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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : TUES. FEB. 21, 2012


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VATICAN : POPE CALLS FOR SUPPORT FOR NEW CARDINALS AND OTHER NEWS
AMERICA : WHAT IS GRAS - SHROVE TUESDAY - CARNIVAL ?
TODAY'S GOSPEL ONLINE : TUES. FEB. 21, 2012
EUROPE : POLAND : CATHOLIC TOURISM - JPII MOBILE MUSEUM
ASIA : CHINA - KOREA - MARCH TO SAVE 33 FLEEING JONG-UN REGIME
AFRICA : NIGERIA : 6 EXPLOSIONS 30 OR MORE KILLED
AUSTRALIA : CARDIJN COMMUNITY - SOCIAL ACTION
TODAY'S SAINT : FEB. 21 : ST. PETER DAMIAN
 
VATICAN : POPE CALLS FOR SUPPORT FOR NEW CARDINALS AND OTHER NEWS
RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Pope Benedict held the traditional post-consistory audience today with newly created Cardinals and the pilgrims and family members accompanying them.

4 thousand people packed the Paul VI hall to hear the Holy Father’s greetings gathering in various delegations around the new Cardinals. Speaking first in Italian, Pope Benedict said “With great joy I meet you, relatives and friends of the newly created Cardinals, one day after the solemn celebration of the Consistory, in which these your beloved pastors were called to the College of Cardinals. This allows me the opportunity to extend my cordial greetings more directly and more intimately to all and, in particular, my congratulations and my best wishes to the new Cardinals. May the Consistory, an important and suggestive event, be for you all gathered here and for those who are related in various ways to the new Cardinals, a motive and incentive to gather with affection around them: May you feel ever closer to their hearts and their apostolic anxiety ; may you listen with lively hope to their words as Fathers and teachers. Be one with them and each other in faith and charity, to be more fervent and courageous witnesses of Christ”.

The Holy Father then proceeded to greet the various groups in different languages including English: “I am pleased to extend a warm greeting to the English-speaking Prelates whom I had the joy of raising to the dignity of Cardinal in Saturday’s Consistory: Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem; Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars (India); Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins, Archbishop of Toronto (Canada); Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York (the United States of America); Cardinal John Tong Hon, Bishop of Hong Kong (the People’s Republic of China); Cardinal Prosper Grech, O.S.A., Emeritus Professor of various Roman Universities and Consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”.

He concluded: “I also extend a cordial welcome to the family members and friends who join them today. I ask you to continue to support the new Cardinals by your prayers as they take up their important responsibilities in the service of the Apostolic See”.
http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=564579
VIS REPORT: COMMUNIQUE ON THE PONTIFICAL CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF PERU
Vatican City, 21 February 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a communique released this morning by the Holy See Press Office concerning the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.
"This morning, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., met with Marcial Rubio Correa, rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP).
"The secretary of State made reference to the assiduous and generous commitment shown by various members of the university in the formation of students, and the broad range of disciplines the PUCP offers to young people. Cardinal Bertone then informed Mr. Rubio Correa of the conclusions the Holy See has reached following intense dialogue and numerous meetings over the course of many years between the current grand chancellor, his predecessors and the university, and following the apostolic visit made to the university from 5 to 11 December 2011 by Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary.
"Those conclusions took particular account of the outcome of the apostolic visit and of the proposal presented by the rector at the end of that visit.
"The cardinal secretary of State informed Mr. Rubio Correa of the Holy See’s request that the statutes of the PUCP be regularised as soon as possible, adapting them to the Apostolic Constitution 'Ex Corde Ecclesiae' for the good of the PUCP itself and of the Church in Peru. Given the evident importance of safeguarding the Catholic identity of the university, the cardinal secretary of State requested that the competent academic authorities present the statutes for approval by Easter Sunday, 8 April, with the amendments indicated to the university on 16 July 2011.
"Finally, Cardinal Bertone expressed the hope that the academic community would accept these indications, so that the PUCP may increasingly dedicate itself to its mission of offering young people a solid formation, rooted in faithfulness to the Magisterium, as a guarantee of the great contribution the university is called to make to the country".





OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 21 February 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. George A. Sheltz of the clergy of the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, U.S.A., vicar general, chancellor and moderator of the Curia, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 23,257, population 5,811,010, Catholics 1,146,908, priests 427, permanent deacons 357, religious 687). The bishop-elect was born in Houston in 1946 and ordained a priest in 1971. He has served as pastor of various parishes of his diocese, and as director of the Secretariat for Clergy and Chaplains.

TODAY'S GOSPEL ONLINE : TUES. FEB. 21, 2012

Mark 9: 30 - 37
30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it;
31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise."
32 But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to ask him.
33 And they came to Caper'na-um; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you discussing on the way?"
34 But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest.
35 And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, "If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all."
36 And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them,
37 "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me."

AMERICA : WHAT IS GRAS - SHROVE TUESDAY - CARNIVAL ?


by: Miriam Westen "Mardi Gras" is french for fat tuesday. This refers to the day before Ash Wednesday when the 40 days of Lent officially begins. "Mardi Gras", "Carnival" and "Shrove Tuesday" all involve celebrations of eating, drinking, dancing, etc. before the fasting of Lent. (image source: http://www.bourbonstreet-tokyo.com/contents/mardi_gras) Some celebrate the "Carnival" by joining in parades with elaborate costumes, festive music, dancing, and other activities.
Image for Royal couple visit Northern Ireland
Kate Middleton: Shrove Tuesday
The english word 'Shrove' refers to confessing of sins for Lent. In parts of Europe the "Shrove Tuesday" is celebrated by flipping pancakes. (image source: http://www.ucfjourno.org/taxonomy/term/3)
"Carnival" means farewell to meat.
There are many cities world-wide that have historic and magnificent celebrations on this day. The most famous include cities famous for Mardi Gras celebrations Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Trinidad and Tobago, New Orleans (Louisiana), Quebec City (Canada).
Historical roots in Jewish Tradition
The Jews also celebrate the re-dedication of the Temple with Hanukkah. When the re-dedication occurred there was a lighting of the lamps with pure oil that lasted for 8 days. To commemorate this the Jews eat latkes (potato pancakes), made with lots of oil.
IRISH SHROVE TUESDAY PANCAKE RECIPE
Ingredients:
8oz all purpose/plain flour
Pinch salt
2 eggs
2½ cups milk
2 tsp melted butter plus melted butter for cooking
Method:
Makes 12 pancakes
Sieve the flour into a large baking bowl, add the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs and beat well until smooth and lump free.
Add half the milk and the 2 tsp of butter, beat well. Add the remaining milk and stir.
Leave the batter to rest for 15 minutes.
Lightly grease a pancake pan or frying pan with a little melted butter, heat until very hot and add a ladle of batter to evenly and thinly coat the base of the pan. Cook until set and lightly golden. Flip over (if you are really brave try tossing the pancake in the air, great fun) and cook on the other side for approx 30 seconds.
Remove the pancake from the pan, place on a sheet of kitchen paper and keep warm. Continue as above until all the batter is used up.
(RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/Celebrate-Fat-Tuesday-or-Shrove-Tuesday-with-this-delicious-Irish-pancake-recipe-139804393.html#ixzz1n4N5C1tP)
Some traditions over the centuries have led to excessive indulgences during this day. Let us keep sober and remember the roots of the Lenten fast when Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. In the Gospels we find the story which is the reason for the fast; when Jesus "was in the desert forty days and forty nights, and was tempted by Satan; and he was with beasts, and the angels ministered to him." (Mark 1:13)

