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Friday, January 11, 2013

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VATICAN : POPE : AUDIENCES AND CARDINAL SANDRI ON YEAR OF FAITH

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : FRI. JAN. 11, 2013

(Vatican Radio IMAGE SHARE)
CARDINAL SANDRI: GUARANTEE PROFESSION OF FAITH FOR ALL
Vatican City, 11 January 2013 (VIS) - Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, during his visit to Egypt (6–11 January) to celebrate the Year of Faith with the local Church, met with those responsible for apostolic events in that country. Speaking to them in Cairo this past Wednesday, 9 January, he said to the prelates and others present: "You are the ones who have made yourselves personally available to serve the Church and you have received the ecclesial task of committing yourselves, in faithfulness and constructive cooperation with pastors, so that the life of the Catholic community in Egypt may know how to efficiently announce the Son of God through sacramental life, catechesis, and charity—especially in charitable aid, in education, and in the concrete and daily service of our many brothers and sisters."
"Doubtlessly," he continued, "you are experiencing the desert of this very difficult present situation. Perhaps we must guard against letting the desert advance in our consciences and our hearts precisely while we are trying to advance the Gospel. Do not forget that the Son of God's intense days were preceded and followed by an even more intense dialogue with the Father. … Let us also, dear friends, pause at the oasis of Elim spoken of in the book of Exodus so that, despite the serious worries that the present holds for Christians in the Middle East and in your own dear country, our faithfulness may be reinvigorated while embracing the beauty of friendship with God."
Continuing, the cardinal recalled his meeting in Alexandria with the Egyptian Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, emphasizing the "primacy of charitable action in benefit of the children of this nation". He observed that the construction of the church in Sharm el-Sheikh was "an exceptional example of Christian charity. Many contributed generously: the area's ecclesial community, the Pontifical Representation, and some assistance agencies belonging to ROACO (Reunion of Organisations for Aid to the Oriental Churches) of which the prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches is president."
"We cannot nor do we want to forget," he stressed, "Egypt's secular tradition: the heights of religiousness and culture that it has know and which must be confirmed in the present and the future: a culture ever open to the revelation of God. … Safeguarding and cultivating the faith in the cultural arena constitutes a privileged part of our pastoral mission and, perhaps, collaboration between the various centres that have for some time inspired the apostolic and missionary activity of this nation should be incentivized.
In conclusion, the cardinal entrusted the objectives of the Year of Faith, called by the Holy Father on 11 October 2012, to those responsible for apostolic events. "First of all, we are asked in grace to remain close to the life of the church and to participate directly in it so that we may grow in awareness of the gift we have received increasing, above all, our personal and communal sacramental life."
"In this way, we may share the Church's mission to all peoples. We are expecting a renewed missionary impulse from the Year of Faith because throughout the world the most diverse religions are meeting and facing one another. And we are hoping for the confirmation of the Church's presence in the world, with its due support and the defence of Christians who are not granted religious freedom. The ability to profess one's own creed must be guaranteed to everyone without exception, and thus also to Christians."
Finally, the third objective of the Year of Faith is "to knock at the hearts of tired and indifferent Christians so that they might rediscover the joy of Christ and return to Him in order to have true and eternal life."
Yesterday, Thursday, the cardinal inaugurated the church of Our Lady of Peace in Sharm el-Sheikh. Cardinal Sandri's visit also had the purpose of remembering the centennial of the founding of the Egyptian Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the bicentennial of the founding of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The prelate also met with the Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria, Cardinal Antonios Naguib, and with bishops in Egypt. Likewise, in the sphere of relations with the Orthodox Churches, Cardinal Sandri met with the head of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria, His Beatitude Pope Theodore II, and the new head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II.
 
IN MEMORIAM
Vatican City, 11 January 2013 (VIS) - The following prelates died recently:
- Bishop Maurice Paul Delorme, auxiliary emeritus of Lyon, France and titular of Ottocium, on 27 December at the age of 93.
- Bishop Edward Thomas Hughes, emeritus of Metuchen, New Jersey, USA, on 25 December at the age of 92.
- Bishop Paul Khoarai, emeritus of Leribe, Lesotho, on 27 December at the age of 79.
- Bishop Rudolf Muller, emeritus of Gorlitz, Germany, on 25 December at the age of 81.
- Archbishop Ignacy Marcin Tokarczuk, emeritus of Przemysl, Poland, on 29 December at the age of 94.
 
AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 11 January 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
- Renata Polverini, president of the Lazio region of Italy,
- Giovanni Alemanno, mayor of Rome, Italy, and
-Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Peter's in the Vatican, vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City, and president of the Fabric of St. Peter's.
This afternoon, he is scheduled to receive officers and members of the Corps of the Gendarmerie of Vatican City State in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace.

AFRICA : CENTRAL : CHILD SOLDIERS NUMBER SOARS TO 2,500

CISA NEWS REPORT


Seleka-Rebels-and-Army-Using-Child-Soldiers
BANGUI, January 11, 2013 (CISA) -The Séléka Rebel Alliance troupes, who already control over 75% of the nation, and forces of the government of the Central African republic, have recruited  about 2,500 children as child soldiers.
This is according to a statement made by the head of UNICEF in Bangui to the African digital newspaper Afrik.com. Most of these children, aged between 3 and 18, come from the weaker sections of the country. The boys are forced into battlefields, carry military equipment or act as messengers; while girls cook and are used as sex objects.
According to the statement, the recruitment of young soldiers dates back to long before the outbreak of the current conflict in mid-December 2012. The situation of street children is particularly worrying most of who are orphans who wallow in poverty and are abandoned, which leaves them most vulnerable to kidnap and recruitment.
SHARED FROM CISA NEWS 

ASIA : PAKISTAN : OVER 100 KILLED IN SERIES OF ATTACKS

ASIA NEWS REPORT
Balochistan, where there was the greatest number of victims, declares three days of mourning. Slaughter in a pool hall in Quetta: 81 dead and 120 wounded, the majority Shiites. Earlier a market targeted. Sunni extremist groups behind the attacks. Strong condemnation of the United Nations secretary general.


Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Balochistan is observing three days of mourning to commemorate the victims of the series of attacks that have hit Quetta, capital of the southwestern province of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan. The largest number of victims was caused by a double explosion in a pool hall: 81 dead and another 120 wounded, some of them seriously. Earlier, a bomb exploded in a market, killing 11 people and wounding 27 others. Also yesterday in Mingora, in the Swat Valley, in the north-west of the country, 21 people were killed (80 wounded) in a powerful explosion.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the multiple attacks and the continuing climate of violence in Pakistan. The bombing of the gaming hall took place in an area of ​​Quetta inhabited mostly by Shiites and was claimed by the Sunni extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. The previous attack on the market was instead the work of the United Baloch Army, which claimed responsibility for the attack.

The massacre has shocked the country, and caused dismay and anger, although in Pakistan - an overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim nation - bomb blasts and violence against minority groups, including the Shias, is now daily news. For local media it is a real "blood bath."

Pakistani policy experts speak of a sectarian matrix behind the attacks, targeting the Shiite community. A growing phenomenon in the country, which last year cost more than 400 lives. Activists and human rights groups point the finger at the government, "accomplice" of the massacres because "unable" to ensure the safety and "protect the population" from the violence of Sunni militant groups.

Balochistan is a province characterized both by an internal separatist struggle and by sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites. Near the Afghan border, there is also a strong presence of Taliban groups, which are also the authors of massacres and attacks. A senior government official in Islamabad, speaking anonymously, told the BBC that the attacks are in "reaction" to two episodes that took place on January 9th: the killing of a Sunni religious leader and seizure of weapons and ammunition in a bunker used - most likely - by the militants of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

 SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

CATHOLIC MOVIES - WATCH BELLS OF ST. MARY'S - PART 2

IN HONOR OF THE YEAR OF FAITH - JCE NEWS WILL BE SHOWING SOME OF THE TOP CATHOLIC MOVIES OF ALL TIME. TUNE IN TOMORROW FOR PART 3 OF THE BELLS OF ST. MARY'S -

PART 1 - HTTP://JCEWORLD.BLOGSPOT.CA/2013/01/CATHOLIC-MOVIES-WATCH-BELLS-OF-ST-MARYS.HTML

AMERICA : USA - BISHOPS ON CATHOLIC HIGHER EDUCATION - EX CORDE ECCLESIAE - REVIEW


Ten-year report cites progress in relations between church, college leaders
Working group of bishops, college presidents to be formed for further study

