Saturday, July 20, 2013






Vatican City, 19 July 2013 (VIS) – Pope Francis has written a Chirograph, dated 18 July, by which he establishes a Pontifical Commission for Reference on the study and guidance of the organisation of the economic-administrative structure of the Holy See, the full text of which is given below:
“The deliberations of these days on the positive data in the financial statements, communicated by the Council of Cardinals for the study of organisational and economic problems of the Holy See: Consolidated Financial Statement and Financial Statement of the Governorate of Vatican City State for the year 2012 lead Us, having heard the opinion of Most Eminent Cardinals, Brothers in the Episcopate and collaborators consulted on the matter, to continue in the work of introducing reforms in the Institutions of the Holy See, aspiring to the simplification and rationalisation of the existing bodies and more careful planning of the economic activities of all the Vatican Administrations.
To this end, We have decided to establish a Commission for reference to gather accurate information on economic questions regarding the Vatican Administrations and to co-operate with the aforementioned Council of Cardinals in its valuable work, offering the technical support of specialist advice and developing strategic solutions for improvement, so as to avoid the misuse of economic resources, to improve transparency in the processes of purchasing goods and services; to refine the administration of goods and real estate; to work with ever greater prudence in the financial sphere; to ensure the correct application of accounting principles; and to guarantee healthcare and social security benefits to those eligible.
The Commission is to carry out its duties in accordance with this Chirograph and with Our provisions currently in force:
1. The Commission shall consist of a minimum of eight Members, including a President, who is its legal representative, and a Secretary Coordinator who has the powers of a delegate and acts on behalf of and for the Commission, collecting documents, data, and the information necessary for the fulfilment of its institutional functions.
2.The Members, all nominated by the Supreme Pontiff, are experts in the relevant legal, economic, financial and organisational matters.
3. The institutional functions of the Commission shall not encroach upon the sphere of competence of the government and the activities of the Administrations concerned, which shall collaborate with the Commission upon request. Professional secrecy and other possible restrictions established by law shall neither curtail nor restrict the access of the Commission to documents, data and information necessary for the fulfilment of the duties entrusted to it.
4. The Commission shall keep Us informed of its activities in the course of its work and shall deliver to Us the results obtained. It shall deliver to Us its entire paper and digital archive upon the conclusion of its mandate.
5. The Commission shall have at its disposal the appropriate resources, including interpreters and translators, and instruments for its institutional functions. It may avail itself of qualified experts and consultants to be enlisted worldwide, from outside the Holy See, or from within the Holy See provided that this does not give rise to any conflict of interest in the exercise of professions or the fulfilment of functions and roles connected with the activities of the Vatican Administrations.
6. The Commission shall collaborate, upon request, with the Working Group of eight Cardinals constituted to draft a plan of reform for the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus on the Roman Curia.
7. The Commission’s activities shall take effect as from the date of this Chirograph. The dissolution of the Commission shall be announced.
Given in the Vatican on 18 July 2013, in the first year of my Pontificate. Francesco”
Vatican City, 19 July 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Secretary of State released the following communique on the Holy Father's chirograph for the establishment of a Pontifical Commission on the economic-administrative structure of the Holy See:
“The Holy Father, by a chirograph dated 18 July, has established a Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the economic-administrative structure of the Holy See.
The Commission will gather information, report to the Holy Father and co-operate with the Council of Cardinals for the study of the organisational and economic problems of the Holy See, in order to draft reforms of the institutions of the Holy See, with the aim of a “simplification and rationalisation of the existing bodies and more careful planning of the economic activities of all the Vatican Administrations”.
As explained in the Chirograph, the Committee will “offer the technical support of specialist advice and develop strategic solutions for improvement, so as to avoid the misuse of economic resources, to improve transparency in the processes of purchasing goods and services; to refine the administration of goods and real estate; to work with ever greater prudence in the financial sphere; to ensure correct application of accounting principles; and to guarantee healthcare and social security benefits to all those eligible”.
The Commission will be able to collaborate, on request, with the working Group of eight Cardinals in drafting a plan for the reform of the Apostolic Constitution “Pastor Bonus” on the Roman Curia.
The aims and the appointments of the Commission are described in detail in the Chirograph itself.
The members of the Commission are laypeople, experts in “legal, economic, financial and organisational matters”, currently eminent consultants or reviewers for Vatican or ecclesiastical economic institutions. The only member of the clergy is the Secretary.
The eight members are:
Dr. Joseph FX Zahra (Malta), President
Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda (Secretary of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs), Secretary
Mr Jean-Baptiste de Franssu (France)
Dr. Enrique Llano (Spain)
Dr. Jochen Messemer (Germany)
Ms. Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui (Italy)
Mr. Jean Videlain-Sevestre (France)
Mr. George Yeo (Singapore)
Dr. Zahra and Dr. Messemer are international reviewers of the Prefecture of Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
The Commission will begin its work as soon as possible. A first meeting is scheduled for shortly after the Holy Father’s return from Brazil.
The Holy Father hopes for a happy and productive collaboration between the Commission and the Vatican Administrations associated with its work.”
Vatican City, 19 July 2013 (VIS) – The following prelates died in recent weeks:
- Bishop Joseph Vernon Fougère, emeritus of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, on18 June at the age of 70.
- Bishop Franz Xaver Eder, emeritus of Passau, Germany, on 20 June at the age of 87.
- Bishop Jesús Humberto Velázquez Garay, emeritus of Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico, on 22 June at the age of 73.
- Bishop Joannes Baptist Matthijs Gijsen, emeritus of Reykjavik, Iceland, on 24 June at the age of 80.
- Bishop João Alves, emeritus of Coimbra, Portugal, on 28 June at the age of 87.
- Bishop Anthony Gerard Bosco, emeritus of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, USA, on 2 July at the age of 85.
- Bishop Vincenzo Cozzi, emeritus of Melfi-Rapolla-Venosa, Italy, on 3 July at the age of 86.
- Bishop Innocent Hilarion Lotocky, O.S.B.M., emeritus of Saint Nicholas of Chicago (Ukrainian), Illinois, USA, on 4 July at the age of 97.
- Bishop Francois Xavier Nguyen Quang Sach, emeritus of Da Nang, Viet Nam, 7 July at the age of 88.
- Bishop Joaquín Piña Batllevell, S.J., emeritus of Puerto Iguazu, Argentina, on 8 July at the age of 83.
- Bishop Guido Breña López, O.P., emeritus of Ica, Peru, on 9 July at the age of 82.
- Bishop Thaddeus Joseph Jakubowski, auxiliary emeritus of Chicago, Illinois, USA on 14 July at the age of 89.
- Bishop Adhemar Esquivel Kohenque, emeritus of Tarija, Bolivia on 17 July at the age of 84.
Vatican City, 19 July 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:
- appointed Bishop Julian C. Porteous as archbishop of Hobart (area 67,914, population 514,900, Catholics 94,600, priests 49, permanent deacons 2, religious 101), Australia. Bishop Porteous, previously auxiliary of Sydney, Australia, was born in Sydney, Australia in 1949, was ordained to the priesthood in 1974, and received episcopal ordination in 2003. He succeeds Archbishop Adrian L. Doyle, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- appointed Fr. Yohanes Harun Yuwono of the clergy of Pangkalpinang as bishop of Tanjungkarang (area 35,288, population 7,489,000, Catholics 72,797, priests 53, religious 239), Indonesia. The bishop-elect was born in Way Ray, Indonesia, in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He has a licentiate in Islamology from the Pontifical Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles including parish vicar in Sungaliat, chairman of the diocesan pastoral secretariat in Pangkalpinang, and currently rector at the Interdiocesan Major Seminary of Pematangsiantar, and teacher of Islamic studies at the St Yohanes Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Pematangsiantar.


