Friday, June 1, 2012


Vatican City, 1 June 2012 (VIS) - "We must always learn from our heavenly Mother; her faith invites us to look beyond appearances and firmly to believe that our daily difficulties are, in fact, part of a springtime which has already begun with the risen Christ". Benedict XVI yesterday addressed these words to faithful gathered at the Grotto of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens for the conclusion of the month of May, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
At 8 p.m. the traditional procession wound its way from the Church of St. Stephen of the Abyssinians to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, presided by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Peter's in the Vatican and vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City. The Pope arrived at the Grotto at 9 p.m. where, before imparting his apostolic blessing, he made a brief address.
"This evening we wish to draw from Mary's Immaculate Heart with renewed trust, allowing ourselves to be imbued with her joy which had its most profound source in the Lord. Joy, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, is a fundamental distinguishing characteristic of Christians. It is founded on hope in God, it draws strength from incessant prayer and it enables us to face trials and suffering with serenity. As St. Paul reminds us: 'Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer'. These words of the Apostle are like an echo of Mary's 'Magnificat' and exhort us to reproduce, in our own selves and in our everyday lives, the sentiments of joy in the faith expressed in that Marian canticle".
In conclusion the Pope expressed his hope that, "at the end of this month of May, the spiritual joy which overflows from the grateful heart of Christ's Mother and ours, may become consolidated in our hearts, in our personal and family lives, in all places and especially in the life the family which, here in the Vatican, serves the universal Church".

Vatican City, 1 June 2012 (VIS) - A note released today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff provides details concerning the taking of possession of the following titles and diaconates:
- At 6 p.m. on Saturday 9 June Giuseppe Betori, archbishop of Florence, Italy, will take possession of the title of San Marcello al Corso, Piazza San Marcello 5, Rome.
- At 11.30 a.m. on Sunday 10 June Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, will take possession of the diaconate of San Cesareo in Palatio, Via di Porta San Sebastiano, Rome.
- At 5.30 p.m. on Friday 15 June Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, will take possession of the diaconate of Sacro Cuore di Gesu a Castro Pretorio, Via Marsala 42, Rome.
- At 10.30 a.m. on Sunday 17 June Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State, will take possession of the diaconate of Santi Vito, Modesto e Crescenzia, Via Carlo Alberto 47, Rome.

Vatican City, 1 June 2012 (VIS) - The Vatican Information Service will issue special bulletins tomorrow Saturday 2 June, and on Sunday 3 June, for the Holy Father's visit to Milan, Italy, for the seventh World Meeting of Families.


Mark 11: 11 - 26

11 And he entered Jerusalem, and went into the temple; and when he had looked round at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry.
13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.
14 And he said to it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard it.
15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons;
16 and he would not allow any one to carry anything through the temple.
17 And he taught, and said to them, "Is it not written, `My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers."
18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and sought a way to destroy him; for they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.
19 And when evening came they went out of the city.
20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.
21 And Peter remembered and said to him, "Master, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered."
22 And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God.
23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, `Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."


Fr Kevin Doran and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, pictured at the press conference.
A media briefing was held today in the Columba Centre, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, to mark the final day of the Summer General Meeting of the Irish Bishops’ Conference. In attendance were: Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin and President of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012; Bishop Denis Brennan, Bishop of Ferns and co-chair of the Council for Communications; Bishop Kieran O’Reilly, Bishop of Killaloe and Chair of the ‘Share the Good News’ Implementation Committee; Rev Professor Michael Mullaney, Vice-President of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth; Fr Kevin Doran, Secretary General of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012; Mr Eamonn Meehan, Deputy Director of Trócaire – the overseas aid agency of the Irish Bishops’ Conference; and, Mr James Nugent SC, chair of the Towards Healing Counselling and Support Services for survivors of abuse.
Photographs are available by contacting the Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth. An audio recording of this media briefing is available here: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Bishops addressed the following news items:
  • Prayers for victims (i) in Syria; and (ii) of the recent earthquakes in Italy
  • Ordinations to the Permanent Diaconate
  • International Theology Symposium hosted by the Faculty of Theology, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth – 6 to 9 June 2012
  • 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin – 10 to 17 June 2012
  • Bishops’ agencies, councils and initiatives to be showcased at Eucharistic Congress
  • Update on progress of the Implementation Committee for Share the Good News
  • National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church
  • Towards Healing Counselling and Support Services for survivors of abuse
  • Aung San Suu Kyi – Trócaire NI Lenten campaign – Trócaire in East Africa – Bishop Gassis – UN Conference
  • Appointments
  • Prayers for victims of (i) massacre in Syria; and (ii) the two earthquakes in Italy