Concerns center on Catholic knowledge, identity
 
USCCB REPORT: WASHINGTON—The relationship between the U.S. bishops and Catholic colleges has led to increased cooperation over the last decade, according to the "Final Report for the 10-year Review of The Application of Ex Corde Ecclesiae for the United States."
Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the one-page report, found atwww.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catholic-education/higher-education/.
The report recommends formation of a working group of bishops and college presidents under the Catholic Education committee "to continue the dialogue about strategic subjects on a national level." The working group would gather information on best practices, offer suggestions for local conversation, and, as needed, develop resources.
Areas to be studied include:
″Continuation of dialogue between bishops and presidents toward greater cooperation in advancing the mission of the Church
″Hiring for mission
″Formation of trustees, faculty and staff regarding Catholic identity
″Addressing the need for improved, accurate and deeper theological and catechetical knowledge through curricular and pastoral means.
The report, dated June 11, 2012, provides a clear course for continued dialogue regarding Catholic higher education. The review process began in January 2011 when bishops were asked to hold conversations with college and university presidents in their dioceses. More than 100 bishops reported on their conversations at regional meetings during the November 2011 General Assembly and, the report said, "the prevailing tone was positive and the news was good."
"Bishops reported that they believe our institutions of Catholic higher education have made definite progress in advancing Catholic identity," the report said. "The relationship between bishops and presidents on the local level can be characterized as positive and engaged, demonstrating progress on courtesy and cooperation in the last ten years. Clarity about Catholic identity among college and university leadership has fostered substantive dialogues and cultivated greater mission driven practices across the university."
In 1990, Pope John Paul II in 1990, issued Ex corde ecclesiae (From the heart of the Church), an apostolic constitution on Catholic higher education. It described the identity and mission of Catholic colleges and universities and provided General Norms to help fulfill its vision.
On November 17, 1999, the U.S. Catholic Bishops approved "The Application of Ex corde ecclesiae for the United States." The action was granted recognitio by the Congregation for Bishops in Rome May 3, 2000 and became particular law May 3, 2001.
SHARED FROM CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF USA

AMERICA : PANAMA : BISHOPS PROPOSE PUBLIC EDUCATION IN YEAR OF FAITH

Agenzia Fides REPORT - The Bishops of Panama have expressed their concerns about the "growing social disillusionment, consequence of the increase of stress, aggression, fear, political tension and an impairment loss of life": these are the words of the statement of the Ordinary Annual Assembly of the Episcopal Conference of Panama (CEP), gathered in Panama from 7 to 11 January 2013.
The document, sent to Fides Agency, is divided into 2 parts. The first is dedicated to the ecclesial reality, and the new direction of the CEP and the scenario that held the two great celebrations of the Year of Faith and the Jubilee Year for the 500th anniversary of the first diocese in the continent (see Fides 28/11/2012; 30/11/2012) are presented. The second part, on the national reality, presents the country's economic development, combined, unfortunately, "to unwise decisions, the lack of dialogue that led to serious consequences, the broken promises, the lack of credibility, lack of values and corruption in society."
Before the new political experience that the country will live, the Bishops point out that "the signing of the Ethics Electoral Pact ... requires the candidate to provide government plans and programs, to be calm in the discussions, always with respect for people and their ideas. In addition involves all citizens and civil society organizations to responsibly exercise their civic participation. " The Bishops finally suggest putting public education at the basis of any social program and a priority for the State, because "education is the best tool to achieve real development and to overcome social and cultural gaps that still separate the Panamanians." (CE) (Agenzia Fides 11/01/2013)