Statement by the President and Vice-President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales
In receiving Royal Assent, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act marks a watershed in English law and heralds a profound social change. This fact is acknowledged by both advocates and opponents of the Act.
Marriage has, over the centuries, been publicly recognised as a stable institution which establishes a legal framework for the committed relationship between a man and a woman and for the upbringing and care of their children. It has, for this reason, rightly been recognised as unique and worthy of legal protection.
The new Act breaks the existing legal links between the institution of marriage and sexual complementarity. With this new legislation, marriage has now become an institution in which openness to children, and with it the responsibility on fathers and mothers to remain together to care for children born into their family unit, are no longer central. That is why we were opposed to this legislation on principle.
Along with others, we have expressed real concern about the deficiencies in the process by which this legislation came to Parliament, and the speed with which it has been rushed through. We are grateful particularly therefore to those Parliamentarians in both Houses who have sought to improve the Bill during its passage, so that it enshrines more effective protection for religious freedom.
A particular concern for us has also been the lack of effective protection for Churches which decide not to opt-in to conducting same sex marriages. Amendments made in the House of Lords though have significantly strengthened the legal protections in the Act for the Churches. We also welcome the Government’s amendment to the Public Order Act which makes it clear beyond doubt that “discussion or criticism of marriage which concerns the sex of the parties to the marriage shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred”. Individuals are therefore protected from criminal sanction under the Public Order Act when discussing or expressing disagreement with same sex marriage.
In other respects, however, the amendments we suggested have not been accepted. We were concerned to provide legislative clarity for schools with a religious character. This was in order to ensure that these schools will be able to continue to teach in accordance with their religious tenets. Given the potential risk that future guidance given by a Secretary of State for education regarding sex and relationships education could now conflict with Church teaching on marriage, we were disappointed that an amendment to provide this clarity was not accepted. The Minister made clear in the House of Lords, however, that in “having regard” to such guidance now or in the future schools with a religious character can “take into account other matters, including in particular relevant religious tenets”, and that “having regard to a provision does not mean that it must be followed assiduously should there be good reason for not doing so”. These assurances go some way to meeting the concerns we and others expressed.
We were disappointed that a number of other amendments to safeguard freedom of speech and the rights of civil registrars to conscientious objection were not passed. But Ministerial assurances have been made that no one can suffer detriment or unfavourable treatment in employment because she or he holds the belief that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.
The legal and political traditions of this country are founded on a firm conviction concerning the rights of people to hold and express their beliefs and views, at the same time as respecting those who differ from them. It is important, at this moment in which deeply held and irreconcilable views of marriage have been contested, to affirm and strengthen this tradition.