Bishops joined with the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI in expressing deep sorrow and concern regarding the now 14 month civil conflict in Syria and in particular the massacre in the town of Houla last Friday 25 May in which an estimated one hundred people, including many children, lost their lives. Bishops expressed support for the renewed appeal by the Holy Father for an end to all forms of violence, and on his call to the parties involved, and to the entire international community, to spare no effort to resolve this crisis through prayer, dialogue and reconciliation.
Bishops prayed for the repose of the souls of Father Ivo Martini and for all the victims who died as a result of the two recent earthquakes and aftershocks which struck Modena in the Emilia Romagna region of northern Italy. Bishops conveyed their deepest sympathies to the people of Italy and asked the faithful to remember, in their daily prayers and at Mass, those who died, their families, and those injured and displaced by these powerful acts of nature. Bishops encouraged everyone, through prayer and friendship, to express solidarity with the Italian community living in Ireland at this difficult time.
  • Ordinations to the Permanent Diaconate
Bishops offered their prayerful good wishes to the first group of permanent deacons to be ordained in Ireland since the re-institution of the permanent diaconate by the Second Vatican Council. The ordinations will take place next weekend for the Archdiocese of Dublin.
Deacons are normally appointed to a parish near their home, and entrusted by their bishop with specific responsibilities. Some will take on specialised ministries which are in keeping with their gifts and experience. Deacons exercise a ministry of charity; to proclaim the Gospel; assist the priest at the celebration of the Eucharist and at the celebrations of baptism and marriage; and, to preside at funerals.
Following the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI – as part of a wider renewal of ministry in the Church – restored the permanent diaconate in the Western Church. It was very much in keeping with the vision of the Council that there would be an ordained ministry in the Church which would have a particular focus on the care of those who are spiritually or socially marginalised. The diaconate is an ordained ministry which traces its origins back to Apostolic times. As part of a process of renewal of ministries in the Church, both lay and ordained, the Second Vatican Council decided to restore the diaconate as a distinct ministry. It is permanent in the sense that it is not simply a stage on the way to priesthood, and those who are ordained will serve as deacons. In 2006, the Holy See agreed to a request from the Irish bishops for the restoration of the Permanent Diaconate in Ireland. In the same year the Bishops’ Conference published The Permanent Diaconate – National Directory and Norms for Ireland.
  • International Theology Symposium hosted by the Faculty of Theology, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth – 6 to 9 June 2012
The International Theology Symposium of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 will take place between 6 – 9 June at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth. The theme for the Symposium is ‘The Ecclesiology of Communion Fifty Years after the Opening of Vatican II’.
The Symposium precedes the opening liturgical ceremony of the Eucharistic Congress in the Arena of the RDS which will take place on 10 June. The Symposium will be attended by over 320 participants comprising lay people, priests and religious. As an international event, the Symposium will hear expert contributions from international scholars across the disciplines of theology: Scripture, Systematics, Moral Theology, Liturgy, Pastoral Studies, Missiology and Ecumenics.
The Symposium will open with addresses from Professors Salvador Ryan and Brendan McConvery from Maynooth, and Jennifer O’Reilly (Royal Irish Academy), on ‘The Eucharist, Communion and the People in Irish Christianity’; the keynote speaker for the Symposium will be Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Cardinal Ouellet Papal Legate for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress. Cardinal Ouellet was the Archbishop of Quebec, the diocese which hosted the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in 2008.
Also speaking will be Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, on the topic of ‘The Church as Communion, Ecumenism and the Eucharist’, and Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa (Honduras), who will address the topic of ‘Mission and the Eucharist’. Dr Martin Stufflesser (Würzburg) will speak on the theme of Eucharistic Ecclesiology and the Liturgy; Professor Brian Johnstone (Catholic University of America) on ‘Sacraments as gifts of the Risen Christ’; and Dr Clare Watkins (Westminster Seminary) on ‘Living Eucharist in the Family Today’.
Irish theologians, Rev Dr Dermot Lane will present on the theme of the ‘Eucharist and Eschatology’; Father Michael Drumm (Catholic Schools Partnership) on ‘Being Educated in Communion’; Rev Professor Thomas Norris (Maynooth) on the ‘Reception of the Ecclesiology of Vatican II and the Marian profile of the Church’ and Rev Professor Eamonn Conway (Mary Immaculate College, Limerick) on ‘Being a Priest in a de-traditionalised cultural context’.
Dr Geraldine Smyth OP (Irish School of Ecumenics), and Rev Professor Robert Enright (Wisconsin-Madison) will present a paper on ‘Becoming Eucharist for One Another through Forgiving’.
The programme brochure for the Theology Symposium is available to download from the Eucharistic Congress site
  • 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin – 10 to 17 June 2012
Pilgrims have until 4 June to register to attend the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 which will take place in the two Dublin venues of the RDS and Croke Park from 10 – 17 June next.
The International Eucharistic Congress is an international gathering of people, held every four years somewhere in the world, which aims to promote an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church; to help improve our understanding and celebration of the liturgy and to draw attention to the social dimension of the Eucharist. These aims are achieved through a programme of pastoral preparation in the years leading up to the Congress and a programme of liturgical and cultural events, lectures and workshops over the course of one week. Previous Congresses took place in Quebec (2008) and Guadalajara (2004). The theme of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress is: ‘The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one Another’ (Communion – like Solidarity – means a relationship of mutual love and self-giving).
Up to 25,000 pilgrims can look forward to an extensive programme of liturgical and pastoral events in Dublin’s RDS which will involve 223 speakers and 160 workshops comprising talks, addresses, group reflections, meetings, concerts and plays.
Over 7,000 international pilgrims representing 123 countries will attend including from England, Wales, Scotland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Australia, Puerto Rico, Japan, Peru, South Africa, Guadalupe, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Zimbabwe, Turkmenistan, Nigeria, the USA and Canada (Quebec City hosted the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in 2008).
Close to 80,000 pilgrims will gather for the Statio Orbis closing ceremony on 17 June in Croke Park and this will be a fully seated and ticketed event. The Statio Orbis will include Mass at which the Papal Legate, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, will preside. Details and the full list of Eucharistic Congress events is available on
Tickets may still be purchased by calling +353-1-2981122; or by email; and on :
- Limited number of €10 tickets for the Croke Park Statio Orbis ceremony on 17 June
- Single day ticket for any day at RDS: €35
- Special ‘Dual Tickets’ for the opening ceremony on 10 June in the RDS, and the Statio Orbis closing ceremony in Croke Park, available to jointly purchase for €40
- Any three consecutive day programme in RDS from 10 – 16 June: €70
- Full seven day programme in RDS from 10-16 June: €105
On 2 June a pilgrim walk will be led by Archbishop Martin, Archbishop of Dublin and Archbishop Michael Jackson, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin. This ‘Dublin Camino’ is the first of its kind in the capital and will involve visiting the seven oldest churches in the City of Dublin. This pilgrimage is a sacred journey during which pilgrims seek to strengthen and renew their faith. This is a pastoral initiative of the Dublin Diocesan Eucharistic Congress Committee which is chaired by the Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, Bishop Raymond Field.
  • Bishops’ agencies, councils and initiatives to be showcased at Congress
Staff and bishops will be available to pilgrims attending the Congress to help promote the pastoral work of the councils, agencies and initiatives of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. The Bishops’ Conference will be represented at stands 180 and 181 in the exhibition space of the RDS. The councils, agencies and initiatives form part of the departmental structure of the Bishops’ Conference and they represent the diverse and wide-ranging pastoral activities of the many lay faithful, religious and priests who work in collaboration with the bishops in service of the Church in Ireland.
The pastoral services supported by the Bishops’ Conference are inspired and motivated by the Gospel, the Word of God, which is for all. Pastoral services supported include: Safeguarding Children, Towards Healing Counselling and Support Services for survivors, ACCORD Catholic Marriage Care Service, Cura Crisis Pregnancy Support, Trócaire overseas aid, Pastoral Response to Substance Misuse, Migrant care, Marriage and the Family, Education, Catechetics, Veritas Publications, Justice and Peace, Outreach to Prisoners, Liturgy, Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development, Vocations, and the Catholic Communications Office.
  • Update on progress of the Implementation Committee for Share the Good News
The National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland – Share the Good News – is a ten year plan for renewal of the Church in Ireland and is essential reading for those involved in catechetical and other faith development initiatives at every level throughout the Church in Ireland.
The Implementation Committee for Share the Good News is responsible for developing and overseeing an operational plan for Share the Good News. In spring 2013 a National Faith Development Team will replace the Implementation Committee.
Currently the Implementation Committee is a working group which supports and dialogues with others involved in pastoral activity, locally and regionally, in order to see how best the Directory can form their future activities. In this sense, Share the Good News is a coming to life in practice for all those who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Share the Good News is a living document which speaks from the body of the Church.
Since its launch in January 2011, there has been a high level of social media interest in SGN and almost 5,000 copies have been sold. There are plans that (facilitated by Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development) will become a portal through which people can engage more fully with the content of the Directory. Share the Good News will share space at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 with Veritas. Share the Good News is a timely and valuable pastoral plan which can contribute towards renewal in Ireland now and in the aftermath of the Congress ahead of the Universal Church’s Year of Faith which begins in October.
  • National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church
Mr John Morgan, Chairman, and Mr Ian Elliott, Chief Executive, updated bishops on the work of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.
Bishops were appraised of the extensive ‘foundational and specialist’ training programmes which are being provided by the National Board and whose aim is to strengthen the safeguarding structure of the Church. These training programmes involve bishops, priests, religious, safeguarding lay volunteers from parishes, and designated persons from dioceses.
The National Board has received an increase in requests for advice and guidance from dioceses over the last year. Since its establishment, the National Case Management Reference Group, an initiative that has been introduced by the National Board to act as a further support to bishops seeking advice and guidance on safeguarding matters, has proven to be a very helpful resource to Church leaders in Ireland.
  • Towards Healing Counselling and Support Services for survivors of abuse
The Chairman of the Towards Healing Counselling and Support Services (formerly Faoiseamh), Mr James Nugent SC, along with the Chief Executive, Mr Michael Lyons, and Clinical Director, Dr Melissa Darmody, updated the Bishops’ Conference on recent activities.
The operation of the Towards Healing Counselling and Support Services reflects the commitment of the Catholic Church in Ireland to meet the counselling and related support needs of survivors of religious, clerical and institutional abuse. The service commenced on 1 February 2011 and succeeds the Faoiseamh Counselling service established in 1996 by the Sisters of Mercy.
In 2011, Towards Healing provided 28,000 counselling sessions to over 1,300 survivors, while its Helpline support service responded to nearly 12,000 calls. It also provided a wide range of other services including child protection, group work, practical workshops, restorative justice/facilitated listening meetings, a friendly call service and advocacy to survivors who suffered abuse as minors in Ireland. The service is available irrespective of the survivor’s current residence and all services are free of charge to clients. Towards Healing maintains a ‘no waiting list’ policy and in 2011 counselling was provided by 700 independent therapists. The service in 2011 had a budget of €2m and this was financed by the Irish Bishops’ Conference, the Conference of Religious in Ireland and the Irish Missionary Union.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi – Trócaire NI Lenten campaign – Trócaire in East Africa – Bishop Gassis - UN Conference
Welcome of visit of Aung San Suu Kyi to Ireland
Bishops welcome the forthcoming visit on Aung San Suu Kyi to Ireland in the light of the continuing links between the Irish Church and Myanmar (Burma). Trócaire continues to support a number of projects in the country. The Irish Columban Fathers, a number of whom are buried in Myanmar, had a missionary province in the northeast of the country until they were prevented from working there in the 1960s by the military dictatorship. The Columban Fathers – in conjunction with the Diocese of Meath – continue to support education projects for disadvantaged children in the two dioceses where they had a presence. Archbishop Grawng, Archbishop of Mandalay, is attending the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Ireland.
UK Department for International Development (DfID)“Matched Funding Scheme” and Trócaire Northern Ireland Lenten Campaign 2012
Under a new scheme introduced by the UK Department for International Development (DfID), the UK Government’s aid programme, Trócaire Northern Ireland has qualified for the maximum amount of Stg£900,000 in matching funding from DfID. Bishops wish to thank all concerned.
Trócaire work in East Africa
Bishops expressed their gratitude for the extraordinary generosity of people throughout Ireland who responded to Trócaire appeal in response to the drought in East Africa one year ago. In 2011 Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia were struck by the worst famine in sixty years and €5.8 m was donated to support Trócaire’s emergency response, thanks to a national collection which took place in parishes across Ireland last July.
Thanks to these donations Trócaire has been providing support for over 400,000 people across the devastated areas as people recover and rebuild their livelihoods. This support has included providing 4,657 tonnes of food in Kenya, water to almost over 30,000 people in Somalia and distributing food to almost 30,000 people in Ethiopia.
Trócaire will continue to work with these communities, strengthening their defences against future droughts and helping them to cope with the increasingly devastating effects climate change is having across the developing world.
Visit of Bishop Macram Max Gassis, Bishop of El Obeid Diocese, Sudan
Cardinal Seán Brady, Bishop John Kirby and Bishop Raymond Field met Bishop Macram Max Gassis, Bishop of El Obeid Diocese, Sudan, during a recent visit by the latter to Trócaire. Bishop Gassis – nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize – came to Ireland as part of a European tour to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis faced by the Nuba people of his diocese. Caught in a battle for territory and resources between the governments of Sudan and the newly independent South Sudan, the Nuba people have been subjected to aerial bombardments, which threaten lives both directly and indirectly, through the destruction of vital infrastructure and disruption of farming, which is essential to the survival of this community.
Bishop Gassis expressed his thanks for the vital work carried out by Trócaire in the region. On behalf of the international Caritas Federation, Trócaire has been responding to the crisis in the Nuba Mountains through the Diocese of El Obeid since the fighting began in June 2011. Trócaire is supporting the only hospital for 300 miles – the Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains – where staff are battling in severely crowded conditions to save the lives of those injured in the bombings or affected by the consequences through lack of food and clean water.
Bishops expressed their support for Bishop Gassis in his work for peace. Trócaire has appealed for all sides in the conflict to cease military operations, including aerial bombardment, and to comply with their obligations under International Humanitarian Law to allow safe and unhindered access for humanitarian aid to the region.
Reflecting on the situation in the newly established Republic of South Sudan, bishops noted that conditions in this, the world’s newest country, provide a powerful illustration of how much remains to be done in the target areas identified by the Millennium Development Goals: 90% of the population is surviving on less than $1 per day, only 1.9% are currently finishing primary school, and 90% of women are unable to read or write. Bishops emphasised the need for Ireland to play its part in ensuring that the maximum effort is made to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and put in place structures to allow the continuation of this work beyond the target date.
Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
Ahead of the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which will take place in Brazil on 20- 22 June next, bishops emphasised the need for world leaders to re-examine the current understanding of economic growth.
As Pope Benedict has argued in his 2009 Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate: “It is true that growth has taken place, and it continues to be a positive factor that has lifted billions of people out of misery — recently it has given many countries the possibility of becoming effective players in international politics. Yet it must be acknowledged that this same economic growth has been and continues to be weighed down by malfunctions and dramatic problems, highlighted even further by the current crisis.”
Bishops expressed the hope that the forthcoming summit would result in progress towards the development of a new model of economic growth which will address growing problems of inequality and resulting injustice and instability, founded on respect for the dignity of every human person, in right relations with one another and with the natural environment.
  • Appointments
The Trustees of the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop Dermot Clifford and Archbishop Michael Neary, announced the following new appointments to the staff of the Pontifical Irish College, Rome. These are:
- Father George Hayes, Diocese of Kerry, as Vice Rector; and,
- Father Hugh Clifford, Diocese of Galway, as Director of Formation.
The appointment of the new Spiritual Director will be made in due course.
The archbishops, as Trustees of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, also announced the appointment of Rev Dr Kevin O’Gorman SMA as lecturer in Moral Theology at Saint Patrick’s College.
Bishops wished Father Hayes, Father Clifford and Father O’Gorman well in their new ministries.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth 00353 01 505 3017, Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444