AUSTRALIA : BEAUTIFUL NEW STATUES IN CATHEDRAL


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
11 Jan 2013
A statue of St Paul created by Spain's renowned Talleres de Arte sacred art workshops
The High Altar at St Mary's Cathedral and the ornate limestone reredos (decorative screen or part of the wall) behind it were completed in 1880. Now 132 years later, Cathedral architect William Wardell's vision for the reredos is about to be realised. Today 16 specially-commissioned handcrafted statues to fill the niches arrived from Spain.
The day has been spent carefully-unpacking the statues of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, St John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene and the two great Prophets Elijah and Moses and for the next two weeks they will be on display in the Lady Chapel at the Cathedral. Then at the end of the month the all-important installation will take place with each of the statues installed in the reredos above the High Altar.
"The 17 niches on the reredos behind the High Altar were always meant to be filled with statues," says Father Paul Hilder, Dean of the Cathedral. "But the central niche, which contains a statue of Our Lady Help of Christians and dates back to the time of Archbishop Polding and William Wardell, was the only one ever filled."
Fr Paul says under Wardell's original plan the niches on either side of the central niche were to contain the 12 Apostles plus St Paul, John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene, with the larger niches at either end to contain the Prophets, Moses and Elijah.
The Cathedral's main altar and reredos with its empty niches
"No one is sure why other than Our Lady Help of Christians, the empty niches were never filled but one unconfirmed story has it that the statues to go in the empty niches were on their way to Australia but were lost at sea," he says adding that in all probability this story is nothing more than an entertaining tall tale with no foundation in fact.
Last year, determined to see William Wardell's original vision realised, the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell commissioned 16 statues to fill the vacant niches in the reredos from the renowned century-old Talleres de Arte Granda, Spain's renowned ecclesiastical studios.
Made possible by the generosity of the Friends of St Mary's Cathedral as well as the Australian Catholic University and a member of the Cathedral staff who each sponsored one of the statues, all 16 were created by the team of carvers, wooden sculptors and skilled artisans at Talleres de Arte Granda's workshops. Then shortly after Christmas they were packed and shipped to Australia.
Since his arrival in Sydney in 2001, Cardinal Pell has done much to help realise Wardell and Polding's original vision for the Cathedral as well as restore and add to St Mary's broad collection of artworks and treasures.
Renowned for his appreciation of art, the Cardinal was responsible for instigating the ongoing conservation, repair, cleaning and restoration of both the exterior and interior stonework of the Cathedral as well as renovations and repairs to its artefacts, paintings and sculptures.
A wood sculpture of St Peter from the Spanish sacred art workshops
All the Cathedral doors both internal and external have also been completely restored together with the dormers on the Cathedral roof.
Down in the Cathedral Crypt, new burial sites have been created and the much loved Pieta has been cleaned, restored and re-installed.
The Baptistry boasts a new-look thanks to the massive 44 kg solid silver hood that was taken out of storage. Given a new tracking system for smooth and easy removal during baptisms, the hood has now resumed its place over the baptismal font.
Other statues and artworks that had languished in storage were also restored and to celebrate the canonisation of Australia's first Saint, the Cardinal commissioned the superb bronze statue of St Mary of the Cross Mackillop and two of her young pupils which now stands outside the Cathedral facing College Street.
But of all the work carried out in the past few years, perhaps the most outstanding and moving are the Cathedral's altar triptych comprising the  altar which is carved from a solid block of marble mined in North
ern Italy and statues of the Risen Christ and Mary Magdalene. Created by British master sculptor, Nigel Boonham, the altar with its horizontal relief of an entombed Christ was blessed by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Australia for World Youth Day in 2008.
The companion sculptures, also created by Nigel Boonham of the Risen Christ and Mary Magdalene, at the exact moment she realises it is the Risen Christ who is not dead but standing before her, were completed and installed in 2010, and are outstanding artworks that are both uplifting and inspiring.
The marble altar and statues of the Risen Christ and Mary Magdalene are among the Cathedral's newest treasures
Now thanks to the Cardinal's determination and the generosity of the Friends of St Mary's Cathedral, the reredos and Wardell's original vision will be realised.
"After 132 years to see the reredos finally completed and the niches filled with the statues as envisaged by Wardell will be a very special moment," says Fr Hilder.



SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY

2013

TODAY'S SAINT : JAN. 11 : ST. THEODOSIUS THE CENOBIARCH


St. Theodosius the Cenobiarch
ABBOT AND FOUNDER
Feast: January 11


Information:
Feast Day:January 11
Born:
423 at Garissus, Cappadocia (modern Turkey)
Died:529 at Cathismus
St Theodosius was born at Mogariassus, called in latter ages Marissa, in Cappadocia, in 423. He imbibed the first tincture of virtue from the fervent example and pious instructions of his virtuous parents. He was ordained reader, but some time after being moved by Abraham's example to quit his country and friends, he resolved to put this motion in execution. He accordingly set out for Jerusalem, but went purposely out of his road to visit the famous St. Simeon Stylites on his pillar, who foretold him several circumstances of his life, and gave him proper instructions for his behaviour in each. Having satisfied his  devotion in visiting the holy places in Jerusalem, he began to consider in what manner he should dedicate himself to God in a religious state. The dangers of living without a guide made him prefer a monastery to a hermitage; and he therefore put himself under the directions of a holy man named Longinus, to whom his virtue soon endeared him in a very particular manner. A pious lady having built a church under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin, on the high road to Bethlehem, Longinus could not well refuse her request that his pupil should undertake the charge of it; but Theodosius, who loved only to obey, could not be induced by any entreaties to consent to this proposal: absolute commands were necessary to force him to a compliance. Nor did he govern long; for dreading the poison of vanity from the esteem of men, he retired into a cave at the top of a neighbouring desert mountain, and employed his time in fasting, watching, prayers, and tears, which almost continually flowed from his eyes. His food was coarse pulse and wild herbs: for thirty years he never tasted so much as a morsel of bread. Many desired to serve God under his direction: he at first determined only to admit six or seven, but was soon obliged to receive a greater number, and at length came to a resolution, which charity extorted from him, never to reject any that presented themselves with dispositions that seemed sincere. The first lesson which he taught his monks was that the continual remembrance of death is the foundation of religious perfection; to imprint this more deeply in their minds, he caused a great grave or pit to be dug, which might serve for the common burial-place of the whole community, that by the presence of this memorial of death, and by continually meditating on that object, they might more perfectly learn to die daily. The burial-place being made, the abbot one day, when he had led his monks to it, said, The grave is made, who will first perform the dedication?" Basil, a priest, who was one of the number, falling on his knees, said to St. Theodosius, "I am the person, be pleased to give me your blessing." The abbot ordered the prayers of the church for the dead to be offered up for him, and on the fortieth day Basil wonderfully departed to our Lord in peace without any apparent sickness. When the holy company of disciples were twelve in number it happened that at the great feast at Easter they had nothing to eat; they had not even bread for the sacrifice: some murmured; the saint bid them trust in God and he would provide; which was soon remarkably verified by the arrival of certain mules loaded with provisions. The lustre of the sanctity and miracles of St. Theodosius drawing great numbers to him who desired to serve God under his direction, his cave was too little for their reception, therefore, having consulted heaven by prayer, he, by its particular direction, built a spacious monastery at a place called Cathismus, not far from Bethlehem, at a small distance from his cave, and it was soon filled with holy monks. To this monastery were annexed three infirmaries: one for the sick, the gift of a pious lady in that neighbourhood; the two others St. Theodosius built himself, one for the aged and feeble, the other for such as had been punished with the loss of their senses, or by falling under the power of the devil, for rashly engaging in a religious state through pride, and without a due dependence on the grace of God to carry them through it. All succours, spiritual and temporal, were afforded in these infirmaries, with admirable order, care, and affection. He erected also several buildings for the reception of strangers, in which he exercised an unbounded hospitality, entertaining all that came, for whose use there were one day above a hundred tables served with provisions: these, when insufficient for the number of guests, were more than once miraculously multiplied by his prayers. The monastery itself was like a city of saints in the midst of a desert, and in it reigned regularity, silence, charity, and peace. There were four churches belonging to it, one for each of the three several nations of which his community was chiefly composed, each speaking a different language; the fourth was for the use of such as were in a state of penance, which those that recovered from their lunatic or possessed condition before-mentioned, were put into, and detained till they had expiated their fault. The nations into which his community was divided were the Greeks, which was by far the most numerous, and consisted of all those that came from any provinces of the empire; the Armenians, with whom were joined the Arabians and Persians; and, thirdly, the Bessi, who comprehended all the northern nations below Thrace, or all who used the Runic or Sclavonian tongue. Each nation sung the first part of the mass to the end of the gospel in their own church, but after the gospel all met in the church of the Greeks, where they celebrated the essential part of the sacrifice in Greek, and communicated all together.
The monks passed a considerable part of the day and night at their devotions in the church, and at the times not set apart for public prayer and necessary rest every one was obliged to apply himself to some trade or manual labour, not incompatible with recollection that the house might be supplied with conveniences. Sallust, Bishop of Jerusalem, appointed St. Sabas superior general of the hermits and our saint of the Cenobites, or religious men living in community throughout all Palestine, whence he was styled the Cenobiarch. These two great servants of God lived in strict friendship, and had frequent spiritual conferences together; they were also united in their zeal and sufferings for the church.