For more information please visit our section 'Speak Out For Marriage'.


CISA NEWS REPORT: ABUJA, July 16, 2013 (CISA) -Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has left Nigeria amid calls for his arrest over genocide charges, his embassy has confirmed.
Embassy spokesman Mohammed Moiz told the AFP news agency on Monday night: “”He has left. He left in the afternoon.”
Earlier, a Sudanese diplomat, who would not give his name, told the AP news agency that Bashir had left at 3pm local time on Monday, less than 24 hours after he arrived, and in the middle of a two-day summit ending on Tuesday.
Moiz and the diplomat denied that Bashir’s sudden departure was because human rights lawyers in Nigeria had filed a lawsuit on Monday to try to compel the government to detain Bashir and surrender him to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for trial on charges of war crimes committed in Sudan’s Darfur conflict.
The embassy spokesman said the president had another engagement.
A civil rights group had also urgently appealed to the ICC to refer the government to the UN Security Council for allowing the visit.
Bashir had arrived in Nigeria on Sunday for an African Union summit on HIV and AIDS, angering human rights groups who said he should not have been made welcome.
Nigeria’s presidency defended welcoming Bashir to the country for the summit in spite of the war crimes charges against him.
Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati told AP that Bashir had come to attend the African Union summit, and not at Nigeria’s invitation.
He said Nigeria’s action in allowing him to come was in line with instructions from the African Union, which has told its 53 member states not to co-operate with the European-based court which some accuse of targeting Africans.
The ICC issued two warrants against Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide over the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region.
Since Nigeria is a member of the ICC, it technically has a legal obligation to arrest suspects wanted by the court.
Some African Union members and officials have criticised the Bashir indictments, and the body has passed a resolution that called on its members not to co-operate with the warrants.
Leaders from eight other African countries are attending the summit, including Kenya, whose leader President Uhuru Kenyatta is a suspect of crimes against humanity at the ICC. This is after the violence that rocked Kenya after the bungled 2007 General Elections.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
18 Jul 2013