Sr Bruscato
NAIROBI, May 31, 2012 (CISA) -Members of the Daughters of Saint Paul religious congregation held a 10-day Africa’s continental meeting (May 20-30) in Nairobi and under the theme: Pauline and Economy.
A statement, issued at the end of the meeting said the purpose of the meeting was to trace out together a new journey of evangelization which should respond to the needs of Africa following the priorities set out by the Synod for Africa.
“The sisters sought new ways to meet the needs of the people of Africa through the Pauline Mission of evangelization through the media of social communication,”
“All this was geared towards drawing a Global Continental Apostolic Project. It is our hope that the project developed will help to serve the people of Africa better through our witness of life and the media,” added the statement.
The Superior General of the Daughters of St Paul, Sr Maria Antonieta Bruscato, said she hoped the work done would “go ahead well and help us to trace out new paths for our mission, sustained by the bold and prophetic faith that makes it possible for us to say with Paul, ‘We believe and therefore we speak’ (cf 2 Cor 4:13), and that reinforces our conviction that it is urgent to offer everyone ‘the charity of the truth’ (Bl Alberione).”
The participants at this meeting reflected intensely on the principles of the charism that underlie the Pauline apostolic commitment.
The General Councillor on Apostolate, Sr Anna Maria Caiazza, underlined the importance of the passion for the apostolate–a dimension of the charism that is innate to the Pauline vocation, “It consists in continually searching for the paths of God and in being attentive to the signs of the times. It requires ‘intellectual curiosity,’ a positive perception of situations and problems, and the capacity to dialogue with society and history, including its more dramatic aspects.”
The General Bursar, Sr Gabriella Santon, underscored the need for a profound and dynamic balance between the apostolate and economy. As she pointed out, “Economy is at the service of the apostolate and the apostolate gives continuity and stability to our economy.”
“To forget this interdependent relationship would be to place our evangelizing activities at risk and compromise the apostolate. In contrast, wise administration can help us not only maintain but also expand and develop our activities,” she said.
The meeting was also addressed by Nakuru diocese Bishop Maurice Makumba and Fr Francesco Pierli, MCCJ.
Bishop Makumba gave a comprehensive historical and cultural background of Africa. He pointed out that the challenge of evangelization today is to help bring about the birth of a culture that is both African and Christian: African, so that the faith will reach the hearts of people; and Christian to discern in its light the true cultural values.
Fr Francesco Pierli presented a response of the Church in Africa from the perspective of Ecclesia in Africa and Africae Munus.
The meeting was attended by 37 Sisters, drawn from various parts of Africa and from Rome.
The Daughters of St Paul carry out a new form of evangelization by living and witnessing to the Faith through communications. The sisters are active in all forms of media, from traditional publications to e-books, from TV to social media, from the internet to mobile apps—working in the areas of writing, publishing, recording and broadcasting, screen-writing, media literacy, religious education, adult faith formation and spiritual development.


