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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Catholic News World : Ascension Sunday, June 1, 2014 - SHARE!

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Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost SHARE this Prayer



HOLY SPIRIT NOVENA DAY 3 FOR PENTECOST
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY GHOST

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. / I adore the brightness of Your purity the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength / and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart! To be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light: and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You / by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds / and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart / I implore You / Adorable Spirit I Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere / "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.


PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul / the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth / the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You I and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God find know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable / the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples / and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

Thou, of all consolers best, Visiting the troubled breast, Dost refreshing peace bestow.
The Gift of Piety
The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.
Prayer
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen
(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)


Novena Day 1 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-1-pentecost.html
Day 2 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/holy-spirit-novena-day-2-for-pentecost.html
Day 3 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/holy-spirit-novena-day-3-for-pentecost.html
Day 4 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-4-for.html
Day 5 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-5-for.html
Day 6 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-6-for.html
Day 7 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-7-for.html
Day 8 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-8-for.html
Day 9 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-day-9-to-holy-spirit-for.html 


Pope Francis to Charismatic Convocation “Adore God. Seek sanctity in the New Life of the Spirit.” Video/Text

(Vatican Radio) Evangelization, spiritual ecumenism, care of the poor and those in need, welcome for the marginalized: these are all founded upon the renewal of adoration of God. This was one of the central points made by Pope Francis on Sunday during his address to the 37th National Convocation of the “Renewal of the Spirit” which was held at Rome’s Olympic Stadium. More than 50,000 people had gathered for the event which, in addition to an encounter with the Holy Father, included praise and worship music, testimonies, and a flash mob. During his main discourse, Pope Francis said members of the charismatic renewal had “received a great gift from the Lord.” He said that when he thinks of members of the charismatic movement, a particular image of the Church comes to mind. “I think also of a great orchestra, where every instrument is different from the other, and the voices are also different; but all are necessary for the harmony of the music.”
 The Pope then reminded them that, like in an orchestra, no one in the Renewal can think of themselves as being more important than another, or consider think of themselves as a leader. “You have only one leader, only one lord: the Lord Jesus.” As disseminators of God’s grace, the Pope called on those present to allow themselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit, and to go out onto the streets to announce the Gospel. Pope Francis also emphasized that adoration of God is fundamental. “Adore God. Seek sanctity in the New Life of the Spirit.”
The Holy Father concluded his discourse by inviting the charismatics of the world to celebrate their 2017 Jubilee at the Vatican. Earlier during the afternoon festivities, Pope Francis heard four testimonies, each one representing a different state in life: the priesthood, the youth, the sick and disabled, and the family. Speaking to priests, the Pope gave them one word: Nearness. He charged priests to be near to God through Adoration, and near to the people. To the young people: the Pope said not to keep youth locked in a safe, for otherwise it would become like a rag and serve no purpose. Youth, he said, is for giving oneself so that others might know the Lord.
Pope Francis then addressed the representatives of the family, warning that the devil seeks to destroy the family. He called on the Lord to bless families, giving them strength against these attacks from the devil. Finally the Holy Father addressed the sick and disabled, represented at the event by a woman who suffered from blindness. He said that the sufferings of those who are sick and disabled are united to the sufferings of Christ. The Pope then thanked them for their willingness to except being united in the suffering of Christ, and for their hope.
Shared from Radio Vaticana