EUROPE : POLAND : CATHOLIC TOURISM - JPII MOBILE MUSEUM

THENEWS.PL REPORT:
The city of Krakow has outlined the programme of a campaign to promote itself as a major centre of religious tourism.
Promotional actions are planned for later in the year in Europe’s leading pilgrimage centres, including Lourdes in France, Fatima in Portugal, Loreto and San Giovanni Rotondo in Italy, as well as Madrid and Santiago di Compostela in Spain.
A mobile Museum of Pope John Paul II will visit all these places. An international conference on religious tourism as an element of cultural integration will additionally be held in Krakow in October 2013.
Currently, the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in the Kraków district of Łagiewniki attracts over 2 million visitors from almost 100 countries a year.
The southern city of Krakow also hosts many historic churches and places connected with the life and pastoral work of Pope John Paul II, who lived there for many years and served as bishop and cardinal. (mk/jb) http://thenews.pl/1/12/Artykul/90852,Krakow-promotes-religious-tourism

ASIA : CHINA - KOREA - MARCH TO SAVE 33 FLEEING JONG-UN REGIME

ASIA NEWS REPORT:
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
A demonstration outside the Chinese Embassy in South Korea calls on Beijing not to repatriate a group of North Korean refugees who face death if they return home. For the first time, even actors choose to manifest.


Seoul (AsiaNews) - MPs, students, religious leaders and for the first time, some actors are marching in Seoul to ask the Chinese authorities not to repatriate 33 North Koreans fleeing the regime of Kim Jong-un, and currently held in prison in Changchun. The protest is being held in front of the Beijing embassy in South Korea: China must decide the refugees' fate by tomorrow.

The North Koreans were arrested on February 8 in Changchun and are currently detained in a prison of this city in northeastern China. According to some sources, at the time the group - with the help of a local organization - was trying to flee to South Korea often the safest route to flee from the North to the South is not the boundary between the two countries.

Among those asking for clemency for the group are Cha In-pyo and Lee Seong-mi, both well known South Korean actors. Cha's manager told the Daily NK: "After overnight consultations, my client decided to demonstrate against the repatriation of the North Koreans. He will march before the Chinese embassy." For his part, Lee said: "We know the pain of returnees: it would be impossible for me not to participate."

They are joined by Robert Park, a Korean Christian missionary with American citizenship. In an appeal published a few days ago, he writes: "If they come home they risk death. The Seoul government should take action immediately, blocking the return of these people and give them a home."

The situation for the 33 North Koreans is very dangerous. In January, the government of North Korea (fearing mass emigration in the situation of political instability that followed the death of Kim Jong-il and the succession of his son Kim Jong-un) announced increased penalties for those who leave the country. North Koreans can not leave the country without official permission. Those who do, and are suspected of being in touch with organizations linked to South Korea, might be sentenced to death.

China, for its part, considers all persons who illegally enter from North Korea the same as economic migrants, they do not consider the problem of human rights violations in the neighboring country nor take into account that these people may be asylum seekers. Although it signed the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, the Beijing government prevents UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) from contacing North Koreans in China.
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Seoul-marches-to-save-the-33-North-Koreans-who-fled-to-China-24031.html

AFRICA : NIGERIA : 6 EXPLOSIONS 30 OR MORE KILLED

Agenzia Fides REPORT - "The situation appears to have returned to calm, with the people who dedicate themselves to their normal activities" says to Fides His Exc. Mgr. Oliver Dashe Doeme, Bishop of Maiduguri, the city in the north-Eastern part of Nigeria, where yesterday, February 20, eight members of the Boko Haram sect were killed in a clash with the Counter Terrorism Task Force (JTF). The clash occurred when a commando of Boko Haram attacked the market in Baga area of the city, causing, according to some sources, the death of 30 civilians. "We heard at least 6 bomb explosions," says the Bishop, who is not able to confirm the number of civilian deaths.
Maiduguri has long been one of the most affected by the activities of the sect, which is becoming bolder, as evidenced from the assault carried out on February 16 by a score of armed men in the prison of Koto Karfe, in central Nigeria, and they successfully, at the end of a bloody fight, helped at least 119 prisoners to escape.
"The Boko Haram sect continues to attack police stations and civilian targets, such as the Baga market," said Mgr. Doeme, confirming that Christians "are continuing to flee not only from Maiduguri but also from other areas of northern Nigeria, such as Damaturu ". "I call on Christians worldwide to pray for us, so that peace is restore in our country," concluded the Bishop of Maiduguri. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 21/2/2012)