The oil on canvas depicts 101scenes from the Old and the New Testament. The tablets of the law are in Hindi, Mary wears a sari, and Eve has long black curls. The author, Edwin Parmar, got the idea of using Indian culture to raise awareness about Christianity among Hindus and Muslims. Fr Paul Kattukaran, coordinator for the Artists' Artists' Forum of the Social Communication Bureau of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, helped him.

Kochi (AsiaNews) - Edwin Parmar, a Catholic painter from Gujarat, is the author of an oil painting on canvas, 143 by 0.90 metres, with a biblical theme. In the Indian-style work, Eve has waist-length black curls, Our Lady wears a sari and Moses is holding the tablets with the Ten Commandments in Hindi. The work is currently on display at the Pastoral Orientation Centre at Palarivattom, Kochi, at an exhibition organised by the Bible Commission of the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council.

Working 16 hours a day for 40 days, Parmar completed the big painting in 2005. At that time, he was living in Kalol, 40 kilometres from Ahmedabad, the largest city in Gujarat.

"I am Catholic," Parmar told AsiaNews. "In the state [Gujarat], Christians are a tiny minority, barely tolerated. One day I got an idea. Why not use Indian culture, which I love and which unites us all, to explain the Bible and our faith to Hindus and Muslims [the local majority]. The outcome was positive and non-Christians were quite impressed.

Fr Paul Kattukaran, Artists' Forum coordinator for the Office of Social Communication of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, helped Parmar in promoting his work.

"His paintings are thought from the perspective of ordinary people," the priest told AsiaNews. "Seeing figures with Indian features impresses people because it eliminates differences. Today, everybody is caught up in electronics, television, but when they look at these paintings, they are struck by their depth."

Parmar's work has been exhibited in 39 churches in Thrissur Diocese, to which Fr Kattukaran belongs. In view of his great success in Kerala, Parmar and his wife Maneesha moved to Kerala.