The Emperor Anastasius patronised the Eutychian heresy, and used all possible means to engage our saint in his party. In 513 he deposed Elias, Patriarch of Jerusalem, as he had banished Flavian II, Patriarch of Antioch, and intruded Severus, an impious heretic, into that see, commending the Syrians to obey and hold communion with him. SS. Theodosius and Sabas maintained boldly the right of Elias, and of John his successor; whereupon the imperial officers thought it most advisable to connive at their proceedings, considering the great authority they had acquired by their sanctity. Soon after, the emperor sent Theodosius a considerable sum of money, for charitable uses in appearance, but in reality to engage him in his interest. The saint accepted of it, and distributed it all among the poor. Anastasius, now persuading himself that he was as good as gained over to his cause, sent him a heretical profession of faith, in which the divine and human natures in Christ were confounded into one, and desired him to sign it. The saint wrote him an answer full of apostolic spirit; in which, besides solidly confuting the Eutychian error, he added that he was ready to lay down his life for the faith of the church. The emperor admired his courage and the strength of his reasoning, and, returning him a respectful answer, highly commended his generous zeal, made some apology for his own inconsiderateness, and protested that he only desired the peace of the church. But it was not long ere he relapsed into his former impiety, and renewed his bloody edicts against the orthodox, dispatching troops everywhere to have them put in execution. On the first intelligence of this, Theodosius went over  all the deserts and country of Palestine, exhorting every one to be firm in the faith of the four general councils. At Jerusalem, having assembled the people together, he from the pulpit cried out with a loud voice: "If any one receives not the four general councils as the four gospels, let him be anathema." So bold an action in a man of his years inspired with courage those whom the edicts had terrified. His discourses had a wonderful effect on the people, and God gave a sanction to his zeal by miracles: one of these was, that on his going out of the church at Jerusalem, a woman was healed of a cancer on the spot by only touching his garments. The emperor sent an order for his banishment, which was executed; but, dying soon after, Theodosius was recalled by his catholic successor, Justin, who, from a common soldier, had gradually ascended the imperial throne.
Our saint survived his return eleven years, never admitting the least relaxation in his former austerities. Such was his humility that, seeing two monks at variance with each other, he threw himself at their feet, and would not rise till they were perfectly reconciled; and once having excommunicated one of his subjects for a crime, who contumaciously pretended to excommunicate him in his turn, the saint behaved as if he had been really excommunicated, to gain the sinner's soul by this unprecedented example of submission, which had the desired effect. During the last year of his life he was afflicted with a painful distemper, in which he gave proof of a heroic patience, and an entire submission to the will of God. Perceiving the hour of his dissolution at hand, he gave his last exhortations to his disciples, and foretold many things, which accordingly came to pass after his death; this happened in the one hundred and fifth year of his age, and of our Lord 529. Peter, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and the whole country, assisted with the deepest sentiments of respect at the solemnity of his interment, which was honoured by miracles. He was buried in his first cell called the Cave of the Magi, because the wise men who came to adore Christ soon after his birth were said to have lodged in it. A certain count being on his march against the Persians, begged  the hair shirt which the saint used to wear next his skin, and believed that he owed the victory which he obtained over them to the saint's protection through the pledge of that relic. Both the Romans and Greek calendars mention his festival on the 11th of January.
It is the opinion of St. Gregory the Great that the world is to some persons so full of ambushes and snares, or dangerous occasions of sin, that they cannot be saved but by choosing a safe retreat. Yet there are some who find the greatest dangers in solitude itself; so that it is necessary for every one to sound his own heart, take a survey of his own forces and abilities, and consult God, that he may best be able to learn the designs of his providence with regard to his soul; in doing which, a great purity of intention is the first requisite. Ease and enjoyment must not be the end of Christian retirement, but penance, labour, and assiduous contemplation; without great fervour and constancy in which, close solitude is the road to perdition. If greater safety, or an unfitness for a public station, or a life of much business (in which several are only public nuisances), may be just motives to some for embracing a life of retirement, the means of more easily attaining to perfect virtue may be such to many. Nor do true contemplatives bury their talents, or cease either to be members of the republic of mankind, or to throw in their mite towards its welfare.
From the prayers and thanksgivings which they daily offer to God for the peace of the world, the preservation of the church, the conversion of sinners, and the salvation of all men, doubtless more valuable benefits often accrue to mankind than from the alms of the rich or the labours of the learned. Nor is it to be imagined how far and how powerfully their spirit, and the example of their innocence and perfect virtue, often spread their influence; and how serviceable persons who lead a holy and sequestered life may be to the good of the world; nor how great glory redounds to God by the perfect purity of heart and charity to which many souls are thus raised.

(Taken from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler)


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/T/sttheodosiusthecenobiarch.asp#ixzz1jAyxrlAs

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : FRI. JAN. 11, 2013


Luke 5:
 12 - 16

12While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and besought him, "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean."
13And he stretched out his hand, and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him.
14And he charged him to tell no one; but "go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to the people."
15But so much the more the report went abroad concerning him; and great multitudes gathered to hear and to be healed of their infirmities.
16But he withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.
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