AUSTRALIA : CARDIJN COMMUNITY - SOCIAL ACTION

ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE REPORT:
Sunday 19 February 2012

23-02-p14-cardijn-350By Fiona Basile
Kairos Catholic Journal

'See, Judge and Act' are three words synonymous with former Belgian priest, bishop and cardinal, Joseph Cardijn (1882-1967). It was Cardinal Cardijn who founded the international Young Christian Workers (YCW) movement in Europe in 1925—which was later established in Australia in 1939—and whose social action principles continue to inspire young and old people to make a positive difference to the world around them.

And while Cardijn's principles and the YCW movement continue to serve, educate and represent young people in Australia today, there's now an associated movement specifically for adults which is gaining momentum.

Cardijn Community Australia (CCA) is a national group for adults who are inspired by Cardijn's social action principles in making a positive change. It was established in 2008 with many of its members already involved in some way with the Cardijn principles and the YCW movement in their youth.

Secretary of CCA David Moloney said, "The CCA provides an avenue for adults to make a positive difference in their communities."

"Cardijn's principles of 'see, judge and act' are a systematic and practical method of engaging people within their direct communities and also within the wider world.

"It is a methodology that can be applied to small parish groups, at whatever stage of development, which provides the framework for asking the deeper questions of their surrounds.

"The Cardijn method of inquiry begins with looking at the immediate circumstances of our lives and the lives of those around us. For Cardijn, 'the world on our doorsteps is a missionary field, a place that can be made whole through individual and collective action'.

"Having discovered the facts of our surrounds, we then make a Christian judgement, which then leads us to the actions we plan to carry out, or 'the responsibilities we shoulder' as Cardijn explained.

"Whether it's a youth group, or an elderly group, no matter what age you are, we're all called to action and to make a positive difference."

CCA hosted its first conference at its inception in Melbourne in 2008. This was followed by another conference and workshops in 2009 and 2010 in Adelaide. Its most recent conference was held last November in Melbourne and explored the means by which Cardijn's 'see judge act' method might be developed among adults in local parishes and elsewhere.

"Catholic parishes provide a strong platform for community leadership; a place to ask the question 'Who is my neighbour?'," said David.

The conference also celebrated the many achievements of the YCW, Young Christian Student, and National Catholic Girls movements in Australia. In Victoria these included initiating the credit cooperative movement, introducing 'pre-Cana' marriage education and pioneering some important road safety measures.

Speakers shared present-day experiences and some exciting initiatives, and attendees were given the opportunity to workshop an official Cardijn Training Manual which could be used by small parish groups throughout Australia.

David said, "The conference and the manual allow those interested to see what a 'social inquiry' looks like using the 'see judge act' methodology, and to find out how we can judge in the light of the Gospel and discover how common action can engage, empower and change.

"Together we can identify the issues at the heart of our local communities, and use the 'see judge act' method to explore how these themes might become a part of our mission as church.

"Looking to the future, it is hoped that the draft training manual will develop the Cardijn method among adults in parish and other settings. There's no reason why existing Church, prayer, social, scripture and social justice small groups couldn't integrate and use the Cardijn principles to help them take positive action."

CCA President Guido Vogels added, "Sharing reflection, prayer, action and Eucharist together in Cardijn groups is a means to personal transformation. We believe that the Cardijn method is also an excellent vehicle for the 'New Evangelisation', the focus of the international Church."