Time out with George Piech Meat

George Piech Meat is a South Sudanese refugee who migrated to Australia with his wife Tabisa and their children in 2004. George is the father of six children. He works as a Sudanese Catholic community pastoral worker and is studying at Catholic Theological College to become a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. In December last year, six months after South Sudan was declared independent, he travelled with the parish priest of Holy Saviour Parish, Glen Waverley North, Fr Tony Feeney, and Br Michael Lynch SDB to his homeland. George wants to help the people of his hometown, Bantiu, build an urgently needed school. He spoke to Kairos Catholic Journal’s Edwina Hall about his journey to the world’s most recently established country.
Tell me about your trip to South Sudan.
My country received its independence in July last year and it was a good opportunity for me to go and also to take Fr Tony Feeney and Br Michael Lynch with me, to see the need and the situation of the people there. This is one of the reasons we went to Bantiu, where the problem is now. We met the auxiliary bishop in Juba the capital of South Sudan. He gave us a little bit of history and a brief on what is happening. There is a lot of need.
South Sudan is the world’s newest country. How is it developing?
We are very proud to have received our independence; we lost 2½ million people during two civil wars and about 4 million were driven out of the country. I am one of them. People are now very happy. Our government is still struggling with lack of management because all the top leaders now were the fighters before—they have never held office until now so they are struggling. But through the help of the United Nations and neighbouring countries that are willing to help South Sudan there is a lot of improvement. A lot of people volunteered to fight and protect their children and their country. They hope for a better education and future for their children. We are very proud that this happened during our time.
Tell me about the needs of the South Sudanese people.
The Church has a very great need, especially schooling. The disadvantaged families now are the people who were in the north before South Sudan became independent and who, because of the separation of Sudan, are returning to South Sudan where there is a lack of schooling opportunities. In Bantiu there is a very big parish but no Catholic school. After Sudan became independent in 1956 they developed the north through our resources, resources of South Sudan, and they forgot about the south. There is one parish with 10 centres around Bantiu. Fr Tony was the main celebrant at a 3½-hour Mass to celebrate the New Year and over 5000 people attended. It was like a pilgrimage, witnessing what was happening. Fr Tony and Br Michael were eyewitnesses; neither of them had been to Africa before.
What is going on in South Sudan today?
Recently there has been a lot of fighting and it is good that the media is already there. There is a problem between the south and the north because Bantiu is a rich oil place, all the oil of South Sudan and of Sudan before comes from Bantiu. The north wants it, especially the area called Leich. There is uncertainty about the border. The international community is now working very hard to bring them together for the peace process and negotiations so that the border issues can be resolved. People are still suffering, there are no production companies. All the food comes from east Africa—Kenya, Uganda—because the north has blocked off the border and food supply is the number one issue.
What effect did returning to South Sudan have on you?
I was very happy to go and see my new country. This is the first time I have returned since South Sudan gained independence. Seeing children just walking along the street without a school was very difficult. I said to Br Michael, I want the best schooling and best opportunities for my children, but I don’t want to forget about all my village people. So, I asked Br Michael and Fr Tony to go and to see my country and be witnesses. I am very happy that we are now a nation and our people can look for a better future for our children and for the nation.
When did you move to Australia and why?
We moved to Australia in 2004 because of the war. My wife and I decided to leave Sudan and search for a better life for our children. We fled to Egypt; we stayed there for two years and three months. We applied to Australia but we were rejected the first time. We came here with our three children and then we had another three. I came here as a refugee but I am a citizen now. It was difficult coming to a new country and new culture. St Anthony’s has been my parish and Fr Tony my parish priest when I arrived. I am where I am today because of him. Now I am in the last year of my Bachelor of Theology degree.
Did you always have faith when you lived in Sudan?
In Sudan I was a catechist. The catechists in Sudan generally have a lot of pastoral responsibilities, taking care of the parishes in Sudan, especially when they don’t have a priest; doing the Liturgy of the Word, Communion Service on Sundays. My last parish was in Bantiu. We received priests twice a year, at Christmas and Easter, so this is my connection to the faith. Coming to Australia, I continued work as a catechist and by the will and the grace of God I will be ordained this year as a permanent deacon. This is my Christian journey, journey with a struggle, journey with disappointment … but finally I am here.
How do you think having faith helps you in the situations you have been through?
Persecution as a Christian is one of the struggles that we have been through in Sudan. Because Sudan is one of Islam’s strongest countries and we in the south are Christian, we struggle a lot with how we can protect our faith. Sometimes you see people who, because of the persecution, convert to Islam; some were killed. So, this is the struggle that we’ve been through. Reflecting on the Bible is always part of the courage that I receive. Whatever your problems you will find something in the Bible that can touch you and also can encourage you. Also the life and the struggle of Jesus. Jesus said, if you want to be my disciple, take your cross and follow me.
All my work was in the south. In the south there was a chance of evangelising. But there were a lot of problems because the northern military used to occupy the area that I worked in. Sometimes it was difficult to go to the church and pray, you expected any attack could happen. There was lots of struggle. This is the beauty of this country, that there is freedom of religion, you can do whatever you want to do and we have been welcomed into our parishes. We have become part of our parish. We have our Sudanese Mass once a month, we celebrate the Mass in the way we use to celebrate Mass back home. The Australian priests are working well to welcome us.
What are some of your plans for the future of South Sudan?
We put this in God’s hands. We don’t know what will be. Here in Australia we don’t have any idea of what is happening there but through Fr Tony’s witness and Br Michael’s witness we pray that we can tell the story of what is happening. We have found an Australian lawyer who has a job with the United Nations in South Sudan as a project manager. We met him and gave him some ideas and he has now connected me with an architect here
to design the school and he will apply for donors.

Some parishes are happy to help: St Brigid’s in Mordialloc and St Louis de Montfort want to establish a social justice committee. There is already a school but it is only for grade 1 and grade 2. We send money so the tukult—a local building in South Sudan—can be repaired to accommodate children in the wet season. I am still wondering how I can help and what kind of help I can offer my people. The help will come through my connection with some friends in the church and the good Samaritans who wish to help through the Don Bosco Mission.
Why are you studying to become a deacon?
Coming here as a catechist and also working with my community now—the South Sudanese Catholic community is the largest African Catholic Community in Australia and the majority are here in our diocese—will allow me to continue to serve my Church. On 1April a group of Sudanese catechists was commissioned and is working and connecting our people with the Church, serving them in different ways, connecting them with the parishes and schools. Being a permanent Deacon working with my community will connect my people more with the Church and the Church will benefit from that because we hope that our children will join the seminary and religious life in Australia.
Donations to support this new school, which are tax deductable, can be made out to:
Salesian Mission Office,
PO Box 264, Ascot Vale 3032.
T: 9377 6014 or

Top: George Piech Meat. Photo by Edwina Hall.
Middle: Students of St Martin de Porres school Bentiu, South Sudan inside their local classroom. Photo supplied by George Piech Meat.
Bottom: From left: Mr John Dour, Fr Anthony Feeney, Bishop Santo Lako, Br Michael Lynch SDB and George Piech Meat.Photo supplied by George Piech Meat.


Agenzia Fides REPORT- About 4,000 young Hondurans will participate in a march that will begin on June 8 from Tegucigalpa and will arrive in the town of Talanga on June 10, in the same central region of Honduras Francisco Morazán, to ask the government to disarm the Civil population and stop the violence in the country, which records an average of 19 deaths per day. According to information received by Fides, the march (approximately 50 km) entitled "Samaritans for love", is organized by the youth ministry of the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa with an invitation to all the youth in the area to participate.
One of the organizers of the march, Marvin Cruz, told the local press that during the march a request will be made to the government of President Porfirio Lobo "the disarmament of civilians and to stop the violence in Honduras," which in 2011 recorded an annual number of murders equal to 86,5 for every 100,000 inhabitants, according to figures provided by the Human Rights Commission (HRC). The march, also coordinated by the pastor of Talanga, Father Miguel Mejia, wants to be a manifestation of religious fervor and "an opportunity to raise the awareness of Hondurans on the possibility of changing the climate of violence suffered by the Honduras," according to the organizers . "We want to sensitize the public and all citizens, to show that not all young people are criminals," said Marvin Cruz, who wanted to note that this is not the only initiative for peace in the country. There were also several events and marches in the town of Cedros, east of the Honduran capital, in Danli, in Juticalpa (east), in Choluteca (south), in Comayagua (center) and Esperanza.
Also from the data of the HRC (Human Rights Commission), we learn that violence in Honduras made 46,450 victims between 2000 and 2011, including 12,838 registered in the first 23 months of President Lobo’s government. According to statistics from the Observatory on Violence at the University Institute of Democracy, Peace and Security, 80 percent of people who die are young, and 78.6 percent of homicides are committed with firearms. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 01/06/2012)