Full Text of Pope Francis Message for World Communications Day

The Vatican issued the following Massage from Pope Francis for the 48th World Communications Day on Sunday 1 June. Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today we are living in a world which is growing ever "smaller" and where, as a result, it would seem to be easier for all of us to be neighbours. Developments in travel and communications technology are bringing us closer together and making us more connected, even as globalization makes us increasingly interdependent.
Nonetheless, divisions, which are sometimes quite deep, continue to exist within our human family. On the global level we see a scandalous gap between the opulence of the wealthy and the utter destitution of the poor. Often we need only walk the streets of a city to see the contrast between people living on the street and the brilliant lights of the store windows. We have become so accustomed to these things that they no longer unsettle us.
Our world suffers from many forms of exclusion, marginalization and poverty, to say nothing of conflicts born of a combination of economic, political, ideological, and, sadly, even religious motives. In a world like this, media can help us to feel closer to one another, creating a sense of the unity of the human family which can in turn inspire solidarity and serious efforts to ensure a more dignified life for all. Good communication helps us to grow closer, to know one another better, and ultimately, to grow in unity. The walls which divide us can be broken down only if we are prepared to listen and learn from one another. We need to resolve our differences through forms of dialogue which help us grow in understanding and mutual respect. A culture of encounter demands that we be ready not only to give, but also to receive. Media can help us greatly in this, especially nowadays, when the networks of human communication have made unprecedented advances. The internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God. This is not to say that certain problems do not exist.
The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression. The variety of opinions being aired can be seen as helpful, but it also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests. The world of communications can help us either to expand our knowledge or to lose our bearings.
The desire for digital connectivity can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbours, from those closest to us. We should not overlook the fact that those who for whatever reason lack access to social media run the risk of being left behind. While these drawbacks are real, they do not justify rejecting social media; rather, they remind us that communication is ultimately a human rather than technological achievement. What is it, then, that helps us, in the digital environment, to grow in humanity and mutual understanding? We need, for example, to recover a certain sense of deliberateness and calm. This calls for time and the ability to be silent and to listen. We need also to be patient if we want to understand those who are different from us. People only express themselves fully when they are not merely tolerated, but know that they are truly accepted. If we are genuinely attentive in listening to others, we will learn to look at the world with different eyes and come to appreciate the richness of human experience as manifested in different cultures and traditions.
We will also learn to appreciate more fully the important values inspired by Christianity, such as the vision of the human person, the nature of marriage and the family, the proper distinction between the religious and political spheres, the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, and many others. How, then, can communication be at the service of an authentic culture of encounter? What does it mean for us, as disciples of the Lord, to encounter others in the light of the Gospel? In spite of our own limitations and sinfulness, how do we draw truly close to one another?
 These questions are summed up in what a scribe - a communicator - once asked Jesus: "And who is my neighbour?" (Lk 10:29). This question can help us to see communication in terms of "neighbourliness". We might paraphrase the question in this way: How can we be "neighbourly" in our use of the communications media and in the new environment created by digital technology? I find an answer in the parable of the Good Samaritan, which is also a parable about communication. Those who communicate, in effect, become neighbours. The Good Samaritan not only draws nearer to the man he finds half dead on the side of the road; he takes responsibility for him. Jesus shifts our understanding: it is not just about seeing the other as someone like myself, but of the ability to make myself like the other. Communication is really about realizing that we are all human beings, children of God. I like seeing this power of communication as "neighbourliness". Whenever communication is primarily aimed at promoting consumption or manipulating others, we are dealing with a form of violent aggression like that suffered by the man in the parable, who was beaten by robbers and left abandoned on the road. The Levite and the priest do not regard him as a neighbour, but as a stranger to be kept at a distance. In those days, it was rules of ritual purity which conditioned their response. Nowadays there is a danger that certain media so condition our responses that we fail to see our real neighbour. It is not enough to be passers-by on the digital highways, simply "connected"; connections need to grow into true encounters. We cannot live apart, closed in on ourselves. We need to love and to be loved. We need tenderness. Media strategies do not ensure beauty, goodness and truth in communication. The world of media also has to be concerned with humanity, it too is called to show tenderness. The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people. The impartiality of media is merely an appearance; only those who go out of themselves in their communication can become a true point of reference for others.
Personal engagement is the basis of the trustworthiness of a communicator. Christian witness, thanks to the internet, can thereby reach the peripheries of human existence. As I have frequently observed, if a choice has to be made between a bruised Church which goes out to the streets and a Church suffering from self-absorption, I certainly prefer the first. Those "streets" are the world where people live and where they can be reached, both effectively and affectively. The digital highway is one of them, a street teeming with people who are often hurting, men and women looking for salvation or hope. By means of the internet, the Christian message can reach "to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Keeping the doors of our churches open also means keeping them open in the digital environment so that people, whatever their situation in life, can enter, and so that the Gospel can go out to reach everyone.
We are called to show that the Church is the home of all. Are we capable of communicating the image of such a Church? Communication is a means of expressing the missionary vocation of the entire Church; today the social networks are one way to experience this call to discover the beauty of faith, the beauty of encountering Christ. In the area of communications too, we need a Church capable of bringing warmth and of stirring hearts. Effective Christian witness is not about bombarding people with religious messages, but about our willingness to be available to others "by patiently and respectfully engaging their questions and their doubts as they advance in their search for the truth and the meaning of human existence" (BENEDICT XVI, Message for the 47th World ommunications Day, 2013).
 We need but recall the story of the disciples on the way to Emmaus. We have to be able to dialogue with the men and women of today, to understand their expectations, doubts and hopes, and to bring them the Gospel, Jesus Christ himself, God incarnate, who died and rose to free us from sin and death. We are challenged to be people of depth, attentive to what is happening around us and spiritually alert. To dialogue means to believe that the "other" has something worthwhile to say, and to entertain his or her point of view and perspective. Engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and traditions, but the claim that they alone are valid or absolute. May the image of the Good Samaritan who tended to the wounds of the injured man by pouring oil and wine over them be our inspiration.
Let our communication be a balm which relieves pain and a fine wine which gladdens hearts. May the light we bring to others not be the result of cosmetics or special effects, but rather of our being loving and merciful "neighbours" to those wounded and left on the side of the road. Let us boldly become citizens of the digital world. The Church needs to be concerned for, and present in, the world of communication, in order to dialogue with people today and to help them encounter Christ. She needs to be a Church at the side of others, capable of accompanying everyone along the way. The revolution taking place in communications media and in information technologies represents a great and thrilling challenge; may we respond to that challenge with fresh energy and imagination as we seek to share with others the beauty of God. From the Vatican, 24 January 2014, the Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales.