For more information about CCA, contact
David Moloney on dmo74189@bigpond.net.au This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
or see www.cardijncommunityaustralia.org.

See What's On for details on upcoming Cardijn workshops in Melbourne.

Photo: Participants in the 2011 Cardijn Community Conference held in Melbourne. Photo supplied by David Moloney.

TODAY'S SAINT : FEB. 21 : ST. PETER DAMIAN

St. Peter Damian
BISHOP, CONFESSOR, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: February 21


Information:
Feast Day: February 14
Born:
988, Ravenna
Died: February 22, 1072, Faenza
Peter, surnamed of Damian, was born about the year 988 in Ravenna, of a good family, but reduced. He was the youngest of many children, and, losing his father and mother very young, was left in the hands of a brother who was married, in whose house he was treated more like a slave, or rather like a beast, than one so nearly related; and when grown up, he was sent to keep swine. He one day became master of a piece of money, which, instead of laying it out in something for his own use, he chose to bestow in alms on a priest, desiring him to offer up his prayers for his father's soul. He had another brother called Damian, who was arch-priest of Ravenna, and afterwards a monk; who, taking pity of him, had the charity to give him an education. Having found a father in this brother, he seems from him to have taken the surname of Damian, though he often styles himself the Sinner, out of humility. Those who call him De Honestis confound him with Peter of Ravenna, who was of the family of Honesti. Damian sent Peter to school, first at Faenza, afterwards at Parma, where he had Ivo for his master. By the means of good natural parts and close application, it was not long before he found himself in a capacity to teach others, which he did with great applause, and no less advantage by the profits which accrued to him from his professorship. To arm himself against the allurements of pleasure and the artifices of the devil, he began to wear a rough hair shirt under his clothes, and to inure himself to fasting, watching, and prayer. In the night, if any temptation of concupiscence arose, he got out of bed and plunged himself into the cold river. After this he visited churches, reciting the psalter whilst he performed this devotion till the church office began. He not only gave much away in alms, but was seldom without some poor person at his table, and took a pleasure in serving such, or rather Jesus Christ in their persons, with his own hands. But thinking all this to be removing himself from the deadly poison of sin but by halves, he resolved entirely to leave the world and embrace a monastic life, and at a distance from his own country, for the sake of meeting with the fewer obstacles to his design. While his mind was full of these thoughts, two religious of the order of St. Benedict belonging to Font-Avellano, a desert at the foot of the Apennine in Umbria, happened to call at the place of his abode; and being much edified at their disinterestedness, he took a resolution to embrace their institute, as he did soon after. This hermitage had been founded by blessed Ludolf about twenty years before St. Peter came thither, and was then in the greatest repute. The hermits here remained two and two together in separate cells, occupied chiefly in prayer and reading. They lived on bread and water four days in the week: on Tuesdays and Thursdays they ate pulse and herbs, which every one dressed in his own cell: on their fast days all their bread was given them by weight. They never used any wine (the common drink of the country) except for mass, or in sickness: they went barefoot, used disciplines, made many genuflections, struck their breasts, stood with their arms stretched out in prayer, each according to his strength and devotion. After the night office they said the whole psalter before day. Peter watched long before the signal for matins, and after with the rest These excessive watchings brought on him an insomnia, or wakefulness, which was cured with very great difficulty. But he learned from this to use more discretion He gave a considerable time to sacred studies, and became as well versed in the scriptures and other sacred learning as he was before in profane literature.
