Nero. Africanus calculated the fourteenth year (for he had attributed one year too little to the reigns of Caligula and Claudius), and added the imperial date for the accession of each pope; but having two years too few up to Anicetus he could not get the intervals to tally with the years of episcopate given by Hegesippus. He had a parallel difficulty in his list of the Alexandrian bishops. Hegesippus Africanus (from Eusebius) Interval Real Dates AD Linus 12 Nero 14 12 Nero 12 66 Cletus 12 Titus 2 12 Vesp 10 78 Clemens 9 Dom 12 (7) Dom 10 80 Euaristus 8 Trajan 2 (10) Tajan 2 99 Alexander 10 Trajan 12 10 Trajan 10 107 Sixtus 10 Hadrian 3 (9) Hadrian 1 117 Telesphorus 11 Hadrian 12 (10) Hadrian 11 127 Hyginus 4 Anton 1 4 Anton 1 138 Pius 15 Anton 5 15 Anton 5 142 Anicetus Anton 20 Anton 20 157
If we start, as Hegesippus intended, with Nero 12 (see last column), the sum of his years brings us right for the last three popes. But Africanus has started two years wrong, and in order to get right at Hyginus he has to allow one year too little to each of the preceding popes, Sixtus and Telesphorus. But there is one inharmonious date, Trajan 2, which gives seven and ten years to Clement and Euaristus instead of nine and eight. Evidently he felt bound to insert a traditional date—and in fact we see that Trajan 2 was the date intended by Hegesippus. Now we know that Hegesippus spoke about Clement's acquaintance with the Apostles, and said nothing about any other pope until Telesphorus, "who was a glorious martyr." It is not surprising, then, to find that Africanus had, besides the lengths of episcopate, two fixed dates from Hegesippus, those of the death of Clement in the second year of Trajan, and of the martyrdom of Telesphorus in the first year of Antoninus Pius. We may take it, therefore, that about 160 the death of St. Clement was believed to have been in 99.
Identity Origen identifies Pope Clement with St. Paul's fellow-labourer, Phil., iv, 3, and 80 do Eusebius, Epiphanius, and Jerome—but this Clement was probably a Philippian. In the middle of the nineteenth century it was the custom to identity the pope with the consul of 95, T. Flavius Clemens, who was martyred by his first cousin, the Emperor Domitian, at the end of his consulship. But the ancients never suggest this, and the pope is said to have lived on till the reign of Trajan. It is unlikely that he was a member of the imperial family. The continual use of the Old Testament in his Epistle has suggested to Lightfoot, Funk, Nestle, and others that he was of Jewish origin. Probably he was a freedman or son of a freedman of the emperor's household, which included thousands or tens of thousands. We know that there were Christians in the household of Nero (Phil., iv, 22). It is highly probable that the bearers of Clement's letter, Claudius Ephebus and Valerius Vito, were of this number, for the names Claudius and Valerius occur with great frequency in inscriptions among the freedmen of the Emperor Claudius (and his two predecessors of the same gens) and his wife Valeria Messalina. The two messengers are described as "faithful and prudent men, who have walked among us from youth unto old age unblameably ", thus they were probably already Christians and living in Rome before the death of the Apostles about thirty years earlier. The Prefect of Rome during Nero's persecution was Titus Flavius Sabinus, elder brother of the Emperor Vespasian, and father of the martyred Clemens. Flavia Domitilla, wife of the Martyr, was a granddaughter of Vespasian, and niece of Titus and Domitian; she may have died a martyr to the rigours of her banishment The catacomb of Domitilla is shown by existing inscriptions to have been founded by her. Whether she is distinct from another Flavia Domitilla, who is styled "Virgin and Martyr", is uncertain. (See FLAVIA DOMITILLA and NEREUS AND ACHILLEUS) The consul and his wife had two sons Vespasian and Domitian, who had Quintilian for their tutor. Of their life nothing is known. The elder brother of the martyr Clemens was T. Flavius Sabinus, consul in 82, put to death by Domitian, whose sister he had married. Pope Clement is rep resented as his son in the Acts of Sts. Nereus and Achilleus, but this would make him too young to have known the Apostles.