2 Priests and Nun are Freed by Kidnappers in Cameroon - Africa

Two Italian priests and a Canadian nun, kidnapped in Camaroon on 5 April have just been released. In a statement the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, confirmed the release of Fathers Gianantonio Allegri and Giampaolo Marta from Italy and Canadian Sister Gilberte Bussier. The three were kidnapped by gunmen from the building where they were staying in the district of Maroua in the early hours of 5 April. No group claimed responsibility for the attack but suspicion has fallen on militant Nigerian group Boko Haram who kidnapped another priest, as well as seven members of a French family in northern Cameroon last year. Federica Mogherini said: "It 'a great joy. I first thank the authorities of Cameroon President Paul Biya for the great work done and the Government of Canada with whom we have worked closely. I want to express my great satisfaction for the success of an operation conducted brilliantly, thanks to the continued cooperation between our intelligence services and the Crisis Unit of the Foreign Ministry." Source: Italian Foreign Ministry

Pope Francis "Alone, without Jesus, we can do nothing!" Ascension Message

ASIA NEWS IT REPORT: At the Regina Caeli, the Pope Francis emphasizes that although Jesus ascended to the Father, He is still next to us "here in the square": His "gift" to the Father are his wounds, "the price of forgiveness " that the Father always gives . The Church is a "outward bound community; Even cloistered communities, the elderly and the sick. He recalls the victims of violence in Ukraine and the Central African Republic and entrusts them to Mary , Queen of Peace . The World Day of Social Communications and the beatification of Mother Speranza di Colvalenza .
Vatican City ( AsiaNews ) - The " keyword " of the Feast of the Ascension is "going" or rather "leaving" ... : Jesus leaves to be with his Father, the disciples leave to go out into the world". This is how Pope Francis described the Solemnity of the Ascension , which is celebrated 40 days after Easter (or the following Sunday) . Speaking to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square for the recitation of the Regina Caeli , the Pope explained, "Jesus leaves, he ascends to heaven, that is, returns to the Father from whom he had been sent into the world. But this is not a separation, because He remains with us forever, in a new form ... Jesus remains present and active in the affairs of human history with the power and the gifts of his Spirit, He is right beside each of us: even if we cannot see him with our own eyes, He is there! He accompanies us , guides us, He takes us by the hand and raises us when we fall. The  risen Jesus is near to the Christians who are persecuted and discriminated against , he is close to every man and woman who suffers ". Speaking off the cuff the Pope added: "Jesus is close to us here in the square. Together let us all say: The Lord is with us. Do you believe this ? Let us say together : the Lord is with us".
And again, speaking off the cuff , he asked the question: " And what does he brig as a gift to the Father? His wounds ... He says : Look Father, this is the price of the forgiveness that You give . And when the Father looks at us, He forgives us because He always sees the price of this forgiveness ... Do not be afraid to ask for forgiveness because Jesus paid for us".