Year 11 students Jamieson Weiss and Thomas Slack work the coffee machine during lunch recess at Gulargambone Central School
During Sydney's July school holidays students from schools across the city take a well-earned break and use the time to have fun and above all relax. But for a group of students from St Pius X College, Chatswood and St Aloysius College, Milson's Point it was also a time to spend a few days making a difference in Central Western NSW.
Over a period of five days the group travelled to Gulargambone near Dubbo to spend several days with the 70 mainly Aboriginal pupils from the local school who have few of the advantages of their city counterparts. For them once school finishes for the day they find themselves with nothing to do and no playing fields or sports grounds on which to kick a football and burn off energy.
"Finding something to do besides work or study seems to be the biggest challenge for anyone living in Gulargambone," says Jamieson Weiss, a Year 11 student from St Aloysisus College who spent time in the town late last month as part of his school's "Faith in Service" program.
"We spent the first day helping out in the school, planting trees, mulching, organising classroom cupboards and working as teacher's aides, and helping out with K-3 classes," he says.
For the small group of students some of whom were accompanied by their fathers who pitched in to help with painting, tree planting and other maintenance projects at Gulargambone Central School, there was also a chance to meet the locals as well as make friends with many of the school's students.
"For the school's teenagers and young people these visits by young student volunteers from Sydney mean a great deal," says Katie Rowe, Acting Principal of the town's school. "Their visits mean they learn from the Sydney students what life is like outside the town and in different areas of Australia. The visits also help expands their horizons. By keeping in touch with them via social media, the Sydney volunteers not only show them new possibilities. It also helps them build a network for the time when they leave school and embark on a job or career."

Student volunteers from Sydney's St Pius X and St Aloysisus Colleges with adult volunteers and two youngsters from Gulargambone Central School
In charge of Gulargambone Central School where students range in age from five-year-old kindergarteners to 17 and 18 year olds in Years 11 and 12, Katie says the days spent helping out at the school and in the small rural community by St Aloysius and St Pius X students is also helping to build self-esteem and confidence among her students.
"Most of our kids haven't been outside of Gulargambone. They're unsure of how to act in new or different social situations or environments. But with Sydney students taking on mentoring roles this is starting to change," Katie says.
Thanks to the efforts of energetic live-wire, real estate agent and North Shore Mum, Jenny Carter since 2009 groups of students from many of the North Shore's Independent Catholic Schools including Monte Sant'Angelo Mercy College, Loreto Kirribilli, St Aloysius and St Pius X have made regular visits to Gulargambone to make a difference to the lives of the town's largely Aboriginal population and the 70 young people who attend the local school.
Since Jenny founded the program, the students along with volunteer Dads have formed working bees to clean up Gulargambone's riverbank, paint over graffiti and undertake maintenance at the school. Through Jenny's efforts a local op shop filled with clothes and items donated by Sydney friends, family and parents has also been established as well as gifts of knitted blankets, socks and bed jackets for patients the town's small hospital.
Last year the program was expanded further when Jenny organised for a group of Gulargambone students to spend a week in Sydney. They stayed with the Mercy Sisters in North Sydney, visited Redfern, took in a Souths NRL match and spent an afternoon at the Jewish Museum in Darlinghurst.