Of the life and death of St, Clement nothing is known. The apocryphal Greek Acts of his martyrdom were printed by Cotelier in his "Patres Apost." (1724, I, 808; reprinted in Migne, P. G., II, 617, best edition by Funk, "Patr. Apost.", II, 28). They relate how he converted Theodora, wife of Sisinnius, a courtier of Nerva, and (after miracles) Sisinnius himself and four hundred and twenty-three other persons of rank. Trajan banishes the pope to the Crimea, where he slakes the thirst of two thousand Christian confessors by a miracle. The people of the country are converted, seventy—five churches are built. Trajan, in consequence, orders Clement to be thrown into the sea with an iron anchor. But the tide every year recedes two miles, revealing a Divinely built shrine which contains the martyr's bones. This story is not older than the fourth century. It is known to Gregory of Tours in the sixth. About 868 St. Cyril, when in the Crimea on the way to evangelize the Chazars, dug up some bones in a mound (not in a tomb under the sea), and also an anchor. These were believed to be the relics of St. Clement. They were carried by St. Cyril to Rome, and deposited by Adrian II with those of St. Ignatius of Antioch in the high altar of the basilica of St. Clement in Rome. The history of this translation is evidently quite truthful, but there seems to have been no tradition with regard to the mound, which simply looked a likely place to be a tomb. The anchor appears to be the only evidence of identity but we cannot gather from the account that it belonged to the scattered bones. (See Acta SS., 9 March, II, 20.) St. Clement is first mentioned as a martyr by Rufinus (c. 400). Pope Zozimus in a letter to Africa in 417 relates the trial and partial acquittal of the heretic Caelestius in the basilica of St. Clement; the pope had chosen this church because Clement had learned the Faith from St. Peter, and had given his life for it (Ep. ii). He is also called a martyr by the writer known as Praedestinatus (c. 430) and by the Synod of Vaison in 442. Modern critics think it possible that his martyrdom was suggested by a confusion with his namesake, the martyred consul. But the lack of tradition that he was buried in Rome is in favour of his having died in exile.
The church of St. Clement at Rome lies in the valley between the Esquiline and Coelian hills, on the direct road from the Coliseum to the Lateran. It is now in the hands of the Irish Province of Dominicans. With its atrium, its choir enclosed by a wall, its ambos, it is the most perfect model of an early basilica in Rome, though it was built as late as the first years of the twelfth century by Paschal II, after the destruction of this portion of the city by the Normans under Robert Guiscard. Paschal II followed the lines of an earlier church, on a rather smaller scale, and employed some of its materials and fittings The marble wall of the present choir is of the date of John II (533-5). In 1858 the older church was unearthed, below the present building, by the Prior Father Mulooly, O. P. Still lower were found chambers of imperial date and walls of the Republican period. The lower church was built under Constantine (d. 337) or not much later. St. Jerome implies that it was not new in his time: "nominis eius [Clementis] memoriam usque hodie Romae exstructa ecclesia custodit" (De viris illustr., xv). It is mentioned in inscriptions of Damasus (d. 383) and Siricius (d. 398). De Rossi thought the lowest chambers belonged to the house of Clement, and that the room immediately under the altar was probably the original
Feast: November 23
540, Leinster, Ireland
23 November 615
Abbey church at Bobbio
This great missionary abbot founded monastic centers in France, Switzerland, and Italy that became centers of evangelization and learning for the whole area. He was a monk of the monastery of Bangor in north Ireland, founded by St. Comgall, one of the notable monastic founders of Ireland.
At Bangor, sanctity and scholarship were prized, and St. Columban became a teacher in the monastic school there. He was born in Leinster, and after a youthful struggle he lived at Cluain Inis for a time. After thirty years at Bangor, he received Comgall's permission to spread the Gospel on the continent of Europe, and taking twelve companions with him he settled in Gaul where the devastation of the barbarian invasions had completely disrupted civil and religious life. Invited by the Merovingian King Childebert, he founded a monastic center in Burgundy at Annegray and two others at Luxeuil and Fontaines. From these three monasteries over two hundred foundations were made, and Columban composed for these monasteries two monastic rules.
With the zeal of a prophet, he attacked the immoral court life of the Merovingian kings, the lax local clergy, and introduced to the continent the Irish penitential system, which became the basis for private confession. Reproving a local king for his immoral life, Columban was expelled from Burgundy, traversed France and Germany, leaving disciples behind to found monasteries, and crossed the Alps to found his most famous monastery at Bobbio in Italy.
He was a firm opponent of Arianism, wrote letters to popes on the religious issues of the day, and left a legacy of writings that deeply influenced the monasticism that came after him.
He impressed his contemporaries as a giant of a man in mind and spirit, who revived religion on the continent and prepared the way for the Carolingian renaissance. He died at Bobbio on November 23, 615, and is buried in the crypt of St. Columban's Church there.
|Luke 21: 12 - 19|
|12||But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake.|
|13||This will be a time for you to bear testimony.|
|14||Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer;|
|15||for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.|
|16||You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death;|
|17||you will be hated by all for my name's sake.|
|18||But not a hair of your head will perish.|
|19||By your endurance you will gain your lives.|