The Pope underlined then the disciples "leaving", which is very close to what has become his motto on the Church must "move out to the margins of society". But Jesus is also present through the Church, which He sent to extend His mission. The last words of Jesus to his disciples is the mandate:" Go therefore and make disciples of all nations "(Mt 28:19). This is a clear mandate, it is not optional! The Christian community is a "outgoing", "outward bound" community. And you may say: But what about the community of cloistered Yes , those, too, because they are always "outward bound" in prayer, their heart open to the world , the horizons of God, and the elderly, the sick? they too, through prayer and union with the wounds of Jesus".

"Jesus says to his missionary disciples - he added - " I am with you always , until the end of the world" (v. 20) . Alone, without Jesus, we can do nothing! Our strengths, our resources , our capabilities are not enough in apostolic work, even if they are necessary. Without the presence of the Lord and the power of his Spirit, our work, even though well-organized it is ineffective ".

"But I would like you not to forget the gift that Jesus brings to the Father. What is the gift? His wounds. And together with Jesus Mary our Mother accompanies us. She is already in the house of the Father, she is the Queen of Heaven, and so we invoke her at this time , but just as Jesus is with us, she walks with us, she is the Mother of our hope".


After the Marian prayer, Francis, "with a heart saddened", recalled "the victims of the tensions that still continue in some regions of Ukraine, as well as in the Central African Republic".  "I renew my heartfelt appeal  - said the pope - to all parties involved, that misunderstandings be overcome and that dialogue and reconciliation might be sought with patience. May Mary , Queen of Peace , help us all with her ​​maternal intercession".

And together with the faithful he repeated twice: "Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us".

The Pope then recalled that today, Solemnity of the Ascension , we celebrate the World Day of Social Communications, "on the theme of communication at the service of the culture of encounter". "Social communications - he explained - can foster a sense of unity in the human family, of solidarity and commitment to a life of dignity for all. Let us pray that communication, in all its forms, really be at the service of encounter between people, communities, nations, an encounter based on mutual respect and listening".

Finally , the pope announced that yesterday in Colvalenza "Mother Speranza was proclaimed Blessed. Born in Spain under the name of MarĂ­a Josefa Alhama Valera, she was the founder of the Handmaids of His Merciful Love in Italy. May her testimony help the Church to proclaim everywhere, with concrete and daily gestures, the infinite mercy of the heavenly Father for each person". The Pope asked all those present to salute the beatification of Mother Speranza with a round of applause.

Pope Francis "And 'the Virgin of readiness' is now ready to help us when we pray..." Video of Prayers


Pope Francis on Saturday evening concluded the Month of Mary in the Vatican Gardens.
01/06/2014


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday evening concluded the Month of Mary in the Vatican Gardens. A procession led by Cardinal Angelo Comastri went from the church of St. Stephen of the Abyssinians to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. It was there that Pope Francis greeted the faithful.
 "Mary 'went in haste' to her elderly cousin Elizabeth. She wasted no time, immediately went to serve," Pope Francis said. "And 'the Virgin of readiness' is now ready to help us when we pray, when we ask for her help and protection."
Pope Francis said in the "very many" moments of life in which we need help, the Madonna does not wait, and is immediate ready to serve.

Sunday Mass Online : June 1, 2014 - Ascension of Jesus into Heaven

The Ascension of the Lord
Lectionary: 58

Reading 1ACTS 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with the them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

R/ (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R/ Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R/ God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R/ Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R/ God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R/ Alleluia.
For king of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.
R/ God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R/ Alleluia.

Reading 2 EPH 1:17-23

Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might,
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

Gospel MT 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Saint June 1 St. Justin : Martyr : Died 165

St. Justin
MARTYR
Feast: June 1


Information:
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.


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/J/stjustin.asp#ixzz1wXgqrNEn