St. Justin
Feast: June 1

Feast Day: June 1
Born: 100 at Nablus, Palestine
Died: 165, Rome, Roman Empire
St. Justin was born at Neapolis, now Naplosa, the ancient Sichem, and formerly the capital of the province of Samaria. Vespasian, having endowed its inhabitants with the privileges belonging to Roman citizens, gave it the name of Flavia. His son Titus sent thither a colony of Greeks, among whom were the father and grandfather of our saint. His father, a heathen, brought him up in the errors and superstitions of paganism, but at the same time did not neglect to cultivate his mind by several branches of human literature.
St. Justin accordingly informs us, that he spent his youth in reading the poets, orators, and historians. Having gone through the usual course of these studies, he gave himself up to that of philosophy in quest of truth, an ardent love of which was his predominant passion. He addressed himself first to a master who was a Stoic; and after having stayed some time with him, seeing he could learn nothing of him concerning God, he left him, and went to a Peripatetic, a very subtle man in his own conceit: but Justin, being desired the second day after admission, to fix his master's salary, that he might know what he was to be allowed for his pains in teaching him, he left him also, concluding that he was no philosopher. He then tried a Pythagorean, who had a great reputation, and who boasted much of his wisdom; but he required of his scholar, as a necessary preliminary to his admission, that he should have learned music, astronomy, and geometry. Justin could not bear such delays in the search of God, and preferred the school of an Academic, under whom he made great progress in the Platonic philosophy, and vainly flattered himself with the hope of arriving in a short time at the sight of God, which the Platonic philosophy seemed to have had chiefly in view.
Walking one day by the sea-side, for the advantage of a greater freedom from noise and tumult, he saw, as he turned about, an old man who followed him pretty close. His appearance was majestic, and had a great mixture in it of mildness and gravity. Justin looking on him very attentively, the man asked him if he knew him. Justin answered in the negative. "Why then," said he, "do you lock so steadfastly upon me?" Justin replied: "It is the effect of my surprise to meet any human creature in this remote and solitary place." "What brought me hither," said that old man, "was my concern for some of my friends. They are gone a journey, and I am come hither to look out for them." They then fell into a long discourse concerning the excellency of philosophy in general, and of the Platonic in particular, which Justin asserted to be the only true way to happiness, and of knowing and seeing God. This the grave person refuted at large, and at length by the force of his arguments convinced him that those philosophers whom he had the greatest esteem for, Plato and Pythagoras, had been mistaken in their principles, and had not a thorough knowledge of God and of the soul of man, nor could they in consequence communicate it to others. This drew from him the important query, Who were the likeliest persons to set him in the right way? The stranger answered, that long before the existence of these reputed philosophers, there were certain blessed men, lovers of God, and divinely inspired, called prophets, on account of their foretelling things which have since come to pass; whose books, yet extant, contain many solid instructions about the first cause and end of all things, and many other particulars becoming a philosopher to know. That their miracles and their predictions had procured them such credit, that they established truth by authority, and not by disputes and elaborate demonstrations of human reason, of which few men are capable. That they inculcated the belief of one only God, the Father and author of all things, and of his Son Jesus Christ, whom he had sent into the world. He concluded his discourse with this advice: "As for thyself, above all things, pray that the gates of life may be opened unto thee: for these are not things to be discerned, unless God and Christ grant to a man the knowledge of them." After these words he departed, and Justin saw him no more: but his conversation left a deep impression on the young philosopher's soul, and kindled there an ardent affection for these true philosophers, the prophets. And upon a further inquiry into the credibility of the Christian religion, he embraced it soon after. What had also no small weight in persuading him of the truth of the Christian faith, was the innocence and true virtue of its professors; seeing with what courage and constancy, rather than to betray their religion, or commit the least sin, they suffered the sharpest tortures, and encountered, nay, even courted death itself, in its most horrible shapes. "When I heard the Christians traduced and reproached," says he, "yet saw them fearless and rushing on death, and on all things that are accounted most dreadful to human nature, I concluded with myself that it was impossible those men should wallow in vice, and be carried away with the love of lust and pleasure." Justin, by the course of his studies, must have been grown up when he was converted to the faith. Tillemont and Marand understand, by an obscure passage in St. Epiphanius, that he was in the thirtieth year of his age.

St. Justin, after he became a Christian, continued to wear the pallium, or cloak, as Eusebius and St. Jerome inform us, which was the singular badge of a philosopher. Aristides, the Athenian philosopher and a Christian, did the same; so did Heraclas, even when he was bishop of Alexandria. St. Epiphanius calls St. Justin a great ascetic, or one who professed a most austere and holy life. He came to Rome soon after his conversion, probably from Egypt. Tillemont and Dom. Marand think that he was a priest, from his description of baptism, and the account he gave at his trial of people resorting to his house for instruction. This, however, is uncertain; and Ceillier concludes, from the silence of the ancients on this head, that he was always a layman: but he seems to have preached, and therefore to have been at least deacon. His discourse, or oration to the Greeks, he wrote soon after his conversion, in order to convince the heathens of the reasonableness of his having deserted paganism. He urges the absurdity of idolatry, and the inconsistency of ascribing lewdness and other crimes to their deities: on the other hand, he declares his admiration of, and reverence for, the purity and sanctity of the Christian doctrine, and the awful majesty of the divine writings which still the passions, and fix in a happy tranquillity the mind of man, which finds itself everywhere else restless. His second work is called his Paraenesis, or Exhortation to the Greeks, which he drew up at Rome: in this he employs the flowers of eloquence, which even in his apologies he despises. In it he shows the errors of idolatry, and the vanity of the heathen philosophers; reproaches Plato with making an harangue to the Athenians, in which he pretended to establish a multitude of gods, only to escape the fate of Socrates; while it is clear, from his writings, that he believed one only God. He transcribes the words of Orpheus the Sibyl, Homer, Sophocles, Pythagoras, Plato, Mercury, and Acmon, or rather Ammon, in which they profess the unity of the Deity. He wrote his book on Monarchy, expressly to prove the unity of God, from the testimonies and reasons of the heathen philosophers themselves. The epistle to Diognetus is an incomparable work of primitive antiquity, attributed to St. Justin by all the ancient copies, and doubtless genuine, as Dr. Cave, Ceillier, Marand, &c., show; though the style is more elegant and florid than the other works of this father. Indeed it is not mentioned by Eusebius and St. Jerome; but neither do they mention the works of Athenagoras. And what wonder that, the art of printing not being as yet discovered, some writings should have escaped their notice? Tillemont fancies the author of this piece to be more ancient, because he calls himself a disciple of the apostles: but St. Justin might assume that title, who lived contemporary with St. Polycarp, and others, who had seen some of them. This Diognetus was a learned philosopher, a person of great rank, and preceptor to the emperor Marcus Aurelius, who always consulted and exceedingly honored him. Dom. Nourry6 mistakes grossly, when he calls him a Jew: for in this very epistle is he styled an adorer of gods. This great man was desirous to know upon what assurances the Christians despised the world, and even torments and death, and showed to one another a mutual love, which appeared wonderful to the rest of mankind, for it rendered them seemingly insensible to the greatest injuries. St. Justin, to satisfy him, demonstrates the folly of idolatry, and the imperfection of the Jewish worship and sets forth the sanctity practiced by the Christians, especially their humility, meekness, love of those who hate them without so much as knowing any reason of their hatred, &c. He adds, that their numbers and virtue are increased by tortures and massacres, and explains clearly the divinity of Christ,7 the maker of all things, and Son of God. He shows that by reason alone we could never attain to the true knowledge of God, who sent his Son to teach us his holy mysteries; and, when we deserved only chastisement, to pay the full price of our redemption;-the holy One to suffer for sinners,-the person offended for the offenders; and when no other means could satisfy for our crimes, we were covered under the wings of justice itself, and rescued from slavery. He extols exceedingly the immense goodness and love of God for man, in creating him, and the world for his use; in subjecting to him other things, and in sending his only-begotten Son with the promise of his kingdom, to those who shall have loved him. "But after you shall have known him," says he, "with what inexpressible joy do you think you will be filled! How ardently will you love him who first loved you! And when you shall love him, you will be an imitator of his goodness. He who bears the burdens of others, assists all, humbles himself to all, even to his inferiors, and supplies the wants of the poor with what he has received from God, is truly the imitator of God. Then will you see on earth that God governs the world; you will know his mysteries, and will love and admire those who suffer for him: you will condemn the imposture of the world, and despise death, only fearing eternal death, in never-ending fire. When you know that fire, you will call those blessed who here suffer flames for justice. I speak not of things to which I am a stranger, but having been a disciple of the apostles, I am a teacher of nations, &c."