His superior ordered him to make frequent exhortations to the religious, and as he had acquired a very great character for virtue and learning, Guy, Abbot of Pomposia, begged his superior to send him to instruct his monastery, which consisted of a hundred monks. Peter stayed there two years, preaching with great fruit, and was then called back by his abbot, and sent to perform the same function in the numerous abbey of St. Vincent, near the mountain called Pietra Pertusa, or the Hollow Rock. His love for poverty made him abhor and be ashamed to put on a new habit, or any clothes which were not threadbare and most mean. His obedience was so perfect that the least word of any superior, or signal given, according to the rule of the house, for the performance of any duty made him run that moment to discharge, with the utmost exactness, whatever was enjoined. Being recalled home some time after, and commanded by his abbot, with the unanimous consent of the hermitage, to take upon him the government of the desert after his death, Peter's extreme reluctance only obliged his superior to make greater use of his authority till he acquiesced. Wherefore, at his decease, in 1041, Peter took upon him the direction of that holy family, which he governed with the greatest reputation for wisdom and sanctity. He also founded five other numerous hermitages; in which he placed priors under his inspection. His principal care was to cherish in his disciples the spirit of solitude, charity, and humility. Among them many became great lights of the church. He was for twelve years much employed in the service of the church by many zealous bishops, and by four popes successively, namely, Gregory VI, Clement II, Leo IX, and Victor II. Their successor, Stephen IX, in 1057, prevailed with him to quit his desert, and made him Cardinal-bishop of Ostia. But such was his reluctance to the dignity that nothing less than the pope's threatening him with excommunication, and his commands, in virtue of obedience, could induce Peter to submit.
Stephen IX dying in 1058, Nicholas II was chosen pope, a man of deep penetration, of great virtue and learning, and very liberal in alms, as our saint testifies, who assisted him in obliging John, Bishop of Veletri, an anti-pope, set up by the capitaneos or magistrates of Rome, to quit his usurped dignity. Upon complaints of simony in the church of Milan, Nicholas II sent Peter thither as his legate, who chastised the guilty. Nicholas II dying, after having sat two years and six months, Alexander was chosen pope, in 1602. Peter strenuously supported him against the emperor, who set up an anti-pope, Cadolaus, Bishop of Parma, on whom the saint prevailed soon after to renounce his pretensions in a council held at Rome; and engaged Henry IV, King of Germany, who was afterwards emperor, to acquiesce in what had been done, though that prince, who in his infancy had succeeded his pious father Henry III, had sucked in very early the corrupt maxims of tyranny and irreligion. But virtue is amiable in the eyes of its very enemies, and often disarms them of their fury. St. Peter had, with great importunity, solicited Nicholas II for leave to resign his bishopric, and return to his solitude; but could not obtain it. His successor, Alexander II, out of affection for the holy man, was prevailed upon to allow it, in 1062, but not without great difficulty, and the reserve of a power to employ him in church matters of importance as he might have occasion hereafter for his assistance. The saint from that time thought himself discharged, not only from the burden of his flock, but also from the quality of superior, with regard to the several monasteries the general inspection of which he had formerly charged himself with, reducing himself to the condition of a simple monk.
In this retirement he edified the church by his penance and compunction, and laboured by his writings to enforce the observance of discipline and morality. His style is copious and vehement, and the strictness of his maxims appears in all his. works, especially where he treats of the duties of clergymen and monks. He severely rebuked the Bishop of Florence for playing a game at chess. That prelate acknowledged his amusement to be a faulty sloth in a man of his character, and received the saint's remonstrance with great mildness, and submitted to his injunction by way of penance, namely, to recite three times the psalter, to wash the feet of twelve poor men, and to give to each a piece of money. He shows those to be guilty of manifold simony who serve princes or flatter them for the sake of obtaining ecclesiastical preferments. He wrote a treatise to the bishop of Besanzon, against the custom which the canons of that church had of saying the divine office sitting; though he allowed all to sit during the lessons. This saint recommended the use of disciplines whereby to subdue and punish the flesh, which was adopted as a compensation for long penitential fasts. Three thousand lashes, with the recital of thirty psalms, were a redemption of a canonical penance of one year's continuance. Sir Thomas More, St. Francis of Sales, and others testify that such means of mortification are great helps to tame the flesh and inure it to the lab ours of penance; also to remove a hardness of heart and spiritual dryness, and to soften the soul into compunction. But all danger of abuses, excess, and