Gulargambone teens have little in way of afterschool recreation facilities
There are plans to bring another group to Sydney later this year.
Not content to rest there, Jenny and her team of volunteers and students with the help of St Mary's North Sydney parish and the surrounding communities are now raising funds to build a BMX-skate park for the children and teens of Gulargambone.
At present there are no recreational facilities in the town and when the kids play football it is often along the side of the road which is dangerous and puts them at risk, Katie Rowe explains.
Thanks to Jenny's enthusiasm and non-stop energy and with more than $12,000 already raised no one doubts the $28,000 still needed to build the park will be raised by the end of the year.
"The local Gilgandra and Coonamble Shire Councils have donated the land and I am seeing big concrete manufacturers to see if they'd be willing to donate and lay the slab needed," Jenny says.
Another dream of hers and Gulargambone acting principal, Katie Rowe is to establish a relationship between the little country school and the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
"The small group of Indigenous students who flew to Sydney last year were taken to see Souths train. It was a fantastic opportunity for them to meet their role models and what members of the team have been able to achieve. Almost 12 months on they are still talking about the visit and how it made them feel," Katie says.
The school's students are passionate about sport and through sport learn to play in a team, play by the rules and develop social as well as co-ordination abilities. She strongly believes a connection between the school and Souths would inspire them and help them achieve their dreams.
But just as the young people of Gulargambone are responding to support and input from their peers at Sydney's more affluent schools, visits to the town have been equally life-changing for the volunteer "Faith in Service" students from St Aloysius, St Pius X, Loreto Kirribilli and Monte Sant'Angelo Colleges.

Nicholas Slack from St Pius X College helps his mother Glenda Mullins prepare lunch for children at Gulargambone School
"At Gulargambone School there are five kids looking to finish Year 12 this year and three Aboriginal kids hoping to go on to university," says Thomas Slack, a Year 11 student at St Pius X College who spent time in the town last month with his younger brother, Nicholas who attends the same school and is in Year 8.
Accustomed to the easy accessibility of movies, goods, entertainment, the beach, transport and Sydney's well-stocked malls and department stores, landing in a town where many of the main street's shops are boarded up and just buying essentials means a 50 k drive to Gilgandra or Coonamble, Thomas admits his time in Gulargambone brought home to him just how lucky he and his brother are.
"Not all of the kids at the school have enough to eat each day so being able to help out at lunchtime when Jenny Carter and my mum, Glenda Mullins cooked up a huge spaghetti bolognaise and chocolate cake for lunch at the community cafe was pretty special," Thomas says.
As with the other students who spent part of this year's July school holidays in the small dusty outback town, Thomas is keen to return. In the meantime he is helping to raise funds for the skate park and keeping in touch with many of those he met at the school via social media.
He also intends keeping in touch and mentoring the Year 2 and 3 youngsters he met as a teachers' aid for the day when he helped them brush up on their English skills.
To donate to Gulargambone's skate park or to become involved as a volunteer contact Jenny Carter


Guizhou Province authorities arrest, beat and smash Li Fenfei’s teeth: she is "guilty" of being pregnant with her second child. A massive doses of drugs injected to create a "toxic effect," kills the child and endangers the life of the mother.

Bijie (AsiaNews) - The Guizhou Province family planning authorities have first beaten and then forced a woman to have an abortion through the administration of heavy doses of drugs that have created a toxic effect, to the point that in addition to the death of her child, the life of the mother is now in danger. The episode was confirmed by sources for ChinaAid, an NGO that monitors the human rights situation in China.

According to these sources at least five officials from the Jinsha County Office arrested Li Fengfei, 18 weeks pregnant, on July 9. The woman has another child, and according to the infamous one-child law can not have another one. Officials brought her to a prison cell, where they beat her, smashed her teeth and forced her to sign with a fingerprint a form for abortion.

While she was pinned to the office desk, an agent injected her with Rivanol, a medicine used to induce labor. Along with this the staff administered - again via injections - Mifepristone and Oxytocin. A medical source told AsiaNews that in high doses, these drugs mixed together have a poisonous effect not only for the child in the womb, but also for the mother.

Li was released with a high fever, but for 70 hours labor did not start. On July 12, officials forced her to have an ultrasound that confirmed the death of the child in the womb. The day after they subjected her to another series of injections that - as of this morning - have failed to produce any result. The woman is still in hospital in serious condition (see photo).



Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 393

Reading 1             EX 11:10—12:14

Although Moses and Aaron performed various wonders
in Pharaoh’s presence,
the LORD made Pharaoh obstinate,
and he would not let the children of Israel leave his land.