St. Justin made a long stay in Rome, dwelling near the Timothin baths, on the Viminal hill. The Christians met in his house to perform their devotions, and he applied himself with great zeal to the instruction of all those who resorted to him. Evelpistus, who suffered with him, owned at his examination that he had heard with pleasure Justin's discourses. The judge was acquainted with his zeal, when he asked him, in what place he assembled his disciples. Not content with laboring in the conversion of Jews and Gentiles, he exerted his endeavors in defending the Catholic faith against all the heresies of that age. His excellent volumes against Marcion, as they are styled by St. Jerome, are now lost, with several other works commended by the ancients. The martyr, after his first Apology, left Rome, and probably performed the functions of an evangelist, in many countries, for several years. In the reign of Antoninus Pius, being at Ephesus, and casually meeting, in the walks of Xistus, Tryphon, whom Eusebius calls the most celebrated Jew of that age, and who was a famous philosopher, he fell into discourse with him, which brought on a disputation, which was held in the presence of several witnesses during two entire days. St. Justin afterwards committed to writing this dialogue with Tryphon, which work is a simple narrative of a familiar unstudied conversation. Tryphon, seeing Justin in the philosopher's cloak, addressed him on the excellency of philosophy. The saint answered, that he admired he should not rather study Moses and the prophets, in comparison of whom all the writings of the philosophers are empty jargon and foolish dreams. Then, in the first part of his dialogue, he showed, that, according to the prophets, the old law was temporary, and to be abolished by the new: and in the second, that Christ was God before all ages, distinct from the Father,-the same that appeared to Abraham, Moses, &c., the same that created man, and was himself made man, and crucified. He insists much on that passage, Behold, a virgin shall conceive. From the beginning of the conversation, Tryphon had allowed that from the prophets it was clear that Christ must be then come; but he said, that he had not yet manifested himself to the world. So evident was it that the time of his coming must be then elapsed, that no Jew durst deny it, as Fleury observes. From the Apocalypse and Isaiah, by a mistaken interpretation, Justin inferred the futurity of the Millennium, or of Christ's reign upon earth for a thousand years, before the day of judgment, with his elect, in spiritual, chaste delights: but adds, that this was not admitted by many true orthodox believers. This point was afterwards cleared up, and that mistake of some few corrected and exploded, by consulting the tradition of the whole church. In the third part, St. Justin proves the vocation of the Gentiles, and the establishment of the church. Night putting an end to the conversation, Tryphon thanked Justin, and prayed for his happy voyage: for he was going to sea. By some mistakes made by St. Justin in the etymologies, or derivation of certain Hebrew names, it appears that he was a stranger to that language. The Socinians dread the authority of this work, on account of the clear proofs which it furnishes of the divinity of Christ. St. Justin testifies that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost, of curing the sick, and casting out devils in the name of Christ, were then frequent in the church. He excludes from salvation wilful heretics no less than infidels.

But the Apologies of this martyr have chiefly rendered his name illustrious. The first or greater, (which by the first editors was, through mistake, placed and called the second,) he addressed to the emperor Antoninus Pius, his two adopted sons, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Commodus, and the senate, about the year 150. That mild emperor had published no edicts against the Christians; but, by virtue of former edicts, they were often persecuted by the governors, and were everywhere traduced as a wicked and barbarous set of people, enemies to their very species. They were deemed atheists; they were accused of practicing secret lewdness, which slander seems to have been founded on the secrecy of their mysteries, and partly on the filthy abominations of the Gnostic and Carpocratian heretics: they were said in their sacred assemblies to feed on the flesh of a murdered child; to which calumny a false notion of the blessed eucharist might give birth. Celsus and other heathens add, that they adored the cross, and the head of an ass. The story of the ass's head was a groundless calumny, forged by a Jew, who pretended to have seen their mysteries, which was readily believed and propagated by those whose interest it was to decry the Christian religion, as Eusebius, St. Justin, Origen, and Tertullian relate. The respect shown to the sign of the cross, mentioned by Tertullian and all the ancient fathers, seems ground enough for the other slander. These calumnies were advanced with such confidence, and, through passion and prejudice, received so eagerly, that they served for a presence to justify the cruelty of the persecutors, and to render the very name of a Christian odious. These circumstances stirred up the zeal of St. Justin to present his apology for the faith in writing, begging that the same might be made public. In it he boldly declares himself a Christian, and an advocate for his religion: he shows that Christians ought not to be condemned barely for the name of Christian, unless convicted of some crime; that they are not atheists, though they adore not idols; for they adore God the Father, his Son, and the Holy Ghost, and the host of good angels. He exhorts the emperor to hold the balance even, in the execution of justice; and sets forth the sanctity of the doctrine and manners of Christians, who fly all oaths, abhor the least impurity, despise riches, are patient and meek, love even enemies, readily pay all taxes, and scrupulously and respectfully obey and honor princes, &c. Far from eating children, they even condemned those that exposed them. He proves their regard for purity from the numbers among them of both sexes who had observed strict chastity to an advanced age. He explains the immortality of the soul, and the resurrection of the flesh, and shows from the ancient prophets that God was to become man, and that they had foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, the vocation of the Gentiles, &c. He mentions a statue erected in Rome to Simon Magus, which is also testified by Tertullian, Saint Austin, Theodoret, &c. The necessity of vindicating our faith from slanders, obliged him, contrary to the custom of the primitive church, to describe the sacraments of baptism and the blessed eucharist, mentioning the latter also as a sacrifice. "No one," says he, "is allowed to partake of this food but he that believes our doctrines to be true, and who has been baptized in the laver of regeneration for remission of sins, and lives up to what Christ has taught. For we take not these as common bread and common drink; but like as Jesus Christ our Saviour, being incarnate by the word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation; so are we taught that this food, by which our flesh and blood are nourished, over which thanks have been given by the prayers in his own words, is the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus." He describes the manner of sanctifying the Sunday, by meeting to celebrate the divine mysteries, read the prophets, hear the exhortation of him that presides, and make a collection of alms to be distributed among the orphans, widows, sick, prisoners, and strangers. He adds the obscure edict of the emperor Adrian in favor of the Christians. It appears that this Apology had its desired effect—the quiet of the church. Eusebius informs us, that the same emperor sent into Asia a rescript to the following purport: "When many governors of provinces had written to my father, he forbade them (the Christians) to be molested, unless they had offended against the state. The same answer I gave when consulted before on the same subject. If any one accuse a person of being a Christian, it is my pleasure that he be acquitted, and the accuser chastised, according to the rigor of the law." Orosius and Zonaras tell us, that Antoninus was prevailed upon by the Apology of Justin to send this order.