singularity is to be shunned, and other ordinary bodily mortifications, as watching and fasting, are frequently more advisable. This saint wrote most severely on the obligations of religious men,4 particularly against their strolling abroad; for one of the most essential qualities of their state is solitude, or at least the spirit of retirement. He complained loudly of certain evasions, by which many palliated real infractions of their vow of poverty. He justly observed: "We can never restore what is decayed of primitive discipline; and if we, by negligence, suffer any diminution in what remains established, future ages will never be able to repair such breaches. Let us not draw upon ourselves so base a reproach; but. let us faithfully transmit to posterity the examples of virtue which we have received from our forefathers." The holy man reconciled discords, settled the bounds of the jurisdiction of certain dioceses, and condemned and deposed in councils those who were convicted of simony. He notwithstanding tempered his severity with mildness and indulgence towards penitents where charity and prudence required such a condescension. Henry IV, King of Germany, at eighteen years of age, began to show the symptoms of a heart abandoned to impiety, infamous debauchery, treachery, and cruelty. He married, in 1066, Bertha, daughter to Otho, Marquess of Italy, but afterward, in 1069, sought a divorce by taking his oath that he had never been able to consummate his marriage. The Archbishop of Mentz had the weakness to be gained over by his artifices to favour his desires, in which view he assembled a council at Mentz. Pope Alexander II forbad him ever to consent to so enormous an injustice, and pitched upon Peter Damian for his legate to preside in that synod, being sensible that a person of the most inflexible virtue, prudence, and constancy was necessary for so important and difficult an affair, in which passion, power, and craft made use of every engine in opposition to the cause of God. The venerable legate met the king and bishops at Frankfort, laid before them the orders and instructions of his holiness, and in his name conjured the king to pay a due regard to the law of God, the canons of the church, and his own reputation, and seriously reflect on the public scandal of so pernicious an example. The noblemen likewise all rose up and entreated his majesty never to stain his honour by so foul an action. The king, unable to resist so cogent an authority, dropped his project of a divorce; but, remaining the same man in his heart, continued to hate the queen more than ever.
St. Peter hastened back to his desert of Font-Avellano. Whatever austerities he prescribed to others he was the first to practice himself, remitting nothing of them even in his old age. He lived shut up in his cell as in a prison, fasted every day, except festivals, and allowed himself no other subsistence than coarse bread, bran, herbs, and water, and this he never drank fresh, but what he had kept from the day before. He tortured his body with iron girdles and frequent disciplines, to render it more obedient to the spirit. He passed the three first days of every Lent and Advent without taking any kind of nourishment whatsoever; and often for forty days together lived only on raw herbs and fruits, or on pulse steeped in cold water, without touching so much as bread, or any thing which had passed the fire. A mat spread on the floor was his bed. He used to make wooden spoons, and such like useful mean things, to exercise himself at certain hours in manual labour. Henry, Archbishop of Ravenna, having been excommunicated for grievous enormities, St. Peter was sent by Pope Alexander II, in quality of legate, to adjust the affairs of the church. When he arrived at Ravenna, in 1072, he found the unfortunate prelate just dead, but brought the accomplices of his crimes to a sense of their guilt, and imposed on them a suitable penance. This was his last undertaking for the church, God being pleased soon after to call him to eternal rest, and to the crown of his labours. Old age and the fatigues of his journey did not make him lay aside his accustomed mortifications, by which he consummated his holocaust. In his return towards Rome, he was stopped by a fever in the monastery of our Lady without the gates of Faenza, and died there on the eighth day of his sickness, whilst the monks were reciting matins round about him. He passed from that employment which had been the delight of his heart on earth to sing the same praises of God in eternal glory, on the 22nd of February, 1072, being fourscore and three years old. He is honoured as patron at Faenza and Font-Avellano on the 23rd of the same month.




source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpeterdamian.asp#ixzz1n2mqLnHe
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