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
“This month shall stand at the head of your calendar;
you shall reckon it the first month of the year.
Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month
every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb,
one apiece for each household.
If a family is too small for a whole lamb,
it shall join the nearest household in procuring one
and shall share in the lamb
in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.
The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish.
You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.
You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then,
with the whole assembly of Israel present,
it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight.
They shall take some of its blood
and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel
of every house in which they partake of the lamb.
That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh
with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
It shall not be eaten raw or boiled, but roasted whole,
with its head and shanks and inner organs.
None of it must be kept beyond the next morning;
whatever is left over in the morning shall be burned up.

“This is how you are to eat it:
with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand,
you shall eat like those who are in flight.
It is the Passover of the LORD.
For on this same night I will go through Egypt,
striking down every first born of the land, both man and beast,
and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the LORD!
But the blood will mark the houses where you are.
Seeing the blood, I will pass over you;
thus, when I strike the land of Egypt,
no destructive blow will come upon you.

“This day shall be a memorial feast for you,
which all your generations shall celebrate
with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution.”

Responsorial Psalm                  PS 116:12-13, 15 AND 16BC, 17-18

R. (13) I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.

Gospel         MT 12:1-8

Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath.
His disciples were hungry
and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him,
“See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.”
He said to the them, “Have you not read what David did
when he and his companions were hungry,
how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering,
which neither he nor his companions
but only the priests could lawfully eat?
Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath
the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath
and are innocent?
I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.
If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
you would not have condemned these innocent men.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”

Friday, July 19, 2013


St. Arsenius
Feast: July 19
Anchorite; born 354, at Rome; died 450, at Troe, in Egypt. Theodosius the Great having requested the Emperor Gratian and Pope Damasus to find him in the West a tutor for his son Arcadius, they made choice of Arsenius, a man well read in Greek literature, member of a noble Roman family, and said to have been a deacon of the Roman Church. He reached Constantinople in 383, and continued as tutor in the imperial family for eleven years, during the last three of which he also had charge of his pupil's brother Honorius. Coming one day to see his children at their studies, Theodosius found them sitting while Arsenius talked to them standing. This he would not tolerate, and caused the teacher to sit and the pupils to stand. On his arrival at court Arsenius had been given a splendid establishment, and probably because the Emperor so desired, he lived in great pomp, but all the time felt a growing inclination to renounce the world. After praying long to be enlightened as to what he should do, he heard a voice saying "Arsenius, flee the company of men, and thou shalt be saved." Thereupon he embarked secretly for Alexandria, and hastening to the desert of Scetis, asked to be admitted among the solitaries who dwelt there. St. John the Dwarf, to whose cell he was conducted, though previously warned of the quality of his visitor, took no notice of him and left him standing by himself while he invited the rest to sit down at table. When therepast was half finished he threw down some bread before him, bidding him with an air of indifference eat if he would. Arsenius meekly picked up the bread and ate, sitting on the ground. Satisfied with this proof of humility, St. John kept him under his direction. The new solitary was from the first most exemplary yet unwittingly retained certain of his old habits, such as sitting cross-legged or laying one foot over the other. Noticing this, the abbot requested some one to imitate Arsenius's posture at the next gathering of the brethren, and upon his doing so, forthwith rebuked him publicly. Arsenius took the hint and corrected himself. During the fifty-five years of his solitary life he was always the most meanly clad of all, thus punishing himself for his former seeming vanity in the world. In like manner, to atone for having used perfumes at court, he never changed the water in which he moistened the palm leaves of which he made mats, but only poured in fresh water upon it as it wasted, thus letting it become stenchy in the extreme. Even while engaged in manual labour he never relaxed in his application to prayer. At all times copious tears of devotion fell from his eyes. But what distinguished him most was his disinclination to all that might interrupt his union with God. When, after long search, his place of retreat was discovered, he not only refused to return to court and act as adviser to his former pupil the Emperor Arcadius, but he would not even be his almoner to the poor and the monasteries of the neighbourhood. He invariably denied himself to visitors, no matter what their rank and condition and left to his disciples the care of entertaining them. His contemporaries so admired him as to surname him "the Great".


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