He composed his second Apology near twenty years after, in 167, on account of the martyrdom of one Ptolemy, and two other Christians, whom Urbicus, the governor of Rome, had put to death. The saint offered it to the emperor Marcus Aurelius (his colleague Lucius Verus being absent in the East) and to the senate. He undertakes in it to prove that the Christians were unjustly punished with death, and shows how much their lives and doctrine surpassed the philosophers, and that they could never embrace death with so much cheerfulness and joy, had they been guilty of the crimes laid to their charge. Even Socrates, notwithstanding the multitude of disciples that followed him, never found one that died in defence of his doctrine. The apologist added boldly, that he expected death would be the recompense of his Apology, and that he should fall a victim to the snares and rage of some or other of the implacable enemies of the religion for which he pleaded; among whom he named Crescens, a philosopher in name, but an ignorant man, and a slave to pride and ostentation. His martyrdom, as he had conjectured, was the recompense of this Apology: it happened soon after he presented this discourse, and probably was procured by the malice of those of whom he spoke. The genuine acts seem to have been taken from the praetor's public register.

The relation is as follows:

Justin and others that were with him were apprehended, and brought before Rusticus, prefect of Rome, who said to Justin, "Obey the gods, and comply with the edicts of the emperors." Justin answered, "No one can be justly blamed or condemned for obeying the commands of our Saviour Jesus Christ."

RUSTICUS-"What kind of literature and discipline do you profess?"

JUSTIN-"I have tried every kind of discipline and learning, but I have finally embraced the Christian discipline, how little soever esteemed by those who were led away by error and false opinions."

RUSTICUS- "Wretch, art thou then taken with that discipline?"

JUSTIN-"Doubtless I am, because it affords me the comfort of being in the right path."

RUSTICUS-"What are the tenets of the Christian religion?"

JUSTIN-"We Christians believe one God, Creator of all things visible and invisible; and we confess our Lord

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, foretold by the prophets, the Author and Preacher of salvation, and the

Judge of mankind." The prefect inquired in what place the Christians assembled. Justin replied, "Where they please, and where they can: God is not confined to a place: as he is invisible, and fills both heaven and earth, he is everywhere adored and glorified by the faithful."

RUSTICUS-"Tell me where you assemble your disciples."

JUSTIN-"I have lived till this time near the house of one called Martin, at the Timothin baths. I am come a second time to Rome, and am acquainted with no other place in the city. If any one came to me, I communicated to him the doctrine of truth."

RUSTICUS-"You are then a Christian?"

JUSTIN-"Yes, I am."

The judge then put the same question to each of the rest, viz., Chariton, a man; Charitana, a woman; Evelpistus, a servant of Caesar, by birth a Cappadocian; Hierax, a Phrygian; Peon, and Liberianus, who all answered, "that, by the divine mercy, they were Christians." Evelpistus said he had learned the faith from his parents, but had with great pleasure heard Justin's discourses.

Then the prefect addressed himself again to Justin in this manner: "Hear you, who are noted for your eloquence, and think you make profession of the right philosophy, if I cause you to be scourged from head to foot, do you think you shall go to heaven?"

Justin replied, "If I suffer what you mention, I hope to receive the reward which those have already received who hare observed the precepts of Jesus Christ."

Rusticus said, "You imagine then that you shall go to heaven, and be there rewarded."

The martyr answered, "I do not only imagine it, but I know it; and am so well assured of it, that I have no reason to make the least doubt of it."

The prefect seeing it was to no purpose to argue, bade them go together and unanimously sacrifice to the gods, and told them that in case of refusal they should be tormented without mercy.

Justin replied, "there is nothing which we more earnestly desire than to endure torments for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; for this is what will promote our happiness, and give us confidence at his bar, where all men must appear to be judged." To this the rest assented, adding, "Do quickly what you are about. We are Christians, and will never sacrifice to idols."

The prefect thereupon ordered them to be scourged and then beheaded, as the laws directed. The martyrs were forthwith led to the place where criminals were executed, and there, amidst the praises and thanksgivings which they did not cease to pour forth to God, were first scourged, and afterwards beheaded. After their martyrdom, certain Christians carried off their bodies privately, and gave them an honorable burial. St. Justin is one of the most ancient fathers of the church who has left us works of any considerable note. Tatian, his disciple, writes, that, of all men, he was the most worthy of admiration.18 Eusebius, St. Jerome, St. Epiphanius, Theodoret, &c., bestow on him the highest praises. He suffered about the year 167, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. The Greeks honor him on the 1st of June; in Usuard and the Roman Martyrology his name occurs on the 13th of April.

St. Justin extols the power of divine grace in the virtue of Christians, among whom many who were then sixty years old, had served God from their infancy in a state of spotless virginity, having never offended against that virtue, not only in action, but not even in thought: for our very thoughts are known to God. They could not be defiled with any inordinate love of riches, who threw their own private revenues into the common stock, sharing it with the poor. So great was their abhorrence of the least wilful untruth, that they were always ready rather to die than to save their lives by a lie. Their fidelity to God was inviolable, and their constancy in confessing his holy name, and in observing his law, invincible. "No one," says the saint, "can affright from their duty those who believe in Jesus. In all parts of the earth we cease not to confess him, though we lose our heads, be crucified, or exposed to wild beasts. We suffer dungeons, fire, and all manner of torments: the more we are persecuted, the more faithful and the more pious we become, through the name of Jesus. Some adore the sun: but no one yet saw any one lay down his life for that worship; whereas we see men of all nations suffer all things for Jesus Christ." He often mentions the devotion and fervor of Christians in glorifying God by their continual homages, and says, that the light of the gospel being then spread everywhere, there was no nation, either of Greeks or barbarians, in which prayers and thanksgivings were not offered to the Creator in the name of the crucified Jesus.


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